Tag Archives: Politicians

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………..

 

 

When do MP’s speak their mind?

Jess Phillips – Labour: Birmingham Yardley – has an article in the Guardian, one entitled: Jo Cox’s murder has left us MPs more fearful to speak our minds with a sub-heading: Online hatred, abuse and threats of violence to force politicians – female ones especially – to sing to a certain tune will be the death of our democracy.

Her article begins: Recently, I was in one of my weekly surgeries giving advice to local constituents when a man who was in a state of some distress leaned down to get something out of a holdall. I began to panic. It might be irrational, but since Jo Cox was murdered I have this feeling frequently. This week a local church called about my annual address at the Christmas carol concert. Every year I do a reading, never before have they called and asked me if they need to arrange a discreet police presence for my safety.

Do not the majority of MPs, at least those wishing to ‘remain loyal’ (fearing deselection), or those hoping for advancement, not toe the party line, thus ‘sing to a certain tune’? Leaving aside the point that democracy, per se, does not exist in our nation, cannot it be argued that true democracy is long dead since MPs, in the main, follow the party line for whatever reason, whilst failing to represent the views of their constituents?

With regard to the local church inquiring whether she required a discreet police presence is probably more to do with the church realizing that they ‘needed to cover their cross’ in case someone did cause physical harm, or worse, to their  MP; and that they then might be held liable?

The article continues: Yet I still cannot shake the feeling that in our country – and across the world – there is a rising tide of hate that mean events such as Jo’s murder are more likely. That statement begs the question: but who created the changes in our society from which were borne resentment; in regard to which it is possible to include the aftereffects of unlimited immigration, the apparent ‘favouriting’ of non-British where housing is concerned, the introduction of political correctness which now seems to govern political and  legal decisions? In none of these decisions were the indigenous people of this nation consulted to seek their approval.

More follows: Regardless of how people love to deride politicians, democracy is not an easy gig. My decisions, views and heartfelt principles are dismissed by so many as careerist, opportunist or attention-seeking. I cannot think or do anything without my motives being called into question. It is right and proper that I should seek opinion on how I vote, that I should gauge the feeling of my constituents (who, incidentally, are the most respectful and decent of all those who get in touch demanding I listen to them). Pressure and protest is fine, but using fear and threats to force politicians to sing to a certain tune will be the death of our democracy.

In regard to the first sentence; forgive me but I appear to have mislaid my Stradivarius – in other words, if one can’t stand the heat of the kitchen then one vacates. Bearing in mind how Jess Philips voted in the EU Referendum, she surely can not have sought the opinion, nor gauged the feeling of her constituents, as her reasons for voting as she  did can only be considered personal.

Yet again Jess Phillips writes: During the Labour leadership election there were lots of threats about my job – “Do what we want or we are coming to get you.” This is not democratic – it’s despotic. Is it not a fact that do what we want or we are coming to get you is the attitude of politicians where the people attempt to disagree with the laws they create – or those to which they acquiesce? So when the people attempt to fight against the government it is not democratic but despotic – but when the government forces people to obey a law they do not like or want, or have had no consultation about, then that is democratic and not despotic.

For me the ‘killer paragraph’ comes at the end of this article as it appears to show where the priorities of politicians lay: People who say “I hate politicians, you’re all the same” will soon have to face the fact that all politicians do say the same thing – the thing that keeps them safe.

So we can assume that as all politicians say the same thing, the question arises why do we have different political parties, what is the point of their individual existence and, why therefore, is tribal voting so prevalent? It then appears that regardless of their need to keep safe those they represent, they are more concerned with keeping themselves safe.

When MPs do speak their minds one only has to view the interview of Rebecca Long-Bailey by Andrew Neil to witness that their minds understand not that for which they claim the right to decide – so what is the point of having someone speak their mind when what they utter is total ‘spheroids’? That question is addressed not only to Rebecca Long-Bailey and Jess Phillips, but also to John Redwood and Nigel Farage, together with a host of other political figures and political commentators.

George Orwell is reputed to have said: Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. I could not agree more.

 

 

The right to rule?

It would seem that those we elect rely on a mistaken belief, based on ‘Parliamentary Democracy’, that they alone have the ‘right to rule’ the people of the United Kingdom. This allows them to believe that, through the system of representative democracy, they ‘own’ the United Kingdom based on the idea they represent the people of the United Kingdom – which they most definitely do not.

While one sees MPs such as David Lammy stating he will vote against triggering Article 50 come what may  and Owen Smith openly stating he will use any vote in an attempt to get another referendum to overthrow the result of the first; no way can MPs maintain they represent the views of the people. It is then the question has to be asked: wherefore democracy?

