Monthly Archives: March 2016

The education of young minds

An article appeared in the Telegraph which suggests that millions of children are ‘being taught a distorted view of European history to push further EU integration’; with Prof David Abulafia, a Cambridge University don, warning that school textbooks are ‘papering over’ historical differences between European nations to promote further integration.

This aticle was brought to my attention on Twitter by Alan King (@Akabilky), in response to which Richard North (@RichardAENorth) asked why this was news.  – and , indeed, it is not news.

Four years ago – yes, back in 2012 – I wrote an article entitled: The ‘forming’ of young minds (do go and read it – and follow the links?). Just for once the Express had an article based on fact which relates to a Secretary of State for Education who was obviously not on top of his ‘brief’; added to which we had a Minister for Europe endorsing a HoC information paper promoting the intervention of the European Union into an area in which they have no competence.

Which begs the questions:

  • do we have joined-up government working in the best interests of those they are supposed to serve?
  • why do the constituents of Aylesbury continually re-elect someone  who helps a supranational body intrude into an area in which it has no business to be – to which the same question can be put to the constituents of Witney?

As the minds of the young appear to be being formed, so have the minds of their elders already been formed – had the latter not, the likes of Cameron and Lidington would have been  drawing their political pension for some years now.

 

If at first you don’t succeed……….

We all remember the attempt by John Prescott to impose a regional assembly on the North East of England. Fast forward just over a decade and we now have a Conservative Chancellor offering combined authorities – and mayors – instead of an assembly. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

An article by Fraser Nelson appeared in the Telegraph a few days ago and it is one that appeared to receive no comment elsewhere – at least, none that I have seen. This article dealt with the apparent ‘bribe’ by George Osborne incapsulating the ‘imposition’ of ‘Mayors’ on areas that had, in 2012, rejected the idea. It has to be said, straightaway, that this idea of Osborne’s is on a par with Cameron attempting to present himself as a ‘True Blue’ Tory – both are fallacies.

While devolution of power is the reason proferred by our politicians for the creation of regional assemblies/combined authorities, with or without mayors, which sounds all well and good, there is an underlying reason; and that is the intoduction of the balkanization regionalization of the United Kingdom.

When we look at Osborne’s intention, announced in the Budget, to create a combined authority headed by a mayor for East Anglia, it comes as no surprise to find that the bandwagon is rolling; as you will see.

It was but a year ago that George Osborne stood up in Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry and informed us that it would be an attempt to corral the North’s population of 15 million into a collective force that could begin to rival that of London and the South East; and that it would be “a collection of northern cities sufficiently close to each other that combined can take on the world“.

It becomes obvious, with a little research, that that damn elephant is still in the room – but then how can we expect mere hacks to recognise this; although I have to acknowledge that for the latter to notice anything that is not spoon-fed to them by their political ‘contacts’ is a step too far in logical thinking.

Let us not forget that this is the third attempt to create some form of regional government as inbetween Prescott and Osborne we had Hazel Blears, when she was Communities Secretary, with her attempt to set up ‘Multi-Area Agreements’ about which I wrote at the time.

Combined authorities are a legal structure that may be set up by local authorities in England and can be set up with or without a directly-elected mayor. The relevant legislation is the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 and the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016. Combined authorities may be set up by two or more local authorities. They may take on statutory functions transferred to them by an Order made by the Secretary of State, plus any functions that the constituent authorities agree to share. The first combined authority to be established was the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, in 2011. Further combined authorities were established in the North-East, West Yorkshire, Sheffield and Liverpool in April 2014. New mayoral combined authorities have been proposed in the Tees Valley, West Midlands, and (in draft form) the ‘North Midlands’ (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire). Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and the North-East will introduce a directly-elected mayor as part of their devolution deal.

As of February 2016  five combined authorities have been established, and a further three have been proposed. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority came into existence on 1 April 2011. Those in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Merseyside came into existence on 1 April 2014, and that for the North-East on 8 April 2014. Established combined authorities are:

• The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, and Oldham).

• The Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley, plus associate members: Bassetlaw, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, North-East Derbyshire, Bolsover.

• The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, covering Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. (York City Council is an associate member).

