Tag Archives: Magna Carta

The Nature of Power

power photo

I recently watched the film Cromwell, starring Richard Harris and Alec Guinness, whose mighty screen presence aptly portrayed Oliver Cromwell and King Charles 1st respectively. What interested me about this piece of English history was the nature of the source of the power used by both in their in dire opposition to each other.

On the one hand you had a monarch who shared the same beliefs as his father, who once described kings as “little Gods on Earth” chosen by God to rule in accordance with the long held belief in the ‘Divine Right of Kings’ making them only accountable to God for their actions. Here religion was being used as a means to power, something many have practiced over the centuries with great success, including the church.

Cromwell on the other hand was a deeply religious man who reacted against the unregulated power used by Charles, driven by a compassion for the common man (and woman) who were on the receiving end of this abuse. The sheer arrogance of the King incensed Cromwell and other members in the contempt with which he held parliament, because of his belief in his ‘divine right’ to rule.

Indeed, he twice sacked parliament and ruled uncontested on the second occasion for 10 years. This belief in his ability to exercise absolute power saw him further antagonise the country by taking a Catholic wife, thereby constantly threatening the power of the Church of England.

We all know the outcome. Cromwell fought relentlessly to uphold the rights of the common man and a democratically elected parliament, taking the country into two civil wars and Charles was eventually beheaded.

From this we can draw similarities with a despotic King John 300 years earlier, who’s abusive intolerance of his people led to rebellion and the introduction of the now world famous Magna Carta bill of rights to protect the common man from oppression. (Cromwell referred to it as Magna Farta!)

In spite of this, Magna Carta has become the rallying cry for all efforts to manage the misuse of power. It was an influencing factor in the American Constitution and during the Cold War between America and Russia we saw the birth of “This Universal Declaration of Human Rights” pushed through the United Nations in 1948 by Eleanor Roosevelt to champion the common man (and woman), extolling amongst other things that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”. (Edward Snowden and Julian Assange ring a bell!)

What all of these solid charters identify is the ongoing problem we, as a species, have with power. Human fallibility succumbs to the trappings and status of power and from this abuse quickly follows.

Often power stems from traditions that are not encapsulated in the written word. They are simply beliefs and their vagueness allows and encourages abuse. That a King (or Government) may collect taxes for the upkeep of their country is a given but how that money is applied is the stuff of countless rebellions across the centuries.

Hence Magna Carta. Here what the King could and couldn’t do was put down on paper to identify and contain his powers. The American Constitution and many others followed suit, all of which have failed to be maintained and abided by. Writing it down is one thing but putting into practice is something we, as a species, have not yet mastered.

In this 21st century we are experiencing a new phenomenon as the abuse of power is now coming, not from religious belief in the divine right of kings but a belief in the divine right of profit. No longer is the abuse contained within a realm, it is manifesting internationally.

Its growth has been fuelled by the decline of traditional religious institutions who have lost credibility in their outmoded teachings, resulting in their subsequent loss of power. These traditional beliefs have been replaced by financial values and beliefs, which although more tangible for us to see touch and understand, lack any depth or compassion in valuing and respecting human life and this planet.

Capitalism preaches that the only merit is in PROFIT and this narrow yardstick is now used in how we handle and manage our lives. The abuse comes from the current unassailable right of corporations and banks to mismanage their own money with impunity, taking our money to subsidise their own misdemeanours, whilst penalising and controlling us financially and morally with odious debt and personal discredit through dubious credit ratings.

The raw power of Capitalism does not deal in morality and therefore allows, indeed encourages unmitigated abuse, including the abolition of democracy. With no constitution that can be meaningfully applied to constrain this growing abuse we are being driven to our own destruction, taking the perpetrators as well!

It was our ignorance in the past that fuelled our apathy at the constant mistreatment of the many by the few. We are now beginning to wake up and are no longer the ignorant serfs of just a century ago.

