"Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own."
Henry Grady Weaver, author of a classic book on freedom "The Mainspring of Human Progress"
"We must remember that the principal instrument of government is coercion and that our government officials are no more moral, omnipotent, nor omniscient than are any of the rest of us. Once we understand the basic principles which must be observed if freedom is to be safeguarded against government, we may become more hesitant in turning our personal problems and responsibilities over to that agency of coercion, with its insatiable appetite for power."
When one considers 'government' our thoughts naturally turn to Westminster or, more lately, to Brussels - but it would appear that there is what may be called another 'government' within MEPs, MPs, Local Councillors, Quangos and the proliferation of 'Fake Charities'. Nourishing obscurity posts (and do please follow the links) on Common Purpose whose members have infiltrated large sections of our public services, charities and local government. Locally, following an FOI request, it was discovered that councillors of the ruling Conservative run West Oxfordshire District Council have been on Common Purpose courses. It would be interesting to know how many of our MEPs and MPs, when working as 'research assistants' prior to assuming their positions as elected representatives, have attended Common Purpose courses. Then, of course, there are "the great and the good" mentioned by Richard North, EU Referendum, who poses the question whether it is time for a "spring clean""We are a spoiled-rotten, coddled nation of eternal victims with a codependency on government." Marc Gallagher
We are continually informed by our national politicians that they govern our nation, a statement that is becoming more and more untrue as days pass.Setting to one side, for the moment, the eternal argument about how many of our laws originate from Brussels, I am grateful to Helen over at Your Freedom and Ours who alerts me to the fact that we have a National Reform Programme (NRP). Digressing slightly, do note the response of Lord Sassoon to a question that was asked. Any the wiser?
The National Reform Programme is a requirement of the European Union, a requirement 'managed' by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, from which we learn:
"Member States are required to submit annual reports on their NRPs outlining progress made over the previous 12 months......The Commission also proposes country-specific recommendations as part of the assessment of Member States' reforms, which are approved by Heads of Government at the Spring European Council in March every year."Accessing the Treasury website from the side bar of the BIS website we learn:
"The UK's second National Reform Programme was published in September 2008. It sets out the challenges currently facing the UK economy, and details the Government's forward looking agenda of economic reforms. It also sets out measures taken in the areas covered by the UK's country-specific recommendation and points to watch.The Government's long-term goals that cover the 2008-2010 cycle of the Lisbon Strategy are: maintaining macroeconomic stability; sustainable growth and prosperity; ensuring fairness and opportunity for all; creating stronger communities and effective public services; and ensuring an environmentally sustainable world."From the BIS website we learn that this year's NRP update is due to be published in September.
Much has been written about the lack of difference between the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties - and because of all three's adherence to EU membership there is no difference. The Conservative Party and David Cameron made much, prior to the May 10 election, of Labour's statist objectives, yet has continued the same ideological path because he has to. Our politicians no longer govern this nation, yet continue to act and preach to us that they do. Witness this from the Independent of today:
"Today the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, will turn up the heat on Mr Clegg after his party finished sixth in the Barnsley by-election, behind Ukip and the British National Party. He is due to give a speech suggesting the Liberal Democrats are no longer a distinctive force. "I think it's becoming clear that while there might still be three main political parties, there are only two directions for the future of our country," he will say."The two directions that Ed Miliband envisages almost certainly does not include the matter of in or out of the European Union. Calling England writes on Nigel Farage's statement this morning and his wish to make UKIP the 'third' party in British politics. Assuming Barnsley was not a one-off then Farage may well do this but he has, I suggest, to change course slightly. UKIP need to drop their 'out of Europe' main attack and concentrate on what most see as their sensible national policies - and then adding the rider that to implement those policies withdrawal from the EU would be necessary. Digressing again; following the success UKIP experienced in Barnsley today's print edition (can't find on line) carries a short article by Nick Britten entitled "Ukip 'could be vehicle for Islamophobia'", which reports that:
"Dr. Matthew Goodwin, of the University of Nottingham School of Politics, who led the study that analysed a YouGov poll of 4,000 Ukip voters, said: "The party does mop up defectors from the Tories but its appeal in domestic elections is rather different. It tends to do best among working class voters who find its populist attacks on immigrants, Muslims and the political establishment attractive. Ukip is well positioned to become a significant vehicle for xenophobia and more specifically Islamophobia."Either Nick Britten has uncovered new information or is guilty of yet another badly done 'cut 'n paste' exercise as the words attributed to Dr Matthew Goodwin are attributed to Dr. Robert Ford of The University, Manchester.
The problems our nation has with its current form of democracy can be found within the three quotations at the start of this post. Contrary to what Messrs Ford and Goodwin may think (and one has to wonder if they too have been on a Common Purpose course) it is not xenophobic to believe in self-governance; it is not xenophobic to want a situation whereby those elected to represent us can be removed from office; it is not xenophobic to wish a retention of our customs and traditions; it is not xenophobic to wish to retain Christianity as our native religion; it is not xenophobic to resist the practise of 'social-engineering' whereby our society is being changed beyond all recognition; it is not xenophobic to resist an education policy whereby the aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, but is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.