Anyone who has either read the reports in Hansard of debates in the House of Commons – or watched them on Parliament tv – cannot but feel that MPs exhibit a dearth of knowledge – and thus understanding – of matters EU. This also raises another question: just why are they there and how, logically, are they able to demand a voice on the timing of notification under Article 50? When one peruses the members sitting on the Select Committee for Exiting the European Union it is hard to find one who has any knowledge worthy of note about the subject matter.

If there is anguish among some of the electorate at the ineptitude of our politicians, there is probably just as much frustration with the media which appears populated with journalists and commentators of similar ineptitude where knowledge of matters EU is concerned – not that they reserve their ineptitude just on matters EU. Until the judgment of the Supreme Court in January (probably) we will, no doubt, have to suffer more of the drivel such as appeared in the media today.

It is perhaps pertinent to recall Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the words of Marcellus who states: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (Act 1 Scene 4).  An argument can be made that the phrase ‘state of Denmark’ rather than just ‘Denmark’ is used as it implies the fish is rotting from the head down—all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy. Not just where the EU is concerned, we can also recall Hamlet’s words in Act 1 Scene2, that Denmark is an unweeded garden of things rank and gross in nature.

The words of Marcellus and Hamlet about Denmark are also pertinent where the United Kingdom is concerned. So why do we, the people, allow ourselves to suffer our nation to rot from the head down? Why should we allow our nation to become an unweeded garden of things rank and gross in nature?

The reason why I have set up DD4UK.com is to show people that they can put an end to the problems we in this nation suffer, it is possible for them to take back control of that which is rightfully theirs – their lives and the future of their nation. In so doing they can stop the rot and make this land once again ‘green and pleasant’.

 

Self-loathing politicians

Isabel Hardman writes in the Speccie, asking: Why are politicians so self-loathing? She berates a politician, in this case Dan Jarvis, for suggesting that something needs the politics taking out of it. thus implying that politics in itself is inherently a bad thing and that politicians can never be trusted.

In so doing she quotes Jarvis: Let’s be honest – MPs who represent areas along the HS2 route or in the Heathrow flight path have a tough call about whether to vote for these schemes. So let’s take out the politics. Let’s look at new powers that allow the government to refer major infrastructure decisions to the National Infrastructure Commission for an independent decision on whether projects should go ahead.

Citing an Ipsos MORI poll which found that only 21% found politicians trustworthy does not mean that politicians should agree with the public that they are not trustworthy, Hardman then continues by stating that politics, at its heart, is about making decisions, and about people who are elected and paid to be better informed and take decisions on behalf of their electorate.

Hardman also queries whether MPs whose constituencies are affected by major infrastructure projects shouldn’t have to agonise about whether or not to support them? Some decisions aren’t easy, but that doesn’t mean politicians should be allowed to avoid taking them.

Not to be ignored is her statement: Even unfashionable political parties and their hated whipping operations have a noble purpose, which is a group of people who share the same principles working together to ensure those principles don’t just float about on campaign leaflets and banners but actually make their way into public policy.

I am continually amazed that journalists can write about a subject, yet fail to highlight the problems inherent within the matter with which their article deals. For example, we learn from the parliament website that: The UK public elects 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.

If MPs are elected to represent the interests and concerns of their constituents in the House of Commons; and thus to take decisions on important matters, just why should they be able to ‘pass the buck’ to a group of people who have not been elected and over whom the people have no say?

Hardman also makes a point about the hated whipping operations; which in turn begs the question why, if MPs are elected to represent the interests and concerns of their constituents, is a whipping system necessary – unless of course a system of democracy exists which is no more than one comprising a democratised dictatorship.

She also states that politicians are people who are elected and paid to be better informed – which on matters EU can only mean that politicians, with one or two exceptions, are guilty of taking money under false pretences.

In one important aspect Dan Jarvis is quite correct; ‘politics’ does need to be taken out of decision making, especaily when it seems that those in politics are there for  reasons of only self-promotion and self-advancement. Change the current system of representative democracy to one of direct democracy – as encapsulated in The Harrogate Agenda – and the reasons/causes for self-promotion and self-advancement are promptly negated.

While the current system exists whereby decisions are taken by force (which they, in effect are through the whipping system) then, as Ian Parker Joseph states on Facebook, it will always end in failure. Did not David Cameron state, on taking office in May 2010, that the people are always the masters and politicians their servants? So how come the reverse situation appears to remain?

