Monthly Archives: May 2015

What next?

This hollow fabric either must enclose,
Within its blind recess, our secret foes,
Or ‘t is an engine rais’d above the town,
T’ o’erlook the walls, and then to batten down.
Somewhat is sure design’d, by fraud or force:
Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.

Virgil’s Aeneid

Richard North, presuumably out of frustration, writes in an article entitled EU Referendum: Invincible stupidity and frivolity about the inability – or even the wish – to face facts that are exhibited by political commentators and our media. He ends with these words: But if this is the way the campaign is going to be fought and reported, the temptation to walk away from it begins to look overpoweringly attractive.

For some time now it has been obvious that the forthcoming referendum on the UK’s EU membership is in the process of being ‘managed’ in order to achieve the result that the political class desire; namely a ‘Yes’ vote to remain a member of what is an odious political construct. This is underlined by another article from Richard North; one entitled: Reading the runes. In this article he links to one from Autonomous Mind, this entitled: EU renegotiation: For Cameron, all the world’s a stage.

Talking as I do to school sixth formers to promote the case for leaving the European Union and the need to ‘re-construct’ the present system of democracy, I am struck by one fact. Obviously not one pupil has known life ‘outside’ the European Union; and more importantly, of the teachers I have met, neither have they. One also has to feed into this the ‘input’ that the European Union has into our education system (Captain Euro – witness: The Norway option is not an option – and this). Read that quote by H.L. Mencken once again, please (one from decades ago): A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes….. – and then ask yourself why the current wish for votes in the forrthcoming EU referendum be given to 16 & 17 year-olds.

Why is it I get the feeling that we, the ‘knowedgeable’ section of the public, are being taken for fools? Why is it that I also get the feeing that the ‘unknowledgeable’ section of the public are being taken for the fools they so obviously – and unfortunately – are? As Autonomous Mind writes: the EU referendum is not being ‘rigged’?

Because those of us who have any understanding of democracy are, through the ageing process, becoming a dwindling number, it is perhaps understandable that the belief we may as well ‘pack up shop and go home’ – and thus accept the inevitable – is growing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leading the blind

On the BBC Breakfast News this morning was a fairly long piece about ‘The Northern Powerhouse’; featuring Liverpool and the impovements being made to transport and the docks. The reporter in question then ‘went out’ to garner the views of people about the improvements being made – which were greeted with enthusiasm.

Where the improvements in Liverpool are concerned one may look no further than what have been designated as ‘Priority Routes’ by the European Union – explained here, here and here – and how many of those asked knew that these ‘improvements’ were nothing to do with the Westminster government or any initiative on its part, even though Westminster claims the credit.

Likewise, referring to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, not all is as it seems. Improvements to Teeside, road improvements in the region etc, are all being carried out with ‘financial assistance’, and/or, to comply with the need to provide the ‘feeder’ routes to ‘Priority Project’ routes. Remember, under the last government Regional Develoment Agencies were ‘replaced’ with Local Enterprise Partnerships (same animal, different name). Witness: the North East LEP area funds include £460m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) as well as £10.5m from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). County Durham qualifies for an additional £7.7m from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) (source).

What we are seeing, althought few realise it, is regionalisation by the back door; and the idea behind creating a’Northern Powerhouse’ is just that – but we are hardly likely to hear one politition admit that; after all, have we not recenty been informed that all politicians lie – and so do, deliberately?

When we look at events in the House of Commons today, following the Queen’s Speech, one cannot be reminded of ‘performing monkeys’ – and we, the taxpayer, funds these animals to the tune of £millions per annum? FCS, for the price of admission to London Zoo – and a few bananas – we can enjoy the same show and for a lot less.

The last few words that appeared on a Facebook page today, said it all (whether true or not – but you get my drift):

THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS” FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:

1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

BE AWARE …

THEY WALK AMONG US and THEY VOTE!

And it is expected that the electorate have the ‘nous’ to understand all the aspects of our nation’s membership of the EU and to pass reasoned judgement on that, come a referendum?

