Monthly Archives: April 2016

A swift divorce?

An article appeared on Reuters yesterday, mentioned by Richard North in his article, which stated that, in the event of a Leave vote by the electorate of the United Kingdom, the European Union would seek a swift divorce from the United Kingdom, coupled with statements by two EU sources familiar with the bloc’s latest thinking on a possible Brexit telling Reuters on Thursday that there was no appetite to grant any extension of the two years provided by Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty for negotiating a withdrawal, while any new trade partnership would take many more years to conclude. The Reuters article also states that tentative plans exist for the Commission to hold a rare Sunday meeting on June 26 to set its strategy; and that EU leaders would hold a brief summit with Britain two days later, at which London would be expected to give formal notice to quit.

It should be noted that the LIsbon Treaty contains no provision whereby the European Union can ‘divorce’ any Member State who adheres to its rules; and that divorce proceedings can only be instituted by a Member State stating, through Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, that it wishes to start such proceedings.

It should also be noted that European Leaders can ‘expect’ all they want, but again there is no requirement that Article 50 should be formally lodged within days of any referendum calling for a divorce from the European Union. It must though be remembered that David Cameron stated in the House of Commons on 22nd February 2016: If the British people vote to leave, there is only one way to bring that about, namely to trigger Article 50 of the treaties and begin the process of exit, and the British people would rightly expect that to start straight away. Being the good European Union lackey that Cameron undoubtedly is, the European Leaders may well get their wish.

It appears to becoming increasingly obvious that Cameron will get the result for which he wishes; due to not only his lying and misrepresenting facts in relation to the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, but also the ineptitude of Vote_Leave and other ‘Out’ campaigns, the political class and other commentators and economists (see article linked to above), none of whom appear to know anything about the subject matter and who are unable to present a coherent, consensual case. As a result Cameron can sleep easy without having to worry about triggering Article 50 – or when.

Another very important point that needs to be made is that not one of the Leave Groups, with the notable exception of The Leave Alliance, have presented any exit plan or strategy for so doing, other than their stated belief that, in the twinkling of an eye, a trade agreement could be done.

FlexCit, the exit plan supported by The Leave Alliance, incorporates what is intended as a holding position’ while a fresh arrangement is negotiated. This would involve the United Kingdom applying to rejoin EFTA and the EEA, thus safeguarding continued trade with the European Union but not being subjected to what is termed the ‘political baggage’.

Interestingly, any application to EFTA for membership is entirely a matter for those states – the EU has no voice. On that point leading Norwegians have, in effect, said that the UK would be welcome in EFTA. According to the EEA Agreement any application for membership of the EEA is heard by the EEA Council which consists of the members of the Council of the European Communities and members of the EC Commission, and of one member of the Government of each of the EFTA States. Decisions by the EEA Council shall be taken by agreement between the Community, on the one hand, and the EFTA States, on the other (Article 90: EEA Agreement). Any European State becoming a member of the Community shall, and the Swiss Confederation or any European State becoming a member of EFTA may, apply to become a party to this Agreement. It shall address its application to the EEA Council (Article 128: EEA Agreement).

Reverting to the Reuters article, one gets the impression that the EU is indulging in a little ‘muscle flexing’ while at the same time ‘puffing out its chest’ with a view to intimidating the UK. Simplistic as it may well be, but what better way to deflate chests and unflex muscles than, following a Leave vote, to trigger Article 50 and at the first meeting inform the EU that whilst we wish to leave we are not completely leaving as (thud) thats a copy of our application to rejoin EFTA and (thud) thats a copy of our application to rejoin the EEA. In the ensuing silence then pose the question: next?

 

 

 

 

Democracy for sale?

Mark Wallace, writing on ConservativeHome, reports Michael Crick is tweeting that the Conservative Party is ‘watering-down’ its manifesto pledge of trade union reforms and that a ‘deal’ has been struck between ministers and unions, thus allowing Alan Johnson’s pro-EU campaign to spend £1.7m over and above the £75,000 provided by the referendum rules. 

