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.

Chapter 2:
And it came to pass that the prophet Malawana led the Disciples of Hippocrates to the land of Bal-lot, and there he spake unto them.
“If Jeremy persisteth with his mad design, ye shall have fewer shekels and labour long hours through the night, even unto exhaustion. And when you are so sorely fatigued and maketh a mistake, well, ye knowest where that path leadeth.”
“Where doth it leadeth, squire?” saith one disciple.
“It leadeth to the GeeEm Sea,” saith Malawana.
And the disciples quaked with terror, for no-one who entered the GeeEm Sea was ever seen again.
Then Malawana spake again: “Those disciples who wish to smite Jeremy until he ceaseth this bollocks, casteth down thy stethoscope.”
And lo, the land of Bal-lot did resembleth an explosion in the Littman factory.
.
When Jeremy heard these tidings, he changed his raiment to brown trousers, so as to disguise his fear, and journeyed to the tent of David, son of Cameron, King of the tribe of Conservatites. And there he found that David had sacrificed a swine, and cut off its head so as to make a burnt offering. At least, that is what David claimeth, but Jeremy believed him not, for David had put his…

(Translators note: the original papyrus has been damaged – possibly intentionally – and the remainder of this verse is indecipherable. Biblical scholars have long debated its meaning. However, the recent paper by Ashcroft raises an interesting theory on this matter.)

“Sire,” saith Jeremy, “the Disciples of Hippocrates are revolting.”
And David agreed, saying they did indeed do unspeakable acts with the Jelly of Kaywhy and the gloves of rubber. For he had seen such abominable things in the land of Holby.
And Jeremy marvelled at his chutzpah, given what David was doing to the aforesaid swine.
“Nay, sire,” saith Jeremy, “I meaneth they striketh.”
“Let not your heart be troubled,” saith David. “For my forebear, the blessed Margaret, Queen of the Conservatites, faced similar strife from those who delve for treasures in the earth. She triumphed by exploiting division within the enemy camp, and I shall do likewise. Those disciples who striketh not shall heal the sick. How many thousands spurned Malawana’s call to arms?”
“Six-” saith Jeremy.
“Only six thousand, and all the rest have forsaken me?” saith David, and his visage did turn ghostly pale, even unto a nice shade of steatorrhoea.
“Not six thousand, sire. Six,” saith Jeremy.
“Six?” saith King David weakly, for he was sorely vexed, and by now approacheth single figures on the Coma Scale of Glasgow.
“Yea, six. The number between five and seven,” saith Jeremy. “And four of them, being of the tribe of Orthopods, ticketh the wrong box by mistake.”
And David fell into a swoon, and on recovering spake thus: “Lendeth me your brown trousers, Jeremy.
Peter Ewing, GP

The point is: which is more important; an internal spat (above) or an external spat, namely sovereignty and who governs our nation. In respect of the latter one cannot but lament the lack of serious coverage by the MSM; and the fact when they do deign to write/speak on that subject, their coverage is minimal and superficial to say the least. It is obviously naive of me to believe that the foremost duty of a nation’s free press’ is to inform their readership of the truth – no more, no less; yet it appears not so. Which begs the question just how much of our supposedly ‘free press’ is subjected to pressure from the ‘government du jour’ in respect of their ‘licence to print’?

The sooner we, as an electorate, get the ability to decide who represents us – and once chosen – can then be ‘fired’, the sooner we may be able to achieve a real state of democracy. Having said that, the ability to ‘hire and fire’ those we elect is but one small part of direct democacy, a system in which the electorate are supreme rather than – as at present under representative democracy – the political class who only promulgate an elective dictatorship.

Among more important aspects of democracy are, for example, the amount of taxation levied upon us and the means by which it is done, together with what wars we enter into; to name but two. Which begs the question, oft repeated on this blog: why is The Harrogate Agenda not being ‘run’ more prominately with FlexCit, a ‘programme’ which would restore ‘sovereignty’ to this nation?

Answers, it would appear, are not forthcoming, unfortunately – and I would suggest the Director of THA needs to ‘go rethink’, especially as commentators appear to have ‘hit the nail on the head‘?

