Tag Archives: The Harrogate Agenda

£14m of public funds misspent?

Courtesy of the Electoral Commission we taxpayers have just incurred a bill of £14m, split evenly twixt Stronger In and Vote Leave – the two designated campaigns chosen to lead the debate – and who thus, by the ‘expertise’ (not’) of their arguments – can have a great bearing, through their inane statements, on who wins the forthcoming referendum on the question of the UK’s membership of the European Union.

Just who, among the electorate, elected those of the Electoral Commmission, who made that decision? Just who among the electorate agreed that politicians, on both sides of the argument, could ‘take over’ and thus decide how those arguments were to be presented?  Just who, among the electorate, know that Cameron, Osborne, Gove, Johnson, Benn (H), Matthew Elliott, Dominic Cummings et all, are lying ‘B’stards’? More importantly just who among the electorate agreed to provide said lying ‘B’stards’ on each side with £7m of their money?

Let us ‘backtrack’ slightly and consider the word: ‘democracy’. Think: to whom does a country belong – the people of that country, or those who have seized control (be they elected or not) of said country? Remember the derivation of the word ‘democracy’: demos:people – karatos:power. It follows, therefore, that a country belongs to the indigenuous people of a country – no-one else; least of all to ‘outsiders’; and those who have built a career supporting the minority whose aim is to rule the majority.

At this point one can but repeat part of a comment made on the preceding article by Titan Ananke: …..if a ‘grassroots’ people based movement were fully functional and healthily engaged and making our voices heard through an effective channel of peaceful civil disobedience via THA, then the establishment would be afraid…..no….it would be very afraid – which coupled with my comment in the article itself about my wish that the next four years are not wasted means that those who have usurped THA must, post June 24th, extract their digits; otherwise they too will be publicly ‘outed’!

That there will be another referendum is a given – and it will not be lost if the people are informed of a perfectly reasonable and workable alternative; one which returns control of their country and their lives to them.

In that regard I issue notice: either those that now ‘control’ THA ‘get their act together’ within the next three months and produce plans and a strategy to further THA, or I will resurrect an ‘alternative’; one which I started a few years ago and which I ‘folded’ in the mistaken belief that THA would be reborn.

Those interested in producing and taking part in the ‘alternative’ (if such is needed, whether or not Leave win or lose) can initially email me through this blog (see header bar) – you will receive a response.

Those that have – and those that have not

In this context I quote from ME Synon’s blog:

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.’

‘The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.’

‘I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.’

‘They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighbourhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.’

‘Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions…….The unprotected have no elite to speak for them – that is what makes them unprotected. Such people can only speak for themselves.

Or hope a strong voice will emerge to speak for them.

Yesterday evening we had Pete North,  son of Richard, tweeting:

The #Brexit manifesto – The Harrogate Agenda… pic.twitter.com/mROMX8Rnhh

To which I responded:

Bit late in the day to start pushing THA – the horse has bolted!

Why have they, the unprotected, no voice? Because they live in a democratised dictatorship. What could have given the unprotected their voice? Progression of The Harrogate Agenda! That the blame for the unprotected being in the position they are can be squarely laid at the door of those who usurped The Harrogate Agenda and then did nothing with it – for four years! If funds can be raised for The Leave Alliance, then why the hell was no attempt made, with the same intensity of effort, to raise funds for The Harrogate Agenda? 

Yes, there are signs that the unprotected are starting to push back but at the same time it is obvious that while the protected have the stranglehold on our democracy that they do – aided and abetted by a sycophantic and thus compliant media – they won’t get anywhere.

The unprotected know, basically, what they want: they want to know their vote ‘counts’ and they want to stop what they see as unnecessary intrusion by the state in their lives – but they don’t know how to achieve that. The reason for that is the protected has led the unprotected to believe that they do not need to think for themselves as the protected will do that for them. The penny is beginning to drop that the only people the protected care about is the protected, because it sure as hell is not the unpotected.

Had the ‘wasted four years’ been better used I would suggest the result of the fortcoming referendum would not be in doubt. Consider: had The Harrogate Agenda been promoted, as has been FlexCit, by the time the referendum was announced might not the argument have already been won? It is all very well having strategies, but if said strategies are in the wrong order? Bearing that in mind it has to be remembered it is stated that there is little point in regaining our independence only to hand said independence back to those that gave it away in the first place.