By looking beyond what is actually happening to us and becoming aware of the nature of what we are dealing with we are achieving understanding and with that understanding will come change.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Magna Carta and TTIP

As a species we are designed to strive and achieve as much as we are designed to breed and build a home; it has been the way of things since the dawn of time. This striving is best recognised when we are young, pushing the boundaries with our parents, teachers and Society during the painful adolescent years as we seek to find our own identity and place within that Society.

This desire to push the boundaries remains with us throughout our lives and constantly manifests in sport, careers, business, the arts and all other aspects of Life. Often it can become obsessive and addictive, leading to gross irresponsibility’s. The banking collapses of 1929 and 2008 were evidence of this human characteristic at its most irresponsible, with the subsequent worldwide devastation they caused.

For this very reason, throughout our history we have sought to create buffers which guard against these excesses. This has become a critical aspect in the work of governments, with the laws they put on the statute books and constantly update as we evolve. Our desire to strive and accomplish then pushes back as we seek ways to bypass these restrictions and so the eternal ‘Ping-Pong’ of expansion and containment continues.

We are at a point in this endless game where boundaries are being pushed in unprecedented ways and protective barriers are being removed at an alarming rate to permit the unrivalled creation of wealth. Global corporations are now as wealthy and powerful as small nations, capable of dominating political parties and influencing the enactment and repeal of laws that support their growing power and profit.

For me this is vividly demonstrated by the insidious TTIP secret trade agreement now being pushed through with the minimum of democratic debate. Here we have the power of the written word at its most menacing, as laws and agreements are put into place that will hold our governments accountable in a fashion that the people can only dream about. Any government action that works against corporate greed will result in penalties for that government (and of course its people, as they will have to pay the costs of these governmental transgressions!).

Just think about that for a moment. This deal is at the heart of the democratic process, where government is held accountable for its actions! Democracy here, however, is not for the benefit of the many but just the few. Indeed its impact upon the many (and this beautiful Planet) will be like a cancer, as our quality of life and our natural resources are abused and discarded with equal disdain.

If this is the way the game is now being played then “what is good for the goose, is also as good for the gander!” If it’s written agreements that now determine how we live, as integrity seems to have gone the way of the Dodo, then the people need their own ‘TTIP’ with which to hold government accountable.

I have argued before that Society is in exactly the same position that it was here in Britain 800 years ago, when unbridled power brought the country to its knees. Yes barons were looking after their own interests then with Magna Carta but it reflected back on the people in “no imprisonment without trial by peers”. With Terrorism we are now headed back to those dark times before Magna Carta.

It worked before and it can work again, in using the power of the written word to bring back accountability. This time the barons need to be replaced by a political party that will adopt a revised Magna Carta and legally invoke it as The Objectives of Parliament for the foreseeable future. It would be updated from time to time, to keep it in line with a changing Society and its needs, but its essence would always reflect the protection of our quality of life.

The last thing we want is a legal document that would keep lawyers in clover forever but a means by which the people can decide for themselves if government is doing its job. Manifestos would become simple forms which declare each new incumbents intentions to support all, or particular aims of the Charter during their term in office. People could then decide who to vote for, depending upon the popular consensus as to what needed tackling in Society at that time.

Clauses might include a ‘public’ monetary system, gender and religious equality, protection of planetary resources, a people’s democracy and so on. Empowerment of the people would come from being able to measure each government’s achievements and decide if they had done a good job or not in furthering the aims of the Charter. Their decision would then influence their next vote and secure our steady progress as a Society.

How would we arrive at this new Charter? Easy! Follow Iceland’s example and give it to the people to design and agree upon. It worked there, in spite of ridicule by the opposition party and it can work here just as well!

Whilst none of this will happen by this election, if a seed is sown it will place the present party’s on warning that we are setting the political stage for the future. We are looking for a party to unite and lead us . . . and we expect it SOON!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Why Magna Carta Works

Let me get a rant out of the way by condemning all TV and Radio for not a single independent coverage of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Napoleon and other irrelevancies are given space but something we should be monumentally proud of as a nation has been ignored and it is a bloody disgrace!

