Monthly Archives: May 2016

£14m of public funds misspent?

Courtesy of the Electoral Commission we taxpayers have just incurred a bill of £14m, split evenly twixt Stronger In and Vote Leave – the two designated campaigns chosen to lead the debate – and who thus, by the ‘expertise’ (not’) of their arguments – can have a great bearing, through their inane statements, on who wins the forthcoming referendum on the question of the UK’s membership of the European Union.

Just who, among the electorate, elected those of the Electoral Commmission, who made that decision? Just who among the electorate agreed that politicians, on both sides of the argument, could ‘take over’ and thus decide how those arguments were to be presented?  Just who, among the electorate, know that Cameron, Osborne, Gove, Johnson, Benn (H), Matthew Elliott, Dominic Cummings et all, are lying ‘B’stards’? More importantly just who among the electorate agreed to provide said lying ‘B’stards’ on each side with £7m of their money?

Let us ‘backtrack’ slightly and consider the word: ‘democracy’. Think: to whom does a country belong – the people of that country, or those who have seized control (be they elected or not) of said country? Remember the derivation of the word ‘democracy’: demos:people – karatos:power. It follows, therefore, that a country belongs to the indigenuous people of a country – no-one else; least of all to ‘outsiders’; and those who have built a career supporting the minority whose aim is to rule the majority.

At this point one can but repeat part of a comment made on the preceding article by Titan Ananke: …..if a ‘grassroots’ people based movement were fully functional and healthily engaged and making our voices heard through an effective channel of peaceful civil disobedience via THA, then the establishment would be afraid…..no….it would be very afraid – which coupled with my comment in the article itself about my wish that the next four years are not wasted means that those who have usurped THA must, post June 24th, extract their digits; otherwise they too will be publicly ‘outed’!

That there will be another referendum is a given – and it will not be lost if the people are informed of a perfectly reasonable and workable alternative; one which returns control of their country and their lives to them.

In that regard I issue notice: either those that now ‘control’ THA ‘get their act together’ within the next three months and produce plans and a strategy to further THA, or I will resurrect an ‘alternative’; one which I started a few years ago and which I ‘folded’ in the mistaken belief that THA would be reborn.

Those interested in producing and taking part in the ‘alternative’ (if such is needed, whether or not Leave win or lose) can initially email me through this blog (see header bar) – you will receive a response.

Post June 24th – a few thoughts

Bearing in mind the ineptitude of the official Leave campaign, coupled with the project fear in which  the Remain campaign are indulging, it would appear that the latter group will ‘win the day’ on June 23rd. In view of which it becomes necessary that we now look to the future.

David Cameron and his political comrades have been campaigning on retaining membership of a ‘reformed’ EU and by so doing keeping the UK’s seat at the EU table in order to continue the UK’s supposed ability to ‘influence’ that organisation. George Osborne, one of Cameron’s political comrades, has published a report which one journalist finds ‘questionable‘.

It has been suggested in the media and on the internet that the EU is withholding the issuance of further Directives and Regulations, for fear of influencing the outcome of the forthcoming referendum as they fear it may well affect the result of the referendum in favour of the Leave side; and that consequently, post a Remain result, there will be a tsunami of ‘law’ imposed upon the UK.

Indeed, in that context there is the 5 Presidents report to consider; along with the Bertlesmann/Spinelli paper: A Fundamental Law.

From the former is the wish to further the creation of a United States of Europe in that it talks about the need for a genuine economic union; a financial union; a fiscal union and, to provide and cement all the foregoing, a political union. In this regard a paper by European Insights on the subject of The Future of Energy Supply for the EU and for the UK makes the point that it is one of several projects associated with the objective of achieving “ever closer union” in the EU, while making further points which include that the Energy Union will transfer all regulatory authority to Brussels, representing a huge loss of commercial sovereignty for the UK, coupled with the fact that inbuilt into the agenda for the Energy Union is the goal of harmonising EU wide energy taxation levels, representing a significant loss of fiscal control away from the UK to Brussels.