Just asking……………………

Probably a silly question; but……..

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
And you’re gone

(Lucy in the sky with diamonds – Beatles)

Which just about sums up the vacuous words that are now appearing in the media on the subject of the forthcoming referendum on this nation’s membership of the European Union. According to the Financial Times, the Conservative success at the recent general election has left both pro- and anti-EU lobby groups scrambling to come up with a coherent strategy for the EU referendum.

In resect of the quote heading this article,  Lucy Thomas, Campaign Director for Business for New Europe, must surely take first prize for the most contradictory statement ever issued. Apparently there is a need for popular figures to represent the range of views on Europe. She then adds: The campaign has to be about real peoples lives; it has to be from the bottom up. Er, if it has to be from the bottom up, then why, one has to ask, is there a need for a ‘popular figure’ to front either side of the argument. One can only assume she most definitely has caught the ‘newspaper taxi’, that her head is in the clouds – and that she most definitely is ‘gone’. (Mind you, one could be forgiven for posing the question was she ever ‘not gone’ previously).

What is also obvious from the FT article is that egos still flourish, with the statements that groups have no plans to merge – and why would they? They all hope to make a name for themselves and no doubt have any eye on the ‘wonga’ that will be available were they to secure ‘lead status’ in either the pro or anti campaign.

Besides ‘Our Lucy’, Andrew Lilico is another who appears to have his head in the clouds. Writing on Capx, he asks what should, could and will Cameron get from his renegotiation., listing what he considers to be ‘matters of importance’. At this point one must also bring in the likes of John Redwood who also believes that only ‘certain matters’ are important. Just what is it that these individuals do not understand about sovereignty? The moment that one iota of sovereignty is ceded to another, the ‘cedee’, as a nation, is no longer sovereign – is not ‘sovereignty’ the ability to determine that which happens within a nation’s borders, coupled with that nation’s relationship with other nations? Where Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’ is concerned, those of us who were of age and thus having the mental capacity to understand the events of 1975 (Wilson) are about to see history repeat itself – with no deal being sold to the people as a deal, one too good to reject.

The discussion about whether we stay ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the EU is not helped by articles such as this, from David Skelton, Head of Public Affairs at  Weber Shandwick, another who believes that a broad alliance of large and small businesses, politicians, unions, consumer groups, newspapers, academics and experts will be essential for the campaigns. It is a continual source of amazement that some individuals manage to become ‘head of this, that, or the other’, while obviously having no knowledge of the subject matter (Matthew Elliot and Mats Persson spring to mind) – but I digress.

In view of the foregoing, one cannot but come back to ‘Our Lucy’ and ask if the question of this nation’s membership of the EU is a matter for the people, just why do we need a ‘figure head’ to front each campaign? This, in turn, begs the question that if the decision is that of the people, then where is the source of unbiased information for the people so they can make up their minds – and thus negate the need for a ‘figure head’?

That such a source does exist would seem to be of no consequence as those able to publicise such – the MSM – choose not to as obviously this would upset their paymasters, namely the political class per se. So, the next question is: what are the proponents of this ‘deal-breaker’ going to do to break the deadlock – after all we read a lot of words about the need for breaking said deadlock, but on action and statergy there seems no word. Couple this with the fact that our present system of democracy is ‘shot to hell’, or to put it more kindly, past its sell-by-date, then the need to combine both leaving the EU and changing our system of democracy becomes of paramount  importance.

It is said that some are borne to lead, others try to lead – but both rely on innovation. It has been said that for good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate – so how to get that human interaction, argumment and debate? It has also been said that a good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.

With regard to the last sentence of the preceding paragraph, where those that choose to lead are concerned, we appear to have seen  little of the former, but a lot of the latter – and that goes for both camps. If those of us,  who do have something to contribute to the discussion, are ‘shut out’ (for whatever reason), then can the debate be considered ‘fair’?

Just asking………………………………….

The tightening of the screw?