Magna Carta works because it is at the very heart of how we function as a species and why it has been adopted, in one format or another, throughout the world. We create our world through what we believe in. Someone comes up with an idea that is adopted by many and becomes a belief.

If that belief is strong enough we write it down and use it to promote the values enshrined in that writing. The Bible, Koran, Torah and all the other religious teachings have been captured in this manner, as well as the very laws that govern us and shape the way we live our lives.

Magna Carta was the first such practice that declared our rights as human beings to a fair trial, freedoms of people and freed women from total slavery. Its common theme of human rights captured the imagination of people across the world over the following centuries, because of this fundamental message about our right to function as a species of individuals.

Power and greed have always been our greatest challenge, as ambitious but naïve individuals and groups have sought the impossible in world domination. Greed and power self-destruct because human fallibility can only use them to suppress and enslave. Enslavement can never be a permanent human condition as the oppressed eventually rise up and overthrow the oppressor. A pattern repeated with monotonous regularity throughout our history.

In the past that power was applied by armed force, with the likes of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan setting the template for human carnage across the centuries. Today power and greed is more subtly attained by financial instruments, rather that instruments of war. Debt has become the weapon of war as our money supply is created by financiers, rather than governments, gradually enslaving people and countries by debt repayment.

These debt repayments have become the single most important aspect of any country’s responsibilities, because of beliefs that have been imposed by the few on the many and which, like Magna Carta, have been written down to authenticate them. That these written beliefs can also cause human suffering shows how the shaping of Life by dominating beliefs can sometimes be disastrous to our wellbeing. (The TTIP secret trade agreement is the latest example, if allowed.)

This is where we find ourselves in this 21st century, as debt spurs the attainment of power and greed. We have had one financial collapse and another is not far off, because the powerful and greedy are continuing to commit the crimes that they should have been jailed for last time.

I read somewhere that worldwide debt is so great that there is not enough money in circulation to repay it. This careful strategy to enslave could be labelled a ‘conspiracy theory’ if it were not for what is now happening in Greece. Submerge a country in debt through improper banking practice and then take their national assets in repayment and as a means to control.

For me, this is power and greed entering its self-destructive phase, as the banks themselves will collapse under the mountain of debt they have issued and which can no longer be supported. When this happens they will close their doors and people will suddenly find access to their own money denied them, as has been the case with individual bank collapses in the past. Now however it will be on a global scale because the banks and the debt are now global.

It is at this point, hopefully, that people will find the abuse of the powerful no longer tolerable, as they did 800 years ago, demanding a new charter that will once again bring the abuses of absolute power back under control through the power of the written word. Instead of Barons, it makes sense that they should have a new political party fighting for them this time.

The government prattles on, as Cameron will today, about the need for Magna Carta and how his government will do its bit to ensure values are maintained. This is political spin at its most unreal. It was in the interest of the people that Magna Carta was created to hold the powerful to account and it is that same situation that must be addressed to day by the people, not the government!

Happy Birthday Magna Carta . . . Not long now!

 

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

The United States of Britain

UK photo

. . . “Looking after the working people” . . . “A united country” . . .

As these words stream off the lips of the new government, something not uttered before Election Day, we return to the world of government policy by soundbite, (if we ever left it!). Once they get their act together, hopefully, Labour will make mincemeat of the first and I would offer the following observations on the second.

Yes, we do need a ‘united’ country but one no longer united by Westminster. If this election has demonstrated one thing, people across the country have reached the end of their tether with successive governments eroding democracy by putting the needs of ‘Club Westminster’ before the rest of the country, from North Sea Oil to Fracking.

The earth scorching endorsement of this by the SNP in Scotland has been followed by news that the most popularly supported parties elsewhere are: Ireland – DUP, Wales – Labour and England – Tory.

Cameron’s is a knee jerk reaction to fighting the cause of a ‘united’ country. People have moved on, as Labour found to their cost and trying to glue the UK back together again under Westminster has also been seriously misdiagnosed.