Or hope a strong voice will emerge to speak for them. Some time ago, someone (I can’t recall who), wrote that when the referendum is lost – ie: Remain wins the day – there will have to be a reckoning. Perhaps at the head of the queue should be those who have wasted four years?

 

 

Bit of a ‘rogues gallery’?

Tusks, including those of elephants, are used to produce ivory and are highly valued – if only the same could be said about the tusk of the ‘elephant in the room’.

Donald Tusk has published his response to the letter sent to him by David Cameron in which the latter set out the areas in which he wanted reform. Tusk’s letter has been disected by Richard North in this article, which handily saves me the job of so doing.

One of the areas in which Cameron wants reform is that of sovereignty, included in which is the annulment of ‘ever closer union’ coupled with an enhanced role for national parliaments which allows them to ‘club together’ in order to stop unwanted measures. It is ironic that Cameron (and other politicians), who prattle on about the ‘sovereignty of parliament’, understand not the meaning of the word ‘sovereignty’. Whilst the UK is part of the political aspect of the European Union it can never be in the position of having the full right and power of a governing body to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies. Likewise while the UK parliament is based on representative democracy (as is the EU) the people of the UK will always be subservient to their politicians.

On the subject of democracy, Chris Bryant (Labour: Rhondda) has an article in the New Statesman headlined: Sorry, the role of an MP is to be a representative, not a delegate; and in which he quotes Edmund Burke. Bryant laments what he terms the onset of ‘on-line democracy’ within social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, in which every vote in the House of Commons be subjected to a form of instant online constituency referendum. If Bryant can lament, then so can I because it is idiotic for anyone to argue the case for something, only to condemn himself by, in his words, failing to (and I quote) see an issue against the wider context. Witness Bryant writing: …..I still think parliamentary democracy is worth fighting for because it is the best way of managing our affairs as a nation so that that which touches all is agreed by all. Since when, under representative democracy, has any issue which has touched all been agreed by all?

Bryant, in his article, quotes Burke in defence of his argument;  so perhaps I may quote AV Dicey to Bryant. Quoting from this article (from my WfW days – and for those who haven’t read it, please do):

Yet A.V. Dicey held that there was an inherent weakness in the British system of representative democracy and its government. In a letter to James Bryce on 23rd March 1891 (source: Bryce Papers, Bodleian Library MS 3 fo.83.) he writes:

“the possibility….which no-one can dispute of a fundamental change passing into law which the mass of the nation do not desire.”

In effect what Dicey was alluding to was the fact that the foundation of representational democracy was, to use the vernacular, shot to hell; and by inference that it was not Parliament, but the people, who were sovereign.

That attempts by those of us who wish to change our democracy to one of direct democracy face a fight with our political elite, one which we readily recognize, is again illustrated by A.V. Dicey. In 1915, in the Introduction to Law of the Constitution, 8th ed  (London: Macmillan 1915 p.c.), he wrote:

“It is certain that no man who is really satisfied with the working of our party system will ever look with favour on an institution which aims at correcting the vices of party government.”

These three men, along with innumerable others, all believe in the continuance of the subugation of those who elect them. In respect of the UK’s prime ministers, it is worth recalling not one of those pictured in the photographs adorning the staircase wall in Number 10 truly believed in the sovereignty of the people. Bit of a ‘rogues gallery’?

There is an alternative; and one day the people of the United Kingdom will awake and realise just what is being done to them and in their name. When that day does come a word of warning to any politician who believes in representative democracy: don’t be one of them.

 

 

There’s news – and there’s news

The  MSM seem enthralled with the mess that both Labour and the Tories appear to be in – with the former unable to make up its mind what they actually ‘stand for’ on a variety of ‘subjects du jour’, such as [you name it]; and the Tories on the NHS ‘doctors and ACAS‘ problem.