• The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral and Halton)

• The North-East Combined Authority (Northumberland, County Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside).

Each of these authorities, with the exception of West Yorkshire, has agreed to establish a directly-elected mayor under its devolution deal.

There are plans for further combined authorities:

• West Midlands (Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Solihull; with Cannock Chase, Telford, Redditch, Tamworth, and Nuneaton and Bedworth as associate members)

• Tees Valley (Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stocktonon-Tees, Redcar & Cleveland)

• North Midlands (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby City, Nottingham City, High Peak, Derbyshire Dales, Amber Valley, Chesterfield, Bolsover, South Derbyshire, Erewash, North-East Derbyshire, Bassetlaw, Mansfield, Newark & Sherwood, Gedling, Ashfield, Broxtowe, and Rushcliffe).

Backtrack to the European Union’s original statistical breakdown of Member States: Nomenclature des unités territoriales (French) or as it is known in English: Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS). From this we find a breakdown of the United Kingdom (opens in MS-Excel format, starts at 1601) into regions (level 1: ie, North East England (UKC); and then into sub-regions (level 2: ie, Tees Valley and Durham – UKC1); then into a further level (level 3: ie, Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees – UKC11; South Teeside (Middlesborough, Redcar & Cleveland – UKC12; Darlington – UKC13 and Durham County – UKC14)

When we look at already established and proposed combined authorities listed above and then compare them with NUTS we see the re-creation of ‘regions’ as designated. Eagle-eyed readers may notice that, where the North East Combined Authority is concerned, Northumberland, Tyneside and Sunderland are in a different ‘level 3’ area (UKC2) to Darlington and County Durham. This is because  they can cross county council boundaries. This allows combined authority boundaries to reflect ‘functional economic areas’, meaning that they are not bound by traditional local government areas.

The 2009 Act gave county councils a veto over district councils doing this, which the 2016 Act removes, providing that a county or a district may join a combined authority. It will also permit county council powers to be transferred to a combined authority in respect of a district area which is a combined authority member. A county cannot be prevented from joining by its district councils, and a district cannot be prevented by its county councils. This is further complicated by the fact that under the 2016 Act local authorities may not be members of more than one combined authority; but there would appear to be nothing preventing a local authority being a member of one and an ‘associate member’ of another; and the Sheffield and West Yorkshire Orders specify that the associate members have no voting rights.

Where regionalization is concerned it is impossible to ignore The Committee of the Regions (CoR) – or as one commenter on twitter (@Akabilky) termed it: A Trojan horse of extreme stealth – and the part that it plays. From its website we learn that the CoR gives regions and cities a formal say in EU law-making ensuring that the position and needs of regional and local authorities are respected; and that the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament must consult the CoR when drawing up legislation on matters concerning local and regional government such as health, education, employment, social policy, economic and social cohesion, transport, energy and climate change (emphasis theirs).

What is obvious from the preceding paragraph is that the CoR is, in effect, undermining the UK government from doing that which it is elected to do; ie. govern. The power of government is thus being salami-sliced and then dispersed to bodies over which the people have no real control – ie, who when sent as a representative to the CoR was actually chosen by the electorate?

That our politicians can attempt to pass off faux devolution as power to the people is despicable; that they should so do while hiding another agenda (obeisance to Brussels) is doubly despicable.

But then how few of us knew that Cameron had a plan ‘for every stage of our lives’ but, as with all politicians, did not spell it out for us in his last general election manifesto – which just proves that besides being a liar, Cameron is also a charlatan.

Where the democracy of this country is concerned, such as it now is, without some form of rebellion by the people they will find themselves bound in chains from which there will be no  escape – other than by armed rebellion.

That the subjugation of the people has not only passed by the media, but also those who profess to be Brexiteers, puzzles me not – neither does it puzzle me not that those who write about democracy (and the need for it) appear to have failed to pick up on the matter of combined authorities. But then have not all groups been ‘talking amongst – and to – themselves?