With regard to the creation of a United States of Europe, A Fundemantal Law states that as not all member states can be forced, against their will, to accept the federalism of a United States of Europe and, therefore, that it must follow such states cannot be allowed to pick and choose what they want from the EU and discard the rest.  It continues that the point has been reached when yet more à la carte opt-outs and derogations risk fracturing the cohesion of the acquis communautaire, thus ‘free-riding’ means disintegration. The Fundamental Law creates a new category of associate membership  and that for such states institutional participation would necessarily be limited. Continued allegiance to the Union’s values would be required, but political engagement in the Union’s objectives would be reduced.

Where the subject of ‘Project Fear’ is concerned, so beloved  by Cameron and Osborne, I cast my mind back to an article by Richard North about ‘Judas Goats’ (which contains a link to one of mine on the same subject, under my former name of Witterings from Witney). I cannot but think that Cameron read North’s article (or had it brought to his attention) and immediately thought to himself: I can use that and also do better than Hannan – I can be the Judas Goat.

It is 24th June and Cameron has the result for which he has worked so hard to achieve. Bearing in mind the stage that the EU has now reached, considering where it started (40+ years ago), it is obvious that the end result it seeks will take many years yet; by which time Cameron and his predecessors, who have furthered the progress of this albatross round our necks, will be long gone and out of reach of any retribution of those who will have predeceased him – or those that follow him. It is a younger generation – and possibly the generation after that – that will have to pick up the pieces; yet the next generation is one who presently do not even know a referendum is taking place; or why. Cameron, in his role as the Judas Goat (encapsulating his ‘Project Fear’); together with his predecessors who have ‘dumbed-down’ our educational system (I often think that now, instead of attending school to be educated, children attend to be instructed); must now be feeling pretty proud of themselves; for have they have not bred another version of Dolly‘?

Cameron may well believe he reformed the EU, but when the EU does implement the aims encasulated in the 5 Presidents Report and that of A Fundamental Law, by means of treaty change, then he will have a reformed EU and one that transfers yet further powers to Brussels. There will be those who will imediately cite the European Union Act 2011 – which requires a referendum in the event of further powers being transferred – and the fact that the UK has a veto where treaty change is concerned. It has to be said that the chances of either of the aforementioned being invoked are a tad slim, bearing in mind the majority of those sitting on the green benches are but puppets of their respective leaders and those leaders are adamant that the UK should remain a member of the EU. If, as appears more than likely, the UK is relegated to associate membership of the EU it will be interesting to hear, then, from those who insist that membership of the EU is vital in order to sit at the EU ‘top table’ and thus have influence.

The referendum being held on 23rd June will not heal the wound that is the UK’s membership of the EU – it will, without doubt, continue to fester; consequently come 2020/2022, when the next treaty change is envisaged, it is logical to believe there will need to be another referendum.

As and when said referendum is held, what is needed more than anything when compared to the charade currently taking place, is for inept and ignorant politicians, coupled with inept and ignorant ‘wannabees’ such as Matthew Elliot, Dominic Cummings et all, not being allowed their input into the matter.

That brings us to the subject of democracy. Presently those that have ‘stiched up’ up how democracy is practised in this country have done so in a manner by which they ‘hold all the aces’; as where regulatory and/or advisory bodies are concerned, they appoint those that sit on them. If the people are to be governed and/or advised, should not the people be able to decide the personnel who comprise such bodies; and also should not those personnel be answerable (and removable) to/by those that appoint them? If we must have lead groups, come a referendum, then should such not be chosen by the people; after all it is the people’s money, via taxation, that funds them.

All of the foregoing is possible if The Harrogate Agenda (THA) is accepted by the people; and the extent of power the people can hold is explained to them. To date four years have been wasted since The Harrogate Agenda was first devised; and assuming that we have another 4/6 years until the next referendum, I have to plead that we do not waste further time.

As I have written previously, had THA been promoted, separately but alongside FlexCit (and with the same intensity, effort and funding), we surely would not have been in the situation we now are; ie, with the referendum lost. Yes, I am assured that THA will become forefront, but it must be separated from FlexCit and The Leave Alliance – more importantly it needs at its head a motivator, a driver, someone who is articulate and understands completely what THA is about and what it can bring to/for the people; ie, control of their country, control of their county and control of their own lives.