On the latter I reproduce from my time-line on Facebook:

The Book of Jeremy, Chapter 1
And it came to pass that Jeremy, of the tribe of Conservatites, clad himself in gaudy raiment from the Row of Savile and summoned the Disciples of Hippocrates to his tent. For he wished to impart Good News to them.
“Verily, I ask you,” saith Jeremy unto them, “when doth the Festival of Wee-kend beginneth?”
And the Disciples of Hippocrates furrowed their brows in amazement at this parable, for all people who dwell on earth knew the Festival of Wee-kend beginneth at the same time every week, that is to say, on Friday at Five to Five (or, as it is known to those aged over two score and ten, Crackerjack Time.)
And the Disciples of Hippocrates remarked on this to Jeremy and some began to reacheth for the Mental Health Act Papyrus, but then Jeremy spake again.
“Ye may be wise and learned folk,” saith Jeremy, “ but in this case thou art sorely mistaken. For from this day onwards I decree the Festival of Wee-kend shall beginneth at midnight on the Sabbath. Or maybe, in days to come, on Sunday. For I may chooseth to monkey around with it again.”
And the Disciples of Hippocrates were sorely dismayed, for they kneweth that this meaneth a shedload fewer shekels, big time. And their discontent was so great it afflicted their tongues, such that they could not even speak Jeremy’s name correctly.
But then arose amongst them the prophet Malawana, who was in such favour with THE LORD that the Almighty worked a miracle greater than the parting of the Red Sea: He softened the hearts of the Daily Express papyrus merchants so that they supported Malawana. And then Malawana spake thus to his learned tribe: “Let not your hearts be troubled, for I will lead you to the promised land.”
“And what is this land, exactly, squire?” askedeth the Disciples of Hippocrates..
And Malawana looked into their hearts and perceived that though the Disciples of Hippocrates seldom made war, so great was their anger they were now well up for some serious smiting.
And so Malawana loosened his sword in its sheath. And his grim countenance bore an expression that sayeth: Don’t fucketh with me, pal.
“We journey to the Land of Bal-lot,” saith Malawana. And his people followed him there, rejoicing.
And Jeremy, on hearing these tidings, did soil his fine raiment of the Row of Savile
The Book of Jeremy.

Chapter 2:
And it came to pass that the prophet Malawana led the Disciples of Hippocrates to the land of Bal-lot, and there he spake unto them.
“If Jeremy persisteth with his mad design, ye shall have fewer shekels and labour long hours through the night, even unto exhaustion. And when you are so sorely fatigued and maketh a mistake, well, ye knowest where that path leadeth.”
“Where doth it leadeth, squire?” saith one disciple.
“It leadeth to the GeeEm Sea,” saith Malawana.
And the disciples quaked with terror, for no-one who entered the GeeEm Sea was ever seen again.
Then Malawana spake again: “Those disciples who wish to smite Jeremy until he ceaseth this bollocks, casteth down thy stethoscope.”
And lo, the land of Bal-lot did resembleth an explosion in the Littman factory.
.
When Jeremy heard these tidings, he changed his raiment to brown trousers, so as to disguise his fear, and journeyed to the tent of David, son of Cameron, King of the tribe of Conservatites. And there he found that David had sacrificed a swine, and cut off its head so as to make a burnt offering. At least, that is what David claimeth, but Jeremy believed him not, for David had put his…

(Translators note: the original papyrus has been damaged – possibly intentionally – and the remainder of this verse is indecipherable. Biblical scholars have long debated its meaning. However, the recent paper by Ashcroft raises an interesting theory on this matter.)

“Sire,” saith Jeremy, “the Disciples of Hippocrates are revolting.”
And David agreed, saying they did indeed do unspeakable acts with the Jelly of Kaywhy and the gloves of rubber. For he had seen such abominable things in the land of Holby.
And Jeremy marvelled at his chutzpah, given what David was doing to the aforesaid swine.
“Nay, sire,” saith Jeremy, “I meaneth they striketh.”
“Let not your heart be troubled,” saith David. “For my forebear, the blessed Margaret, Queen of the Conservatites, faced similar strife from those who delve for treasures in the earth. She triumphed by exploiting division within the enemy camp, and I shall do likewise. Those disciples who striketh not shall heal the sick. How many thousands spurned Malawana’s call to arms?”
“Six-” saith Jeremy.
“Only six thousand, and all the rest have forsaken me?” saith David, and his visage did turn ghostly pale, even unto a nice shade of steatorrhoea.
“Not six thousand, sire. Six,” saith Jeremy.
“Six?” saith King David weakly, for he was sorely vexed, and by now approacheth single figures on the Coma Scale of Glasgow.
“Yea, six. The number between five and seven,” saith Jeremy. “And four of them, being of the tribe of Orthopods, ticketh the wrong box by mistake.”
And David fell into a swoon, and on recovering spake thus: “Lendeth me your brown trousers, Jeremy.
Peter Ewing, GP

