Some of you may know that, wearing a separate hat, I am also campaigning for constitutional reform. Why does this matter? Because our democracy is in a serious state of disrepair. Whether we are Labour, Green, Libdem or MK, we urgently need to understand that as Graham Allen ex Labour MP says “make our democracy work or possibly lose it”.
Labour in particular needs to take this message on board because Brexit changes everything. Labour fails to understand that it is playing a dangerous game of poker with an opponent who has the power to change the rules of the game at every point (viz resurrection of electoral boundary changes before next election). And power is what this is all about. Our democracy is being rigged. It is no longer just about a broken election system but an EU Withdrawal bill which includes a massive transfer of power from Parliament to the Executive. Be in no doubt, this will eviscerate our parliamentary democracy if the bill passes in its present form.
It is just not good enough for us to ‘carry on campaigning’ for the NHS, for Labour, or whatever party we support; or disability rights, welfare rights, the environment, as though nothing had changed. This is increasingly a form of collective denial. We busy ourselves with good causes and fail to see the political earthquake taking place beneath our feet. Our right to vote, petition, demonstrate, means nothing in a sham democracy that sees real power exercised by the few-and that is what is happening now, quietly, without too much fuss. In a very British way.
I urge you to read this article and join the cause for a citizens convention on a new, modern constitution fit for the 21st century. A written constitution directs the work of government – and not the other way round as in the UK. It must be ordinary people who come together to agree and decide the rules by which we are governed. Not constitutional experts, not politicians or political parties. It must be ‘For The People, By The People’. If we really want to #TakeControl then this is the way forward.
Labour is in the best position to do this – but slowest to take up the cause. Liberal Democrats, Green Party, MK have long arrived at this point. Will Labour have the courage, vision and leadership to embrace this most important of issues and join the cause before it is too late?