Little noticed it seems and hidden away on the BBC website (@18;09) is the news that apparently the government is set to abolish the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee chaired by Graham Allen (Labour). The BBC understands that the government intends constitutional issues to be covered by the Justice Committee and the Public Administration Committee.

Not that, on a personal level, I was enamoured with proposals that emanated from this select committee, but this latest move does not auger well for any discussion about a written constitution nor for democracy per se. One has to ask where the government derives its mandate for this move as I do not recall any mention of such in their manifesto.

Not that the political class per se would welcome any reform to the current system of representative democracy as this would only result in their loss of total power, consequently one can only assume that the abolition of this select committee is intended to ensure that any reform, of any description, has now been kicked into the proverbial long grass.

While this reported course of action will pass the public by (it being way above their pay scale), it is necesssary to note the silence of those MPs who are prone to bang on about democracy at the drop of a hat.

This is a dictatorial decision, no doubt sanctioned by he who 5 years ago promised to ensure that the political class would always be the servants of the people and never their masters.

Yes, we do live in a democratised dictatorship!

 

A North East Conundrum

 

 

Bryony Gordon has an article in the Daily Telegraph about the withdrawal of Chuka Umunna from the Labour leadership contest, an article in which she maintains that politics is no place for ordinary people. But should not democracy involve the views of ordinary people; and should not those views carry more weight than they do, currently, under representative democracy?

Since moving to the North East I have been struck by the recurring complaint that ‘Westminster’ is divorced from the North East, not just by distance but also by ideology. The county of Durham is rock-solid Labour, yet knowing the complaint mentioned above still the voters go to the polling booths and elect the same ‘Westminster Village’ people that they complain about, forgetting that history tells them their vote is, in effect, wasted.

Intrestingly, standing in the constituency in which I now live, Easington, was Susan McDonnell on behalf of the North East Party. This political party was formed in 2014 by former Labour MP, Hilton Dawson, campaigning for a devolved assembly for the north east of England with similar powers as those accorded to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The North East Party (NEP) put up candidates in Easington, Redcar, Stockton North and Newcastle North; with McDonnell gaining 2.3% of the votes in Easington.

So bearing in mind the complaint of people to whom I have spoken in this constituency, that Westminster is far from the north east and what therefore does Westminster care about the north east; why did McDonnell not do better? A clue may well lie in the fact that devolution to the north east has already been rejected , albeit back in 2004; coupled with the fact that the electorate of the north east possibly knew full well that all they would get is yet more career politicians in the north east, similar to those they seemingly detest ‘down south’.

There is much ‘talk’ about Scotland and the wish of the SNP for ‘independence’, which when coupled with the ‘unrest’ in the north east has resulted in a petition for the north east to secede from the UK – in effect becoming ‘New Scotland’. The petition was drawn up by a Sheffield resident and states that the north of England felt greater affinity with their Scottish counterparts than with the ideologies of a London-centric south.

On the face of it, it would appear that The Harrogate Agenda has the answer to the wishes of the north east of England; together with any other part of the nation; namely self-determination over local matters – yet how many of those in the north east, or anywhere else, have even heard of The Harrogate Agenda? One also has to ask: whose fault is that?

Having attended a few of The Harrogate Agenda Workshops, it is noticable how often the audience contains a majority of the same faces; which tends to make one believe that these presentations are but a continuation of ‘preaching to the converted’ – as with Flexcit. A few days ago I wrote about breaching the walls of the ‘collective’ – and ‘preaching to the converted’ just ain’t going to break down the walls of the ‘collective’. So how about a press converence – with invitations issued to the media and notable ‘eurosceptic’ MPs (and if the invitation was ‘magnanimous’, then whilst not an MP, hows about including Farage?) ; with the ‘rider’ that it would be in their interests to attend as they might just learn something? If we are to have a referendum in 2017 – and it may be sooner, so has been intimated – then time is, indeed getting short; so how about stirring the pot a tad?

After all, in order to negate a ‘Warrying assertion’, this might just shorten the number of steps that Confucius reckons every journey needs in order to reach a destination.

