The Harrogate Agenda


The premise on which our movement is based is that democracy means "people power". The word democracy stems from the Greek word, dēmokratía, comprising two parts: dêmos "people" and kratos "power". Without a demos, there is no democracy. But people without power is not democracy either.

Our current system of government is known as "representative democracy". That phrase is a misuse of the word democracy. People do not hold power: that system cannot by definition be a democracy. We seek to return power to the people. We are concerned with power – who holds it and under what circumstances and controls, and how to get more of it. Above all else, we hold to the core principle that in a true democracy the people must hold the power.

Our objective is to recover power. Our focus is on the acquisition of power. And once we ourselves, the people, hold the power, we can then attend to the many problems and injustices that plague modern society. But without power, there is only protest – and we achieve nothing of any lasting value. To help us acquire power, we are adopting the original strategy of the Chartists. Like them, we felt it was vital to frame a very limited number of achievable demands – six in number. These are listed below.

Our six demands...

1. Recognition of our sovereignty:

The peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland comprise the ultimate authority of their nations and are the source of all political power. That fact shall be recognised by the Crown and the Governments of our nations, and our Parliaments and Assemblies;

2. Real local democracy:

The foundation of our democracy shall be the counties (or other local units as may be defined), which shall become constitutional bodies exercising under the control of their peoples all powers of legislation, taxation and administration not specifically granted by the people to the national government;

3. Separation of powers:

The executive shall be separated from the legislature. To that effect, prime ministers shall be elected by popular vote; they shall appoint their own ministers, with the approval of parliament, to assist in the exercise of such powers as may be granted to them by the sovereign people of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; no prime ministers or their ministers shall be members of parliament or any legislative assembly;

4. The people’s consent:

No law, treaty or government decision shall take effect without the consent of the majority of the people, by positive vote if so demanded, and that none shall continue to have effect when that consent is withdrawn by the majority of the people;

5. No taxation or spending without consent:

No tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express approval the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures;

6. A constitutional convention:

Parliament, once members of the executive are excluded, must host a constitutional convention to draw up a definitive codified constitution for the peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It shall recognise their sovereign status and their inherent, inalienable rights and which shall be subject to their approval.






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