Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Democracy - rant by blog owner!

Democracy is a funny thing. Wildly popular, but not all that common. If you want a definition, then hop over to Wikipedia. The word is Greek in origin and means, roughly, rule by the people. Of course, in Ancient Greece, people were the free men. Two thirds of the population were women or slaves, and they didn't get to vote.

Generally speaking nowadays, we think it means "one man one vote". Or "one woman one vote". But in my opinion, this needs a caveat. There has to be an alternative bunch of people who could also form a government. In the UK the government could be run over by a bus and the opposition would be there to take over. Excellent!

Why am I rabbiting on about democracy? Well, democracy in the UK has taken, and is taking, a big hit. The Scottish government in London is handing the UK over to the French government in Brussels. I am rather biased about this I am afraid. I would rather there was an English government in London and a Cornish one in Truro. I don't want to rule the French and I don't want them ruling us. I feel much the same about the Scots.

Democracy in England is not quite as old as democracy in Ancient Athens, but it has been around for a long time. The Anglo-Saxons came to power in much of England about AD600. They elected their kings. Of course, I am not suggested that this was democracy as we know it - a big sword or a large axe was pretty handy in elections. But there was no divine right to be king. This was introduced later on by the Church. What about the Normans you say. Well, they mainly just adapted their system to the Anglo-Saxon one. Most of the Anglo-Saxon system just carried with a different top layer.

So it wasn't all that long after 1066 that parliament arrived. Because the Normans (Norsemen) were also fairly democratic. Since about the 12th century, the parliamentary system moved forward, quite a few hiccups, but it did not fail us.

Now our Scottish Prime Minister is handing us over to the European Union. The EU has one man one vote to elect people to the European Parliament but they have limited powers over the real rulers, the Council of Ministers and the EU Commission. Nor are these people drawn from the parliament. The government is separate from the parliament and there is no handy alternative government around.

Nor is the government elected. Of course, the Council of Ministers are all elected - but not as such. Our Prime Minister is not elected because he is on the Council of Ministers.

My forecast for the present UK government is that they will lose the next election. They will lose it because they are not trusted. So, the handy opposition party takes over as government. But it will make NO difference. The real government, the French one in Brussels, will just sail on. They cannot be removed by the voters.

Before the present treaty comes into force, it is said that 80% of our laws are made in Brussels. EU law outranks UK law. We are about to lose our veto over another 40 or 60 (depends who you listen to) areas .

The UK will then be a province of the new European Empire. Perhaps it will all turn out alright. But if it doesn't, things might get nasty!


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Rob Hopcott said...

One of the big problems, as I see it, is that once elected, they don't want to talk to us.

They sit there and make decisions on our behalf and then the only people that get a look in are the powerful lobbyists.

So laws are made for the large organisations, the moneyed and the powerful, not for us little guys (please forgive my possible assumption about yourself, here).

How many Local Authority councillors have blogs? How many MPs have blogs?

Not many, because blogs and discussion boards allow people to talk back and inject realism into the debate.

Probably, in Cornwall as in Somerset, the small organisation is the heart and soul of the County, yet scarcely gets a look in to the decision making.

I recollect, democracy started with a bunch of people standing in a square and yelling their opinions (sounds like the Commons, doesn't it), I reckon we should go back to this but through blogs and discussion boards.

Perhaps then we would get some sensible policies made for the ordinary people.

But I'm not holding my breath :-)