Leading the blind

On the BBC Breakfast News this morning was a fairly long piece about ‘The Northern Powerhouse’; featuring Liverpool and the impovements being made to transport and the docks. The reporter in question then ‘went out’ to garner the views of people about the improvements being made – which were greeted with enthusiasm.

Where the improvements in Liverpool are concerned one may look no further than what have been designated as ‘Priority Routes’ by the European Union – explained here, here and here – and how many of those asked knew that these ‘improvements’ were nothing to do with the Westminster government or any initiative on its part, even though Westminster claims the credit.

Likewise, referring to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, not all is as it seems. Improvements to Teeside, road improvements in the region etc, are all being carried out with ‘financial assistance’, and/or, to comply with the need to provide the ‘feeder’ routes to ‘Priority Project’ routes. Remember, under the last government Regional Develoment Agencies were ‘replaced’ with Local Enterprise Partnerships (same animal, different name). Witness: the North East LEP area funds include £460m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) as well as £10.5m from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). County Durham qualifies for an additional £7.7m from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) (source).

What we are seeing, althought few realise it, is regionalisation by the back door; and the idea behind creating a’Northern Powerhouse’ is just that – but we are hardly likely to hear one politition admit that; after all, have we not recenty been informed that all politicians lie – and so do, deliberately?

When we look at events in the House of Commons today, following the Queen’s Speech, one cannot be reminded of ‘performing monkeys’ – and we, the taxpayer, funds these animals to the tune of £millions per annum? FCS, for the price of admission to London Zoo – and a few bananas – we can enjoy the same show and for a lot less.

The last few words that appeared on a Facebook page today, said it all (whether true or not – but you get my drift):


1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”



And it is expected that the electorate have the ‘nous’ to understand all the aspects of our nation’s membership of the EU and to pass reasoned judgement on that, come a referendum?

Just asking……………………

11 thoughts on “Leading the blind

  1. Vaguely heard an interview on the Beeb this morning relating to the referendum “question” and how it will be worded. It seems that the word “remain” needs to be included for those who aren’t aware that Britain is already a member of the EU!!!
    We have had a government controlled National Curriculum in our state schools since 1989 …

    1. Helen. You may not have seen Rodney Atkinson’s comment on his Freenations website part of which I reproduce for your interest and info. I think it is absolutely vital that the electorate are not gulled into the government’s preferred option for a ‘yes/no’ answer to the question which appears in their Referendum Bill:

      “GOVERNMENT will as usual seek a question and the answer the Government wants will be “Yes” – psychologically an easier vote – while the psychologically harder “No” will be the option the Government does not favour. Doubtless also the first option on the ballot paper will be “Yes”!
      Therefore it is quite clear for any democrat anxious to secure an informed vote that there must be no question – just alternative statements set out on the ballot paper.
      Two alternative statements must by their nature be far more explanatory than the simplistic “Yes-No” – which is why of course politicians tend to avoid such clarity when questioning the true sovereigns (the people) in a ballot.
      At least the Government has restricted the vote on the future of the British to those qualified to vote in British parliamentary elections, but they evidently still need to be persuaded to offer a democratic form of the ballot paper itself.
      The ballot paper should therefore contain two statements, set out in two boxes at the same level on the ballot paper. Those statements should read: “I want the UK to accept membership of the European Union” and “I want the UK to form a free trading self governing relationship with the European Union”.

      1. Going back to my comment about a National Curriculum (and I agree totally with what you have said) – people would have to be able to read to choose between two statements, guessing is possible with “Yes” and “No”.

        1. Thanks Helen. Assuming for a moment that the vast majority of the electorate can intelligently and broadly discern what is behind the referendum question the guv’mnt offers, there is another important reason why NO question should be posed.
          It is because of the deception involved in the phrase “or REMAIN in the European Union.
          We know that a “yes” vote would mean staying in the EU as it now is, and definitely not a “reformed” EU.
          Even now it is becoming apparent that DC’s negotiations will amount to not much more than “a row of beans” – I.e minimal and superficial concessions from our masters in Brussels.
          That being the case, the guv’mnt is really asking for a continuance of the unacceptable (to the British people) status quo. It is for that reason therefore that the alternative option of voting for a free trading relationship should also be presented. (In fact, what the vast majority of the electorate thought they were voting for in the ’75 referendum!)
          That is why we all need to inform the Electoral Commission that we need to offer the two statements which are neutral and balanced politically, instead of the simplistic and inadequate Yes/no biased option favoured in the Bill.3

          1. I really do agree with you Graham but it is going to take an awful lot of work to get any kind of understanding / interest in the issue from a large proportion of the population. After all, our “first past the post” electoral system just regularly proves to a significant proportion of the population that their votes don’t count, so they stop listening and they stop voting.
            I suppose in view of simplicity and the quick responses required in modern life the “third option” could be presented and the vote could be “YES”, “NO” or “MAYBE”. (Joking of course).

  2. David,

    Have you just realised that we are governed by an Institution which relies on morons, fools and criminals to be gently eased into power? I have been stating the blindingly-obvious for years; but, strangely enough, no-one at Westminster takes one iota of notice. After all, the 650-odd are not fools themselves, they know which side of their bread is buttered; and they would no more institute any sort of IQ test being given to a prospective voter than attempt to fly, unaided, through the air.

    True, we were asked if we would use an Alternate Vote, but the system supported would probably result in Coalition following Coalition, with government by compromise, and nothing much getting done.

    What this Country really needs is a good, solid, bloody Revolution, then we can massacre all the politicians, along with the whole Governing elite, quango queens and charity sobsters included, then start again along the lines of our good friends from across the Pond. Mabel and Shortstop should stay, along with the grandsons, Kate and the two kids, but Beatrice and Eugenie should prepare for a short ride in a horse-drawn cart.

    Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
    L’opprobre de tous les partis,

  3. “Where the improvements in Liverpool are concerned……”

    Off topic, perhaps, but I see Derek Hatton is looking to rejoin the Labour party!

  4. 14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

    “And it is expected that the electorate have the ‘nous’ to understand all the aspects of our nation’s membership of the EU and to pass reasoned judgement on that, come a referendum?”

    To give the electorate the benefit of the doubt, they are each experts in their own fields – hairdressing, for example – and live lives far too busy (and too short!) to acquire expertise in all aspects of our EU membership. And of course it should not be expected or demanded of them.

    That’s why a referendum vote should ascertain public consent for EU membership only – on the grounds that withheld consent just results in an (Article 50) agreement for a different type of relationship… which they can then vote to have instead, once it’s ready. This is explained in much more detail at exeunt.co.uk

  5. What’s with all the quotes from Labour voters? Don’t worry about how they vote, their betters in the Labour party will tell them what to do. Their simple minds will not understand that power has to be given by the people to those who govern and this has not happened with regard to the EU. Unfortunately the politicians wanting to stay in the EU are more interested in getting on the Brussels gravy train than what is beneficial for the people. Self interest.

  6. I knew the “education system” was bad but bl**dy hell that is astonishing. It is going to make it very difficult, impossible, to win an out vote, unless we can rely on the dislike of the idiots for the inhabitants of other Countries.

Comments are closed.