As  a final comment on ‘democracy’ – and admittedly it is accepted that true democracy (direct democracy) requires the people to be sovereign and thus have the ‘final say’ where government policy is concerned – the statement by Ayn Rand has come to be fact:

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Whose fault is that, if not the uncaring, disinterested and unknowing electorate, I hear you ask? Well, in my book it sure as hell is not the fault of the electorate – the fact the electorate  is still of that frame of mind, at least for the past 2/3 years, is the fault of those for whom The Harrogate Agenda has become their own ‘private property’; and who appear to have made no effort, whatsoever, to promote it.

As a footnote – just saying………………………

 

 

 

 

 

Journalistic objectivity

Richard North has written many times, as have I – almost, about our supine media who reguarly ‘parrot’ the latest utterances on the forthcoming referendum by those MPs who still do not realise that their views are of no consequence; and that, at the end of the day, it is the views of the British electorate that matter. In his latest article, he rightly observes that the impending referendum is turning into the ‘Dave and Boris Show’; culminating in the fiasco of a ‘he says – he says’ argument – with Dave lying his socks off and Boris uttering incomprehensible tosh.

The foregoing begs the question: who is more culpable for the electorate being fed what amounts to propaganda: Dave, Boris, or the media?

An interesting article comes from Sam Hooper, who in turn picks up on an article by Glenn Greenwald who believes that the media should – and could – have stopped the attempt at the US presidency by Donald Trump in his tracks.

As I am of the opinion it is not the right of this blog to interfere in the democratic process of the USA – and by the same token neither is it the right of a US President to interfere in our democratic process, but I digress – let us leave that point to one side.

What is interesting in Sam Hooper’s article is the argument that he presents, when he writes:

.While Greenwald is absolutely right to chastise mainstream media outlets for clinging desperately to an “appearance of objectivity at all costs” dogma which routinely sees them humiliate themselves by speaking and writing about the utterly ridiculous as though it were merely an equal and opposing side to an argument [..] Political journalism is scorned by the public as much as Washington politics itself, and often for quite valid reasons – the incestuous, back-scratching relationship between the two is often entirely self serving and actively prevents the holding of government to proper account..., the same can be said of British journalism and Westminster.

In Hooper’s article we then come to another important – and pertinent – statement:

There is almost nothing as infuriating as watching high profile journalists discuss an issue where one side obviously has the moral and intellectual high ground in terms that suggest that it is a finely balanced debate – witness the debates on torture, climate change, Brexit (UK secession from the European Union)  and more. But even worse than this would be a collusion between media outlets to freeze out certain ideas or candidates from being mentioned altogether because they are “evil” or contradict prevailing orthodoxies. (Emphasis mine) – which is what has happened to FlexCit.

Paraphrasing a later point made by Greenwald, in this country many people are alarmed, but it is difficult to know that by observing media coverage, where little journalistic alarm about the lies Cameron posits, or the faux knowledge on which Johnson relies, is expressed. That’s because the rules of large media outlets –  venerating faux objectivity over truth along with every other civic value — prohibit the sounding of any alarms. Under this framework of corporate journalism, to denounce Cameron or Johnson, or even to sound alarms about the dark forces they’re exploiting and unleashing, would not constitute journalism. To the contrary, such behavior is regarded as a violation of journalism. Such denunciations are scorned as opinion, activism, and bias.

When we look at journalism today how can any one of them ‘stand aside’ and watch a  politician unleash and stoke  up what may be termed  anti-democratic feelings without voicing desent? Due to the constraints imposed by representative democracy in this country whereby any member of the electorate has only his constituency politician to whom he can complain (and  heaven help him if his MP is a lackey of the Executive) – and who may well disregard/negate/ignore said constituent’s concerns for personal gain – does it not then mean said constituent must rely on journalists to ‘stand-in’ for said constituent and take an MP to task; as do not journalists have unfettered access to politicians, unlike a member of the electorate?

Greenwald writes:

Large corporations hate controversy (it alienates consumers) and really hate offending those who wield political power (bad for business). Imposing objectivity rules on the journalists who work for their media divisions was a means to avoid offending anyone by forcing journalists to conceal their perspectives, assumptions, and viewpoints, and, worse, forcing them to dishonestly pretend that they had none, that they float above all that.