The point is: which is more important; an internal spat (above) or an external spat, namely sovereignty and who governs our nation. In respect of the latter one cannot but lament the lack of serious coverage by the MSM; and the fact when they do deign to write/speak on that subject, their coverage is minimal and superficial to say the least. It is obviously naive of me to believe that the foremost duty of a nation’s free press’ is to inform their readership of the truth – no more, no less; yet it appears not so. Which begs the question just how much of our supposedly ‘free press’ is subjected to pressure from the ‘government du jour’ in respect of their ‘licence to print’?

The sooner we, as an electorate, get the ability to decide who represents us – and once chosen – can then be ‘fired’, the sooner we may be able to achieve a real state of democracy. Having said that, the ability to ‘hire and fire’ those we elect is but one small part of direct democacy, a system in which the electorate are supreme rather than – as at present under representative democracy – the political class who only promulgate an elective dictatorship.

Among more important aspects of democracy are, for example, the amount of taxation levied upon us and the means by which it is done, together with what wars we enter into; to name but two. Which begs the question, oft repeated on this blog: why is The Harrogate Agenda not being ‘run’ more prominately with FlexCit, a ‘programme’ which would restore ‘sovereignty’ to this nation?

Answers, it would appear, are not forthcoming, unfortunately – and I would suggest the Director of THA needs to ‘go rethink’, especially as commentators appear to have ‘hit the nail on the head‘?

C’mon RPG and THA: you want support? Then hows about a concerted, joined-up, message/campaign – after all, you’ve’ ‘elected’ yourselves to lead and deliver it?

Just saying…………………..?

 

Some questions

It is always a source of amusement when reading the outpourings of political commentators on the subject of democracy. One only has to consider this from Gabby Hinsliff (and where she is concerned, ‘Gabby’ is so appropriate); or this from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown; or this from Philip Booth.

The first two articles centre on l’affaire Mark Clarke and intimate that young potential politicians, to quote Hinsliff: …..weren’t knifing each other over ways to change the world, but over getting seats, or jobs with MPs, or proximity to power of any kind. Hey, never mind the ‘young’ tag; isn’t that what politicians of all ages do? Alibhai-Brown reckons: degradation of politics by any party disables our democracy, and no party is immune to the effects. Hey, in order to disable democracy, first it is necessary to have democracy. That of Booth’s centres on the fact that: we have representation without taxation and an intrinsic big government bias in the electoral system, while suggesting that: a proper federal structure must be created for the UK.

What we have with all these articles is an extension of the accusatation contained in my preceding article; namely that we are blessed with brain-dead political commentators or ‘hacks’ who know not the meaning of research; who, to quote from a comment from the preceding article: would think that an aspirational writer, looking for another angle to be a little bit original, would seize upon something that is not being discussed by other reporters or columnists.

The answer to all the ‘complaints’ in the linked articles already exists, namely: The Harrogate Agenda.

However this blog – and many of its readers – are slightly puzzled. It has been written:  ……The Harrogate Agenda cannot stand aloof from the anti-EU movement, and wait until it has achieved it aim, in order that we should be able to progress ours; likewise it has been written: ……there is little point in recovering powers from the EU, only to hand them back to the same institutions that gave them away in the first place (FlexCit –  page 375). Neither can it be, as the Director of THA informed me in an email, that once the Referendum Planning Group (RPG) launches, hopefully THA will receive more coverage (my emphasis).

We all know that the European Union is not ‘democracy’ by any manner of means, but then neither is the system of democracy currently prevalent; so: why is THA stage six of FlexCit; why, if there is little point in recovering powers from the EU only to hand them back to the same institutions that gave them away in the first place; and why is it only hoped that once RPG launches, THA will receive more coverage, when it has already been stated The Harrogate Agenda cannot stand aloof from the anti-EU campaign – which it currently does.

