Tag Archive: The Spectator

If building an idiot, from whom would you seek the brain?

I am fairly certain that one famous resident, even though she is not enfranchised, has a fairly low opinion of the MP that represents the constituency in which she has one of her homes – and I am also fairly certain that I can guess the opinion of her husband.

Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP for Windsor, has an article on the Speccie Blog about the Winter Fuel Allowance, bus-passes and tv licences. He proffers that means-testing such would cost almost as much as it would save, preferring instead to provide those who don’t really need such benefits the choice of opting out.

He won’t be pleased with the comments, an example of which is that from “johnslattery”:

Until British governments stop pissing away taxpayer money on overseas welfare handouts (aka foreign aid), free housing for immigrants who have contributed nothing, bureaucracies dedicated to propagating PC garbage, unproven and inefficient alternative energy sources, the BBC and a dozen other open toilets, forget it. The government of this country does not deserve a penny of sacrifice from the people it governs so ineptly, and now so tyrannically–especially those who worked all their lives to see they country they built turned into a trashy, crime-ridden haven for freeloaders from every corner of the world, who are now taking over entire towns and cities. A country where the government jails people for expressing their opinions on a bus or for refusing to pay the TV tax. My advice: Stuff the shower of bastards that “rule” us, and screw every penny you can legally get out of them. You owe them NOTHING.

One can see Afriyie’s point, namely that those who don’t need a state handout should not automatically receive it – on the other hand “johnslattery” has equally valid point(s).

However what we see here,with this article, is yet another example of a politician putting fingers to keyboard without engaging brain. For example, as one comment said: why not include the Winter Fuel Allowance in the State Pension as the non-requirement of all those who spend their time administering the Winter Fuel Allowance may well exceed the savings that Afriyie’s scheme would produce. As for child benefit; as I have written before, if you can’t afford something then don’t get it until such time as you can.

Needless to say, this article is another example of government interfering in something that is not really their business as it is not their money that is funding said benefits. With the adoption of the 6 Demands, it would be for the people to decide on what – and how – their money was spent. Does not the piper call the tune?

As an aside, I will during the course of the next 2/3 weeks be producing a series of posts expanding on said demands and explaining how each would affect our lives.



We are not a country, we are a region

Mary Ellen Synon has an article in The Spectator blogs about how the EU avoids the use of the word: “country” and the reasons for this. Mind you, some of us did realise this some time ago Mary Ellen, but for the purposes of this post – I digress.

The statement by Barroso to which Mary Ellen makes mention can be read here and it is the subject about which Bruno Waterfield writes in this article in the Telegraph.

Internal security covers a multitude of factors from monitoring the movements of terrorists to the movements of the population – although the latter is, of course, not mentioned.

The word: “defense” is not mentioned in any competence, shared competence, or competence to support, co-ordinate or supplement the actions of Member States. However where the possible use of drones are concerned in respect of the “security and defence” of the EU are concerned it is possible to cite (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union –  TFEU) Article 4((j): area of freedom, security and justice; and Artice 6(f): civil protection – thus allowing Barroso to suggest it necessary: “to discuss ways on how could the Commission, within its competences, enhance our common security and defence policy”.

As I mentioned in the comments about the Balance of Competences Review and how the EU has managed to invigle its tentacles into health, which is supposed to be a Member State competence; so with defense.

“Competence Creep” – anyone?

Just asking……..

Democracy, per se

Mary Ellen Synon, writing in the Speccie, does in effect dampen Cameron’s triumphant – well, he probably thought so – appearance in the HoC on Monday when he presented his report on the budget negotiations.

Cheering Tories may not grasp what actually happened at the European Council last week writes Mary Ellen, which is not surprising as they are not alone. Labour MPs appear also not to grasp what something being a Competence of the EU is either – as related by Richard North, EUReferendum, in one of his posts on the food crisis.

That those who maintain they govern us are not even aware of the limit of their remaining powers is, I suggest, a cause for concern. Perhaps if MPs deigned to read Articles 3-6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union they would realize just how little remains for them on which to legislate.

Of late I have been criticised for (a) my appearing to be anti-Ukip and anti-Farage; (b) anti-MPs of various, but mainly blue, hues; and (c) preaching The Harrogate Agenda in the manner of a political class that we abhor; and even questioned whether The Harrogate Agenda has an “action plan” – criticisms, all of which I also consider to be a matter of concern.

First, allow me to lay to rest one myth that appears to be have been generally accepted by some commenters. I am not, per se, anti-Ukip or anti-Farage; however, like anyone else do I not have the right to question one or both when I consider them to be failing those whose support they seek? Second, where I criticise MPs from both sides of the political divide it is justified as in each and every instance they exhibit a lack of knowledge about that upon which they pontificate.