If politicians are, in fact, self-loathing then they only have themselves to blame for allowing themselves to become ‘puppets’ within a system of democratised democracy. What happened to principle; what happened to honour; what happened to representing the views and concerns of their consituents – and what happened to democracy per se?

That Isabel Hardman, in common with the present crop of journalists (Christopher Booker excepted), appears to shut their eyes to the problems we have in our nation where politics and democracy are concerned not only beggars belief, but does their profession much harm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people are mere ‘spectators’

Where the forthcoming referendum is concerned, the title of this article has never been truer. The latest ‘tittle-tattle’ that journalism has produced is the offering from James Forsyth in the Speccie Coffee House blog.

Just why does either ‘campaign’ need to be led by a political figure or anyone connected with the establishment? Just when will journalists recognise and accept that the whole idea of a referendum is that it is supposed to be the people’s choice – and in order for them to make that choice all they need is the facts pro and anti membership of the EU? Just when will journalists, in pushing for one ‘campaign’ or another, be ‘open’and in the case of Forsyth admit that the commissioning editor of his article is married to the campaign director of Vote_Leave?

Much has been in the news about Cameron and his cabinet being able to campaign for either view – ‘In’ or ‘Out’ – but if, as Cameron statedUltimately, it will be for the British people to decide this country’s future by voting In or Out of a reformed European Union in the referendum….. then the question must be asked, should not our politicians refrain from expressing their individual preference on the basis that as politicians it has nothiing to do with them? Unless of course they have a hidden agenda, in which case should we not be told what that is?

We are supposed to have democracy in this country – which we don’t – consequently what exists can be compared to a spiders web; a widening circle of compliant pressure groups and media; and controlling everything, at the centre, a prime minister with his feelers touching every strand of the web of deceit which he has created.

Democratised dictatorship, anyone? That it is, is beyond doubt. I would refer readers to an earlier article and the words of Peter Grant (Glenrothes – SNP) who said: For Scotland, sovereignty does not reside in this place, and it does not reside in those of us who have been sent to serve in this place. It resides for ever in those who have sent us to serve here. Watching the proceedings one could almost see, if not feel, the shudder of fear that permeated those MPs present when it  dawned on them that one of their own kind felt that the people should be able to over-rule them.

Until the media, in all its forms, starts to publish the truth, starts to publish/air the views of those that buy their services, we ‘the people’ will remain mere spectators of an event that is all about us!

Uniform Krap Information Party – aka Ukip

Jill Seymour, Ukip MEP, has published this on her website under the headline: First vacuum cleaners, now the EU targets oven gloves! In the article she castigates the European Commission,writing: I think it is ridiculous that oven gloves will now be subject to the same safety checks that Hard Hats and Safety Goggles go through; adding: Forcing businesses who manufacture oven gloves to go through this extra level of bureaucracy is ridiculous, this will add an extra cost to the manufacturing process and ultimately it will be the public who will have to pay, as businesses cannot afford to absorb these extra costs.

Had Ms. Seymour done any research – to which she would no doubt respond – Research?What is research?: she would have discovered that the Personal Protective Programme (PPE) originated within UNECE  –   which only goes to show,yet again, that ‘soft law – aka diqueles – originate far above the level of the European Union.

The European Commission proposal for a Regulation can be found here in which reference is made to UNECE.

While we have politicians similar to Ms Seymour, no political party with that lack of knowledge should open its mouth – neither should any political commentator or journatist of similar ilk!

 

Try looking in a mirror, Iain

Iain Martin, writing on CapX, bemoans the inability of the press to question politicians during  the current general election; especially at stage-managed public appearances, whilst complaining bitterly that morning press conferences are now a thing of the past with only Ukip continuing to provide such events.

Martin’s article poses the question: why is the British media so supine in the face of control from the big parties – but has not the British media been so for ages? When journalists are allowed to question political figures, such questions that are asked are poor to say the least. 

When questioning Cameron, for example, they could ask him how he has ensured that politicians are the servants of the people, not their masters, when on not one measure he and his government has introduced have the people been able to agree or reject such decisions. In that regard, they could then ask whether, bearing that point in mind, representative democracy really serves the people to their best interest. They could ask him about his claims to have vetoed an EU treaty, especially when there was no EU treaty to veto. They could ask him about his claim to have cut the EU budget, when it is obvious he did not. They could ask him about his wish to repatriate powers from the EU when such powers cannot be so repatriated. They could ask him why he complains about excessive EU regulation when the EU is only transposing standards which have been agreed at UN bodies at which this country does not have its own seat and thus cannot speak for itself.

