Tag Archive: Observer

NHS – No Hope Society?

As with freedom of speech – following events Charlie Hebdo – so the subject of the NHS has hardly failed to be discussed and written about; almost on a daily basis. (In fact Ed Miliband can’t stop himself talking and writing about it – together with mntion of ‘the few at the top’), Not to be outdone, we have Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer also joining in with his ‘take’ on the subject – countered somewhat with a different ‘take by Bill Cummings writing on the Spectator Coffee House blog.

This article by Rawnsley must be one of the most stupid, ill-thought-through pieces ever to appear in print. Of course the elderly may well use the health service more than any other section of our society – their bodies are reaching the end of their existence. Rawnsley would do well to remember that he too will eventually reach that stage and he too will no doubt be a ‘frequent user’. Blaming the elderly for the fact that our health service is in crisis leads one to question the number of elderly dealt with compared to the number of 18-24 year-olds who also use the same public service due to what may be called their childish wish to get ‘rat-arsed’ every Friday and Saturday night.

Neither is it fair of Rawnsley to lay the blame at the door of the elderly without apportioning blame to our political class who have known for decades that the elderly population has been steadily increasing – not forgetting of course that unlimited immigration has also placed additional requirements on not just the NHS but also other public services – and who appear not to have made provision for these factors.

The cynic in me says that if this piece is but a convoluted way to support Ed Miliband’s latest bandwagon of getting the young too vote, then all he need have written was: I support Ed Miliband’s ‘Get the young to vote’ campaign. This would have reduced the amount of crap we were required to read.

As cattle are considered sacred in world religions such as Hinduism, so with the Labour Party is the NHS considered sacred. We are reminded, ad infintum. that they invented it, but it is now, in its present form, well past its sell-by date and no longer fit for purpose. Of course, had politicians realised long ago that the NHS was to be an ever open hole into which public money would need to be poured, the NHS would not now be in the situation it is – and neither would we have to suffer the interminable political arguments about funding.

A simplistic view it may be but if every individual had to take out ‘health insurance’ it would have negated what can only be described as a mess today. As this informative piece by Civitas on the Swiss system of health provision shows; there is another way. I do not suggest that the Swiss system be ‘copied and pasted’ – it does have some negative aspects  – but even if it were we would not be in mess we are. Yes, it would take decades to filter through before public expenditure on our health service via taxation would fall, but for heavens sake: let us do ‘something’ now?

Reorganisation of our health service is but one matter that could and would be reformed by the adoption of The Harrogate Agenda – and until the latter is adopted it will mean, for sure, the NHS (No Hope Society) will be with us for eternity.






Welcome to the real world, Ms Wollaston

Sarah Wollaston, the subject of an article in  the Observer by Toby Helm, complains:

“The thing I find most frustrating here is that what’s really valued in politics is absolute loyalty, and I am often told that in saying things that are awkward I am damaging the chances of some of my colleagues being re-elected. I am told that what the public want to see is a united front. Well, I think we need to change the narrative. I think the public dislike the cardboard cutout, the lobby fodder, the sycophantic [planted] questions [in the Commons] … they don’t like it.”

Sarah Wollaston may have been chosen by the people in a system that David Cameron stated ” “bust open” the old closed methods of selection”, however no matter what the political elite may say, what eventually happens is another matter – in fact events bear no relation to what is initially promised.

What Sarah Wollaston has learnt is that representative democracy and elements of direct democracy do not – and will never be allowed to – mix because the political elite will never, ever, allow their central control of both the political system and those they are meant to serve to be subverted.

For Wollaston to be frustrated at what she has found since her arrival at Westminster suggests a certain naivety on her part in expecting a leopard to change its spots. It is indeed unfortunate and a tad disappointing that Sarah Wollaston has not realised that she is part of a rigged system of democracy and – in effect – suffers from exactly that which those she represents, experience on a daily basis. This further begs the question whether Wollaston actually realises whether she is there not to be part of setting laws, but actually passing laws that those who elect her, want. It then follows whether Wollaston has even heard of Direct Democracy.

Just asking………


The forthcoming local elections

Richard North, EUReferendum, has posted the result of an opinion poll that has appeared in The Observer showing the standing of the parties based on those intending to vote. Andrew Rawnsley, writing in the same newspaper, warns of the Ukip effect, while Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph, writes about conviction and aspirational politics.

That so many words can be expended on an event that has no meaning whatsoever by Rawnsley and Daley without either of them acknowledging the meaningless of said event really does beggar belief. Rawnsley makes the point that voting intentions in local elections invariably do not provide a pointer to that of general elections. – but one has to ask does that even matter? Daley meanwhile writes about the conviction and aspiration of the wrong section of our society, namely the political elite.