In that statement we have another aspect of the problem the electorate have; attempting to ‘bring-to-heel’ large corporations which involves massive effort by the electorate, who only have their voice to protest. Did not someone once say: the pen is mightier than the word? So, does not objective journalism have a role to fill in our society – and thus become the guardian of those who cannot speak for themseves under a ‘rigged’ system of democracy?

With apologies for ‘banging-on’ about the failure of those who have ‘assumed ownership’ of The Harrogate Agenda (THA) and failed to promote it, but the foregoing is an example by which they could have promoted it. If one considers that the first principle of THA is that the people are sovereign, then nothing is beyond their concern and control – hence the people could thus ensure journalism becomes truly objective; ie, sort out ‘the wind from the chaff’.

While the incestuous, back-scratching relationship between the political class and the media is entirely self serving and actively prevents the holding of government to proper account continues,then representative democracy is doomed – as it is not true democracy; as is direct democracy, a system in which the people are sovereign and thus are the masters.

Some Brexiteers (those that supposedly believe in Flexcit) make much of the sunlit uplands of life outside the constraints of the European Union and in so doing write and talk about democracy; yet seem not to realise that to escape the first we need the latter. As they themselves admit, what is the point of escaping the clutches of one despotic form of government only to hand it to another? Yet another reason for THA being point #2 of FlexCit? JC! Does not logic dictate that before reclaiming ‘soverignty’ one puts in place a means by which those to whom power is being returned cannot commit the same mistake again?

It seems to this blog that some Brexiteers appear unable to see the wood from the trees? Just saying………………………..

Afterthought: the ‘opposing view’ is offered as I believe it has been said that ‘the gloves are off’?

 

An ‘interjection’ in the ‘EU Referendum Debate’

Albeit when the only current ‘sensible’ intrusion into said debate, by means of a launch, is being undertaken by The Leave Alliance on the same day that the media will be concentrating on ‘Budget News’ does but beggar belief – but I digress.

@LiberalLeave has published thisunder the heading: Liberal Leaders Believe: at which point one has to ask:

  1. If power should be held as closely as possible to individuals and their communities, then why is there not a belief in direct democracy; and thus The Harrogate Agenda, coupled with FlexCit?
  2. If EU bureaucracy is so far removed from ordinary citizens for us to have any meaningful power over its decisions, with many crucial meetings held behind closed doors; then cannot the same be said for Representative Democracy?
  3. If Liberal values are global – and should not be limited just to one continent; then why no mention of our exclusion, because of our membership of the European Union, from global standard setting bodies such as UNECE?

This is but another example of a political grouping attempting to ‘cement’ their position in the existing undemocratic system of democracy under which we, in the UK, currently live. It is something we see day after day from every political party, even from a party termed Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) – aka Ukip – which if ever there existed a misnomer, theirs is it. All existing political parties (Con/Lab/LibDem/ Ukip) all profess  a wish to devolve power – but look at their proposals in depth; and they all contain ultimate central control; something no different from that of the aims of the European Union.

When we look at the EU Commission’s wish to create a European Border and Coast Guard we find they require the ability to: be empowered to require Member States take timely corrective action. In urgent situations that put the functioning of the Schengen area at risk and when deficiencies have not been remedied, the Agency will be able to step in to ensure that action is taken on the ground even where there is no request for assistance from the Member State concerned or where member State considers that there is no need for additional intervention. Wherefore sovereignty? (Emphasis mine)

As we, the electorate, have ‘no say’ on that which the EU Commission proposes – nor do our elected governments – once again the question arises: wherefore democracy?  We heard from David Cameron, when he usurped office in May 2010, how the people were the ‘masters’ and politicians their ‘servant’ – yet this is the man who, with his desire to continue membership of the European Union, wishes to continue the deficit in democracy whereby the politicians are the masters and the people the servants.

If the people are the masters and politicians the servants, just how does this equate with his statement in 2010? If people are the masters and politicians the servants, then why are the masters being subjected to untruths and lies being promulgated by their servants? Why does such a servant refuse to respond to charges laid by his master?

While we, the electorate, remain ‘servants’ who are of no consequence to our masters – aka sheep – we deserve to be corralled/penned for the good of our masters. We all remember the series: on television: One man and his dog; and we also remember that quite often there was one sheep that did not wish to be ‘corralled/penned’.

