Freesteel Blog » Waster Raving Looney Parties

Waster Raving Looney Parties

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 at 12:52 pm Written by:

Due to the electoral system in the UK (taking account of the long-term political social capital and connections to the press, as well as the technicalities of the system), the only way to get democratic representation is through a political party. And the political parties that are established in Parliament at the moment have an effective lock on the system.

Since practically forever, new political parties with any influence have only emerged as a result of

  • fission – where an established party splits (eg the SDP)
  • fusion – where two political corpses merge and all the experienced people and political capital are able to re-enforce one another (eg UKIP)
  • the entry of an already powerful outside social movement – (eg The Labour Party from the unions).
  • loonies

Political Parties don’t come from a “political movement created with the goal of making politics more accessible, politicians more accountable and political institutions more transparent”, because no such movement exists.

All right, there is a small movement of this kind, which has resulted in websites like PublicWhip being founded, but I can honestly report, on the basis of the total lack of support it has gained from any part of “civil society”, that there is no real social movement whatsoever out there yet. There might be an substantial public disquiet, but it doesn’t amount to anything that threatens to do anything.

To sustain a political movement (before it becomes like some sold-out empty brand like New Labour that can live on for far too long on the unquestioning store of rotting compost it laid down over the last hundred years), you need real tangible grievances, not some kind of list of well-meaning proposals. You need actual anger shown, naming and blaming. Even if it is biased and misinformed, like blaming everything on Europe or blaming everything on foreigners. To prove my point, UKIP and the BNP do provide an endless succession of up-to-date grievances enough to keep the pot boiling. Nothing like that from the Jury Team.

Conventionally, right wing parties (which the BNP supposedly is, though I’m not really sure) are supposed to loath gays. So it’s kind of cool that one of their common complaints against Muslims is that they hate homosexuals. There is no predictability. Policies are driven by political phonomena like Jörg Haider. The BNP has a lot of posts which include the word Israel which provide the evidence that the conventional anti-Jewishness has translated to being anti-Muslim without leaving a trace behind. Whatever works.

According to the Electoral Commission, the Jury Team was founded on 13 March 2009 by the millionaire Sir Paul Judge, husband of the Atomic Kitten.

Judge was high in the Conservative Party during the John Major government and he also founded the gigantic £8million Judge Business School in the middle of Cambridge which is currently training the next batch of financial wizards and appointed business leaders to completely f*** the economy up as a consequence of their criminally inadequate education which misses out every lesson from the long and distinguished history (doomed to repeat itself) of general financial f***-ups that have systematically occurred in the past 400 years.

Judge’s most recent donations to the Conservative Party are a measly £4k on 10 December 2003, £8k on 21 April 2004, £5k on 10 November 2004, £10k on 22 April 2005, and £6k on 10 October 2008.

The official Jury’s Team party descriptions include:

  • Democracy 2.0
  • Democracy, Accountability, Transparency
  • Politics for the People
  • Politics Isn’t Working
  • Politics with Principles
  • Politics without Parties

The registers of donations are recorded per quarter, so there’s no information about a party that was founded only a week ago.

Parties appear and disappear. Here is the final statement of accounts on the Cut Tax on Petrol and Diesel Party which got 118 votes on the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. (For the record, PublicWhip got none by wasting no time with electoral fantasies.)

There’s also Your Party founded in 2004 and deregistered in 2006 which “aimed to give people genuine power in the decision making process by using a form of direct democracy”.

This one pissed me off because it got radio and BBC coverage, when there is still not a single article on the Public Whip — possibly because it’s now old and established and not news, while back in 2003 when it was news we had no media connections to get something as trivial as a new web-page reported on.

These things show up the flaws in the selectivity of the media reporting. I am confident that Public Whip will still be going on long after Jury Team gets deregistered, because it’s essential, sustainable (from my own income), and no one else does what it does. It could do what it does a lot more effectively with more support. But that’s only going to happen once the pointless news media feels it’s time to tell people the who, what, where, when, why and how of what it does. Otherwise people will go on thinking that it’s some kind of Government website.

While at the Green Party conference last weekend, some guy came and gave a fringe talk on his Campaign for Democracy project, which was equally irritating because it’s a guaranteed failure.

I’ve not had that much involvement in the electoral system, but I’ve seen enough to realize that it’s damn hard, requires some serious expertise, and novices need not apply. You will be taken to the cleaners. Never, never go out and form your own political party, unless you have experienced at least one election cycle working in functioning party at the bottom. Even then it can crash like the Socialist Labour Party established by Arthur Scargill in 1996 — a man who ought to know a thing or two about putting up a good fight.


The Jury Team has been getting some coverage on the BBC.

The Guardian opined:

Why start a political movement when you must know you are almost certain to get nowhere, thereby disillusioning any volunteers you attract in the process?

Similar stuff is also happening in Ireland.

How many times to I have to say it:

If you don’t like how politics is run, go join and get involved in the running of a real mainstream political party. They rule the system. There is no other way. If reasonable people don’t start joining and start attempting to affect political parties in greater numbers, then don’t be surprised that they (and consequently the whole political system) remain staffed by weirdos.


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