THA, if accepted by the people, in effect is a revolution and a peaceful one at that. So will those who appear to have usurped what was initially supposed to be a ‘people’s movement’  and now appear to wish to control said movement, allow the people to try that peaceful revolution? Yes, povide them with facts, figures, arguments, ideas of how it can work; what we don’t need is a group of people attempting to impose workshops and advisory panels in order to achieve the democratic revolution that is so desperately needed.

People who feel enslaved have but one cry: Set Us Free. Those three words are just as important when directed at those who have enslaved us within a democratic system whereby those that benefit from same are those that contol it; however it is also directed at those who have devised an alternative system of democracy wherein the people can be free, but who also wish to control how that freedom can be attained.

Afterthought: When I look at what was once a great country and the nadir to which it has now sunk, through no fault of its people who have had their society changed beyond recognition and without their agreement, I am reminded of words attributed to Anne Bronte:

Oh, I am very weary,
Though tears no longer flow;
My eyes are tired of weeping,
My heart is sick of woe.

An ‘Excitable’ Media

Along with other bloggers I have often complained about the lack of subjective reporting by the media on ‘news’ items; be that of a general nature or, more importantly, on ‘matters EU’ and, in particular, about the forthcoming referendum on our nation’s membership of the EU.

For some time I have been struck by the media’s ‘trivialisation’ of news and the apparent need of the media to ‘make a mountain out of a molehill’. Why must we suffer the theatrical element in journalism?

Witness, today, such examples: Cameron ‘slaps down Penny Mordaunt over her comments about Turkey; Cameron ‘slams‘ Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Cameron did neither: he corrected Mordaunt’s erroneous understanding about whether Member States of the EU have a veto over any application to join the EU and he disagreed with Trump’s reported plan to ban Muslims from the USA.

Factual reporting of news is what the public require; whilst also requiring a media who takes the trouble to question, following diligent research, that which politicians would have us believe.

By allowing themselves to be guided, by means of ‘editorial guidelines’ which are dictated by whoever controls the media for which they work, journalists have become no more than purveyors of propaganda.

Propaganda, we should remember, is a form of biased communication, aimed at promoting or demoting certain views, perceptions or agendas. Propaganda is often associated with the psychological mechanisms of influencing and altering the attitude of a population toward a specific cause, position or political agenda in an effort to form a consensus to a standard set of belief patterns (put forward by a ruling political class) – in other words, it is information that is not impartial and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.

That our media, by recycling the outpourings of our politica class without checking that which they say, is guilty of propaganda.

On such the people of this nation are supposed to make an informed decision, come June 23rd? To answer that question in the vernacular: you gotta be having a larf!

This begs an oft repeated question I have posed: in whose pocket is who where the media and politicians are concerned?

Come acceptance of the Harrogate Agenda, perhaps besides the need of the people to control their politicians there comes a requirement of the need for the people to control of their media?

Just an opinion……………..

Comment welcome…………..

 

And the ‘catalyst’ for poor performance is?

An interesting article appeared in the Guardian towards the end of April and which has only just been brought to my attention.

What is not stated in the Guardian article is that while Rod Cahil received an 8% payrise, the staff only received one of 1%.

Having ‘lived under’ three housing associations during my time in Oxon (English Churches, Riverside and Catalyst) it became obvious that housing associations are shackled, where their workload is concerned, with the need for adherence to ‘box-ticking’ on matters such as ethnicity, health & safety, equality, etc, etc; to the extent they are unable to devote the time required to that which should be their primary concern.

The one thing they should care about, which all their literature and ‘mission statements’ confirm, is the well-being of the elderly and those of more ‘tender years’, who for various reasons, they are responsible. That this does not ‘translate’ into the care they should provide I discovered during my time living under their ‘regime’.

As an example of incompetence, that being common to those housing association previously mentioned, when  in imposing a rent increase after the first year, Catalyst, while adhering to the formula governing increase in social rents, had ‘over-run the 28 day notification period as they did not issue their statutory notice within that given period; in the second year they got the RPI rate wrong (RPI being a component in deciding rent increases where social housing is concerned) which meant for two years in succession Catalyst had ‘lost’ two months increase in rent as I waited, in each case, for the 28 day period to commence before I brought their errors to their notice.

