Monthly Archives: September 2015

A letter to the Telegraph

The following has been submitted to the letters editor of the Telegraph:

Dear Sirs,

With reference to the recent article by John Springford, which contained many untruths; and in which the Daily Telegraph failed to point out that the author’s employer, the Centre for European Reform, was routinely receiving operating grants from the EU; I have to question the impartiality of your newspaper where ‘unbiased news’ is concerned.

That such ‘untruths’ are becoming particularly more common every day, by those that would have this nation remain a member of the European Union, is regrettable; especially as he who would have us believe he has our best interests at heart, lays himself open to the charge of having misled those for whom he professes to speak.

When residing in David Cameron’s constituency (prior to my moving to Co. Durham in February this year) I met him on 16th August 2014 and handed him a dossier in which I suggested that he had been economical with the actualité over a number of facts, among which were that Norway is ‘governed by fax’ and requesting the name of the treaty he vetoed together with the date(s) and venues the required convention and IGC for that treaty were held.

In his response dated 6th November 2014 (with apologies for the delay) he totally ignored each and every one of the questions raised, likewise the allegations levied against him of having misled the British people. He stated that he was unable to agree with a number of the points I raised, to which I immediately asked with which did he agree and which did he dispute; questions to which no reply was received.

On 19th December 2014 he replied that as he and I would never agree on ‘Europe’ and that as I remain unhappy with the content of his replies, he now felt it time to draw our correspondence to a close.

When the situation arises wherein an elected representative of a constituent fails, and/or refuses, to converse with him – and refuses to answer charges laid against him – one has to ask a basic question: why later should we listen to him, or believe him, when he professes he will safeguard our interests.

Wherefore democracy – such as it presently is?

Yours faithfully,

David Phipps
(address & telephone number supplied)

There is little hope it will be published, which is why it has also been sent to other media outlets.

Déjà vu?

I note that there are calls for federalism to be introduced in the United Kingdom, while Jeremy Corbyn states that ‘…..you set the terms for the people in power over you, and you dismiss them when they fail you. That’s what democracy is about….‘ – although for someone who would have us believe he is his own man it seems he is not above using parts of a speech written four years previously for someone else (but I digress).

Here we have two people talking through their lower orifice as what they are proposing is firstly, federalism based on the same central control – albeit at a lower level – and secondly, the terms for the people in power over you cannot be set when the people have to sign up to certain assumptions and attitudes beforehand (see preceding article).

In that previous article a comment from Graham Wood (points 1,3, 4 and 5) are well said, something echoed by Henry Kaye. In regard to the last paragraph of that comment one can but say that he [Graham Wood] is talking to the wrong blog………

Yes, we can have federalism but if we are so to do, then it must be under the auspices proposed by The Harrogate Agenda by which certain areas are allocated to national government with all other matters in the hands of local government; all subject to public approval.

This is where Corbyn’s ideas are but ‘politic speak’ – they cannot be implemented within the form of democracy which now prevails where centrol control remains the norm and wherein the people are unable to exercise the power about which he wishes to give them.

What we are seeing in both the above links in the first paragraph of this article is a continued attempt to devolve power within the confines of representative democracy – a form of democracy which is not democracy – and which, as logic must show, cannot ever come to pass. Consequently the suggestions of the Marquess of Saisbury and Jeremy Corbyn, which may well prevail in the short term, are doomed to failure in the long term when the  people become more educated – which begs the question why are those able to promote this new form of democracy wasting the time they – and we – have where the future of our nation is concerned? Once again I have to refer to previous articles on this subject.

It may well be that the cogs of the minds of the Marquess and Corbyn are starting to work – all one can say is that they have many a mile to travel until they come to the right conclusion.

Just saying………………………..

 

 

 

 

Whose life is it?

Maybe we need to ask precisely what elected governments are for in modern Europe, and whether a population has to sign up to certain assumptions and attitudes before it is entitled to democratic government.
Janet Daley

While the media have been involved in matters immigration and Corbyn; and the blogoshere involved in matters referendum (EU), little noticed it seems has been taken of a debate that took place in the House of Commons on the subject of assisted dying. The Bill in question will not progress any further, after MPs voted 330 to 118 against giving it a second reading. Isabel Hardman has, in my opinion, a good article in respect of the HoC debate but unfortunately misses the point of the question which forms the title to this article.

I question the right of those we elect to represent our views on this or any other matter – especially when we have no knowledge whether they have, or have not, consulted those they say they represent. On many subjects we hear MP’s state that they have had many, or hardly any, letters from their constituents on a ‘topic du jour’ – yet what constitutes many, or  hardly any? A postbag of say two or three hundred, when compared to a constituency of say fifty thousand, hardly constitutes ‘many’ or ‘few’ – depending on the argument which the MP wishes to present on the topic in question.

Leaving to one side the argument about ‘coercion for gain’, often raised by the legal profession or charities/pressure groups, allow me a digression  (a personal one) by way of explanation. My mother, who lived to 101 and resided in a care home, had many conversations with me about her death; and decided that I should have Power of Attorney over her affairs (finances and well being – the latter covering a multitude of events) should she be unable to make a decision of a personal nature due to her not being capable of so doing. As part of the ‘process’, the solicitor I engaged to draw up the necessary PoA insisted on a consultation with my mother at which I could not be present. It later transpired that this discussion came down do one fundamental question about my motives and/or ability for making any decision on her behalf, to which she replied that she was content that my decision would be hers – on which basis the solicitor was content to draw up the necessary document.

