Monday, 22 September 2014

Helena Kennedy's warnings

A slightly late Monday morning listening to Farming Today discussing devolved powers on Radio 4 - could this be the start of a truly plenary national debate? Spoiled slightly by being followed by that decrepit monster Blair advising us to kill more people. Well he would, wouldn't he. Helena Kennedy's piece in the Guardian reminded me that I first saw Cameron at close range shortly after his elevation to party leader, at the QEII centre in Westminster speaking in support on the release of Kennedy's Power Inquiry report. She now writes presciently
It is becoming very clear that Scotland’s referendum is going to have far-reaching consequences – with the parties and ambitious politicians at each other’s throats for whatever advantage they can squeeze out of the results. My fear is that the establishment will use constitutional change simply to fix the status quo. The fix that the masters of the universe and many of our politicians want is one that leaves the same people in charge to do the same things.

There is no need for some long and deadly, great and good royal commission, but if you want people to really consider the consequences of changes you need to give them a genuine opportunity to participate. You can do that with deliberative polls, where people meet and hear the arguments and express their views. You can do it with people’s juries, where there are challenging questions and alternatives and a commitment to following through on the results. People should be able to organise around the issues in their own communities.

Instead, we are back to top-down control. This is not about doing things differently but about Westminster designing change to head off at the pass something deeper and more democratic. In the bars at party conferences they will be asking themselves: how can we control this and get the outcome we want?
The way the Power Inquiry was run is an exemplar it would be hard to better; a series of rolling nationwide consultative opportunities and a comprehensive report all done within a relatively very short time.

So please don't believe any politician who tells you that this sort of comprehensive consultation cannot be carried out in the time available; they will be lying. 

5 comments:

DeeDee99 said...

I didn't read Helena Kennedy's piece in the Guardian.
But she's right that The Establishment is trying to fix the outcome of the Referendum to entrench their power.

A comment by Boudicca near the beginning of the Chris Grayling opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph pointed out that EV for EL is a con because the Scottish, Welsh and NI parliaments are elected by PR but Westminster is still FPTP.

So EV for EL instead of an English Parliament will help preserve the LibLabCON cartel. Although the English will get a form of devolution, it won't be done fairly across all the nations.

Cameron is trying to "fix" Westminster to keep out UKIP. Labour is trying to fix it so they can control City Statelets/regions.

The English will still be second class citizens when it comes to what passes for democracy. And they wonder why we loathe them.

G. Tingey said...

DD99
For once I agree ....

The US constitution was written in about 3 months.
We should be able to come up with a workable arrangement, fair to all, before the General Election.
Milibean meantime can fuck right off, the little foot-dragger.
I note from this morning's radio 4 that many Labour party members are not happy with his delaying tactics, either.
oops

Anonymous said...

Whatever fix Westminster concocts, it will leave the English out of the question.
Whatever happens, the Celts, Labour and Cons will make sure that the English have no say and no input.

Jenks, was getting there, he just missed out one little [?], OK MASSIVE thing - how the people retain the whip hand and thus must have the final chop on all budgets be it national, or local - all budgets to be put to plebiscite and annually.

Anonymous said...

These are the UK regions as per Article 198 of the Maastricht Treaty.

Eastern

East Midlands

London

North East

Northern Ireland

North West

Scotland

South East

South West

Wales

West Midlands

Yorkshire and Humber

After 2020 the UK will itself become a region - at which point the above regions will become sub-regions.

There is no escape if we stay in.

That is all.

Steve

Anonymous said...

The first reform is get rid of FPTP . It is now a Lab/Con millstone around our necks . The Lab/Con stranglehold will end and must end .