The fear the government has that it will need Labour votes come the referendum in order to achieve the Remain result they want is apparently the reason for the ‘watering-down’ of its general election manifesto pledge.

We all know that David Cameron is using every trick in the book in order to get his Remain result, including telling porkies, etc; and if Crick’s statements on twitter are correct – and to date the government has not denied the ‘deal’ – then this is a dispicable act which subverts democracy.

Electoral fraud or vote rigging is illegal interference with the process of an election and one can but consider that that is exactly what is happening. Even though it is perfectly legal for unions to donate money to their favoured party, in this case the means whereby it is being accomplished can only be considered morally unacceptable, outside the spirit of electoral laws and in violation of the principles of democracy.

When considering the words ‘moral’ and ‘Honourable’ with regard to politicians it would appear we have a prime example of an oxymoron.

 

More twaddle from those who should know better……….

Yesterday saw the publication of a report from the HoC Foreign Affairs Committee, one entitled: Implications of the referendum on EU memmbership for the UK’s role in the world.

As with the electorate, the Foreign Affairs Committee acknowledges that it too is divided on the question of Britain’s EU membership; stating that they see this division as an opportunity to provide an informed and balanced analysis. Reading those words it was hoped that an informed and balanced analysis would be forthcoming; unfortunately all the report informed us was that, once again, those attempting to enlighten the electorate demonstrated their total lack of understanding of even basic facts. As a result my view of this FAC report is not very high, if I may be so ‘Crispin’.

We do not have to wait long (pages 14/15) for the first example of misinformation:  In exchange for access to the single market, both the EEA states and Switzerland must pay into the EU budget and adopt a large proportion of EU law—including free movement of people—but they have no say in how those laws are made. No acknowledgement is made of the fact that Norway sits, in her own right, on various UN bodies – UNECE and Codex for example – where standards are set which are then handed down to member countries, including the EU, for implementation. Neither is there any acknowedgement that, in general, the EU is a ‘law taker’ rather than a ‘law maker’.

On page 16 we are informed that  Professor Sir Alan Dashwood QC is of the opinion that if the UK left the EU, it would lose access to trade agreements and would revert to trading with those countries under basic World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. According to Professor Dashwood and other submissions of evidence – both to this inquiry and to a parallel inquiry by the Treasury Select Committee – the UK would have to start from scratch if it wished to negotiate successor agreements. If this report by the FAC were ‘balanced’ and they knew that about which they pontificate, surely they would make mention of ‘treaty continuity’ and the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties – both points covered in this article by Richard North. Having said that, the report does mention, on page 16, an IEA paper by Iain Mansfield in which he states the UK would retain its obligations under FTAs it signed as an EU Member State. Point 22 on this page then states: ….those agreements would face significant operational complications if it took many years to establish the terms of the new relationship between the UK and EU, since the extent of the UK’s access to the single market would affect the terms of its FTAs with third states. Yet surely the extent of the UK’s access to the single market would hardly change were the UK to become a member of EFTA.

It is noted that Richard North has passed comment on this FAC report, hence there is no need for me to continue finding fault – do pop over and read his views.

Politicians are adamant that the decision to remain or leave is one for the electorate yet they continually meddle – and mislead – in a process that as politicians they have no part; actions which in no way assist the electorate to form an opinion on the referendum question. Neither are the electorate assisted in forming an opinion by the two designated lead campaigners, both of whom shun fact in favour of fairy tales.

Presumably we elect Members of Parliament to look after our interests and in so doing we trust they have sufficient knowedge and expertise so to do. Unfortunately that idea is then ‘shot to hell’ by Bernard Jenkin (commented on in the aforementioned FAC article by Richard North). That such a senior backbencher can write a letter to a constituent which contains views which can only be described as idiocy personified, beggars belief. That which he can claim is having ‘killed two birds with one stone’; namely his status as an MP coupled with his position as Director of Vote_Leave.

