[Ed: This previously posted article has been updated slightly to reflect the situation in our country post-Brexit.]
Our country has a long tradition of measures introduced to limit the power of rulers; to prevent their continuation of abuses and exploitations, and to grant rights and protections to the people; the most famous include Magna Carta, (1215), the Petition of Right, (1628),the Habeas Corpus Act,(1679), the Bill of Rights, (1689).Yet, this work is incomplete; many of us recognise that there is something rotten at the heart of our government, ruling Establishment and democracy.
So, we need a new Bill of Rights. The following example seeks to address obvious potential abuses and exploitations by our rulers; and efficiently ‘pull’ them towards increasingly high standards of performance and innovation, rather than try to ‘push’ them into compliance with a multitude of prescriptive rules, which they may circumvent.
A Bill of Rights for the British People
(to promote democracy and good governance for all the People)
Introduction and Purpose
We, The People, have the right to a government that, at all times, works selflessly, competently, prudently and humanely in our interests under law, democratic accountability and transparency.
Following a long period in which our rulers have abused us and exploited our trust, honesty, tolerance and industry, we wish them to adopt a Bill of our Rights to prevent such happenings in future. Our Bill of Rights will give us a standard to measure their performance against and objectives for them to work continually towards, in the light of current knowledge and invention; also to facilitate and empower early warning. We will not accept their ‘promises’ and ‘spin’ as true measures of their performance; nor contemptuous treatment.
Our Overriding Right
Government shall at all times be, of The People, for The People, by The People.
Our Rights state what we expect to be achieved, but not how our rulers (including their agents, sub-ordinates etc.) are to carry them out, for which they are to use their best and prudent endeavours.
Our Rights – What we expect from those who rule over us:
- That they treat us, our wishes, hopes and fears with due respect;
- That they protect and improve democratic government for all good, honest citizens;
- That they practice no deceits nor actions by stealth upon us;
- That they protect freedom: of speech; of conscience; from persecution; of the Press;
- That they protect our ancient rights and freedoms; nor give foreign courts and bureaucrats etc… supremacy over our own courts and Parliament;
- That they safeguard the benefits of our present condition and make it better, not worse;
- That they work with utmost integrity, competence, professionalism, prudence, economy, precision, clarity and democratic accountability to satisfy declared aims;
- That they always work in our interests, not theirs, to preserve Life, Liberty and Property and facilitate our pursuit of happiness, wellbeing and safety;
- Note: Property includes in its widest scope: personal wealth; our country; culture and heritage; traditional freedoms; values; communities and organisations; uniqueness; inventions; other forms of non-financial wealth or value to us.
- That they are prudent and economical with our money; that taxes and debts are always minimal, do not cause hardship and are subject to our scrutiny and agreement; that debts are not incurred without adequate means of repayment being present;
- That they do not place on future generations and us in distant future years debts, taxes, financial burdens or other hardships detrimental to enjoyment of life;
- That burdens, including financial and legislative, placed upon us are with our consent and minimal, and are removed when their imposition or cost is no longer justified;
- That no statute etc. is introduced or remains without full open scrutiny and refinement; including assurance of successful implementation, assessment of risks and negative or detrimental effects upon us, and that these are adequately mitigated;
Prevention of Abuses
- That they accept duties of care, accountability, transparency and humanity towards us; that their activity, policies and behaviours etc. alone or together with others do not cause harm or loss to us and are open to examination, ultimately, by us;
- That the rule of law of our country is upheld and applies equally to all;
- That they cause no scandals,including in pursuit of personal gain, to our cost or loss and against our standards of honesty and trust;
Partnership with the People
- That they help facilitate our ascent as a free and dignified people with our own identity;
- That they leave us to do what we can do best alone or in organisations of our creation;
- That they seek ways to work with us, The People, as equal partners for the benefit of all;
- That they facilitate unity, responsibility, enterprise and the rule of just, equitable laws;
- That they protect us and our borders from miscreants, criminals and those who would destroy us, and when these persons are found amongst us they do not award them rights to remain and profit at our expense.
For failures, we reserve the right, at any time, to install new representation, government and/or systems of government through democratic means involving secret ballot and/or referenda.
We reserve the right to amend and extend this Bill of our Rights, by due democratic process, under law, when circumstances deem it necessary; including remedy its shortcomings, to address a new or unforeseen circumstance or in the light of current knowledge and invention.
This Bill of Rights is a foundation upon which to help build a prosperous, free, democratic and peaceful country for all people governed well by The People and a beacon of hope to everyone.
Photo by OZinOH