Clauses from Unlock Magna Carta in Parliament

The following clauses were suggested at the Unlock Magna Carta event in Parliament on June 15th.

  • Safeguard access to justice by making publicly funded legal representation available to all who need it.
  • Limit power of corporations and lobbyists.
  • All elections to parliament, whether for the upper or lower house, should use a system of proportional representation.
  • Citizens shall have the right to bring grievances and complaints against institutions including government agencies, local authorities and employers, without any threat of intimidation, harassment or any other form of reprisal. Apart from institutions being punishable through fines, individual offenders should risk prosecution with sentences including both fines and imprisonment.
  • Entrenched laws that breaks the relationship between big corporate businesses and the executive--insider status should therefore be dispersed to sectional groups (other than elitist ones) allowing more representation and enhancing popular sovereignty.
  • Our war-mongering should be transparent. Our global peace-building role should make use of transparent English language.
  • The lottocracy idea: introduce some element of jury style public involvement for the chambers to avoid elections entirely and short term goalism that results in elections.

Democracy for our Digital Future: Thoughts from Guy Aitchison

This is an extract from a series of blogs written by Guy Aitchison, who spoke at our Democracy For A Digital Future event in Cambridge on 6th June. The blogs explain the discussion and conclusions from the event.

 

We are in a curious and uncertain period for the British state, its antiquated constitution and ways of doing politics. A number of serious challenges are on the horizon and it is unclear how much longer the political framework of the Westminster system can remain intact. The traditional attitude of the British elite has been to ‘muddle through’, introducing reform in a piecemeal manner in response to popular demands for change, while doing its best to preserve the core features of a monarchical system based on executive dominance of a ‘sovereign’ parliament via royally acquired prerogatives and patronage. A huge gulf exists between the empowered governance made possible by digital technology and the antiquated reality of the Westminster system. In its current ossified form, the British state offers an unpalatable mix of medieval hierarchy and techno-authoritarianism, symbolised in recent weeks by an enthroned Queen Elizabeth II announcing plans to deepen the government’s already vast powers of electronic surveillance over her subjects.

Given these profound challenges to self-government, what are the prospects of democratic change for the peoples, nations and localities of the UK? How can we protect rights and freedoms in the age of Facebook, Google and a semi-permanent ‘war on terror’? And what are the campaigns, forms and strategies to bring this change about? These are the some of the questions we discussed at a public event in Cambridge on Saturday, organised by Unlock Democracy and Cambridge Commons as part of a series of meetings on democracy and liberty held around the country to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Continue reading 

Part 2 

Part 3

 

Listen: Unlock Magna Carta in Sheffield

This playlist was recorded at Unlock Magna Carta's event in Sheffield on 11th June 2015.

Listen: A Magna Carta for the European Union

This playlist was recorded at Unlock Magna Carta's event: A Magna Carta For The European Union on 12th June.

Clauses from A Magna Carta for the European Union, Sheffield 2015

The following clauses were decided at Unlock Magna Carta's participative workshop "A Magna Carta for the European Union" in Sheffield on 12th June.

  • Everyone in the EU should have equal opportunities, resources, rights, liberties, justice, happiness and security
  • In this European Union, the diversity of religion, thought, culture, language, identity shall be recognised, preserved and respected
  • Every child should have a voice and the right to grow safely; every child should have a guardian or spokesperson who ensures that they are cared for and respected
  • Every individual should be allocated an equal financial entitlement, to be accessed at any point in their lives, for formal education and training
  • Everyone should have access to the right to healthcare, free at the point of use
  • Everyone should have the right to universal citizens’ income 
  • No individual should earn more than 15 times the lowest pay
  • Every individual should have access to a free and fair trial and free legal representation
  • There should be freedom of movement to work throughout the EU, with right to in-work benefits. This includes both EU citizens and asylum seekers
  • Freedom of speech, expression and association

 

Sheffield Clauses for People’s Charter 2015

The following clauses were decided at Unlock Magna Carta in Sheffield at the Crick Centre on 11th June 2015.

Power 
1. We should work to promote collaboration, not competition, across society 
2. There should be increased efforts to create balanced centres of power within political systems and beyond

International
3. Everyone will have shared global environmental responsibility: to each other, to nature and to communities - the natural, the physical, the political and ecological
4. The right, responsibility and opportunity to participate in making decisions about issues that affect the global community including people, organisations, animals, the environment, corporations, states, individuals and communities

Democracy
5. To hold a citizen-led constitutional convention, representative of the British people with a mandatory referendum on the propositions and regular review
6. Reform of the electoral system and a move towards a system of proportional representation

Equality
7. Everyone should have the right to basic financial support
8. Taxation should be progressive and sufficient to provide equality of opportunity

Liberty
9. Everyone should enjoy freedom of information
10.All citizens should have freedom from exploitation

Privilege and access
11.There should be greater scrutiny of lobbying and lobbyists’ influence on policy decisions
12. There should be a movement towards the disestablishment of the Church of England 

Democracy for a Digital Future in Cambridge: The Audience's View

Democracy for a Digital Future in Cambridge: The Audience's View

Its the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and a critical time for our democracy. As part of a series of public events up and down the UK, our conference in Cambridge hoped to look beyond our broken politics and invite discussion on the future of democracy in today's digital age.

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