Monthly Archives: November 2015

There’s news – and there’s news

The  MSM seem enthralled with the mess that both Labour and the Tories appear to be in – with the former unable to make up its mind what they actually ‘stand for’ on a variety of ‘subjects du jour’, such as [you name it]; and the Tories on the NHS ‘doctors and ACAS‘ problem.

On the latter I reproduce from my time-line on Facebook:

The Book of Jeremy, Chapter 1
And it came to pass that Jeremy, of the tribe of Conservatites, clad himself in gaudy raiment from the Row of Savile and summoned the Disciples of Hippocrates to his tent. For he wished to impart Good News to them.
“Verily, I ask you,” saith Jeremy unto them, “when doth the Festival of Wee-kend beginneth?”
And the Disciples of Hippocrates furrowed their brows in amazement at this parable, for all people who dwell on earth knew the Festival of Wee-kend beginneth at the same time every week, that is to say, on Friday at Five to Five (or, as it is known to those aged over two score and ten, Crackerjack Time.)
And the Disciples of Hippocrates remarked on this to Jeremy and some began to reacheth for the Mental Health Act Papyrus, but then Jeremy spake again.
“Ye may be wise and learned folk,” saith Jeremy, “ but in this case thou art sorely mistaken. For from this day onwards I decree the Festival of Wee-kend shall beginneth at midnight on the Sabbath. Or maybe, in days to come, on Sunday. For I may chooseth to monkey around with it again.”
And the Disciples of Hippocrates were sorely dismayed, for they kneweth that this meaneth a shedload fewer shekels, big time. And their discontent was so great it afflicted their tongues, such that they could not even speak Jeremy’s name correctly.
But then arose amongst them the prophet Malawana, who was in such favour with THE LORD that the Almighty worked a miracle greater than the parting of the Red Sea: He softened the hearts of the Daily Express papyrus merchants so that they supported Malawana. And then Malawana spake thus to his learned tribe: “Let not your hearts be troubled, for I will lead you to the promised land.”
“And what is this land, exactly, squire?” askedeth the Disciples of Hippocrates..
And Malawana looked into their hearts and perceived that though the Disciples of Hippocrates seldom made war, so great was their anger they were now well up for some serious smiting.
And so Malawana loosened his sword in its sheath. And his grim countenance bore an expression that sayeth: Don’t fucketh with me, pal.
“We journey to the Land of Bal-lot,” saith Malawana. And his people followed him there, rejoicing.
And Jeremy, on hearing these tidings, did soil his fine raiment of the Row of Savile
The Book of Jeremy.

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A few comments on ‘matters du jour’

The following is a ‘pot-pourri’, of two news items, coupled with my views with which readers may, or may not, agree.

On the subject of ‘pot-pourri’ we learn from Wikipedia the definitions of the phrase; and it is worth noting that while the word pot in French has the same meaning as it does in Spanish and English, the word pourri means rotten And in our ‘democracy’ so much is ‘rotten’!

Tim Yeo has lost his court case against The Sunday Times and in this regard it calls into question the ruling made by the parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, who cleared Mr Yeo of breaching the rules on lobbying ministers for financial reward and of bringing the Commons into disrepute (see this article and this article). Whilst one has no evidence, one has to wonder just what pressure Kathryn Hudson may have been subjected to in considering her judgement. Leaving aside for one moment cynicism on my part, on that which we know Yeo was guilty as hell; as was Straw and Rifkind.

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Some questions

It is always a source of amusement when reading the outpourings of political commentators on the subject of democracy. One only has to consider this from Gabby Hinsliff (and where she is concerned, ‘Gabby’ is so appropriate); or this from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown; or this from Philip Booth.

The first two articles centre on l’affaire Mark Clarke and intimate that young potential politicians, to quote Hinsliff: …..weren’t knifing each other over ways to change the world, but over getting seats, or jobs with MPs, or proximity to power of any kind. Hey, never mind the ‘young’ tag; isn’t that what politicians of all ages do? Alibhai-Brown reckons: degradation of politics by any party disables our democracy, and no party is immune to the effects. Hey, in order to disable democracy, first it is necessary to have democracy. That of Booth’s centres on the fact that: we have representation without taxation and an intrinsic big government bias in the electoral system, while suggesting that: a proper federal structure must be created for the UK.

