Monthly Archives: February 2016

When David Cameron said ‘he ruled nothing out’….

….did we realise what it meant?

I wonder how many of the electorate saw Hardtalk, aired on 24th February 2016, which was quite an ‘insightful’  interview of Martin Schulz conducted by Sarah Montague.

Perhaps the most telling comment from Martin Schulz comes (@11:29) when Schulz states:  For the first time a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is fighting for Europe and the European Union; this is progress in itself.

For one who has stated that he believes in the United Kingdom, it then begs the question why is he fighting for the European Union?

On Cameron’s ‘reforms’ Schulz earlier states, in answer to a question from Sarah Montague about whether the changes to migrant’s benefits will stop migrants coming to o the UK, Schulz said (04:57) : I don’t believe so, the whole exercise was to protect the United Kingdom for the time being….. (my emphasis).

On the subject of ‘contagion’ (whether other Member States, seeing what the UK has got, might want the same), Schuilz states that it was a ‘UK deal’ and it does not mean others may follow.

I believe Schulz is an authortive voice in the European Union and as such carries ‘weight’, so it follows that which he said was probably agreed in advance with his ‘contempories’.

As with all politicians, nothing they say can be taken at ‘face value’ and the sooner they begin talking to us in plain English, the better!

Politicians don’t indulge in ‘spin’, ‘double talk’ and ‘propaganda’? Tsk; ours do; and I don’t believe Schulz does!

 

 

Politicisation of the Civil Service

Richard North has commented on David Cameron’s response to the question posed at last Wednesday’s PMQs by Owen Paterson.

I totally agree with the views expressed by Richard North; and would add the following:

1. Civil Servants are Crown employees and not employees of Parliament, the Prime Minister, or politicians generally – and thus should and must remain neutral in any matters affecting our nation.

2. I would refer readers to a speech given on 16 October 2014 at Tsinghua University, Beijing by Martin Donnelly, the Permanent Secretary of Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS); one entitled: Positive Neutrality and Trust – the policy role of a permanent civil service. From this speech:

To work effectively and achieve and maintain that mutual trust, we need to be explicit about the differences between a politician and a policy civil servant and how the latter should behave. There are three broad themes: 

Firstly, not to do for one Minister what would not be done for another of a different party. If that is the baseline for impartiality, then it must work for government ministers on both sides of the In/Out argument.

Secondly, to err on the side of disclosure to Ministers of everything that might take place. This must include challenging optimism bias, without allowing that challenge to become an excuse for inaction. If that is also another baseline for impartiality, then it must work for government ministers on both sides of the In/Out argument.

There is of course another aspect to the subversion of the Civil Service and that is the appointment of Spads by Ministers, who are then classified as Civil Servants. If Civil Servants are employees of the Crown then how can they be appointed by politicians who are not Civil Servants.

What Cameron has done by his decision is to undermine the impartiality of the Civil Service, something Martin Donnelly argued was of importance.

From a previous article I repeat:

I have previously quoted the words of John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men. So just how long must we allow ‘great men’ to always be ‘bad men’; and just how long do we allow those with unfettered power to be corrupted – and allow them so to continue?

Not that I am saying Cameron, or any of our current politicians, is/are ‘great men’ – they all only tell you what they want you to hear and believe, whether what they say is truthful or not.

Therein lies a great deficit in our current system of representative democracy – and those who could bring about change appear unwilling to make the effort so to do!

 

Dear Mr. Cameron (3)

Readers will recall that I wrote to David Cameron in an effort to chase an email previously sent to which I had not received a response. It will also be recalled that I enlisted the help of my constituency Member of Parliament, Grahame Morris, in this regard.

A response has been received, if one can, by any stretch of the imagination, call it that:

10 Downing Street

As stated in my corresponence to David Cameron, the leader of any political party standing in a general election is not only asking the electorate to accept him as a Member of Parliament but also as Prime Minister. Consequently I maintain any Prime Minister has a duty to respond to any member of the electorate who interacts with him.

