Sunday, March 08, 2009

Judge and Jury

The news that Tory Party donor Sir Paul Judge is part funding a new political movement is as bizarre as it is unlikely. The Jury Team is going to be a party which will welcome candidates of all political views and none, and seems to be an attempt to capitalise on the growing frustration with regular party politics. It will be interesting to see how it develops. There is clearly an appetite for more independently minded candidates but those that win tend to do so in particular circumstances (Martin Bell and Richard Taylor spring to mind).

Those of us who believe in the parties which we support will need to come out and defend the party system more coherently that we have done in the past, and explain why parties can in fact be a positive thing, and why without them government in the modern media age would be virtually impossible.

That said, I do think all parties need to 'let go' a little bit and encourage more independent thought. Too often people with minds of their own are sidelined or don't get the preferment which is doled out to the robots and those who obey the whips' every demand.

I don't expect Paul Judge's initiative to make much headway, but it may shake the parties out of their complacency.

Paul Judge tells us that the Jury Team will only accept donations under £50,000 and that he is financing the party along with three others. Do we take it then that they have £200,000 to start the party with, and that none of the four have donated more than £50k. And would it be too much to ask to know who the other three are? All in the spirit of openness, you understand.

More on this on PoliticalBetting, where, it transpires, one of the hosts, Morus, is one of the leading lights behind the Jury Team.

And as if one new party wasn't enough, there is news today that Libertas is launching in the UK on Tuesday. Declan Ganley will announce that it will be standing candidates in the European elections in Britain and he will also declare who is to lead Libertas UK. I'm sure we all can't wait. Libertas has a little problem though. UKIP saw this coming a mile off and registered the name Libertas with the Electoral Commission some time ago and someone stood, using the name, in a council by election.

30 comments:

Colin said...

I was reading the article this morning and was just about to ask the wife to pass the cheque book, when I came to the bit where he invoked the name of "Chatshow" Chakrabati. As I read further it got worse.

Enough said. the cheque book is safely back in the drawer.

Oldrightie said...

History is littered with failed turncoats.

Bert Rustle said...

I would hazard a guess that JuryTeam candidates will be overly represented in those constituencies where the British National Party are most likely to be elected.

I would further hazard a guess that JuryTeam will be heralded by the Drive-By Media as the real alternative to the Establishment Party and that they will be associated with some of: Jon Gaunt, Richard Littlejohn, Peter Hitchens, ...

martin day said...

Waste of Money and Waste of Time - I should have thought the Refurendum Party experiement and the money said to be flushed down the toilet plus the ironic result of a more pro-EU Labour party being proppelled into power with huge majorities would NIP this sort of capper in the Bud.

It sounds to me more like a pressure group than a political party - All it will mean is the main parties becoming more hardline on the issues that these single issues parties present to the electorate.

Thatsnews said...

Yes, but if it can be proven that UKIP registered the name as a spoiler operation, would there be any legal redress?

And UKIP were not as clever as it might like to think.

Some people might think it was a slimy, dirty thing to do, to register the name of a rival political party in order to stop that party using its own name.

And I thought UKIP tried to pretend it was above such vile tricks? Oh dear. Poor Mr Farrago!

hatfield girl said...

Only Ken Livingstone has stood as an independent for serious political office and won. And the political organisation behind him is a formidable faction of the Labour party both official and excluded. Apart from Ken having one of the highest political profiles in the country.

strapworld said...

Thatsnews.

that is what went through my mind when I read Judge and Jury.

From my, mercifully short, time in Ukip that just about sums them up. I do hope the multi millionaire who started Libertas sues Ukip. That would finish that squalid lot off.

But the warning sounds are there for the other party's. People want change. They do not like the present system that allows a Prime Minister to commit trillions of taxpayers money into Banks without so much of debate in Parliament.

That allows so much immigration, which HAS changed so many of our towns into no go area's. without the authority of the people.

That has all the parties in Parliament having just one view on the EU, and thus handing over this country to this 'dream' of a United states of Europe. Where is the democracy in that?

It is this distaste towards politics and politicians which could result in a massive protest vote going to the BNP. God Forbid.

Westminster had better wake up!

Glyn H said...

I saw the thing about Judge.

Is that the fellow who got a huge divorce settlement reduced by promising he was going to give £5m to a charity and then failed to do so and the ex-wife then sued him and lost? And whose present wife has more New Labour provided quango jobs than anybody could possibly handle – which Private Eye has written about several times?