Examples such as the above are too numerous to mention – as another example: a first floor lounge with a large floor to ceiling window had not been fitted with safety glass; which eighteen months after this was raised is now, I am informed, being resolved. Housing associations are meant to be a ‘not for profit’ organisation – and it is accepted they need a reserve for future development – but ‘boasting’ of a £53m profit, when basic ‘services’ are not being provided, begs a question, does it not?

Housing Associations ‘care’ about those for whom they should? Where is the oversight by those to whom we look for care; namely our politicians? That care is a tad like the mist – its there now and again. Without ‘blowing my own trumpet’, had I not had knowledge gained through my previous employment in estate agency my fellow tenants would have been unnecessarily paying a rent increase. More importantly, for those tenants who were on housing benefit it would have resulted in an unnecessary increase to the public purse.

The question of care for the elderly leads onto another aspect of that problem. When I were a lad families cared for their own ‘elderly’ – there was no state aid as such. When my grandmother got to the stage whereby she required constant care, my mother’s elder sister and her husband moved to larger accomodation which provided what amounted to a ‘granny flat’, with the elder sister caring for her mother – and my mother and father, together with her other sister, contributing to the increased living cost incurred by the elder sister.

Nowadays such an idea is an anathema to the modern generation for have they not been reared to believe the state provides all? Why the hell should they concern themselves with such matters; they need two or more foreign holidays, a 40 inch television is a must to enjoy, as are two cars, etc, etc.

We all grow old and at the end of our lives we all hope we will be taken care of. Not all of us have children to do that, as a result those without have to rely on the state to take the place of our children; both of which we hope would – and will – care.

The foregoing is an area in which The Harrogate Agenda would  ‘come into play’ – people deciding by common consent how their elderly should be cared for. It is a classic example of where THA could – and should – be commenting ; had of course, those ‘in charge’  thought about creating a rebuttal unit…….

Whatever happened to the idea of self-preservation? Oh I forgot, we allowed ourselves to be ‘guided’ by those who believed they had a better idea – subsequently we had neither the knowledge or thought about the care in later life of those we supposedly love, to raise any concerns.

It amazes me that we now appear to worry about what happens to the ‘unfortunates’ in other lands, yet appear not to cast a care for the ‘unfortunates’ in our own country.

Perhaps there is a need for us to relearn the idea that charity begins at home – likewise for our political class who spend 0.7% of our GDP aiding those who are not us, without our permission.

 

 

 

Accident/Great Loss/Tragedy

As light relief from serious matters, I think the following has appeared previously, albeit some time ago – still funny though, especially if not heard before…….

David Cameron was visiting a primary school in Yorkshire and the class was in the middle of a discussion about words and their meanings. The teacher asked Mr Cameron if he would like to lead the discussion on the word ‘Tragedy’. The prime minister asked the class if they could think of an example of a tragedy. A little lad stood up and said, ‘If my best mate is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a tragedy.’ ‘Incorrect,’ said Cameron, ‘That would merely be an accident.’

A little lass stood up and said ‘If a school bus carrying thirty children drove over a cliff, killing everybody inside, that would be a tragedy.’ ‘I’m afraid not’, said Cameron, ‘That’s what we would call a great loss’.

The room went silent. No other kid volunteered. Cameron searched the room. ‘Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?’

Finally, a little lad raised his hand from the back of the class and said, ‘If a plane carrying you and all the MPs was hit by a missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.’ ‘Fantastic!’ exclaimed Cameron, ‘And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?’

‘Well,’ said the little lad, ‘It has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss, and it probably wouldn’t be a f***ing accident either!!

Those that have – and those that have not

In this context I quote from ME Synon’s blog:

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.’

‘The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.’

‘I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.’

‘They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighbourhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.’

‘Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions…….The unprotected have no elite to speak for them – that is what makes them unprotected. Such people can only speak for themselves.

Or hope a strong voice will emerge to speak for them.

Yesterday evening we had Pete North,  son of Richard, tweeting:

The #Brexit manifesto – The Harrogate Agenda… pic.twitter.com/mROMX8Rnhh

To which I responded:

Bit late in the day to start pushing THA – the horse has bolted!