The questions in the preceding paragraph have been raised previously on this blog and still no answer (logical or otherwise) has been forthcoming. Bearing in mind the greatest reason given for over a third of the electorate not participating in local or general elections is that for whoever they vote, nothing changes; is not THA the answer to their complaint? It has also been maintained on this blog that reaching that section of the electorate will be crucial to winning the referendum, because if shown that within the EU (and within representative democracy) they can never have a voice, then once that understanding is embedded, the result surely cannot be in doubt.

So I repeat: why is THA stage six of FlexCit?

Readers should know by now that I am behind FlexCit but with one doubt about the ‘stage order’. Let me say at the outset that by raising that doubt does not mean I am being argumentative, working against Brexit or undermining FlexCit or RPG; but is:

Just asking why THA is not being run alongside, but separate to, FlexCit and with equal prominence?

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken and egg?

Correspondence seen by the BBC shows the government is considering whether elected Police and Crime Commissioners should have greater powers to put up council tax. At the moment they need to hold a referendum if they increase the charge for policing on council tax bills by more than 2%. Some Police and Crime Commissioners want the referendum rule scrapped.

(Source)

Little noticed, it seems, is the extract above from a BBC news article.

The Conservative 2015 election manifesto does not make – to my knowledge – any such reference to increasing the powers of Police and Crime Commissioners, other than:  develop the role of our elected and accountable Police and Crime Commissioners (page 59). Readers will recall that the first incumbents were elected, on an extremely low turnout, in 2012. Those elected were to serve a term of 3½ years, with the next elections due to be held in May 2016 when the elected term will be 4 years. Police and Crime Commissioners are no more ‘accountable’ than are MPs – consider: how are either of them ‘accountable’ when they have been given ‘carte-blanche’ for 4 or 5 years?

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire proposed to increased the amount of the Council Tax for Bedfordshire Police by 15.84% compared to 2014. By law this meant there must be a local referendum to decide whether any increase of more than 1.99% should stay or whether there should be a lower Council Tax increase for Bedfordshire Police. The referendum was held on 7 May 2015 and the majority of those voting were against the increase of 15.84% (source). On learning that Bedfordshire Police are to receive no increase in government funding, lo and behold a public petition is produced which calls for more government funding – and gets signatures from those who, no doubt, also voted against the proposed increase in council tax.

As Janine di Giovanni is reputed to have said: Human memory is short and terribly fickle – or to put it another way, people will jump on any bandwagon without thinking things through, or in this instance without considering the source of government funding.

This  problem about ‘police funding’ in turn leads back to The Harrogate Agenda (Demand #5) which incorporates the idea of ‘Referism‘ – one that proposes any form of tax should be decided in advance on production of an estimate, which would be subject to public approval. But on what basis would public approval be decided when human memory is short and terribly fickle?

If The Harrogate Agenda (THA) is to be ‘promoted’ then should not an ‘army of vounteers’, similar to that which is proposed for the promotion of ‘FlexCit’, be set up in order to counter conundrums posed by, as an example, the wish of Police and Crime Commissioners to have the power to increase council tax in relation to the aims of THA and Referism? Perhaps he (the director) who is therefore in charge of THA – and deigns, sometimes, to still read my scribblings – may respond; after all, THA is an ‘intrinsic’ (his word) part of FlexCit.

Much is made of the fact that Ukip, Vote Leave and Leave EU publish ‘wish-lists’ to resolve the problems of this nation’s membership of the EU without also showing how those ‘wish-lists’ can be achieved. If the ‘definitive’ plan to cease this nation’s membership of the EU is to achieve public acceptance then all bases must be covered?

As is said – there’s more to making an omlette than cracking eggs………….

Just a thought or two………..

 

 

And………

From this evenings CoffeeHouse Evening Blend:

  • Number 10 insisted that David Cameron was planning to serve a full term after the Spectator reported he was considering standing down in 2019.
  • Nicky Morgan told the Spectator she was considering standing for Tory leader.
  • Owen Paterson told Coffee House he was writing a manifesto for a robust right-wing leadership contender.
  • Jeremy Corbyn visited Scotland and admitted his party may not have a clear position on Trident for the Holyrood elections.
  • …as he dropped plans to scrap university tuition fees.
  • Tory members and MPs were warned not to wear their passes outside the conference hall during an anti-austerity march.
  • Prominent anti-EU campaigners reacted angrily to the announcement that Lord Lawson will be president of the Conservatives for Britain.

