agenda) I wish to articulate a few post meeting thoughts here. Firstly many thanks to the organiser Niall Warry who among other things ensured that the agenda was tightly kept to, meaning that it went without a hitch (or seemingly so) and also thanks to WfW for the lift. The meeting was great to have the opportunity to put faces to 'internet' names.
Like many others I'm a veteran of such things, yet rather than suffering an overdose of corporate flim flam where the only benefit is the free food, this meeting had a sense of purpose attended as it was by people with a deep passion to make our country better.
Given the tight timetable it was probably unrealistic to expect a declaration to be fully formed which could be signed by us all at the end, and so it proved. Many good points were raised and trying to whittle them down in to 6 concise 'demands' is not easy, although proposals such as separation of powers and a constitution had general agreement by virtue of being raised independently by several groups.
I did feel though at times, discussions got bogged down with too much detail. Our demands have to be simple and concise and if they're good sound proposals the detail will naturally follow. As an example of the problems detail causes, when I arrived back home yesterday, I was debriefed (or intensively 'grilled' depending on how you look at it) on my weekend by Mrs TBF. While she has an interest in politics or at least how it affects her directly the discussion of separation of powers (a very good proposal) veers off into political theory territory. Now she understood once I explained it, but that's the point - it took explanation. I feel therefore as a demand it could be phrased as 'a directly elected Prime Minister': simple concise and easily understood. And the outcome of which is precisely the same - separation of powers.
On another note, one subject I meant to raise, but unfortunately forgot was establishing a principle (not one of the demands) of methods. A invitable source of conflict is likely to emerge should the movement gain traction between peaceful or more belligerent methods. This is a conflict which blighted Chartism, Women's Suffrage and more notoriously Irish Republicanism. I feel it's important to try to negate this potential problem from the outset establishing a principle of peaceful methods within the current framework, as tempting as it is to want to line certain people up against a wall.
These are a couple of my immediate thoughts...more to follow.
Samizdata quote of the day
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