Direct Democracy – many obstacles

Restoring Britain [the clue’s in the name] has given a good summary of the state of play in Britain and concludes, about direct democracy:

All I ask (and maybe many others do) is that you be that person that gets the ball rolling where you live. I ask that you start to take it forward. I ask that you be the one that gets out of the chair and starts something. Every movement starts with just one person, that no one ever heard of, starting to spread the message and helping it thrive. If you hope for a better Britain, I’m asking will you be the person that helps build it.

OK, I’ve reprinted that here. There are many issues with a deceptively simple idea though. Sure we can form groups to ask people to do just that, sure we can directly target PPCs and ask them to commit to direct democracy [see sidebar at the end of that link] and we can eventually get many bloggers to carry a logo and blog a bit about these things, as well as telling anyone we know personally about it, writing to papers etc.

So why did it not get anywhere? Why is Richard North’s referism not charging along, enthusing the general population? He has great personal traction, far more than Ian, David and I have and others did get behind referism too. They even had a conference about it I’d like to have gone to.

The answer is manyfold. Traction is the key, as Norman Tebbit said of the lack of it with the Albion Alliance. Somehow, between the noble idea and its execution, things get in the way. People’s pressure of work, their own take on society not being precisely ours, the large number out there steeped in the PC narrative and failing to see the necessity for direct democracy, poor upbringing of the new generation, demoralization across the society in Yuri Bezmenov’s terms, too many other distractions for people, which relegates direct democracy to a low position, the remoteness and general nature of the message to someone in, say, Tesco’s carpark getting the shopping and another reason:

We are bloggers. How many actually read us? Many read Guido but still not a majority. Yet something gets national attention and the idea’s away – UKIP in Eastleigh for example. There’s also the heaviness of the message and too much detail for most people. Ian Parker-Joseph has all the good oil on the EU here yet how many are delving into that each day to see the EU’s latest inanity and/or outrage?

There’s fragmentation – too many campaigns as well. Why is Witterings from Witney not writing of these things at OoL, syndicating his words to various blogs? Why are more not taking it up and referring to it?

There’s a personal “anti” factor in it too – I lose about as many who read and agree with what I write. Captain Ranty ditto, Old Holborne and many others do too.

Personal jealousies and rivalries, it goes on and on. All these things stop people spreading the word about direct democracy. Focussing on something slightly different. Where David is on about DD, I’ve been on about out of the EU. That’s a factor.

Trolls and shills everywhere on the net to sow discord – that’s a factor. Personal perceptions which can be wrong affect it. At OoL, some held that posting was edited by me. Really? When did I ever edit someone’s post? Quiet Man, Julia? Yet that was the reason given by two libertarians.

Perceptions of the readership itself – oh they’re not going to understand what I write. All they ever talk about is smoking and jobsworths.

There’s another reason – many actually agree with what is being said and the next question is – and what? What now? What do you want us to do about it? Go out into the carparks and spread the word? What word? Where am I going to find time for that and besides, I’d be embarrassed and the local council would send someone to get me.

The long and the short of it is that at least someone always starts to spread the word but then it dies, it inevitable fades into the ether.

So Restoring Britain is a fine chap and I hope everyone reads his piece.

What’s next?

6 comments for “Direct Democracy – many obstacles

  1. Valentine Gray
    March 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Restoring Britain? to what?, my niece went a NHS walk in emergency sevice practice she waited four hours to see adoctor the place was full of non-English speakers and became almost disorientated listening to so many foreigners chattering around her. I pray that Eastliegh is the thin end of an enormous wedge.

  2. graham wood
    March 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    “Why is Witterings from Witney not writing of these things at OoL, syndicating his words to various blogs? Why are more not taking it up and referring to it?”
    James. There is much that could be said here. Perhaps the initial response to your questions above is that DD (Referism/Harrogate Agenda) has not yet been formally released as yet afaik.

    I agree with you that there will be many options open once the HA Committee finalise some details, and my understanding is that they wish to prepared the ground, politically speaking, very thoroughly as they know that they are in for the long haul.
    It is after all not only a revolutionary blueprint for future governance of the UK, it is revolutionary as a political concept per se!
    I did not go to the conference, though I live near, but have read the six points and believe it certainly is the way forward (is there any other).
    Someone opined on this or another blog that there is little point in attempting to launch the HA unless and until we get out of the EU.
    That is a good point.
    However, once launched then as you say, the HA will “need traction” simply as a concept initially, and to absorb the scale of the revolutionary change it involves would for many, be somewhat mind-blowing to put it mildly.
    Perhaps a start will be to post the idea to a number of leading lights who may well be generally favourable – people like Melanie Philips; Peter Hitchens, Fraser Nelson of the Speccy, and etc so that some of these could run with it. Many blogs also will have big potential to publicise.
    As you know, there is a vast army of disaffected people in the UK, politically informed, and wholly browned off with the existing failed system run by the politicos of whatever party who I believe will be ready to accept the HA, and willing to become involved in time.
    Not sure what you mean by the “heaviness of the message”? The HA team (I am not a contributing member) worked hard to keep the six points strictly simple and relatively short – and that took some doing! I have not doubt that the HA team and Dr N are exploring all possible avenues for this – but better a good foundation is laid than rushing into the public sphere with half-baked ideas and preparation – I think you will agree there.

    • March 6, 2013 at 8:53 am

      I’ve also written this at WfromW:

      Please don’t get me wrong, lads – it’s not meant as a criticism but as an indication of how difficult it is to get the message out, from time constraints to just too much to do. That was the context I didn’t get across very well.

    • David A. Evans
      March 7, 2013 at 12:31 am

      As one of those who helped refine the six DEMANDS, one thing I can tell you is that there is a reason for the order they are written.

      WfW & TBF were two of the others present.

      Things are progressing and I have trialled a couple of the ideas and got positive reactions. (The pub test.)

      Obviously, to get traction for all six demands, we must leave the EU but without traction for the first demand the possibility of that is remote, so leaving the EU would be a result of getting public backing for that.

      Unfortunately, due to ill health and travel problems, I have had to take a back seat.


  3. Peter Whale
    March 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    The Italians have shown us the way. Get a figurehead, push him on every occasion. Get bloggers and commenters to harness friends and all the people they know who are disgusted with the situation.Hit the internet, twitter, facebook get the young and tech savvy without a job behind the movement. Lets all be Spartacus for the next two years till the election.

  4. wg
    March 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I find commenting on local papers’ news items is a good way of putting forward some of the ideas we would like to get out there.

    How many times have we thought “What a waste of money this idea from councillor A or quangocrat B”.

    Just comment on it and suggest that people should have more of a say; introduce a suggestion on direct democracy – who could possibly not agree with the proposed Swiss referendum on CEOs pay.

    People know that representative democracy is bust, they are looking for ideas.

    It’s just a matter of putting the idea in their head.

    All parties mentioned above are doing a sterling job, including contributors to OoL.

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