Alliance for Democracy

Published by: Frances Spelling on 11th Jan 2010 | View all blogs by Frances Spelling
How do Jury Team people feel about the Alliance for DEmocracy? Is it a good thing that Jury Team are now linked to Veritas, the Christian Party and the English Democrats? Will this give the Jury Team a better chance at the General election?

“The Alliance for Democracy is an Alliance of political parties who together polled 719,655 votes in the 2009 EU Elections, jointly campaigning in the 2010 UK General Election for much-needed practical and political reform”

Referenda for the People

- on European Union membership to control our borders and halt immigration.

Fairness for the People

1) English Parliament in England

2) Scottish Referendum on independence in Scotland

3) Welsh Parliament

Justice for the People

- Army Style punishment “Boot Camps” for convicted criminals

Nationality of the People

-Citizenship is a privilege not a right – no convictions for 10 years.

Reform for the People

Proportional representation in elections.



http://www.alliancefordemocracy.info/

Comments

15 Comments

  • Steve Lawrence
    by Steve Lawrence 8 years ago
    Hi Frances

    First of all I would like to welcome you to the Jury Team and I hope you find the site informative and interesting.


    I wouldn’t go as far as to say Jury Team have linked themselves to VERITAS or the Christian party.
    The Jury Team is still an independent entity unto itself geared to facilitating the candidature
    of independent MP's, I think it is more that there exists a core policy agreement that calls for
    An overhaul of our political system, to that end how could we not identify with them.

    I think the question you have raised is a very valid one and it would be interesting to hear
    other people’s views

    Steve
  • Michael Mckechnie
    by Michael Mckechnie 8 years ago
    I feel this is a horrible idea to be associating with such parties, for 2 reasons.

    1) We aren't really left or right in our views, although there are some basic agreements, candidates are usually left to put their views across however they feel is good for their area and the country. By associating with Veritas, the English Democrats and especially the Christian Party, we are essentially making ourselves right wing, thus isolating those who are socialists and liberals (a sizeable chunk of the potential vote if you add people who voted for Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens) - if there was more of a mix of the political spectum in terms of parties this wouldn't be an issue.

    2) Some of the parties are...well, suspected to be a bit dodgy in terms of bigotry. The English Democrats haven't exactly done well in this - i'm an LGBT activist and have heard that the Mayor of Doncaster cut funding for its Pride. He also said he would "will cut back on "politically correct" jobs such as diversity officers and reduce funding for translation services for non-English speakers". And don't even get me started on the Christian Party - they want to bring back a horrific law that bans people in school from talking about homosexuality in an attempt to promote "family values". Also, how about those of us who aren't Christian?

    I'm actually pretty disappointed that they decided to link up with the right in an attempt to grab votes. And unfortunately, this will leave the Jury Team being tarred with the same brush as the other parties.
  • Steve Lawrence
    by Steve Lawrence 8 years ago
    Hi Michael.

    Welcome to the Jury Team.

    I wanted to reply to your post. I understand your misgiving relating to the Jury Team becoming linked to the parties you have mentioned. I think it’s worth while pointing out that there is no link at all with any of the parties you mention other than an agreement of some policy ideas, The Jury Team accepts all policy it considers good for the country or the people irrespective of whose policy it is, be it Labour, Conservative whatever party.

    The only link is in the basic need for a fairer more democratic way of governing our country and returning the true power back to the people who elect MP's to represent them. This isn’t a link to any party in anyway shape or form. I think the only link is one in the shape of the basic principles of “The Alliance for Democracy" which is as you are probably aware just an alliance of political parties in which its members broadly agree on the core policy ideas of the alliance, not necessarily those of any of the parties associated with it. Also the Jury Team would only invoke any such policy after a full consultation with its supporters and the electorate by the means of an authorising referendum.

    Please don’t lose sight of the fact that the jury team is an umbrella system designed to facilitate the election of independent candidates whose first priority is to represent the people who elected them and to the views and policies supported by them and not those of any political party. However candidates selected to stand under the Jury Team are asked to sign up to a basic core of policies of which some are also supported by the Alliance and its member parties, hence the connection.

    The Jury Team have a policy document almost ready to be made available via download I think which explains things much clearer than this post possibly could. I have a copy and should you wish to contact me I can let you have a copy.
    I hope this goes someway to relieving your anxieties regarding the main aspect of your post.

