Category Archives: Main

“We need to change the system”.

Readers of this blog will be aware that for some time now I have complained about the deficiencies inherent within our current system of representative democracy, the lack of knowledge – and thus expertise – exhibited by our politicians; coupled with the inability of the electorate to hold said politicians to daily account.

Today I posted on Twitter the following which elicited an almost immediate response :

This prompted me to take the matter further – via Direct Message – producing this exchange:

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A ‘Break Well’ made?

Dame Glynis Marie Breakwell, DBE, DL, FRSA, FAcSS has announced she is standing down as Vice Chancellor of Bath University.

There has been much criticism,  according to the linked report above, about her conflict of interests; for example sitting on and chairing the remuneration committee, resulting in a damning report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, after it investigated the conduct of the university’s remuneration committee and the events of (sic) university court meeting in February; a committee that since 2011 had hiked her pay dramatically, by nearly £200,000 in the space of five years.

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Bigotry ‘Trumps’ free speech?

With all the furore about Donald Trump retweeting something from Britain First (of which this is but one example) does, in my opinion, beggar belief.

Was not Ukip considered ‘far-right’ at one time? Did that party not force David Cameron to promise a referendum on this nation’s membership of the EU in a bid to claw back those members of the electorate that had left his party and transited to Ukip?

On a personal level I see a great deal on Twitter and in the media with which I disagree  but I don’t make a ‘song and dance’ about it as I believe everyone has a right to their views and should be able to espouse them. Neither do I think that anyone should be taken to court for having said something that offends ‘them’, ie the ‘guardians’ of society.

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Pennies do drop – eventually

I stumbled upon the following on twitter:

Yes, Corbyn and his ilk are abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society; and under representative democracy we can do nothing to stop politicians wrecking our society, nor our country. In respect of Trump and his ‘twitter-outpourings’, it matters not what ones views are, what matters is the right of an individual to decide for himself/herself whether they agree or disagree. It is not the place for politicians or any political party to inform us what we may say, do, or think – least of all think. A life belongs to an individual, not to any politician or a political party  and so consequently it is the right of any individual to decide that to which they will listen and/or read;

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Paul Evans (who?) political writer reckons that the ballot box allows politicians to treat voters like dummies while not allowing us to tell our government what we want them to do – and, in this regard, he is quite correct. Unfortunately, what follows is, in my opinion, total spheroids being completely unworkable coupled with being unmanageable. In fact, bearing in mind his occupation, it is possible that many would hold him and his views in contempt.

On the subject of contempt, we read that Keir Starmer is suggesting David Davis may be ‘in contempt of Parliament’ after the government handed over heavily edited analyses on the impact of leaving the EU to a select committee. Never mind ‘contempt of Parliament’, how about ‘contempt of the electorate; something of which MPs in Parliament are guilty on a daily basis.

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Democratised Dictatorship

Readers of this blog and its predecessor, Witterings from Witney, will be aware that I have continually complained that the form of democracy – representative democracy – under which we live is but one of democratised dictatorship.

To illustrate the foregoing statement, let me first give two examples:

  • The electorate have no means by which they can show their disapproval with any decision taken by their government of the day, at the time said decision is announced and implemented. Neither do the electorate have recourse to demand that their government of the day cease that which they intend to do.
  • Political manifestos are but carefully worded documents, in that proposed courses of action are short on detail to the extent that when enacted the result is not that which the electorate were led to believe it would be.

I suppose the most grievous dictatorial decision is noted by Richard North , an article  which includes these words:

…… but the truth of the matter is that, when it came to the core Brexit strategy, everyone was ignored. Rarely – even in the most rigorous of dictatorships – have we seen such a tightly-framed decision process where matters of such great importance have undergone such little debate.

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A long weekend break

(Click watch on youtube)

We are there for four days to celebrate my beloved Helen’s birthday as she has never been there before – although I have, a few years ago. On the list of ‘must sees’ are two cathedrals (Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia  and the Cathedral of Barcelona, the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona) and Poble Espanyol, plus some ‘window shopping’, the latter I understand to be a ‘girlie thing’. On the ‘upside’ the BBC weather forecast is showing a projected 16/17 degrees  which is a tad warmer than it is currently ‘up North East’.

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Democracy: the meaning of………

…… which so many of our politicians do not seem to understand.

Reading the Hansard report of yesterday’s debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill there were many usages of the word ‘democracy’; and not one Member of Parliament appears to understand, or have any knowledge of the meaning and derivation of the word.

Witness Bill Cash (Sir) and from his speech (4:45pm):

The Bill and this whole issue are about one main question, namely democracy, which is what everything else necessarily flows from. All the economic arguments and questions relating to trade and other matters are ultimately dependent on the question of whether we have the right to govern ourselves in this sacred House of Commons. That is the basis on which the people of this country make decisions, of their own free choice, in general elections—whether it is to vote for the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP or the Conservative party—and then a decision is made in this House as to how they will be governed (my emphasis).

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Why did he bother?

(click to enlarge)

Sitting on the seafront at Seaham, a war-weary Tommy sits thoughtfully, head bowed with rifle in hand, as he reflects upon the sheer horror of World War One during the first minute after peace was declared in 1918. The piece, called 1101 but known locally as Tommy, was inspired by World War One and is named to reflect the first minute of peace.

Built out of special corteen steel, it had been installed on Seaham seafront in Country Durham to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War and initially was on loan for three months. This work of art was created by local artist Ray Lonsdale, who got his idea for the piece after hearing a story about a soldier from nearby Murton who won a war medal. The people of Seaham raised £60,000 of the £85,000 price tag while Seaham Council donated the remainder.

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