EAW/Parliamentary Democracy

More on this tomorrow, but the only word that can be used to describe the entire sequence of events that happened this evening in the House of Commons is: ‘shambles’.

Democracy per se was not served and more to the point was denigrated; not that we have it in the first place – but I digress.

What we witnessed this evening was nothing but political parties intent only on ‘point-scoring’ resulting in the one loser being the people of this nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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2014
11/10

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Three minds conjoined

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have all been wooing the CBI with speeches today – and all are basically in denial of one fact.

All would have us believe that membership of the European Union is essential in order to trade with that supranational body when in fact all that is required is just membership of the European Economic Area.

Added to which all would have us believe that, among other things, cessation of our membership would result in economic armageddon, that thousands if not millions of jobs depend on our membership; and do all that without offering us one shred of evidence.

One, Cameron, would have us believe that it is possible to renegotiate that which is not renegotiable, while the other two would have us believe that change can be achieved among another 27 who are, in the main, of a federalist and/or socialist mindset. The mind boggles.

One of the other two, Miliband, assures us that no further powers under his government would be passed to the EU, yet is prepared to ensure that just that happens where Justice is concerned. So much for another political promise!

As an aside I was tempted to head this article ‘Four minds conjoined’, unfortunately for the electorate, Ukip seem to have misplaced theirs.

Added to which, where the first three named are concerned, we are led to believe that there are some within their respective ranks who would be only too pleased to be shot of each of them.

Is this really how any sane nation wishes itself to be governed – assuming of course it possessed the ability to even think about it?

Just asking………………..

 


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2014
11/10

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Another closed mind

Sam Smallridge, who has just finished a Masters in Politics at Lancaster University and is hoping to study for a PhD exploring candidate selection next year has an article on Conservative Home in which he suggests four ways in which Open Primaries can be improved.

Far be it for me to denigrate the achievement of a Masters or the wish and ability to study for a PhD, but he appears to have overlooked a few important points in his suggestion to improve Open Primaries.

It matters not who a potential candidate is because while becoming a Member of Parliament is viewed as a career, while a Member of Parliament is subjected to the pressure of a ‘whipping system’, while a Member of Parliament can vote on any issue in accordance with his conscience to the contrary of his constituents views, Open Primaries as they stand, even with the suggestions of Sam Smallbridge, are but yet another attempt to tinker with representative democracy with a view to making it more ‘acceptable’.

With his Masters and the wish to achieve a PhD, Sam Smallbridge can, probably, look forward to a lucrative career as a Member of Parliament. a career in a think tank, or even as a pundit.

Just saying………………………..

 

 


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Remembrance Sunday

remembrance-albums-remembrance-day-picture83-remembrance-honour-our-brave-soldiers

It is with varying degrees of sadness that once again the time has come for the ceremony at the Cenotaph. I make no apologies for repeating words I wrote two years ago:

It should be the case that every politician, when they bow their heads, should do so not in homage, but in shame. Shame that they have deliberately cheapened all those lives that have been wasted fighting for freedom and independence – a freedom and independence that they, the politicians, have since steadily eroded and ceded.

While some may say we, the people, should bear a certain amount of shame in that we have allowed our politicians to trash our country; that is undoubtedly true. However the greater blame must go to those who prostrate themselves before us on a regular basis, asking that we choose from among them those we wish to safeguard our country, to keep it strong and prosperous. Yet when we look around today, we see our country has no safeguard, it is far from strong nor is it prosperous.

I repeat those words because nothing has changed – nothing! Still our politicians continue to erode our freedoms and still they continue to cede our independence – and all in the name of democracy. 

Four years ago I quoted the words of Winston Churchill (1933):

The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without, they come from within. They come from a peculiar type in our country who if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength. Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism and the promise of impossible Utopias.

Over eighty years later, still we have not learnt that lesson. Still we continue to allow professional politicians, whose one aim is the accumulation of power, to dismember our nation from within – and still we continue to elect them.