David Cameron lied not only to the House of Commons but also to the electorate and it is not a satisfactory situation whereby he can ‘brush off’; and in so doing ignore, an accusation of such gravity as I made by having his office send a letter such as I have received.

As a result I have written once again to Grahame Morris requesting that he press the point on my behalf and does so within the Chamber. Needless to say, as previously, his reply will also be published.

There are barbs – and there are barbs

Where wounding barbs are concerned, one can usually rely on Jacob Rees-Mogg to be the deliverer of such. From Hansard:

It was very reassuring to hear my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary tell us earlier that he is a Eurosceptic and explain how successful the renegotiations were from his Eurosceptic ivory tower. That is encouraging, but I thought it might be worth looking at what the renegotiations achieved compared with what Her Majesty’s Government set out. In the Conservative party manifesto, it was “an absolute requirement”, according to the opening of the paragraph, that child benefit not be given to anybody whose children are living abroad. It seems to me that that has not been achieved, so our Eurosceptic Foreign Secretary has failed in that regard.

The Conservative party manifesto stated that we would

“reform the workings of the EU, which is too big, too bossy and too bureaucratic”.

The workings of the EU post the renegotiation remain too big, too bossy and too bureaucratic, so my Eurosceptic friend has achieved nothing.

In the Conservative party manifesto we made to the British people a pledge and a promise, on which we campaigned in, I hope, good faith. We said that we would

“reclaim power from Brussels on your behalf”—

not yours, Mr Deputy Speaker, but that of the British people—

“and safeguard British interests in the Single Market”.

We have not reclaimed a single power, so, in that, my Eurosceptic friend the Foreign Secretary has failed to live up to the Eurosceptic credentials of which he boasts—and with which I credit him, because the Foreign Secretary is an honourable man.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said that what we needed was fundamental and far-reaching reform. We have not achieved fundamental and far-reaching reform; his Eurosceptic Foreign Secretary has, in that regard, let him down. In the renegotiations, we have not achieved anything of any great substance. On the free movement of people, we have nothing. We have so little on the issue of benefits that the great mass migration will continue. It was announced today that 257,000 people came from the European Union in the last year, 55,000 of them from Bulgaria and Romania. My Eurosceptic friend has done nothing to change that.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in his Bloomberg speech:

“Complex rules restricting our labour markets are not some naturally occurring phenomenon. Just as excessive regulation is not some external plague that’s been visited on our businesses.”

But that plague is to continue, and the renegotiations have done nothing to stop it. They have not summoned Moses back to try to deal with it, as I seem to remember he finally got rid of the plague of frogs that afflicted Pharaoh. On immigration, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said that he thought it was essential to

“restore a sense of fairness”

and

“to make our immigration system fairer and reduce the current exceptionally high level of migration from…the EU”.

Nothing has been done to achieve that.

Not only is the renegotiation a failure because it has achieved so little—it has failed to tackle the problems that we promised the British electorate we would solve—but, worse than that, we have given away our negotiating card when the European Union comes to a fundamental treaty reform of its own. The document that was settled last weekend states:

“Member states whose currency is not the euro shall not impede the implementation of legal acts directly linked to the functioning of the euro area and shall refrain from measures which could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives of economic and monetary union.”

The Eurosceptic Foreign Secretary—the honourable man to whom I referred—has managed, with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, to give away our most powerful negotiating card. When the European Union needs to develop the fiscal union that it has asked for, we have nothing to say because we have promised that we will do nothing.

And so, we have left ourselves still on the path to a European superstate. That state has been getting bigger and bigger since we joined it in 1972—a state that has a flag; a state that has an anthem; a state that, because it is greedy, has not one but five Presidents; a state with a Parliament that has not one, but two seats of operation; a state with the symbols of statehood and the powers of a state. It has legal personality to conduct treaty negotiations. It has the legal power to make laws, and those laws are senior to our laws.