To which one can but ask: WTF actually cares, as:

  • When Cameron actually stands down is neither here nor there, it will be when he secures the next position in his career path at public expense;
  • If and when Nicky Morgan decides to take the next step up the ‘greasy pole’ it will be when she reckons she has a good chance of success – and not before;
  • Owen Paterson may well be writing a new manifesto for the next Tory Leader, but being a present-day politician, methinks it will be no more than a blueprint for his attempt for top office; regardess of what he new says – after all, why else does anyone enter politics if not to attempt the ‘greasy pole’ climb;
  • Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t seem to have a clear vision on anything;
  • Any Tory member or MP needs their head read if they publicly identify themselves as such;
  • Nigel Lawson, another ‘has-been’ and who should by now have retired gracefully, in common with his ilk secures yet another opportunity to keep himself in the public eye in his attempt to earn more from the public purse.

Such is what the Spectator, in common with the rest of the media, reckons is ‘news’ – to which one can but say: Get A Life, Do!

Politicians are, in general, following a – dare I use the word – ‘profession’ for their own ends and career advancement; thanks to a form of democracy they perpetuate; political commentators would appear to write about anything that they believe may advance their careers without showing any evidence that they know owt about that which they write/speak; and the media appear to have nothing better to do than feed the egos of the former by publicising their illogical musings.

Is it any wonder that the United Kingdom,  one that was once a proud nation and a leader in the world, is in the parlous state it is? Paraphrasing Mahatma Ghandi, the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its people are treated. We the people, to whom the United Kingdom belongs, have been treated abysmally by all governments, in that we have been dictated to; cajoled; misled – nay, lied to – to the extent that had we thought, we would have known that that which we suffered; and were suffering; was wrong. Had we done that, even under our current system of democracy, there was little we could have done to change things.

In the call I make, continuously, for a change to our system of democracy, again allow me to paraphrase, this time, Bob Dylan:

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone………

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
Keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again……………………

Come politicians and their commenators
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls……..

The message that the United Kingdom is our country – and that if it is our country – then we, to whom it belongs, need to insist that only we can decide our future and the path that that future should take; and we don’t need a self-serving group to be able to tell us, the masters, how we should behave, think and act.

Just saying…………………………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the outrage?

The ‘news due jour’ would appear to be that our benevolent government has proposed to annul the 28-day ‘purdah period’ up to polling day of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, thus allowing the government to campaign until the very last minute; bearing in mind that Cameron is intent on this nation remaining a member of the European Union.

This ‘purdah-negation’ was first spotted, I believe it correct to say, by a reader to Richard North’s blog and now seems to have found its way into the output of our newspaper media. Also, as Richard North points out, the Conservative manifesto promised that the final decision would be that of the people.

It is also being reported that ‘purdah-negation’ would provide the opportunity for the EU Commission to use EU funds to influence the result  and means taxpayer funded resources could be deployed to campaign for a particular side. Mind you, there is nothing new in the EU being allowed the opportunity to interfere; they already have a finger in the ‘education-pie’ – something that is a national competence.

The people may well have the final say, but if the people are being fed information that is economical with the actualité (which they will be), just how the hell can they make a reason decision?

The shock-horror reaction to the ‘purdah-negation’ news by some is a source of bewilderment to this blog. Since when has the state ‘played fair’ with those they are supposed to represent? Coupled with which, just what the hell can the electorate do about it?

For yonks now I have been complaining that we live in a democratised dictatorship; and the bastards (and there is no better word for them) that form this democratised dictatorship (of whatever hue) care not one iota for those they profess to represent.

If ever there was a case for the implementation of The Harrogate Agenda, then what Richard North calls a ‘stitch-up’ is it!  But then, does not representative democracy allow our political class to ‘stitch us up’ day-in, day-out? In which case: why the shock-horror?

Just asking………………………………………..

 

 

Do you really ken (d) all, Liz?

