Tag Archive: Theresa May

Doctrinaire

Doctrinaire adj & noun  - adj: seeking to apply a theory or doctrine to all circumstances without regard to practical considerations; theoretical and impractical - noun: a doctrinaire person,  a pedantic, theorist.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary

Yesterday Theresa May gave a speech to mark the 10th anniversary of the Reform, a right-of-centre, think tank and one word she used does not seem to have been noticed or commented upon – that word was “doctrinaire”. Christopher Hope, the author of the Telegraph article, writes that: “Mrs May…….. took aim at big companies such as banks and power firms which stand accused of exploiting consumers.” . Oh the irony of a politician taking aim at sections of our society that are accused of exploiting consumers – have not politicians exploited the people of this country? May is quoted as stating that the Conservative Party have to reassure people about their motives and their values and that they have to show them that they’re committed to universal public services and must never appear to be doctrinaire about what they’re doing.

Is not a commitment to universal public services doctrinaire> Is not a commitment to the imposition of representative democracy doctrinaire? Is not a commitment to membership of the European Union doctrinaire? Is not commitment to repatriating powers from the European Union doctrinaire? Are not the LIb/Lab/Con doctrinaire in that they all seek to base their policies on theory without regard to practical consideration? Are not Ukip doctrinaire with their mantra “Referendum Now” without regard to practical considerations? In respect of Ukip I refer to any public announcement of how and what happens should the UK leave the European Union?

May may well speak about Conservative Party “values”, but what of the “values” that we as individuals hold; and of we the people as a collective? Lord Ashcroft may well believe that come a general election  the winning party will be the one that pays attention to the voters and their priorities. I have tried, in vain it seems, to find the text of May’s speech but in the quoted extracts there is no mention of we, the people. In regard to paying attention to the voters and their priorities, what is the point of that and exactly how can any political party do that when they are constrained by diktats that originate from Brussels?

What we have with May’s speech, as we would have from any representative of any other party is: don’t listen to the others, we know what you want and we will provide it. Such a statement is vacuous in that (a) never mind listening; but:(b) they never ask us what we want, only tell us what we can expect. On immediate reflection, there is a (c); invariably what they tell us we are to receive is never the actual result. Where, exactly, is there one iota of democracy in that situation?

We all know – and I use the word “all” in the general sense – that there is something wrong with this country; we all know that the political elite have what amounts to dictatorial powers for their 5 years of tenure “in office” – and we do not rebel against a system with which we disagree; neither do we engage brain – because our media most definitely won’t – and it is upon our media that we rely for information, having lost the power of thought and reason, as individuals, as a result of what can only be described the “indoctrination” that the State is a benign provider.

Unless we, the people, begin using what remains of our ability to think and reason, we will lose what remains of those two abilities.

Just saying…….

Update: Courtesy of the “Speccie” here is the text of May’s Speech which I have still to read myself, so maybe more later.

Update (2): May’s speech starts of with a heading of “There’s no other way”, but taking the subject of “government” per se we now know there is another way, don’t we? She talks about the fact we have paid our taxes, so where are the services. But we didn’t pay our taxes, they were extorted from us with our having no voice in whether we wished to pay for services that we may not have wanted.

May talks about the fact that we all want to have the best public services in the world – so why can’t we decide what public services we want in our own area? Why must we accept the blanket provision of services? Plus there is the added fact that we don’t even get asked if we agree to more of our money being “thrown at public services”.

May continues:

“Chris Grayling is reforming the prison system.  Philip Hammond is getting to grips with the defence budget.  Iain Duncan Smith is bringing his revolution to the welfare system.  Eric Pickles is cutting local spending while making sure council tax doesn’t shoot up.  Francis Maude is delivering civil service reform and saving a fortune on public procurement.”

So they may be, but where is the voice of the people in all this?

May states:

“we must do everything we can to make sure that the debate in this country never returns to the false choice of more spending or worse services.”

Is it not up to those who pay for said services, whatever they are, to decide the level (cost vs provision) – and since when have the people been given that choice?

Wherever you look in May’s speech it is all about what political parties and their politicians want – never what the people may want. I repeat May’s words: “Reform has to fit in with our wider mission”. (emphasis mine).

