What is the point….

…..wasting one’s time and effort complaining, unless of course, one is prepared to make time to actually attempt to right the wrong that annoys/frustrates one?

The question is posed as, lately, we have witnessed the ‘twitterati’ complaining about incumbents of the House of Lords not ‘doing their jobs (with pictures of them apparently asleep on the red benches), yet ‘pocketing’ their £300 daily allowance.

On that point two articles immediately spring to mind: one on Politics Home (no link) and the other in the Mail, repeating the content on Politics Home,  in which Baroness d’Souza relates the occasion she saw a Peer alight from a taxi, while having it wait, to dash inside the HoL – as she put it: presumably to claim his daily allowance and then dashing out to re-board his taxi.  Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of theElectoral Reform Society, was quick to condemn this incident, stating (according to Politics Home): Lets fix this broken House before the situation gets any worse – if only we could ‘fix’ the Electoral Reform Society; but I digress.

Not that it would appear Baroness d’Souza is free of criticism when it is recorded that she, as Leader of the House of Lords, kept a chauffeur-driven car waiting while she attended an opera at a cost of £230; or spent £270 while a car waited four and a half hours for her to have lunch with a Japanese ambassador in central London.

When one Peer is of the opinion that the HoL is the best day care centre for the elderly in London; and that Families can drop in him or her and make sure that the staff will look after them very well nice meals subsidised by the taxpayer, and they can have a snooze in the afternoon in the chamber or in the library; when incumbents are there purely as a result of the patronage of the government of the day, rewarded for either keeping their mouth shut or opening their mouth or their purse at a particular moment in time; when the HoL is  second only in size to the Chinese people’s congress, then surely there must be a case for reform.

But why leave it there? When the there is no separation twixt Executive and Legislature within government; when a miniscule section of the voting population can decide which ‘chosen’ individual can stand for election in a constituency (whether that be by their political party or the local constituency association), then is there not a case for reform? When a ‘know-not-all’ can succeed another ‘know-not-all’ as leader of their party (think Nuttall/Farage) – although that may be a tad unfair because in recent times can any one name any political party where this has not been the norm – is it not time for reform?

Returning to the statement encapsulated in the first paragraph, I can but point to the graphic which forms the ‘header’to the hompage of  DD4UK: To make democracy work we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers.

That there is much wrong with this nation of ours; and especially where its form of democracy is concerned, must be a ‘given’, even to one who is blind; so I have to say this: if you are content to accept your life – and that of your nation – is to be ‘directed’ by those over whom you have no real control and who obviously know nowt but would have us believe they know all; then you need do nothing but continue to lead what you believe are your blissful lives.

If on the other hand,you feel as I do that our lives are worthless and are but pawns in a game played by politicians, then I ask you to remember that people should not be afraid of their governments, but that governments should be afraid of their people (works in Switzerland).

To all those ‘complaining’, the answer is simple: get involved, – do something, make time to get involved.  Don’t just sit there, complaining! All this crap about the meek shall inherit the earth their nation is just that – crap!

So c’mon people – arise and be counted!


What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander – unfortunately

According to the Cambridge Dictionary one definition of this saying is that it is said: to emphasize that if one person is allowed to do something or to behave in a particular way, then another person must be allowed to do that thing or behave in that way, too.

Much is made of a ‘supposed’ statement by Winston Churchill: We are with Europe but not of it; we are linked but not compromised. We are associated but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.

The word ‘supposed’ is used as it is inferred, by those with a fondness to quote it, that those words are an extract from a speech he gave at one time or another.

According to this blog the quotation mentioned in paragraph two of this article did not – and could not – have happened. Therefore the continued use of the purported phrase mentioned in paragraph two is a classic example of a phrase being used time and time again and on thus are articles written –  even though the authors of such articles are clueless of the crime they commit –  when a little effort shows that said authors have not carried out the necessary research to authenticate that which they assert.

,The preceding paragraph does not stop David Hannay, writing this article, about May’s decision not to attend the 60th celebrations of the founding of the European Union, from which I quote: Do we really believe that the decision taken 60 years ago by our closest neighbours, allies and partners to put behind them definitively the internecine warfare which had led to two world wars, on the explicit advice of Winston Churchill in his famous Zurich speech of 1946, is not an event which we should be celebrating too?