Why have they, the unprotected, no voice? Because they live in a democratised dictatorship. What could have given the unprotected their voice? Progression of The Harrogate Agenda! That the blame for the unprotected being in the position they are can be squarely laid at the door of those who usurped The Harrogate Agenda and then did nothing with it – for four years! If funds can be raised for The Leave Alliance, then why the hell was no attempt made, with the same intensity of effort, to raise funds for The Harrogate Agenda? 

Yes, there are signs that the unprotected are starting to push back but at the same time it is obvious that while the protected have the stranglehold on our democracy that they do – aided and abetted by a sycophantic and thus compliant media – they won’t get anywhere.

The unprotected know, basically, what they want: they want to know their vote ‘counts’ and they want to stop what they see as unnecessary intrusion by the state in their lives – but they don’t know how to achieve that. The reason for that is the protected has led the unprotected to believe that they do not need to think for themselves as the protected will do that for them. The penny is beginning to drop that the only people the protected care about is the protected, because it sure as hell is not the unpotected.

Had the ‘wasted four years’ been better used I would suggest the result of the fortcoming referendum would not be in doubt. Consider: had The Harrogate Agenda been promoted, as has been FlexCit, by the time the referendum was announced might not the argument have already been won? It is all very well having strategies, but if said strategies are in the wrong order? Bearing that in mind it has to be remembered it is stated that there is little point in regaining our independence only to hand said independence back to those that gave it away in the first place.

Or hope a strong voice will emerge to speak for them. Some time ago, someone (I can’t recall who), wrote that when the referendum is lost – ie: Remain wins the day – there will have to be a reckoning. Perhaps at the head of the queue should be those who have wasted four years?

 

 

The people’s referendum?

What is supposed to be the ‘people’s referendum’ is anything but, having been usurped by the political class.

The Government, in the shape of David Cameron, who maintained that the decision of whether membership of the European Union should be one for that of the people, has gone out of its way to influence the result to one where Remain wins the day.

Coupled with the foregoing, the Electoral Commission has designated two groups as ‘lead voices’ – and handed them each of them £7m of taxpayers money (over which taxpayers have had no say) – and who cannot be held to account, especially bearing in mind that where the Leave campaign is concerned, those  leading it know not of that which they are supposed so to do; and in the process made fools of themselves before the Treasury Select Committee.

Both Remain and Leave spokesman – including politicians who have decided to ‘interfere’ – obvously have no understanding of ‘matters EU’, neither have they any understanding of the ‘source of law’. and thus global governance. They most certainly do not understand ‘trade deals’, the Single Market, or renegotiation of our membership of  the EU; and assume participation in all that is akin to visiting a car-boot sale, something which involves a little bit of bartering.

For the people to make any informed decision, come 23rd June, they need information/facts – and that is something they are not being given. What they are being give is innuendo, myths, fairy tales, horror stories, etc – in fact, anything but the truth.

The depressing feature of politics today is that those whose lives depend on others (those we elect to represent us) have lost the ability to find out things fo themselves; coupled with the fact that they have been ‘conditioned’ to believe that they have no need to so do as politicians will think for them.

Shortly, in the next few years, should Remain win the day, the people will discover that politicians (and the likes of Matthew Elliott, Dominic Cummings, Liam Fox, Michel Gove, Boris Johnson, Bernard Jenkins, John Redwood, Nigel Farage, etc) cannot – and do not – think, because uppermost in their minds is self-preservation and thus their careers (especially where Elliot and Cummings are concerned); and if that means bamboozling the public, then so be it: why should they care.

On such a bed of shifting sand – and thus no firm foundation – is our democracy based. Just where is the voice of those providing the funding for both sides of the Referendum where lead designation is concerned? Just where is our ‘free press’, who should be speaking for those who, currently, have ‘no voice’? 

I can but repeat that there is an alternative to all the problems posed by the above; namely The Harrogate Agenda. But then another problem arises, in that he who now ‘controls’ the  promotion of that alternative vision of democracy (aided and abetted by ‘others’) has decided that promotion of that alternative will entail no further effort until after June 23rd which, apparently, has been the strategy for some months now – and there’s the ‘Warry’. Don’t you just love ‘control’? (Not wishing to digress from the thrust of this article I will write further, in a day or two, about my ‘Warry’ where the subject of The Harrogate Agenda is concerned).