The other points that must be considered are these: do we not all “rail” against the fact we consider we have too much government; do we not all accept that, outside the 5-year period, our “control” of MPs is non-existent, in that it is retrospective; do we not all accept that membership of the EU is dictatorial in that we have no electoral control over those who take decisions that affect our lives; do we not all accept that our present system of democracy is well past its sell-by-date?

In other words dear reader the subjects of this country’s membership of the EU, our system of democracy and the ideas of The Harrogate Agenda are inexorably entwined – whether you like it or not. How can the ideas encapsulated within The Harrogate Agenda be adopted while this country remains a full member of the EU? What is the point in leaving the EU unless the principles behind The Harrogate Agenda are adopted? How can we change a system of democracy that is well past its sell-by-date unless the ideas behind The Harrogate Agenda can be introduced, debated and, hopefully, accepted? Chicken and egg?

I can but repeat a question recently posed, namely that were we to leave the EU – and retaining our present system of representative democracy – where is the logic in reclaiming powers from one set of dictators only to hand them to another set of dictators? With regard to that last point, can anyone tell me the difference twixt the proposals of Ukip and those encapsulated in “The Plan” authored by Carswell and Hannan? Are not both based on the present system of representative democracy? Do not both promise to “license” some powers to the people – and cannot licenses be withdrawn at the whim of the licensee?

In my humble view The Harrogate Agenda is not – and does not have – an “action plan”, for to so have would mean that it differs not from those it abhors; that that would mean it was a political party, something it most definitely is not and has no intention of becoming. The Harrogate Agenda offers an alternative suggestion how our democracy should be structured, one that does indeed return democracy to its roots, namely “people power”. At this point let me repeat another question that I have posed. To whom does a country belong: its people or, in the case of the UK, just 650? Either the ideas being promoted by The Harrogate Agenda will “catch on” or they will be rejected – and that choice, as in all matters where democracy is practised, will be for the people to decide. If The Harrogate Agenda gains “traction” with the electorate then from within its adherents will no doubt come candidates standing on Conservative, Labour, LibDem, Green, or Ukip tickets; but all of whom will accept the principles enshrined within the 6 Demands of the Harrogate Agenda – namely they will all believe in the principle of “people power” and direct democracy.

Because those that would govern us have not the slightest idea on that which remains for them to govern and thus have not the slightest idea on just how much power they have ceded; who have no interest in those that they are supposed to represent; who have no interest other than their personal careers and thus an allegiance to the party of their choice – is it not time that the people asserted the sovereignty that is, by right, theirs?

Perhaps those who have been critical of me and my thoughts need to reconsider their criticisms and their thoughts? Those to whom those questions are directed need not be named as I am sure they will easily identify themselves. Because there are three elements which are intertwined and all of which have an effect on the future of our country, to “pick on” The Harrogate Agenda in being a tad slow in coming forward is, perhaps, a tad unjustified? That is not to say that said criticism is not justified – but perhaps, yet again, I digress? Just, you understand, asking…….

As with anything that is published on this blog, the foregoing is open to comment and thus debate. Over to you, dear reader.



That Speech – further brief thoughts

A little noticed fact today was the irony of David Cameron pleading to HMV in Brussels for the return of powers – and doing so the day after a report was published calling for yet another power, namely press regulation, to be handed to Brussels. Our good Lord does indeed have a sense of humour!

Mary Ellen Synon has a short article in the Speccie, one headed “The EU renegotiation pantomime” (most apt) from which:

“I asked Pia if she could describe for me any existing mechanism under present treaties by which Britain could claw back powers which have already been surrendered to the EU. She gave only a brief reference to treaty change, then refused to take a follow-up question. Yet giving a follow-up is the usual procedure.

I wasn’t surprised. What the Commission won’t come out and say – because it would hand another weapon to eurosceptics – is that it is legally impossible for any EU institution or EU member states to hand back powers to Britain, even if they want to.”

One can usually rely on our Mary Ellen to ask awkward questions. Far be it for me to dirgress and ask why Nigel Farage is not shouting this fact from the rooftops……

Rumour has it that Cameron, to reassure Brussels that contrary to what they may hear he is still deeply in love with them, is to issue a remake of this Harry Nilsson song, from the refrain of which: “I can’t live, if living is without EU……….”

Update: just noticed this superb line in Chapman & Co (Daily Mail). Discussing various Tory MP’s reactions to Camerons speech:

“Andrea Leadsom, leaderene of the loyalist Fresh Start group – the ‘Gis a job, Dave’ tendency – says it was ‘very good’.”


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