What do our politicians think of the electorate: precious little. All the major mainstream parties either ignore or cynically misrepresent the issues which are most important to the British – immigration, our relationship with the EU, the English democratic deficit, foreign adventures , the suppression of free speech and the precarious state of the economy. . These issues are not addressed honestly because they either clash with the prevailing internationalist agenda or because to address them honestly would mean admitting how much sovereignty had been given away to the EU and through other treaties.
This antidemocratic failure to engage in honest politics is an established trait. The wilful removal from mainstream politics of vitally important issues has been developing for more than half a century. The upshot is that the British want their politics to be about something which is not currently on offer from any party with a chance of forming a government. The British public broadly seek what these days counts as rightist action when it comes to matters such as preserving nationhood, immigration, race and political correctness, but traditional leftist policies on items such as social welfare, the NHS and the economy (has anyone ever met someone in favour of free markets and free trade who has actually lost his job because of them?).
The electorate’s difficulty is not simply their inability to find a single party to fulfil all or even most of their political desires. Even on a single issue basis, the electorate frequently cannot find a party offering what they want because all the mainstream parties now carol from the same internationalist, globalist, supranational, pro-EU, pc songsheet. The electorate finds they may have any economic programme provided it is laissez faire globalism, any relationship with the EU provided it is membership, any foreign policy provided it is internationalist and continuing public services only if they increasingly include private capital and provision. The only difference between the major parties is one of nuance.
Nowhere is this political uniformity seen more obviously than in the Labour and Tory approaches to immigration. Labour has adopted a literally mad policy of “no obvious limit to immigration”. The Tories claim to be “tough” on immigration, but then agree to accept as legal immigrants more than 100,000 incomers a year from outside the EU plus any number of migrants from within the EU (350 million have the right to settle here). There is a difference, but it is simply less or more of the same. Worse, in practice there would probably be no meaningful difference to the numbers coming whoever is in power. The truth is that while we remain part of the EU and tied by international treaties on asylum and human rights, nothing meaningful can be done for purely practical reasons. But even if something could be done, for which serious party could the person who wants no further mass immigration vote? None.
A manifesto to satisfy the public
All of this set me thinking: what manifesto would appeal to most electors? I suggest this political agenda for the What the People Want Party:
1. To always put Britain’s interests first. This will entail the adoption of an unaggressive nationalist ethic in place of the currently dominant internationalist ideology.
2. The reinstatement of British sovereignty by withdrawal from the EU and the repudiation of all treaties which circumscribe the primacy of Parliament.
3. That future treaties will only come into force when voted for by a majority in both Houses of Parliament and accepted in a referendum . Any treaty should be subject to repudiation following Parliament passing a motion that repudiation should take place and that motion being ratified by a referendum. Treaties could also be repudiated by a citizen initiated referendum (see 29).
4. A reduction in the power of the government in general and the Prime Minister in particular and an increase in the power of Parliament. This will be achieved by abolishing the Royal Prerogative, outlawing the party whip and removing the vast powers of patronage available to a government.
5. That the country will only go to war on a vote in both Houses of Parliament.
6. An end to mass immigration by any means, including asylum, work permits and family reunion.
7. An end to all officially-sponsored political correctness.
8. The promotion of British history and culture in our schools and by all publicly-funded bodies.
9. The repeal of all laws which give by intent or practice a privileged position to any group which is less than the entire population of the country, for example the Race Relations Act..
10. The repeal of all laws which attempt to interfere with the personal life and responsibility of the individual. Citizens will not be instructed what to eat, how to exercise, not to smoke or drink or be banned from pursuits such as fox-hunting which harm no one else.
11. A formal recognition that a British citizen has rights and obligations not available to the foreigner, for example, the benefits of the welfare state will be made available only to born and bred Britons.
12. Policing which is directed towards three ends: maintaining order, catching criminals and providing support and aid to the public in moments of threat or distress. The police will leave their cars and helicopters and return to the beat and there will be an assumption that the interests and safety of the public come before the interests and safety of police officers.
13. A justice system which guards the interests of the accused by protecting essential rights of the defendant such as jury trial and the right to silence, whilst preventing cases collapsing through technical procedural errors.
14. Prison sentences that are served in full, that is, the end of remission and other forms of early release. Misbehaviour in prison will be punished by extending the sentence.
15. An absolute right to self-defence when attacked. The public will be encouraged to defend themselves and their property.
