Monthly Archives: August 2016

Thought of the day – but not just for today

It has become obvious that those in the world of media know no more about Brexit than those entrusted to enact Brexit – much to the detriment of those who must rely on the efforts of those entrusted to deliver the edict of our current Prime Minister, namely Brexit means Brexit.

Almost daily we are assailed with hundreds of words – if not thousands – written and spoken by politicians, journalists, think tanks, etc, ie ‘bullshit’; all of which cannot withstand rebuttal, said rebuttal containing detailed facts which have been carefully researched. Yet it is also obvious that those who have done the necessary research and can thus rebut the aforementioned bullshit, when given the opportunity so to do by the media to find their input curtailed/truncated to the point of inconsequence.

I have often posed the question about whether politicians are in the pocket of the media, or whether the media are in the pocket of politicians – which, in fact,  is an unanswerable question because both groups have built an ‘industry’, each dependent on the other for their existence.

Just how has it come about that those elected to represent the interests of those who elect them have built an ‘industry’ of self-preservation and advancement; and those who are supposed to inform the people of the truth have managed to do likewise, encompassing each constructing a two-way reliant ‘industry’? More importantly, how is it that the people have allowed each to continue?

The simple answer to the aforementioned question posed at the end of the preceding paragraph must be that the people are unaware of the power they possess, which is where the ideas of The Harrogate Agenda (THA) enter the equation – not that those now ‘running’ said idea seem to have considered this aspect.

As I have replied to Tony Day in the comments section of this article, after 1st October there will be developments – that I promise.

 

 

 

 

PPI: aka Perpetual Political Idiocy

As a subject, Perpetual Political Idiocy is becoming as annoying as that of Payment Protection Insurance. Unfortunately whilst we can, to a certain extent, ignore the latter the former is becoming more and more of a problem.

On 27th June following the result of the referendum,  David Cameron, speaking in the House of Commons, said:

  …. But it is right that when we consider questions of this magnitude, we don’t just leave it to politicians but rather listen directly to the people. And that is why Members from across this House voted for a referendum by a margin of almost 6 to 1…..

If the people have the right to decide ‘questions of magnitude’ then should they not also have the right to decide questions of lesser magnitude – after all, as with the referendum, do not said questions of lesser magnitude also affect their lives and that of their country? The question of magnitude is neither here nor there, is it, where their lives and the future of their country is concerned?

Only yesterday we had an ‘opinion piece‘ by William Hague in the Telegraph in which he wrote: …….It seems unlikely that Theresa May has any legal need to ask parliament to approve the invoking of Article 50, which is a matter of royal prerogative to be exercised by ministers. Yet she does have a political need to do so, so that parliament will have made a decision to ratify the referendum outcome, and to forestall debates, plots, motions and laws proposed and promoted by others……. No – and leaving to one side the ‘legalities’ – Theresa May does not have a political need to consult Parliament to ratify the referendum outcome – did not Parliament cede its right to decide this issue by granting a referendum?

Addressing to his party faithful, as Leader, in 2001, he ended said address with these words:

……..;if you believe in Britain as a country that will work with its neighbours but never submit to being governed by anyone else; if you believe in an independent Britain.Then come with me, and I will give you back your country.

This from a man who, a decade later, so obviously did not believe in an independent Britain, did not believe that it should be governed by anyone else. I will give you back your country? Since when was this country the possession of a politician? (As an aside, was Hague’s statement the origin of Farage’s meme of We want our country back – but I digress)

John Maynard Keynes is reported to have said to a critic: When events change, I change my mind. What do you do? When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir? When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir? When someone persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?  But then Keynes was not faced with the choice of abandoning his principles against the lure (and perks)  of a political office just below the one once coveted – but yet again, possibly, I digress?

Yes, a case can be made for a second referendum on Brexit, but only one that asks whether the terms finally negotiated are acceptable; after all, having voted to leave does not logic also dictate that said terms are for those who decided toleave? To argue that a negative vote to that question means the vote to leave should then be reversed would be an insult to democracy – but, again, the entire process following the vote to leave has been an insult to democracy — has it not?

