The way forward..a Party Political Solution? – Discuss

Political party or other? What other is there?

Much of what I am about to write I have written before in other places.

For me at 70 years of age to spend to spend any significant amount of time or money on this I will need to agree with the aims of the organisation, be convinced that there is a strategy to go forward that stands some chance of success, that any monies contributed get used properly and is accountable and that there is enough traction to get more people on board. This latter I know is a bit of chicken and egg, however for the moment I would accept increasing sign up to this site as a measure of traction. (Note to David would it be possible to publish stats on this on a regular basis?)

For the general public to get involved, they would I feel expect to be similarly convinced.

The general public are familiar with the concept of a “Party” and in general I would say are comfortable with it. A party provides structure and focus, people that join can be harnessed in a hopefully focused and disciplined manner finally people can see where the subscription monies are being used.

It is my belief that the party needs to be set up as a not for profit charity with a properly convened chair person secretary etc. The shareholders would be members who had purchased a share in the company and there needs to be enough people prepared to be paying shareholders at start up.

In general the operation of the company should wherever possible mirror the processes that we would wish to see in central government e.g qualified majority voting.

Doing things this way means that should the wider membership want to sack the Chairman and appoint another they can if enough vote to do so all within a defined framework of company law.

As has been pointed out by Raising the Nation there is a requirement for local chapters or branches of the party.

As we are going to “play” in the existing game to the existing rules then we need a branch for each constituent, we are after all ultimately going to contest every seat.

For want of a better term I will call the first company set up the “executive”, branch companies would be set up in an identical manner except that they would be owned in part by the executive company as well as local members. This provides a means of funding the executive from the wider membership as required. NB the “executive” company could be a branch company at one and the same time.

Setting up the first company is something that anyone could do for not much money, however the issues of Charity Status, legal and tax issues are something that I would want gone into before going this route, after all we do not want to end up paying corporation tax or VAT on members contributions. So question... any experts in this field out there.

Party and company name is also something to be decided on DD4U is a bit of a mouthful I have to say that I did like Democracy NOW! Which is short but doesn’t really cover it so how about Direct Democracy NOW!

Now this is my view on what needs to be done and I believe an initial company could be set up very quickly if there are enough people willing to stand as officers in the company.

However this is my view and may not be the view of the majority, I have seen various other ideas floated such as pressurising existing MP’s via social media demonstrations etc.

I have to say that none of them has convinced me that on their own they stand the remotest chance of forcing change, it is worth remembering that where we want go effectively destroys the existing Party structure and Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

I would be interested to see what resonance this has with others,

I would also caution against getting too bogged down in details such as Primaries or local electoral structures they are all irrelevant until power is gained, my belief is that to change things we need to gain power the ways to do that are pretty well defined and constrained by the existing democratic process we will need to focus what energies we have on this one objective so lets not spend to much time discussing things which would be better discussed with the electorate once power has been gained.

We need to campaign on those things which will change the system permanently i.e a refined six demands and as importantly voting and tax reform BUT at least for a first term we would need to have a position on the issues of the day e.g NHS, Welfare Brexit etc. they will not wait while a heavy workload of major constitutional reform is being implemented.

There is much detail that needs to be worked and on which I could write more but little point if we are going a different route.

I started this essay with two questions I have given some insight for one now what of the other?

This really is for others but if direct action is the order of the day then kidnapping the Queen may produce results. After all she is the Constitutional Head of Government who has the power to appoint dismiss her council of ministers…...

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2 thoughts on “The way forward..a Party Political Solution? – Discuss

  1. In2minds

    Here are a few of my thoughts on political parties. If you speak to people who have worked either full or part-time for a party the situation looks far from rosy. A political party consumes vast amounts of time, money and effort. This suits existing parties as it impedes start-ups. One of the most interesting recent political events was just how the 'Leavers' did so well on the referendum. In my district in a very short time scale we got together and worked with other local groups, the Remainers were as good as invisible.

    There are documents in the HoC library which can be linked to by the public that give the details on party membership. Put simply membership on a short time scale goes up and down. The Labour party is very proud of its, thereabouts, half a million membership. But the high point for UK party membership, all parties, was 1953 when the Conservatives alone had 2.8 million members and Labour about one million.

    Hence I say that trying to promote a new political idea via a party system that seems, generally, to be in decline is risky. What is the alternative? I've no idea, yet! But I will say we are ill-served by the official organisations behind our political system. I once had a conversation with a retired civil-servant who had been involved with the creation of, The Electoral Commission. They were not too keen on the EC, 'only bothered with party income stream'. We should also remember how long it has taken for parliamentary boundaries to be made more regular and fair but we are still waiting for the changes to be made. So promoting DD, let's be careful.

    Reply
    1. Tony Day

      Post author

      @In2minds
      I am sure that the majority (all?) political parties are expensive and cumbersome they have after all been around a long time :-).

      In my experience of big organisations management have a propensity for engorging themselves at the expense of the "workers" and the organisation itself, however just because others are like this does not mean that a new organisation has to be the same.

      Any organisation that's set up to do what we are attempting to do, call it a Movement, Ginger Group or Party will consume vast amounts of time, effort and money, it will consume more of those if there is no structure and directed effort.

      I am not wedded to the idea of a Political Party per se particularly as if we won Government and implemented our reforms Parties would essentially become redundant including the one we would just have set up.
      My fear is that if we set something up which is a non registered political party then we collectively or as individuals may be open to charges of being NVE simply because we are a threat to the status quo.
      That overall existing party membership is in decline is not surprising given that non of them really have any appeal to the vast majority of the population. They are all divided on key issues and have no clear message, they all lie and spin and are generally staffed with time servers many of whom are not particularly competent, so why would any sensible person want to join them?.

      Alternatives yes I can see alternatives but they all would require vast sums of money to implement (How much is five minutes of TV add time worth?) and we would still need a core organisation if only to vet and approve prospective MP's

      In your area you may have had an ad-hoc organisation to campaign for Brexit but I saw non of that here in my neck of the woods (which is not to say it did'nt exist, was just invisible if it did)

      My view is that there are a lot of people maybe a majority, that would embrace candidates standing for election that represented a genuine change from the existing status-quo and the time is now.
      I feel sure that there will be an election long before 2020 maybe as early as next year and currently who do the people vote for?, the strongest is the Conservative party the rest are just a joke. Without a credible alternative IMHO a low turnout is almost guaranteed.

      So I repeat my question if not a Party then what?

      Mind given the amount of comments on this thread so far either lotsa people have read it and agree but can't be bothered to participate or no ones read it 🙁
      EC and revenue streams: Well as the EC has to be concerned about fairness to the main parties equitable division etc. I suppose income stream has to be a consideration, though it should not be the only one.
      One does wonder if the civil Servants were more concerned with their own political agenda. I have little faith in today's CS being apolitical as in the days of yore.

      tonyf

      Reply

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