Liz Kendall, wanna-be Labour Leader, has an article in the Guardian in which, lamenting her party’s failure to win the 2015 general election, she writes: ……We talked about what we would do to them and they didn’t like us. We rarely spoke about what we would do with them……… She also writes that her goal is to get power out of Westminster and into the hands of local people; citing that: …….Labour councils have been leading the way in putting power into people’s hands. In Milton Keynes, communities are trusted to help run libraries and leisure centres. In Glasgow, employers and young people helped design the apprenticeship service……..

Oh dear. Helping to run libraries and leisure centres, helping to design apprentiship services is not putting power back in the hands of people – who has the final say and who controls the money, Liz?

She mentions it is her belief that her party lost the election because Labour spoke about what they would do to the electorate and that they rarely spoke about what they would do with them – but hang on, is that not what all political parties do: tell the people what they will do to them – and when has any political party asked whether we wanted to be part of the process?

She writes about devolution of power – but, for example, giving Scotland power of taxation is not giving power to the people, it is just giving power to local politicians. Think ‘Referism‘ which would give power to the people. Think The Harrogate Agenda and the 6 Demands which would give power to the people.

What we have with Liz Kendall is yet another politician attempting to con the electorate that they are different, when they are not. Yet another example of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

So continues the tinkering with representative democracy and the dictatorial power that it affords our political class over we the people that fund them and their hair-brained schemes.

 

A North East Conundrum

 

 

Bryony Gordon has an article in the Daily Telegraph about the withdrawal of Chuka Umunna from the Labour leadership contest, an article in which she maintains that politics is no place for ordinary people. But should not democracy involve the views of ordinary people; and should not those views carry more weight than they do, currently, under representative democracy?

Since moving to the North East I have been struck by the recurring complaint that ‘Westminster’ is divorced from the North East, not just by distance but also by ideology. The county of Durham is rock-solid Labour, yet knowing the complaint mentioned above still the voters go to the polling booths and elect the same ‘Westminster Village’ people that they complain about, forgetting that history tells them their vote is, in effect, wasted.

Intrestingly, standing in the constituency in which I now live, Easington, was Susan McDonnell on behalf of the North East Party. This political party was formed in 2014 by former Labour MP, Hilton Dawson, campaigning for a devolved assembly for the north east of England with similar powers as those accorded to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The North East Party (NEP) put up candidates in Easington, Redcar, Stockton North and Newcastle North; with McDonnell gaining 2.3% of the votes in Easington.

So bearing in mind the complaint of people to whom I have spoken in this constituency, that Westminster is far from the north east and what therefore does Westminster care about the north east; why did McDonnell not do better? A clue may well lie in the fact that devolution to the north east has already been rejected , albeit back in 2004; coupled with the fact that the electorate of the north east possibly knew full well that all they would get is yet more career politicians in the north east, similar to those they seemingly detest ‘down south’.

There is much ‘talk’ about Scotland and the wish of the SNP for ‘independence’, which when coupled with the ‘unrest’ in the north east has resulted in a petition for the north east to secede from the UK – in effect becoming ‘New Scotland’. The petition was drawn up by a Sheffield resident and states that the north of England felt greater affinity with their Scottish counterparts than with the ideologies of a London-centric south.

On the face of it, it would appear that The Harrogate Agenda has the answer to the wishes of the north east of England; together with any other part of the nation; namely self-determination over local matters – yet how many of those in the north east, or anywhere else, have even heard of The Harrogate Agenda? One also has to ask: whose fault is that?

Having attended a few of The Harrogate Agenda Workshops, it is noticable how often the audience contains a majority of the same faces; which tends to make one believe that these presentations are but a continuation of ‘preaching to the converted’ – as with Flexcit. A few days ago I wrote about breaching the walls of the ‘collective’ – and ‘preaching to the converted’ just ain’t going to break down the walls of the ‘collective’. So how about a press converence – with invitations issued to the media and notable ‘eurosceptic’ MPs (and if the invitation was ‘magnanimous’, then whilst not an MP, hows about including Farage?) ; with the ‘rider’ that it would be in their interests to attend as they might just learn something? If we are to have a referendum in 2017 – and it may be sooner, so has been intimated – then time is, indeed getting short; so how about stirring the pot a tad?

After all, in order to negate a ‘Warrying assertion’, this might just shorten the number of steps that Confucius reckons every journey needs in order to reach a destination.

Update: ; last para amended – bit of an ‘in-joke’; as those ‘in the know’ will hopefully appreciate.