Hannay is guilty, as are so many – especially among our Ukip fraternity – of assuming  a ‘misquote’ as fact; of which this is the actual text. Nowhere in that speech did Churchill state that the United Kingdom must be part of his vision – one only has to read his last sentence: Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America, and I trust Soviet Russia – for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.

Referring back to paragraph two of this article -and in particular to the last sentence of what is a misquote – from this article can be found the source of the second sentence; again from which I quote: It appeared in Churchill’s “The United States of Europe,” published in The Saturday Evening Post in America and John Bull in England on 15 February 1930. On 29 May 1938, just before Munich put an end to such happy musings, it was republished in The News of the World as, “Why Not ‘The United States of Europe’?” It appears in book form only in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Volume II “Churchill and Politics,” London: Library of Imperial History 1976, pp. 176-86.

Is it not time that Churchills’s words are not misquoted; ie, parts of separate speeches combined to present a ‘false statement’?

An argument may well be presented that Hannay is correct in assuming that May did not wish to attend the EU’s 60th celebrations because:she did not want to face the criticism from her own benches for attending a celebratory gathering of an organisation which many of them sincerely hate and would be happy to see broken up,

The problem with that statement is that Hannay – along with so many others – fails to recognise why the European Union is unnecessary in the first place. Neither Hannay, – nor unfortunately May – recognise that the European Union is but a ‘middle-man’ where the setting of standards are concerned. As I intimated in this article: who needs a middle man with its associated, additional, costs, not that May – or any other politician – understands that? Mind you, it will be noted that in the article linked to in this paragraph one politician did realise this fact; unfortunately he appears to have undergone a Damascene conversion

Is it not time, where Brexit is concerned, politicians and the media told us the truth; is it not time, on other and all matters affecting our nation, that politicians told us the truth; is it not time that we had politicians who remembered why they we elected and forgot heir political party loyalty?

Of course to all our woes and dissatisfaction with our political class and media, there is an alternative.




Begone I say, you are no Parliament

For far too long those that sit on the green benches in the House of Commons, or on the red benches in the House of Lords, have sat there under false pretence.

Since 1972 they would have us believe they govern this nation of ours, yet they have not due to the fact they ceded their right to govern when they acquiesced their power to so do to the European Union.

Since then they have taken little, if any, interest in the governance of our nation nor, come to that, little or no interest in matters EU; yet now they clamour for a voice in the process of leaving an organisation in which, up to now, they have shown no interest.

According to Wikipedia we find that, in 1653, after learning that Parliament was attempting to stay in session despite an agreement to dissolve, and having failed to come up with a working constitution, Cromwell’s patience ran out. On 20 April he attended a sitting of Parliament and listened to one or two speeches. Then he stood up and harangued the members of the Rump. This speech does not survive but has often been paraphrased, for instance in the Book of Days:  You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

Again, according to Wikipedia (same link) a more detailed record of the event is recounted by Thomas Salmon in his Chronological Historian (London, 1723, 106), thus: Cromwell commanded the Speaker to leave the Chair, and told them they had sat long enough, crying out “You are no longer a Parliament, I say you are no Parliament”. He told Sir Henry Vane he was a Jugler [sic]; Henry Martin and Sir Peter Wentworth, that they were Whoremasters; Thomas Chaloner, he was a Drunkard; and Allen the Goldsmith that he cheated the Publick: Then he bid one of his Soldiers take away that Fool’s Bauble the mace and Thomas Harrison pulled the Speaker of the Chair; and in short Cromwell having turned them all out of the House, lock’d up the Doors and returned to Whitehall.

Is it not on record that some MPs are drunkards, is it no longer recognised that MPs are whoremasters as they increase their remuneration solely on the back of their being MPs  (and where the term ‘whoremasters’ is concerned, not just for financial gain), have they all not ‘cheated the public’ at one time or another (albeit that it is always within the rules – rules they devised)?

Anarchy can be described as a a society without a publicly enforced government. Under representative democracy where is, or can there be, publicly enforced government? It could be said that presently this nation is an oligarchy because does not power rest with a small number of people (650)? Are not those currently in power distinguished by wealth family ties or ‘corporate control’ – and in view of the latter, are not MPs the result of selection by their political parties?

