Tag Archive: Democracy

Rotherham (3)

However, the ultimate responsibility for all this must lie with the politicians whose laws set up this system, but who have since turned their backs on how the system has made such a mockery of the high-minded intent that lay behind those laws

Source

Following that article the same author has written another, well reasoned, article about ‘matters Rotherham’, one entitled: Getting to the ‘core issues’.

In no way offered as a criticism (and methinks the author is suffering from ‘criticismitis’, so I have no wish to unjustifiably, nor deliberately, add to that), but possibly the core issue has been missed?

Whatever religion or race the present problems from which our society suffers, does it not arise purely from the observation contained in the quotation above?

For sure, the change in the racial make-up of our society has been caused by laws passed by those elected to ‘supposedly’ represent us and our views – and on which (a) we were not consulted; and (b) were laws which were so obviously passed with no advance thought about a ‘what if’ element in their formation.

 The Labour Government may well have opened the floodgates to immigrants from the European Union (and elsewhere) to do menial jobs that our indigenous population considered below their status but where the younger generation had been urged to go onto higher education, even university (taking non-degrees like media studies), is it any wonder a shortage occurred in the menial job market? (And don’t get me started on a ‘living wage’ please?)

If ever there was a case that ‘consultation’, to include we the people,  should be mandatory – and in a more ‘public’ manner – then ‘events Rotherham’ is but one example. The ramifications of ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ had most definitely not been ‘thought through’ when they were introduced – and the same goes for equality of the sexes in politics (Miliband?), boardrooms, etc.

As I have written on occasions too numerous to mention, if people want the type of country in which they wish to live then the sooner they embrace this, the better!

 

 

 

 

 


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Carswell: what next for Ukip – and Farage?

When Nigel Farage entered a press conference accompanied by Douglas Carswell jaws may well have dropped, immediately followed by a realisation of the content of what they were about to hear.

In the aftermath of the announcement of Carswell’s ‘defection’ there are many imponderables; namely, will the Conservative Party actually move a writ or leave the seat vacant until May 2015; will Carswell retain his seat as a Member of Parliament, whenever an election is called; will Carswell’s ‘defection’ prompt more of his ex-colleagues to follow – unlikely, according to media reports and a recent statement by Nadine Dorries.

More intriguing – and hardly raised elsewhere – is the question of should Carswell still be the MP for Clacton post May 2015, what might happen to Ukip as a party. Will it still be Nigel Farage’s party were Carswell to be elected and Farage fail in Thanet? Media commentators seem to be of the opinion that Carswell has taken a risk, but in view of the foregoing scenario (Carswell MP – Farage not) it is logical to ask whether Farage has taken an even bigger risk.

Interesting times ahead, methinks.

Afterthought:

On the subject of further Conservative MPs following Carswell: While it can be said that Carswell has taken an honourable course and resigned his seat, one has to wonder whether those being touted as further possible defectors are more interested in their careers than in facts which are staring them in the face on the question of Cameron’s renegotiation ploy and ability to hold a referendum by 2017.

Until such MPs can explain how Cameron’s policies can be delivered, my cynicism of them must remain.


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Rotherham (2)

Any society that entails he strengthening of the state apparatus by giving it unchecked control over the economy and re-unites the polity and the economy is an historical regression. In it there is no more future for the public, or for the freedoms it supports than there was under feudalism.

Robert Higgs, Crisis and Levathian (1987)

Owen Jones has an article in the Guardian entitled: If Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are mavericks British politics is doomed. Writing in the same publication, Paul Vallely has an article entitled: Rotherham abuse report: protection is what matters, not blame. Yet again in the same publication we have Randeep Ramesh stating that Rotherham is a putrid scandal perpetuated by a broken system.

To supplement all that we have an extract from the Spectator headlined: Rotherham’s child abuse was ignored in order to protect careers and retirements; coupled with which we then have an article on Conservative Home questioning how the Councillor who was in charge of Children’s Services (including child protection) in Rotherham from 2005 to 2010, years during which the council ignored clear warnings and allowed the crimes to continue, was then nominated and subsequently elected as a Police and Crimes Commissioner. We also have Allison Pearson, writing in the Telegraph, basically blaming the people for not rocking the multi-cultural boat.

Then of course the question has to be asked just what did the ex-MP for Rotherham (Denis MacShane) know about all this – and if not, why not?

Just how the hell does Owen Jones believe that because Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage  are mavericks, bearing in mind the foregoing, that British politics is doomed? Both believe in representative democracy, both believe in control by the centre (in one form or another) – they are no different to any other politician, so how are they mavericks? As with the word ‘eurosceptic’, so with the word ‘maverick”; both are now being used to describe someone who is not.

British politics has for yonks been a merry-go-round in which people who have failed in one post are then moved to another in order to repeat their past ineptitude – and all without the democratic agreement of those who are required to fund their existence.