My right hon. Friend the famously Eurosceptic Foreign Secretary said that the treaty is legally robust, but he phrased himself very carefully, with the pedantry that one would hope for and expect in somebody from the Foreign Office. He said that it was robust in terms of international law. That gives it no justiciability in the courts of the European Union; it is merely taken into account.

We have a pretty worthless agreement, and we have scare stories to tell us why we should not vote no. If it was dangerous—if he thought the world would collapse on the day we voted no—why did the Prime Minister offer us a referendum? Is he some hooligan or some Yahoo who thinks it is safe to risk this nation’s future by trusting the people? When he said he ruled nothing out, surely he meant it. Surely he was not saying that, in fact, he was always going to go along with whatever our friends in Brussels said, because the Prime Minister is a most trustworthy figure, who negotiates in good faith. That is the problem with all that underlies this negotiation.

To which all one can say is: ouch! To really understand how ‘ouch’ that speech was, it is necessary to hear Rees-Mogg’s intonation during his use of our language (starts 16:08).

A Question:

There has been much ‘discussion’ about the fact that David Cameron has ‘ruled’ that those members of the Cabinet who are agin membership of the EU in the forthcoming referendum should not be allowed access to government papers to further their case.

 Leaving to one side that they are also members of the electorate, this begs the question why should those who, whilst being members of the government, be denied the information that is available to those who agree with him?

Just where is the difference twixt the two if democracy is to mean owt? Come to that, why should ‘we plebs’ also be denied that information if we are to make an informed decision?

If ever any one subject demanded the introduction of The Harrogate Agenda, is this not surely it; because does not Cameron’s decision mean that we do indeed live under democratised dictatorship?

Cameron is not ‘rigging’ the referendum? Oh yes he is!

Just saying/asking………….

 

 

End of the line? It would appear not.

Following this article, the comments received (bar one, the originator of which appears to have only one brain cell – and that, unfortunatley, appears not to be in full working order), coupled with the emails that I have had in support, means that this blog will be continuing to air its views.

Readers may well understand the despondency I felt that, along with other bloggers, our views were being ignored especially by the political class, the sycophantic followers of the former and the media; and thus had no way in which they could be publicy aired.

With the scheduled launch of the Leave Alliance on 16th March which will, hopefully, promote not ony FlexCit and The Harrogate Agenda but also bloggers more knowledgeable about matters EU than our political class and the media, one can but hope our readership may grow – assuming of course the media decides to cover said launch and report on it in a fair manner.

So far those leave groups so far declared seem more interested in themselves as ‘figure-heads’, rather than in those they seek to inform and thus recruit to their message. One can but hope that those in Leave  Alliance will not commit the same mistake. What will be interesting is to see who appears on the ‘top table’ at the launch of Leave Alliance, who speaks; and what they have to say.

This blog has commented via Twitter against the ‘leave’ groups so far declared (Vote_Leave, Leave.eu and Grassroots Out) and it will not be afraid to criticise the message of Leave Alliance if it is deemed necessary – which it is hoped will not be the case. Mind you, if they still have The Harrogate Agenda as Stage 6 of their exit plan (FlexCit) then they can expect a little ‘flak’ as I am still waiting for a sensible answer to my previous quesions on this subject.

Anyways, I have slightly digressed from the subject matter of this article so it will close with thanks to all the comments and emails I have received requesting that I do not ‘shut down’ – and for that those people have my thanks. What tempers the elation I feel at the support I have received is the knowledge that those from whom it would have been nice to receive similar messages of encouragement – and who I thought were ‘friends’ – appear to have remained silent. 

Question: might that last comment lead one to think that those missing are so in thrall to their leader they are afraid to ‘break ranks’; that they are but sycophants and are thus unable to think and decide matters for themselves?

Isn’t that the problem we have with our political class? Just asking………

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of the line

(video included only because I like the song)

Yesterday I wrote that where democracy is concerned, this country is ‘procreated’- which, without doubt, it is.

Having watched Marr this morning and seen David Cameron maintain that black is white while Marr sat there doing his usual soft-pedalling act makes me think that we have come to the end of the line where truth, honesty and principle are concerned.