Update: ; last para amended – bit of an ‘in-joke’; as those ‘in the know’ will hopefully appreciate.

 

 

Brussel Sprouts and London Cabbage

First, a Brussel Sprout: Wolfgang Münchau has an article in the FT in which he states:  If you rise above the technical issues, the British problem could be elegantly solved through deeper integration for the member states of the eurozone, and more decentralisation for the restShades of A Fundamental Law produced by the Spinelli Group some time ago?

Second, some London Cabbage: In the Guardian article reporting on the statements by Graeme MacDonald and Lord Bamford (of JCB) is a statement from Lucy Thomas, campaign director for Business for New Europe, who states: …..a Brexit would damage Britain: if it left the EU it would have no say in the rules and would still have to accept them; continuing: Of course JCB and others could still sell their goods to Europe, but they would still have to meet EU standards whatever they happened to be. Surely a seat at the table when rules are decided is better than no say at all?

Here we go again: complete denial, either through lack of knowledge or a wish to gloss over aspects which harm her case, of the fact that ‘rules’ are not formulated by the EU but rather by UN bodies such as UNECE and Codex – to name just two. Consequently just how many times does it have to be pointed out to those like Thomas (the [think] tank engine) that the EU is not, repeat not, the ‘top table’?

It is noted also that in the Telegraph, Graeme McDonald is quoted as stating: ……the impact on business had been overhyped if Britain voted to leave the single market. If one of the heads of a British company does not understand the difference twixt the EU and the EEA, then one can only say: heaven help us if these are the voices we are supposed to listen to.

Just a short trip from the UK mainland, the boss of Ireland’s largest business lobby group, Danny McCoy, has said an Irish exit from the EU might become “inevitable” if Britain leaves the union. What’s new, because if the UK were to seamlessly move from full membership of the EU to membership of EFTA/EEA and prosper (as it must surely do), it would not just be Ireland joining another ‘gravy train’ – there could well be a tsunami of followers.

In this context it is worth referring to Own Paterson’s speech in America, a speech in which he hinted at the question of who needs the EU ( a midde man): One possible alternative would be to strengthen the regional UNECE regime to administer this as an economic project. By negotiating directly across the board, we would cut out the middle man, and substantially enhance the transparency of the system.

Of course – and needless to say – the biggest dose of overcooked cabbage comes from the head chef of pap. One cannot be bothered wasting ones time deconstructing this – and to think he probably got paid???

On such as the foregoing will the British electorate be making the most important decision of their lives – and they don’t even know it!

 

 

Exactly! Just what do they know

Andrew Marr, writing in the New Statesman, asks the question (in relation to political journalism) …….how the hell do we know what we think we know? What value – if any – do commentators, set apart from the professional politicians, actually bring?

The answer, if ‘the televised face with jug ears’ is listening, where truth is concerned is: not a lot! The latest example of journalistic inexactitude, proving that they don’t know because they don’t think, appears in the Guardian. This particular article is the subject of a post by Richard North, one in which he makes the point that it wants to frame the argument, and thereby distort it, in order to declare victory on its own terms; to which the immediate question is: what’s new?

The general consensus among journalistic comment – and that of our political class – is that Brexit means leaving the European Union with a loss of trade and jobs. This shows the paucity of journalistic knowledge of ‘matters EU’; and also a paucity of knowledge about the deriviation of law and ‘standards’ per se. One of the most burning theological questions must be that if everything has a beginning, then who created The Creator? Likewise, if everything has a beginning, the next question for journalists must be who or what created EU law. With the minimum effort involving research, journalists would soon learn that the EU is but a middle man processing law handed down to them.

Let us turn to what Marr terms ‘professional politicians’, because they are no better informed than journalists. For  sure, we have politicians such as Redwood and Carswell who wish to end our membership of the EU; but that is only for their wish to reassert the sovereignty of Parliament and thus, in turn, reassert their control over the people of the UK, rather than where it resides at present in Brussels.