It is noted from Richard North’s article that Mr. Brexit believes that post-referendum there needs to be a reckoning, to which one can but say: hear, hear. Metaphorically speaking one also hopes that said reckoning involves pikes and staffs or lamp posts and piano wire – meaning that never again should we, the people, place our trust in those who know not and who seem only interested in their personal prestige. The Harrogate Agenda anyone?

 

 

 

 

What might have been?

Back in 2012 an event took place that was, one could say, ground-breaking where the subject of democracy in this country is concerned and in which I was invoved in the initial stages; namely the formation of The Harrogate Agenda. It was due to my disagreement in respect of the direction it was being taken that prompted my subsequent resignation.

As readers may be aware The Harrogate Agenda is a means of returning power to the people instead of leaving it where it currently resides: with politicians. The reason for aiming to return power to the people is because ‘democracy’ derives from the Greek: ‘demos’ – people; ‘krartos’ – power; hence: people power.

Once again, as readers will be aware, I have not hesitated to mention The Harrogate Agenda when writing about democracy: the latest mention of which comes in this article, one which has prompted a few comments; notably from the Director of The Harrogate Agenda.

The original idea behind The Harrogate Agenda was that it should be a ‘people-led’ movement leading to a form of government similar to that which exists in Switzerland. For that to occur it had to be promulgated; and that it has not is the reason for the title of this article: ‘what might have been’. That a strategy was adopted of ‘workshops’ clearly did not work as those I attended comprised virtually the same attendees – numbering about 20/30. As a means of ‘spreadiing the word’ that strategy failed dismally.

It was never the intention of The Harrogate Agenda that it should become a political party; rather, by spreading the idea of direct democracy – which is the intention of The Harrogate Agenda – it would result in a demand by the people for direct democracy, a system which would result in giving them control of their nation and their lives. Thus from that idea would come candidates who would form a political party who would, in turn, campaign for direct democracy.

That the foregoing has not occurred can only be blamed on those who ‘took control‘ of what is supposed to be a ‘people-led’ movement – and who, with their formation of a limited company, are those ‘in charge’. So it is reasonble to ask, in the following four years since the inception of The Harrogate Agenda, just what have they been doing – to which, on the face of it, the answer would appear to be: zilch.

Oh, The Harrogate Agenda features in FlexCit (a document which has my wholehearted support – bar the order in which The Harrogate Agenda is mentioned: Stage Six), ie: tail-end charlie  – but, once again, one has to ask why such a fundamental and necessary change to our democracy is the last step in extracting this country from membership of a supranational organisation which is not itself ‘true democracy’.

In answer to a question from Douglas Carter – who enquired: Do you think the Harrogate Agenda will eventually necessitate a new political party for the purposes? the response that was forthcoming was: It’ll have to be adopted by the political parties. I think if we start a new political party, power rather than change becomes the aim … rather like Ukip. Forgive me,  but it was never an aim of The Harrogate Agenda to become a political party. The wording: by the political parties leads one to assume the response means one of the existing political parties, which is never, ever, going to happen – turkeys do not vote for Christmas. I have yet to hear the oft-quoted Owen Paterson ( who seems to believe in the principles of FlexCit) agree with the diminuation of his class.

Had The Harrogate Agenda been ‘promoted’ logic dicates it would surely have ‘caught on’ with the vast majority of the electorate, especially those who do not bother casting their vote because they feel if they do vote, nothing changes. From what would surely have been the ‘new majority’ would have come those willing to stand for election under a party banner, which for the sake of an example, would perhaps have been labelled the Direct Democracy Party.

We are told by the Director of The Harrogate Agenda, in the aforementioned link, that we should ‘learn from history’ and in stating such refers to the Chartists. He never fails to remind us that it took centuries for their wishes to come to fruition – but he himself fails to learn from history. Did the Chartists have access to an internet whereby communication was made virtually instant? Did not the aims of the Chartists get ‘taken over’ by the political elite, due to the fact that the Chrartists had no means of gaining support for their beliefs within a resonably short timeframe?

