Saturday's project 2012 successful rally

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Mon Oct 11 18:14:23 BST 2010

 We must be doing something right!

Some eighty to a hundred men women children at the  rally  formed a circle and held
hands and “ommed” .    Something  special happened.   Passing visitors to St James’ Park stopped  to watch , obviously intrigued. “
Imagine,  happy people holding hands and
omming in the middle of a terror alert in London”  you could read their thoughts  in their faces.     Someone in the circle  extended their hands to the visitors- one
joined in, the others (more reticent ) looked on approvingly.  The ommers were inspired by the  happy moment, “ This is the hand of
friendship” one of the circle extended his hand - judging the other visitors wanted to join too.. “You can’t refuse the
hand of friendship ”  The whole party of
visitors , happy to be blackmailed, joined the circle  and held hands and the omming continued. 

That’s pretty significant in my book. It was a unique
experience of happiness and friendship . 

    What else

My motivation , coming up in the coach from Dorchester
, was to be in on the  historic start of
a new kind of democracy.  Aiming for a
better constitutional set up as a  process  that needs continual  improvement or  it will go into reverse.  

  Also I wanted
to  speak about a way for the rich to
repay  massive state CAP benefits .     Also
I see the need for an unelected  people’s
assembly chosen by lottery  from ‘the educated’ i.e. us all - we
are all compulsorily educated now, and from those willing to serve for a year
or maximum two, with the job of  keeping
the M.P.’s up to the mark in what issues they debate and what laws they make
(and what expenses they claim) and help them carry out their function of
controlling the  Government.

Because the assembly isn’t elected it need not try, like
M.P.s and HMG  to be popular

And it needs peoples’ support to stand up to the giant

 The House of ‘Lords’ -
‘lords’, I ask you ! and lords  appointed
by the out of control government does not fit into a ‘democracy’.  The aim is to strengthen the people’s
government  to protect the people from
the  out – of –control City .


I met a straggle of guys following a banner and a
drummer.  We split into focus groups to
avoid the Park regulations (more later)  Assemblies
of more than 20 need permission. 

I chose the economics group- others ‘climate change’ and
others, justice ….

    A biped  talking rabbit gave a rousing introduction
and we split into   groups with a
facilitator. . 

Economics  was all
male I think.  (I now question my  motives
for choosing it) .  I had something to
say about  some Mayfair
benefit claimants being paid £1 million  each from the Common Agricultural Policy of the
E.U. and costing the UK
taxpayers nearly 4 £billion annually and no word of this being cut in the
spending review.  

The proposal is to ask the Queen to pay back some of this
taxpayer’s C.A.P.  money , the  £1,183,000 she received  2008/2009 for privately owning the Sandringham
Estates- asking her  to send a cheque to HM  Treasury made out to  “Exchequer Funds and Accounts”.

    There was another
proposal from teh Positive Money people in the economics group which largely went over my head.

It was to replace the present money system  which allows unlimited issue of money in
the  form of debt , with a more
controlled system based- not on the gold standard’ but one which would control
the  scale of  credit – while issuing sufficient money to
allow for trade growth and investment . Crucially it was to take away the power of banks to make 'electronic money' 

If I haven’t made that clear its because such an esoteric
subject and radical proposal does not lend itself to introduction , explanation
and resolution in a five minute plenary presentation and five minute question
and answer session. 


     There were breaks
for music, for which the amplifiers worked and Kevin Cahill  spoke

And then Peter Tatchell, for which the amplifiers did not

    Kevin spoke very
briefly. No-one in Britain
owns any freehold land.    HM the Queen

Is the only freeholder. 
An acre is about the area of from here to there he pointed. “How many
acres are there in Britain”
he asked? No-one else knew until he told them 
There are sixty million.  The land
Registry only tracks 50% of land ownership.  
      Kevin did not develop his
thesis- “There was no context” he later told me.  His first book “Who owns Britain”
is a bulky  analysis and tries to make up
fo r what  the Land Registry has failed
to do. 

    Peter Tatchell had
three proposals.

The management of a firm aught to be determined by the
managers and by workers in the firm 50/50 with workers getting access to  corporate information to make better choices.

Trade Unions should control pension funds.  It is bizarre that their own  funds on which people’s livelihoods later depend
are managed exclusively by a coterie of backroom (spivs?) he implied.  People should control their own money
and  the their own destinies.

 Thirdly ,  Profits in an enterprise should be shared
50/50 between the workers and the shareholders,  in ‘Workers’ Share Funds’.

This is a way of reforming capitalism  to make it more democratic. 

Management democracy, pension democracy and  economic democracy were the  proposals. .    


There was a constructive negotiation with the official Crown
Park Keeper who  told us  

‘Music and amplifiers broke park rules’.  We explained that we the people  owned the park and  had not been consulted about his rules.   He left saying he would  probably call the police (Would that be the
park police or the peoples’ police  we
wondered)   For those who want to change
the park rules write to the appropriate  Secretary
of State.  (I feel in my bones  a campaign from ‘The Land is Ours’ coming up.


I detect and emerging  theme to the 

It took place in St James’ Park ,’Crown lands’, we were
told. , The Crown (Queen and Prince) gets 
£1.5 million of taxpayers money as CAP payments ,and every year!   They are now to be politely requested to
return unwanted payments to HM ( Her Majesty’s 
) Treasury.  To amend the park
rules write to “HM” Secretary of State for something…..Kevin Cahill’s brief
talk hit the mark

“HM owns all the land”. 

The rally moved on to Parliament

We  marched over Horse
Guards Parade, drummer drumming, banner flying, then took  our place centre street down Whitehall  as human traffic in a stream of  cars and cabs and buses.  The amplifier pulsed out stentorian (Russian
) marches.   

Brian Hawe is in hospital with a tumour I believe- Good
wished Brian!

His tent is still there. 

Two volunteers 
shocked us all by bringing home to us the inhumanity of Guantanamo

In orange boiler suits they presented a tableau of
shackled  prisoners in wire cages denied
justice.   ( Write greetings to one of
them ,  Achmed Bel Bacha , get the
address from the Reprieve web- site)  

The rally negotiated their way  to the centre of the fenced Parliament
  Square and cavorted , circled,  and generally rallied.  There I left them to return to Dorset.

Is it (not was it )  a
success?  Yes , that circle of friendship
left me  tingling.

One suggestion  I have
deals with the suitability of some topics for five to ten  minute discussion. ‘fractional banking’,
‘quantitative easing’  were supported and
opposed – while minds wandered and children played and conversations started up
  Circulating papers beforehand ?   selecting out technical topics?.  Setting the context of some topics is necessary.


It was a success. It didn’t look at first take like the  embryo of 
the peoples’ assembly that some think is needed to push forward
democracy. But it was a peoples assembly and we do  need that. I will be going to the next
assembly in October. 

James.   Dorchester










Was it a “fantastic success” ? Hardly.

It was peaceful, people demonstrated happiness, serious
issues were airede and discussed constructively, good contacts were made.
Leaflets handed out.



It was a good start 







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