    Regards
    Steve Diffin
    PPC Nuneaton Warwickshire
  • Michael Mckechnie
    by Michael Mckechnie 8 years ago
    Thanks for the reply Steve - what i meant it's not necessarily the stance of JT itself (which I know is pretty neutral), but how it will be perceived by potential voters - I know the JT have protection for people's rights, as well as LGBT rights which is reassuring, but the party may be put under criticism by joining in with these other parties - parties that it should be noted are mostly right-wing ones.

    It's similar to the Tories coming out against homophobia and apologising for Section 28, but then sharing space in their EU Parliament group with a homophobic party - it'a not necessarily JT that is in the wrong, but these other parties.
  • Frances Spelling
    by Frances Spelling 8 years ago
    I'd agree with Michael. Political parties become known by the company they keep and I'm really uncomfortable with you getting into bed with the likes of the Christian Party and the English Democrats, so to speak. Such a shame. Jury Team seemed to be different but it looks like you're just another party.
  • Michael Mckechnie
    by Michael Mckechnie 8 years ago
    I don't think the Jury Team is beyond redemption...I think it can fix this mistake. Not sure how, but i'm sure there will be a few ideas. But yes, as a socialist, I think having this company hurts the party in terms of any liberals or left-leaning voters.
  • Alan Wallace
    by Alan Wallace 8 years ago
    If we accept that Jury Team is about reform - fundamental, dramatic and sweeping reform that will forever change politics in this country then we have a problem. Although most voters recognise the need for change and would probably be quite keen on our proposals, reform is way down the list of things that concern them when choosing who to vote for. People care about their jobs, their children and crime (in my opinion). The candidate that can address these three items coherently, consistently and most importantly, plausibly has a chance of winning votes.

    Part of the "plausibility" may come from forming associations with other parties where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. The Alliance collectively should be able to field as many foot soldiers - leafletters, canvassers, volunteers than some of the major parties in selected constituencies.

    One of our problems in GNE was spreading ourselves very thinly and trying to hit every voter. The Conservative approach was to identify their core vote and hit them with canvassers, leaflets and doorstepping again and again and again. It worked for them. But who are Jury Team's core vote? In the tribalism of Left v Right where voting patterns are entrenched, how can Jury Team hope to garner votes with a neutral message?

    Personally, I think policies are ephemeral. We could name policy X, Y or Z and a big party could pull the rug from beneath our feet with a single press conference. Where our strength lies is in offering something no other party is keen on - a range of referenda and of course, the reforms that will undermine and weaken the party system. So let's look at the areas where the main parties ignore the public will and call for referenda on these issues. For example the EU, crime and defence.

    And when a journalist says "You support a referendum on X, what way will Jury Team campaign during this referendum? Will you urge people to vote for or against EU withdrawal (for instance), the response should be - "Jury Team let the people decide, we will not campaign IN a referendum, we campaign FOR a referendum".

    In a way, it's inevitable that the policies the Jury Team are calling for referenda upon are nominally right wing. We've had 12 years of a left-leaning govt and right-wing opinion has been circumvented and suppressed. What we need are left-wing issues that would make good referenda questions.

    Any suggestions?
  • Michael Mckechnie
    by Michael Mckechnie 8 years ago
    Something I just found out - the head of the alliance is none other than our own Mr Judge himself - was he the one who made the decision to get into bed with the other less-than-stellar parties?

    Alan - you make a good point about Jury Team being about reform and the policies being right wing, but what makes JT different is that we ask the people. It's just a pity that under the current plans, if we do get an MP, it won't be a Jury Team mp, it'll be an Alliance MP, with the policies of other parties. I personally feel very uncomfortable voting for an alliance that contains people who think my sexuality is an 'abomination' (Christian Party). And i'm sure i'm not the only one. And what happened to letting us choose the people to put forward? This doesn't seem to be happening with Alliance...it really does seem like Paul Judge has given up on the idea and is using JT as a name only.
  • Steve Lawrence
    by Steve Lawrence 8 years ago
    I am intending to stand as an INDEPENDENT candidate at the next election with the views of my constituents foremost and uppermost in my mind.

    I do have concerns it will appear to people that we have gotten into bed with other parties which is not the case and I hope we will not have to spend precious time convincing voters or potential supporters this is not the case rather than concentrating on an election.