The Director of The Harrogate Agenda pleads that there was no money to publicise same, yet an appeal for funds was successfully made to garner support for The Leave Alliance – so why not for The Harrogate Agenda?

When I queried why The Harrogate Agenda was stage six of FlexCit, pointing out that surely prior to regaining this country’s sovereignty there existed a need to ensure that said sovereignty was not handed straight back to those who had ceded it, no defence of that policy has been forthcoming.

Again, regular readers will know that I have stated had The Harrogate Agenda been actively promoted the result of the forthcoming referendum would have been a ‘given’ for the leave side. The Director of The Harrogate Agenda, in the comments to my article linked to above, states: ….you honestly suggest that The Harrogate Agenda could in just four years, with no money, have become embedded in the publics mind to make the results of this referendum a ‘Brexit’ given. Yes I do and with, it is felt, some justification.

The Harrogate Agenda was formed into a limited company with just two directors (one of whom resigned just four months later) who, I then contend, ‘parked’ the issue due to one event: namely the outcome of the 2015 general election whose outcome they had not foreseen; consequently winning the resultant referendum took precedence. What was that about power, rather than change, becoming the aim? At this point one has to ask a basic question: having taken control and thus the direction of same, it becomes a tad ‘rich’ for those of us ‘underlings’ to be expected to do what is their job for them.

I must then turn to FlexCit – the basics of which I repeat I am fully behind – and the complaint that those in the ‘Westminster Bubble’ fail to acknowledge its existence. It is any wonder when one of its aims is to dispense with that which prevails at present; namely a democratised dictatorship –  a system wherein a minority have engineered control over the majority?

The Director of The Harrogate Agenda, in the comments of the above linked article, accuses me of being Ted Heath Mark II. Far from it because it is not ‘sulking’ to which I will plead guilty; that to which I will plead is frustration with the ignorance and misdirection of one who would have us believe he ‘directs’ a movement which should be changing the basis of democracy in our country – and for the better. That one such has to plead ignorance of 5* and AfD (see comments mentioned above) – and the accomplishments that each have achieved within a  relatively short political timeframe – can but beggar belief. If 5* Star and AfD can accomplish that much, why not The Harrogate Agenda?

In his latest comment on my linked article the Director of The Harrogate Agenda writes: First, given that I believe THA is a 25 year + project…….as the priority became the campaign to leave the EU without which constitutional reform will NEVER happen. Is it not logical to believe that constitutional change can happen prior to leaving the European Union and that achieving that cessation of this nation’s membership of that odious body would then be a given – and thus a requirement?

All I seem to hear is but excuses for ‘mismanagement’ of an idea that would solve the deficit in our democracy; that would have made the result of the forthcoming referendum a foregone conclusion; and which would have negated Cameron’s ‘Project Fear’; coupled with the fact it would have also negated all the verbal incompetence that we hear from the likes of Cummings, Johnson, Gove, Farage and Hoey.

The title of this article is derived from a comment on this blog – a new one to me – in which, in listing those blogs who are anti-EU, kindly includes mine with the comment: The pros and con of the Electoral Commission Lead designation process and what might have been.

What might have been indeed, had those commandeering an idea actually done something with it. It is no defense of the Director of The Harrogate Agenda berating those of us of who believe in the idea; they ‘highjacked’ what was to be a people’s movement and in so doing one can only assume that power, rather than change, became their aim.

Of course, expecting the Director of The Harrogate Agenda to accept any of the foregoing is akin to him agreeing heaven is similar to hell.

Just saying………………………..

 

Electoral Commission/Lead Brexit Designation

No doubt others will write more in depth on this subject than this attempt, however…….

The decision of the Electoral Commission and their decision today with regard to ‘lead designation’ – and the paucity of the submissions made, where content is concened – leaves one completely astounded and flumoxed, whilst also raising questions as to what pressure has been brought to bear by ‘hands unseen’.

