2015
01/21

Category:
David's Musings

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Shun them all!

He who knows not, but knows not that he knows not, is a fool – shun him

Anon

Yesterday Philip Hammond, erstwhile Foreign Secretary, appeared before the House of Commons European Select Committee.

Following the long convoluted, opening question from Chairman Bill Cash about the ability of our national parliament being unable to veto EU law in order to protect such matters as they considered to be in our national interest, Hammond replied:

………Lets go to the heart of your question which is about a national, unilateral power to disallow the Acquis or pieces of European legislation and you will be well aware of the government’s position to reject that idea as being not workable – not practical – because if it applied to us, it would apply to all other members of the European Union. We would effectively have EU a a carte; where different member states could choose to be bound by those bits of legislation they liked and be not bound by those bits they didn’t like.

Frankly, if I go to the Single Market which for me has always been the core and most important element of the European Union, it would completely disrupt the functioning of the Single Market, very significantly to the disadvantage of British companies and British businesses; and it seems to me that in any rules based organisation, when you join, you accept the benefits of other members being bound by the rules and the dis-benefits of being bound by the rules yourself.

Clearly what we would like to do, in an ideal world, is join an organisation in which everyone else was bound by the rules and we weren’t – but that’s not practical for obvious reasons.

He continued that the government should proceed with reform for those issues it felt important and then, when the government had done its best at negotiating reform, to put the resulting agreement to the people in a referendum for their approval or rejection.

Not one member of the European Select Committee pointed out that members of EFTA/EEA have, under Article 102 of the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, the ability to veto,  or dis-apply, (right of reservation) EU law; and that if MPs want that right of national veto to protect what they may consider to be the UK’s national interests, there is an alternative to full membership of the European Union. (Remember, Norway did just that with the Third Postal Directive as they felt it was not in their national interest to comply).

The point was also missed by those members of the European Select Committee present, that Norway, in applying her veto to the Third Postal Directive, coupled with the fact that, at the last count, she still had not fully applied 400 EU Directives, did not appear to have disrupted the working of the Single Market.

Another important point missed was that if Hammond believes the Single Market to be the core and most important element of the EU, how does he justify the call that we need full membership of the EU to trade with the EU, when in fact EFTA//EEA membership provides that without the ‘political baggage’?

Any reader viewing this session will be struck by the paucity of the questions asked, which leads one to wonder, where members of Committees are concerned and whose purpose is to hold government and its ministers to account, just how much does party loyalty intrude into Select Committees to the extent it appears what should be ‘Dogs of War’, are muzzled?


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The complex minds of politicians

It is an eternal question asked: do politicians have complex minds – even: do politician’s have minds. This is illustrated by an article which appears on Conservative Home, one authored by Charlotte Leslie who is Conservative MP for Bristol Northwest. Her article, which in effect is about free speech, is headed: Immmigration, NHS. And all the other subjects we are not meant to talk about.

On the subject of free speech Leslie writes:

Nowhere is the Religion of ‘Not Saying’ stronger than in politics. For years, The priests of this religion decreed to their congregation, the politicians, that ‘Thou shalt not talk about Immigration’. So we didn’t. But the facts happened around us. Our silence did not change the reality we wished to ignore. But then other people did talk about it. Then UKIP was born. And we all now acknowledge we should have been talking about it, and acting on it, a lot, lot earlier.

If politicians who claim the right to govern us – and in so doing decide to dictate that which we can and cannot say or do, have ‘paid court’ to the priests of the religion of ‘don’t talk about this, that or the other (the Third Sector?); then what exactly is the point of having – and paying for – a group of people that are supposed to govern us?

Turning to the NHS, Leslie writes:

Now it is the NHS at the heart of our sacred taboos – and heaven forfend if you sin and are fool-hardy enough to point out that the Emperor has no clothes: that a system designed in post-war England simply is not equipped to deal with the explosion in population, rocketing costs in ever advancing treatment, and an exponentially expanding elderly population with complex co-morbidities, coupled with a much greater ability to rescue infants from death who would previously have died, together with a generation with ever increasing expectations of having what we want ‘here’ and ‘now’.