To return to the quote with which this article is introduced, it is not just control of the economy being handed to the polity that brings about the ruin of a society – it is the handing over of control in every aspect of our lives to the polity that brings about the ruin of society.

While we permit the safeguarding of careers and retirements; while we permit broken systems to continue; while we permit politicians to dictate that which we can and cannot say; while we permit the merry-go-round of job placements for the incompetent, then indeed politics is doomed.

More importantly, while we permit our politics to be used as a plaything for those in the Westminster Bubble then our country is surely doomed – as are we ourselves.

 

 


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Rotherham – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.

Alexander Hamilton

With the publication of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013) there unfolds a story of mismanagement involving incompetence and neglect of duty.

The Executive Summary is concise, detailing serious shortcomings in those who held positions of trust within the society they were supposed to protect.

No doubt there will be much hand-wringing among our political class and charities involved in child care and protection with the publication of this report. No doubt too, there will be mutterings of disgust and condemnation among members of the public; although I suspect few will bother to read the report, instead relying on what they see on their television, hear on the wireless, or read in the press.

When anything goes wrong in this country the first thing people do is to cast around, looking for someone to blame – when perhaps they should be looking in a mirror. For too long people have relied on the State to do things for them that they should be doing for themselves. For too long people have considered that having cast their vote at election time, they have done their duty.

Invariably when something does go wrong and I hear people complaining about ‘the government’ or ‘the council’ I ask them what they have done or intend doing about it. Usually the response is that of: ‘Oh, I don’t get involved in politics’; as if that absolves them of all blame.

That attitude absolves no-one of blame because liars, panderers and the incompetent who hold public office at any level would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn’t insist on their right to remain ignorant and thus blindly agreeable.

‘Events Rotherham’ is but an example of what is wrong with our country and our society in general – we seem not to care what happens in, or to, this wonderful country, nor to ourselves. 

A country should become what its people decide but in most cases a country becomes what a select few decide. Washing one’s hands of a problem didn’t do Pontius Pilate much good – and it won’t do much for the people either.

People, get a grip – here is your template!


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Devolution – a Pandora’s Box?

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 With the second Scottish Independence debate occurring this evening it is perhaps opportune to consider some aspects of this subject which do not yet appear to have been discussed.

Devolution of power to Scotland and Wales was one of the central planks of New Labour’s election manifesto in 1997, under the leadership of Tony Blair. Cynics are of the opinion that either (a) it was but a ploy to ensure a majority of Labour MPs in Scotland and Wales; or (b), it was but the first sign of Blair wishing to be at the heart of Europe and demonstrating that by starting the process of regionalisation – you pays your money and………..

Once the process of devolution was begun it could be likened to the opening of a Pandora’s box in that that action, one that seemed so small or innocent, has turned out to have severely detrimental and far-reaching consequences.

All that the process of devolution has accomplished is to provide another opportunity for a group of politicians to sense an opening whereby they can carve out for themselves a career which will provide a bigger slice of cake than that which they currently enjoy, while at the same time fragmenting a united kingdom.

It could be said that those first implementing devolution paid little thought to what might follow – and if they did, they obviously cared not knowing that they would not be around to deal with the consequences. I seem to recall that the consequences of an act affect the probability of its occurring again; something that we see with the further concessions being promised to Scotland by todays political elite – and this lot will not be around either when the time comes to clear up their attempt at bribery.

Alex Salmond has made great play about ‘freedom for Scotland’ where the question of Scottish Independence is concerned, while conveniently hiding the fact that it is not freedom for Scotland, nor its people, that he seeks; but the freedom for him and his ilk to rule Scotland as they see fit – and lets face it, they had an example of what to do by looking at the political system in England.

Under representative democracy our political class (and it will be no different in Scotland) work on the basis that having been left to our devices we have not been able to regulate ourselves (in their opinion) and therefore it is necessary that we must be forced, we must have our earnings seized by the state, we must work under their directions (under penalty of fines or imprisonment); that we don’t deserve to be free.

The practice of our political elite throwing titbits to the people from the table of democracy is no different to those who throw titbits from the dinner table to their dog. Unfortunately, the people have yet to learn something that dogs already know; namely, that hunting as a pack they can soon get to everything that is on the dinner table!

 


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Recurring Events

Every year we acknowledge recurring events in our lives such as birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries; and in time, due to the ageing process, they assume less and less importance. One such annual event, which assumes a similar lack of importance, is the subject about the annual increase in rail fares, something that our media attempt to elevate to a matter of national importance – not that, for all their efforts – anything seems to happen. Not to be outdone, the Financial Times has this article, on which I have left a short comment. Having ‘had a go‘ at Peter Oborne, the need for observing the requirements of gender equality dictates my according the authors of the FT article the same treatment.

