Tag Archives: Truth

Af(fur)ming the minutae

When minutes of a meeting are taken they should: typically describe the events of the meeting and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues (Wikipedia).

When someone, or some ‘body’ publishes minutes it can be held that they are asserting, or affirming, that said minutes are a true reporting of that which transpired.

In February a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) was held which specifically concentrated on the ‘fur trade’; of which the minutes can be viewed here (click on meetings and events – downloads as pdf).

Within the minutes Peter Egan is quoted, yet he is not listed among the attendees; which begs the question how can said minutes be a true record of who attended and what was said; coupled with the point that it has been brought to my attention that the aforesaid minutes are not a true record of proceedings, nor are they a true record of ‘related responses’.

It is also noticeable that only an hour was allocated for a subject that required far longer in order that a subjective exchange of views could be heard

The foregoing begs the question: wherefore democracy? Where a ‘recognised’ committee’ is concerned, their proceedings are recorded by Hansard and there is a record of proceedings on Parliament tv. Where ‘unofficial’ All Party Parliamentary Groups – in effect ‘pressure groups’ are concerned; and thus are not ‘recognised’ –  then the public is reliant on any minutes they produce.

When such ‘minutes’ are published in the public domain – and which are ‘not correct’ – but which will no doubt be used and quoted by activists; then it can be held that such is of no more value than propaganda. By which, no matter on what subject you care to select, be that Brexit or whatever, so are the public then misinformed.

At this late stage it should be made plan that I have no views for, or agin, the fur trade, other than stating that providing ‘care’ of those animals that source fur is maintained (see this), where is the problem? The same argument can be made where, for example, the ‘euthanasia’ of cattle/ sheep/pigs/chickens are concerned – and do not the majority of us eat the foregoing?

If we, the people, are to have freedoms; then one of those must be to choose that which we wear, regardless of what others may think – obviously bearing in mind any ecological ‘impacts’, such as ‘hunting to extinction’ of any particular species. Another freedom must be the right to have public servants doing their job properly; and at the same time producing a correct record of any meetings they have.

The foregoing may seem ‘nitpicking’, however there is a principle involved; and that is that if democracy can be subverted by what may be termed a ‘select group’  in order to further their own agenda, then democracy per se cannot exist.


I did try to tell one idiot………

A couple of years ago, it may have been three or four – I’ve been to bed since then – at a Bruges Group meeting about membership of the European Union, I harangued  the panel (whilst I forget three attendees I do distinctly recall one of them was John Redwood) stating that I had never heard so much rubbish from four people who were supposed to know that about which they had spoken (which understandably went down like the proverbial lead brick).

One of the subjects I raised was that of air travel and the current rights of airlines to fly to and from other member states, making the point that if we just left the European Union without first negotiating access to those same rights, planes to European Member States, or overflying the European Union, would in effect be grounded.

Another member of the audience informed me I was talking ‘tripe’, that of course planes would not be grounded. Therefore I can but hope that individual has read this, a  subject that Richard North on EUReferendum.com has covered a number of times, on the last occasion here.

Much as I enjoyed attending Bruges Group meetings it became frustrating when it was realised that, besides the ‘panel’, a significant number of the audience also knew not that about which they wished to speak.

When we have politicians, media journalists and political commentators all pontificating on a subject – about which none of them exhibit any grasp of detail – or any grasp, come to that – is it unsurprising that the people are thus unknowledgeable on the European Union and Brexit?

Is there not a case to be made that politicians have failed in their duties as Members of Parliament by being unable to meaningfully contribute to the Brexit debate because of their ignorance – and I leave aside the wish of Members of Parliament not to ‘rock their party boat’, coupled with their wish to climb the political ladder. Is there not a case to be made that media journalists have failed to hold politicians to daily account, something that the people under representative democracy cannot do, yet have continued to ‘parrot’ political statements without question. As for political commentators (Booker excepted) just how or why the hell they get a monthly paycheck, heaven knows.

As an aside, when you read this – which must have one chance in heaven knows how many million of actually happening – one can but wonder whether querying if the same odds apply of getting a successful Brexit when we have politicians, media journalists and political commentators being ‘brain-dead’.