Just who is it that has not prepared – and/or ignored – matters such as an explosion in population, rocketing costs in ever advancing treatment and an expanding elderly population which understandably will be making more call on their health service, if not our political class? Who is it that has created an expectation of the desire for ‘here’ and ‘now’, if not our political class? Our political class are all guilty of considering the NHS has the same status as a cow in Hindu religion; but then our political class will do anything to not offend a religion – think Muslims? Unless of course it is those Christians that believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman?

At the root of the dilemma of politicians like Charlotte Leslie is representative democracy – a system in which we are told politicians are elected to represent the views of their constituents. Why would any politician bother to represent the views of their constituents when the system is actually about their adhering to party policy at the insistence of their whips coupled with personal progression up the ‘ladder of power? I am not intimating that the wish to climb the ladder of power was the reason for her entering the world of the House of Commons, but surely she must understand my reasons for posing the question.

As an example of which let us consider another Member of Parliament who I have, in the past, criticised: Chloe Smith. From 2012:

Her voting record is 100 per cent loyal, and she doesn’t believe in creating artificial ideological divisions that she believes don’t really exist. “The government is going in the right direction, which means it gains my support and, crucially, that I’m proud to be both in government and a local MP. By supporting this government in the best interests of this country, I believe I’m also representing the best interests of my constituents and all those who voted Conservative. (Emphasis mine)

When did Chloe Smith ask her constituents whether, by supporting the government, she was actually representing her constituents? Who gave her permission to give ‘carte blanche’ to everything that the government proposed and did?

Aprpos my preceding article on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, in suppporting this Bill – which presumably Chloe Smith will do – is she representing the views of her constituency?

It is perhaps unfair to single out Chloe Smith, but unfortunately she is but endemic of our political class of all parties in that they will – with a few exceptions – toe the party line.

At the end of the day (to coin a phrase and with apologies to John Ward) either our political class – of which Charlotte Leslie is a member – stop weeping on our shoulder or ‘grow a pair’.

Until such time they do, perhaps they would do us all a favour and ‘zip it’!

 

 

 

 

 


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Free Speech (2)

There would appear to be a small furore today over the matter of Eric Pickles letter to mosques asking them to teach their congregations about ‘what being a British Muslim means today’.

It is not my intention to comment on whether this was a wise move by Pickles but, instead, to pick up one phrase used in his letter. He writes:

And yet, amid the carnage, came a sign of hope – over three million people of all backgrounds, marching to defeat the gunmen and to protect our values: free speech, the rule of law, and democracy.

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently going through Parliament with barely any opposition to speak of, surely impinges on basic freedoms of both free speech and democracy.

What may be considered a ‘learned opinion‘ of this Bill  informs us:

Under the Bill, a police or immigration officer will be able to seize someone’s passport at the port to prevent them leaving the country (whether they are British or foreign), on a reasonable suspicion that the person ‘intends to leave the UK in connection with terrorism-related activity’ abroad. No reasons need be given. Refusal to hand over the passport will be a criminal offence. Force can be used to seize the passport, which can be retained for two weeks, or thirty days with permission from a magistrate, who can’t refuse if the officer is investigating with diligence and expedition. The hearing before the magistrate will be subject to the ‘closed material procedure’ which will exclude the person concerned and his or her lawyer. There is no provision for compensation if the seizure turns out to be wrongful and the suspicion groundless, and the power can be used repeatedly, with minimal safeguards. (Emphasis mine)

Er, where is ‘free speech’ or ‘democracy’ – especially as we are celebrating this year the 800th anniversary f Magna Carta, supposedly the founding document of English liberties? There must also be a tad of irony in invoking ‘the rule of law’ when law is imposed on the majority by an extremely small minority; especially when said majority have not been consulted on whether they agree with said law or not.

There must be an element of irony where our political class ‘wax lyrical’ about free speech and democracy while closing down both – or is just me that cannot see that?

Just asking…………….


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NHS – No Hope Society?

As with freedom of speech – following events Charlie Hebdo – so the subject of the NHS has hardly failed to be discussed and written about; almost on a daily basis. (In fact Ed Miliband can’t stop himself talking and writing about it – together with mntion of ‘the few at the top’), Not to be outdone, we have Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer also joining in with his ‘take’ on the subject – countered somewhat with a different ‘take by Bill Cummings writing on the Spectator Coffee House blog.