At one time or another we all rail at government (whatever its persuasion) – and for what purpose? Yes, we can turn out one lot for another, but what does that achieve for us as individuals? One cannot help but be reminded of that well known phrase: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Just what to these 650 do for the people of this nation and why are they therefore funded from the public purse? Is it not time that we the, people, entered Parliament, turfed the lot of them out, then locked the doors and returned home? For what good they currently do – or have done – would their absence be noticed?

If we, the people, are prepared to sit on the sidelines and accept that which is imposed on us without complaint then the words of Galations comes to mind; (paraphrasing) as you sow, so shall you reap. On the other hand, as Louis L’Amor said: To make democracy work we need to be a nation of participants, not observers.

So people, are you to be led like sheep to your doom – or are you prepared not to be observers but to participate in how you can lead your lives — and decide the future of your nation?



A missed opportunity?

For those of us who keep a ‘close eye’ on ‘developments Brexit’ it will not have escaped the attention of some that amongst all the talk of the United Kingdom ceasing its membership of the European Union – while wishing the European Union no harm, etc, etc- only one voice has asked the question: why do we need the European Union? As an aside there were two voices, but one of them was a politician (of whom more in a minute) who, in the intervening period appears to have changed his tune – presumably because he was handed another ‘hymn sheet’ (you know the one: it contains the phrase: be a good boy,  ‘don’t make waves’, following which: behave, ‘fall into line’; and you’ll soon be a Secretary of State again). Oh, how are the mighty fallen – but resurrected once they have had their 15 minutes of ‘rebellious fame’.

I am at a loss to understand why any politician in our nation would wish to give the ‘kiss of life’ to an organization that is, in effect, breathing its last due to the fact that the need for its existence has been overtaken by events. Let us, initially, acknowledge that two men (Monnet and Salter) recognized a ‘gap in the market’, one which would bring them – and their disciples – power and fortune. Whether it brought them fortune or power is open to question as those two are now no longer with us – but it sure as hell has for their disciples.

It is a known fact that approximately 80% of what is called ‘EU law’ actually emanates from United Nation bodies – such as UNECE and Codex, to name but two – and whilst our politicians are, no doubt, well aware of this fact, that they do not acknowledge it is probably due to the fact that it diminishes their self-proclaimed right to ‘set our laws’. Knowing this as they do I, for one, find it incredulous that they appear willing to ‘prop-up’ a failing supra-national body which is no longer needed – if it ever was in the first place.

Amongst all the ranting about Theresa May’s views with regard to Brexit, as an aside I have to say I find it ludicrous that MPs appear so obsessed with the subject of whether EU nationals will have the right to remain in the UK once we have left (and vice-versa), when there are far more pressing subjects such as the continuation of trade – but I digress.

Guy Verhostadt has admitted on the BBC that the EU faces possible ‘disintegration’ and in this regard not much, if anything,  appears to have been mentioned by those bloggers who are considered ‘must reads’. Where ‘disintegration’ is concerned, I would suggest that too little has been focused on the possible upheaval that could be caused in the Brexit debate were Gert Wilders to succeed in the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen in France; and adding in Denmark, together with the Eastern Europe Member States (Hungary and Poland spring to mind), just how many of these countries are waiting to see how the UK fares, prior to declaring they too wish to ‘jump ship’?

It cannot be denied that history shows the United Kingdom has not only ‘led the world’- but that it has also ‘led Europe’ – is it not time the UK resumed this leadership? Has- and is it not time – that our politicians held/have talks with the likes of Wilders, Le Pen and the other aforementioned nations with a view to accumulating a group of countries willing to speak with one voice; in effect saying to the EU: we don’t need you – we’re leaving.

In the first paragraph I mentioned two voices querying why we (the UK) need the European Union. One is Richard North (FlexCit: pp 200-210) and the other was Owen Paterson with a speech (google: owen paterson heritage foundation washington speech [should be top hit] – opens in pdf) given to the Heritage Foundation in Washington a few years ago – as I wrote, he appears to have changed his tune somewhat; or suffered a loss of memory?

Helle Haganau first came to the attention of most people when she appeared on a Newsnight programme and ‘stunned’ those of us interested in ‘matters EU’ by announcing that Norway is not ‘governed by fax’ (contrary to what we were led to believe at the time) and had a veto over EU directives and had exercised such where the Third Postal Directive was concerned.

