The media and twitter has been abuzz with opinions on the reshuffle being carried out by David Cameron and the unfolding ‘news’. It is an illustration of the nadir to which politics has sunk that not one commenter has queried the unimportance of who is in charge of tea-making, paper clips or putting the rubbish out.
That the real news is happening on the continent of Europe, within the EU, would appear to have escaped everyone’s notice – what a surprise (not). Yesterday evening we had the news that Moodys had lowered its outlook for the European Union’s AAA credit rating to “negative” and warned that the bloc’s rating could be downgraded. To my knowledge not one section of our media has dealt with events ‘euro’ to the extent that Richard North, EUReferendum, has and in the course of which linking to foreign media. Neither have I seen reports, in any detail in our media, on the resultant ramifications of Barroso’s call for the need to not only complete economic and monetary union, but also pursue greater economic integration and deeper political and democratic union. Just those two items underlines my contention that it matters not who is in charge of paper clips etc in this country – do we have control of our own justice, environment, business regulations?
While on the subject of inconsequential movement, yesterday we were regaled of the news that an MP, long held to be a eurosceptic and to the right of his party, gave a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies which was interpreted as a call to arms – aka a shift in policy – which the Government would be well advised to heed. This entire speech, by David Davis, was in effect a call for the status quo where our system of government is concerned. There is not one acknowledgement of the fact that the money government spends is not theirs but ours; neither is there one acknowledgement of the influence – and constraints therein – that the EU has over how our country conducts its affairs. In this speech there is a call for a curb/cut in business regulations – well it would be interesting to see him curb a possible ‘Reding Incoming’ if and when it arrives. Should Viviane Reding get her way then national authorities would be able to choose one or all of the following options to enforce a quota of 40% of the seats on supervisory boards being filled by women: financial penalties; exclusion from bids on public contracts; restricting access to national and European subsidies; and requirements to cancel appointments of women or men when a board is too heavily tilted toward one gender. While the UK government may oppose the implementation of gender equality, the decision will be taken by QMV, which may well resut in the UK being in a minority.
Of interest to those that believe in the Harrogate Agenda will be the statement by Davis that he is not a believer in a minimal state but rather an optimal state. Now the use of the word ‘optimal’ is interesting – it translates, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, as: best or most favourable, esp. under a particular set of circumstances. One thing of which we can be certain is that the political class will ensure that a particular set of circumstances will exist that allows the state to achieve whatever size they, the political class, wish. It follows that Davis, in common with his political colleagues, will ensure that reresentative democracy is the only form of democracy that we will be allowed to have – and/or know about – thus ensuring continuation of their status. Where this desire by politicians to retain something from which they derive their power is concerned, it is worth recalling the words of Frederic Bastiat who said that when plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it. I use the word ‘plunder’ deliberately in that Davis is obviously a believer that in our acceptance of, for example, income tax we concede the principle that the government owns all our income and permits us to keep a certain percentage of it – and I will resist the temptation to digress and associate the word ‘plunder’ with the word ‘expenses’.
It is worth remembering that amid all this inconsequential movement not one thing has changed among those who govern us, nor about the future of our country. I would suggest that the majority of the public know not who MPs are nor care not which MP has which job – a view point summed up admirably by Adams cartoon in today’ Daily Telergaph:
It has been pure ‘theatre’, a ‘show’ for which a fee-paying public audience has failed to materialise. Some would proffer the view that because of the disregard shown, by a lack of interest in themselves and their country, the public deserve every totalitarian measure that is imposed on them – and about which they will, in due course, no doubt complain.