Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Perhaps, rather than be hired, Benedict Brogan should be fired?

And, preferably, to a great distance from whence the internet is not available. With his latest article on the Telegraph blogs, Brogan illustrates all that is wrong with the present standard of journalism. Some extracts:
"The Tories must stop pandering to populist opinion and rediscover their audacity"
C'mon, Ben: First they are Tories and second, they are politicans!
".... captures the dilemma with which the Coalition is grappling. It was forged in the national interest by two politicians who declared themselves ready to take decisions that would be unpopular but necessary."
Spheroids! It was forged by two politicians who realised that the prize of power was about to slip from their grasp unless they practised that well-worn political characteristic of ignoring their political beliefs and principles.
".......he was a Chancellor whose first thought was for his country, not for what would promote the short-term advantage of the Labour Party."
Spheroids once again! If Darling's first thought  had been for his country he would never have signed us up to the EFSM - but that he did, knowing that his incoming replacement was a wimp and a secret Europhile to boot, was no doubt done for the possible political advantage for his party.
"Big political decisions – the right decisions – are taken precisely because of the voters. Successful politicians act in the interest of those they represent, even when voters do not initially see the benefit of what is being proposed."
Are they hell! They are taken in the interests of one class of society - and that is the politicians!
"The Coalition was formed and voters responded with enthusiasm. Sixteen months on, the public remains broadly favourable to the idea of politicians striving together for the common good."
The independent blogosphere is not on Brogan's reading list then.........?
"But that goodwill is being jeopardised as the Coalition drifts from national interest to self-interest. Increasingly, its actions are informed by short- and medium-term political judgments. Some fear that the Coalition has adopted the Lib Dem habit of talking among themselves, not with the British people."
Since when did politicians not have self-interest as their core raison-d'etre? Since when did any of our politicians not adopt the habit of talking amongst themselves rather than with the British people?

There is not much point in continuing to disect Brogan's article - due to the fact it contains so much crap means that it is a waste of my time and yours, dear reader.

Methinks that Brogan is possibly 'doing a Hastings' and maybe angling for a nice safe Tory seat, come 2015 - or perhaps sooner?


TomTom said...

Never heard of Benedict Brogan until recently, but he is wet and watery. I used to like John Mackintosh and Vincent Hanna, they had erudition and sense and a wry approach to this shambles......

Nowadays it is all drivel and noone on TV or in newspapers knows more than I do and they strive to prove it in article after article.

Got rid of the TV the other day and watched it loaded into a truck with hundreds of other TVs.....it was tiresome hearing drivel daily

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT: I remember Vincent Hanna, John McIntosh I'm struggling with......

PeterCharles said...

You are entirely correct in you summation, complete and utter spheroids to jolly the troops along before conference season.

However, I believe you have made a small but significant error here: "If Darling's first thought had been for his country he would never have signed us up to the EFSM - but that he did, knowing that his incoming replacement was a wimp and a secret Europhile to boot, was no doubt done for the possible political advantage for his party." As I recall this was 'qualified majority voting' issue and the UK would have been out-voted should they have voted nay. Now, the political explanation is that to vote against a measure in the face of certain defeat would harm the UK's standing in the EU to absolutely no purpose. Thus, in common with the other countries, if they vote in accordance with the majority view. In reality, of course, they adopt this approach because it would make it so much harder to gull the public into believing WE decide what WE are going to do. It has also been accepted that Darling did consult with the other parties and the decision was party consensual.

You must not forget that EU interests always trump mere party political interests in the eyes of the elite.

PeterCharles said...

I've just re-read what I wrote and I apologise for the truly execrable grammatical errors therein. My only excuse is that I am not and have never been a 'morning' person, my biological clock has been fixed since babyhood to start a new day at around eleven a.m. and I enter peak alertness around three p.m. Said fact also being acknowledged by she who should know I hasten to add.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: Thank you and yes, you are correct re the QMV and consultation thingy.

However I still believe Darling would have done what he did regardless and for political advantage. Someone of principle would have voted no, regardless, thus able to hold head up high. He could then have ridiculed Osborne for not attempting to change things, successfully or not.

As to EU interests - how could I forget...?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: Apologise? Phooey, my grammar is not that great whatever the time of day, so if anyone should apologise it is me.......

The Gray Monk said...

One thing in favour of a coalition is that they can't do the usual lurch to extremes because their back benches won't wear it.

But that is about all one can say for it ...