On the question of the very recent announcement by the Labour Party that they would abstain on the forthcoming Second Reading of James Wharton’s “Referendum Bill”, James Landale has a most telling comment in this BBC article; “….. what matters is who wins the battle for public opinion”.  Unfortunately for public opinion, said opinion is formed on the basis of half-truths and downright lies issued by our political class aided and abetted  by our “independent” media.

Again, just saying……..


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Centre Ground – Protest Vote

Politicians spending an inordinate amount of time attempting to position their parties in the centre ground is probably one reason for the public’s lack of interest in politics in that they, especially the “swing voter”, are now confused – ie for which party should they vote as all three main parties appear alike. Coupled with that, following Eastleigh, there is also much talk about the protest vote and the general consensus of opinion is that this now appears to be benefiting Ukip, hence their increased support in the polls and at recent by-elections.

It is a source of amusement – to me at least – that politicians, who they are at great pains to assure us possess a level of intellect far in excess of we plebs, can spend so much time attempting to achieve the impossible. Just how can any party appeal to everyone, which is what presumably occupying the centre ground means? Such a course of action, even if it were achievable, is hardly going to affect the “tribalist voter”, is it? As some recent YouGov polling showed, someone can be “left-wing” where their views on the NHS are concerned, but decidedly “right-wing” where immigration is concerned.

Consider now the question of “protest votes” – could this not be considered a form of disenfranchisement for those so voting, in that they are forced to vote for a “rank-outside” party which barring a miracle has but a cat’s chance in hell of winning? Were that miracle to be achieved would they, those who registered a protest vote, really be happy with the candidate they had saddled themselves with?

Leaving to one side the “tribalists”, the remainder of the electorate are presented with a manifesto by each political party on which they probably agree with some points and vehemently disagree with others, thus being forced to vote for a party which can best be described as “the best of a bad lot”. Is this situation not another form of disenfranchisement? Can this situation, by any stretch of the imagination, be described as democracy?

Setting the previous paragraph to one side, consider the candidate for whom the electorate are being asked to vote. In most cases they have been selected from a list presented to their local political association – assuming of course the candidate has not been “parachuted in” – by a party’s head office. Even Ukip, a party that professes itself as being “libertarian” said to the voters of Eastleigh: “there you are, Diane James; if she wins, she is the person who will represent you in Parliament”. I make that point about Ukip because, from Wikipedia, we learn that being a libertarian encapsulates the wish to minimize coercion.

In her speech today at a Conservative Conference Theresa May said that her party should protect the people against “vested interests” – which is a tad ironic in that the group at the top of the list for those having vested interests are political parties, but I digress. There is so much in her speech on which I could comment but I leave readers to make up their own minds, to form their own opinions. On point I will pick-up on though is her assertion that public services should be free at the point of use. As during the last 52 years I have availed myself of the NHS on only 4/5 occasions, if I now use it, it is free at the point of use? Really?

Regular readers will have already realized where I am going with this post and they will not be surprised when I repeat that the system of democracy and politics, under which we are forced to live – only because the people have not, in turn, realized that they can change it if they wished – is one past its sell-by date and cries out to be consigned to the rubbish bin.

How our system of democracy can be changed – and to what – I will cover in a post on Monday

As I have written before – stay tuned……

 


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2013
02/18

Category:
David's Musings

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Largesse with public money

David Blackburn, writing in the Speccie Coffee House, reports that Theresa May is to appeal the case of one MF (unfortunately choice of alias, but I digress), whoever that may be.

To say that when enacting the Human Rights Act and allowing themselves to be subservient to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), our politicians had no idea of the Pandora’s Box that they had opened.

What they did obviously know is that any court cases that arose would not necessitate having to put their hands in their pockets. This appeal will not come cheap because we all now that lawyers, like those in the oldest profession known to man, to not work for peanuts.

While there may be a great deal of uncertainty in respect of Article 8, what there will be no uncertainty about is who is footing the bill for this.

“Referism” anyone?

 


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Whose police are our police forces?