While I have been an advocate of EFTA/EEA membership, as proposed by Richard North in FlexCit, in the interim period we may spend there it may not be the ‘bed of roses’ it appears. HelleHagenau has posted an article here – (click on ‘The EEA – A warning from Norway’ (opens in pdf – do read) which suggests that the EU has been ‘tightening its grip on the EEA’ in its usual ‘salami slicing’ – this would suggest that were we to follow the EFTA/EEA route there is much to beware.

This leads one to query whether there is something to be gained by investigating that which is suggested in paragraph six of this article? Were the UK and France to ‘leave’ (bearing in mind they are both nuclear powers  and have an ‘armed might’ worthy of consideration), notwithstanding the loss of possibly four more member states; might that not put the boot on the other foot where UK negotiations were concerned?

Food for thought……………?






A word to the unwise

To those who are of the opinion that Brexit can be swiftly resolved, I can only refer them to the ‘interview‘ of Sir Ivan Rogers by the European Scrutiny Committee. Those in Ukip, together with those of similar views, do need to watch this video – and listen and learn!

Richard Drax (at 10:29:00) posed a question using the analogy of belonging to a golf club and in terminating that membership stating that one is not liable for any future payment. The man obviously does not understand the difference twixt a payment and a commitment to pay. Unfortunately he is but one of 650, it seems, who has not a clue about matters EU – and these are people we are forced to pay in order that they may take decisions on our behalf for our benefit?

At (starts at 11:01:00) Sir Ivan mentioned FlexCit and Richard North in respect of an exit strategy – yet not one member of the committee picked up on this; and it could be said that even the Chairman of this Committee ‘Cash’d’ out. Either members of this Committee are aware of the document and its author, in which case they exhibit an arrogance by ignoring it; or, they are ignorant of its existence and exhibit an arrogance in not querying its mention.

We have today had published (opens in pdf format from link therein) the Government’s White Paper detailing the United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union. If they can accomplish everything it contains (and the extra it does not mention) within their timescale – and without  any detriment to the UK – then I’ll eat my hat (which by the way is made not of straw [Jack or Will] but strawberry cheesecake).

Why is it that I feel I have landed in the world of Lewis Carroll and am one of  x million ‘Alices’ talking to 650 Humpty Dumpty’s sat on a wall?


The North East of England to be ‘blighted’ again?

It is often said, especially by those who live here (and it would appear with some justification) that closure of the coal mining pits caused severe hardship as a result of greatly increased unemployment and bitter divisions within communities, even within families. This was especially the case in Seaham and the immediate surrounding area.

Seaham had three collieries: Vane Tempest, Dawdon and ‘The Knack’; while just a few miles away there were other collieries located at Easington, Murton and Horden. After nearly three decades Seaham has recovered, Murton is still recovering, Horden has become a suburb of Peterlee, while Easington still exhibits a ‘dead/run-down’ appearance.

The foregoing is mentioned as an introduction to two articles by Richard North, here and here, dealing with what might be the effects of a ‘Theresa May Brexit’ on the air and shipping industries.

Bearing in mind those reports, in the North East there are ports at Tyneside, Teesport, Hartlepool, Billingham and Seaham. Where airports are concerned there is Newcastle International and Durham Tees Valley.

If we  look at shipping first, Tyneside has [from the annual accounts (downloads as pdf)] full-time jobs supported directly or indirectly by the Port of circa 14,500. The Port’s International Passenger Terminal continued to contribute over £50 million to
the GVA [Gross value added (GVA) is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy], supporting the travel and tourism sector in particular. The gross tonnage of ships entering the River Tyne was 25.7 million tonnes in 2015, with the number of vessel movements amounting to 2,816. The number of cars handled across the Port’s three car terminals, that provide storage for Nissan, VW / Audi, was 581k units. The volume of Nissan exports remained strong and as a result the business retained its position as the UK’s No.2 car exporting port.

Teesport handles circa 5,000 vessels each year and around 40 million tonnes of cargo. In addition steel, petrochemical, agribulks, manufacturing, engineering and high street commerce operations are all supported through Teesport.