16. A general economic policy which steers a middle way between protectionism and free trade, with protection given to vital and strategically important industries such as agriculture, energy, and steel and free trade only in those things which are not necessities.
17. A repudiation of further privatisation for its own sake and a commitment to the direct public provision of all essential services such as medical treatment. We recognise that the electorate overwhelmingly want the NHS, decent state pensions, good state funded education for their children and state intervention where necessary to ensure the necessities of life. This promise is made to both reassure the public of continued future provision and to ensure that the extent of any public spending is unambiguous, something which is not the case where indirect funding channels such as PFI are used.
18. The re-nationalisation of the railways, the energy companies, the water companies and any exercise of the state’s authority such as privately run prisons which have been placed in private hands.
19. An education system which ensures that every child leaves school with at least a firm grasp of the three Rs and a school exam system which is based solely on a final exam. This will remove the opportunity to cheat by pupils and teachers. The standards of the exams will be based on those of the 1960s which is the last time British school exams were uncontaminated by continuous assessment, multiple choice questions and science exams included practicals as a matter of course. .
20. To restore credibility to our university system. The taxpayer will fund scholarships for 20 per cent of school-leavers. These will pay for all fees and provide a grant sufficient to live on during term time. Any one not in receipt of a scholarship will have to pay the full fees and support themselves or take a degree in their spare time. The scholarships will be concentrated on the best universities. The other universities will be closed. This will ensure that the cost is no more than the current funding and the remaining universities can be adequately funded.
21. A clear distinction in our policies between the functions of the state and the functions of private business, charities and other non-governmental bodies. The state will provide necessary public services, business will be allowed to concentrate on their trade and not be asked to be an arm of government and charities will be entirely independent bodies which will no longer receive public money.
22. A commitment to putting the family first. This will include policies which recognise that the best childcare is that given by the parents and that parents must be allowed to exercise discipline over their children. These will be given force by a law making clear that parents have an absolute right to the custody of and authority over their children, unless the parents can be shown to be engaging in serious criminal acts against their children.
23. Marriage to be encouraged by generous tax breaks and enhanced child allowances for children born in wedlock.
24. Defence forces designed solely to defend Britain and not the New World Order.
25. A Parliament for England to square the Devolution circle. The English comprise around 80 per cent of the population of the UK, yet they alone of all the historic peoples are Britain are denied the right to govern themselves. This is both unreasonable and politically unsustainable in the long-run.
26. A reduction to the English level of Treasury funding to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This will save approximately £17 billion pa because the Celts receive overall approximately £1,600 per head per annum more than the English.
27. An end to Foreign Aid. This will save approximately £11 billion.
28. A written constitution to ensure that future governments cannot abuse their power. This will be predicated on (1) the fact that we are a free people, (2) the belief that in a free and democratic society the individual can be trusted to take responsibility for his or her actions and to behave responsibly and (3) that politicians are the servants not the masters of those who elect them. It will guarantee those things necessary to a free society, including an absolute right to free expression, jury trial for any offence carrying a sentence of more than one year, place citizens in a privileged position over foreigners and set the interests and safety of the country and its citizens above the interests and safety of any other country or people.
29. Citizen initiated referenda shall be held when ten per cent of the population have signed a petition asking for a referendum.
Those are the things which I think most of the electorate could embrace, at least in large part. There are also other issues which the public might well be brought to support if there was proper public debate and a serious political party supporting them such as the ownership and bearing of weapons and the legalisation of drugs.
The positive thing about such an agenda is that either Labour or the Tories could comfortably support it within the context of their history.
Until Blair perverted its purpose, the Labour Party had been in practice (and often in theory – think Ernie Bevin), staunchly nationalist, not least because the unions were staunchly protective of their members’ interests and resistant to both mass immigration (because it reduced wages) and free trade (because it exported jobs and reduced wages).
For the Tories, the Thatcherite philosophy is as much an aberration as the Blairite de-socialisation of Labour. The true Tory creed in a representative democracy is that of the one nation nationalist. It cannot be repeated too often that the free market internationalist creed is the antithesis of conservatism.
The manifesto described above would not appeal in every respect to ever member of the “disenfranchised majority”. But its general political slant would be palatable to that majority and there would be sufficient within the detail to allow any individual who is currently disenchanted with politics to feel that there were a decent number of important policies for which he or she could happily vote. That is the best any voter can expect in a representative democracy. People could again believe that voting might actually change things.