For @Strongerin to be designated as lead campaigner for the Remain side is laughable, especially when it is obvious that the Remain campaign per se is domiciled in Number 10 Downing Street; which leads one to think that the Remain campaign will be ‘a rose by another name’.

Where the designation of the Leave Campaign is concerned, one’s mind can but boggle. Here we have the Leave camaign handed to someone who made such a pig’s ear of leading the AV Referendum ‘anti-side’ that he had to be ‘bailed-out’, ie ‘rescued’.

When considering the personnel of such ‘independent bodies’ it should be remembered that until such time as their appointments are decided by those who pay their salaries, they stretch incredulity to describe themselves as ‘independent’.

What results from this decision by the Electoral  Commission is two leading groups neither of whom appear to undestand their remit of the matter in hand; coupled with the point – as stated above – the Electoral Commmission could have saved the public purse £7m due to the fact the leader of the Remain  lobby (and a serial liar – no difference then to his opponent) lives in No: 10 Downing Sreet; and it surely is about time he ‘earned his crust’.

As an afterthought, bearing in mind where it is considered lies the heart of Elliott, the Electoral Commission could possibly have saved the public purse £14m – but I digress……

Don’t you just love representative democracy?

Of course, had The Harrogate Agenda been actively promoted and had it been embedded in the public’s mind  that it was they who were sovereign and thus ‘had control’, the result of the referendum would have been ‘a Brexit given’ – but there I go digressing again……….

 

 

Judas was paid (and is still being paid)

There has been some comment in the media and blogs about the call made to the ‘young’  among our society for them to vote to remain a member of the European Union; coupled with comments denigrating the views of the over-65’s accusing them of not thinking about the future of their children and grandchildren in their wish to sever this country’s membership of the European Union.

Those advocating this ‘think of the children’ meme seem to forget a few things: that it is the taxes extracted from the over-65’s that paid for their education (such as it was); that paid for the home in which they were reared; that paid for the NHS when they have required its use; that everything they now ‘enjoy’ has been provided for them by the hard work (and thrift) of their elders; and that some of the generation they now resile gave their lives to ensure that they (the young) did not grow up under Nazi rule.

On February 25th, 1974, Enoch Powell gave a speech in Shipley in which he urged a vote for Labour saying he did not believe the claim that Wilson would renege on his commitment to renegotiation, which Powell believed was ironic because of Heath’s premiership: “In acrobatics Harold Wilson, for all his nimbleness and skill, is simply no match for the breathtaking, thoroughgoing efficiency of the present Prime Minister” (shades of Déjà vu where our current Prime Minister is concerned?). At this moment a heckler shouted “Judas!” at which point Powell responded: “Judas was paid! Judas was paid! I am making a sacrifice!”. (As an aside read this article by Simon Heffer in the Mail frmom 2012, from which: Almost 45 years ago, before Britain made its successful application to join what was then called the Common Market, Powell warned Britons they would lose the power to govern themselves. Equally presciently, from the moment a single currency was mooted, he pointed out that countries joining it would be stripped of their economic sovereignty — and, if it were to function properly, would lose the right to have their governments determine the exact nature of their public spending.

As a result of his political views – and ultimately due to his infamous Rivers of Blood speech – Powell was derided and ‘cast-out’. Yet, conversey the likes of Peter Sutherland, Fraser Cameron – a former senior advisor to the European Commission – (just what is it about ‘Camerons’?) Neil Kinnock, Chris Patten, Leon Brittan, Peter Mandelson, etc, are listened to by those who wish to continue this country’s membership of the European Union; yet little mention is made of the fact that as ex-employees of the European Union continuation of the receipt of their EU pensions is conditional upon their not saying/writing one word against the European Union.