There are those who may feel that by bringing the subject of politics into a day of remembrance is in bad taste – unfortunately this one day of remembrance has been politicised by those who use this day to posture and preen before us with a faux show of humility, but which for them is but another photo opportunity.

It is a great pity – and ironic – that those who ask us to respect do not, themselves, deserve our respect.

What our Sovereign must be thinking when She surveys this annual event, one can but wonder.

 


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‘Manufactured’ belief

So the great £1.7bn bill saga is over – or is it? Is the UK paying £1.7 billion in two instalments and receiving a rebate immediately for the second, or one £850m bill in two instalments?

Whichever: what has occurred here is but an ‘accounting trick’ – and this short article sums up the position in a nutshell.

That in which Osborne and Cameron have been indulging is but no more than spin – and in the process attempting to make an argument, which does not stand up to scrutiny, for party political reasons – not that Ed Balls is also guilty of the same crime with his ‘smoke & mirrors’ meme. Mind you, that is not to be unexpected from a politician of a party which also indulged in a fair bit of ‘smoke & mirrors’ during their time in power – but I digress.

For Ed Bals and Danny Alexander to argue, as they did in a Guardian article, that the UK should take the matter to the ECJ can but show how little they know with regard to how the entire problem came into being.

Little light is thrown on matters by the ‘provisional’ press release issued by the President Pier Carlo Padoan of the ECOFIN Council (Council Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance of Italy), nor by Vice President Kristalina Georgieva (European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources), whose remarks, post meeting, can be heard here, or read here.

As an aside, it is a tad rich for Georgieva to even mention the word ‘transparency’ because until such time as the minutes of Council meetings (if they are in fact taken) are published no-one outside the political cabal will ever know exactly who said what.

When considering the ‘fog of information/disinformation’ that has been filling the media on the subject of this ‘£1.7bn bill’, one has to ask where have the various spokespeople been of the one party espousing withdrawal from the EU? Once again, presented with an ‘open goal’, they apparently prefer to confine themselves to what are trivialities – such as the forthcoming Rochester & Strood by-election.

With a political class apparently more concerned with ‘in-fighting’ than addressing serious matters that affect the governance of this nation, is it any wonder that the public are apathetic where ‘matters political’ are concerned?

Just saying…………………….

 

 

 

 


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A little humour

Eamonn Butler (Adam Smith Institute) puts out a monthly email, from which (and I am sure – I hope – he won’t mind my reproducing his thoughts):

Britain has put the clocks back. Mind you, UKIP leader Nigel Farage would like to see them put back to before 1973! And Labour MPs have told Ed Miliband that he should stand down. (Still, they say his tennis game is improving. Even tennis balls want to distance themselves from him.)

Meanwhile, I see that cannabis is now legal in Washington DC. (Given all the crackpot ideas that come out of the place, I thought this had already happened.) The UK coalition ‘partners’, meanwhile, have been scrapping over ‘the war on drugs’. (Someone should tell them that the War on Drugs is over, and drugs won.) Adding drugs and prostitution into the GDP figures has got the UK hit with a £1.7bn membership fee. (Bad timing, since auditors have just found that the EU misspent £5.5bn last year. Most probably went on drugs and hookers.) Still, we shouldn’t knock drugs. At least they’ve taught an entire generation of kids the metric system. Content yourself with the thought that, if government were a product, selling that would be illegal too.

The Republicans swept the House and Senate this week. P J O’Rourke must be pleased. As he says “I’m a registered Republican and consider socialism a violation of the American principle that you shouldn’t stick your nose in other people’s business except to make a buck.”

Within Butler’s humour are a lot of ‘home truths’.

 


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The ‘forming’ of young minds (3)

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.

Abraham Lincoln

Back in August 2012 I wrote this short article (and do please follow the links therein). Astute readers will recall that even prior to this, schoolchildren had been treated to the adventures of Captain Euro vs the evil D Vider (story self-explanatory); The Raspberry Ice Cream War which told of a group of intrepid youngsters who travel back in time to an age where there are still sovereign states, and teach the inhabitants to scrap their borders; or for older children, Troubled Waters, a Tintin-style cartoon strip, whose heroine is a ‘foxy’ MEP. The article linked to above was followed, almost immediately, by this (and again do please follow the links).

