A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step
The Journey to a True Democracy
I would never have guessed, in June of 2018, that what started as a conversation with a friend over a pint in a pub, would one day become an online platform that could realise the power of what we talked about then.
Frustrated with the way in which our elected representatives dithered and fumbled to deliver on the most significant democratic decision of our country (Brexit), we wondered why we needed to have a small group of people represent the voice of the majority of the citizens of our country at all.
To us, it was not a difficult process to follow. We held a referendum, the people voted and all that was left, was for Parliament to follow a logical and well-defined process. If anyone bothered to read the Lisbon Treaty and in particular Article 50 of that treaty, they should have no question as to the legitimacy of triggering Article 50 and what happens from that point to exiting the EU.
Yet, all we witnessed from Parliament and parties hell-bent on usurping the democratic will of the people, was misinterpretation, spin and propaganda - on both sides of the debate. And Parliament allowed itself to be steered away from the job in hand to trigger Article 50 in a reasonable space of time and then to follow the unambiguous and sequential steps to leave the EU - as voted for by the majority of the UK.
And despite the protests of misinformation (from the Leave and Remain camps), the spin and propaganda, nobody seemed to have any faith that the electorate were quite capable of informing themselves of all sides of the debate to make a decision based on their own common sense. All we heard was that "the people had been lied to" or "project fear seeks to scare the people into reversing Brexit" as if the electorate were naïve children who could only make a decision based on what the spin doctors and propagandists told them to think.
We didn’t believe that. We would not believe that the people are so gullible and lacking in intelligence, that the majority could be duped into voting one way or another.
That led us to ask the important question: If we trusted that the majority of the British public were intelligent enough to listen to all sides of a debate, do their own research and read between the lines (as we did) and make an intelligent and informed decision, why do they need MPs to represent their voices in Parliament at all? In fact, if there was a way for the British public to vote for every important decision for this country, we would not need MPs to represent us - would we?
The outcome of that conversation was that we truly felt that our country does not really need to be a representative democracy, where an establishment of career politicians make decisions for us. Especially when it was apparent that they spent much of their time dithering and delaying important decisions that should represent the will of the people.
By Spring of 2019, I would find some important numbers that led me to take the first steps towards Accountable UK.
- By 2019, 93% of British households had broadband internet access (according to Statista).
- 4 out of 5 people (80%) use some form of online banking.
What that told me was that the majority of UK citizens have internet access and trust online security enough to manage their money. So why can they not securely vote for every important decision that is made for the UK, rather than leave that important right to MPs in Parliament who appeared to not have a great track record of administering that mandate from the public?
Therein was the spark that lit the fire for Accountable UK.
And it has been a long journey to get to this point. We wanted to launch before the UK left the EU. During the whole Brexit period, so many groups were telling us what was good for the British public. Political parties, activists, protestors, the Governor of the Bank of England...even Barack Obama. Yet all of them were basing their opinions on the assumption that they spoke for the majority. And all of them, based that opinion on anecdotal data or polls whose sample sizes were such a small proportion of the British people, that they could not be significantly representative of the country - even statistically. It would have been great to be able to have launched Accountable UK before the UK left the EU - just so we could see (with enough participation) what the majority of the UK people really thought and wanted. Or at least a much larger sample of the people.
But, the development of the platform was taking longer than expected and we had full time jobs to juggle whilst building it. And we missed the deadline that we were trying to hit.
Before we knew it, Article 50 had been triggered and then the delays to the deadline by which the UK should have left the EU (according to Article 50) were delayed again and again - even though it was quite clear in Article 50, that if a Withdrawal Agreement is not reached by 29 March 2019, the UK should leave the EU on WTO trade terms. Yet, once again, we saw no end of back-tracking, dithering and misinterpretation of a clear directive in Article 50. Once again, both sides of the Leave/Remain divide began to use spin and propaganda to delay when the UK would leave the EU, some even going so far as to lobby for the revocation of the democratically elected decision to leave the EU.
And once again, we tried as hard as we could to launch Accountable UK - but more delays in development resulted in not being able to do so.
Of course, the UK left the EU and we found ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, which delayed us further along with most things in the country.
But, despite missing key events in the country, we found that there was never a time when Accountable UK and the power of the voice of the people was not needed. Today, we may have dispensed with Brexit, but there are lots of issues in our country where the establishment think they can push the people of this country along a path to their particular ideology. And again, based on spurious data, misinformation, spin and propaganda. We live in a country where the mainstream media are as biased as they have ever been. In a country where the media are supposed to inform us in an unbiased way and report on every side of an issue. Yet, they are part of the establishment and use spin, propaganda and misinformation or disinformation to further the agenda of whichever interest group they subscribe to.
So Accountable UK is as needed today as it ever has been.
What you will find on this platform, is a place where you can vote independently of your MP, for the same things your MPs vote for in Parliament. You can also vote on important topics that may not be debated in Parliament. And the most important thing, is that you can see how MPs vote for those Bills on your behalf in Parliament and compare that to how their constituents vote.
The strength of Accountable is in its Members. The more people that join this platform, the more significant their collective voice.
Imagine if more than 50% of a constituency's electorate were members of Accountable UK and their MP voted differently for a Bill in Parliament to how the majority of their constituents voted on Accountable UK. That would be a problem, would it not? That would make that MP accountable to the people who elected them, would it not?
We believe that more and more, MPs are out of touch with the people who elected them. They do not always represent the wishes of the people they serve. But that is not as visible as it should be and much is lost in the noise of how things are interpreted.
This is a platform for the people. We want to people to see if their elected act in the way the majority of their constituents want them to.
We have worked hard to keep the cost of this platform so low, that everyone can join the collective voice.
This is our purpose. This is your platform, Join us and let's make the establishment truly Accountable in this, our UK.