From the Daily Telegraph we learn that Theresa May is to introduce legislation to allow foreign police chiefs to “run” police forces and to change the conditions of entry and the grades at which those entering will so do.

The Metropolitan Police, in their definition and history of policing advise that:

“The origin of the British police lies in early tribal history and is based on customs for securing order through the medium of appointed representatives. In effect, the people were the police.”

and as far as I am aware the people still are the police, in other words the police force in this country is answerable to – and owned by – the people; the police force does not belong to any government or any government minister.

In the manifesto produced by the Coalition, one on which I would remind readers not one person had the opportunity on which to vote, it states (on page 13) that

“We will have a full review of the terms and conditions for police officer employment.”

note the omission of any regard to the wishes of the public. Note also that in the Conservative Party manifesto (page 57) it states:

“Policing requires assent”

and that there is no mention of reforming the qualifications to be a member of the police force – at which point one has to stop and ask exactly where is the assent to the measures Theresa May intends to impose? This is not democracy – this is the imposition of political diktat and ideology.

Back in 2009 David Blunkett introduced a proposition that the police must and should be accountable to the people – the title of his paper was “A people’s police force”. Readers must forgive pedancy entering this post, but in the English language the use of a noun followed by an apostrophe followed by the letter ‘s’ denotes ownership of something – ergo Blunkett thus admits that the police force belongs to the people and not, I repeat, not to a government or a government minister.

Is it therefore not required that the people should be consulted on Theresa May’s plans? As the police force in this country is funded by means of taxation extracted from the people, it being their money must surely mean that the people should have the deciding voice where changes to policing are concerned.

This point is one of the Demands of the Harrogate Agenda in that where local democracy is concerned: the foundation of that democracy shall be the counties (or other local units as may be defined), which shall become constitutional bodies exercising under the control of their peoples all powers of legislation, taxation and administration not specifically granted by the people to the national government – is it not for local people to decide what form of policing and the level of tolerance to social behaviour is concerned? Is it not right that when considering the spending of people’s money by the state yet another of the Harrogate Agenda’s Demands is met, namely that no taxes or spending without consent: no tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express permission of the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a properly authenticated budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures?

Once again, with this latest news, is the fact confirmed that democracy in this country no longer exists.

 

 

 

 


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There’s irony and there’s plain stupidity

….well it seems so in my book.

On the day our country remembers those lost in battle defending what was once our green and pleasant land, nay a sceptr’d isle, what does our inglorious Home Secretary do, aided and abetted by an unthinking arm of the media and their journalist? She chooses today to let it be known that our ability to limit the number of Bulgarians and Romanians who have a right to live and work in the UK comes to an end in December 2013. The subject of immigration was raised by Marr (starts 25:45),  although it is fairly certain that the irony of our government not being able to decide who can and cannot enter this country from the continent of Europe, being admitted on Remembrance Sunday probably never even entered his brain or, come to think of it, that of Theresa May.

I see Mrs. May is still labouring under the delusion that she can limit the movement of people, something which without rewriting the TFEU she most definitely cannot do, which also begs the question why William Hague’s infamous ‘review’ of EU powers has it in their remit. Andrew Marr is another ‘journalist’ who can join the growing list of those who need to brush up on their knowledge of matters EU. The free movement of people is one of the four freedoms that form the basis of the Single Market framework; the others being goods, capital and services.

If one wants incisive questioning then it is obvious Andrew Marr is not top of the list – in fact recent events have demonstrated it is more dangerous for a politician to appear on ‘pap’ television shows like “This Morning” on ITV than appear on Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning show. On top of which this subject of increased immigration is hardly news, it being at least a month old and raised in the Mail.

As I posted earlier today the sight of politicians paying faux-homage to our fallen while simultaneously  conniving to undermine all that those who fell held dear, sickens me – likewise the sight of journalists fawning over their interviewee, something at which the egregious Marr excels.

 


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Economical with the actualité

I am sure we are all familiar with the phrase above, one which was uttered in the House of Commons by Alan Clark in order that he could circumvent the rule about not using the word ‘lying’ or ‘liar’ where something said by another MP was concerned. As politicians were rightly accused then of being economical with the actualité, so can they be accused today.

