Last weekend Dr Richard North of the EU Referendum blog hosted a conference in Harrogate, bringing together bloggers (many of them ex-UKIP members) from across the country to discuss the democratic deficit in the UK, and how this might be remedied. Their stated aim: to emulate the Chartists by drawing up a charter of six proposed reforms to restore public faith in our democracy, by making it more accountable and responsive to public demands and interests. As such, it possessed laudable goals, and I await with interest further information with respect to the conclusions that the group reaches – for discussions have not yet terminated – and any ensuing practical recommendations. If the latter should prove to be desirable, they, or elements of them, could be incorporated into the new party’s policy.
Many themes relating to the nature of power, democracy and representation were discussed at the conference, including the key notion of the “separation of powers”. However, no firm recommendations have yet been made or clearly formulated, thus it has been stated that the group will aim to meet within the next couple of months with a view to issuing what has been termed the “Harrogate Declaration”, perhaps in September. This will give form to the group’s declared intent. In the interim, articles summarising key aspects of last weekend’s discussions and further developing their themes will appear on members’ blogs, such as EU Referendum, Witterings from Witney and the Boiling Frog amongst others. Those who wish to keep a track of developments would be advised to visit EU Referendum as a first port of call.
Harrogate Conference Participants