Anyway if Martin Bell (a Campbell stooge at Tatton) and the equally self-regarding Chakrabarti are in there this seems one for sensible folk to avoid!

Gareth said...

That said, I do think all parties need to 'let go' a little bit and encourage more independent thought. Too often people with minds of their own are sidelined or don't get the preferment which is doled out to the robots and those who obey the whips' every demand.

Perhaps it is the power of the party via the whips that represents more of a problem than the parties themselves.

MPs are elected to represent their constituents but largely serve their party instead.

Making every vote a free vote would be a start.(Along with appropriate supervision to avoid undue party influence) Occasional mini-refereda by post in each constituency might be good at combanting voter apathy too.

People vote less as their votes carry less power. Too much is dictated from upon high either on an EU level or a national level.

Bert Rustle said...

Strapworld March 08, 2009 4:54 PM wrote ... That allows so much immigration, which HAS changed so many of our towns into no go area's. without the authority of the people. ... just one view on the EU ... It is this distaste towards politics and politicians which could result in a massive protest vote going to the BNP. God Forbid. ...

According to http://www.juryteam.org/downloads/endoftheparty_chapter3.pdf

... 5. The Nomination Form

... In order to ensure that no fascist or similarly extreme people can be considered for selection, the form also requires all candidates to confirm that they agree not to support any policies discriminating on the basis of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religious or other belief. ...


As far as I having a MEP elected, this principally excludes those who largely approve of the British National Party Manifesto. If they desire electoral success for themselves, rather than electoral failure for others, this appears nonsensical, as 'Most Britons actually support BNP policies'

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I don't expect Paul Judge's initiative to make much headway, but it may shake the parties out of their complacency."

Pah! With all due respect Iain, it's going to take more than this rabble. If anything, they are getting worse.

And there's still nothing from the Tories which suggests they are going to treat us as anything less than minions to be manipulated and controlled, either.

Bryan said...

What we need is a "new" bank - leave the established banks to stew. New bank would attract deposits with reasonable rates and lend sensibly with reasonable rates.

The established banks have had their chance and any lending they do undertake will be at high margins to recoup their substantial losses which the tax payer is underwriting.

John said...

I think this is an excellent idea, and i'm only too pleased to give it my support.

As it stands, if someone want to represent a constituency according to their own views and my own experience, free of the shackles of a Political Party their chance of success is ZERO.

They could be by far the best candidate available, but it doesn't matter. The public vote by party logo's, not knowing or caring who the candidate they are voting for even is. So you could have an independant, moderate, well educated, mensa member getting trounced by a poorly educated party drone, because he/she carries the right logo, and he/she carries no logo at all.

So if this will raise awareness, to encourage people to ignore party logo's and vote for the candidate that they think will best represent their interests, then i'm all for it. In turn, if this will lead to MP's who are there to represent, rather than to self promote or to "play the game" and get ahead, then i'm DEFINATELY all for it.

Simon Gardner said...

“Those of us who believe in the parties which we support will need to come out and defend the party system more coherently that we have done in the past”

That’s going to be pretty tricky given that they are indefensible.

“...and explain why parties can in fact be a positive thing...”

That’s going to be even trickier - given that they obviously aren’t.

“...and why without them government in the modern media age would be virtually impossible.”

They are needed in the way a turd needs a sewer.

Simon Gardner said...

hatfield girl said... “Only Ken Livingstone has stood as an independent for serious political office and won. And the political organisation behind him is a formidable faction of the Labour party both official and excluded. ”

I was involved in that election and it was no such thing. We were a combination of a few disaffected Labour, some Tories (yes, I said “Tories”), some Lib Dems and an awful lot of people who had never been involved in any sort of politics before and probably never would be again.

OK, he had a tiny cabal of Livingstone lefties around him and some well-heeled luvvies but that was about it.

It was the most “amateur” election campaign I have ever been involved in - with of course no ground ward or borough organisation whatsoever.

Simon Gardner said...

strapworld said... “People want change.”

If they want permanent change to our sclerotic politics and governance then what they need above all is electoral reform. Without it, nothing substantial will change and our anti-democatic system will go on as before. Make Votes Count!

Simon Gardner said...

Gareth said... “MPs are elected to represent their constituents but largely serve their party instead.”

You’ve actually got that a bit wrong. MPs owe their selection (and consequently election) entirely to party.