If we consider the last four mentioned in the preceding paragraph, bearing mind the oath of allegiance they swore on entering Parliament it can be said that Judas was indeed paid – but then again the same can be said of those currently sitting on the ‘Green Benches’, be they for ‘remain’ or ‘leave’. When one reads Hansard in respect of Lidington’s Statement on the Government’s £9.3m Referendum Leaflet one can be forgiven for holding in contempt the comments from MPs; albeit Owen Paterson did raise the matter of the Venice Commission guidelines on holding referendums (to which the UK is a signatory) and on which I wrote a few days ago.

Until true democracy is introduced into the United Kingdom (Direct Demmocracy via The Harrogate Agenda) then it could be said we will continue to pay Judas.

 

The vagaries of the Data Protection Act

Since moving to Seaham I have taken on the responsibility for the management of a portfolio of rental properties.

The landlord in question has decided to sell that property portfolio, in a town situated in Cleveland, and to relocate said portfolio ‘closer to home’.

In one particular property, the tenant inadvertantly ‘short-circuited’ the need to issue formal notice for possession (a Section 21) by informing me, just before Christmas, he would be moving at some time in the near future. It was agreed with this tenant that he would remain in close contact, advising me of developments regarding his move.

In February this year I received notification from the local housing authority  that his housing benefit would no long be paid due to a ‘change in his entitlement’ to said benefit. Understanding full well  the language of ‘bureaucratese’ I telephoned said local authority to confirm that said tenant had done ‘ a runner’.

During the week or two following the tenant’s ‘disappearance’ a number of letters were received all claiming various ‘debts’ relating to non-payment of Council Tax, water & sewage charges, telephone, satellite, etc, etc: coupled with which said tenant owed the ‘shortfall’ twixt the rent and his housing benefit, which were in arrears but that which he had informed me would be paid shortly.

On telephoning the relevant local authority to enable me to advise the senders of said letters of the tenants new address and to enable me to claim my shortfall in rental income I was informed that, yes, they were in possession of a forwarding address but they were unable to divulge same to me due to constraints imposed upon them by the Data Protection Act.

Today I received a letter from Universal Credit – advising me that the housing benefit in respect of another tenant who left owing his provider of electricity just over £2k (he had been growing cannabis) plus owing the landlord three months rent; and who had moved on 16 February as a result of my having previously served him a Section 21 Notice – which contains said tentants new address.

It would seem we are living in ‘Alice in Wonderand’ land wherein, in respect of the law, one arm of the state has no idea what another is doing – and for such a variation in the implementation of a law, we fund it on pain of imprisonment if we don’t comply?

Thanks to what can only be described as ‘bureaucacy’ I now have the means to pursue an ex-tenant for three months rent he owes – and I will!

Don’t you just love bureaucratic ineptitude…………….?

 

But it was happening on his ‘watch’………!

Memory is the mother of all wisdom
Aeschylus

In which case MIchael Gove has no wisdom – but then few politicians do.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove has called for the EU to withdraw “propaganda” aimed at children during the upcoming referendum campaign (source). It beggars belief that Gove should consider the attempt to ‘form young minds’ unacceptable during the referendum campaign when it has been going on for some time now.

Cast your minds back to this article of just under a month , which in turn directed readers to an article of mine of four years ago – yes four years!

That a Secretary of State for Education was unaware of what was happening, was unaware of what Hansard and a fellow Secretary of State were overseeing does – as I wrote – stretch incredulity to unbelievable limits.

All one can say is – as Aeschylus is also reputed to have said – Gove has been trapped in the inescapable net of ruin by his own want of sense.

In fairness Gove is not alone – are not all politicians (and I exempt very few of them) trapped in the inescapable net of ruin by their own want of sense? Do not our political elite lose all sense once they begin to climb the ladder of power in the hope of attaining the ‘top job’ and all the trappings that come with that position?

That Gove should attempt to capture the headlines at this time is, one could say, a ‘Goven’. That our brain-dead MSM ( whose memory span appears to resemble that of a gnat) should latch onto Gove’s statement is (and forgive a repeat of the pun) another ‘Goven’.

