2014
10/14

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David's Musings

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Tuesday 14th October 2014

I felt it only fair to advise readers that there will not be any articles appearing today – I have in mind an article about ‘democracy’ – y’know, the missing link in the UK – and am presently waiting to be able to link to the definitive Hansard record of today’s ‘Scottish Debate’ in the House of Commons.

The article should appear late tomorrow afternoon or early evening.

 


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2014
10/13

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David's Musings

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Thought for the day

You don’t appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman. Stuff you pay good money for in later life.

Elmo Phillips


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Additional ‘bunce’

euobserver reports that Transparency International has launched EU Integrity Watch which has collated all the income statistics of Members of the European Parliament.

(note, the link in the euobserver article is non-operative – the data base can be accessed here.)

Transparency International have published their own ‘background’ information into the salaries of MEPs, their allowable expenses etc and that too can be found here.

Ever willing to be of assistance, WfW has now provided you with a new toy to occupy those moments when you may feel a tad bored.

Enjoy.


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Carswell – will he, won’t he

A few days ago, commenting on the results of the by-elections in Clacton and Heywood & Middleton, I posed the question of how long it would be before Douglas Carswell began to exert some control over the ‘rabble-rousing’ elements in his new party, especially where that element might undermine good work he may do in the House of Commons.

A thoughtful article has appeared by Liam Halligan, from which:

As Ukip’s first elected member, Carswell can table Ukip parliamentary motions and lay Ukip amendments to legislation. He can question the Prime Minister on television and hold ministers to account. Above all, he can play a leading role in determining his new party’s economic platform ahead of the May 2015 general election and beyondCritics complain Ukip is a protest group, lacking serious policies beyond Europe and immigration. Well, now Carswell has the opportunity to shape an entire economic manifesto which, given his poster boy status and the media’s escalating interest in Ukip, is certain to command attention.

Carswell may well have said that he holds no leadership thoughts but the next few weeks and months could become very interesting – as Halligan writes, Farage and Carswell could come to blows (and let us not forget O’Flynn who the last I heard was Ukip’s economic spokesman).

 

 

 


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The Freedom Association

Yesterday an exchange took place on Twitter twixt Andrew Allison (Campaign Manager of The Freedom Association) and myself, started by a question from Allison:

@WitteringWitney I have a question for you: why do you have a vendetta against The Freedom Association? People I’ve spoke with agree you do.

@andrew_allison Will answer in a blog post tomorrow as can hardly do it in 140 chtrs – anyways would hardly call it a vendetta.

@WitteringWitney Well, it appears like a vendetta, but your response will suffice overnight. Not sure what I have done to upset you though


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Some Freedom, Some Association

The following email, which comes from The Freedom Association and headed: The need for a clear EU strategy and how to achieve it, has come to my attention:

Today marks the first time that voters have elected a representative from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) to enter the UK Parliament. A key reason for this is a dissatisfaction amongst voters with the strategy of the main Westminster parties – especially over issues that are influenced by the European Union.

What is needed is a clear strategy from the Conservative Party to defend UK interests and provide reassurance to the British public that its concerns are being taken seriously.

To help give an understanding of what is needed, The Freedom Association today publishes a handbook written by Dr Lee Rotherham entitled “How to salvage the Euro-sceptic credentials of the Conservative Party.”

This booklet provides a list of twenty suggested steps to help form the right strategy that can send a clear message to Brussels on behalf of the British people.

As mentioned in the forward by Sir Bernard Ingham, without such a clear strategy the fear of the ‘unknown’ will lead to either intimidation to remain in a largely unreformed EU or will “marvellously [sic] fudge the outcome of negotiation”.

This will breed further dissatisfaction amongst voters.

With seven months until the General Election, now is the time to develop a strategy and present a clear and credible path to the British public. As Dr Lee Rotherham writes:

“This is a rare opportunity. Achievement, after all, is vision plus motion. A pointy stick sometimes helps: the polls now provide the incentive to get things right.”

To download this important booklet visit here: http://www.tfa.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ManningThePumps.pdf

Yours sincerely,

Rory Broomfield
Director
The Freedom Association

As will be understood when reading Lee Rotherham’s booklet, my heart sank on reading the start of the first recommendation.

When, oh when, will it be recognised that regardless of the personal qualifications and beliefs of an EU Commissioner-Designate, they matter not in the slightest as the prime – nay, the only – allegiance of any Commissioner-Designate, if confirmed in his/her position,  is to the EU.

I leave readers to form their own opinion(s) as to the validity and veracity of this paper by Lee Rotherham.

In my opinion, its use in the process of extracting this country from membership of the European Union is on a par with that of the existence of The Freedom Association as a think tank – namely, zilch.