If we had STV with multi-member constituencies as recommended by the Electoral Reform Society then voters would easily be able to reject John H Party-Hack whilst still being able to vote their party. (Not to speak of Jill Party-Hack.)

As it is, voters have no real power and it’s all in the hands of the party. It’s why party bosses in Ireland hate STV with a vengeance. It’s why empowered Irish voters love it.

So no constituents largely do not choose their MP.

Simon Gardner said...

Bert Rustle said... “'Most Britons actually support BNP policies'”

Seig Heil.

Adrian said...

Why do they bother? Even the SDP failed, and any new party would need a miracle to reach the SDP's levels of support.

I was quite interested in supporting The New Party when it was being got together in 2002, but I pointed out to them they were wasting their money if they launched so far from a General Election. I was right but at least it wasn't my money I was wasting.

Peter said...

Not even worthy of comment.

How can people waste money on such tosh!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Mike Smithson more or less sums it up, and like him I think they are doomed.

My first impression was of how vague and lacking in central message the whole thing is.

Major concerns are:

Who is running this? Apart from Judge and someone calling himself "morus" we are not told. Their needs to be some indication of who is pulling the strings and in what way they are accountable. For all I know it's being run by Grand Moff Tarkin.

As Smithson says:

"parties need some broad philosophy and in the media age they need leaders who can get over what they are about in coherent way"

Had this coalesced around a platform of say, less legislation, less government and plainer taxes, then I might have been interested. Since I couldn't make head nor tail of what they are doing, I may have to pass on this.

Disgruntlement does not a party make. Remember Veritas? Precisely.

BIGDAN said...

Archbishop Cranmer's indictment of "Jury Team" is particularly damning.

dalesman said...

I wish you would explain why political parties are a positive thing, Ian.
It seems to me that MP's serve the party, not the people who elect them.

Doug said...

This is a waste of time in my opinion. Good governance, is that all? We certainly need to clean up parliament and there are several people in the Tory ranks leading that charge. But we don't elect managers. I think what the people want are leaders. If we'd have 'good governance' in addition to all the cash thrown at the system over the last decade we would still have a system that was grossly inefficient. Manager polticians will only reinforce the status quo because most of them will not be prepared to lead the charge to reform government spending. Improved management of a fundamentally flawed system will not make it any better. They will have very little clout in parliament and it will be impossible for them to create let alone pass a consistent policy platform.

re: dalesman - It seems to me that MP's serve the party, not the people who elect them.

It's not as simple as that because a significant proportion of the electorate vote for the party and not the candidate. It's the duality of voting for a local MP and by extension the Prime Minister as well.

Roger Thornhill said...

For all their issues, parties are a natural outcome of people interacting politically.

People gravitate towards like minded, powerful, magnetic or leaders. Not all people, but those who do tend to have more chance of success as the hive mentality kicks in.

Mankind is not a solitary hunter, but is a pack animal.

I consider "Jury Team" as a neat way to divide and rule while drawing out the "awkward squad" elements from the 3 flavours of Centre-Left pap we now have.

I wonder how long it will take to be infected by Common Purpose.

Doug said...

Also doesn't this sound a lot like the rhetoric New Labour used in the nineties. 'We're going to clean up government.' How is that working out?

Simon Gardner said...

“...a significant proportion of the electorate vote for the party and not the candidate. It's the duality of voting for a local MP and by extension the Prime Minister as well.”

Once again, these problems are solved with STV in multi-member constituencies. A voter can choose to vote the person; a voter can choose to vote for or against party; a voter can do both.

Its time to Make Votes Count.

Jimmy said...

You can see this will end in tears. As soon as Jury gets back chat from the hoi polloi he'll take his ball away. Happens every time.

Barricade said...

For those who would like some light shed into the murky, morally dubious world of Declan Ganley and Libertas should check out a couple of Ganley watcher blogs
www.ganleydeclan@blogspot.com

www.peoplekorps.blogspot.com


and for references

www.whoisdeclanganley.blogspot.com

Phoenix One UK said...

Having read your views and comments, I believe the main issue has been either overlooked or played down. It matters not what is said, it does matter what the voter believes and want. The major parties have never really listened the people they were elected to represent and impose their policies on the people regardless of what the people believe, think or want. This is not democracy, but what the Jury Team offers is.
I too wil be watching the Jury Team with interest and hope, the main hope being, the major parties suffer the bloody nose they deserve.