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Just another ‘brain-dead’ political commentator – or ‘hack’

Yes, you, Philip Stephens Chief Political Commentator of the Financial Times.

An article, albeit a few days old, about Brexit from this font of wisdom begins: What do you mean by “out”? and continues: Would Britain stay in the single market or cut loose entirely? The question goes unanswered. The Vote Leave campaign has turned this silence into an article of faith. A sceptic, in the true senseof the word, might think they had something to hide. As it happens, the government too has not properly considered what would happen if a disgruntled electorate backed Brexit. It then states: A post-EU deal along the lines of that secured by the Norwegians, Icelanders or Swiss would leave the primacy of EU law intact while robbing Britain of any voice. At the other end of the spectrum, complete disentanglement would deprive Britain of preferential trade access to scores of third countries and remove all protection for the City of London.

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Dear Donald, Jean-Claude, Martin & 28 Others

Well, here’s my letter setting out my demands for a reformed European Union – says David Cameron – and you will notice that, in common with ‘everything EU’ where reform is suggested, it is set out in very ‘broad terms’,; ie, nothing too specific; well one might be but as you can see I am open to diluting that if necessary. You will also note there is no mention of fishing, agriculture/farming, working time directives, energy or taxation in all its forms – to name but a few where repatriation of powers is concerned, which would then enable me to waffle on further about sovereignty – not bad, eh; coupled with the fact that I hope you will agree I have not ‘rocked the boat’ too much.

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St. George & The Dragon

Today we had David Cameron’s speech to the CBI, together with various articles suggesting that were his December European Council meeting to ‘go well’ it may be that the promised referendum could happen in June 2016; or at the latest in September.

June is ‘pie in the sky’ for one simple reason: did not the Electoral Commission state there should be a six-month period between the referendum being called and the actual vote? Then of course there are Scottish, Welsh, local and London Mayoral elections in May 2016; plus the EU referendum bill is still in the House of Lords and the matter of whether 16-17 year olds can vote has yet to be resolved. If the Lords gives the government another bloody nose, it is highly unlikely redrawing the electoral register to widen the franchise would be achieved by June.

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Remember, Lest We Forget

Once again Remembrance Sunday is with us and once again the BBC will transmit events at the Cenotaph where political leaders present and past will bow their heads supposedly in memory of those who fell fighting for their country to preserve not only it but also our way of life and the freedoms we enjoyed.

Six years ago I wrote the following:

It should be the case that every politician, when they bow their heads, should do so not in homage, but in shame. Shame that they have deliberately cheapened all those lives that have been wasted fighting for freedom and independence – a freedom and independence that they, the politicians, have since steadily eroded and ceded.

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What goes round comes round

Those of us who are of a similar age as I will recall the Educational Priority Areas (EPA) – and are probably asking themselves, as do I, what happened to that.

An excellent article about EPAs can be found here; the author of this article having been a member of the West Riding Educational Priority Area project and a contributor to the HMSO Educational Priority series. The Plowden Report referred to in the linked article interestingly also called for more experienced and successful teachers, with salary incentives to attract them to work in EPAs.

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What is an MP for – asks James Gray

Now there’s a question – perhaps it is to raid the public purse, perhaps it is not to understand the lack of the separation of power that presently exists twixt the Executive and Parliament.

Writing on Politics Home, Gray asks: Is it really our job to deal with immigration appeals, benefits disputes, Child Support Agency arguments, planning applications, school placements and the like? Or does this divert us from our true purpose of holding the Government to account?

If the true purpose of an MP, as Gray would seem to suggest, is to hold the government to account, then readers can make up their own minds whether or not he has, based on this and this.

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Yah-Boo breeds Yah-Boo

With the question of this country’s membership of the European Union and whether or not the electorate will vote to remain or leave increasingly dominating the headlines and news content, I am becoming sick and tired of the ‘yah-boo’ nature of the entire business – and the campaign has yet to begin in earnest. One can but hope that when the Referendum Planning Group (RPG) launch their campaign (in February we are led to believe) they will refrain from participation in this latest game, bringing a tad of sanity to the question being posed on the referendum ballot paper.

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