Hartlepool is just three miles away from Teesport, and is at the heart of Hartlepool’s local economy, with bulk cargo facilities alongside the oil & gas sectors and the renewable offshore wind energy market.

Billingham is a strategic location to support the significant number of processing plants located within the town’s immediate hinterland and has one of the largest warehousing and cross-docking complexes within the Tees Valley.

Seaham can handle ships of up to 8,000 tonnes, with a maximum beam of 18m, length up to 120m and draft up to 6.7m and in 2016 it had 215 ship entries to the harbour. The  harbour handles imports of forest products and steel while exports comprise limestone and woodchip. Both imports and exports involve vessel movements to and from Spain, Norway and Germany. Seaham harbour has a workforce of circa 90/100 employees.

It was of interest to see yesterday that following the Prime Minister’s speech on the Government’s objectives for Brexit negotiations, the British Ports Association (BPA) is holding discussions with the government to understand the details of its post-Brexit vision and how customs and other procedures at ports might be affected. With the Prime Minister indicating that the UK will be leaving the Single Market, the BPA will be seeking to ensure that the logistical flows of goods and passengers at ports will not be disrupted.

As stated above the North East has two airports, Newcastle International and Durham Tees Valley; although the latter only has a few daily flights, one of which is KLM. On the other hand Newcastle has flights worldwide including to the European Union. Airlines involved are British Airways (via Heathrow), Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Emirates, Air France, Easyjet and KLM.

You, the people, are able to address every Member of Parliament and inform them that having been ‘sold down the river’ in 1972 and 1975 (not forgetting the following 40+ years of EU membership) that this is the end of our acquiescence to ‘pilates’ who have no real sense of direction because they know nothing and thus would lead us up a cul-de-sac, whilst appearing to have washed their hands of those whose opinions they are supposed to reflect, purely for reasons of political ideology.

Are those of the North East – and in particular those of this area,  once again to suffer severe hardship as a result of greatly increased unemployment and bitter divisions within communities, even within families without their voices being heard? The question is asked because as sure as hell if Theresa May progresses down the path she appears to have chosen, the North East will once again be blighted’; as will the remainder of the United Kingdom.


British politics at its finest – or lowest?

It is assumed by all and sundry. especially other so-called democracies, that the weekly session known as Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) demonstrates the British political system ‘at its best’; in that ordinary  Members of Parliament, ie those not ‘holding an office’ of some description, have the opportunity to ask the Leader of the Government of the day any question they wish. This ability to so do is believed to be an example of democracy in action.

How little those that envy the British system actually know.

Members of Parliament are elected to supposedly represent the interests of their constituents, yet repeatedly, where the party in government is concerned, are known to ask questions supplied to them by their party whips. They agree to this for two reasons: (a): to increase the chances of their being able to ‘climb the ladder to fame and fortune’; and, (b): to allow their leader to ‘crow’ about the achievements (some imaginary) of the government. Not that opposition MPs are any different, they too do exactly the same in the hope their party can embarrass the government of the day; and that they may be ‘noticed’ and thus gain a ‘Shadow’ Front Bench position.. Generally, such questions are easy to spot as they are invariably ‘read out’ from what might be called a crib-sheet.

That this weekly event is termed ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ is in itself a misnomer as yet again, invariably, the question raised is not answered as, more often than not, the Prime Minister of the day will just ignore the question and then talk about something different; and in so doing attempt to conjure up a ‘soundbite’ for that evening’s television news and the next day’s newspapers.

Did not David Cameron, upon his election as party leader in 2005, state that he was: fed up with the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster, the name-calling, backbiting, point-scoring, finger-pointing – that assertion lasted all of ‘five minutes’; and examples of his juvenile (typical political) behaviour are numerous on youtube (calm down dear – listen to the doctor?)  try (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heDiKUgG794)  – and behind him we see and hear what can only be described as a baying mob egging him on. Did not Jeremy Corbyn, on assuming the office of Leader of the Opposition from Ed Miliband, promise an end to personal attacks and did not Cameron respond by informing him to: put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem?  This is democracy in action, this is politics in action, something to be held in high regard?

While those who feel they should be ‘revered’ and held in high regard because of their position in our society, who feel they should be held in high regard for their knowledge of ‘matters of state’ continue to act like juveniles and unknowing idiots, who feel able to legislate on morality, while exhibiting a lack in that matter – then why should we, the electorate,  accord them our respect? Why should we listen to one word they say? More to the point, why should we allow them to exist and fund their activities?