In a post of the day before yesterday on this blog I linked to a speech, given in America, by Owen Paterson; one which received minimal coverage (if any) in the UK media. One has to ask: would this speech not have had far more impact had it been given in the UK, rather than abroad? Far be it for me to suggest that the speaker knew that it may not be covered in the UK and that he could not be accused of ‘rocking the Conservative Boat’.

Also, a few days ago, I wrote about the parasitical element in our politics; and political journalists/commentators are, undoubtedly, parasites. They know full well that to be critical of the political class would threathen their livlihood, hence they dare not question too deeply, nor ciriticise, those that feed, house and clothe them. So too are the political class parasites, in that they will not criticise journalists as they are only too aware that journalists are the platform by which means they, the politicians, can pontificate on matters they know not without fear of questioning, So, dear reader, is truth ‘stitched up’ on two fronts – and once again begs the question where the media and politicians are concerned: in whose pocket is who?

Richard North echoes a question oft posed by this blog; namely, never mind that the Eurosceptic side of the argument about the UK’s membership of the European Union is in disarray – is this really of any consequence when it is obvious that neither the media, nor the political class, will be truthful with that which they say/write – mainly because neither knows fact from fiction, and/or chooses for their own reason not to acknowledge the difference? Which rather makes a mockery of the assertion that any referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU will be ‘free and fair’.

Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place; we, the electorate, are faced with both a media and political class who don’t wish us to know the truth, coupled with a eurosceptic faction that seem unable to agree on a coherent strategy. It seems to me that we taxpayers might as well save ourselves circa £75 million and let the political opposing factions make the decision for us – after all, is that not what we normally do on important matters?

On the other hand we could all begin to take an interest in those matters that affect our country, reclaim control of democracy and thus tell politicians and the media: sorry, but we are in charge now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egotism

Oh, believe me. The greatest egos are those which are too egotistical to show just how egotistical they are.
William Inge, Bus Stop

It would appear, from reports in the media, that Ukip is now involved in internecine warfare, with Patrick O’Flynn stating that Farage is making Ukip look like a personality cult and blaming his team of “aggressive” and “inexperienced” aides.

………as for the “aides”, it has always been Farage’s style to surround himself with sycophants and to get rid of anyone who he thinks might represent a challenge to him.

(source)

Does not every political leader surround himself with sycophants (witness Miliband) so that the Dear Leader in question is not informed that he is a complete and utter prat?

Of course, where an income can be created, do not sycophants accept positions in which they must know that, sooner or later, they will be forced to choose between their livlihood and their principles? (As an aside, one has to ask whether Owen Paterson would have accepted a position – had it been offered – in Cameron’s government, bearing in mind the content of his recent speech in the USA?)

The foregoing raises the question of whether we are best served by those who profess to represent the views of those who elect them; only for those elected to be tempted from their raison d’être and thus to be ‘led astray’ by their egotism and a lust for greater power and personal glory. Where is there any sense of democracy per se, if someone can be elected for one job only to be appointed to another – and all without the agreement of those who ‘appointed’ him/her in the first place?

So why the ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ of Farage vilification (the majority of criticism with which I concur) unless we also, in the same breath, criticise every other political leader for the same reason?

It is indeed odd to find those who have criticised Cameron, at times quite vociferously during the last parliament, then urging us to vote for him purely on the basis he promises a referendum on the UK’s EU membership, while subsequently acknowledging that such a referendum cannot be won within the time scale Cameron proposes due to the inability, for example, of anti-EU groups to present a unified opposition (leaving to one side EU procedural reasons).

Just saying………………………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just who knows what?

Little notice seems to have been paid among ‘the great and the good’ (and the not so good), included in which category is our political class and commentariat, to a recent paper on Brexit. It is indeed surprising, bearing in mind the body from which it comes coupled with the background of the author.

