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Alistair McConnachie published Sovereignty from July 1999 to its 120th consecutive monthly issue in June 2009, and he continues to maintain this website.
Alistair McConnachie also publishes Prosperity - Freedom from Debt Slavery which educates about the nature of our debt-based money system and A Force For Good which advocates the maintenance of the United Kingdom.
To find out more go to the about who is Alistair McConnachie page.
You can buy the Complete 10-Year, 120 Back Issue Set of Sovereignty - worth £162.50 - for only £89 inc p+p, a 45% discount. Cheques payable to Sovereignty, at 268 Bath St, Glasgow, G2 4JR or go here and click "Buy Now".

Alistair McConnachie
The following discourse by Alistair McConnachie is based on an article in the February 2002 issue of Sovereignty.

Some say the most important political imperative facing the UK is to leave the EU because, "it governs everything and we cannot do anything until we leave".

Well, of course, to a large extent, this is correct ... but it's not the full story. Thinking about the problem entirely in this way has several flaws: Firstly, it is not correct to say "we cannot do anything" until we leave the EU.

All EU law exists in Britain courtesy only of the British Parliament and its legislation.

That means Parliament can, at any time, pass legislation which exempts British laws from EU legal domination. Such laws need only include a provision over-riding any Acts of Parliament or related EU legislation to the contrary. This would, in effect, be law making outside the EU; our government is free to do it right now, and the courts would be bound to give effect to these laws.

Yes, to do so would be against the "spirit of membership" of the EU (whatever that might be) and, yes, nobody has yet tried it; and yes, this government is unlikely to, and yes, it would be infinitely preferable if we just repealed all the EU Treaties and left the EU immediately... but the point is -- it's nevertheless possible. It is something we can do to weaken the power of the EU, before reaching the stage when we leave the EU formally. It's something to campaign for, right now.

Secondly, those people who see leaving the EU as an end in itself, are going to be extremely frustrated if we leave the EU and end up in something worse. What are they going to do then? Spend the next thirty years calling for us to leave the new system?

The fact is, if the political power remains in the same minds, hands and wallets, then the country will continue to be misgoverned, whether we're in the EU or out the EU.

Thirdly, as a policy on its own, "leaving the EU" is bland. It doesn't capture the imagination. It fails to inspire; it doesn't stir the blood.

Far better therefore, to articulate "leaving the EU" within a wider programme of purposeful change based on the principles of self-determination and democracy, where "leaving the EU" is a means to a greater end. That's our approach here at Sovereignty.

Fourthly, a focus entirely on the EU omits all the other threats to our country and our political system which are just as dangerous in the long-term, and which are happening right now.

Consequently, if your only concern is the EU then you're likely to find that by the time we leave, there simply won't be any nation left to bother about anymore.

The lesson is this: Unless we correct the fundamental flaws in the system which landed us in this situation in the first place, then we're just going to fall into another abusive relationship as soon as we've left the present one. That means we have to reform the political system which got us into this situation and we have to take power away from the ruling elite - the parties and the vested interests - who are presently misgoverning us.

Let us look at our present democracy and consider what can be done to reform it and move the power to the people.


There are two kinds of democracy. The first kind is Representative Democracy where the people delegate their authority to elected representatives, every few years.

The second kind is Popular Democracy where the people are the government, and where the people retain and exercise their governing authority on a perpetual basis.

In Britain today, we have a system of Representative Democracy. The theory is that "the people are sovereign" - that is, they have ultimate authority... and that they delegate this sovereignty every five years to their "representatives", who exercise this sovereignty on their behalf, through the institutions of government.

That's the theory, but there's only one problem...

Democracy means the authority of the people, and not the authority of someone, or something else, purporting to act on their behalf.

Therefore, the theory that we delegate our authority every five years to politicians and parties who are meant to act on our behalf, is a recipe for democratic disaster.

It means, in effect, we give it away.

The politicians and parties are free to act instead of us, not on behalf of us. And we have no recourse...

It means we allow our governing authority to be usurped every five years. Which is to say: our system of Representative Democracy usurps the sovereignty of the people.

Many people claim Edward Heath usurped our sovereignty when he took us into the EU. However, this ignores the fact that our very own system of Representative Democracy which elected him, had already usurped our sovereignty.

That's why he was able to do what he did -- and get away with it.

It's no surprise that anybody who achieves power in this manner has the ability to act with impunity!

So, we can blame Edward Heath all we like - but ultimately the real culprit is the system which allowed our politicians and parties to take us into the EU, and which will continue to usurp the sovereignty of the people, regardless of whether we are in or out of the EU.

Moreover, the idea that one MP can adequately "represent" his constituents when they number tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, is absurd; let alone the fact that over half his constituents didn't vote for him.

Again, all he is doing is usurping their sovereignty and acting instead of them, not on behalf of them.

True democracy exists only through the perpetual activity of the people, not the activity of their "representatives". Democracy is something you do, not something you have.

Our system of Representative Democracy means that a few major parties with little to choose between them do exactly as they please once elected, in accord with the opinions of a small elite of vested interests, who are able to manipulate the political process.

The power lies with these usurpers, and not with the People.

Yet, we think we're free because we get a chance to elect a new dictator every five years!

Representative Democracy amounts to nothing more than a system of population control, intended to keep the people subservient, deceived and vulnerable while making profits, consuming goods, and fighting wars for vested interests. It's an elaborate people-control mechanism.


In a Popular Democracy the people are the government, and the people retain and exercise their governing authority on a perpetual basis.