Currently we have the unedifying spectacle of MPs clamouring for their voice to be heard on the matter of Brexit, but who for the last 43 years have seemed disinterested in the developments that have led to Brexit. On this subject there is another unedifying spectacle of MPs who, remember, are elected to represent the views of their constituents now ignoring those views and proclaiming they voted to remain a member of the European Union and still believe they were right to so do.

Bearing in mind that our nation has a special relationship with the USA – and where they lead we tend to follow – courtesy is due to Ian Parker-Joseph who alerted me to this video. So all one can say to our politicians – who assure us they know best – most definitely does not contain the word ‘thanks’.

Just saying………..



In the words of Humpty Dumpty……

Has it been noticed that on assuming office national leaders invariably state their people matter and that they are but servants of the people; they state the need for change, in some instances having happily served under policies mandated by their predecessor, but then maintain those policies were wrong.

Cast your minds back, starting with

Tony Blair, who said:

…….And it will be a government that seeks to restore trust in politics in this country. That cleans it up, that decentralizes it, that gives people hope once again that politics is and always should be about the service of the public……

(that went well, did it not?)

Next, Gordon Brown, who said:

…….As Prime Minister I will continue to listen and learn from the British people. I’ve heard the need for change………change to build trust in government, change to protect and extend the British way of life. And this need for change cannot be met by the old politics………….

(that went well, too, did it not?)

Next David Cameron, who said:

…….One of the tasks that we clearly have is to rebuild trust in our political system. Yes that’s about cleaning up expenses, yes that is about reforming parliament, and yes it is about making sure people are in control – and that the politicians are always their servant and never their masters……….

(that went well also, did it not?)

Next, Theresa May, who said:

…The government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives….When we take the big calls we will think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws we will listen not to the mighty, but to you…….

(will that go well? We shall see). Unfortunately the portents in respect of Brexit, to date, would leave one to question her knowledge of the subject matter).

If we look at the foregoing four statements, not once have the people of this nation had the opportunity to question, on a day-to-day basis, the policy decisions of their government. Governments may say they will listen, they may say they are but servants of the people, but have yet to demonstrate that they are unconditionally.

Just why is it that time and time again we hear the words of good intent from our politicians; and time and time again when they fail to deliver we still vote them back into power?

The latest example of ‘good intent’ has come from Donald Trump who,in his inauguration speech, said:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another – but transferring it from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people. For too long a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. While they have celebrated there has been little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your celebration. And this – the United States of America – is your country. What truly matters is not what party controls our government but that this government is controlled by the people. Today, January 20 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

For anyone who believes in democracy per se then his words are a beacon of hope to the world – and if Donald Trump lives up to his words regarding democracy per se (which may be doubtful as he is now a politician), then he will be the first to have so done since the mid-19th century.

  Humpty Dumpty said:

When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.


A missive to members of the EEUSC (2)

Returning to a previous article in respect of the recent report by the Exiting the European Union Select Committee and the fact that, bar one MP who courteously dealt with the query raised, the replies received have all contained the mantra that they are unable to help me unless I am a constituent of theirs. I find myself unable to let matters rest, consequently have forwarded yet another email to those MPs attempting to hide behind their self-imposed rule. The MPs in question are: Peter Grant, Patrick McFadden, Hilary Benn, Andrea Jenkyns, Maria Caufield, Alistair Burt, Jeremy Lefroy, Michael Gove and Emma Reynolds.

Further to my email to all members of the Exit the European Union Select Committee (EEUSC), I thank you for your response advising me that if I am not your constituent you are then unable to deal with any request and/or communication from me.

While it is acknowledged that, in theory, a select committee is answerable to the House of Commons, said committee has made public a report to the House, a report to which you are all, de facto, signatories. You are, therefore, by making this report public, also addressing it to the public for their perusal and, subsequently, any questions they may have on the contents therein. As a result I fail to see the relevance of your reply, or the content contained therein.

