However, this fundamental requirement for a party to operate democratically goes to the heart of many issues now assuming importance. My previous tongue-in-cheek reaction to the formation of the 'Brexit' Party was primarily due to a broadly signalled tight central control that would deny its new members effective governance. Its founder is caught in a Catch-22 situation. She wants a new party that can field 'professional, highly competent' candidates and can exclude the Muslim-baiters and the swivel-eyed-loon tendency of UKIP (of whom it must be said there are remarkably few in my experience) and thus is terrified of allowing a one-member-one-vote system. But a party founded without real member democracy must fail; individuals won't donate to a body in which they have no say (the current Tory dilemma) and the party will be dependent on large donations and therefore be vulnerable to corruption and anti-democratic governance.
One of the reforms that I support most strongly is the limiting of individual political donations to somewhere around £50,000. This is vehemently opposed by both Labour and Conservatives; the former relies on Trade Union bungs, the latter on sometimes shady globalist finance. In the absence of large bungs, each party becomes greatly more dependent on its members for both direct funding and fundraising - and each party must in return allow members a real say in the important things.
These matters have been simmering for some years, but have, like so many other issues, now come to the fore because of Brexit. Charles Moore writes in the Telegraph in a manner in which no-one five years ago could ever have imagined; he advocates the firm but fair deselection of all Conservative Remainer MPs, starting with Dominic Grieve. He writes much as many readers write in the blog comments -
Recently I attended a country funeral. The people in the pew behind me were pointing out the war memorial on the wall. “People shouldn’t forget what those men did,” said one, “They made sure this was a free country”. “It’s not a free country while we’re in this EU,” said another, “We want to go, and now these MPs are trying to stop us”. Some MPs seem slow to pick up this point, and not to realise that they are moving themselves into uncharted territory.It seems that ensuring party democracy won't wait even for the 29th March. Thus for my party at least, I support fully Mr Strafford's proposals.