Having visited her in the afternoon, as I did every week (three days prior to Christmas Day) I received a call from the care home later that same evening to the effect that her condition had worsened and they (the care home) felt I should return, which I did – arriving about 8pm. I sat with her through the night until early in the morning her breathing became intermittent and ‘laboured’. At this point in, consultation with the senior duty manager, a doctor was called. After an examination the doctor advised that she could give my mother an injection but that whilst it may alleviate any pain she may have been suffering, that injection may well kill her – and requested my permission to proceed, which I gave. As the doctor was about to insert the needle my mother died – at which point I immediately felt relief that I had not been complicit in her death.

Now, had it been necessary for the injection to be given, it might be held that I was guilty of being party to assisted dying. No doubt the legal profession would have been able to earn mega-bucks arguing for and against – but I come back to the heading of this post and the counter question of what business is it of theirs; likewise what business is it of our political class?

Yet so much of our lives is out of our control, it being decided by our elected representatives – and on what basis, because once again I have to ask: who’s life is it? But this aspect never entered the debate – yet ‘our Isabel’ reckons the debate was ‘thoughtful’? When people have no voice over what happens to them, or their lives, then we do not live in a democracy.

On this point, witness l’affaire Straw and Rifkind – and this is but one of many important aspects of democracy over which the people have no voice whatsoever. Even the Commons Committee on Standards, composed mostly of MPs, have expressed major doubts about the rules – yet Martin Bell (yes, he of the white suit) is reported to have stated that: Obviously the system is flawed…the House of Commons is incapable of regulating itself – with the Telegraph, belatedly, asking whether we can trust MP’s to ‘mark their own homework‘. and calling for a ‘sensible outside watchdog’. Needless to say, one does exist; but they are not allowed a voice.

But politicians are not the only group with an agenda of their own because, so too it would seem, are political commentators and those heading  ‘think tanks’ and pressure groups. The Boiling Frog mentions Matthew Elliott, who would seem to most definitely have his own agenda with ‘his fingers in many pies’.  On top of which, this is the man who fronts a think tank/pressure group (BfB) campaigning for out but who states that if Cameron delivers all that he [Elliott] thinks important he would promptly vote to remain in the EU. This is the man, I recall reading, who fronted the No to AV referendum and who made such a pig’s ear of the job that others had to be brought in to save that campaign. So his qualification for being designated leader of the ‘Leave’ campaign, is?

When a form of democracy is practiced which does not allow those whose life it is to decide how those lives can and should be led, then that is not democracy.  Even more important, when those who do know that a better form of democracy exists, yet deny that better form of democracy for their own ends, then that is not democracy either.

There is a plan to reclaim our sovereignty; only the idea embodied in said plan is to first hand it to the idiots who ceded it in the first place, without a guarantee that said sovereignty is not immediately passed to those to whom it belongs – which begs the observation that one has to question the basics of the plan. I say this as, talking to people in my new area of life – and they can be categorised as ‘Joe Public’ – there is a considerable element of those who believe it is pointless voting as nothing change (It is worth mentioning that in the Easington constituency, in which I live, only 56% of the electorate exercised their franchise).  Therein, I would venture to suggest, lies an untapped source for the ‘Leave Vote’ – which in turn begs the question why the means to capture this voting potential is the last stage of ‘the plan’. It is eye-opening that when the heading of this article is embodied in the reason to leave the European Union there is interest in THA.

When the public are unable to rely on those they elect to be truthful yet remain unable to hold them to account; when commentators are able to obtain positions whereby they can influence the public’s minds through the media, yet can never be held to account – then that is not democracy either.

That is why the quote from Janet Daley heads this artice, because wherever one looks we are forced to accept certain assumptions and attitudes that affect our lives; and over which we have no recourse – or to resort to basic Anglo-Saxon: we have no choice who screws us, or when.

 

The blind leading the blind?

 Survation are showing a lead for ‘Leave’, on EU membership, for the first time since November 2014. Yet how can one rely on opinion polls on this matter when it is doubtful those questioned know anything about the reasons for leaving or even remaining. That question is asked as even those supposedly in the know appear not to know.

A few days ago I became involved in a twitter exchange – on a twitter account I no longer use (and how that happened I know not, but I digress) with a Ukip parliamentary and european parliament candidate. The point of this post is not to ‘knock’ Ukip specifically (although the temptation is great) but to illustrate the question raised in the first paragraph.

Capture 1Capture 2
Capture 3
 For those unaware of who is Paul James Oakley (which is probably all outside the Ukip ‘family’, a little insight follows:
Capture 4

Now if a prospective representative of the people has no idea about the origin of standards and law, just how can we expect a member of Joe Public to? As a barrister, Oakley is – one assumes – trained to look at a problem from all angles in order to arrive at the truth.The worrying aspect of this exchange of tweets is that we are being asked to vote by Oakley – a person who holds and important position in a political party – to leave the European Union.

The more worrying aspect is that this man has a vote!