Sunday, 9 January 2011

Why we should be fearful

Richard North has an article in today's Sunday Mail, the basic thrust of which is that those who serve us could not care less whether a service is provided or not. Mainly focusing on services such as rubbish collection and the provision of power, Richard North also touches on the subject of government.

Government is also supposed to provide a service to their electorate and on this subject William Hague has a comment piece in today's Sunday Telegraph which is, frankly, nothing more than an attempt to justify and 'big-up' the Coalition's European Union Bill.

Yet another article in the Sunday Mail focuses on the potential problems David Cameron faces in relation to the aforesaid European Union Bill, the article highlighting the effect that Clause 18 of that Bill will have.

In his article, Richard North quotes Thomas Jefferson:
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
and continues:
"Our ‘rulers’ have lost their fear. You have only to go down to the Houses of Parliament or Downing Street to see this. Our masters have retreated behind concrete barricades, blastproof windows, policemen with machine guns, armoured limousines and riot police. The political classes are now a gated community. They feel safe. They are not afraid of us."
It is not just the visual barriers behind which politicians protect themselves, but also the myriad of laws and regulations that they have created. The three main political parties have also created a barrier by ensuring that they and only they form the choice at a general election. By means of what can only be termed blackmail - by insinuating that unfavourable copy in the media will automatically mean no access to government ministers etc - they effectively 'kill' fair reporting, by the media, of smaller party's policies or pronouncements by their spokesmen.spokeswomen.

On the subject of fair reporting, allow me to provide two examples. The first comes in today's editorial piece in the Sunday Telegraph, a piece headed: "Voters prefer parties to pacts". Within this editorial is this phrase:
" the next election, voters want to be offered a choice between three distinct political programmes."
Are there not more than three parties - three parties it should be noted that basically offer the same policies in varying forms - who provide candidates at a general election? Why are these other parties 'blanked', other than having to be mentioned when a list of candidates is mandatory?

The second example also illustrates a form of accepted censorship by our media. Consider the recent story that appeared in the press whereby the courts overturned a decision by Theresa May to cap immigration on the basis that her decision had not been subject to parliamentary scrutiny. This begs the question why do the courts not overturn every EU regulation on the same grounds? None is ever scrutinised by parliament. The British parliament is not allowed to change so much as a comma. All are just nodded through. Did we see this contradiction pointed out anywhere in the media?

The Sunday Mail article, linked to above, writes about a rebellion by Conservative MPs when a vote is taken on the European Union Bill. Tim Montgomerie, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, has an article questioning why so many Conservative MPs are rebelling against the Coalition. One has to ask though where and when will this rebellion take place - and I would remind those supposedly Eurosceptic Conservative MPs that talk is cheap. I suspect that the rebellion will be small and therefore insignificant for a number of reasons. First, the control of the Whips will be such that a number of MPs will revert to their 'sheep-like' status; second, that those with small majorities will fear for their chances of re-election, were there to be a snap GE; and third, that politics has now become a career for politicians, resulting in self-preservation and the loss of any sense of public service and representation of their consituents views.

Reverting to the matter of Hague's comment piece in the Sunday Telegraph, he writes:
".......the sheer undemocratic arrogance with which a European treaty of huge significance - the Lisbon Treaty - was rammed into law two years ago with no mandate of any kind from the people of this country."
and the sheer undemocratic arrogance of the Coalition, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties to even discuss and debate the subject of this nation's membership of the European Union? The sheer undemocratic arrogance of David Cameron who on three occasions refused to debate, in his own constituency, this subject? The sheer undemocratic arrogance of refusing point blank to undertake a cost/benefit analysis of said membership? The sheer undemocratic arrogance of a Coalition minister attempting to prevent someone, who had been lawfully elected as head of his party, to assume that position? Perhaps Hague needs to look in a mirror?

We are, as people, being enslaved, not just by our membership of the European Union, but more importantly by the three main political parties, who are using their position to ensure they remain the only options the electorate have, come a general election. Is that not the height of undemocratic arrogance?

Update: Apologies - forgot to link to Bernard Jenkin's article which is referred to in the Sunday Mail above.


Devil's Kitchen said...

This is a really excellent article, but I must take issue with one assertion...

"This begs the question why do the courts not overturn every EU regulation on the same grounds? None is ever scrutinised by parliament. The British parliament is not allowed to change so much as a comma."

The Directives, etc. are scrutinised. And no, not a comma can be changed. But they are scrutinised nevertheless.

Which is, when you think about it, the best possible example of why our Parliament is so useless—they do all of the work (paid for by us) and yet they are utterly powerless to do anything useful.

How could it be otherwise, when our own Parliament has voluntarily given away the power that they borrow from us?


WitteringsfromWitney said...

DK: Perhaps I should have used the word "read"?

I would contend though that they are not "scrutinised" by means of parliamentary debate - they are "scrutinised" by a Select Committee.

But immense thanks for your praise - much, much appreciated coming from a blogger of renown!

microdave said...

Maybe it's time to rename the country - How about "The Peoples Democratic Republic Of Great Britain"

As we have no effective opposition it isn't that different to any of the Communist states...

By the way - have you got a new email address yet?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

m/dave: dingsgate (at) gmail (dot) com

Not only do we not have an effective opposition, we don't have an effective government - other than the one in Brussels!