Tag Archive: Democrcy

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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David's Musings

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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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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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Then democracy we do not have

I hold no ‘brief’ for either the English Defense League nor the British Freedom Party but when such a situation as this can happen, then democracy we do not have.

Today, I was informed by my Local Authority that Council Tax is “an enforced contribution where failure to pay is punishable by law”. Where what is a voluntary act can be enforced, then democracy we do not have.

All the more reason then for adoption of the Harrogate Agenda.

Just saying……..

 

 


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2012
10/17

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David's Musings

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Baumgartner (times 2)

On 15 October, British Prime Minister David Cameron (right) and the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond (left) signed the Edinburgh Agreement, by which Westminster authorises Scotland to hold a referendum on independence in autumn 2014. Cameron must now face the most conservative fringe of his party, which is calling for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Peter Brookes (b. 1943) is an English cartoonist who has produced work for numerous publications, including the New Statesman, The Spectator and most notably The Times, for which he is the leader-page cartoonist.

Ack Presseurop.


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2012
10/14

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Back to school Gove – and take your Mail friend with you

In today’s Mail on Sunday we are informed that the chances of Britain leaving the European Union rose dramatically with the news that Michael Gove believes it is time to tell Brussels bluntly: ‘We are ready to quit’. Apparently Gove is of the opinion that it is about time it was spelt out, in simple words that even Brussels bureaucrats can understand, that the existing situation is no longer tolerable; that if some of the important powers that they snaffled from us are not returned, that we will leave.

We all know that politicians are a tad lacking where the ‘little grey cells’ are concerned so the news that some Tory ministers are shocked to discover the extent of Brussels’ power to interfere in UK legislation comes as no surprise. If Gove really does believe that which Simon Walters writes then he is indeed worthy of the contempt that crass ignorance deserves. Unfortunately Gove is not the only one exhibiting crass ignorance as he is joined by ‘Grandee’ Bernard Jenkin who also believes that it is possible to renegotiate the unnegotiable.

Then of course we have the situation in which a so-called journalist, writing for a so-called newspaper, publishes what they both presumably consider to be facts but which are without doubt fiction – which is usually the result when idiots write about idiots. And a misleading idiot Walters shows himself to be with the statement that Cameron will formally announce later this month the first major step towards grabbing back powers from Brussels, setting out in detail how he plans to withdraw Britain from EU justice ties. This “major step” is no more than exercising an opt-out on 130 EU directives and regulations covering crime, justice and policing – including the controversial European arrest warrant. Walters then cannot bring himself to comment on the travesty, where democracy is concerned, that will be Cameron deciding which to ‘cherry-pick’ for opting back into without any input from those his decision will affect.

On affairs EU there are many words being both written and said about what a sad event will be the divorce. Those so lamenting should remember that the divorce is the second saddest event of this entire affair – the first was the marriage.


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