This article by Rawnsley must be one of the most stupid, ill-thought-through pieces ever to appear in print. Of course the elderly may well use the health service more than any other section of our society – their bodies are reaching the end of their existence. Rawnsley would do well to remember that he too will eventually reach that stage and he too will no doubt be a ‘frequent user’. Blaming the elderly for the fact that our health service is in crisis leads one to question the number of elderly dealt with compared to the number of 18-24 year-olds who also use the same public service due to what may be called their childish wish to get ‘rat-arsed’ every Friday and Saturday night.

Neither is it fair of Rawnsley to lay the blame at the door of the elderly without apportioning blame to our political class who have known for decades that the elderly population has been steadily increasing – not forgetting of course that unlimited immigration has also placed additional requirements on not just the NHS but also other public services – and who appear not to have made provision for these factors.

The cynic in me says that if this piece is but a convoluted way to support Ed Miliband’s latest bandwagon of getting the young too vote, then all he need have written was: I support Ed Miliband’s ‘Get the young to vote’ campaign. This would have reduced the amount of crap we were required to read.

As cattle are considered sacred in world religions such as Hinduism, so with the Labour Party is the NHS considered sacred. We are reminded, ad infintum. that they invented it, but it is now, in its present form, well past its sell-by date and no longer fit for purpose. Of course, had politicians realised long ago that the NHS was to be an ever open hole into which public money would need to be poured, the NHS would not now be in the situation it is – and neither would we have to suffer the interminable political arguments about funding.

A simplistic view it may be but if every individual had to take out ‘health insurance’ it would have negated what can only be described as a mess today. As this informative piece by Civitas on the Swiss system of health provision shows; there is another way. I do not suggest that the Swiss system be ‘copied and pasted’ – it does have some negative aspects  – but even if it were we would not be in mess we are. Yes, it would take decades to filter through before public expenditure on our health service via taxation would fall, but for heavens sake: let us do ‘something’ now?

Reorganisation of our health service is but one matter that could and would be reformed by the adoption of The Harrogate Agenda – and until the latter is adopted it will mean, for sure, the NHS (No Hope Society) will be with us for eternity.

 

 

 

 

 


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Free Speech

This is a topic which has reared its head again – if it ever went away, regardless of the Charlie Hebdo effect – with articles from Peter Hitchens and one in the Mail which reports that Marine Le Pen is to address the Oxford Union on the 6th of February.

In his article (a must read) Hitchens writes about the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, which, in his words, is now slipping quietly and quickly through Parliament. Mentioning that the consultation paper accompanying the bill warns that all kinds of institutions, from nursery schools (yes really, see paragraph 107) to universities, must be on the lookout for ‘extremists’, Hitchens continues:

What follows might have come from the laws of the Chinese People’s Republic or Mr Putin’s Russia. Two weeks’ advance notice of meetings must be given so that speakers can be checked up on, and the meeting cancelled if necessary.

Warning must also be given of the topic, ‘sight of any presentations, footage to be broadcast, etc’. A ‘risk assessment’ must be made on whether the meeting should be cancelled altogether, compelled to include an opposing speaker or (even more creepy) ‘someone in the audience to monitor the event’.

If ever the accusation that we are being told what we may think or say was in doubt, such as the above can only confirm that. No doubt this will be justified under the requirements of ‘democracy’, although as Hitchens says, it is debatable whether democracy exists now.

In respect of the invitation issued to Marie Le Pen, we immediately have Weyman Bennett, the joint national secretary of Unite Against Fascism, telling the Mail that Le Pen is guilty of trying to create divisions within our society – an argument that could surely be used against himself. If we are to have free speech then Weyman has the right to say that which he does – as does anyone with an opposing view – unless of course Weyman would have it that only his views are the acceptable ones; in which case where is ‘free speech’?