The people retain and exercise the policy-making and law-making initiative, rather than being subject to it and constantly forced into the reactionary position in relation to it.

In a Popular Democracy, the politicians are the servants of the people, not their masters. Their job is to listen, respond and deliver to that which is demanded by the people.

We are far from this ideal today, but we need to be looking at ways of moving towards it. We need to be looking at ways of regaining control of our government.

Essentially, we must engage in a strategy which will move our political process from a "Representative" to a Popular Democracy - a sovereignty strategy which will move power from the parties and the vested interests, to the people.

This sovereignty strategy requires policies which:
====>  break the power of the Party System, and
====>  break the power of the Vested Interests.

A major pillar of Representative Democracy is "The Party System". It seems like the only game in town, at the moment. But it doesn't always have to be like this.

The following are the major faults of the Party System. Some suggested remedies have been included, intended to help break the power of the parties and the vested interests.

While recognising its inherent problems, we can nevertheless work within, and alongside, the Party System with the aim of moving power to the people.

While parties are useful vehicles for organising political action, their intrinsic nature means they can never adequately represent everybody. They are naturally sectarian and exclusive of large numbers of the population, who would otherwise agree on certain common issues. Each party represents the views and interests of certain elements of the population and not society at large.

The Party System - by its very nature - institutionalises a divisive system which sets the population against itself. It prevents the people from seeing their common interests. Consequently, the Party System is destructive towards the common good.

The opposition party has a vested interest in seeing the country governed badly. The opposition has a vested interest in attacking the plans of the government regardless of how good these plans may be. Inter-party conflict is waged at the expense of the best interests of the wider society. Thus, the Party System subordinates the wider interests of society to the interests of the parties.

The governing party is likely to be elected by a minority of the national electorate. This means the Party's view is imposed upon the national majority who did not vote for it and who may not share its principles. It means the power of the party over the people, and the domination of society by a minority: Party rule not People rule. An elected dictatorship!

a) Break the power of the parties by moving towards a system where independent candidates have a better chance of being funded, heard and elected. As individuals we can choose to help this process by voting only for independent candidates, for candidates of small parties which recognise these truths or, where neither choice exists, by not voting at all, and de-legitimising the present system.
b) An element of proportional representation would allow more voices to be heard in the running of our country, and a more accurate distribution of representatives, albeit, initially, by party. This could easily be implemented for local council elections.

Vested interests, whether financial, corporate, media, or ideological, are well placed to dominate and exploit the inherently divisive nature of the Party System over and above the democratic process. Like the man who walks into a bar and starts an argument among the patrons, then sits back and leaves them to punch themselves stupid, these vested interests have us arguing amongst ourselves over trivialities, while they live high-on-the-hog.

a) Move from Plutocracy to Democracy by reforming party, and election, funding.
We should be asking the fundamental question of principle: Do we believe that our political process should be in the hands of the people, or should it remain the playground of the super-rich?

Only when the electorate pay the piper can they call the legislative tune. Presently, our political process gives great power to the super-rich to influence the legislative agenda. The point of national funding for the political process is not to sustain the present large parties "at the expense of the taxpayer", but rather to level the democratic playing field, enable more diverse voices to be heard, ensure our democratic process is immunised from the financial pressures of vested interests, and place power in the hands of the people, where it belongs.

Legislation must be directed to these ends, even though initially we can expect the System to attempt to maintain only itself.

Perhaps every pound donated by a citizen to a political party, or independent, up to a specific limit, could be matched by another pound out of a national election fund. In addition, the total annual income of each party will need to be capped to the same level.

b) The funding system must encourage independent candidates to stand, and enable them to have a better chance of being heard and elected. To this end, laws are needed to ensure fair and equal media coverage for all candidates.

MPs cannot act independently because they are subservient to the Party Leader and Whips. This crushes individuality and prevents the MP from properly representing his or her constituents.

Abolish the Whip System so the MP can be free to represent his or her electorate as an individual, rather than as a Party apparatchik.

Once the majority Party has been elected, it is free to do almost anything. It holds the initiative - it determines the policies and it can impose policies neither required nor desired by the electorate.

Institute a mechanism which is able to signal our needs more than once every five years. More use of referenda, locally and nationally. See the Direct Democracy article from the Sovereignty issue of March 2000.
If we are to have an elected second chamber then candidates should not be elected on a party basis, since this will simply give us twice the problem we have at the moment.
Rather, they should be elected as free and independent individuals, not party candidates -- which was the original intent behind the Lords, until it was compromised by the Party System. An elected Upper House consisting only of independent members would quickly expose the failings of the Party System in the Lower House.
But it need not necessarily be elected; an alternative suggestion is that second-chamber members be selected via random lottery, which would likewise be preferable to another House built on the present Party System or its appointees. See our crony club article.


To Summarise: We start from where we are. We work with what we have. We move the system our way.

It is inherent in the nature of Representative Democracy to usurp the sovereignty of the people.

It is this process which is taking and keeping power out of the hands of the people, and moving it into the hands of the parties and vested interests.

It is unrealistic to expect salvation through this system.

For example, if we left the EU, yet allowed this system to remain in place, then the sovereignty of the people would continue to be usurped, and we would be led down a similar route again.

If we are to regain control of our government, we need to chart a course from Representative Democracy to Popular Democracy.

To this end, we need the sovereignty strategy which advocates and implements policies intended to pull down the twin pillars propping up "Representative Democracy": the Party System, and the Vested Interests that own it.
The time of the Parties, and their Puppet Masters, must end... and the time of the People begin.

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