- "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Index of book
- Preface of "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Book - Order Form
- Introduction - The Meaning of Democracy
- Roman Britain to Magna Carta - 1215
- Parliament to the Divine Right of Kings 1216 to 1603
- Monarchy to a Republic and back 1603-1685
- Bill of Rights to the American War of Independence - 1685 to 1780
- Pitt the Younger to Catholic Emancipation - 1780 to 1830
- The Great Reform Act and its aftermath - 1830 to 1860
- The Second Reform Act to the end of the Century 1860 to 1900
- The Twentieth Century - Votes for women at last - 1900 to 1928
Thursday, September 18, 2014
See John Strafford's submission to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee of the House of Commons on Voter engagement in the UK. The pdf version is best.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Conservative calls for the voters to back them as that is the only way they will get a referendum on Europe do not stand up. If UKIP's support continues they may well get 20-30 MPs in the General Election. This could then give them the balance of power. Their criteria for support would be the referendum. The Conservatives would accept that and you can bet your bottom dollar that if the same proposal was put to Ed Milliband Labour would accept it also, so voting UKIP is more likely to get a referendum on Europe. Are Tory MPs deluding themselves not to realise this?
Douglas Carswell's defection to UKIP is a wake up call for the Conservative Party. The Party must now face up to issues that have been ignored for too long. It must re-connect with the grass roots of the Party. Douglas Carswell is quite right when he says that the Tory leadership was not “on the side” of many grass-roots Conservatives.
He is also correct when he alleges that "both the Conservative and Labour parties were treated as the private property of a “privileged elite” in Westminster.
We are operating a political system devised a hundred years ago. It is time to create democratic parties fit for the 21st century. Only in this way will the Leaderships get in touch with their grass roots and through them get in touch with the people. Zac Goldsmith's Bill for the recall of MPs should be brought in immediately, making MPs accountable to the people all the time instead of just at a General Election.
State finance should be withdrawn from all parties unless they have democratic constitutions which can be altered by their members on the basis of One Member One Vote.
As for the Conservative Party the Party Chairman should be elected and accountable to the members of the Party. The Party should have an Annual General Meeting to which every member is invited, the Party conference should have motions for debate and votes taken. In a democratic party, ultimately it should be the members that are sovereign.
Only by taking steps such as these will the catastrophic decline in membership be reversed.
Unless actions such as the above are taken now we will witness the terminal decline of our two major parties.