When two MPs make a public statement about the right of the British people to set their own tax burden – but cannot – following which they are publicly confronted with a rebuttal and then chose to ignore said rebuttal, presumably because said rebuttal is not by one of their constituents, what price democracy?

It is impossible to have democracy where some questions are decided by decree when those doing the decreeing are those that exercise democratic dictatorship; ie, they are deciding when the people they rule can have their voice heard and thus decide the future of not only their own lives but that of their country. Did we not, as a nation, oppose communism for that very reason; did we not fight two world wars for that very reason?

Brexit is Brexit we have been informed by our present Prime Minister (who, let us not forget. sided with her predecessor to remain part of the European Union) and Brexit ‘may’ or ‘may’ not happen. Coupled with a dictatorial political class, we also have a media who will write anything supportive of said political class in order to ‘earn a crust’, while at the same time ignoring reality and fact.

So, two questions, people:

  • What price the result of any referendum granted from ‘on high’; which, in turn, prompts:
  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The answer to which must, logic dictates, be the introduction of direct democracy.

 

 

Who is this ‘We’, gentlemen?

It would appear that a  decision of the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, to pass a comment on the tax matters of the United Kingdom has outraged two of our finest among the political class.

Owen Paterson has reportedly stated: We decide the level of tax raised by politicians. It’s absolutely nothing to do with a foreign prime minister,  while Steve Baker, also reportedly, stated: Of course we need to negotiate in an atmosphere of good faith, but the bottom line is, we’ll set our tax rates, thank you.

Since when did those in this country, who provide the tax revenues, have any say in the level of taxation they have to pay; and under pain of imprisonment if they do not? The levying of taxation is probably the biggest example of criminality perpetrated by government – ie, “stand and deliver”. Practice that outside of government and it is more than likely you will have free accommodation for a few years.

Consider: before employing someone to perform work for you, do you not ask for an estimate? So why do we continue to employ politicians to work for us without first getting an estimate?

At the end of the day the foregoing is about accountability – but are our politicians really accountable to anyone?

We are frequently informed by politicians that we, the electorate, can punish them by voting them out of office if we do not like their policies. Just where is the punishment in that? Yet again consider: they retire on pensions funded from the public purse and use their resumés and connections made during their political careers for their own financial advantage. That is punishment? It is unfortunately amusing that there appears to be so many examples of politicians doing better financially than when they were in office.

In concusion: less of the ‘We’, gentlemen, where the governance of this country is concerned – please?

Rape of the Public Purse

The following news items caught my eye today:

  • Theresa May moves to cap the remuneration of Special Advisors (Spads;) except for ‘special’ cases;
  • The Honours System is in need of reform;
  • Journalists should stop asking politicians stupid questions.
  • The Batley & Spen by-election will not be contested.

In none of the above do the electorate,  who have a financial stake in all of them, have any voice whatsoever.

Why do politicians need ‘advisors’? Should said politicians not be masters of the brief they hold; and if they are not, why have they been appointed?

Why should politicians be able to reward, at the public largesse,  those who have supported them in their endeavours?

Why should not journalists ask politicians stupid questions; after all politicians are stupid people, are they not? On the other hand Journalists are stupid people  too if all they can think to ask are stupid questions.

By what right do the political class decide to disenfranchise one section of the electorate by limiting how many candidates can stand where?

Are people not  generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of politicians?

If our politicians are to be persuasive they must be believable; to be believable they must be creditable; and to be credible they must be truthful. Needless to say, they fail on all three counts – so why do we continue to elect them and then pay them a salary?

Had The Harrogate Agenda been ‘mainstream’ by now public opinion would no doubt have reached uproar at this point – the blame that it has not can only be levied at those who are now in control of THA – and no apologies for that assertion will be forthcoming from me.

Just saying………..

 

A Rhetorical Question

Paul Williams (The Boiling Frog) states on twitter (@PWilliamsTBF): Aside from Brexit, the referendum has really exposed MPs lack of knowledge on how our country is governed.

What follows is not a criticism of the aforementioned comment, being one that is perfectly justified – but it does beg the question of why this situation is allowed to persist.

