Monthly Archives: April 2015

Ever Closer Union

From the European Union news website we learn that the European Commission has launched a state aid sector inquiry into national measures to ensure that adequate capacity to produce electricity is available at all times to avoid black-outs (so-called “capacity mechanisms”).

The inquiry will gather information on capacity mechanisms to examine, in particular, whether they ensure sufficient electricity supply without distorting competition or trade in the EU Single Market. It complements the Commission’s Energy Union Strategy to create a connected, integrated and secure energy market in Europe.

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Hannan and (his vision of) democracy

Daniel Hannan, writing on ConservativeHome, is now pleading for the introduction of proportional representation.

In his article he writes that his preferred voting system is the Single Transferable Vote (STV) because: It encourages candidates to campaign as individuals, as local champions, rather than as representatives of their parties. It thus has the incidental effect of strengthening backbenchers against Whips, and the legislature against the executive.

Hannan then continues that in Ireland, STV is popular with almost everyone except (in private) politicians; and then relates a conversation he had with a Fine Gael friend of his who informed him that: Instead of acting in the national interest, I have to do what my constituents want; to which Hannan replied: That’s the whole bloody idea, it’s called democracy.

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When and How?

Janet Daley and Tim Stanley both have articles on the Telegraph blog site about democracy – and both seem not to understand the meaning of the word, nor seem to have any idea how to rectify that about which they complain where the defects in our democracy are concerned.

Daley considers the intention of Nicola Sturgeon to ‘lock David Cameron out of Downing Street’ an outrage that would be committed against the most fundamental principle of modern democracy: that the legitimacy of government derives from the consent of the people. If the legitimacy of government derives from the consent of the people; since when,under representive democracy, has any government had the consent of the people, when not one government in recent years has received the support of the majority of the electorate? Also it is worth pointing out to Ms. Daley that neither has the most fundamental principle of democracy – that of people power (from the word ‘democracy’: demos-people; kratos-power) been practiced in this country. Stanley, meanwhile, complains that with the Conservatives launching an ‘English Manifesto’ it leads inexorably to greater devolution – and devolution, so we have discovered since Blair, leads inexorably to fragmentation. Yet it does not have to, but to expect young Stanley to realise this would be akin to wishing for the moon – it aint going to happen as he is but yet another journalist/commentator who either does not want ‘to rock the boat’ – or more likely just another one who is ‘brain-dead’.

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Sunday Joke (& subsequent thought)

Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are on a plane. Cameron turned to Clegg and said: “You know, I could throw a £1,000 pound note out of the window right now and make somebody happy”. Clegg shrugged his shoulders and replied: “I could throw ten £100 notes out of the window and make ten people happy”. Miliband sniffed and said: “Don’t be mean, lets throw a hundred £100 notes out of the window and make a hundred people happy – after all, it isn’t our money anyway”. The pilot turned to his co-pilot: “Such big-shots, I could throw all three of them out of the window and make 60 million people ecstatic!

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Political opportunism

It is noted that Ed Miliband has today ventured into the area of world politics, an action that is almost as rare as hen’s teeth; the full text of his foreign policy speech, given at Chatham House, can be read here.

As Isabel Hardman reports, other than the months surrounding the intervention, the party has barely talked about it. After Ed Miliband talked about long-term support for the Libyan government on 5 September 2011, his own party can’t seem to find any mention of post-conflict planning by its own leadership in 2012, 2013, or 2014. Not until 2015 did the Labour leader raise the issue again.

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Try looking in a mirror, Iain

Iain Martin, writing on CapX, bemoans the inability of the press to question politicians during  the current general election; especially at stage-managed public appearances, whilst complaining bitterly that morning press conferences are now a thing of the past with only Ukip continuing to provide such events.

Martin’s article poses the question: why is the British media so supine in the face of control from the big parties – but has not the British media been so for ages? When journalists are allowed to question political figures, such questions that are asked are poor to say the least. 

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Oh, to have ‘knowledge’ – and to have such believed

I note that he who knows nothing, but whose words are faithfully repeated by those of like-minded capability, has been pontificating on Jean Claude Junker’s views about treaty change.

As has been noted elsewhere, any decision about treaty change, if required and when, is not in the remit of the Head of the European Commission or the Commission as a whole, but is within the remit of the President of the European Council; and only then if so requested by the Heads of State that comprise said Council.

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Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings……….

Today’s edition of the CoffeeHouse Election 2015 Expresso round-up of such ‘news’ that there is of events leading up to 7th May reports that Ed Miliband castigates David Cameron for not turning up for the BBC debate this evening.

It quotes Miliband as saying: I think if you are applying for the job of prime minister, the very least the British people expect is for you to turn up to the job interview, as a result of Cameron’s refusal to take part.

When someone who is the Leader of the Opposition, is putting himself forward for the position of Prime Minister, receives an email from a member of the electorate as a result of a newspaper article he wrote and then totally ignores it, it having been sent twice – coupled with the fact that the matter was raised with his local Labour MP, who promised to seek a response from his party leader – then I believe Miliband should think twice about his choice of words when criticising an opponent for the job.

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A few comments on recent news items

Little noticed – and unreported it appears – is a recent announcement by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe about an event, to be held during 14th/16th April, dealing with sustainable development. Now, sustainable development covers an entire raft of subjects – virtually just about everything. To pick just one subject: food; and lo and behold we find the European Commission has launched an online consultation on how science and innovation can help the EU ensuring safe, nutritious, sufficient and sustainable food globally. Just watch how ‘sustainable’ becomes the new ‘buzz word’ among the political class.

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I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.
H. L. Mencken

Tony Blair has been speaking in Sedgefield, his old parliamentary constituency, on the subject of this country’s membership of the European Union.

In regard to the opening paragraph, since when have we, the people, actually been asked what are our ambitions as a nation, who we think we are or want to be, or even where we want to go – to which the answer is never as we have always been told all three by some wannabe dictator under the guise of democracy.

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