Whatever our politicians do – as with Eric Morecombe and his paper bag:

 we can guarantee there is a trick involved.

That £9.3m 14-page Colour Brochure

A number of points arise with the publication of the Government’s 14-page colour brochure, namely:

  • The Government have spent £2.3m more than that allowed to the ‘lead campaigners’ (albeit outside the ‘designated period’) which does not include the cost of Cameron’s propaganda trip around the UK; oor that of his ministers who have ‘parrotted’ his message;
  • The Minister for Europe, David Lidington MP, stated that: ……the Government is not a campaign: it is not the Government’s job to supplant the role of the lead campaign organisations during the referendum campaign, and it is certainly not our intention to act in that way (Hansard, 16 June 2015, col. 234, (link);
  • The Minister for Europe, David Lidington MP: Let me repeat that we have no intention of legislating to allow the Government to do things such as mailshots, paid advertising or leafleting (Hansard, 7 September 2015, col. 89, (link);
  • The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond MP, promised that: ……The Government will exercise proper restraint to ensure a balanced debate during the campaign (Hansard, 9 June 2015, col. 1055, (link);
  • The Venice Commission on referendums (page 17) states: 13. The situation is different in the case of referendums, since it is legitimate for the different organs of government to convey their viewpoint in the debate for or against the text put to the vote. They must not abuse their position, however. In any event, the use of public funds for campaigning purposes must be prohibited in order to guarantee equality of opportunity and the freedom of voters to form an opinion. In addition, the public authorities at every level (national, regional or local), must not engage in excessive, one-sided campaigning, but show neutrality. Clearly, this does not mean they will not take a stand, but they must provide a certain amount of necessary information in order to enable voters to arrive at an informed opinion. Voters must be able to acquaint themselves, sufficiently in advance, with both the text put to the vote and, above all, a detailed explanation (link);
  • It is all very well for the Government to state that: The EU Referendum Act 2015 commits the Government to provide information to the public on EU membership ahead of the vote, and that is what we will do (link); but what they have not done is to present balanced information.
  • The Electoral Commission have criticised the Government over the publication of their brochure, stating, in an unusually pointed comment: We don’t think the government should have done it but it’s not illegal; continuing that: the use of government money during the Scottish Independence campaign could “undermine the principle” of spending limits (link).

Lidington and Hammond chose their words very carefully (do not all politicians?) and were obviously referring to the ‘designated period’; yet deliberately, I think, left their phraseology sufficiently vague in order to convey an entirely different interpretation.

The Venice Commission, which is an advisory body of the Council of Europe (The Commission’s official name is the European Commission for Democracy through Law, but due to its meeting place in Venice, where sessions take place four times a year, it is usually referred to as the Venice Commission – plus, I believe it is correct to say, the UK is a signatory to this body), shows that the Government have abused their position and that they have been far from neutral when considering this 14-page colour brochure, coupled with the statements issued in the last few weeks by government Secretaries of State and Ministers.

The foregoing can but beg the question whether the electorate of the United Kingdom are receiving a ‘fair’ referendum process.

Just saying…………..

 

 

There you have it from the horse’s mouth

The Commission does not take the blame because it does not care about the political cost, The Commission is here for five years to do its job and we did it with vision, responsibility and commitment. Because what is driving us is not to be reelected. That is why for us the political cost means nothing (Emphasis mine). Dimitris Avramopoulos – EU Commissioner, Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. (Source)

He was speaking about the latest proposals of the EU Commission in respect of the Commission’s changes to the ‘Dublin Agreement’. Digressing slightly, the European Union is supposedly founded on the values of democracy (Article 2, Lisbon Treaty: Preamble) – and with that statement all one can ask is: wherefore democracy?

The European Union Commission has released various documents on the Dublin Agreement and how they wish to change it. This is, of course, being carried out under Article 78 TFEU. Of the documents published we have a press release; a Communication from the Commission; and a Fact Sheet on the Dublin Agreement.