Reverting to the point about our being told what to think and how to act, Christopher Booker is of the same opinion – and in the process echoing the same question as I posed at the end of the preceding paragraph – when he writes:

In a time when there is such pressure to prevent people saying things that do not conform with group-think – when every kind of “political correctness” rules; when Christians are arrested for quoting the Bible in the street, for fear of giving “offence to minorities”; when boarding-house owners are prosecuted for not wishing to let rooms to gay couples; when there are calls for “climate change deniers” to be sacked or put on trial; when judges repeatedly threaten people with imprisonment for trying to expose the travesties of justice in their “child protection” system – who really knows what “freedom of speech” is any longer?

Picking up on Hitchens’ point about primary schools being required to look out for extremists, my attention was caught by an article informing us that LGBT Youth Northwest has unveiled plans for Britain’s first school for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pupils, the school catering for children aged 13 and older. Hell, the idea of a child of primary school age being an extremist is as odd as a child of 13 understanding their sexual urges when invariably they will not have finished the stage in their development known as puberty.

I am, once again, reminded of a well-known quote by H.L. Menchen:

That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.

While Menchen is right about present day education and its aims, those aims are obviously those of the political class where freedom of speech is concerned.

As with devolution, so with free speech. What we have with this free speech thingy is another Pandora’s Box which has been opened; and if ever the people are able to assume their rightful place as being the ‘Boss’, it will take years to unravel – especially as we will have the legal profession and so-called charities ‘sticking their oar in’.

While noting the possible, almost certain, input from the legal profession and so-called charities, I am not forgetting the EU. An article in The Commentator reports that following the Charlie Hebdo and related attacks, the European Union is being presented with proposals to ban Islamophobia, so as to stem a perceived backlash against Muslims. That we do not have free speech iis borne out by the fact that were a group of white christian people to attempt such a march as that depicted in the photograph accompanying this article, with banners substituting the word ‘christians’ for ‘muslims’,we all know only to well what the outcome would be.

I know not whether a god exists nor whether exists the idea of reincarnation – but if the former does, I can but hope that he/she will allow me to take part in the process of the latter; and that I am allowed to return and so do in a position where I can bang a few heads together – adhering to the aims of equality and diversity, naturally!

 

 


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Politikspeak

Today Ed Miliband was in Sheffield speaking to students and tomorrow he is due to give a ‘keynote’ speech at the Fabian Society (this boy does get around – no doubt at our expense, but I digress).

To take ‘Sheffield’ first: it really is becoming a joke that every speech from Ed Miliband begins with how ‘great’ it is to be wherever he is – Ed, this has reached the point where that phrase is becoming a tad grating, even ‘greating’? Why has no ‘advisor’ spotted this? 

He cannot resist the opportunity of inserting his current mantra that he wishes to act for which ever ‘group’ he is addressing, rather than ‘the few at the top'; this, too, is beginning to grate – or great.

No government can ‘guarantee a job’ for any one – they can create the conditions whereby jobs may become available, but they cannot ‘guarantee a job’!

It may not be ‘just about education’ – well it will be when successive governments cease changing the methods of education to satisfy political ideology!

It is a tad rich for Miliband to state he and his party will keep their promises, especially when his party have a history of not so doing.

And Miliband has the cheek to say:

Here too, we won’t make promises before an election and break them afterwards.

In any event, where promises are concerned allow me to remind readers of a quotation I used from an article on 28th January 2014:

The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.
Carl Jung

‘Nuff said?

I really can’t be bothered to continue with this critique of his so-called speech as it reeks of hypocrisy. This man, as with all current politicians, is akin to a ‘cardboard policeman’ – all front and nothing behind him – or his words!

Turning to the ‘keynote speech’ to the Fabian Society, immediately one notes the phrase:

which can enthuse the electorate

‘con’ the electorate would be nearer the truth! But then this is no different to any other political party – as Labour broke their election manifesto (above), so have the Coalition (recall?).

(As an aside (and digression – again!) note the picture on this link – why do we need chairs in Parliament bearing a crest (which must incur an additional cost); and when the hell were we who provided the funds for this, asked if we agreed to the expenditure?)

Where political promises are concerned, one has to ask just how can politicians promise anything when there are so many factors involved in keeping their promise, over which they have no control whatsoever – interest rates, markets, the weather (no, I’m not forgetting that politicians believe they can control the weather, even the climate) – even those they have under subjugation?

On this subject I am reminded of the words from Stopping by woods on a snowy evening. Oh, ‘they’ have miles to go before ‘they’ sleep – and it is all at our expense!

