May 27, 2011


Referism is the name the indefatigable Richard North gives to his outline political strategy.

This seems to be (maybe I have got it wrong) to try to shift public opinion in the direction of more direct control of the state pursestrings by the people, with less discretion for our governments, which are certainly out of our control.

This, then, is about changing the political climate in the direction of greater citizen participation.

It feels like a long term project, starting as it would from thirteen non-party blogs of individuals with not only different political interests, but also varied political points of view - though we would probably be united in a preference for small government.

Two questions immediately arise. First, how effective have previous initiatives been? What successes have been achieved by The Taxpayers' Alliance, or the book The Plan? To judge by this government's still increasing spending, they have had no noticeable effect in Whitehall.

Second, what appetite is there for citizen participation? Rather than any hunger for that, what we see in Britain is a willingness to be ruled, provided that government doesn't do anything uncomfortably radical.

There is even less appetite for even simple analysis of numbers and issues - an attitude pandered to by papers like The Telegraph.

Richard moves on to highlight the political effectiveness of creating geographical clusters of people willing to put their votes where their strong beliefs are. This isn't something that would be achieved by thirteen independent blogs in different parts of the country read mainly by people who already agree with their standpoints.

Nor do strong local clusters emerge without tactics and leadership, as the Greens have found.

Richard is still shaping his ideas, so it will be interesting to see what emerges.


WitteringsfromWitney said...


Perhaps the fact that the British people show a willingness to be ruled is due to the fact the people have never been offered an alternative? Why would those who have usurped more and more power return them?

Agreed, Richard's initial idea may well take time to gain a foothold, but then what political ideology hasn't. What will be interesting is when the politicians and the MSM do get to hear of this and what their response will be.

thruppennybit said...

Nice idea, but he'll have to come up with a better word than "referism". It just won't resonate with anyone.

John Page said...

Hi thruppennybit, welcome if it's your first visit (and it's nice to see you know how it's pronounced!)

I agree referism doesn't resonate. There's also a problem with the 'big bang' approach I think Richard is suggesting.

More to come on this.