As it happens today was Budget Day, a day when the Chancellor of the Exchequer ‘informed’ his ‘masters’ just how much of his masters income he would demand in taxation (incorporating custodial and economic sanctions, if not paid) in order that he might continue with his economic policies;  a subject over which, again, his masters have no say. This situation promptly begs a question: just who, in their right mind, would give a contractor they have employed a blank cheque to carry out work on which they have not previously received a detailed estimate?

How much more ‘daylight robbery’ not only of taxpayers, but also the electorate, does it take before both realise that Demand #5:

No tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express approval the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures.

of The Harrogate Agenda (THA) is not only sensible, but also to their advantage?

Unfortunately I am forced to return to an oft-asked question – one to which, to date, no answer has been given by those now ‘in charge’ of THA; which is: why is THA stage 6 (tail-end-charlie) of FlexCit? If democracy matters so much – which The  Leave Alliance would have us believe – I can but repeat the preceding question. If the people are sovereign then does it not follow that THA should be Demand #2?

It pains me to raise the point; but as Cameron usurped control of the UK in 2010, so what was initially envisaged as a ‘movement’ and thus one driven by the people (THA) has been usurped by others for their own ends. 

You see, at the end of the day, it all boils down to ‘control’ – and therein lies a problem for the ‘common man’.

Which means the common man had better start taking an interest in politics, otherwise when disagreeing with his government, he might just as well say ‘baa’………..

 

 

 

 

Self-loathing politicians

Isabel Hardman writes in the Speccie, asking: Why are politicians so self-loathing? She berates a politician, in this case Dan Jarvis, for suggesting that something needs the politics taking out of it. thus implying that politics in itself is inherently a bad thing and that politicians can never be trusted.

In so doing she quotes Jarvis: Let’s be honest – MPs who represent areas along the HS2 route or in the Heathrow flight path have a tough call about whether to vote for these schemes. So let’s take out the politics. Let’s look at new powers that allow the government to refer major infrastructure decisions to the National Infrastructure Commission for an independent decision on whether projects should go ahead.

Citing an Ipsos MORI poll which found that only 21% found politicians trustworthy does not mean that politicians should agree with the public that they are not trustworthy, Hardman then continues by stating that politics, at its heart, is about making decisions, and about people who are elected and paid to be better informed and take decisions on behalf of their electorate.

Hardman also queries whether MPs whose constituencies are affected by major infrastructure projects shouldn’t have to agonise about whether or not to support them? Some decisions aren’t easy, but that doesn’t mean politicians should be allowed to avoid taking them.

Not to be ignored is her statement: Even unfashionable political parties and their hated whipping operations have a noble purpose, which is a group of people who share the same principles working together to ensure those principles don’t just float about on campaign leaflets and banners but actually make their way into public policy.

I am continually amazed that journalists can write about a subject, yet fail to highlight the problems inherent within the matter with which their article deals. For example, we learn from the parliament website that: The UK public elects 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.

If MPs are elected to represent the interests and concerns of their constituents in the House of Commons; and thus to take decisions on important matters, just why should they be able to ‘pass the buck’ to a group of people who have not been elected and over whom the people have no say?

Hardman also makes a point about the hated whipping operations; which in turn begs the question why, if MPs are elected to represent the interests and concerns of their constituents, is a whipping system necessary – unless of course a system of democracy exists which is no more than one comprising a democratised dictatorship.

She also states that politicians are people who are elected and paid to be better informed – which on matters EU can only mean that politicians, with one or two exceptions, are guilty of taking money under false pretences.

In one important aspect Dan Jarvis is quite correct; ‘politics’ does need to be taken out of decision making, especaily when it seems that those in politics are there for  reasons of only self-promotion and self-advancement. Change the current system of representative democracy to one of direct democracy – as encapsulated in The Harrogate Agenda – and the reasons/causes for self-promotion and self-advancement are promptly negated.

While the current system exists whereby decisions are taken by force (which they, in effect are through the whipping system) then, as Ian Parker Joseph states on Facebook, it will always end in failure. Did not David Cameron state, on taking office in May 2010, that the people are always the masters and politicians their servants? So how come the reverse situation appears to remain?