At its heart is our political and corporate response to globalisation, by going ‘large’. The rise of global monopolies – ‘too big to fail’ – are now increasingly holding Society to ransom if governments try in any way to regulate them. TTIP will be the final nail in the coffin of democracy as their power is made absolute (and something only the SNP is fighting!).

What started out as a Common Market for trade in Europe has evolved into a European (political) Union that is now so remote from the people, who pay for it and elect its representatives into office, that democracy has become meaningless. The growing demand to take powers back from Brussels is evidence of this frustration.

BIG is forcing ever greater distance between the rich and the poor. With that distance comes impotence over how our daily lives are run. We have been reduced to bits of data and our wishes and frustrations no longer register on political or corporate spreadsheets.

‘Unity’ comes from recognising that village communities are better managed for the benefit of their members than towns or cities. Using this benchmark, we can create more actively managed democracies by bringing people closer to government.

Reaction to the election is an indication of the desire by people to become a ‘mini’ EU. This contribution to a debate is a thumbnail. The devil is in the detail and would not in any way dilute my excitement at such a development.

Uniting us as four self-ruling entities would invoke healthy competition through the freedom to develop our cultural differences. (A free education policy in Scotland demonstrates care and an investment in their young).

We are an Island race with a phenomenal history of successful innovation, something desperately needed in this new global world of technology and crying need for sustainability. Freed from the bureaucracy of Westminster and its suffocating corporate dominance, innovation would reign supreme.

Of course there has to be a central ‘Unifying’ force to replace Westminster. In this 800th year of Magna Carta, A Charter of Values, (constructed and ratified with the full involvement of the people), defining the common purpose of the four and holding them accountable, seems all that is needed . . . Why complicate it?!

Such values might include a debt free money supply for social infrastructure and small business development, people driven referendums, the development of sustainability programmes creating further new jobs, equality of gender and religious belief, independence of the internet and a curb on surveillance and personal freedoms, as a starter!

Matters of common interest, such as defence, immigration, fishing and sustainability of natural resources could be centralised in an equally represented and non-governmental ‘Council of Albion’, to maximise cost efficiencies on common issues. It would provide the ability to react collectively where necessary and offer a flexible infrastructure of ‘independent cooperation’ to meet global competition in chosen areas of trade.

We are at a crossroads now, where the UN would have us moving ever closer to Global Governance with its Global Sustainability Initiative for the entire Planet. What we have learned is that BIG produces wholesale abuse and makes people impotent to demanding accountability.

In the same way that small innovative businesses are the mainstay of a thriving corporate environment, so small democracies, like a United States of Britain, would breathe new life into a global democracy that is now on life support.

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

A British ‘EU’

britain photo

We are just 3 years from the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and I question what has been learned, be it political, financial or social. Politicians have certainly birthed a bureaucratic monster that devours whole countries and spews out endless rules and regulations from their ingestion. It demands uniformity instead of integration and offers little in return.

Like the banks, the EU has become ‘too big to work’, with its growing detachment from the very people who vote it with power and whom it is supposed to serve. Instead we are now seeing a monolith, controlled by the banks, exercising a style of power normally associated with dictatorships, if Greece is anything to go by.

If this is it after nearly six decades of European ‘Unity’ I, for one, really don’t want to continue. Business would disagree, I know but current research by independent bodies such as Open Europe suggest that in event of a Brexit we could survive in the big wide world of free trade, with little difference to GDP if we work our talents.  http://tinyurl.com/mexwzez

If we now know that ‘too big’ doesn’t work, we also know that ‘small is beautiful’. After all, look at Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand and many more who are all doing quite nicely thank you!

Following the Scottish Referendum last year and the groundswell of popular sentiment across the whole of the UK for greater independence, the response from Club Westminster has been a string of platitudes to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the larger cities in England, with the usual lack of substance or political will.

I would like to offer here an argument for us, in some ways, mimicking the structure of the EU on these islands. Creating independent governments for Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England would have many benefits, not least in bringing new motivation and thinking to how we run our lives.

