Tag Archive: Democrcy

2014
06/27

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Cameron’s National Briefing and Q&A sessions from EU Council meeting

Or in his own words: another day in paradise.

For those interested:

Cameron’s ‘National Briefing’ is here;

Part 1 of the following Q&A session is here;

Part 2 of the following Q&A session is here;

Part 3 of the following Q&A session is here.

I note that yet again he made claim to actions that he did not manage to achieve – but I digress.

One or two of his responses to questions were quite interesting when you think about it, viz-a-viz his idea of a referendum and the time-scale involved………

 

 

 

 


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What if? (Scotland)

An ‘interesting’ paper has appeared from the European Policy Centre, authored by Graham Avery who is a Senior Adviser at the European Policy Centre, Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, and Honorary Director-General of the European Commission.

The caveat in the paper is that the views expressed are those of Graham Avery – no wonder…………


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2014
05/13

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News ‘management’

Philip Johnston, in his usual weekly Telegraph column, advises us that politicians have stopped listening to us  which has prompted one comment, from ‘upset’, that it is always worth buying the Telegraph in order to keep up with the latest trends.

That comment sums up the nadir to which the Telegraph has sunk. There is not one mention of the fact that local democracy per se des not even exist –  because all local councillors are doing is, in effect, nodding through diktats from Brussels and Westminster.

Johnston ends his article by writing that when representative democracy starts to break down at every level, it is hardly surprising that voters turn to fringe protest parties, or agitate for a direct say on matters through a referendum as that is the only way they can get anyone in power to pay attention.

It would seem to have escaped Johnston’s attention that the fringe parties of which he writes wish to continue the broken system of representative democracy; nor does it seem to have crossed his mind to inquire why they would continue so to do. Neither does it occur to Johnston to question why or how the power, which he obviously believes does belong to the people, came to be lost in the first place; nor does he extend his brain to consider the possibility that if there is agitation for a direct say on matters, then the current system of representative democracy should be thrown out with the bath water and a long, hard look taken at an alternative system, such as that of direct democracy.

No doubt the superficial content of Johnston’s article will be replicated by this programme, one due to to be broadcast next Monday. Undoubtedly, in using all the weapons in their arsenal and requiring that questions are submitted by email, they are ensuring that they remember the conditions under which loans or grants are given by the EU and consequently will not bite the hand that feeds them.

When one sees a leading newspaper and broadcaster both ‘managing’ the information they present, it can only illustrate a long-held belief: that we do not have a free press.

 


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After the Lord Mayors Show

After the debacle of the IEA Brexit competition, one which The Boiling Frog informs us Lord Pearson was responsible for having raised the funding, it would seem we are about to be treated to what might be termed another Whitehall Farce (low comedy tradition of British farce).

From Open Europe’s press summary we read that: In or Out? How an EU referendum could affect your business: On 29 May in London, leading experts, politicians and business people will debate what ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the EU could actually look like? Should the UK stay or go? What should the Government renegotiate ahead of the proposed referendum, and in the event of an exit, what structures should the Government put into place to manage the transition? This event is held in partnership with Open Europe and speakers include Mats Persson, Open Europe Director, John Mills, Chairman and Founder of JML, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management, Lord Simon of Highbury, Deputy Chairman of Unilever, and Sir Stephen Wall, the Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister John Major.

It is with some justification that the term Whitehall Farce is used to describe another offering staged by Open Europe, especially when considering who the speakers are and that at the forefront is Mats Persson who has been shown not to have a clue about that which he is supposed to be knowledgeable.

It would appear that there is a concerted effort afoot by supposed eurosceptics, but who are in fact closet europhiles, to skew the debate on any referendum so that the result would be that which our political class want – and to hell with facts and what the people may want.


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2014
02/18

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The immigration row

Apparently last night on Channel 5 there was what had, I presume, been intended as a debate about immigration which seemed to turn into a row – in compliance with the title of the programme. Not that I watched it, but that is how it seemed from comments appearing on Twitter. Tim Stanley, writing in the Telegraph, provides his take on the evening, stating that what is need is a serious, calm conversation about immigration and not a big row.

It is perhaps with a sense of timing by either Channel 5 or the EU that the latter have just released the latest statistics on the subject of immigration. No doubt the sensationalizing sections of the press will seize on the fact that the United Kingdom reported the largest number of immigrants (566 044) in 2011, followed by Germany (489 422), Spain (457 649) and Italy (385 793); these four Member States together accounting for 60.3 % of all immigrants to EU-27 Member States; or that in absolute terms, the largest numbers of non-nationals living in the EU on 1 January 2012 were found in Germany (7.4 million persons), Spain (5.5 million), Italy (4.8 million), the United Kingdom (4.8 million) and France (3.8 million). Non-nationals in these five Member States collectively represented 77.1 % of the total number of non-nationals living in the EU-27, while the same five Member States had a 62.9 % share of the EU’s population.