Richard North, EUReferendum, posts on the idea of Theresa May that the forthcoming government review of Britain’s relationship with the European Union will include an examination of the free movement of people between member states. Interestingly the Bulgarian minister described UK Home Secretary Theresa May’s statement as “election campaigning”. Theresa May stands guilty of being economical with the actualité.

Interviewed on the Daily Politics – and writing on his blog – Mark Reckless stated that he could not really believe his party can go in to the next election saying they would try and persuade the other 26 or 27 EU states to agree to give our country some powers back after the election – oh and by the way if you vote Conservative then as the government they would interpret that as your full-hearted consent to staying in the EU. In making that statement Mark Reckless, who no doubt would assure us that he is a man of principle, is intimating that if his party does do that which he believes it will then he would not be able to stand as a Conservative candidate. I would suggest that Mark Reckless is also being economical with the actualité.

David Cameron has been in the news of late stating that the British people should be asked their opinion on our country’s membership of the European Union, that  a repatriation of powers is required, that he will veto any new treaty that contains provisions detrimental to the  UK. As has been pointed out elsewhere Cameron’s hopes would be dashed if the “colleagues” insist on a treaty applicable only to the eurozone, and refuse to consider renegotiating existing treaty provisions. In theory, Cameron could chuck his toys out of the pram thus threatening a veto, but in fact this is not an option; and as also pointed out, the “colleagues” are in no mood for tantrums and will find a way to circumvent any blockage he might devise. David Cameron too is also being economical with the actualité.

Boris Johnson has this evening been speaking at a fringe event held at the Conservative Conference in Birmingham and according to a quick blog by  Fraser Nelson, BoJo could “sell things that no other politician can”. If we had true democracy no politician would have to be better than any other at ‘selling’ anything to the people. That the mark of a popular politician should be their ability to ‘sell’ anything – in order to remain elected – can but show they would be better employed in the public relations business (which may be why David Cameron decided to quit the world of PR as there he had to work at ‘selling’ an idea and subsequently realized that in the world of politics he could impose an idea, with far less effort – but I digress). As Boris Johnson is a politician within the present political set-up, where his reasons for being a politician is concerned he too is being economical with the actualité.

Other examples of politicians being economical with the actualité are far too numerous to repeat, so much so there is no need for that repetition. What is worthy of repetition is the ending to a previous post which stated that when those in a country take the money of those they are meant to serve and in the process are shown to be untrustworthy, dishonest and thus without scruples, then the time has most definitely come whereby the entire system (including most importantly that of its democracy and politics) that permits such a situation to exist must surely be torn down.

Has it not been shown that when the people of this country are left to their own devices they are capable of great achievements? Has it not been drummed into us that a fool and his money are soon parted? In respect of that last statement it is accepted that when applied to politicians, government and money that government has no money other than that they extort from the population by way of taxation, however in respect of the adage the word ‘fool’ is most pertinent, because is it not the fool, through their decisions based on ideology, that has periodically rendered our country penniless?

Is it not time that the power of these charlatans, to whom we presently bend our knee, was rescinded? Is it not time that the aims of the ‘Harrogate Agenda‘ became that for which we strive?


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And this is an example of the political intelligentsia?

Yesterday afternoon in the House of Commons we witnessed the unedifying spectacle of politicians making hay at Theresa May’s expense about dates in respect of the deportation (not) of Abu Qatada.

A prime example must be that of the contribution by Dumb Blonde Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West & Abingdon) and the reply by Peroxide Blonde Theresa May:

Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West and Abingdon) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend share my disbelief that there is no administrative mechanism at the ECHR to establish the simple question of whether an application is out of time, which means that we and the taxpayer will have to wait up to two months for the ECHR to establish that simple point before we can proceed with the deportation of Abu Qatada? Will the Government raise the matter at Brighton, and get on with this aspect of reform of the ECHR as soon as possible?

Mrs May: My hon. Friend has made an extremely valuable point. I have found that many people here in the UK consider it astonishing that there is no simple mechanism for setting a clear deadline and then striking out any applications that fall outside that deadline. What is absolutely clear is that the panel of the Grand Chamber has discretion to accept applications made outside the deadline, and to determine what that deadline was.”