 


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Suggesting the impossible (2)

On the 1st of this month I wrote about an article authored by Daniel Hannan which appeared on his Telegraph blog. In this article he offered 9 points that he felt David Cameron should bring back from his renegotiation process. Following that article Hannan gave a talk for a cokmbined audience of the 1900 Club and the Centre for Policy studies, the video of which follows.

I post this video for the interest of readers although it is just, basically, a rehash of his blog article. He speaks for just over 30 minutes followed by a Q&A session of roughly the same length, with questions from, among others, Rory Broomfield and Archie Hamilton.

It remains a source of amusement to me that there appears to be three subjects virtually guaranteed to bring forth coruscation; namely criticism of Daniel Hannan, Ukip and/or Nigel Farage. These acolytes will not countenance any word of criticism about their heroes or party.

One such acolyte is Kathy Gyngell, an ‘experts’ of the Centre for Policy Studies and also co-editor of The Conservative Women. She has written a piece for Camaign for an Independent Britain in which she waxes lyrical about Daniel Hannan and his vision for life outside the European Union.

Besides repeating his mantra about the repeal of Sections 2 & 3 of ECA1972, Hannan maintains that all his 9 points could be achieved without treaty change. It cannot be said often enough that Hannan’s 9 points are unachievable without treaty change as they undermine the basic tenets of the EU’s entire raison d’etre.

The level of ignorance among the general public about ‘matters EU’ is understandable as not one has been explained to them by those who consider themselves qualified to do the explaining.  What is frightening is the apparent lack of ignorance among those providing the British people with information – albeit that one could argue they are well aware of the true facts but deliberately go out of their way to mislead.

If anyone is looking for evidence that those doing the explaining know squat-diddly then it is only necessary to look at the ‘final’ six submissions to the IEA Brexit Competition, plus that of David Campbell Bannerman, whose submission did not make the final cut – yet Campbell Bannerman would have us believe that his submission is ‘making waves’ within the EU elite who, he assures us, are very interested in his ideas.

An aspect of the debate about our membership of the European Union that is really worrying is the point that virtually all the ‘informers’ talk about leaving the European Union yet, to my knowledge, not one of them has actually produced a detailed exit plan. It is also a fact that not one of them is prepared to discuss, or debate, the one detailed exit plan that has been produced – namely Flexcit. It is impossible that those informing us about ‘matters EU’ are not aware of the existence of Flexcit – and the fact they will not even mention its existence speaks volumes.

Another matter that speaks volumes is that eight weeks have now elapsed since I presented David Cameron, my Member of Parliament, with what I considered a reasonably detailed dossier in which I accused him of being economical with the actualité on ‘matters EU’. Now I am fully aware that he has had other matters on his mind, such as Clacton, Heywood & Middleton, his birthday, besides a small fracas in the Iraq/Syria region; however I have now been forced to email him direct to suggest that he may wish to extract his digit (or words to that effect).

Why is it that one gets the feeling that on just about everything – especially on matters EU – that the great and the good are intent on doing a Maud on us?


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2014
10/10

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David's Musings

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What detail?

Freud’s observation about the narcissism of small differences could have been made about Britain’s political class and its media, whose collective fixation on detail is notable and baffling…. (Emphasis mine)

So writes James Kirkup on his Telegraph blog, to which all one can say is: if only – because the one thing our political parties (all of them that is) and the media do not do, is detail.

In his acceptance speech Carswell said: I answer first, foremost and last to you, you are my boss, I will not let you down. The point that he answers to his electorate is true, but he only has to undergo that on the occasion of a general election; outside of those times Carswell can say and do as he pleases – technically his electorate is not his boss as, unlike most bosses, his electorate cannot fire him at the time he does something that his electorate disagree with. Consequently it then becomes hypocritical of him to cite John Wycliffe, the 14th century translator of the Bible and Roman Catholic dissident. He said that Wycliffe first used the words “government of the people, by the people, for the people” which was famously adopted by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address. The one thing that we do not have presently is government of the people, by the people, for the people. What we do have is a form of democratised dictatorship because between elections a Member of Parliament, or a government, can do and say what they damn well please as the people have no control over them.

No mention of that small detail have I seen in the media, or by an politician, today – odd that.

Both prior to these two by-elections – and afterwards – we have the Conservative Party proclaiming that if the electorate vote Ukip they are in fact voting for – and will get – a Miliband government. Not strictly true, as if sufficient people vote Ukip then they will get a Ukip government (heaven forbid, but I digress), will they not?

No mention of that small detail have I seen in the media, or by any politician, today – odd that.

The Labour Party proclaim that Ukip are more Tory than the Tories – a statement that is laughable because how can one party be more like a party that is no longer in the contest. Were a Tory Party to exist then Labour’s complaint would be negated as they would no doubt be so far behind in opinion polls that any general election would be a foregone conclusion.

No mention of that small detail have I seen in the media, or by any politician, today – odd that.