C’mon RPG and THA: you want support? Then hows about a concerted, joined-up, message/campaign – after all, you’ve’ ‘elected’ yourselves to lead and deliver it?

Just saying…………………..?

 

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.

When considering the workings of ‘oversight bodies’, one can only surmise that due to ‘wheels within wheels’ the entire process is indeed ‘rotten’ due to ‘like looking after like’ and pressures of which we know nothing about being brought to bear.

Yet were the electorate to have unfettered recall of an MP (which we don’t due to politicians determined to look after their own), would the electorate be given the evidence on which to make a judgement whether to ‘fire’ their MP and force a by-election? One suspects not. Yet the subject of MP’s’profligacy’ is not mentioned, as such, in The Harrogate Agenda although albeit indirectly, in Demand #1 and #6.

Let us then move to the subject of ‘polling’ and this article. As has been said many times on this blog, just what is the point of polling when those asked have no real idea of the subject matter – think general elections? Just what do the electorate know about the gulf that exists between the legislature and the executive? Just what do the electorate understand about ‘matters EU’  – think referendum? Yet we get reams of words on the findings and importance of said polls, with pundits ‘drooling over the results……… Can we get a life here?

Until the electorate can be ‘educated’ about democracy – and what constitutes democracy – then bloggers and political pundits can write all they want and pollsters can drool, as their efforts mean absolutely zilch – as the latter continue to so do as they know they cannot be ‘brought to book’ because those for whom they write ensure that contrary views are ‘banned’, while bloggers write for a captive audience. On that point one has to ask who wins and who loses; and where readership is concerned, it is without doubt that for all the truth bloggers write, it is the media who wins.

Whether it be general elections or referenda, it is obvious that the mind of the electorate is blank where the subject matter is concerned – at which point it has to be asked on whom does the duty fall to educate the electorate? Do not both media and politicians owe the electorate a duty to so do – after all under present, under the rules of ‘hors de combat, it is they who have the ear of the electorate.

Unfortunately those that currently would appear to have the ear of the electorate are those who are incapable, through their lack of knowledge and abilty, of waging war. I refer, natch, to Vote_Leave and Leave.EU; not forgetting of course our benign government who while not having the knowledge do have the ability to ‘wage war’. As anafterthought, that a government who professes to state that the decision of EU membership is one for the people, but appears to be going out of its way to influence the people’s decision, begs but derision – so much for (a) democracy; and (b) just who is ‘waging the war’…….?

Bearing mind the principles of democracy (‘people rule’, from which the word democracy is derived), just when will the Referendum Planning Group (RPG) separate The Harrogate Agenda from Flexcit and run both concurrently – with equal ‘blog and twitter presence’? After all, are they not presenting themselves as the  promoters – and upholders – of democracy per se?

While one can ask questions the eternal problem remains that if no answer is forthcoming, as this twitter exchange shows, then is one banging ones head against the proverbial brick wall?

bit.ly/1PVTUel Some questions – Just asking why THA is not being run alongside, but separate to, FlexCit and with equal prominence?

RichardAENorth's avatar

@ScribblinSeaham It is an integral part of Flexcit. To promote Flexcit is to promote THA

 

ScribblinSeaham's avatar

@RichardAENorth Sorry but that does not answer the questions I raised 🙁 Try again?

 

RichardAENorth's avatar

@ScribblinSeaham It is an integral part of Flexcit … as the best way of marketing THA .

 

ScribblinSeaham's avatar

@RichardAENorth Sorry, you’ve said that already – try again? Pse answer the questions I raised?

 

Or does one need to insert the RPG [rocket propelled grenade] (and forgive the unintentional pun) into the appropriate orifice and pull the trigger? Just asking………………………….

 

 

 

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.

What we have with all these articles is an extension of the accusatation contained in my preceding article; namely that we are blessed with brain-dead political commentators or ‘hacks’ who know not the meaning of research; who, to quote from a comment from the preceding article: would think that an aspirational writer, looking for another angle to be a little bit original, would seize upon something that is not being discussed by other reporters or columnists.

The answer to all the ‘complaints’ in the linked articles already exists, namely: The Harrogate Agenda.

