A long weekend break

(Click watch on youtube)

We are there for four days to celebrate my beloved Helen’s birthday as she has never been there before – although I have, a few years ago. On the list of ‘must sees’ are two cathedrals (Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia  and the Cathedral of Barcelona, the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona) and Poble Espanyol, plus some ‘window shopping’, the latter I understand to be a ‘girlie thing’. On the ‘upside’ the BBC weather forecast is showing a projected 16/17 degrees  which is a tad warmer than it is currently ‘up North East’.

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Democracy: the meaning of………

…… which so many of our politicians do not seem to understand.

Reading the Hansard report of yesterday’s debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill there were many usages of the word ‘democracy’; and not one Member of Parliament appears to understand, or have any knowledge of the meaning and derivation of the word.

Witness Bill Cash (Sir) and from his speech (4:45pm):

The Bill and this whole issue are about one main question, namely democracy, which is what everything else necessarily flows from. All the economic arguments and questions relating to trade and other matters are ultimately dependent on the question of whether we have the right to govern ourselves in this sacred House of Commons. That is the basis on which the people of this country make decisions, of their own free choice, in general elections—whether it is to vote for the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP or the Conservative party—and then a decision is made in this House as to how they will be governed (my emphasis).

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Why did he bother?

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Sitting on the seafront at Seaham, a war-weary Tommy sits thoughtfully, head bowed with rifle in hand, as he reflects upon the sheer horror of World War One during the first minute after peace was declared in 1918. The piece, called 1101 but known locally as Tommy, was inspired by World War One and is named to reflect the first minute of peace.

Built out of special corteen steel, it had been installed on Seaham seafront in Country Durham to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War and initially was on loan for three months. This work of art was created by local artist Ray Lonsdale, who got his idea for the piece after hearing a story about a soldier from nearby Murton who won a war medal. The people of Seaham raised £60,000 of the £85,000 price tag while Seaham Council donated the remainder.

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Who knows what transpires behind ‘closed doors’?

With the recent resignation of a Secretary of State for Defense – for the apparent crime of ‘misbehaviour’ – and the growing ‘witch-hunt’ to discover those of his ilk who may be ‘guilty’ of similar crimes, an important question arises.

First though, let us consider a subject that is inherent in the question of ‘misbehaviour’,  where two people are concerned. When two people pledge to spend the remainder of their lives together, if the relationship is to last, then two main factors come into play; of which one is ‘trust’ and the other is ‘fidelity’. Without either, I would contend, no relationship can survive.

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Richtig oder falsch?

Just demonstrating I am learning something at German class….. the title of this post translates as correct or false.

Just had the following twitter exchange with a rather well-known blogger:

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This was followed minutes later by:

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Now either a blogger I hold in great esteem exhibits a sense of humour, or we have an admission that he acknowledges the stages of FlexCit are, indeed, in the wrong order.

Welche von diesen beiden Summen ist die richtige? (Which of the two is correct?)

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‘Catching the Crab(b)s’

Well it appears that one young lady did, while another has had one of her ‘attributes’  compared to having a similarity to  sugar.

Leaving aside any political bias, why cannot politicians, in  whom we are forced to put our trust, due to our system of democracy, not repay that trust by upholding what are perceived to be acceptable – and expected – standards of decency and behaviour?

When we view the political class it is becoming obvious that what you see is not what you get – be that what politicians say or what they ‘get up to’ behind our backs.

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Another Sop to our Faux Democracy?

It is noted that on Monday 30th October a debate is taking place in Westminster Hall to discuss whether the voting system in the United Kingdom should be changed to one of proportional representation (PR), as a result of a petition securing the required number of signatures.

At the 2017 general election, the Conservatives picked up 13.6 million votes and 318 seats, whereas the Liberal Democrats picked up 2.3 million votes and just 12 seats in the Commons. Combined, the Greens and Ukip collected more than 1.1 million votes but won just a single MP between them (source).

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Democracy currently being undermined – yet again……..

There would appear to be a little furore brewing over the reputed statements of Jared O’Mara, which he made in the past, coupled with the fact that the Electoral Commission has given the Conservative Party a ‘slap on the wrist’.

O’Mara is, apparently, guilty of having made ‘sexist remarks’ to/about women and his political Party, Labour, are to hold an investigation into this matter. Whether or not the allegations are true, the immediate question that is raised is why did not the Labour Party know of this and, therefore, why was his ‘past’ not sufficiently investigated prior to his nomination for the seat?

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Don’t you just love ‘experts’?’

A recent report by Professor Keith Shaw and Sue Regan from Northumbria University, working with Professor Fred Robinson at Durham University, has asked the question: Who runs the North – and in particular the North East. The sub-title is: Governance and Governing in an English Region. It is obvious that the criticisms of governance they pose can be levied at any other region of the United Kingdom – and as usual with ‘experts’, the fundamental question of democracy has either been ignored or, as with ‘experts’ in general, overlooked for the sake of convenience.

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The Swiss Watch

Businesses in Switzerland are watching with great interest – and with some trepidation – at the slow progress of the UK’s divorce from the European Union. Perhaps, inadvertently,  one participant at the recent British Swiss Chamber of Commerce (BSCC) meeting hit the nail on the head by stating: ……….At the moment, Brexit is a big vanity project for politicians and not at all about the reality of what will happen.

Where the UK and her politicians are concerned it would appear this comment is ‘spot-on’ as Theresa May and some members of her party; ably assisted by so-called ‘experts’,  coupled with unknowing think-tanks and journalists; has driven herself into a  cul-de-sac with her ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ plan – and is now unable to find a reverse gear, without losing face. At this point – where the words ‘vanity project’ are concerned – I would also add into the mix the suggestion I made in my preceding article.

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