Please, someone tell me – just how long must we endure this charade of democracy?

;

 


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A storm in a teacup (2)

In the first post with the same title, which dealt with the fact Oxfam had received a rap over the knuckles from the Charity Commission for having politicised itself, I wrote:

…………which is hardy surprising when so many ‘charities’ have chosen to voluntarily politicise themselves and thus become lobbying agents for government in the field of policy.

It has come to light that yet another ‘charity’ has also had its knuckles rapped for the same crime, this time the ‘charity’ being the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

In June Charlie Ephick, Conservative MP, raised his concerns with the Charity Commission about the relationship between the Labour Party and the IPPR, especially concerning Rachael Reeves and her announcement of welfare policy at the IPPR in January 2014. The Charity Commission have published their report as a result of Elphicke”s complaint and have found that the IPPR had:

  • exposed itself to the perception that it supported the development of Labour Party policy
  • close involvement with the Labour Party and its representatives throughout the project
  • the final launch event was used as an opportunity and platform for Labour Party policies to be announced
  • the public perception of the charity’s independence could have been adversely affected

Charity Commission ‘law’ is very clear on political campaigning and their guidance states that:

  • a charity must stress its independence and ensure that any involvement it has with political parties is balanced. A charity must not give support or funding to a political party

The IPPR is a think tank with charity status and without question has broken charity ‘law’ and their action, like that of Oxfam, can only be described as reprehensible. So the IPPR have been censured  so what? Will it stop similar occurrences by Oxfam, IPPR or others? I think we all know the answer to that question!

Sooner or later – and preferably sooner – the electorate and taxpayers are going to wake up and realise they are being taken for a ‘proverbial ride’ – witness that following the ‘Expenses Scandal’, MP’s ‘expenses’ are now at an even higher level. Not only that, but they must surely realiise that the only way out of their dilemma is for their adoption of The Harrogate Agenda (in particular Demand #5), a philosophy which incorporates the idea of ‘Referism‘.

Where the relationship twixt the electorate/taxpayer vs our politicians and the ‘Third Sector’ are concerned, David Cameron, on entering Number 10, did give us a hint:

Yes, that is about cleaning up expenses, yes, that’s about reforming Parliament and, yes, it’s about making sure people are in control and that the politicians are always their servants and never their masters.

Is it not time we did remind him – and the rest of them – just who is ‘The Boss’?

 


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Votes at 16 – the age of consent

Gaby Hinsliff writes in the Guardian CiF about the case of a 44 year-old teacher being given a suspended sentence for sleeping wiith a 16 year-old pupil of his.

Hinsliff writes:

Those who mutter that a 16-year-old schoolgirl is surely old enough to know what she’s doing, whatever the law says, simply give succour to creeps with a dubious interest in ratcheting down the age at which seduction becomes socially acceptable. What if Kerner’s pupil had been just 15? Or 14, but sophisticated for her age? How young would she have to be before she could be seen as the child she is; before a come-on might be seen not as temptation but a reason for concern?

Let us leave to one side the sexual aspect for one moment. If a 16-year-old is a child and is susceptible to seduction and runs the risk of being led astray by middle-aged adults in a position of trust and who should know better because the child knows not right from wrong, then a question:

If a child is not deemed to have a sufficiently developed mind to make the important decision of permitting someone to have sexual intercourse with them then how can a child make other decisions of great importance by being allowed to vote at that age? Are not politicians campaigning for lowering the voting age – and one immediately thinks of Ed Miliband – not also guilty of seducing children in their attempt to garner their vote?

Where is the political logic in banning one course of action but permitting another – both of which require an ability to know right from wrong.

 

 

 


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Heads and brickwalls

Our politicians continually complain about the disinterest shown by the electorate in ‘politics’ and the resulting lack of engagement by them in the political process.

Readers may recall my last correspondence with my Member of Parliament and in view of the unsatisfactory response received I thought it worth contacting the person who aims to fill his role as Prime Minister.

In view of the fact that some 6/7 weeks have elapsed and no response, let alone an acknowledgement, has been received, I felt the time had come to ‘stir things a little’.