Leaving to one side the point that Richard North makes about local government being but puppets of our national and supranational governments, surely the important question is why voters even bother to consider lending their support to parties that have, in the past, each failed when assuming any form of government – be that local or national.

When will the proverbial penny drop with the voters that both the political and democratic systems are not fit for purpose? Likewise, what is the point in voting for yet more failure?

Just asking………….



Sunday “Skewage”

Yet still there are those in the media who feel they have something to contribute to the aftermath of “that speech” – and still the same old, tired, arguments are aired which continue the process of misinforming the electorate. In today’s papers are articles by Janet Daley (Telegraph); Tony Blair (Mail); Andrew Rawnsley (Observer); John Rentoul (Independent); David Miliband (Telegraph); and Nigel Farage (Mail).

Daley’s piece is a contrast twixt the messsages of Obama and Cameron – and as the outlook for this country is black enough without ploughing through her opinions on the problems America is currently experiencing, I propose we disregard those and concentrate on her opinion of Cameron and his speech. She is another who it appears has swallowed hook, line and sinker the Norway meme as she too is another who believes that Cameron’s speech was “eloquently argued, irresistibly persuasive to British ears, and logically faultless”. Logically faultless was it, Janet? One can only urge her to consult a dictionary on the meaning of those last two words. Writing that Cameron has a dream of the European Union as an open, flexible, freely diverse fellowship of nation states, each of them democratically accountable to its own electorate, and all of them able to cooperate in whatever ways suited their individual needs at any given time – which is what we all thought we would have, ie a common market – Daley continues:

“But does he not appreciate that this is the very antithesis of the founding principle of the EU? That its deliberate object was to curtail the power of its separate member states and the dangerous impulses of their volatile electorates, whose inclinations had a tendency to end in mass murder? It is not a travesty of the European project to say that it was a conspiracy of the European elites against their own peoples: it is the literal truth. Of course, the EU, with its unelected centralised governing bodies, overrides the democratic wishes of the nation states. That’s the whole point. This was a post-war French and German idea, devised to prevent any possibility of the hideous conflicts that devastated the continent during the last century. Its imperatives – the irreversible political integration of member states, a guarantee that national governments could never again go rogue, and the disempowering of electorates – arose directly from the 20th-century experience of criminal national leaders. The nation state, driven by the will of its own people, had been the demonic enemy of peace and the EU would put an end to it, once and for all.”

One might question the logic of the first part of that extract on two points: (a) were not the dangerous impulses of volatile electorates that had a tendency to end in mass murder not formed and directed by politicians; and (b) might not this time round the objects of said mass murder, rather than being the people, be the politicians? Leaving that aside, the remainder of Daley’s comments can only show that Cameron’s dream is totally unrealisable, As I and others have written, almost to the point of exhaustion, were one power to be returned to one member state it would start an avalanche of similar requests resulting in the end of the “project” – and those behind said “project” will never allow that to happen.

Readers will forgive me if I gloss over the offering of Tony Blair as it is what one would expect. Digressing again, someone wrote recently that Blair can never say or write something without forgetting that he is no longer addressing the House of Commons – very true that.

Andrew Rawnsley’s offering is long and while being a summary of what has already been said by others, does repeat one or two points worth consideration, but in castigating Cameron for a speech at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons, he writes:

“David Cameron has taken a great leap into the dark, which would not be so serious if he were not making his country jump with him.”

Er, when any Prime Minister of this country, because of the dictatorial aspects encapsulated in our present system of democracy, says jump, regardless of the subject, does not the country have to jump with them?

John Rentoul, in his offering, castigates MilibandE while praising Blair – which is hardly a surprise, Rentoul being one of the latter’s sycophants – explaining that Blair has nothing to fear about opinion polls nor that which he has previously said. No, the only thing Blair has to worry about is what those that can crown him President of the EU actually think of him.

David Miliband on the other hand (just love the picture) offers what may be termed a typical Europhile view; for example, maintaining that under the Lisbon Treaty national parliaments are more able to become “engaged” with the EU – yet forgets to mention that national parliaments are “handcuffed” in that EU law has primacy over national law, even national constitutional law. Reminding Cameron that any attempt to rewrite the commitment for “ever closer union” may as well be filed in the bin immediately, he continues with his own version of Euro-FUD by threatening that were the UK to cease EU membership we would be seen as a “fringe irritant” of Europe. Besides a tad of “spin” and thus informing us that EU membership only costs us £1 per week, each, MiilibandD then perpetuates Cameron’s lie about Norway but arguing from the point that we help write the rules of the single market – no, “we” don’t, but Norway does.