If politicians are, in fact, self-loathing then they only have themselves to blame for allowing themselves to become ‘puppets’ within a system of democratised democracy. What happened to principle; what happened to honour; what happened to representing the views and concerns of their consituents – and what happened to democracy per se?

That Isabel Hardman, in common with the present crop of journalists (Christopher Booker excepted), appears to shut their eyes to the problems we have in our nation where politics and democracy are concerned not only beggars belief, but does their profession much harm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath contempt

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Money couldn’t buy friends, but you got a better class of enemy (source)

Spike Milligan may have found a better class of enemy, however Sir William Cash did not as today in Parliament, during PMQs, all he found was an enemy who is beneath contempt.

From the uncorrected version of Hansard (video here: starts 12:29:47):

Sir William Cash (Stone) (Con):

The Government have just presented three White Papers to Parliament under their self-imposed legal duty to provide information under the European Union Referendum Act 2015. The Minister for Europe, during proceedings between the two Houses, gave me an undertaking that the Government information under that Act would certainly, as he put it, be accurate and impartial. The three recent White Papers are not. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is the enforcer of the ministerial code, which demands that Ministers give accurate information to Parliament. Will he issue instructions to Foreign Office Ministers to review and correct those White Papers?

The Prime Minister:

First, let me say to my hon. Friend that we believe in the sovereignty of Parliament. Parliament dictated that those documents would be published, and that is why they are being published. On the question of their content, their content has been prepared by civil servants under all the appropriate codes. If he does not agree with some of the content, I would say to him and to other colleagues: challenge the content. Have an argument about the content. Stop arguing about the process.

Sir William did not raise the question of sovereignty, neither was he querying the process; but he most certainly was querying the content. That the content of the papers in question were not balanced and thus fair is beyond question, due to the omissions and negative aspects which they contained – see here and here.

Bearing in mind the preceding point that the papers in question were not balanced and thus fair; for Cameron to then rely on production by the civil service being in accordance with all appropriate codes then beggars belief. If we look at Civil Service values we find the need for civil servants to have integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality:

  • ‘integrity’ is putting the obligations of public service above your own personal interests
  • ‘honesty’ is being truthful and open
  • ‘objectivity’ is basing your advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
  • ‘impartiality’ is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions

That a rigorous anaysis of the evidence was not obviously carried out is proven by the fact that had it, then the omissions and negative aspect, mentioned above, would not have been evident.

When one considers Cameron is doing all he can to rig the forthcoming referendum on this country’s membership of the EU, can the cynic in me not be forgiven for suspecting him of having put on pressure to ensure the papers produced were so unbalanced and unfair?

In November 2014 I called him a liar (publicly, as my letter to him was reproduced on the internet) and suggested that if he disagreed with my accusation he instigated legal proceedings. That no such action has been instigated would suggest that he agrees he did lie.

Where the gullibility of the electorate is concerned in being swayed to ‘Remain’, as shown in recent opinion polls, they need to remember that if someone lies then they will do so again and again – and again.

That David Cameron is not ‘Honourable’ (Right or ‘Left’ – and he most definitely has left being classified as honourable) cannot any longer be left in doubt.

 

 

 

 

Contagion:

a harmful or undesirable contact or influence;
a transmission or spread of an idea or emotion from person to person
eg:  contagion of fear.

We have read, heard – and viewed – report after report about the views of government ministers from many EU nations informing us that a ‘Leave’ vote by the British electorate would spell ‘doom and gloom’ for our nation; citing financial reasons, the loss of our place at the ‘top table’ (which is not the top table), our  place as one of the nations able to mould world policy through our membership of the European Union (which we cannot) – and a host of other reasons too numerous to mention and just as spurious – all pleading with; and hectoring the British electorate not to vote for Brexit.

For anyone who has read FlexCit – and those pleading and hectoring to negate Brexit will most definitely have not, because had they, they would know it makes sense – that document sets out in plain and simple English the reasons why we should leave and the method of how we should leave the European Union, coupled with a plan for once we have ceased said membership.