However this blog – and many of its readers – are slightly puzzled. It has been written:  ……The Harrogate Agenda cannot stand aloof from the anti-EU movement, and wait until it has achieved it aim, in order that we should be able to progress ours; likewise it has been written: ……there is little point in recovering powers from the EU, only to hand them back to the same institutions that gave them away in the first place (FlexCit –  page 375). Neither can it be, as the Director of THA informed me in an email, that once the Referendum Planning Group (RPG) launches, hopefully THA will receive more coverage (my emphasis).

We all know that the European Union is not ‘democracy’ by any manner of means, but then neither is the system of democracy currently prevalent; so: why is THA stage six of FlexCit; why, if there is little point in recovering powers from the EU only to hand them back to the same institutions that gave them away in the first place; and why is it only hoped that once RPG launches, THA will receive more coverage, when it has already been stated The Harrogate Agenda cannot stand aloof from the anti-EU campaign – which it currently does.

The questions in the preceding paragraph have been raised previously on this blog and still no answer (logical or otherwise) has been forthcoming. Bearing in mind the greatest reason given for over a third of the electorate not participating in local or general elections is that for whoever they vote, nothing changes; is not THA the answer to their complaint? It has also been maintained on this blog that reaching that section of the electorate will be crucial to winning the referendum, because if shown that within the EU (and within representative democracy) they can never have a voice, then once that understanding is embedded, the result surely cannot be in doubt.

So I repeat: why is THA stage six of FlexCit?

Readers should know by now that I am behind FlexCit but with one doubt about the ‘stage order’. Let me say at the outset that by raising that doubt does not mean I am being argumentative, working against Brexit or undermining FlexCit or RPG; but is:

Just asking why THA is not being run alongside, but separate to, FlexCit and with equal prominence?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

We all know that Vote Leave (and Leave EU) haven’t the slightest idea about that on which they campaign; and that the Government hasn’t thought about losing the referendum, being as it will no doubt be ‘rigged’ in some way to achieve a ‘remain’ result. The article then repeats the old canard about Norway, for example, having no voice within the EU.

 I have no intention of repeating the rebuttal of his assertions about Norway – they have been covered by me and a host of others – and as for Vote Leave and Leave EU, they are doing more harm than good to the exit cause; that last point again having been covered by those same others.

There is an ‘exit plan‘ which does in fact answer the question Stephens poses – perhaps the Government and Philip Stephens should go read it; the latter especially, before writing the ‘verbal excrement’ that he has.

It is apprciated that your average political ‘hack’ will write an article repeating the words that have been spouted by a politician and do so without query – but a political commentator? Surely one of those would put in the research to ensure that his/her article was factual and thus correct; and as a result, demanding respect for his/her efforts.*

*Afterthought: but then we can all dream, can’t we……….

 

 

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.

That sums up the contents of Cameron’s letter to Tusk and his speech today at Chatham House. As a result, one can but echo Bernard Jenkins’ question to David Lidington, following the latter’s statement in Parliament today: After all the statements made by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Europe, the Foreign Secretary, and the former Foreign Secretary about being in Europe and not being run by Europe, and after all the pledges to restore the primacy of national Parliaments and to get an opt-out from the charter of fundamental rights to restore our borders, is that it? Is that the sum total of the Government’s position in this renegotiation? Normally I do not have much time for Bernard Jenkins but on this occasion he is ‘spot on’ with his question.

In conclusion Cameron really should have mentioned farming and in particular sheep – after all he’s going to need a lot of them to produce the amount of wool he’s trying to pull over our eyes!

 

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.

Of course we can also forget September too: To change ‘Ever Closer Union’ and the ‘Four Freedoms’, for example, will require treaty change – a process that takes two years. Just where do these ‘all-knowing’ journalists come from? Ye Gods!

We also need to remember that the contents of Cameron’s infamous letter to Donald Tusk is due to be released tomorrow, no doubt preceded by the speech he is scheduled to give – probably a ‘padded-out’ version of the relevant section of that which he said to the CBI.

If we look at what Cameron has said on the subject of ‘renegotiation’ with regard to this country’s membership of the European Union – from ‘Bloomberg’ to today – it is obvious that his demands have become ‘watered-down’ by the day.