As a result the following has been sent to Ed Miliband.

Towards the end of November last year I sent you an email (copied below) and, to date, I am unable to trace a reply, let alone an acknowledgement.

I can but repeat a comment made in the aforementioned email: when you present yourself as a candidate to become our next Prime Minister, when politicians complain that the electorate is disinterested in politics; that when a member of the electorate does attempt to ‘engage’, it leaves what may be termed a sour taste in the mouth when such an attempt appears to be ignored This can but leave one with the impression that politicians have only a ‘transmit’ mode and have yet to turn on their ‘receive’ mode.

It is hoped that I may now receive a response within the next few days, bearing in mind some 6/7 weeks have elapsed since I originally wrote to you.

(copy of email)

This is not the first time I have attempted to engage with a Member of Parliament who is not my constituency MP, each time pointing out that if they make what are in effect statements to the electorate at large, they should not be surprised if they are then contacted by one of the electorate; and having been contacted, have a duty – and courtesy – to respond.

For those who would have us believe they are where they are to serve us and who seem to forget that it is our money that keeps them there – their attitude is beneath contempt.

By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Infinite, undying.
Voter, make note of this –
One of you is lying.

With ack (and apologies) to Dorothy Parker

 


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Duh!

John Healey, Labour – Wentworth & Dearne, is complaining on the CoffeeHouse Speccie blog site that Parliament is failing to hold the EU to account. According to They Work For You, Healey has voted moderately for more EU integration and has a mixed record on the question of whether or not there should be an EU referendum.

In common with his fellow MPs Healey exhibits a total lack of understanding about matters EU and the content of the article linked to above does but illustrate this fact. Healey writes:

In total, the three debates will amount to less than one day’s full business on a binding treaty that could have wide-ranging effects on our national economy from aerospace to agriculture, metals to motor vehicles and public services to pharmaceuticals. Each debate has been instigated by backbench MPs, not ministers, and with no prospect of a binding vote.

The truth is that Westminster lacks any proper ways to hold ministers to account for what they do or decide in Europe. Voters often worry decisions on Europe are taken by people beyond their reach or influence, and this fuels anti-European sentimentTTIP is the biggest-ever bilateral trade agreement. The public have an important stake in it, and so deserve a say through their own UK Parliament

Er, does not the EU already have wide-ranging effect on each of the areas he mentions? Has there ever been any way ministers have been able to be held to account for their actions in the EU? Do not voters feel alienated from their MPs for exactly the same reason they feel alienated from those in the EU that take decisions? How in either case can any member of the electorate influence/change/annul any decision taken, whether it be in Brussels or Westminster? Why select TTIP when the public have – or should have had – just as much input into any of the other ‘trade’ agreements negotiated by the EU? How can the electorate of the UK have any say when MPs will troop through the voting lobbies at the behest of their party leader and whips regardless of the feelings of those they say they represent?

What Healey is really discussing in his article is what he perceives to be a slight to the House of Commons, coupled with the sovereignty of Parliament. Sovereignty (and Democracy) are two words bandied about by both politicians and political commentators, none of whom seem to have any understanding of either word.

Politicians spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the sovereignty of Parliament. Sovereignty is the means whereby any nation has the right and power to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies. Thanks to the EU Commission we know that in joining the EU any nation doing so agrees to surrender its sovereignty for the common good of the EU, together with the fact that EU law has supremacy over national, even constitutional law. In voting in 1972 to join the EU – and in continuing to uphold that decision – Parliament can no longer, by any definition, be considered – or consider itself -sovereign.

For Healey to bemoan the fact he and his colleagues in the House of Commons are being ‘sidelined’ over ‘matters EU’ is both laughable and, at the same time, sad. If MPs are unable to understand a simple fact – that membership of the EU is not necessary to trade with that body but membership of the EEA is – then what chance is there they will understand the complexities of a trade agreement; or any other matter come to that? If Healey does feel Parliament is being sidelined then surely he should be complaining about the lack of separation of powers twixt Executive and Legislature – has he not been in the House of Commons sufficiently long enough not to have noticed that rather important situation?

It is frustrating that those elected to Parliament – and then would have us believe they are the font of all knowledge – can be so damn ‘thick’! 

 


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