Tag Archive: Debate

When will they ever learn?

MartinGriffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach group believes that with politicians eyeing next year’s General Election and putting forward their ideas on the future of our rail system, policy debate must be focused on what passengers want, not on political smokescreens about structures.

That the CEO of a bus company, which also runs South West Trains and East Midlands Trains, and is joint operator of Virgin Trains should write such drivel as:

This year is the tenth anniversary of two government decisions which fundamentally changed the way Britain’s rail network is funded. In 2004, the then Labour government decided passengers should shoulder more of the cost and taxpayers should pay less. Today, only a third of the £12bn cost of the rail network is funded by taxpayers. Ministers also scrapped the previous policy of reducing the real-terms cost of travel each year. Instead, for nine years in a row, season tickets and other regulated fares rose above inflation until, in January 2014, these ticket prices went up in line with RPI.

Has this CEO not heard of the ‘User Pays‘ principle? Does he have the faintest idea of an organisation called the European Union, one of whose competences is transport? If a mere blogger could pick this up back in 2011, surely the head of a transport provider could do likewise?

In the Independent we are informed that Patrick Diamond, a former advisor to both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is reported as saying that Ed Miliband must ‘come clean’ and admit that he will have to raise the level of taxation if he is to fund his programmes. Diamond believes that the British political class is avoiding the honest debate we need to have about taxing and spending.

In respect of requiring the political class to ‘come clean’, both Griffiths and Diamond are asking for the moon because since when has the political class come clean about anything – in fact when have the political class held an honest debate on anything? Miliband states that he won’t sign a blank cheque, yet is that not what the British electorate is asked to do? The hypocracy is breath taking – needless to say this will have gone totally over the heads of our political class and media.

In asking when will they ever learn, it becomes apparent that the question is not just directed at people like Griffiths and Diamond – it is directed at the British people who unfortunately believe everything that the mendacious political and media class present to them.

 


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An offer – or challenge?

Following my earlier post, I have just put out on twitter the following:

@Nigel_Farage Well?
http://witteringsfromwitney.com/oh-come-on-ukip-and-farage/
What better venue then the Seat of Cameron? Or, in the words of the Maggietollah, are you ‘frit’?

Let us see whether he, who considers himself the voice of the people, is prepared to publicly debate with one dissenting voice of the people.

Such a challenge has been issued previously to David Cameron without acceptance, so lets see whether Nigel Farage has that which he accuses Cameron of being without.


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MP/Public Relationship

Members of Parliament would have us believe that they appear on Twitter as a means for the public to interact with them – and vice-versa. Has any reader actually attempted to do that? The reason I ask is that every attempt I have made to interact with any Member of Parliament on something they have tweeted results in them eventually “running the proverbial mile”.

Earlier this evening (approximately 4pm) Michael Fabricant (Conservative) (@Mike_Fabricant) tweeted:

“MPs are representatives. They must vote for what they think is right for the country as well as for their individual constituents.”

When I responded:

“And that Mr Fabricant is where you are so deluded! It matters not what you think. Understand democracy?”

There was then an “interruption” from someone (@EN_Somat) who believed that as Fabricant had been elected to Parliament (and I wasn’t) he therefore had a vote (and I didn’t). He was promptly “put in his place” – but I digress.

Following the aforementioned short exchange of views, Fabricant then responded:

“I think it might be time for your pill…….”

To which I replied:

“Oh, the usual response then. Sarcasm coupled with rudeness. Obviously no response to my statement then?”

From which time, to the time of writing (nearly 5 hours), nothing has been heard from Fabricant.

Earlier this evening (approximately 5pm – 4+ hours ago at the time of writing) I also “took to task” Andrea Leadsom about her article on ConservativeHome; and when “announcing” my post on Twitter, took the trouble to ensure she saw it by including in the tweet her Twitter “address”.

Since then – nothing.

That, dear reader, demonstrates in a nutshell exactly how our political class view those they are meant to serve – and who employ them.  When “confronted” they will not – or cannot- engage in debate. They run the proverbial mile.