When we consider Cameron’s demands and his renegotiation process it is perhaps relevant to consider a section of the speech Winston Churchill gave, after dinner, at the Royal Society of St. George on 24th April 1933:

…….I have to speak to you about St. George and the Dragon. I have been wondering what would happen if that legend were repeated under modern conditions.

St. George would arrive in Cappadocia, accompanied not by a horse, but by a secretariat. He would be armed not with a lance, but with several fexible formulas. He would, of course, be welcomed by the local branch of the League of Nations Union. He would propose a conference with the dragon – a Round Table Conference, no doubt – that would be more convenient for the dragon’s tail. He would lend the dragon a lot of money for the Cappadocian taxpayers. The maiden’s release would be referred to Geneva, the dragon reserving all his rights meanwhile. Finally, St. George would be photogaphed with the dragon (inset: the maiden).

On Churchill’s part, a rather good prophesy of the charade we are about to see unfold.

Just saying………………………

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.

In this context I can but repeat the words of Winston Churchill (1933):

The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without, they come from within. They come from a peculiar type in our country who if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength. Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism and the promise of impossible Utopias.

Over eighty years later we still haven’t learnt that lesson. Still we continue to allow professional politicians, whose one aim is the accumulation of power, to dismember our nation from within in the name of freedom – and still we continue to elect them.

It is a great pity – and ironic – that those who ask us to respect them do not deserve our respect. That is something else that should be remembered on Remembrance Day .

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.

In the late 1960s, the Labour government (Anthony Crossland: Sec of State for Education and Science) designated schools in deprived areas as “Educational Priority Areas” and promised to give them extra money for school-building projects as had been proposed by the Plowden Committee (1966), whose idea it also was that teachers should receive a special allowance for working in difficult schools. The education priority areas were gradually absorbed into more general aid programmes for deprived areas. They failed to make radical changes to the nature of schooling. Hence the introduction of EAZ’s (In May 1998, the Labour government planned to set up 25 Education Action Zones within 5 years. The zones would cover on average 20 schools, only 2-3 being secondary schools and the rest being primary schools and nurseries. They would be run by a combination of the school leaders, governors and parents, including the local education authority and also local and national businesses) which was all part of Tony Blair’s promise to concentrate government policy on “education, education, education”.

If one is looking for a history of how education has been pulled from pillar to post then one can do no better than Derek Gillard (2007) Axes to Grind: the first five years of Blair’s academies

City technology colleges (CTCs) were established by the 1988 Education ‘Reform’ Act. They were the invention of secretary of state Kenneth Baker, who presented them as a ‘half-way house’ between the state and independent sectors. A hundred of the colleges were to be set up across the country, each one funded – ‘sponsored’ – by a business, with spending per pupil far higher than in the schools of the local education authorities (LEAs), from whom they would be entirely independent. In the event, only a handful were ever established because few businesses were prepared to take part and, as usual, the taxpayer was left to pick up the bill.

Next we had Blair and ‘academies’; the brain child of Andrew Adonis, Blair’s principal education adviser during his ten years in office. They were therefore remarkably like the CTCs, as Francis Beckett pointed out in The Guardian (2004): the government’s big idea for education turns out to be the one the Conservatives invented 19 years ago, and abandoned as a failure shortly afterwards. It is even run by the same man: Cyril Taylor, the businessman appointed by the Conservatives in 1986 to create 30 city technology colleges.

The first three academies opened in September 2002. Nine followed a year later, and five more opened in September 2004, making a total of 17 during Blair’s second term in office. The DfES’s Five year strategy for children and learners, published in July 2004, indicated that the government intended to have 200 academies open by 2010, despite the fact that no evaluation had been made of their cost-effectiveness. Sponsors were required to contribute £2m to start-up costs, with the taxpayer finding the rest. It was originally estimated that this would amount to about £8m per academy (making a total start-up cost of £10m). In fact, they proved far more expensive than that. The City of London Academy in Southwark cost £33.7m and the average capital budget for the first 17 academies was £25m.