What must be taken into consideration is the emigrant numbers and in this context Spain reported the highest number of emigrants in 2011 (507 742), followed by the United Kingdom (350 703), Germany (249 045) and France (213 367).

We all know that statistics can be presented in many forms, especially when they are being used to reinforce an argument. Stanley highlights the problem immigration causes on social services and the burdens on our society, while making the point that the British feel they have no political leverage or cultural capital. As with most journalistic debate in the media today Stanley completely ignores the fact that decisions have been taken whereby our society has indeed changed and the people were not specifically consulted in the making of those decisions – in other words, like so many, he totally ignores the question of sovereignty and governance and in so doing just who it is that is sovereign and just who should be doing the governing.

If Stanley wants a serious, calm conversation about immigration, then perhaps he should ensure it is all encompassing – and not one of selectivity.

 


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2013
03/28

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David's Musings

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Hopefully the last word*

on the Miliband saga goes to Sadie Smith, writing in Total Politics:

“My name is Miliband. Commander of the Armies of the North. General of new Labour. Loyal servant to the true Emperor, St Tony of Blair. Brother to a treacherous sibling, righteous heir to a political dynasty – and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

* Or is it?


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2013
03/19

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Cyprus Cartoon

After Greece (May 2010) Ireland (November 2010) and Portugal (May 2011), Cyprus has become the fourth country to receive European Union and International Monetary Fund aid. The €10bn of aid is less than initially discussed and comes with conditions. However, unlike previous bailout terms, which have called for budget cuts and privatisations, now the EU and IMF want a tax on bank deposits. Spain, meanwhile, completed a deal to recapitalise its banks in December 2012, without signing any binding memorandum with the troika European Commission-ECB-IMF.

vonk-eurovision

Berend Vonk (b. 1962) is a Dutch cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer and painter. He works for TrouwHet Financieele DagbladVrij Nederland and Het Parool, among others. In 1993, he won the Ilse Frankenthal prize for young graphic designers and in 2009, the Stripschap, the Netherlands’ only prize for cartoonists.

Ack: Presseurop


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Hardly what one might call ‘Express’ news – what?

In an article dated today and headlined: “A BOMBSHELL ANSWER ON TRADE WITH THE EU” we are informed by Patrick O’Flynn of the Daily Express that there has been a crucial breakthrough in the battle to demonstrate that Britain would not be left at a trading disadvantage were it to leave the European Union; adding that Lord Stoddart of Swindon, a long-time opponent of the EU, has just hit the jackpot with a ministerial answer on the matter.

Actually, I hardly think that the use of the word ‘just’ is correct in view of the fact that this piece of news is 8 days old.

Just saying………


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So why is Cameron not ‘whipless’?

What is the difference between an MP who is not present in Parliament and thus cannot represent his/her constituents; and an MP who is present in Parliament but is unable to represent his/her constituents?

The question is asked as Cameron was queried on ITV’s “This Morning” about the speed with which Nadine Dorries was deprived of the Conservative Whip for her decision to appear on “I’m a celeb etc, etc” when compared with the action that was taken with Andrew Mitchell and the offense of swearing at a police officer.

In the context of the question it is necessary to repeat a question that I have posed, as one of his constituents, to David Cameron; namely how can he, as my Member of Parliament, represent me against what I consider an injustice as a result of government policy when he is the Government and who actually decides government policy? This question should be put by every constituent whose Member of Parliament accepts ministerial or PPS office.

Another aspect of this interview on “this Morning” is that it becomes obvious that if a politician appears on a ‘patsy’ programme then he will only receive ‘patsy’ questions. While it is accepted that Schofield is working ‘under direction’, if he wishes to be taken seriously as an interviewer then should he not have pressed Cameron on what is a matter of the lack of ‘separation of power’ between the Executive and those that are meant to hold the government to account? This ‘interview’ also further repeats an earlier question I have raised; namely when considering the political class and the media – in whose pocket is who?

Needless to say, I am unable to let this matter of the lack of separation of power pass without pointing out that it is the reason for Demand #3 of the Harrogate Agenda.


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Call that a ‘Waugh’ Room?

Paul Waugh, in a post in what he calls his Waugh Room, on Politics Home, attempts to pour scorn on David Heath, Defra Minister for intimating the Queen herself had told Parliament that her Government would introduce draft legislation for a ban on circus animals.

As Richard North, EU Referendum, points out – in which he very kindly links to an article from me on this subject – there is an ‘elephant in the room’. Consequently it matters not whether the Queen did, or did not, say her Government would introduce draft legislation for a ban on circus animals.

There really is not much point in having a ‘Waugh Room’ if, on the ‘plot’, you have a major combatant missing or, even worse, lose the plot.

Just saying…………

Afterthought:  As Richard North notes today: “But, since the legacy media, in all its arrogance, believes news to be only that which it deems necessary to tell us, that is no great loss. As always, we have to look beyond the headlines to find out what is really going on.”


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