Dealing with the seven legal options once the United Kingdom has left the European Union, the second option – for the UK to join EFTA/EEA(pp 6&7) – is interesting as this option is, in effect, the path proposed by FlexCit. Almost straight away we are informed that these EFTA countries have to follow the evolution of EU legislation concerning the internal market, without having a right to influence much of its content. I will not bore readers by repeating the refutation of such an argument as put forward by Jean-Claude Piris, suffice it to say said rebuttal is contained in this post of mine some time ago – and no, for those interested, I did not receive one reply to the emails quoted.

What ever opinion one may take of Piris’ paper, just compare it to this offering in the Guardian written one day earlier. Bearing in mind that it now seems there will be a referendum on the UK’s memembership of the EU, on such paucity as that offered in the Guardian (and other media publications, not withstanding the waffle also produced by such as Open Europe and Business for Britain) will the British public be led up the proverbial garden path.

The burning question, as a result of the Guardian article is: just what do journalists actually ‘know’ of matters EU; just what do ‘business leaders’ actually know of matters EU; and just what do those in Open Europe and Business for Britain actually know about matters EU?

The Europhile side of the argument about the UK’s membership of the EU appear to be making ‘all of the running’. If there is to be an ‘alliance’ of Eurosceptic groups, is it not about time we heard from them; is it not about time they made their presence felt – at least on social media; is it not about time we were actually informed just who comprises this ‘alliance’? Is it not about time we heard of a strategy – after all, time is passing by; and the way the eurosceptic movement appears to be moving, by the time they do get their act together the referendum will be but a distant memory.

Just saying………….

 

 

Food for thought?

Having moved to County Durham, the first thing of which I rapidly became aware was that the words ‘Thatcher’ and ‘Conservative’ are akin to swear words; and it would seem this feeling is expressed elsewhere in the UK . This is, perhaps, borne out by the following map?

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(click to enlarge)

 Timothy Garton Ash is of the opinion that one answer to what appears to be a disunited Kingdom is federalism. If TGA cared to broaden his reading list he would discover that the answer to the problems caused by the half-arsed devoution plans of our political masters already exists.

With reference to the map above, this would of course allow those that wish to create their socialist utopia to so do – but they would need to remember that the funding for such would need to be provided by them – and also to remember that there would be no bail-out by the rest of the UK – but I digress somewhat.

It is all very well for Owen Paterson to follow the ‘Tory Line’ (we must give David Cameron time to achieve his renegotiation aims; presumably Paterson – remember he was speaking on Sunday – was hoping for a phone call telling him that a terrible mistake had been made and perhaps he would reconsider rejoining the cabinet) – while presenting a slightly different message in the United States; but until a leading politician actually comes out and calls Cameron’s ‘bluff’, citing chapter and verse, doing so in Parliament; bloggers can write all they like (and build alliances to speak with one voice – and just whose idea was the latter in the first place?) because until they can break into the political bubble, they are wasting their time.

It seems to me that the battle Euroscepticism faces is summed up in Howard Roark’s ‘courtroom speech’ in the film: The Fountainhead’, taken from an original work by Ayn Rand. In the film Rourk’s words were but a paraphrase of Rand’s original; but at the end of the day it is, indeed, a battle twixt the individual and the ‘collective’ – and until the walls of the ‘collective’ can be breached, then all other efforts are in vain.

If the Harrogate Agenda is supposed to be ‘people led’, then ‘preaching to the converted’ will not galvanise the people. Some time ago, one idea I suggested was that what was required was a concerted campaign to make the people aware of what is at stake. What better way than to have an organisation specifically tasked, utilising social media (specifically twitter), to immediately rebut the offerings of the ‘collective’ – again citing ‘chapter and verse’ by means of pertinent links? If we are to fight the ‘collective’ then let us fight them – and not make an appearance of so doing. It is worth recalling that there are more individuals than there are the ‘collective’.

When I first suggested a coalition of eurosceptic think tanks, all speaking with one voice, I complained about the problem of obvious egotism within the different voices that were being heard – it appears that, like the argument against EU membership, so too have my words fallen on deaf ears.