I only raise that ‘digression’ as there is another aspect to the arguments that the varous leave campaigns could be making – but have not. The ‘missing link’ to which I refer is that of ‘contagion’  whereby it is more than possible that were the United Kingdom vote to end its membership of the European Union under the present terms, electorates of other nations might follow suit, pressing their governments for their own referendum – and therein most probably lies the reason for the efforts of the European Union and their sycopantic ‘gauleiters’ in trying to negate said ‘contagion’ – aka the ‘domino effect’, because that would spell the end of ‘le projet’.

I would suggest that where the European Union has tried the hardest is in their wish/ability to negate the member states feelings of nationalism – and that element is one that the European Union will never, ever manage to eradicate – try as they might. That ‘nationalism’ has been the downfall of all ’empires’ (I use the word ’empires’ in the loosest possible sense) – witness those of Russia, Naziism, Britain, France, Napoleanic, the Dutch, the Romans – shows that ‘nationalism’ is, without doubt, the over-riding force in the downfall of the aforementioned examples. At this point it is worth requoting an excerpt from the film Gladiator: “The people should know when they’re conquered.” (Quintus) : “Would you, Quintus, would I? (Maximus)”

As an aside, I wonder if anyone has noticed how more ‘active’ Cameron is, when compared to Wilson, in their respective referendums (1975 vs 2016) – but I digress (not). Cameron, having stated that he intends not to serve another term as Prime Minister – and thus leader of his party – like all politicians will have his eye on furthering his political career – possibly following in the footpath of Neil Kinnock; possibly like TonyBlair, courting the presidency of the European Union. Who’s to know? If that were the case, then Cameron is not only guilty of misleading the electorate of this nation’ with his ‘mantra of fear’, but, in the process, so doing for personal gain.

We have examples of politicians charged with ‘misconduct’, but in comparison to what Cameron may be planning the crimes of the former are but ‘small beer’. The crimes of the former did not result in this country becoming a satellite subject to the gravitional pull of a nucleus over which this country has no real control.

Council meetings twixt EU Heads of State, even those involving Ministers of the various sectors, are carried out ‘behind closed doors’ – we are not privy to minutes of those meetings and must rely on ‘communiques’ which in effect inform us of that which ‘they’ want us to know. That is democracy? If a politician is willing to sell his country for future personal gain, while professing that he/she wants the best deal for his/her country, then should we not know? That is democracy.

As has been noted elsewhere any referendum is, by its nature, a choice for the people to make; and to do that they need all the facts – both for and against – to be presented to them in an unbiased manner. The last thing they need, or should be subjected to, are the views of those, as politicians, who have no voice in the decision – especially those who have ‘agendas’ about which we know not and about which they do not wish to disclose.

Leaving to one side questions about costs and benefits of our membership of the European Union, whether or not trade deals are attainable, whether or not leaving is ‘a leap into the unknown’, etc etc; one point remains and that is the foregoing shows that we are not in full possession of the truth.

That we are not in full possession of the truth most definitely is not democracy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sparta vs The Athenians

The Mail reports on a speech by the President of the European Commission , Jean-Caude Juncker; made today at The Hague – the original text can be found here (for non-speakers, try Google translate).

Juncker rubs salt into Cameron’s wounds when he states: …….but also because he was so happy that we have helped him to get to grips with his problem, his self-created problem. Yup, a self-created problem for Cameron because at the outset he promised so much where renegotiation of the UK’s terms of membership of the European Union were concerned; and ended up delivering so little – in fact, he delivered nothing of substance.

One suspects that Cameron now rues his public opposition to the appointment of Juncker as Commission President, following the remark above by Juncker. One can be forgiven for believing that Juncker had been waiting for his revenge and now saw his opportunity to put Cameron ‘in his place’. Still waters do indeed run deep. We are also told that ‘many a true word is spoken in jest’ – if ever that saying was proven untrue, Juncker just did it because I defy anyone to believe he spoke in jest.