From the Communication we find the Commission looking at two options: pages 7-9, either of which, in the name of solidarity means that – and there is no simpler way to put it – another ‘power grab’ by  the European Union. Either option means that Member States would have imposed on them an immigrant quota, which would be totally out of their control, decided by yet another body who we have not elected and who we cannot dismiss.

It should be noted that Option 1 proposes streamlining and supplementing the existing Dublin Regulation with a ‘corrective, fairness mechanism’, while Option 2 proposes a move to a new system based on a ‘distribution key’. Said ‘relocation key is based on ‘absorbtion capacity’ and ‘integration capacity’ – this translates as being based on the idea that the larger the population the easier it is to absrb and integrate refugees; coupled with the fact larger economies are generally more able to ‘shoulder greater immigration pressures’ (source: page 62 – Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs).

Consider, next, page 6 of the Commission announcement and their ‘priorities’, then page 7 in which it is stated that the Commission intends: to put forward, as a matter of priority, a proposal to reform the Dublin system. and which continues to explain the two options under consideration. One thing is certain – change is coming and it is whether Member States want it or not; which again begs the question wherefore democracy within the European Union and wherefore democracy within the Member States?

There is another matter, one (hidden almost ) at the end of the press release linked to above – and that is the words: The Commission will also come forward with an EU Action Plan on Integration. What???

Yet we only need to look at the mess in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France et al, and the admissions of their various Police Chiefs that they are ordered by the political leadership not to interfere and impose the rule of law,  to realise that Integration is the last thing that is likely to happen, no matter what our unelected Politburo may think.

As any aquariast will tell you: You cannot keep fish of different types in the same aquarium, at least not without disastrous consequences.

In an earlier article I wrote:

When we look at multi-culturalism – and the introduction thereof – it seems to me the implementation of such is a tad one-sided. There would appear to be a great deal of ‘give’ imposed on the ‘indigenuous’ side in order to appease an intransigence on the other; in other words when a ruling elite impose multi-culturalism on an indigenuous society they seem to forget that indigenous people, or native people, are groups supposedly protected or should be by their governments, as having a set of specific rights based on their linguistic and historical ties to a particular territory, coupled with their cultural and historical distinctiveness from other populations.

One has to ask where is the responsibility of our government vis-a-viz the above and by what right do they ignore said responsibility without having previously agreed this with those they are supposed to serve?

That there is ‘political cost’ in the intentions of the European Commission, coupled with the acceptance (which cannot be avoided) by national governments cannot be denied – yet it is not the European Commission nor national governments that will pay that cost; it is the people who will do that by increased tax contributions for a policy on which they have had no say. I ask again: wherefore democracy? When the demographics of a nation can be changed without the agreement of the indigenous population, purely at the political whim of their supposed ‘representatives’, once again: wherefore democracy?

Oddly, within the Commission ‘statement’ we have a contradiction: refugees must stay in the Member State for which they have opted – so what happens with ‘free movement of people’ which is one of the EU’s ‘Four Pillars’?

That we have had little coverage of this latest power grab in our media or among our ‘home-grown’ political elite is hardly surprising – both appear more interested in ‘matters Corbyn’; simply proving they are always more concerned with trivia then ‘matters du jour’.

Maud – aka the United Kingdom – sure is about to be led up the ‘garden path’ and is about to discover the ‘facts of life’; ie, she is about to get screwed once again.

Where the foregoing is concerned, it has to be accepted as what may be termed ‘ conjecture’ and we must wait for the final notification of what is going to be imposed on we, the fodder, by the European Union and our supine national governments.

As an afterthought, it has been mentioned on Nourishing Obscurity that the ‘Old Firm might be back together again’; in which case there will no doubt be more to come, so do stay tuned – in view of which it becomes obvious that this article is the result of the combined views of Ian Parker-Joseph (IanPJonPolitics) and myself.