    I think sir Paul set up the alliance as a means for smaller parties to share ideas and strategies for getting more independents elected to parliament. I think we sees an alliance of parties working together and pooling resources in terms of people on the ground helping our cause as an opportunity i.e.-: canvassers, leafletters etc. The alliance isn’t a party as such and potential MP's would not be Alliance party MP's as far as I am concerned I am an independent MP elected by my constituents and would act on their wishes alone I would not be tied by any party whips at all, If I stand under the Jury Team banner I will be a Jury Team independent MP not that of an alliance party.

    Sir Paul and his alliance have set out their aims and aspirations in the form of a basic core policy aimed at parliamentary reform and to this end I broadly agree with that aim. The alliance requires I believe that all its member parties at least agree to those core principles. But we must move away from the idea that people will conceive us as having linked politically to the parties represented there, as this simply is not the case.

    I read Alan Wallis’s post and I couldn’t agree more when he says no matter how noble the cause is for reform of the political system and I’m sure like he says so do a lot of voters but, I agree that you cannot and must not expect to be elected on those grounds alone. We must have answers to people’s concerns and as candidates address them coherently. It is important to present ourselves even as independents with a cohesive voice with real answers.

    Steve Diffin
  • Steve Lawrence
    by Steve Lawrence 8 years ago
    As a footnote I will be asking Sir Paul tomorrow for some clarification on this subject.
  • Dorothy Chambers
    by Dorothy Chambers 8 years ago
    Sir Paul does not know the meaning of the word democracy.
    Any link no matter how tenuous between JT and any other set up of any kind, sould have been discused and voted on by JT's membership.
    Clarification he is likely to give will be too late; actions speak louder than words. In a democratic organisation, we the membership would have been informed earlier and at least some sort of straw poll taken on even the most tenuous link proposed. The links to me sound more than tenuous, they deserved a full discusion and vote.
    The damage is done now.
    I have offered some help in Northfield to Graham. If and when warmer weather arrives I could do some leafleting for you or sit making the audence look larger at one of your meetings.
    Yours Dorothy of Birmingham
  • Steve Lawrence
    by Steve Lawrence 8 years ago
    Hi Dorothy

    I think we have to remember why the Jury Team came into being and what Sir Pauls reasons were for creating it in the first place. I think all members of the JT should go to the JT web site www.juryteam.org click on the about tab and download the following PDF files which lay out some of the ideas and purposes behind the JT. Or secure a copy of the Jury Team book. "The End of the Party"

    DOWNLOADS....
    Jury Team Proposal - Preface (PDF, 84kb)
    Jury Team Proposal Chapter 1 - Introduction and Summary (PDF, 176kb)
    Jury Team Proposal Chapter 2 - Background (PDF, 204kb)

    I would like to drawer every ones attention to one statement in particular which reads as follows....

    The Jury Team was founded to “clean up” politics. It has three sets of principles two of which I quote below:

    QUOTE 1...

    Encouraging and facilitating people to become independent MPs who will commit to strengthening and cleaning up Parliament so that it can properly decide whether to approve new legislation and can actively hold the Government to account.

    QUOTE 2...

    The Jury Team will co-operate with other non-traditional but non-discriminatory parties for the general election as this is the only way in which many common objectives are likely to be achieved. Fragmented parties will not be able to achieve sufficient votes to win in the current “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) electoral system.
    Unquote.

    For instance, following the July 2009 Norwich North by-election The Times commented in an Editorial:

    Times Quote.

    “The final cause of the large Conservative majority was the failure of the defectors from two-party politics — particularly those enraged by the allowances scandal — to coalesce around a single alternative. The Greens missed their moment by choosing too militant a candidate, UKIP did well but has limited appeal, and none of the independents who were so vocal a few weeks ago was ready to try his luck. This was a stroke of good fortune for the Tories. As they celebrate a good result, they should remember that there is still public anger that they need to address and many that they still need to convince.”
    Unquote

    On a personal level I believe the Jt was set up to actively seek to elect more free minded individuals to stand as candidates as a way to break the grip that the major parties have over Westminster.

    I believe that smaller parties acting individually actually neutralise one anthers chance of electing independent candidates by the dilution of votes being cast amongst all the different party candidates.