One can draw a parellel with the Spartans: David Cameron(Sparta) promised to protect the liberty of the UK against the Athenians (Brussels) and the suppression that the UK had experienced at the hand of Brussels. Cameron hails his renegotiation as the beginnings of liberty from the EU; but Cameron, in common with all our political elite, is not suited to the task of protecting liberty as, like Brussels, he/they only believe in rule by force. If they did not then direct democracy would prevail in this land.

With a bit of luck Juncker may just have torpedoed Cameron’s hopes of winning the forthcoming referendum – unfortunately Vote_Leave, Leave.eu and GO will not have had their hand on the firing button.

 

 

 

Give us, the electorate, a break – please?

With the onslaught of government spokesmen on the ‘Remain’ side (Cameron and Hammond to the fore, aided and abetted by their sycophantic ministers and the media), coupled with the nonsensical outpourings of the so-far-declared ‘Leave’ groups on matters EU and the forthcoming referendum (none of whom seem to have the slightest idea about that on which they speak);  why is it that I feel, as in 1975, we are about to get ‘screwed’ again?

When one does confront Cameron by email/letter, or any politician on twitter, all that results is that one is either ‘palmed-off’ or ignored. If politicians are answerable to the electorate, how is it that either of the aforementioned is accepted if democracy, per se, exists?

Where intraction with those they profess to serve is concerned our present politicians will use any ‘loophole’ they can find to ignore us – but then still maintain they interact with their constituents by means of constituency surgeries.  As I know to my cost when I resided in Witney, the last thing my Member of Parliament wanted was to intract with me, informing me, when pressed, that he would not entertain any further correspondence on the subjects in question – when a Member of Parliament can inform a member of the electorate he will not interact with him/her any longer – this is democracy in action? No, it damn well is not!

Returning to the subject of the forthcoming referendum and the ensuing debate; we who disagree with the government view have no means of making our voice heard due to the media appearing to be unwilling to give a platform to we ‘dissidents. For sure, we dissidents can air our views on blogs, but then we are ‘preaching to the converted’ – and that advances our cause not one iota.

The present ‘meme’ of the ‘Remain’ grouping (and the government) is that not one of the ‘Leave’ side have presented a vision of ‘Life after Brexit’. But one only needs to read FlexCit to realise that that has been ‘aired’. That that ‘vision’ is ignored by the politicians, the media – and those who supposedly speak for the ‘Leave’ side – does nothing to provide the electorate with a ‘balanced view’ on which to make their decision.

When, in 2005, voters in France and Holland rejected the new EU Constitution, the French and Dutch elecorate were derided by EU bureaucrts as ‘ignorant’ and ‘xenophobic’.  The European Commission response to this French and Dutch disobedience to the renaming of the EU Constitution as the ‘Lisbon Treaty’ (and I seem to recall EC vice-president Margot Wallstrom admitting it was ‘essentially the same proposal as the old constitution’) resulted in the people not being asked to vote on it, because, according to Nicolas Sarkozy, ‘a referendum now would bring Europe into danger’.

In other words democracy is dangerous and the people’s will would have been a threat to the ‘le projet’ – and that is the last thing politicians want as it results in a loss of their power over us. I mention the facts in the preceding paragraph because Cameron as head of the ‘Remain’ side, together with those on the ‘Leave’ side,  are doing their utmost to ensure that never again in the foreseeable future will the people of this nation be asked for their opinion.

It seems that the European Union, in its present construct, is determined to ensure that the people of this nation, and those in the other 27 member states, cannot say what we want, cannot buy what we want (witness the desire to limit the wattage of domestic appliances in order that we become more eco-friendly), nor behave as we want. Yet one must now ask what is the difference twixt the non-elected of the European Union and the elected of the United Kingdom – to which the answer must be: nothing, as neither believe the people are sovereign.

Hopefully there is a feint light of hope on the horizon: the launch of The Leave Alliance (TLA) – and FlexCit – on 16th March when, with sufficient media attendance – and doing that which they (the media) should do – they report fairly on what TLA have to say. Needless to say I won’t hold my breath.

When a prostitute allows his/her body to be used for the gratification of others in return for monetary gain, then we, the electorate – and our political class – are no better than a prostitute. Have not both allowed their ‘bodies’ to be used for the gratification of others?

Yup, we are about to get ‘screwed’ once again!