Finally we come to the offering by Nigel Farage – where to start? He also castigates MilibandE for not taking the opportunity of demanding the promised referendum now – no “ifs”, no “buts” and continues that he (Farage) considers this to be a political failure on Labour’s part and also a betrayal of their core voters. One can only counter by asking was Farage’s error not to criticise Cameron for his “Norway lie” a political failure and also a betrayal of his and his party’s core voters? Praising his party’s performances in Rotherham and Barnsley, Nigel Farage forget to mention that there were a lot of people who could not be bother to make their voices heard in the belief that all policial parties are the same. Suggesting that we need to sort out the bread and butter of UK politics, it is perhaps too much to expect a politician, especially one who considers himself a libertarian, to start with our system of representative democracy on which all political parties “feed”.

When considering the articles mentioned above – and those that have gone before – one can only ask when, oh when, will other journalists join Christopher Booker in providing us with reasoned, informative articles. When will the media, which is self-flagellating in order to prove that they are a free and fair press, be prepared to give air and paper time to those bloggers – and “the man in the street” – who disagree with “accepted opinion”? One can but repeat the question: how can the British people vote with any confidence and knowledge in what is a referendum about this country’s sovereignty and the right to self-government, the right of the people to decide their own future, when politicians and media lie to us?

As an afterthought, I leave it to readers if they wish to omit the letter “k” from the word “skewage” when considering the media output to which I refer.


More journalistic pap

In my preceding post I took Janet Daley to task for writing, in my opinion, utter tosh and Richard North, EUReferendum, has adopted the same approach where John Rentoul is concerned. With a view to maintaining the theme may I now present Andrew Rawnsley, writing in today’s Observer.

In common with Daley and Rentoul, Rawnsley, in seeking to maintain the status quo in politics for the benefit of both politician and journalist, ignores the fact that the present system of politics and that of our democracy is a busted flush. The electorate, I would suggest, have begun to to realize this, hence the decline in voter participation, but the penny has yet to drop with politicians and the MSM ensconced as they are in their ivory tower.

Although politicians and journalists give the impression they are related to short planks we can rest assured they are not and that they are well aware that there is indeed, as Rawnsley writes, “potentially lucrative electoral benefits for the party that can persuade voters that it can do politics in a more attractive and engaging way.” That neither politicians nor journalists will discuss the merits of a system based on direct democracy and referism is understandable as it would mean no longer would they be ‘someone’ who appears on our television screens and features in newsprint, no longer would they have influence, no longer would they have their privileged status, no longer would they be able to ‘dictate’ to us where our thoughts, words or actions are concerned.

In the preceding paragraph I stated that the electorate have begun to realize that there is something  rotten with both our system of politics and democracy as currently practiced. They know that they are lied to; they know that any promise emanating from a politician cannot be relied upon; and they know that our society – its traditions and our way of life – has been changed beyond recognition for ideological reasons and that their approval was never sought. Knowing all this, the electorate is faced with a quandary, namely how can change to both be effected and what alternatives to both exist.

The Harrogate gathering will sow the seeds for the re-education of the electorate.


Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!

A misquotation*, but one similar, that is no doubt echoing round the inside of No10 as Our Dear Leader contemplates the debacle that the Abu Qatadar situation has become, while at the same time those in the Home Office and Foreign Office are busy ensuring that their necks are nowhere near the block when an axe falls.

The actualité is covered by Carl Gardner on his Head of Legal blog – and interesting reading it makes when considering the legal aspects and interpretation of legalese. David Hughes, Daily Telegraph, weighs in with his input, whilst he who the Guardian, in 2010, considered one of the most powerful people in the media and who, in 2012, the Observer considered  one of the most influential Tories outside the cabinet also weighs in asking whether we rule our own country or do ‘judges’* from foreign lands run Britain? Dirgessing, one has to ask just where has this paragon of political opinion been for the last three decades?

That a brick has been dropped, one of great size and from a great height, would appear to be becoming undeniable – and the irony of two women, one with a BA (Hons) in Geography and the other with a first class honours in PPE with a top-up of an MSc in Economics debating what amounts to legal matters in the House of Commons does but continue the comedic theme of the Qatada affair.

It would appear that, where government is concerned, within the political, bureaucratic and legal world you just can’t get the staff today.



* Laurel & Hardy

Hosted By PDPS Internet Hosting

© Witterings from Witney 2012