What we are obviously faced with during the next 4 months is both sides of the EU referendum question dealing in propaganda, while ya-booing at each other. Let us not forget that propaganda is but a means of communication, often biased or misleading in nature, aimed at influencing and altering the attitude of a population toward some cause, position or political agenda – and by heaven, have not  our political class and their sycophants turned it into an ‘art form’.

A referendum is a means whereby politicians ask their electorate to vote on a particlar proposal. As such, having asked, logic would dictate that politicians have by that decision have decided to ‘butt out’ and leave the people to make up their own minds based on fair and unbiased facts. If only that was possible. That a compliant media now appears to be concentrating on the number of ‘big beasts’ who are for ‘In’ compared to those that are for ‘Out’ can only lead one to believe they (the media) are attempting to influence the result.

That we now seem, once again, to be presented with the opportunity of a referendum, albeit one being ‘rigged’ as was that of 1975, is not something we should be celebrating but one in which we should be asking on whom do we lay the blame for its happening – and happening so late.

When a situation arises wherein the people of a nation have had their system of governance changed by stealth and subsequently been denied the opportunity of voicing their direct dissent cannot, even by stretching the definition, be termed democracy. The only reason a referendum is in the offing is because a politician, in this case Cameron, deemed it would assist in his being returned to power, power which he usurped in 2010.

On numerous occasions, it has been noted that apathy of the electorate can be attributed to their belief that for whoever they vote, nothing changes. In other words, they acknowedge their voice matters not as they have no individual power to change anything. It is a great pity that a meeting in Harrogate (and do read the links) – one which produced a suggested alternative form of governance (first published in 2013 as The Harrogate Agenda – THA) in which power would have been returned to the people – has been left to wither and die.

Had this idea been more widely dispersed, which it could have been as it was envisaged to be a movement, I am of the opinion that we would not now be facing a repetition of 1975. Unfortunately – and it pains me to have to say it – the blame for yet another rigged referendum lies not with our politicians but with those who took over the idea first expressed here and, in effect, made it their own private property. Had THA received wider publicity, had it been ‘pushed’, people would have soon come to the realisation that they did live under a democratised dictatorship, that a means existed whereby they could control their political elite; and that consequently the forthcoming referendum could well have been held earlier and under conditions they specified.

Wherever one looks it now seems we are being led by the nose, consequently readers will know that I am of the view that if we are to be led by the nose, it should be we the people that did the leading.

Readers may be wondering if there is another context the heading to this article fits. Yes, having intimated that where democracy, truth, honesty and principle are concerned, we have come to the end of the line, the thought is germinating that possibly this blog is coming to the end of the line.

On that last point an announcement will follow during the course of the next few days.

The Day of Reckoning……

….will be, so we are informed today, Thursday 23rd June 2016; at which time the people of our nation will be allowed to decide the future direction of travel of their nation.

As matters stand – and unless they change – the people will be casting their vote based on no knowledge of the facts due to the efforts of the political class to hide said facts; aided and abetted by an unknowing and compliant media.

David Cameron has lied to me and in so doing lied to the British people, as on every occasion I have tackled him directly the relevant correspondence has been published on this blog – and its predecessor Witterings from Witney.

The lies continue with his statement issued immediately following the charade which took place a day or two ago in Brussels. That statement has been ripped apart by Richard North here and here; consequently there is little point in my repeating them as I fully support and agree with everything he has written.

Where democracy is concerned, democracy is the loser as:

  • a government headed by a prime minister who lies is guaranteed coverage by a compliant media resulting in untruths being aired as fact;
  • ‘Leave’ campaign groups, who are vying for ‘lead designation status’, have no understanding of that that they wish to leave and who appear to be led by those of similar knowledge;
  • those that do know the facts have as much chance as an ice cube in hell of having their views made known because they are unable to ‘crack’ the wall of silence the media has erected as a result of their ‘political class arse-licking’;
  • not one of the current declared  ‘Leave’ campaigning groups has proferred a plan of how we can leave, while the one declared ‘Remain’ campaign is headed by someone who ‘Marks’ his lack of knowledge in the manner of Frank ‘Spencer’.