I have written many times on this subject, the earliest which was in August 2011, following that article with this one in December of the same year. Where Angela Eagle is concerned it is noted that she seems to have followed a downward path, where the importance of portfolios is concerned, since the first portfolio accorded to her by Tony Blair. Perhaps, under Miliband, a PPE is an example of ‘a race to the bottom’? But I digress.

If readers follow all the links in the articles to which I link in the posts mentioned above, perhaps they will appreciate why I get so annoyed at our p*** poor political class and our p*** poor media.

As it is obvious that the media cannot, or will not, do their homework; and our political class are also obviously lying to us – just when will the people stir themselves to do their own? Or will they continue to ‘rail’ against the inevitable and then just suffer in silence – as is their wont?

 

 


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There are ‘bastards’ – and there are ‘bastards’

Richard North, continuing his series of articles on ‘matters Iraq links to ‘Complete Bastard‘ – the author of which blog is Peter (Pete) North, aka North Junior, aka the son of Richard North.

In most articles readers are gradually led to the ‘nub’ of the article, however allow me to ‘cut to the chase’ – thus going against the grain of most articles – and introduce to you Peter Oborne, Chief Political Commentator of the Daily Telegraph. who, so Wikipedia informs us, is renowned for his acerbic commentary on the hypocrisy and apparent mendacity of contemporary politicians. In what follows it has to be remembered that Oborne is a member of the ‘Westminster Bubble’ and/or the ‘Notting Hill Set’, both of which with whom he no doubt spends an inordinate amount of his time.

When queried, Google offers two definitions  of the word ‘bastard’ – and where both people are concerned, we can immediately dispense with the first. Where the second is concerned, viz-a-vis Oborne, I leave readers to select whichever word they consider most appropriate – an offer which will hopefully become all too plain.

Peter Oborne has a blog post in which he suggests Parliament should be a lot more rowdy because he believes that rowdyism is a must, that Parliament is  not about the exchange of polite conversation at a vicarage tea party because it is concerned with the great, controversial matters of the day and involves clashes between rival visions of how our society should be run; maintaining also that in any properly functioning democracy, passion should run high. What Oborne so conveniently forgets is that it is because we do not have a properly functioning democracy is why passions do run high.

The rowdyism, which Oborne appears so keen to promote, is due to two main factors; (a) the common characteristic of vacuousness and, as a result; (b) the complete lack of knowledge exhibited by the majority of those who rise to their feet, in order to pontificate on matters about which they so obviously know nothing.

Consider:

  • Is it not courtesy, in any civilised gathering, to sit in silence and listen to that which a speaker is saying?
  • Is it not courtesy, in any civilised gathering, if asked a question to answer that question fully and truthfully?

Those two points are especially applicable to Prime Minister’s Questions – a misnomer if ever there was one as ‘questions’ are never answered. Instead, what results is an attempt to belittle the questioner (the Leader of the Opposition) by the Prime Minister of the day (or vice versa) while both participants are only concerned in securing a ‘sound-bite’ (aka playing to the gallery) which will guarantee their mention in any subsequent television news or the inclusion in a satirical article by some parliamentary hack.. What results is no more than what can only be described as childish behaviour exhibited by those on the benches behind either questioner or respondent, baying like demented idiots. That is not to forget, during PMQs, the ‘planted questions’,provided by Whips and asked by those hoping that their ‘puppetry’ will assist their promotional prospects, coupled with both front benches pointing and ‘gurneying’ at their counterparts opposite.

Peter Oborne wants more of this because he believes that is how a properly functioning democracy behaves? If only we had a properly functioning democracy we would not have to put up with the kindergarten behaviour of those who should know better – and that includes Oborne! One has to ask Oborne where is his rowdyism outside ‘prime time television’ (Wednesdays: 12:00 to 12:30) when matters of state are discussed and where one is lucky if there are more than 20 ‘bums on seats’? The only ‘rowdyism’ we then get is when the remainder miraculously appear to dutifully file through the lobbies in order to cast their votes on a discussion on which they have heard nothing and in which they have not participated, then returning to the green benches to ‘bay’ in unison when the result of the vote is announced.

Pete North justifiably castigates those who he terms idealistic know-nothings –  I can but suggest that Oborne has yet to step out of that base category of his mis-named ‘profession’. Oborne’s article is about the hyprocisy and mendacity of our political class? Donnez-moi un break, s’il vous plait?

 

 


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Meeting my Member of Parliament (2)

I thought readers would be interested to know that, following my meeting with David Cameron on Friday, today the following email has been received:

Your appointment with David Cameron MP

Dear Mr Phipps,

 Thank you very much for coming to see David on Friday at his advice surgery.  Thank you also for dropping off the document listing your concerns about David’s comments regarding Europe.  Please be assured that David will read and respond to this in due course.

