The Digital Constituency

This campaign was launched with the particular goal of removing Kier Starmer from his seat in Holborn St Pancras but it is set against widespread discontent with the political/constitutional system and the people running the system at present in the UK. There has been an increasing concentration and centralisation of power to the executive branch of government and the fact that the voting system perpetuates a two party system gives a disproportionate amount of power to the leaders of the two political parties. Theoretically they are answerable to their constituents and can be voted out and using Tony Benns analysis it is their constituents that give them their power. Further we have seen in Starmer and his backers, a determination to remove any democratic control over the actions of the executive which allows them to reach over constituency boundries, in this case into Islington. We have learnt through bitter experience however that this simple relationship of constituent to MP is easily corrupted by political party systems. Corbyn tried to undo this path to hegemony by a process of democratisation of the party, but given the constraints of real politique was to slow and too hesitant in pressing the changes that were necessary. We could have relied on his process if one further step had been taken and that was the mandatory reselection of MPs (the only good thing to be imported from the US system of candidate selection). Once this step was denied the members of the Labour Party the project Corbyn had began was ended. Hence the need for other ways of attacking the complacent system of safe seats and unanswerable MPs.

In the foundation of this campaign lies a possible method of achieving the objective set out above Ie making MPs answerable for their actions particularly where they overstep their given powers and affect the lives of everyone in the country and not just their own constituency. This method is useable in the present system and is intended to disrupt the idea of comfortable safe seats and party hegemony.

In forming OCISA and campaigning in Holborn St Pancras the digital constituency open to all would mean that the public could circumvent the party structures particularly as in this case where those structures are being used to suppress democracy, open debate, freedom of expression, freedom of association and political dissent. This is the current characterisation of the Labour Party. Using the platform of companies limited by guarantee fundraising can take place which is unconnected to corporate, commercial or private interest individual donations and therefore can be seen as having popular support untainted by corruption. These companies can be formed with the single aim of removing an MP who is regarded as perverting the will of the electorate and targetted against MPs of any stripe.

Technological advances have allowed ( although currently subject to the corporate whims of the big tech companies) a freedom of expression which was not given to previous generation. It allows us to consort with others without regard to distance or time. The present method of voting by attending the local school or village hall is becoming increasingly antiquated and with the current government actively using voter suppression methods such as voter ID restricting the youth vote and postal ballot companies that are wound up within weeks of an election we must consider whether we should start using the advancing technology to enable our democratic will to be enacted. The Structure proposed in setting up this campaign envisages using the technology, the internet as the source of democratic mandate. In this case the design of a website

The method outlined is that where the action of individual attack on the MP becomes necessary as it does in Holborn St Pancras, that alternative independent candidates are put up against the incumbent mandated by the digital constituency. The mechanics of harvesting the vote are a matter of technologists who can provide the platform for the votes to be harvested. These votes are applied in two ways, under the model proposed : Primarily to harvest the vote for the candidate, but secondly to make the policy choices and managerial issues relating to the company itself so that it becomes self governing by the membership and democratic in nature. This gives it the necessary weight and credibility to approach the constituency.

THis is perhaps the most important part of the concept of digital constituency and that it has to have at it’s heart the will of the local constituency at the heart of the campaign. The main reason for this is that democracy must come from the ground up and not open to the accusation that it is a lawless mob of internet trolls who are invading a particular locality. This is guerrilla politics given the structure of the present system and this campaign to remove Kier Starmer from Holborn St Pancras is designed to disrupt the current complacency of MPs which is built upon a compliant media and structural bias (the two party system) The main question that we have to wrestle is how to ensure that there is local representation in the digital constituency. The answer is this; that the company has equal local representation on the board of directors so that the decisions of the company are taken with regard to local needs and political voice is taken from their views. Because the digital constituency is intended to be open it is open to be flooded with special interests. In fact the Holborn St Pancras is flooded with the special interest of socialism ( a subjective concept at the best of times) and it is envisaged that such campaigns are likely to arise in similar circumstances. In this case it arises because 83% of the site are ex Labour Party members who have left because they understand can no longer be relied upon as a democratic challenge. However given that the controlling company would have equal local representation would balance with influence of the overall movement in the effect it is having on the local community.

The ethical mandate for conducting an action outside ones own locality comes because of the fact that the actions of the MP for Holborn St Pancras is having an effect felt firstly in the neighbouring constituency of Islington but also more widely where candidate selection is being gerrymandered nationally such as recently in Broxtow. There will be many in Holborn St Pancras who are outraged by Starmers actions and will want to take action to remove him. As previously stated this method circumvents the need to form a national political party as the funds for the campaign are held in a legal trust for the purpose outlined in the company document namely to remove Starmer from Holborn St Pancras.

The link to the community will be solidified in phase 2 of the method outlined in that a local independent constituency will be formed to assist the candidate elected in fighting the seat. In essence the campaign with it’s warchest, campaign army and expertise will be handed over to those operating locally. If there are sufficient funds and a good enough candidate it is the ideal vehicle then to mount an effective local campaign and as the campaign proceeds it can inform the local residents why the removal of the incumbent is so important nationally. The link to the digital constituency will be preserved by having a presence on the board of the local company and therefore having an influence on the activities locally and encouraging a national participation where necessary. It is ideal that the Holborn St Pancras constituency is likely to have sufficient media interest to ensure that the national as well as the local objections to the incumbent are heard.

It is envisaged that this model of formation is a blue print to redress the democratic deficit that is very much apparent under the UK political constitutional set up. There will be much criticism of this method and indeed this is one of the first companies registered at Companies House which has a socialist aim written into the founding documents. The second company to be so founded will be the local constituency company yet to be formed. The aim is to prevent the smooth transfer of power from one set of neo liberal apparatchiks to another and stands to ensure the objections are made clear by popular demand and concerted action.