For those unfamiliar with the word, anodyne means: intended to avoid causing offence or disagreement, especially by not expressing strong feelings or opinions

Andrew Kennon, Clerk of Committees in the House of Commons, in delivering the first Open Lecture on 9 March 2012 on the subject of Select Committees, is on record stating that it was the work of Select Committees to hold the Government to account. Perhaps you can explain how any government of the day can be held to account when one of its members considers a report issued by the EEUSC: ‘anodyne’?

Reverting to the point that Select Committees are supposed to hold the government of the day to account, the fact that members of a select committee (MPs) are elected by other MPs; and then their findings are ‘watered down’ for what ever reason, one has to ask just what use are those findings? If said findings are then made public but the public, having questioned the contents, are denied a response – just how is democracy per se thus served?

As you should be aware the word democracy is derived from the Greek: demokratia which in turn is derived from the combination of two words: demos: people; and kratos: power. If those elected by the people then ignore contact with them by the people, can one not argue that we then have a situation which can best be described as democratised dictatorship – especially when those elected hide behind a ruling of their own making? Wherefore democracy; and likewise wherefore people power? Surely logic dictates that: (a) without day-to-day interaction twixt those elected to power and those that elect those to exercise the power to which they were elected: and, (b) if those elected then ignore those that elected them (for whatever reason), one can but repeat the question: is the result not a form of democratised dictatorship?

I ask a question of you: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? The electorate, on a day-to-day basis, cannot ‘control’ MPs, unless in their benevolence said MPs grant the electorate a referendum; and if the electorate cannot and the offices of parliament do not – and in this instance obviously do not out of choice – can one not justifiably ask yet again: wherefore democracy? When a situation arises in which the watchers are but part of the watched, to paraphrase Hamlet: is there not something rotten with democracy in the state of the UK?

As you will each have surmised from my email address I am not a constituent of any member of the EEUSC; and in conclusion two points must be made:

(a) by not allowing any member of the electorate, other than a constituent, to question your findings, you are in effect disenfranchising the majority of the electorate in this nation, and;

(b) continuance of your failure to enter into debate with a member of the electorate can only mean you give not a fig for democracy, nor for a member of the electorate.


David Phipps


The Lady has spoken – ‘may’ she be right

So the long-heralded speech by our Prime Minister on Brexit has taken place – and we must make of it what we will.

For those advocating a move ‘sideways’ to EFTA/EEA there is disappointment – and for those wanting out of the Single Market and the Customs Union there can only be mixed feelings as she said that she does not want this nation to have an associate membership of the European Union, but it would appear she is willing to accept, if necessary, some form of associate membership of the Customs Union. A tad odd, no?

Theresa May mentions talks she has had with Juncker, Tusk (or is that  Tsk?) and Schulz, together with the leaders of the 27, all of who want a good relationship with the United Kingdom – that may be, but some of those leaders may not be there in a few months; so do the views of Schulz and others who will no longer be on the scene count for much?

There has been much condemnation and belittling of Mays approach from those pushing EFTA/EEA and those pushing for a total exit from the Single Market and the Customs Union. For some time we have heard much ‘sabre-rattling’ about the ‘sanctity’ of the ‘four freedoms’ from the heads of other EU states, together with similar from Juncker and Schulz,

However, what this speech by May has done has been to plant the ball over the net and deep into the EU’s court. Now we must wait and see whether they can return her service. We spectators at the EU/UK tennis match of the decade, if not the century, must sit, watch, wait and, in the meantime, be enthralled

The foregoing begs the question just why are we spectators in what amounts to a political game that affects not only the future of our nation, but also our individual lives? Should we not ‘storm the court’, halt play and inform the ‘star players’ that we are players in this game too – because in this political game where is the demos and kratos in what is supposed to be a process of democracy?

There will, no doubt, be many words about the content of May’s speech from the MSM and our not-so-great-and-not-so-good (aka the political class) – but then what the hell do they know, based on past performance? Not only them, but I would also appeal to other commentators as I, for one, am tired of the continual arguments based on a ‘what if’ scenario. I would suggest that all wait until there is something ‘concrete’ on which to comment; and would remind all such commentators of a saying attributed to Bob Monkhouse, namely; silence is golden – and is never misquoted.

Readers, this game is destined to be a long one and one can only suggest that supporters of each side keep their powder dry prior to igniting fireworks in celebration – or considering making an appointment with Dignitas.

Once again, just saying…………………….