It is tad rich for Iain Martin to complain about the media being ‘supine’, when commentators such as he are just as guilty of dereliction of their duty; which is to hold politicians to account on a day-to-day basis – particularly as the people, under representative democracy, cannot.

Is it any wonder this general election campaign is ‘lifeless’when there exists a political class, that in common with the media, seem so bereft of the knowledge required on matters about which they both speak and write?

 

 

 

 

The Leader’s Debates

Yesterday at Prime Ministers  Questions Ed Miliband attempted to ‘pin down’ Cameron on a head-to-head debate between the two of them (starts @37:50) – that Cameron refused to answer was a surprise (not). No doubt the media will work itself into a frenzy on this issue – but then the media are renowned for dealing in tittle-tattle; and the Leaders Debates are just that: tittle-tattle.

In any event it would not be surprising were the Liberal Democrats to attempt to gain an injunction against such a head-to-head on the basis they were thus denied the opportunity to defend themselves against any accusations that either Cameron or Miliband made about them; coupled with the fact they are unable to question that which both Cameron and Miliband may say on ‘issues du jour’.

Let us take a step back: tittle-tattle is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as petty gossip, chatter. From the same source we also learn that gossip is defined as idle talk or groundless rumour. A lie, from the same source, is defined as an intentionally false statement or a false belief.

Prime Ministers Questions and any Leaders Debate share one common factor: both encapsulate chatter, idle talk, groundless rumour, intentional false statements and/or statements based on a false belief. Both do nothing to inform the electorate, being more concerned with point scoring over their opponent – and, yet again, one has to ask whether democracy per se is best served by such tactics?

Everything we hear from our politicians is an opinion, not a fact; everything we hear from them is a perspective, not a fact. It is an accepted fact that learning is the process of keeping abreast of change and where politicians are concerned, coupled with the foregoing, one of their most pressing tasks is to keep people informed.

That they do not do this – especially where ‘matters EU’ are concerned – is something that cannot be allowed to continue. Whether politicians mislead unknowingly or deliberately, unless they impart truth; and truth contains just fact not opinion, then they are guilty of lying.

Of course it is not just politicians that lie to us, so do some think tanks with their output, be that ‘papers’ or email ‘briefings’. Among the main culprits are Business for Britain, Open Europe and British Influence. Along with politicians, these too must be challenged and no opportunity should be lost in so doing, whether by personal meetings or email.

As I have written previously, the audience of blogs is but a small percentage of the population – and in any event they are ‘preaching’ to the converted. Methinks the time has come to to take the fight to the enemy and indulge in some verbal fisticuffs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mediocrity

Some people are born mediocre, some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.
Joseph Heller

George Parker, writing in the Financial Times, reports that David Cameron is being urged to appoint a full-time lead negotiator in order to secure his proposed new deal for Britain in the EU. The person behind this suggestion is David Frost; who was, until recently, the UK’s most senior trade diplomat, as Director for Europe, Trade and International Affairs at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Frost’s ‘paper’, one entitled: Gearing up for delivery, How to manage the renegotiation (produced by Open Europe), can be read here.

As will have been noted, Frost joins a long list of those who believe their idea is original, when in fact it has already been thought of. In this regard, one can dismiss ‘the Frost Report’ as a comprehensive proposal on how to handle any renegotiation process already exists (page 28).

Seemingly day after day we have political columnists imparting their views on the UK’s relationship with the European Union and the possible referendum on that relationship only to illustrate their complete lack of knowledge on the subject. One such unknowing columnist is Rafael Behr with this article.

Not that political columnists are the only culprits guilty of talking out of their lower orifice; witness the wanna-be prime minister, Boris Johnson, informing Cameron to ‘get it done‘.

When considering present-say politicians, political columnists – coupled with the ‘experts’ to whom we are requested to pay attention – one can but be reminded  of a quotation from P.J. O’Rourke, namely: Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. What we witness within all three groups is that stupidity, combined with arrogance and an inflated ego will get you a long way – especially when the audience, to which all three address themselves, have been ‘engineered’ to forget they have the power of reason and thought.

As an aside, it is a source of constant amazement to this blog that we have so many experts and that, unrecognised, the accolade ‘expert’ has now been devalued by the increasing numbers of those accorded the title who demonstrate that actually they know nothing, or at best, very, very, little – yet still they receive the attention of the masses, their words being accepted as ‘gospel’.

Afterthought:  Well, two really: (a) perhaps people are being ‘led’ to demand freedom of speech as a form of compensation for the freedom of thought which they now seldom use; and (b) is the UK being run by smart people who would have us believe they are stupid – or by imbeciles who really mean it.