It remains a matter of amazement/amusement/bewilderment to this blog that our media can remain ‘entranced’ with matters of ‘inconsequence’; said term being defined as characterized by lack of proper sequence in thought, speech, or action.

It would appear that the ‘important’ matters ‘du jour’, where our media are concerned, is (a) the battle twixt Corbyn and Smith for control of the Labour Party; (b) the ‘exorbitant’ rise in rail fare increases (have they never heard of the EU requirement of ‘user pays?); and (c) how the Tories are relishing the debacle currently encompassing the Labour Party.

It is extremely easy to deal with the trivia of news – and when did our media not so do (Booker excepted) – rather than deal objectively with  the ‘hard’ news: Brexit; governance of the UK; parliament and democracy per se.

That those we elect to represent us know not on any matter, regardless of subject – and that includes ‘matters EU’ – has been exemplified many times (examples are legion), not only by this blog, but also others. One only has to listen to  the Secretaries of State for Brexit or Trade to realize that we ‘May’ have had appointed idiots to act and represent us.

It is, perhaps, unfair to select individual Members of Parliament for condemnation where lack of knowledge is concerned because those that rise to the top are surfacing from a pool of such low ability and knowledge that any hope of leadership, encompassing vision, is doomed before it begins.

But then who is to blame for this sad state of affairs wherein the unknowing are being led by the unknowing, possibly to the doom of the former? At this point I am reminded of two quotes:

It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.
Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), U.S. Supreme Court Justice, American Communications Assn v. Douds, 1950

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities are heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
Thomas Paine

That there is, to paraphrase Hamlet, something rotten in the State of the UK, is a given to those of us who take an interest in matters political.

We may accuse politicians and our media of leading we the people astray through their adherence and belief in representative democracy – aka democratized dictatorship – but even more culpable are those who, presented with the means to change and improve our lives, have then sat on said means and done nowt. I refer of course to The Harrogate Agenda.

Once more at this point, I am again reminded of a quote, reputedly by Nelson Mandela: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

So, a final question: who is most to blame for the plight in which the people find themselves wherein personal freedom is concerned, coupled with the future of their country? Those who I suspect do know – albeit by their adherence to democratized dictatorship through which they retain their power and control – and will not recognize a more democratic alternative of government; or  those who knowing that a better system of government exists, one that does put the people ‘in charge, then make no effort to educate them of that better system

You, dear reader, decide.

Integration

We appear, within the United Kingdom, to have a problem with the integration of immigrants and said problem is one which is not helped by the ‘politically correct brigade’ who would have us believe that the right of immigrants to maintain their native culture is their right and one that is above anything else.

When moving to a new country is there not an obligation on the part of an immigrant to respect the customs and traditions of your new ‘host country’; is there not an obligation on the part of the immigrant not only to learn the language of the host country, but also not to make a blatant attempt to mark yourself as ‘different’ and in so doing ‘demand’ acceptance of your culture, citing human rights?

Perhaps the example of Switzerland should be adopted? Perhaps bolted on to any immigration acceptance decision should be that a ‘probationary period’ has to be served and that the final decision about an immigrant’s acceptance rests with those from their own community? Should not the proviso be made to immigrants that break that probationary period, or at any time thereafter; and back they go from whence they came?

When one considers that in Switzerland the granting of Swiss citizenship rests not with the Federal Government but with Cantonal Authorities and the immigrant’s community, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned?

Food for thought?

 

A Brexit Question

Within the current system of representative democracy under which we are forced to live, we all know that our politicians are able to take decisions which we have no method of questioning or overturning if we consider them wrong.

To date, when we look at the question resulting from the decision of the people to leave the European Union we can be forgiven if we feel all is not well. So far we have had the likes of David Davis, Liam Fox, Boris Johnson, John Redwood, Bill Cash (the list is virtually endless), all producing ‘verbal diarrhoea’, giving the impression that they haven’t a clue about how to extract this country from the clutches of the European Union. They appear to be stymied about how to control immigration and simultaneously retain access to the Single Market.