    I think by working together and not competing against one another by standing candidates in the same area will go some way to helping the possibility of electing independents and not dilute the support people may give to them. Working with these other parties doesn’t mean we have leaped into bed with so and so party or even for that matter agree with their policies but, one thing all of them agree on is the need to clean up politics. I see it simply as a constructive way to help facilitate the aims of the JT.

    Please remember the Jury Team is a fledgling movement just under a year old and as such is bound to change and explore ways to advance its aspirations. I urge everyone to get behind what I think is a great idea and if you have any ideas that you believe might be helpful to contact Sir Paul who after having met I found to be sincere in what he was trying to achieve and very approachable.

    “You can satisfy some of the people some of the time but, you can’t satisfy all of the people all of the time”

    Steve Diffin
  • Andrew Moore
    by Andrew Moore 8 years ago
    I agree with Dorothy, she certainly has a valid point but Steve's reasoning is also well put. Sir Paul obviously wants the Jury team to progress. I would suggest individual JT candidates could disassociate themselves from this "Alliance" if they or their supporters are not comfortable with it.
  • Dorothy Chambers
    by Dorothy Chambers 8 years ago
    Dear Steve,
    Thank you for pointing out quoit 2. However the Jt should have been consulted on these particular other parties. Some details of the aims or possible manifestoes of these should be published on OUR site so I and others can check on whether they meet our standards of "nondiscriminating." To use English in a title sujestes that other ethnic groups are less welcome, this could be just a unfortunate idea they never thought of when they named their party. The other suggestion overtone it has is that it is anti European. Christian is what I used to be before I became multi faith. I have deepest theological suspicions about why "Christian" goes in the title of a political party. Additionally previous users of "Christian" have rather given the idea that other faiths or wavering Christians or non fundamentalist christians are not welcome.
    Before I can be fair I need to find their web pages,[ it is late at night so I will not do so now]
    To deal and underline my reasons for calling Sir Paul undemocratic. The aims of the Alliance in broad brush discription should have been published at least ahead or with the announcment that they could or could not qualify under JT Proposals chapters 1 and 2.
    I have called for a leadership news letter from those running JT before.
    Dear Sir Paul.
    I need to address this part to you, as even though you read these when you have time I feel like I'm talking behind your back to comment on you instead of addressing you singularly.
    Thank you for founding the Team. I recognise how small we are and scattered and why a conferece was called but too few enrolled so it did not happen.
    All things need a structure, JT is not without a structure, but it has an inadequate structure due to it being a new organisation with scattered membership. Like most seasoned activists I hate constitutional debates for leading to quorrels and for taking up so much time, but a constitution is necessary and ours has not evolved yet.
    I'm happy enough with the founding members and the greater activists having more power to guid the Team than the rank and file member. I'd rather trust persons who are keen for the cause than trust a constitution or constitutional expert.
    I accept Steve's quots are from the JT's published discription and that is as good as a constitution it describes the founding aims.
    The major aim is to improve British democracy. One of the hopes in having more independent MPs is to cut the power over members by the Parties and thuse have MPs better able to call the government to account.
    I'm calling you and other leaders of JT to account. I looks like a done deal, with the members told afterwards. This makes Tony's sofa government look open and democratic by comparison.
    Would you tell me where is the proof that these parties are non-discriminatory?
    Perhaps a leader or elected spoks person from each of them could be invited to answer my points and give us a sample of what they would say to voters on the hustings.
    Further there is the practical point what mechanisams are they offering to us by which we and Have you and whoever else thought through the offer we would make them?
    I've the Democracy of Britain and JT to think of. The last time I joined a political organisation then had its leaders link join or allance with other organisations it wa the cold war and the organisation I joined turned out to be run by commonist in disgues. I know you arn't that but you have not been democratic or fully open in your style of leadership.
    YOurs Dorothy
  • Graham Burton
    by Graham Burton 7 years ago
    this was intersting read and do the alliance for democracy web site is back up i have just looked at the candidtes standing in thecertian areas most of them is the english demrocrats. thanks dorthry for assisting me in the birmingham northfield area but looking on the alliance for democracy website they are but an english demorocrat in this part. they have not amed a candidte as yet.

    but so far only 2 are stand for the jury team take a look, do i stick with the jry team or see if i can become an english demrocrat or seek as jury team and seek another birmingham area such as selly oak or hall green
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