Best wishes,

Julia

Julia Spence I Caseworker

 Office of the Rt Hon David Cameron MP

House of Commons , London, SW1A 0AA

Needless to say I refrained from responding that my concerns had nothing to do with the continent of Europe but were related to this country’s membership of the European Union and the less than candid statements on that subject that he has made verbally and in writing.

As previously promised, his response (and any rebuttal to his response) will be published.


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2014
08/18

Category:
David's Musings

TAG:


COMMENTS:
Comments Closed

Who is to ‘be’, or not to ‘be’ (the master) – that is the question

One of the penalties for refusing to engage in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.

To succeed in politics it is often necessary to rise above your principles.

Graham Allen (Labour, Nottingham North) is chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, one appointed by the House of Commons to consider political and constitutional reform. This committee has published the second report of the current session (2014-2015) entitled: A New Magna Carta?; and this report is ‘introduced’ by an article authored by Graham Allen.

In collaboration with Kings College London they are reviewing various parts of the current system of democracy under which we currently live and whether we, as a country, need a codified constitution. They make the point that it is not for the committee to decide this but the decision should be one for the people; and in this context the Introduction is well worth reading.

Part 1 of the report sets out the arguments for and against a codified constitution and it is interesting that the arguments for such a codified constitution make the same arguments that I, along with Richard North and The Boiling Frog, have been ‘banging on’ about in relation to the deficits encapsulated in our current system, representative democracy.

These are detailed in depth on page 20 of the report under the heading: The Particular Arguments; and include:

  • In a democracy, it is the people that are sovereign, not Parliament;
  • There are no limitations on what Parliament can legislate about;
  • Parliamentary sovereignty is wielded by the government of the day, not Parliament;
  • Parliamentary sovereignty is but an anachronism and that the sovereignty of the people should be paramount;
  • Local Government is but a puppet of central government;
  • An ‘elective dictatorship’ exists due to the lack of separation of powers twixt the Executive and the Legislature;
  • Most of the rules governing the Office of Prime Minister are nowhere set down in legal form.

It is a tad ironic that the arguments against a codified constitution (page 24) actually do make the case for a codified constitution and for a change to our system of democracy; and include:

  • The present system most definitely ‘is broke’ and therefore does need ‘fixing’; as can be seen by this sides later arguments;
  • Change most definitely is wanted (who says it is not wanted – Katie Ghose, CEO of the Electoral Reform Society, who it could be said has a vested interest?);
  • There are insufficient institutional checks and balances on the actions, decisions and policies of the executive (an ‘elective dictatorship’) – contrary to what the argument against maintains because: (a) intra-party dissent may well exist but promptly dissolves once the Whips get to work; (b) the ability of the House of Lords to delay legislation is negated by, if necessary, use of the Parliament Act; (c) the mass media is, by and large, uncritical; and (d) while it is necessary for political parties to court public opinion come election time, outside said occasions it can do as it damn well pleases.

Yet again we see public input being requested yet how much weight will that opinion have when weighed against those who might be considered ‘stakeholders’ – such as Katie Ghose? Just what is the point in involving the public when, as with any recall of an MP, Parliament will have the final decision? An elective dictatorship, indeed.

It would be interesting to know the personal feelings/views of those sitting on the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, especially as the report states that it is not the intention of the committee to influence. For example, take Graham Allen who, from Wikipedia, we learn is a proponent of democratic reform and supports independent local government, some proportional representation and a fully elected House of Lords; that in 1995 he wrote “Reinventing Democracy” and in November 2002 he published The Last Prime Minister: Being Honest About the UK Presidency, claiming that the UK effectively had a presidency; and that the Prime Minister (or ‘President’, as he referred to the office throughout the book) should be directly and separately elected in order for a better separation of powers.

However ‘saintly’ may be the intentions of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, I have to ask why it is the cynic in me suspects this is just another charade in the long-running – and constantly failing – attempt to bridge the gap twixt politicians and those they are supposed to represent.

This report appears to be but another effort to tinker with representative democracy while attempting to convince the people that they are the masters, ie that they are sovereign – a state they can never attain under representative democracy.

That the political class will not voluntarily visit their version of Dignitas is a given and if change to true democracy is really wanted by the people then they are going to have to get behind this idea.


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Open Europe, late to the party – again

In their press summary today Open Europe triumphantly proclaim that a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has shown that Clegg’s 3 million jobs claim is incorrect.

If Open Europe deigned to read blogs they could have saved themselves the time and effort of inputting that FoI request as Clegg’s claim was proved false on 1st October 2013.

Coincidentally this 3 million jobs being dependent on our membership of the European Union is one of the accusations which will be put to my Member of Parliament when I meet him at 3pm this afternoon at which time I shall be accusing him of being less than candid – or, if you prefer, being economical with the actualité – about matters EU’.

A report of this meeting will appear on this blog at approximately 1600/1630 hours.

 


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