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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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