The fear that I have – and I’m sure it is one shared by many – is that the end result of their deliberations will be one that leaves the people no better off than they were prior to June 23rd.

The granting of referendums is currently in the hands of our politicians. Having granted the people the right to decide whether we should remain or leave the European Union, is it not logical to demand that they also grant us the final decision to approve or reject the decision on which they have arrived?

When one bears in mind that there must be more of the electorate that are better informed than the ‘650 talking heads sitting on the green benches’; that those whose lives will be affected far outnumber them, then the need for a referendum on their decision cannot – and should not – be ignored.

Of course, living as we do under representative democracy – aka democratised dictatorship – no doubt we, the people, will be ignored; as we are so too often.

The sooner we are able to bring Direct Democracy to this country the sooner we will be able to tell our political class how we wish to live rather then the present situation whereby they are able to tell us how we have to live

 

 

 

Who is the boss – bearing in mind who pays the bill?

On 25th September the Swiss people will decide, in a referendum, whether pensions should be increased; whether the powers of the Swiss secret service should be increased; and whether Switzerland should increase its carbon footprint.

Contrast this ability of the Swiss electorate to decide such matters compared with those in the United Kingdom where the decision is taken by their elected ‘representatives’ over whom they have no control whatsoever where the decision process is concerned.

With regard to the pension system in Switzerland it is well worth following all the links to understand the ‘three pillar system’ – which seems, to me, both sensible and workable. It also overcomes the problems caused by various governments in the UK who have ignored the increasing problem of an ageing population and how to cater for that, financially.

Contrast the second with the situation in the UK where our government arbitrarily decide what will happen where what may be termed ‘snooping’ on private data is concerned.

The third link relates to an initiative by the Green Party and, again, contrast that situation whereby the decision is one for the Swiss people; as against, in the UK, where the decision is made by the European Union, in respect of its environmental  policies; and whereby consequently the UK Parliament is rendered impotent as they have abrogated their powers.

When we look at Demands #4 and #5 of The Harrogate Agenda, which requires that no law or taxes should be imposed without the agreement of those any law might affect or who have to provide funding of same;  then tell me do: which is the more democratic system?

Where ‘Brexit’ is concerned, personally I have but one message to our political class and ‘opinion formers’ who ‘flood’ the media with their views based on their lack of knowledge of such – until they can produce a viable alternative to the only published plan (FlexCit) to accomplish ‘Brexit’ for the benefit of the United Kingdom: Zip It! (@DavidAllenGreen and  his sycophants, please take note!)

Until such time as we, the people, accept that representative democracy is but a form of democratised dictatorship and choose a system of democracy that puts we, the people, in charge of our lives and nation, any talk of Brexit is, I would suggest,  pointless – something that those who have usurped The Harrogate Agenda and those who ‘blindly’ follow FlexCit, need to recognise.

Just saying………..

 

Asleep at t’wheel – definitely not!

Readers may think that I have been asleep at t’wheel in view of the fact it is now nine days since an article appeared on this blog.

I shall be writing about home care agencies and the appalling standard of care which one agency has been providing to a 102 year-old over whom I have power of attorney. Presently I am awaiting a response from her Member of Parliament, namely he of the Witney constituency. Also, as that Member of Parliament does not appear willing to discuss with me the matter of social care in general, even though the two matters are inter-linked, I shall also be writing, in due course, to my Member of Parliament, he of the Easington constituency.

On the subject of democracy I have a trip, taking place at the beginning of September, to Switzerland during which I have meetings arranged with Swiss parliamentarians. Also, on 1st October, I have a meeting scheduled to discuss The Harrogate Agenda. Needless to say I shall be reporting on both. For those on Twitter, they may wish to take note that I shall be using that form of media during my time there, coupled with an article or two.

It is acknowledged that I have also  been somewhat quiet on the subject of Brexit; a matter which will be rectified on my return from Switzerland.

Currently I manage a small portfolio of rental properties which are in the process of being sold, the tenants having been served Section 21 notices to vacate; and as will hopefully be understood, this is taking up a great deal of my time.

In the meantime I will attempt to produce articles, albeit they may be a tad infrequent; and I trust readers will bear with me.