The European Union has a policy, one which they term “User Pays”. This requires that where a public service is provided the user – ie, those for whom the “service” is provided – should bear the costs involved. What this policy does not acknowledge is the point that if the user must bear the costs of said service, should not the user have a voice where said costs are incurred? It should also be recalled that the funds for the provision of public services are forcibly extracted from our pockets virtually “at the point of a gun”; ie if we refuse to pay we are liable to imprisonment. We have no voice in the level of taxation because, in effect, we write each incoming government a blank cheque – we receive no estimate of any government’s expenditure, they notify us what said level will be once they assume office.

Much as I am against any legislation, or the basis for said legislation that the EU imposes, is it not time that we adopted the principle of user pays with the caveat I added? When one considers that the UK is no longer a sovereign country, one self-governing and thus able to make its own laws, – coupled with the fact that those that are meant to represent us, don’t and appear to have no wish so to do – just why the hell should we continue to fund them?

Members of Parliament rely on the defence that they are only answerable to their constituents and that unless you are one, they have no requirement to enter into discourse with you. However, when an MP “goes public”, utilising the services of what is but a public information service like Twitter to make pronouncements which are directed at no-one in particular, just how does their defence of non-accountability unless one is a constituent, hold water?

As I pointed out to Fabricant – and while being sorely tempted to alter the last vowel of his name, I resisted as I did not wish to lower myself to his level where the level of debate was concerned – the electorate elect him and his colleagues as virtual dictators in that for a period of 5 years whichever party forms a government, they are able to act with impunity and pass whatever laws they like as the electorate has no means whatsoever of calling a halt to their actions.

This begs the question to whom does the United Kingdom belong – the people, or is it the fiefdom of the 650?

On the basis that the state is meant to serve the people – and not the other way round – the sooner the people demand a change in our system of democracy, the sooner they will regain their freedom. Harrogate Agenda anyone?

Whenever – and whatever – legislation is imposed on the people of this nation  causes me to think of a quotation attributed to Peter Calcagno:

“We must remember that government, no matter how hard it tries, cannot protect an individual from themselves. This legislation is simply one more attempt by big government to tell us that they know what is best for us. It is not the first time – and it will not be the last.”

 


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2013
01/17

Category:
David's Musings

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COMMENTS:
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The EU Debate

There are more suggestions and opinions doing the rounds on what Cameron’s big speech tomorrow will contain than one can shake the proverbial stick at. The one thing they all have in common is that they attempt to influence the views of others and fail dismally in that their content is superficial and thus misleading. Exactly the same accusation can be laid at the door of all those who have been quoted in the media or who have provided articles for the media.

Europhiles rely on the fear factor that outside the EU Britain will be isolated, yet specify not on how isolated that may be. Eurosceptics prattle on about the need for referendums, yet provide no idea of how an exit from the EU could be accomplished. Neither side mentions how trade with the EU will be continued, nor for that matter how access to the single market can be maintained and little, if any, mention is made of the fact that access to the single market is not dependent on membership of the EU.

In other words, neither the articles on Cameron’s speech tomorrow nor the debate on remaining a member of the EU vs that of achieving the impossible (renegotiation) resulting in a possible exit, have even scratched the surface. We are continually informed that matters EU do not rank high in the list of public concerns, to which one has to ask is it any wonder when politicians and pundits tend not to mention it and when they so do, treat it in such an off-hand and generalized manner.

Many events that occur attract the words “shameful”and “scandalous” and none more so than the actions and words of the political class where this matter of EU membership is concerned. It is shameful that the political class should attempt to deceive and scandalous that that are allowed to get away with it.


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An alternative ‘Sunday Refection’

What follows is a recording of a debate, as part of a BBC series, between Michael Foot and Enoch Powell in 1973. It is 45 minutes of fascinating debate, the like of which we do not have the privilege of enjoying today with our present crop of politicians. What we do have here are two gentlemen and true advocates for their respective ideological views.

I happen to disagree with that for which Foot stood but can nevertheless respect his earnest advocacy for the policies he deeply believed in. Meanwhile Powell was the last, what I would term, scholar politician and wise man of British politics. It is unfortunate that Foot is mostly known as the loser of 1983 while Powell is slandered as a racialist by those ignorant of his enormous contributions.

When considering the subjects discussed, among which is the subject of MPs and their standards, this debate could well have taken place recently.


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