It would appear, that where ever one looks for less control of our lives, we search in vain.

Just saying……………….

 

 

 

 

So, this EU referendum: just what is it all about?

Surely the underlying question is just what sort of country do voters want? To answer that question they have to understand exactly what democracy is – and what it should comprise.

To make an informed decision, come 23rd June, voters need unbiased information based on irrefutable fact – which is something they are not receiving. Both sides of the EU referendum question are guilty of making unfounded and thus dubious claims. As a result how can one blame the voter for taking sides, bearing in mind the simultaneous corruption of truth, when both sides of the argument wear ‘sharp suits’ and speak so nicely – while exhibiting a complete lack of knowledge of the subject matter.

It is all very well reminding ourselves that we are the 99%; that God gave us a voice, so we should use it – but we cannot, as the 1% have the 99% by the ‘short and curlies’. Hardly democracy ( demos: people; karatos: power, ie people power) is it?

Part of FlexCit is the suggestion that UNECE could – and should – replace the European Union, thus facilitating the same objectives of ‘common standards’ being implemented via inter-governmental negotiation/agreement without the need of a supra-national form of government.

There is, coupled with the preceding point, the idea that Brexit may well, if successful, be the catalyst by which other member states follow the lead of the UK (which won’t be the first time that the UK has solved the ‘problems of Europe’ – but again I digress, not) and thus bring about the collapse of the EU. Let us face it, if we are to vote to leave, why not – paraphrasing Michael Caine – blow the bloody doors off (the EU)?

That that is so unlikely to happen is due to the fact that, thanks to representative democracy aided and betted by a supine and thus complaint media, the 1% control the 99%.

To illustrate that point one can but turn to Oscar Wilde and The Importance of Being Earnest, in which Cecily pleads with Gwendolen: This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade; to which Gwendolyn replies: I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different.

Therein lies the difference twixt  our political class and we, the people – we do, indeed, inhabit different spheres in our society from those ‘enjoyed’ by the political class; and said political class have the cheek to dictate to us that they represent us and are one of us?

Don’t you just love referendums – especially those rigged – coupled with representative democracy?

Just a thought or two …………..

 

How are the mighty fallen…..

When I were a lad the Daily Telegraph was conidered a ‘serious; newspaper; heck, it even carried a detailed daily report of events in Parliament; while also containing comprehensive and factual local and world news. Now it appears to have descended into the realms of news that was epitomised by the News of the Screws World.

Why are we surprised to learn that relationships are formed in ‘closed’ societies (ie, the workplace); hell, it has happened within the political circle, so why not within the police circle? On the other hand, should not those who are employed to make/uphold the law be ‘whiter than white’? Conversely, what business is it of ours whether police men can keep their zippers up and police women their knickers on, providing they do the jobs for which they are paid – likewise politicians?

Is it unreasonable of those, who politicians and police serve, to expect them to observe, where marriage is concerned, the point about ’till death do us part’? Is it unreasonable of those who believe in strict moral behaviour to not acknowledge the changing ‘mores’ of society, as that evolves?

If there is to be discord within a relationship, especially in one that could well become ‘news’ because of the public profile of those involved, is there not a duty on the participants involved to settle their differences quietly and amicably without bringing their professional bodies, of which they are a part, into possible disrepute? When such ‘salaciousness’ does incur we then find various public bodies/charities/lawyers all entering the fray, each scenting publicity and/or money.

This begs the question: what is the point of elevating people to positions in which they are not accountable to those they serve? In that regard, let us consider the recent events of ‘Super Thursday’. Just how are those elected, be they councillors or PCCs, answerable to those who elected them? They are not, which makes a mockery of elections; if one has the ‘power to hire’, then one must have ‘the power to fire’ – otherwise there can be no democracy per se.

Where the London Mayoral election is concerned it has been noticed on Twitter suggestions that Sadiq Khan owes his victory to the ‘Muslim vote’ (no link). At this point it is pertinent to interject an article from SwissInfo suggesting that ‘votes’ can’t be free and have to be earned. It is also worth interjecting another article from SwissInfo about whether public services should be subject to public approval.