From my post yesterday, should not both women have been aware of the European Convention on Calculation of Time Limits and in particular paragraph 27(b) of the explanatory report to the Convention, as outlined by Carl Gardner? If not why not?

The subject of whether Britain should withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights was posed in various round-about ways and directly in the case of Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con) and Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab) – to which Theresa May’s response relied on the old ‘change from within’ mantra. (Digressing, on 14 October 2010, it was announced that the Parliamentary Labour Party had suspended the whip from MacShane while he is under criminal investigation in respect of his expenses claims. As far as I am aware those investigations are still on-going, so if the whip has been withdrawn, why is he still listed as a Labour MP? – answers on a postcard please.)

That there were a number of ‘patsy’ questions posed by Conservative Members of the House is obvious – and none more so than that from Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central) (Con):

Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central) (Con): I would hope that the whole House agrees that it is utterly unacceptable that it has taken 11 years and counting to remove this man from the United Kingdom. What will the Government do to ensure that future cases are dealt with much more speedily, and that the rights of millions of our constituents to live in peace are not trumped by the rights of men like Abu Qatada?”

It would appear that this MP, having spent many minutes listening to the debate, did not comprehend what being a signatory to the ECHR actually entailed. Methinks that I am fast coming to the idea that anyone putting themselves forward for election as an MP should be forced to undergo a test to determine that they are not an idiot!

What the Abu Qatada ‘comedy’ illustrates is that not only are we are not a sovereign nation but that the present incumbents that hold ministerial office are a few torys troys short of a sovereign!

 


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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


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A ‘far age’ view of what is wrong with our democracy?*

An article appears on dailymail/debate, one authored by Annabelle Fuller; to which my initial comment is either Annabelle Fuller needs a crash-course in English composition, or the Mail typesetters need to be handed a P45 – but I digress, even though I have to admit that she raises a few important points.

Her opening paragraph is, to be honest, perfectly true and pertinent – especially the last sentence:

Every few years a Home Secretary makes an announcement about how they are going to change legislation on immigration. They’re going to tighten up rules, they are going to close loopholes and the [sic] realise that these laws, which are always the fault of the previous administration, are not in line with public sentiment. And there are elections coming up so there is nothing more important to a politician than appearing to care about what the voter thinks.

That last sentence demonstrates politicians are no more concerned with what the electorate thinks, but is the means whereby they continue the pretense for their own existence. Annabelle Fuller mentions the ‘photo-op’ of MilliE and his ‘Balls’ eating a ‘Greggs’ and makes the point that were those two ‘in government’, there is nothing they could have done to alter the measures which George Osborne took in his Budget – so much for their ‘photo-op’, yet one the electorate ‘fell for’ unlike Cameron’s ‘pasty statement’ that promptly got ‘shot full of holes’.

The article cites EU Directive 2004/58/EC of the 29th April 2004 and AF summarises two points:

1. Subject to the provisions of this charter, Member States may restrict the freedom of movement and residence of Union citizens and their family members, irrespective of nationality, on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. These grounds shall not be invoked to serve economic ends.

2. …Previous criminal convictions shall not in themselves constitute grounds for taking such measures.

If Theresa May wants to change the law to allow the UK to deport criminals from within the EU then she sure as hell has her work cut out! What is they say about blonde bimbos – or, come to that,  grey-haired bimbos?

Initially, it would appear that Theresa May is confronting Articles 1 and 2 of the Human Rights Act -yet note the wording: it is an example of typical EU legislation, one which encompasses ‘a circle which can never be closed’, especially where Article 8 is concerned. What May’s intentions amount to is no more than political spin or a ‘statement du jour’ and which will quietly be dropped at the earliest opportunity, once the electorate have forgotten about it.

‘May’ we have not just a new Home Secretary but also a collection of politicians that , collectively, actually believe in self-determination and home rule?

 

* Geddit’ regarding the heading to this post? Oh, do keep up with the suspicions/innuendo/allegations/suggestions (all alluded, of course)………..


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