Two days ago we learn that NIcky Morgan is to create a National Teaching Service which will involve recruting a pool of 1,500 high-achieving teachers over five years who would be deployed to schools in areas with weak results; and which will include financial incentives for teachers to join this project, with staff expected to stay for up to three years.

So, we have a Tory education minister bringing back an idea 50 years old, the original idea subsiding into oblivion; the appointment of a man who thought of a new type of school, but which cost the country – and presumaby taxpayers – millions, being appointed as head of a ‘national infrastructure commission’.

What goes round sure does come round – in spades – and to the detriment of the poor saps who have allowed themselves to be ‘taken to the cleaners’ through their indifference to that which is happening around them.

No doubt those of indifference will be avidly glued to their television screens in a few days time watching events at the Cenotaph; and in the months/years ahead will troop to the ballot box and decide whether this country remains a member of the European Union.

To parahrase: as we sow, so shall we reap……………..

 

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.

That Gray notes the increase of 25 secretaries in Parliament to look after 630 MPs, something which he states has increased to 2,700, would appear to overlook the increase in global governance and the effects of our membership of the European Union. In relation to that point Gray writes: The complexity of Government is certainly no less today than it has ever been – just what has this man been doing in his 18 years in Pariament – has he been asleep?

He also writes: …..our inheritance and our duty to take radical steps to preserve and enhance that primacy. So what actions would Gray take to enhance the primacy of Parliament, bearing in mind that MPs are but the servants of those who elect them – and are also constrained by the limitations imposed by our membership of  the European Union?

Where the ‘workload’ of an MP is concerned perhaps James Gray needs to read The Harrogate Agenda; and having read it: read it again; and then: mark, learn and inwardly digest its contents and aims. That, were he so to do, he would no doubt dismiss it because he would immediately realise that it would obviously mean his power over his masters would diminish – nay, be nullified. As an added question, what say you to that, Owen Paterson and those of his colleagues who believe in representative democracy?

Anyways, tomorrow – or the day after – a few comments about our system of education; and a hint: what goes round, comes round – which is a result of the numpties that we elect to parliament; and over whom we have no control whatsoever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Peter Hitchens complains about the state of politics in this country, writing: …..we see the results in the Commons every Wednesday, when the backbenchers of both main parties show all the wit and independence of football hooligans, braying mindless applause for their own leaders, and equally mindless abuse for the other side……….; and he could just as well have been writing about the referendum campaign so far.

Not only do politicians behave like children in the playground, unfortunately matters are not helped by articles, written by supposed authorative voices, that appear in the media – the content of which, generally, is utter rubbish. The latest batch of such are here, here, here and here.

Even Simon Heffer, who one can argue is indeed ‘erudite’, writes in relation to Cameron’s ‘Demands’:  When these demands, either footling or implausible, are trumpeted as proof of how “serious” ministers are in taking on the EU superstate, the British public – who are not the bovinely stupid people Mr Cameron takes them for – must ask: “What about the real issues?”. If only the British public were not ‘bovinely stupid’ (which they are generally) and had an inkling of the real issues – that they haven’t is due purely to our politicians lying to us; the media faithfully repeating said lies; and the three declared campaigns (2 for out and 1 for in) all induging in a form of argument best kept in school playgrounds.

When our prime minister lies through his back teeth; when politicians pontificate on that they do not understand (you listening Farage et others?); when the media acts like a parrot; when Vote Leave is no more than a mouthpiece for the ‘renegotiation meme’ and run by ‘careerists’ to boot: just how can the British public have a ‘free and fair’ referendum, how can they trust they are being governed ‘fairly’?

Switzerand has just held elections (for the Swiss view see here and here), while Global Risk have their own view. The latter does make one important observation, namely: Swiss citizens can always revert to a popular initiative in case they do not agree with the political decisions made….. – now that is democracy: demos: people; kratos: power.

If we are to have democracy per se, then should not those who would seek to ‘guide our minds’ not be elected too and thus answerable to the people – whether they are pressure fake/real charities or campaigns groups? Why should we be forced to pay to listen/watch those in thrall and obviously beholden to others (BBC)? Why should we be governed by those in thrall and obviously beholden to others?

Just who is servant and who is master within our current system of democracy? That the question has become so conflated can only mean that a change of system is long overdue.