Coupled with all the foregoing points, when a Parliamntary Select Committee refuses to hear evidence from someone who is ‘well qualified’ to debate ‘matters EU’ for what one can only term spurious reasons, then it becomes even more obvious that democracy in this nation is well and truly ‘procreated’.

Like many of my fellow countrymen I can but weep that we have allowed ourselves to be relegated to the status of mindless robots — and in so doing, we well deserve all that for which we are about to receive, as I believe the people’s verdict will be to remain shackled to the EU.

 

 

 

Martin ‘Schulz’ himself in the foot?

Together, possibly, with the arguments of the ‘Remain’ campaign who continually maintain that if the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union it would become ‘impotent’ on the world stage?

Speaking to the European Council ahead of its meeting today Schulz said, amongst other things: With its foreign policy experience and clout, its open market policies and its trade and counter-terrorism track record, your country, Prime Minister Cameron, brings a lot to the table. Leaving to one side the point that the ‘table’ about which he speaks is not the ‘top table’, one has to question his reasoning.

If the United Kingdom has foreign policy experience and clout, open market policies and a trade and counter-terrorism record, then why should that not remain were the UK to be an independent sovereign nation? If ‘little’ Norway (no disrespect to that country) can exert the influence it does in world organisations such as UNECE, Codex Alimentarius, WTO, ILO, IMO, UNEP and a whole host of bodies few have even heard of, where the EU takes our seat and then negotiates on our behalf, just how much influence would ‘great’ Britain have on its own?

Methinks that Schulz knows this and is thus scared that ‘le projet’ may just be undermined by an independent United Kingdom acting in its own right on the world stage.

Schulz also said: One day all of us around this table will have to answer to how we as the EU dealt with the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. No, Mr. Schulz, one day all of you around this table – and the politicians of member states who have acquiesced to your dream – will have to answer to how you ‘enslaved’ the people of Europe. No doubt – and fortunately for those involved – they (the enslavers) will be dead and thus beyond the retribution of those who have suffered said dream.

Schulz and his ilk would have us believe that World War I and II were but European Civil Wars. If Schulz and his ilk continue with their dream, one day – and heaven willing it will be in their lifetime – they may find that the European Civil War III begins.

Then, heaven help them because they should remember the fate of Mussolini.

The ever tightening noose of political integration?

Not much, if anything, seems to have attracted comment, whether in the British media or blogosphere, on the reported aims of the EU where energy contracts are concerned. Not that this is ‘news’, being the intention was brought to our notice a year ago.

It will not have escaped those readers with intelligence that the EurActiv report mentions ‘energy contracts’, which presumably covers any contract besides that affecting gas.

Yet the foundation of the EU is democracy – to be precise representative democracy.

Just when were we, ‘the people’ consulted on, what may termed, this latest power grab? So energy is now a ‘competence’ of the EU; but since when, if democracy matters, can any body – be that surpranational or national – decide that once having ‘ruled’ on one aspect of a subject,  that only they can have the final word on that subject?

That there are MPs in the House of Commons who are fully aware of this ‘power creep’ – and who are opposed to such – fail to make their opposition more vehemently and lucidly known is open to serious questioning.

When we have MPs such as John Redwood (and others) who attempt to have us believe they are ‘eurosceptic’ and thus are agin membership of the EU, yet who so obviously know not one iota about the case they make against said membership beggars belief. Where is democracy per se when those we elect to represent the concerns of those that elect them appear so ‘brain dead’?  They earn far above the minimum wage and are about to receive a pay rise? Sheesh!

Therein lies the case for the introduction of The Harrogate Agenda – but then we have to ask what those who have ‘taken over’ said idea are actually doing about promoting it; because in so asking, does not logic dictate that had they done their job, representative democracy would have the ‘skids’ put under it and the referendum would now be a ‘slam dunk’ for the leave side?

Yet again, just asking…………….