Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Duty of care

A phrase normally heard when the subject is related to hospitals/patients; housing associations/vulnerable tenants; and care homes/elderly residents, for example. One area to which the phrase never seems to be applied is that concerning our government where the well-being of our people is concerned.

This point can be illustrated with this report in the Daily Telegraph dealing with the fact that various charities and think tanks are calling for the Lib/Lab/Con to sink their idealogical differences to ensure that the elderly are looked after properly. Yet another report in the same paper states that it is likely MPs will recess earlier than normal this year due to the difficulties they will experience attending Westminster, said difficulties relating to tight road restrictions around the Palace of Westminster in the run-up to the Games, arguing that they will make travel to and from Parliament difficult. We also learn via Bruno Waterfield, writing for the same newspaper, that it is likely British families will face an additional tax burden of £200 per annum if the EU gets its way and imposes a system of direct taxation as a form of rising funds for the EU - and this at a time of supposed austerity where our national finances are concerned. On the same theme, we have David Cameron maintaining that, whilst our own people are suffering deprivation through cuts at home, we should continue spending 7% of GDP on foreign aid.

The fact that governments do have a duty of care to the people of this country cannot be in doubt. The policial class continually inform us that only they know what is good for us and that that is their 'raison d'etre' - and who are we to argue with them?

I have to ask how any government can exercise their duty of care towards the people they are supposed to govern when they have submitted themselves to a higher authority, one over which the British public have no control? One of the basic tenets of a democracy is that of "no taxation without representation", meaning that those who impose taxes must be directly answerable to their electorate via the ballot box - so how, pray, are those who wish to impose a possible additional tax bill of £200 answerable to the British electorate? In their manifesto for the last general election the Conservative Party stated: "We will honour our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on overseas aid from 2013, and to enshrine this commitment in law.", which immediately begs the question who but an incompetent financial fool promises to spend money without knowing beforehand how much money will be coming in and what other obligations he/she has?

All the foregoing are but a few examples which demonstrates that which is wrong with the political system presently practised in this country. We have a situation in which:
  • the choice of those presented from which we can elect as our representatives is one decided by each political party
  • there is little difference between the views of the Lib/Lab/Con, other than the means by which they all seek to reach the same conclusion, thus rendering the electorate dependent on which political dogma triumphs
  • the political class is intent on dictating to the electorate their views, whilst remaining deaf to the voices of those they are supposed to serve
  • there is no control of how - and on what - the political class spend money which is not theirs
  • the political class make financial decisions, whilst demonstrating a lack of financial acumen
  • that the Lib/Lab/Con instigate policies for which they have no direct mandate
  • manifestos are non-binding, consequently are not worth the paper on which they are printed
  • that our politicians rely, in their utterances, on obfuscation and downright lying in their dealings with their electorate
  • those elected are forced by their party to place party before country and their constituents, who's views they are supposed to represent
  • the state has changed from being a facillitator to that of a provider, one who's decision is 'final'
  • that regardless of the problems being experienced by the people, the comfort of the political elite should be catered for
  • that the above demonstrates we do indeed live in a 'democratised dictatorship'
(As an aside, all the above bullet-points are applicable to both national and local politicians.)

The foregoing also demonstrates that at present the elected representatives are masters of those they are supposed  to represent - which is a complete reversal of the natural law that those who provide the funds and those that appoint 'representatives' are in fact the masters.
It must be obvious that this situation cannot be allowed to continue, because if it does continue the people of this country will be no better than those who live/lived under communist regimes. It is for that reason I am throwing my weight behind the idea of Richard North and his campaign for the introduction of "Referism", an idea that would be a step to reintroducing the true master/servant relationship.

The British people have been led into servitude, that servitude being one of dependence on the will of our political elite - and therefore the State - and one practised by themselves or their paid lackeys (charities and quangos). It is a fact of history that the British people do not take kindly to being told what they must do and how they should behave, the eventual realization that they have been will hopefully produce a result well worth seeing.