Within the media we have John McTernan proclaiming that his party must listen; Iain Duncan Smith proclaiming his party must pay attention to voters; and Diane Abbott proclaiming that addressing traditional Labour voters’ real self-interest is the way forward. Just what exactly do those three statements mean? They are mere soundbites designed to capture headlines, no more no less; and not one of them will be actioned by their respective parties. The one glaring omission where soundbites are concerned – and which I have not seen today – is that lessons will be learnt; another meaningless soundbite because they never are.

No mention of that small detail have I seen in the media, or by any politician, today – odd that.

Comment after comment is being passed by political commentators and analysts about how – and the reasons why – the electorate voted as they did; and who can blame the electorate when they are in what is definitely a state of ignorance due to their not being in possession of all the facts; something deliberately engineered by all of our political class. It is not unreasonable to think that were the electorate fully informed, polling booths would be very lonely places as the only people in them would be those prepared to hand out ballot papers.

No mention of that small detail have I seen in the media, or by any politician, today – odd that.

In his article Kirkup makes mention that if the Ukip argument that Labour and Conservative are simply two sides of the same establishment coin is getting traction with voters, both the bigger parties may have some thinking to do about their anti-Ukip tactics. Never mind the two big parties, perhaps all parties should be thinking and worrying about why they are held to be segments of the same coin.

No mention of that small detail have I seen in the media, or by any politician, today – odd that.

I am surprised that the word ‘democracy’ has not been mentioned, more than it has – but then it is just possible that both politicians and the media are becoming too ashamed to mention something that we most certainly do not have – and never have had.

No mention either of that small detail have I seen in the media, or by any politician, today – again, odd that.

What we are witnessing is that, only hours after the events, our political class and the media are not listening, they are not paying attention; in fact they are just not thinking – and unfortunately there is nothing odd about that.


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2014
10/10

Category:
David's Musings

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When the fog has cleared

The initial media reaction to events in Clacton and Heywood & Middleton are those that one would have expected – a tad shallow and missing the insight that one would have wished to see, had we had a media staffed with journalists worthy of their profession.

The low turnout in Heywood & Middleton could well be due to the fact the core Labour vote did not in fact vote but stayed at home. Ukip must be feeling as sick as the proverbial dog – not that they lost the seat by 617 votes; but the fact that 309 more votes would have secured a second Ukip victory on the night.

It would seem that there has been loads of waffle on the BBC about how there has been a change in British politics caused by events in these two by-elections (not unexpected – see opening paragraph) but I have to ask what change? Where is the change when public support has shifted from one political party who appears not to know the answers to the problems facing our country, to another party equally clueless?

Nigel Farage has been trumpeting that Ukip are the party for change – how good it would be if just one journalist or political commentator would make the point that if change is what is needed, then The Harrogate Agenda offers the change that is necessary – and on a permanent, proper basis. (Any chance Mr. Booker?).

With the reported news that Nigel Farage wishes to keep HIV-positive migrants out of Britain, perhaps Carswell’s acceptance speech contained a rebuke? To my new party I offer these thoughts: Humility when we win, modesty when we are proved right. If we speak with passion let it always be tempered with compassion.

It will be interesting to see how Farage, Ukip and Carswell handle this because – whether it is a ‘hatchet-job’ based on innuendo, or one based on evidence – we all know that mud sticks.

Ukip are in an enviable position as they have the ear of the media – it is a pity that they seem oblivious of the best way to capitalise on that. Statements as that of Farage’s latest, coupled with this (paragraph 3) on their website can only present their opponents with an open goal.

Douglas Carswell may well have stated that he has no leadership ambition, but just how long will he ‘allow’ what can only be described as ‘rabble-rousing’ by elements of his party to undo the calm, reasoned work he could well perform in the House of Commons? With his election as a Member of Parliament, coupled with the possibility he could well be joined by Mark Reckless, Ukip now have the ability to really have their message brought to the attention of the British electorate – one can only hope that they do not waste it. Unfortunately, if history is any guide, they no doubt will.

There are those on Twitter who maintain that Ukip must be supported as, while they have faults, they are the best alternative we have to the other three main parties. Admirable sentiments indeed, but I have to come back to the basic question of where is the difference twixt any four of them? Ukip are doing a very good job of similarity to the others in that all it appears they want is the same as their opponents – namely power; and they don’t seem to mind how they go about achieving it. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose indeed.

If Ukip do wish to become a force in British politics, then I would suggest a little soul searching is done so that they can begin acting as a body that people can look up to and thus respect.

 

 

 

 


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2014
10/09

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David's Musings

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Nigel Farage in the spotlight?

For those who haven’t heard but who are interested, it is reported that the Panorama investigative film into Nigel Farage’s financial relationship with UKIP will be shown on BBC1 at 8.30pm on Monday 13th October 2014.

Stay tuned, as they say……………


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