...a blog by Richard Flowers

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 4131: When is a Referendum NOT a Referendum?


Surprisingly, the answer is NOT "when it's AJAR" because it's actually the OPPOSITE of ajar, it's a DELAYING TACTIC designed to hold the door to democracy CLOSED just that little bit longer.

The people who are AGAINST a democratically elected House of Lords KNOW that no one in their right minds would vote "NO" to Lords reform. So it is CLEAR that they are angling to SHIFT the debate OFF the simple, central fact: "if you're going to make laws over me I have a RIGHT to a say in whether your fluffy bottom gets a shiny red seat!"

We can ALREADY get a FLAVOUR of the sort of "NO" campaign that the anti-democrats want to run from the murmurings on the WEIRDER wings of the Conservatory Party. They want to portray it as PR by the "backdoor", a "sneaky" rerun of the AV choice that they claim was "already rejected". It was NOT. Mr Mark Reckons punctures these LIES.

NO ONE voted to reject a proportional system, 'cos AV ain't proportional, and the "No" campaign SAID SO last year.

You can bet your last bean that having FORCED a public vote, they will then play the "this is an EXPENSIVE WASTE of time when there are more important things to do" card that worked so well for them in their vicious and deceitful anti-AV propaganda.

The TRUTH is that there is NOTHING more important than sorting out HOW we make the decisions about running the county. It doesn't matter whether you think that the most important thing is HEALTH or EDUCATION or TAX or FOREIGN POLICY or POLICE or PUBLIC NUDITY – the decisions about how to deal with ALL of those are made by the people we elect. Or in the case of the House of Lords Club, the people we DON'T elect! Which means getting how we elect them right has to be sorted FIRST.

The UNGODLY alliance between the WACKY-WING of the Tories and the closet-conservative REACTIONARIES in the Hard Labour party is based on their old fashioned sense of ENTITLEMENT.

They just cannot get over the idea that PEOPLE have a RIGHT to say how they are governed. That the "social contract" between people and government has OBLIGATIONS on THEIR side too.

They don't like the COALITION because it's an example of how Governments ought to work: messy, certainly, but with policies being argued out IN PUBLIC and with the public able to see what's being decided.

And they don't like the idea of an ELECTED House of Lords because it's the last bastion of "we know better than you" against actually having to do what their BOSSES, you me and everyone else in Great Britain, actually tell them to do!

Mr Milipede – presumably as part of an ongoing bid to plagiarise EVERY television comedy going – calls this sort of government an "OMNI-SHAMBLES" because policies are being found wanting and rejected.

I guess Mr Milipede preferred the "good old days" of New Labour when policies would go wrong, but the Government would use their massive, gerrymandered majority to RAM THEM THROUGH ANYWAY.

Oh yes, how well we remember those TRIUMPHS of STRONG government: the 10p Tax debacle; the NHS database bully-balls-up; the almost entirely circular education policy that abolished one sort of academy before creating another; the classic I.D.iot card exercise in burning money; or everybody's favourite, the murderous and illegal invasion of a country that was no threat to us at all based on a LIE by the Prime Monster.

The word "OMNI-SHAMBLES" – lest Mr Milipede forget – is uttered by a character widely believed to be NOT-IN-ANY-WAY based on Mr Alistair Henchman of Dodgy Dossier infamy.

If THAT's "strong government" I'm all in FAVOUR of a House of Lords with a bit more MANDATE to say "not in our name!"

The case for an ELECTED House of Lords, and for a PROPORTIONALLY ELECTED elected House of Lords, is pretty much UNANSWERABLE. So much so that ALL the Parties elected to the House of Commons said that's what they would do at the last election.

An appointed chamber means PATRONAGE. It means CRONYISM. There is NO SUCH THING as an "independent" appointments commission – shame on you, Lord Steel – someone is ALWAYS going to "know someone". Being a "close personal friend" of the Prime Monster – or the "independent" head of the commission – is not a better reason for getting a free pass into the legislature than your great-great granny being a "close personal friend" of the monarch.

We're told we will lose an "expert" house. Well expertise can be highly overrated. You may be a brilliant neurosurgeon, but how many days of the week is the House of Lords legislating on neurosurgery, eh? We want brilliant GENERALISTS, not brilliant SPECIALISTS. Saying you're a great expert in ONE field is as good as saying you're as IGNORANT as the rest of us ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING ELSE!

But fine, if you believe that your expertise makes you better qualified to make laws, go right ahead and use it as one of your selling point when you STAND FOR ELECTION. If you're right, it will help you win.

We didn't need a referendum to enact the Parliament Act in 1911. We didn't need a referendum to enact the Parliament Act in 1949. We don't need one now.

It seems ASTONISHING that people who CLAIM to be defending "the way that these things work" seem so anxious to RIDE ROUGHSHOD over, well, the way these things work. Surely it's difficult to defend the status quo of an unwritten constitution when you keep MAKING IT UP as you go along! And that they now want to waste MILLIONS of POUNDS of YOUR money, charging you for the PRIVILEGE of having a say over whether you should have a say... it beggars belief as well as the exchequer.

Let's just accept that it's the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY now and probably time to move on from an EIGHTEENTH CENTAURY Parliament. You were ALL elected on a manifesto pledge to do this, so pass the bill and let's get on and elect ALL* the people who make our laws.

*To a certain value of "all"! 80% for fluff's sake...!


Dad Jeans said...

It's quite astounding how, in the eyes of Liberal Democrats, everything that goes wrong for the current government is the fault of the party that has been out of power for 2 years.

Millennium Dome said...

I'm sure I could help you with your astonishment if I could remotely understand what you are trying to say.

I mean obviously *I'm* quite astounded how in the eyes of Labour's apologists the sins of thirteen years IN power were wiped away in an instant, and that we're supposed to have fixed every legacy of that on day one.

But you know what? I don't actually seem to be blaming Labour's total and utter failure to keep their promises on Lards reform, in this post.

The main anti-democrats do appear to be in the Conservative Party and TO OUR SHAME among the Liberal Peers.

Labour are just playing their usual game of shallow opportunism. Sorry that the Party you appear to support are too rubbish even to be worth blaming.

Now maybe you can keep your cut-and-paste responses for diaries where they're relevant. Ta.