Club Westminster has gained too much control and increasingly abuses its power as it divorces itself from the electorate and aligns with the corporate world. ‘Localising’ government brings the whole democratic process back to the people. The closer to the people the more accountable government becomes, something Brussels practices in reverse!

By encouraging the potential for national development in this manner, each nation can realise the true potential of its people and natural resources without fearing the need to subsidise the other players. Instead of subsidy we open up profitable trade and barter with each other and a far healthier underlying support system in the early days of this fledgling union.

Like any new venture, the better and longer you have known your partners the greater the chances of success. We could not ask for a better relationship than that which lies within the strength of our history, thereby providing a strong foundation for each nation to go out into the big wide world.

Leadership is critical, as four governments led by career politicians without vision would have political point scoring outweigh the development of each country’s potential. It is here that some common direction and values are necessary and I am drawn to a constitution that would hold all four accountable to democratically agreed common values.

It would certainly address protection of the Earth and its inhabitants, debt free money supply, gender equality, unsullied education of the young and true democracy, with freedom of the internet and more. With such a ‘Magna Carta’ drawing and holding the union together, in the early days at least, it might be watched over by the only institution that has solely focussed upon our national values and has no political or corporate affiliations . . . Our present monarchy.

I know this could be a bone of contention for some but think about it. Our royal family has a unique background in simply caring about this country and its people through a true understanding and experience of ALL the four components of this new union. Who is more trusted and better able to call each government to account to its people for breaches of the constitution?

Of course there would be a central council of the WISE (Wales Ireland Scotland England) to run joint responsibilities such as defence. This would form a meeting point for joint ventures and new directions, as well as resolving union problems and abuses. Thereafter we would have autonomous countries free to earn their keep and pay their way under the umbrella of a British Union.

I accept this is a scant overview of a vast subject that will take considerable debate but the thrust of my argument is twofold. Firstly we would not go under if we left the EU, because we are free of crippling regulation and second, for the common good of the people who make up the majority, ‘small’ works over ‘big’ every time!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

TTIP . . . Our Dilemma

As the cigarette giant Philip Morris jets their lawyers around the planet to sue Uruguay, Australia and also prepare to sue the UK for legislation that threatens profits, even before TTIP is a signed deal, it begs the question as to whether they know something we don’t and are honing their skills for the new era of corporate domination.

If so, will we see cigarette packets stripped of Government health warnings, leaving Society with the bill for the resultant increased health care costs? Will education be censored from making our young aware of the dangers, undoing the good work that has gradually stigmatised this unhealthy habit?

Fracking is no different, as stories from the US tell of corporations pumping chemicals, they are not prepared to disclose, under people’s homes and leaving communities with the expense of clearing up after them. This includes the cost of healthcare for people and workers affected by the process and polluted water systems, both caused by these secret chemicals.

When you get right down to it, since they got away with the 2007 financial bail outs for the banks the whole corporate world is now jumping on the bandwagon, by introducing trade agreements that will have taxpayers picking up the bill for all the unprofitable parts of their operations. In so doing the protection we have always relied upon (eventually) from our governments, through laws safeguarding our best interests as a Society, will be swept aside.

Will all of our public services be turned over to the private sector, because they are competing with privately run businesses and therefore harming profits? Will our refuse and sewage works be compromised, as they are ‘streamlined’ to accommodate the bottom line, again threatening our health and safety?

All of this is possible because democracy is being neutered. Politicians will be able to coast along in ‘Club Westminster’, turning away our protests and concerns over irresponsible corporate activity by throwing their hands in the air and declaring they can do nothing because of TTIP!

As the thick blanket of secrecy clothes another step in the corporate bid for global domination, for me, the penny has suddenly dropped!

We are seeing a repeat, albeit now globally, of what happened 800 years ago in England. Only then it was perpetrated by a King who was driven by his belief in his ‘Divine Right’ to do as he pleased. In those days Medieval Society accepted that the country was ruled by the King in conjunction with the next tier of rulers, the Barons and whose vested interests the King had to negotiate with – Medieval ‘democracy’!

