Monday, March 09, 2009

Politics without Parties

I've long held the view now that Parliament would be a much better place if it was like it was hundred of years ago in the days of Fox and Pitt. Back then whilst you belonged to a "party" the party structure itself was much looser and on a par with the way the party system works in the US.

Progression and achievement in politics was about principle and campaigns where those with widely differing views often came together and formed Governments. True the politicians were in the upper echelon of society but there was a greater degree of principle at play.

Thus I'm rather pleased to see the launch of Jury Team that seeks to break the stranglehold of the party political system, or more correctly, the political class that has grown around the system which sees professional politicians rise up through the ranks and take contorl when often they have bugger all experience of the real world.

The Jury Team site will be seeking independent candidates to run on a basic platform of Good Governance - cleaning up sleaze, making politicians more accountable, making the system more directly democratic, and trying to make government more transparent. Apart from that they'll each have their own policies and be unwhipped.

Good luck to them I say. We've heard alot about the "redistribution of wealth" in the past, but its about time we started talking more loudly about the "redistribution of power".


Malc said...

I wrote this piece on "parties without partisans" a couple of weeks ago on a similar theme.

Do we really think that politicians serve anything more than their own interests now? Where have the ideologues gone?

Oldrightie said...

The Political Class is a huge majority of Socialists. Anything to reduce their grip is welcome. I'll stick to my oldrightie stance, thank you.

Letters From A Tory said...


A waste of everyone's time. Yet more noble ambitions that will achieve precisely nothing.

Anonymous said...

It's a nice idea in some respects... throw off the yoke of politcal concensus. I loathe New Labour, but my loathing extends equally to the Conservatives who are currently betraying Conservative principles. Their stupid green agenda alone, with its denial of serious climate science, would stop me voting for the party I have voted for all my life.

BNP seems an increasing option. I jest, of course... maybe...

Alex said...

I agreed 90%. The 10% reservation is that it may develop in to "celebrity" politics. If a candidate doesn't have the resources of a political party, the next best tool for recognition and promotion is notoriety. Ability as a politician is a distant third.

Anonymous said...

What a load of tosh. How on earth could a large number of individual MPs organise themselves without political parties? Nothing would get done, no laws would get passed and there would be no incentive to turn up.

Our parliamentary system is based on political parties and that's the way it should stay.

dizzy said...

Take a look at history. The central comand of the parties has not always been so strong.

TheBritishCitizen said...

Good luck to the Jury Team - but how do you change a system which is protected so heavily by the vested interests of existing political parties, the monarchy, the church, the civil service, etc..?
A peaceful revolution would be ideal if that wasn't a contradiction in terms, and anything more radical than that would have the boys in blue sent out with riot shields crying "Treason!".
No doubt anything or anyone which presented even the remotest disagreement - never mind threat - to the current system would be under surveillance by MI5, MI6, the SAS and you'd be banged up for a 25-year stretch in jail before you could say 'proportional representation'.
All this in a 'free society' which is supposed to be the mother of democracies.
The odds against achieving REAL political change would be a joke if it wasn't such a serious and hopeless situation.
Professional political journalists, commentators and bloggers also have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo for obvious reasons, so you're always going to get a sneering response from them to radical change. So what's the answer? Who knows?
Making a real change needs a massive shift in the way ordinary citizens understand - and engage with - politics and their own government. They COULD do it if mobilised and empowered, but it's a big 'if'.
Bankers and politicians have made people very angry so it's a good time to propose change, as was the case in the 17th century when the monarchy angered the population and we almost managed to rid ourselves of them for good.
However, will anything short of a national disaster be enough to stir the majority of us sufficiently to question and challenge our corrupt and un-democratic governing elite?
I doubt it, but anything or anyone who thinks it's worth a try should have our support.

Reality believer said...

I wrote this piece about the time that John Major was getting out of the wrong bed. It has had the odd addition since, but it is still the same old story.
The Jury idea is sound for the selection of a Grand Debating Chamber but the legislation needs to be passed by "the people".

Trixy said...

It's a nice idea but the reason people join parties is because of the cost of standing in an election, the expertise needed to inform a group of people sitting in a few rooms in Westminster that you exist and the sheeple who seem to look on voting as a 'painting by numbers' exercise.

Ted Foan said...

They were very quick to tell me that they are following me on Twitter. Should I be flattered?

Anonymous said...

Jury Team could just work. It needs to attract people from the whole spectrum though to get people interested. it'd be a shame if it was perceived simply as an 'anti politics' party. Could be a vehicle of optimism in parliament. The aim of more independent MPs isn't a bad thing.

Andromeda said...

I have been disqualified by the Jury Team for allegedly contravening the rule, viz:

"I agree not to support any policies discriminating on the basis of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religious or other belief."

I have been tried and found guilty in the Kangaroo Court of Dillon Sharp, the Jury Team Press Officer, who has decided in his wisdom that making a bargain with the BNP is de facto proof that I support policies of discrimination prohibited by the Jury Team.

(I had said I would vote BNP if they supported me in sufficient numbers to make me the candidate with the most votes, I would say publicly that I would be voting BNP. To my delight, Bob Bailey, the BNP MEP candidate in question, acceded to my suggestion, because he liked my policies, and said he would do his best but warned me that some of his members would be "funny about doing that".)

Anyway, read the clause again like a lawyer and you will see that "other belief" arguably includes the beliefs of the BNP, the National Front, National Socialists, White Supremacists, Al-Qaeda, etc ...

I have come across BNP members who vehemently deny that they are racists.

Others are more resigned, "If supporting the BNP means people saying I am racist, then so be it."

But there are those who are not BNP who would vote BNP and would say so publicly to the media. An Asian man from Leicestershire said precisely that on the second episode of Matthew d'Ancona's BRITISHNESS on Radio 4.

Michael White of the Guardian said it would be a good thing if the BNP did well in the Euro elections.

Were this Asian man and Michael White candidates for the Jury Team, would they also have been disqualified?

By the way, I absolutely support the right of racists to vote as they please. I do not agree with them, but they are entitled to their opinion.

For more on this intriguing question, please visit

Vote: Should I, Andromeda, have made a bargain with the BNP?