Does Democracy still exist?
Democracy (from the Greek which literally means “the rule of people”), is a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body, such as a Parliament – so I ask myself, why do I no longer feel I am living in a democracy?
Perhaps it is because nearly two years ago, the people; the majority of citizens in the United Kingdom, made history in the second referendum held in respect of the European Union in the whole United Kingdom. (11 referendums in total but we are not discussing devolution here, but if we were to; 0.6% of the population in Wales voted for a Welsh Assembly, just a mere 6,721 votes, yet the EU referendum was won by 1,269,501 votes by voting Leave.) The majority of the citizens voted to Leave the European Union; leave it, not argue, not negotiate, but leave, and as for those who did not vote, as in any election, they no doubt decided to go with the majority, otherwise, they would have voted. Leave in its entirety – after all, you cannot be half pregnant?
Democracy was carried out that day. The people exercised their power directly and gave their result; yet nearly 2 years on from that vote, and we are no nearer to leaving than before the vote. But Mrs May and her Cabinet are muddying the waters by combining the Leave vote with a Trade Deal. They are 2 separate issues and a Trade Deal should not be used as a reason to Remain. In a democracy, MPs or representatives of those people are chosen to represent them within Parliament, yet some of those within their privileged status decide to go against the majority rule – how is that democracy? Is democracy singular or plural? Does democracy and sovereignty live with the people or only those chosen to represent them?
No doubt the likes of Anna Soubry or Ken Clarke would shout ‘we have Parliamentary Sovereignty’. We are Sovereign. But are you? Why then did you give us a Referendum? Parliamentary Sovereignty is given (a political construct) to create or end laws internally. Sovereignty lies solely first with the people. Do the people lose their Sovereignty? At times of election, the electorate delegates to the Crown and Parliament sovereign powers to administer the affairs of the country internally, but is it not within the gift of the Crown and Parliament to transfer all or any of these powers, so delegated, to a foreign country or entity, and in doing so, externally, and without the consent of the Electorate. This is clearly forbidden by the laws of the Constitution. There are however limitations to Parliamentary Sovereignty; one of which is that no Parliament can bind its successors. The signing of the European Communities Act 1972 (before any referendum), The Maastricht Treaty, The Lisbon Treaty – did these not bind its successors and the state?
I use the word “delegate”, but perhaps that is too slight; it is a surrender—surrender of the country, sovereignty and powers over the people to an authority outside this country – that surely is treachery! Had the Parliament in the day of the start of WW2 thought in this manner, would they have saved a war by giving over all powers and sovereignty of this country to Hitler?
As seen in the Factortame case; the claimants, Spanish Ship owners, made use of UK fish reserves to fish courtesy of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 which allowed them to fish in the UK then sell the fish they had caught in Spain. The issue being was EU law supreme over national Westminster Law, bearing in mind the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty. The Claimants won the case. The case confirmed the UK’s subordination to EU law and that EU law can require an injunction against the executive Crown.
So it begs the question, is it not the EU who presently hold Parliamentary Sovereignty 1 over the UK or has Parliamentary Sovereignty affectively dissolved and now rests solely with the people?
This is a dangerous and frightening concept and why there is now a Declaration proposed by the People to sign (sign here). There have been other slight changes to our Constitution made by those elected by the People, but without our Consent, so why can the People not insert a Declaration? Some may say, but those in power are able to make these changes on our behalf. However, Nick Clegg passed through very quickly, a change to the Constitution in that the Monarchy no longer had to pass first to a male child – some may say this brings us more into the modern world, and I have no problem with that, but my problem is that I worry if it so easy to pass this, seemingly quickly, then what else can be changed without the consent of the Electorate?
Touching on, ‘they didn’t know what leave meant’ – This was clearly stated.2 Leave meant leave. At no time did it say on the ballot paper, Parliament would cherry pick which parts we were to leave; nor did it say we may not leave at all!
In the definition of democracy, “a government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system,” is to be agreed; then the EU Referendum was a clear example of democracy in action. However, attempts by those elected to thwart the result of the People, can only be described as contradictory and defeating the intended goal, democracy, and more aptly a betrayal of the People.
Those MPs who berate Leave voters, telling them that they must take into consideration those who voted to Remain; those that lost the vote. Does this mean therefore that future elections have now changed? Any future party that wins a general election, a party chosen by the majority of people in a democracy, must now take into consideration those that voted for other parties, and insert their wishes into their governance? I would probably be told but this is different, this vote affects everyone, but any vote affects everyone.
But that is in the past, democracy was served, and the vote was given. Yet today, democracy lives on a knife’s edge. A Declaration has been drawn that we should be allowed to insert into our uncodified Constitution, not just for us, but for future generations. Sovereignty is more important than any trade agreement or Treaty. Our politicians gave away our Sovereignty and Powers externally without our Consent, and this should never be allowed to happen in the future.
Returning to the uncodified Constitution of the U.K.; The Salisbury Convention – here the Lords will not oppose a second or third reading of any government legislation promised in its election manifesto. (one of the principles being “permits the offering of reasoned amendments to a motion for second reading of a Government bill, provided such amendments are not wrecking amendments designed to destroy the bill.”). So all these Conservative MPs, such as Anna Soubry, Dominic Grieve, Ken Clarke et al who are opposing the Government at every turn and supporting the Lords amendments, it would seem, surely, that they are therefore in contradiction. Surely they stood by their manifesto at the last election and most did vote to enact Article 50?
Our system also includes the House of Lords, its purpose – a second chamber to the House of Commons to check and challenge Government. The House of Lords are the heirs to the ancient Barons referred to in Constitutional documents. The role of the Barons in our constitution is to ensure, through due diligence, that any bills passed to them by the Commons, adhere to the Constitution, as Parliament may not make Constitutional amendments without ‘consent’. But this has not happened and today The House of Lords too are trying to thwart the process of democracy by going against the People and promoting their wishes be added to the EU Withdrawal Bill.
However, their ability to veto outright was ‘removed’ by the Parliament Act 1911, and therefore that makes the Parliament Act 1911 unconstitutional and therefore unlawful as it prevents the Lords from carrying out their constitutional role. There is the Parliament Act 1949 which made amendments to the 1911 Act, in which it reduced the requisite number of sessions from three to two.
Parliament may not make Constitutional amendments without ‘consent’. The House of Lords are therefore unable to perform their role if they cannot veto bills put to them by the Commons. Even The House of Lords no longer serves it purpose and some may consider that this Chamber requires change; a more democratic chamber, one chosen by the People to represent them.
Parliament is only sovereign in so much as the monarch has loaned them sovereignty, and that in itself, has been loaned by the people. However, you will find no one in Parliament would agree with this correct statement because by acknowledging this, it would affect Gina Miller’s previous win. As for that case, no judge should had intervened. Since when did the judiciary become political? Under the Constitution, the Judiciary is there to interpret the law, not make political changes. In his judgement (R Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union ) Lord Reed strongly implies that the majority has overlooked the constitutional importance of ministerial accountability to Parliament, that is has legalised a political issue, which is neither constitutionally appropriate nor wise.
So for them to challenge that the Lords have the ability to veto, they would then be confirming that Parliament has no power to make constitutional amendments without ‘consent’, which in itself would mean that voiding ECA (European Communities Act) 1972 on constitutional grounds.
This would then prove that our membership has never been constitutionally lawful and remove us automatically from the EU, cancelling all legislation and immediate ECA 1972.
Hence a massive constitutional crisis could be in the offing, especially as this would also make all past payments and taxes (tributes) to the EEC and EU money that the Governments, over the years, have unlawfully made.
It’s time for the PEOPLE to #StandUp and regain their Sovereignty and Powers