The problem came when King John saw himself as sufficiently powerful that he could simply ignore the law and protocol and ‘over’ rule everything. Today we have global corporations flouting laws and even national constitutions as they too seek to do as they please.

Eventually a tipping point was reached in 1215 when the Barons had had enough and said so, bringing the unruly King back under control with the power of the written word . . . Magna Carta.

Today the only way to fight a trade agreement is with another more powerful agreement that counter sues each corporation for the increased tax burden their actions inflict upon Society. (Should our governements find the balls to fight back!) History is now repeating itself with the abuse and there is no reason why it should not also repeat itself with the solution. QED! See more here: http://tinyurl.com/pyvgsqn

The dilemma modern Society faces is not so much the global nature of the problem but one of time. Can we wait for our governments to reach that ‘Enough’ tipping point, as corporate abuse wreaks havoc upon our planet and scientists warn that climate change is reaching its own natural tipping point, which no amount of agreements will reverse?

We are in completely different and unprecedented times to those that birthed Magna Carta and the Occupy movement has taught us two things about these new times. The speed with which a movement can become global, (so many are now) and that if it is going to make a lasting impact it must have the political power with which to fight.

Greece and Spain are showing political grass roots of discontent but I fear we are seeing extreme Left views fighting extreme Right views and history has taught us that extremism never works. We now need political movements that tread the middle ground of human values and powerful people to support those movements.

This is my stab at those values, as a starting point to looking at a new world order that people are quite capable of achieving . . . If they want to! http://www.globalmagnacarta.net/

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

For Sale: 1 Magna Carta (Used)

Authors note: I write a weekly newsletter for my website (details to the right of this piece) and the following is something I wrote that seems to link up with Thursday’s blog about TTIP. Hope you find it to be on interest . . . We are in fascinating times my friends!

What an interesting revelation, that our government was going to offer our best copy of Magna Carta to America in 1941, in an effort to build stronger relations and induce the US to enter the War.

The reasoning behind this was the knowing that the American people had a greater respect for the Charter than we British. Our history is lost in the mists of time, whereas the Americans (enviably) can easily trace their beginnings back just a few hundred years.

That Magna Carta spawned the American Constitution and Bill of Rights is also pertinent, as here we find the very core of how we function as a species. Our reality and the world we live in is created by us and how we think at any given point in time.

During the Stone Age we first began to use tools made of stone and this was a huge evolutionary step for mankind. When we evolved from hunting to farming for our food and on from that into the Industrial Age and up to the present day, we didn’t run out of stones which then forced the changes but simply thought our way into new methods and means of living Life.

What we think and come to believe in shapes the manner in which we live our lives. It is here that the relevance of Magna Carta and the other documents can be seen, because our thinking and words are recorded for all to see and work from. That thinking and those words are then given very real power by encapsulating them in time in a written document, as they then remind us of our desire and commitment to live our lives in this fashion.

Nothing is more so than in our laws and statutes. Here we find detailed and carefully thought out pages of words that record the strategies we have evolved to manage how Society interacts. Indeed that was what Magna Carta was all about. A written decree that nobody was above the law, including the highest office of State, which was then the Monarchy. Magna Carta effectively ended the ‘Divine Right of Kings’, not by wars and violence but by the power of written words that captured the thinking of that time and which has changed little over the centuries.

This power is again in evidence, in a perverse fashion, as the clauses in Magna Carta have been steadily repealed over the last 150 years until just 3 remain. I believe that the rise of the 1% is as a direct consequence of this ‘watering down’ of the values of not only Magna Carta but also the American Constitution.

The thinking of vested interests, with Citizens United, propelled the passing of new words of law that freed corporations to provide unlimited support to political parties. Here we can see perfectly that with this ‘watering down’ people are made and feel powerless! The previous words that kept law and order no longer have influence and we are uncertain as to where to go from here.

At election time our party’s create manifestoes which set out how they will run the country and we have trusted these words sufficiently to vote for one party’s words over another’s to govern us. For me this is more evidence of how we create our world from our thinking and words. When the words fail Society is thrown into disarray and distrust grows.