We then have to turn to yet another article from SwissInfo which questions whether there should be a cap on the use of money by political parties during election periods – and note Switzerand is the only country in Europe without campaign disclosure laws. Again, on this point, by what right does David Cameron spend public money (without our agreement – see Referism : Demand #5 of The Harrogate Agenda?) to further his argument for remaining in the European Union? That is not democracy in action but democratised dictatorship in action.

Where ever we look, be that those we place, by electing them, on a pinnacle; or the state of society in general and how society is influenced, do not we who comprise society deserve our voice to be heard – is that not what democracy is about? Are we, the people, not ‘the masters’?

The United Kingdom is now in the position of having politicians, both national and local, who cannot do the job for which they are elected. National politicians are subservient to the European Union while local politicians are subservient to central government. Throw in the EU’s Committee of the Regions who through their remit, are able to further undermine national government and one has to ask why do taxpayers continue to fund people who do not and cannot do the job for which they are handsomely paid; ie govern. Great Britain is now not so great, is it?

In fact, where this nation is concerned, it could be said that what were once a proud people have been coerced into submission by decisions supposedly taken in their name. It appears that today the only time we are permitted to display any sense of nationalism is at sporting events, or at ‘carefully orchestrated’ events like Trooping the Colour, etc. Just what is it about nationalism that is so frowned upon and virtually considered a deadly sin?

Since moving to Co. Durham it immediately struck me how those in the North East are, indeed, ‘proud’ people; they resent the imposition of dictats from central government (London) over which they have no control; they resent the ideological constraints of political parties (of whatever hue) – echoed many times is the old complaint that it matters not who they vote for, none of them really care about us. The same can no doubt be said of the people of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland; or on a local basis, the people of the North West, the Midlands and the South West.

There is a solution which would invigorate politics, that would energise people to take an interest in politics and consequently to lead their lives as they wish. Using Switzerand as a ‘model’ (and I stress the word ‘model’) just what is not to like about their system of government – try substituting counties for  cantons? For a quick understanding of how the system works, who is responsibe for what and the power that ‘the man in the street’ holds, try this, this and this. Those ideas are what, basically, The Harrogate Agenda is all about: people power; after all, does not a nation belong to its people rather than a self-selecting, power-seeking, inward-looking dictatorial political group?

If Britain is to be ‘Great’ once more we do not need a supranational entity dictating to us, the people, neither do we need a home-grown political clique doing likewise. It is the people of Britain that made it ‘Great’; the entrepeneur, the ‘little’ man; the ‘fighting’ man – so how about giving them their voice?

Food for thought?

 

The Harrogate Agenda

Where The Harrogate Agenda is concerned regular readers will know only too well that this blog has been a consistent critic of THA for its obvious inaction in promoting itself – the last article on the failure so to do being this, which encapsulated all the complaints I have made many times; together with those of commenters.

Following that article I had a conversation with the Director of THA, during which the suggestion was made by him that I would be welcome were I to choose once again to become involved in this project.

When asked what I would like to see happen I made various suggestions, however that conversation was with the proviso that it remained confidential – a request I will honour – consequently I can write no more.

During the aforementioned conversation it was made plain that no change could be envisaged due to a concentration on the campaign to gain a ‘Leave’ vote come the EU Referendum – a strategy which meant that the changes vis-a-viz The Harrogate Agenda could not be/would not be possible until after 24th June 2016. In that respect I have to question the element of apparent control of what is supposed to be a ‘peoples movement’ – which begs the question: if it is a people’s movement, why does it have to be controlled – but I digress (not). One of the problems encountered was due to he who manages THA’s website and whether he had the time now to devote to that cause. When I suggested another web-hosting source said source was immediately vetoed due to the alternative personality involved. Now, what was I saying about ‘control’……………?

Anyways, the ball is now in their court (as they say) – therefore, meanwhile, I await further contact.

Suffice it to say, unless there is compromise on that which I firmly believe should happen with THA, then the words reputed to have been said by Sam Goldwyn (but which are contested) come into play; namely: include me out.

Further updates will follow in due course.