To get a flavour of the first mentioned (Captain Euro/D Vider), the following was used to describe the character, D Vider:

Ruthless speculator, curator and collector of ancient curiosities, DAVID VIDERIUS is a former financier. He is a multi-millionaire, used to making money no matter if it might involve the suffering of others. Banned and ostracised from the financial world for unprofessional conduct he managed to escape arrest despite his involvement in financial scandal. Having disappeared for many years, he reappeared as DR D VIDER. He manages a holding company, DIVIDEX, controlling hundreds of different businesses across Europe and beyond. (get the message – or should one say, messages?)

Yet again, readers will recall that I do not have much time for Daniel Hannan, however I have to admit that now and again he does provide what may be termed ‘pearls of knowledge’. In an article, published on his Telegraph blog and dated June 3rd 2011, he wrote that he had stumbled across an internal Commission report which stated, in its conclusions, that: 

Children can perform a messenger function in conveying the message to the home environment. Young people will often in practice act as go-betweens with the older generations.

Is not the use of children to ‘educate’ their parents and elders one of the characteristics of an authoritarian state?

Still the practice of indoctrination of young minds appears to continue as, courtesy of Edward Spalton, I have become aware of this website (and do note the date in the url). We know that the European Union never ‘gives up’, consequently it is logical to presume they are working on the basis that the European Union clearly intends, through early indoctrination , to ensure that tomorrow belongs to them.

It is only necessary to visit the website for Tom & Lila and then read the ‘teaching notes’ to see what I consider a subliminal and invasive attempt at what can only be described as propaganda.

Bearing in mind that there exists a statutory requirement for impartiality in all political matters I believe an email or two questioning the Department of Education and my local authority are necessary.

When one discusses public education, initially one considers schooling, but the process of public education does not end there. Consider how, as adults, we are ‘educated’ to accept what may well be alien views on equality & diversity and climate change; to name but two. In this regard, having begun with a quote it is only natural to end with one, this time by H.L. Mencken – especially as it goes a long way to explain the apathy exhibited by the majority of the population of this country:

 The most 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.

 

 

 

 


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2014
11/06

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Who the hell cares?

Ed Miliband is, so we are informed, in deep doo-doo; Cameron, so it is mooted, appears about to be forced to eat his words;  Parliament is set to vote on Monday on passing more powers to the EU, amid allegations of political shenanigans; and there is a suggestion that we should accept an ethnic minority Prime Minister to prove “Britons of all backgrounds can achieve.”

Should Miliband or Cameron receive their P45s from those that chose them, just what exactly can we do about it (they will only be replaced with another ‘plastic’ politician)? Since when has any political party failed to use politics and its dark arts to their own advantage; and just what exactly can we do about that? As for an ethnic minority Prime Minister: why should we worry whether race or colour should be a bar to proving that anyone can make a complete and utter ass of himself and the job (as has been proved across the pond)?

Why the hell should I care about any of the above when millions of others in this country obviously do not – and what is the point of caring any longer?

Just asking…………………………………….


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2014
11/05

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A ‘new’ Magna Carta

Unremarked, it would seem, is a consultation being undertaken by the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee into the shape of our democracy; one which began on 10th July 2014 and closes on 1st January 2015. From the Parliament website we learn that the Committee has been working on a major project with King’s College London to develop several different visions of what a democratic settlement for the UK could look like. For those interested – and, I would suggest, that should be everyone – further details can be found here, here, here; and here

The Committee has published three blueprints for a codified constitution:

and these, too, should be read.

There is a competition being run for the best 350-word Preamble to any new Constitution and Graham Allen (Labour), Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has offered his version - purely as an example, of course. The three categories are for (a) the general public; (b) Under 18s; and (c) journalists (yes, I looked twice at the last category as at the first time of looking I fell off my chair laughing – but I digress).