If our current situation, with the growing gap between the 1% and 99%, demonstrates the true power that is still inherent in Magna Carta, surely it has to be ‘revitalised’ to return that power to the people. Only then can we restore our world to a greater level of responsible activity and turn us away from the course we are now upon that will lead to our certain destruction.

That we were considering gifting our best copy of this iconic document at such a critical time in our history speaks volumes of our respect for its real power in dictating how we should live and manage our lives. It is something we should think long and hard about now, as it provides the means, as it did in 1215, to again redress the imbalances in Society and make positive changes to how we live Life on Planet Earth.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Democracy . . . Illness and Cure

As HSBC yet again hits the headlines the questions about its unpleasant business practices pale into insignificance compared with the debilitating waves its actions are sending throughout Society. The impact of the global corporations we have now created is destroying us, as the meaning of life is condensed into a single action of making profits and supporting the power structures inherent within the whole process.

What we have seen in just the last 7 days is not only the rottenness of our banking system and a political infrastructure that is equally rotten but now the church has jumped in to the fight, criticising government for a deteriorating democracy. Our traditional Establishment is increasingly fighting amongst itself as each institution seeks to disassociate itself from the others, all desperately attempting to regain a credibility each has destroyed through centuries of abuse.

Collectively it has created an environment which, like a terminal disease, will eventually result in our self-destruction as their vested interests kills the very essence of Life. For me this is vividly demonstrated by the insidious TTIP secret trade agreement now being pushed through with the minimum of democratic debate.

Here we have the power of the written word at its most menacing, as laws and agreements are put into place that will hold our governments accountable in a fashion that the people can only dream about. Any government action that works against corporate greed will result in penalties for that government (and of course its people, as they will have to pay the costs of these governmental transgressions!).

Just think about that for a moment. This deal is at the heart of the democratic process, where government is held accountable for its actions! Democracy here, however, is not for the benefit of the many but just the few. Indeed its impact upon the many (and this beautiful Planet) is like an incurable disease as our quality of life and our natural resources are abused and discarded with equal disdain.

If this is the way the game is now being played then “what is good for the goose, is also as good for the gander!” If it’s written agreements that now determine how we live, as integrity seems to have gone the way of the Dodo, then the people need their own ‘TTIP’ with which to hold government accountable.

I have argued before that Society is in exactly the same position that it was here in Britain 800 years ago, when unbridled power brought the country to its knees. Yes barons were looking after their own interests then with Magna Carta but it reflected back on the people in “no imprisonment without trial by peers”. With Terrorism we are now headed back to those dark times before Magna Carta.

It worked before and it can work again, in using the power of the written word to bring back accountability. This time the barons need to be replaced by a political party that will adopt a revised Magna Carta and legally invoke it as The Objectives of Parliament for the foreseeable future. It would be updated from time to time, to keep it in line with a changing Society and its needs, but its essence would always reflect the protection of our quality of life.

The last thing we want is a legal document that would keep lawyers in clover forever. We need a means by which the people can decide for themselves if government is doing its job. Manifestos would become simple forms which declare each new incumbents intention to support all, or some of the Charter’s aims during their term in office. People could then decide who to vote for, depending upon the popular consensus as to what needed tackling in Society at that time.

Clauses might include a ‘public’ monetary system, gender and religious equality, protection of planetary resources, a people’s democracy and so on. Empowerment of the people would come from being able to measure each government’s achievements and decide if they had done a good job or not in furthering the aims of the Charter. This decision would then influence their next vote and secure our steady progress as a Society.

How would we arrive at this new Charter? Easy! Follow Iceland’s example and give it to the people to design and agree upon. It worked there, in spite of ridicule by the opposition party and it can work here just as well!

Whilst none of this is possible by this election, if a seed is sown it will place the present party’s on warning that we are setting the political stage for the future. We are looking for a party to unite and lead us . . . and we expect it SOON!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Retuning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes