Tag Archive: Philip Johnston

EU to lay down the law?

In an article which appeared yesterday in the Daily Telegraph Philip Johnston wrote that Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, told a Commons select committee hearing last week that he is fighting a concerted attempt by the Commission in Brussels to “Europeanise” our legal and justice system. One can but presume Grayling is referring to this press release of 7th October, which in turn refers to this two-day forum and this speech by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, EU Justice Commissioner.

It is possible that the remarks by Grayling are but an attempt to dramatise, for political effect, something that is a long way off – and in any event this article by Johnston would appear to be a re-hash of an article that appeared in the Daily Mail last month and upon which Richard North, EU Referendum, commented.

However, that something is afoot, as they say, cannot I believe be denied; especially bearing in mind the two-day forum being held on 21/22nd November at the Assises de la Justice – a forum on EU justice policies – which seeks to generate ideas which will contribute directly to shaping the European Union’s justice policy. Among the speakers will be Joshua Rozenberg, Ms M. Mcgowan QC (UK), Barrister, Chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales; and Lord Mance (UK), Justice of The Supreme Court. Also it should be remembered that Barroso wrote to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament on 11th September, in which letter, among possible initiatives was listed A Communication on future initiatives in the field of Justice and Home Affairs policies.

Today sees the European Commission adopting its work programme for 2014 which will set out the key new initiatives for 2014 and will also highlight the priority items for adoption by the co-legislators before the European Parliament elections in May 2014. A press release and the work programme have been promised following adoption and it would be surprising, to say the least, were there to be no mention of Justice and Home Affairs contained therein.

It is necessary to repeat that, as Richard North wrote, at the moment all this is but an aspiration of the Commission and that were it to be pursued to its logical end then an IGC would have to be held as it would involve ‘treaty change’ and a referendum in the UK.

Think about it, do

Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph, comments on the Queen’s Speech and in particular the intentions where immigration is concerned, querying why landlords have to police our borders. Johnston ends his article querying whether we are seeing legislation used, not for the first time, as a political signal rather than a practical measure that will make a real difference?

At the recent local elections we saw a rise in the Ukip vote resulting, so I read, in that party coming either first or second in 55% of the seats in which they stood. Those voting did so, it would seem, because of Ukip’s stance on immigration, yet seem to realise not that there is nothing those newly elected Ukip councillors can do, nor can any government, to resolve the problems caused by immigration to our society and services while we remain a member of the European Union and are subject to and abide by rulings from the ECHR.

Consequently I am a tad bemused that a journalist poses a question to which the answer is obvious, coupled with the fact voters obviously do not understand that about which they vote. Another subject of bemusement is that when polled about their concerns we are told that at the head of the list is immigration – with that of the EU coming way down the list.


Update: Confirmation of the point about concerns: immigration vs Europe


Free Speech

Philip Johnston, writing his usual “comment piece” in the Daily Telegraph, has an article about “free speech”. Commenting on the fact that gays are entitled to extol their own sexual identity, so people who take another view, on whatever grounds, should be allowed to say so, Johnston ends by “hitting the nail on the head” where his article is concerned:

“….the fact that some people may dislike or object to what others say should not be a matter for the law, or for official censorship.”

When talking about the suppression of free speech and the expression of opinion, there is a much deeper and, one might say, a more important point that can be made.

Does not our system of representative democracy limit our right to free speech, one which encapsulates the ability of the electorate to express their right to disagree with any government policy, for a period of 5 years? Does representative democracy give us any voice over the subject of how the money we provide should be spent – and on what it should be spent? Does representative democracy allow us to decide how we wish to lead our lives – and remember, those lives are ours, not those of the politicians.

The form of democracy under which we are forced to live is but a faux democracy, or as I prefer to term it: democratised dictatorship.

That change to our system of democracy is required – and required now – cannot be beyond doubt; and a suggestion as to how that might be achieved will be made known in the next few days.

Stay tuned – as they say……….



It most certainly is immoral……

…..and unfortunately it is the electorate of this country that permit said immorality. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Philip Johnston, asks how is it ethical of a government to remove 40 per cent of an individual’s income with the purpose of engineering society the way it sees fit and is it not immoral that each year, billions of pounds are taken in tax for programmes that by no measure can be justified in the public good, while at the same time the individual’s right and duty to choose is restricted.

Next up we find Robert Colville, same newspaper, discussing what sort of political party could be precision-engineered to appeal to all voters as he maintains the Tories are seen as on the Right whilst Labour are seen on the left and that both need to move to the centre. While having suggested that parties need to move to the centre for voter appeal, he then asserts that his precision-engineered party would have to be tough on crime, immigration, human rights and welfare. Err, is not being tough where those subjects are concerned seen as policies of the right? If Colville can write that rubbish – and get it published – then one has to ask what planet he and his editor have been on for the last few years. 

It is indeed a sad state of affairs that one of these journalists – and I use that word in the loosest possible sense – can see that our system of governance has become characterised by grotesque waste, unfulfilled promises, incompetent delivery and excessive red tape and cannot arrive at the next logical step that that system of governance needs changing, then heaven help us – and him! Cutting taxation whilst leaving the same set of clowns in office will achieve nothing – neither will praising the clown of clowns, Boris Johnson.

When one considers that the objective of any media should be the dissemination of – and reflection on – the prevailing currents of thought, influence and/or activity of politicians, then it must be obvious to even the most blind of the electorate that none of what the media should be doing, namely educating the electorate, happens. That there are of course exceptions to every rule can be witnessed by the likes of Booker (writing about the EU, energy and child abuse by the judiciary), Gilligan (postal voting fraud) and Delingpole (global warming and anything else that takes his fancy) – unfortunately they are but three voices among the many, the latter being too busy using their tongues on the lower orifice of the political class.

It has been said that given control of a country’s economy results in control of that country; no, given control of a country’s media results in control of that country – which is exactly what our political class have accomplished. It has also been proposed that due to the power of the internet information can be made more readily available, thus allowing the political class to be ‘constrained’ – yet it has to be pointed out  that: (a) not everyone is connected to the internet; (b) a great number who are, sadly are not interested in events political; and (c) those that are and know that something is drastically wrong with our country, its democracy and politics in general form but a small percentage of the electorate.

How to break the stranglehold on information that politicians and their sycophantic media have – and thus educate the electorate – is but another area that one can but hope those attending Harrogate may, bearing in mind the constraints of time, consider.



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© Witterings from Witney 2012