The Power Report
I have read not all of this report, but must say in general I feel that the recommendations are those which are to be expected - chaired by Labour Peer Helena Kennedy and funded by the Liberal leaning Joseph Rowntree Trust - many of its conclusions are predictable.
As Richard North
“taking the view that the current disengagement (with party politics) is not a "little local difficulty" but rather the result of a profound contempt for formal politics. There is a popular view that our political institutions and politicians are failing, untrustworthy and disconnected from the people they are supposed to represent.
Interestingly, the(power) Commission spent £800,000 on finding that out. If they had asked us, we could have told them that for free.”
And, while none of the media go even into that depth, none mention that on which the Inquiry does devote some space, our favourite topic, the European Union. On page 62, it says:
Supranational bodies and processes of international negotiation such as the European Union have gained extra powers and influence at the expense of nationally and locally elected representatives. The direction and sometimes the detail of wide areas of policy are now heavily influenced by, or determined by, decisions taken by appointed officials working in supranational organisations or by politicians and civil servants in negotiations with their overseas counterparts.
The result of these shifts has been to make political decision-making more opaque, hidden and complex. It means that the people who take key decisions are more likely to be geographically, socially and politically distant from the people who are affected by their de-cisions. It also means that decision-makers are less directly account-able to those who are affected by their decisions and rarely engaged in dialogue with them. The Power Commissioners saw at first-hand how a lack of real influence over decision-makers has become a primary cause of alienation from formal democracy, and recognise that those processes which have produced greater distance between governed and governors are a source of deep concern.
The Power Commissions report does not suggest returning power to the National institutions to meet these concerns, but proposes instead a decentralisation of powers that still remain in Westminster, so its back to EU sponsored regionalisation. Which those in the loop will keep promoting, even though it was rejected 78% to 22% in the only electoral test it has ever received.
“A responsive electoral system for the House of Commons, House of Lords and local councils to replace the first-past-the-post system”.
This is PR which is something that will place even more power in the hands of the political parties. Coupled with “State funding for local activity by political parties”
. And “Local government should be able to raise taxes and administer its own finances”
This seems to be a charta for the parties, not only will they get more power, but we will be forced to pay for it. Why should parties that can't raise the sums necessary to campaign locally be kept afloat by the taxpayer, who will decide that the BNP will not receive funds?"
“The Electoral Commission to encourage women, ethnic minorities, people on lower incomes, young people and independents to stand”
This is no more than promoting a liberal adgenda. “The voting and candidacy age should be reduced to 16”
Get them whilst they are still in school where they are influenced by the liberal adgenda, this will go hand in hand with the EU propaganda being promoted in our education facilities. “70 per cent of the House of Lords should be elected by a 'responsive electoral system' for three parliamentary terms”
. More PR, it is not how the lords are elected or selected that matters, it is the power the second house has to control government and its responsibilities to maintaining a constitutional settlement. “All public bodies to involve the public in their policy- making processes”
another EU related idea consultation which can be ignored, instead of real democratic power. “Citizens to initiate legislative processes, public inquiries and hearings into public bodies”.
A charter for pressure-group politics, and a stipulation that tells you everything about the people who wrote the Power Report: judges can strike down any initiative, at any stage, that they deem to be in conflict with the Human Rights Act. Many of us belive the Human rights act removes power from the voters.
A letter today in the Telegraph
today makes the point “The Power Commission (News, February 27) concludes that the source of electoral apathy is people believing they don't have any power and are not listened to. This is a myth. The problem is that they are listened to far too much.
The result, via market research, is that the average (centrist) opinion is in the policy bag of every major party. Politicians used to represent the interests of their supporters and intentionally upset large swaths of their opponents. Nowadays they all try to represent the average voter, who does not exist, but is merely a statistical construct.
The Average Party is now in power, or trying to be, all the time. Boring! Even worse, it represents nobody.