Gina Miller has launched a new political force.
It positions itself in the liberal center of British Politics and some will consider it a re-brand of the Liberal Democrat party itself. It has issued an initial manifesto based on the True and Fair principles that have influence the way UK finance has been required to confront its worst excesses. Here is what it is saying to Britain in January 2022.
Cleaning Up Politics & Public Life
Irrespective of who is in power, the British public need to trust that those in public office are accountable, open to scrutiny, spend public money wisely and put the interests of the people before party politics.
The leaders and representatives elected by us must lead by example and behave with decency, honesty and integrity.
It is only right that the morals, rules and behaviour we are all expected to adhere to at work, in society, at school/University also apply to those in positions of public office.
There must not be one rule for them and another for the rest of us.
Whilst a written, fully codified constitution may be optimal, this could take many years to consult upon, debate and decide. The True and Fair Party believes there are several immediate steps we can take to clean up British politics, improve the fairness of our voting system, and increase the chances of our elected representatives delivering for the people who elected them.
The True & Fair Party believe it is naÏve to trust that people in power will behave properly.
NO MORE EXCUSES
It is time to clean up our politics.
It is time to modernise our machinery of government.
It is time to stop the conflicts of interest and strengthen our democracy.
It is time to put in place rules and regulations that will hold whoever is in power to account.
True & Fair Policy Proposals
Improve democratic and constitutional law
Establish a Democratic Taskforce of prominent constitutional experts and practitioners to formulate rules and legislation to address:
- Prerogative powers that can be used by the PM and Government Ministers without the approval of Parliament need to be clearly defined and put into law
- Set up Office of Public Spending & Procurement akin to the Office of Budget Responsibility
- Introduce a Modern Magna Carta – so fundamental citizens’ rights are protected and written into law
- Establishment of a Legislation Committee to scrutinise all proposed bills
- Define in law the role of the Leader of the House and the process for the business of the House
Oath of Office and Employment for MPs
- New Ministerial code – including enshrining the Nolan principles in law: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership
- An Oath of Office to apply to all MPs and public servants
- Monitoring of the Oath of Office and the Ministerial Code by a body with similar powers to the National Audit Office
- A legal code of conduct for government publications and advertising campaigns
- Ban paid second jobs for sitting MPs, except for a specific case by case list of exceptions such as jobs in public service, education and charities – and debate a possible cap on earnings
- Blind Trusts: copies of any blind trust arrangements holding a Minister’s assets should be submitted as well as a list of assets transferred to the trust on its establishment and contact details for the trustee
- The bi-annual report published by the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests should contain summaries of the contents of blind trusts if relevant to the Minister’s brief
House of Lords
- End the 92 hereditary Peers automatically sitting in the House of Lords
- Reconfigure the appointments process to the Lords to ensure the Upper House better reflects the country with appointments to be held on a 10-year basis
- Target of 600 peers as a reduced size of the House of Lords
- New rules governing parliamentary participation and corresponding payment of allowances/expenses
Increased Devolution and Localism
- Bring political decision-making much closer to people at a local level boosting accountability
- Regularisation of local government structures to ensure even representation across the country
- Dedicated action to ending the north / south divide by devolving funding and policy making to Metro Mayors and local authorities
Transparency, Lobbying and Freedom of Information (FOI) Reforms
- Ban paid lobbying by sitting MPs
- Require in-house lobbyists to make submissions on their activities in the same way as consultant lobbyists
- Introduce a register of Think Tanks and introduce new transparency rules on their funding
- Amend the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to include a default disclosure period, codifying a “presumption of openness” into law
- Annual publication of a list of all consultancy firms used by the Civil Service and the amounts firms have been paid. (2020 – 2021 Government and other bodies handed contracts to consultants worth £2.5bn, up from £1.2bn in 2019-20)
True and Fair also calls for electoral reform
Renewing our democracy must include electoral reform as part of the solution to our broken politics, which results in a two-party system that does not represent voters’ wishes.
In the 2019 General Election the Conservatives gained an additional 49 seats in England, a 9.2% increase in seats with just a 1.8% increase in votes. Put another way, 44% of the country voted Conservative – but have 56% of MPs in Parliament.
We must end our unfair First Past the Post voting system that means votes in the ballot box do not result in a people they voted for representing them in Parliament.
Without a fair, proportional voting system where every vote counts, other constitutional improvements such as increased devolution will fail to deliver the promised rewards, and voters will continue to feel as if their voices and concerns are not being listened to.
The True & Fair Party believe it is now urgent that a fairer proportional representation voting system is put in place.
That the existing PR voting systems for Mayors, police and crime commissioners are protected. Whilst there are different forms of proportional representation, the True & Fair Party supports a Single Transferable Vote (STV) model because:
- STV ensures voters are represented by local candidates, whilst allowing for more proportional representation of the wide range of political views held by voters
- STV is better than the Alternative Vote, as AV is susceptible to gerrymandering, lacks proportional representation, and still trends towards a two-party system
- STV is better than Mixed-member proportional representation, as this does not give voters the opportunity to remove a local candidate who is unpopular, due to candidates being chosen by the political parties
Voting systems improvements
The True & Party backs the call for a Citizen Assembly to debate:
- Making voting compulsory
- Lowering the voting age to 16 years of age
- Digitising the voting system
Gina Miller has become a charismatic political figure who commands a strong social media following. She is rightly influential as she has been an effective campaigner for checks on Government behavior.
At this time , we need Gina Miller’s influence and that of her sensible husband Alan. I wish the True and Fair Party success in its endeavours and will support it as I can.