Eight months prior to this consultation starting, an extremely short debate took place in the House of Lords, instigated by Baroness Bothroyd – Betty Boothroyd as was (when we had a ‘proper’ Speaker in the House of Commons), on the subject of celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

It is not my intention to comment on the three ‘blueprints’ as I do not wish to’influence readers comments, but one cannot but help noticing that in the Constitutional Code our ‘rights’ are being defined – but again I digress.

Notwithstanding the foregoing caveat I do wish to raise a few points – and begin with the offering from Graham Allen. Setting to one side the ‘whereas’ which seems to smack a little of the faxed instructions the United Kingdom receives from Brussels, one section stood out:

Now, we the people of the United Kingdom have created this Constitution as an expression of our nation, our democracy and as the framework of our government whose just powers derive only from our consent. We, through the agency of our representatives in Parliament assembled, have devised and agreed this constitution……..

No, first, we will not have created this Constitution – it will have been created by our representatives in Parliament (and their ‘stakeholders’, no doubt too numerous to mention). Second, if we have ‘agreed’ this Constitution then presumably it will have been put to a referendum? 

Allen continues that this Constitution:

secures them from the tyranny or caprice of those in power over them.

No, it does not, not while the present system of representative democracy prevails. Consequently, if we are to have a consultation on the introduction of a written constitution then perhaps we should also have a consultation on ‘democracy’ and what form of democracy under which we wish to live. After all, it was Lord Prakesh (col: 422) in the HoL debate (linked to above) who stated that:

Democracy is the rule of the people

and if the people are to rule then it is not Parliament that is sovereign but the people. As a result the people must have the ability to question any law that is proposed by Parliament – and be able to so do before said law becomes ‘enacted’.

One other related – and important point – does need to be made and it comes as a result of the intervention in that HoL debate by Baroness Lane-Fox (col: 425). Detailing a visit she made to a school in Willesden, at which she was speaking to 200 or 300 15 to 16 year-olds and to break the ice and calm her nerves, she asked the pupils in the room how many had heard of the website that she co-founded, namely lastminute.com, at which point around 80% of hands shot up. When asked how many had heard of the House of Lords only around 5% of hands shot up. As Fox-Lane stated, it is indeed a problem when more know how to book a holiday on-line than know about Parliament; which then begs the question: what price our educational system and the curriculum in use – but again I digress.

On an equally serious note are we, the people, really going to leave the formation of a new Constitution to a group of people who cannot even transpose EU law without creating a later problem for themselves; to a group of people who an eminent QC described their British Bill of Rights as ‘rubbish’ - and which contained a number of obvious legal errors.

Are we really going to stand to one side?


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2014
11/03

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They shoot horses, don’t they?

Ed Miliband is of a mind to ‘disband’ the House of Lords and create a ‘Senate’.

All records involving the Expenses Scandal of 2009 have been ‘shredded’ on the orders and with the agreement, it appears, of Speaker  Bercow.

Of those forced to step-down following the Expenses Scandal, seven Labour and two Liberal Democrats have been selected to stand again at the 2015 General Election.

It has been ‘decided’ that the city of Manchester is to have a directly elected Mayor.

Every taxpayer is to receive an annual tax statement which George Osborne says will show:  how hard-working taxpayers have to pay for what governments spend.

It has also been ‘decided’ that we are to provide a £97million super-computer to the Met Office just five years after having paid £33million for another one.

It has come to light, via House of Commons Public Accounts Committee that within the UK borders and immigration system, failed IT systems have cost £1bn.

(Just a snapshot of what has been in the news over the last few days).

All the above will – and have – cost the hardworking taxpayer; and remember this is money that said hard-working taxpayers have had to pay for what Government has spent or intends to spend.

That is not to forget recent wars in which we seem to have become embroiled, our political class strutting their stuff on the World – and UK – stage, ‘unforeseen bills’ for nearly £2bn, etc, etc.

The time has surely come when the shareholders of UK plc should take their board of directors outside, stand them up against a brick wall – and shoot the buggers.  Then demand ‘Referism’ in order that never again are they taken for fools.

Oh, hang on…………………………

 

 

 


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