However, those of us who accept the basic beliefs of "Referism" have, unfortunately, still to resolve one (or maybe three) problems:

1. How to restore sight to the blind that they may see that which is happening around them
2. How to restore hearing to the deaf that they may hear that which is happening around them
3. How to restore the power of thought to brains that have been 'lobotomised'.

Answers please (although not on a postcard.....)


    Anonymous said...

    Making them see, hear, and think is great WfW - it's then taking away the fear of voting in a new way.

    I'm still trying to get my puny boodle around this Referism thing - it seems very similar to localism.

    I'm afraid that I disagree with the great RN in that I think it's a matter of disengaging - if they charge to park in town, shop out of town - if they fine for speeding, don't speed (why not have be good days - no speeding, no illegal parking, no getting drunk and urinating in the street - let's not give them a chance to pick on us - disengage - starve the beast)

    They want a Soviet-style society, let 'em work for it.

    James Higham said...

    Yes, the solution has been obvious for some time - don't get old in the UK. Take what little you have and resettle before it becomes impossible for you, due to age.

    WitteringsfromWitney said...

    BJ: yup, the way I see it is that Referism is localism, but in a national sense - ie no matter what the politicos want to do or what they want to spend, they ask us first!

    Tend to disagree with your penultimate paragraph as that is complying with their diktats - whilst agreeing to not speeding etc when told to comply, just ask 'why' or say 'no' - census for example? That then accomplishes your last statement!

    Speeding limits and other such matters are for local people to decide - not central government!

    JH: Agree with your comment, but think you have missed the point of the post?

    Edward Spalton said...

    Every scheme has weaknesses. This doesn't mean that the scheme is wrong. The Achilles heel of Referism is the present size of the public pay roll and the fact that the friends and relations of public employees wouldn't like to put their friends and relations out of work. In short, the government payroll vote plus hangers-on could delay the effectiveness of the Referism.

    Derbyshire Council used to do this to perfection in the days of Old Labour. At one point they had a scheme that no employees would be sacked. If their jobs disappeared, they would hang around, getting paid in a Labour pool until a job of suitable type, grade and seniority occurred. This would stop the loss of "valuable experience" from the council staff, said the Council.

    The Thatcher government was trying to force councils to seek better value through competitive tendering. The Council's response was to draw the terms of the contracts in such a way that only their own direct labour organisation could possibly meet their conditions. A Councillor proudly told us about this with regard to school meals when I served on a board of school governors.

    kenomeat said...

    Are there any restrictions on political advertisements in newspapers? If not, then I would suggest that money should be raised to fund a national advertising campaign to get the message across. I personally would prefer a simple message of getting us out of the EU at this stage rather than referism.

    Edward Spalton said...

    Hello Kenomeat.

    Your comment reminded me of the very early days of the UKIP branch I started in 1994 (I think)

    Four or five of us were discussing what to do and one of our number came up with this suggestion of an advertising campaign.. "I entirely agree" I said "Will you take charge of fund raising for it?" I am still friends with that chap - but he didn't like the suggestion!

    A very generous benefactor gave (I think) £5,000 to CIB for an advertisement. £5,000 doesn't buy you much of a page in a national newspaper - nonetheless it was a respectable size of advert near to relevant editorial.
    The result was NIL. Advertising needs to be repeated to become effective.

    Far better to write well-informed, shortish letters regularly to your local paper. They stand a good chance of getting in. In fact, we are starting a writers' circle in CIB to make this more effective. Email me at
    if you are interested.

    kenomeat said...

    Thanks for your comment Edward. I guessed that raising funds might be an issue. I will gladly take you up on your offer regarding writing to local papers. Expect an e-mail shortly.

    WitteringsfromWitney said...

    ES & k: You make two good points Edward regarding the cost of the public payroll and advertising. Personally I think the point made about friends and family would not be a factor as their personal feelings about lack of services, how their money is spent etc would outweigh any ties to said friends and family - ie selfishness triumphs?

    I totally agree that unless an advertisement campaign is repetitive it is useless and letters to newspapers and MPs is far more effective. Newspapers are not liable to print your letter though whereas an MP is supposed to respond and can be held to ridiculte if he/she does not.