Personally I do think an EU operating on the original premise can work for the UK, but NOT with the present dispensation of an unelected Commission and bunch of Eurocrats actually 'managing' matters they, themselves, do not have the competence to actually do ...

Anonymous said...

It was crap alright but brilliantly observed intuitive journalism, when set against and compared with Riddels' effort the previous day.

Anonymous said...

And pray who is to decide what is in the nation's best interest?

The usual suspects: Politicians? Journalists? Academics? Experts? The BBC?

PeterCharles said...

Ah, GM, "Personally I do think an EU operating on the original premise can work for the UK ..." There lies the problem. The original premise you refer to, presumably the EEC free trade and discouraged tariff agreements, was in fact ever only a British political premise with no foundation in reality. It is perfectly clear the intention from it's inception the EU was to be a Federated States of Europe governed by an apolitical, autonomous, self-electing commission advised by, but not constrained by, an elected parliament to provide democratic legitimacy and a Council of Ministers that would be neutered if not abolished once federation had been achieved.

All of that is a matter of historic record, why can no-one in Britain seem to see it? The whole point of the EU and the UN, their raison d'etre if it comes to that, is that nation states are considered dangerous entities that are inevitably in economic competition and will inevitably be brought to war, popular democracy is too dependent on 'buying' political support and is prone to corruption by charismatic demagogues like Hitler and a certain T Blair that again inevitably leads to war. Personally I do not agree with those 'inevitabilities' but remember the European project was born out of the residues of two world wars, that clearly demonstrated all those dangerous traits.

It has never been about free trade, it is purely a political construct designed to eliminate war, European in the EU context, world war in the UN context, and provide apolitical governance safe from the corrosive effect of popular democracy in both cases. Has no one else noticed the global governance creep of the UN, legitimising wars on the one hand, steadily building a body of 'international' law on the other while slowly becoming a supra-national court of justice? All of which are enthusiastically embraced by our own elites, of course.

I'm sorry, but your 'original premise' was never anything more than a useful political fantasy, and an exclusively British one at that. It was a very alluring and therefore dangerous fantasy, a true siren to the British internationalism and free trade tendency and sucked in almost everyone, especially opinion formers like Max Hastings et al. I have several international friends, German, Italian, Dutch and French in Europe, all of them were fully aware from the very beginning of the federal aim and most were enthusiastic supporters until about five years ago.

Anonymous said...


On the DT article I posted

And pray who is to decide what is in the nation's best interest? Politicians? Journalists? Academics? Experts?

In Switzerland they have direct democracy. The people decide what is in the nation's best interest, be it economic policy, rates of taxation, spending priorities, or immigration and nationality. That way, the consequences, be it good or bad, is in the people's hands. It makes a responsible and educated citizenry.

The nation's wealth left in the hands of a bunch of politicians, leads to the outrageous situation of a couple of people deciding to sell off the nation's gold - which they had no right to. The fact that it was sold when gold price was low, or that they were doing so in the best interest of the UK, is neither here nor there.


I've hunted for it. Its been deleted.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TGM: I think that PC has adequately responded to your comment and there is not much one can add........

Anon: Of all so-called journalists, Riddel is one that I deliberately ignore as I have no wish to ruin my breakfast!

PC: Thank you for responding to TGM. Whilst I agree that the original founding of the EU was a political move to prevent further war, today with the advances in military hardware only an idiot would even contemplate starting one and in any case I feel sure he would be 'dealt with' long before he got the chance to start one - Just a thought......

DP111: Switzerland: which is exactly where my Constitution thingy is leading.......

PeterCharles said...

Wfw: Although European war has become more and more unlikely, no thanks due to the EU despite their claims to the contrary, that has not changed the founding aims, the potential for war was only part of the reason, after all, eliminating the 'corrosion' of popular democracy was seen as a far larger part.

Whilst I agree only the insane or stupid would willingly start another war, or a government in dire need of popular support, of course, with its leaders safely ensconced far, far away from any danger, wars are in fact often unintended consequences of diplomatic failure. Certainly the first world war fits in this category, no one actually wanted to go to war, especially not Germany, unbelievable though it may seem now. Were it not for an almost farcical mixture of misunderstandings, wrong assumptions, miscommunication, arrogance, diplomatic posturing and sabre rattling that got out of hand it might not have happened at all, and if it hadn't the second world war almost certainly wouldn't have either. Never doubt the capacity for stupidity among politicians and governments.

We are also very likely about to enter 'interesting times' a la the Chinese curse. Peace, harmony and western-style democracy are not about to break out in the Middle East post the Arab spring. Those changes are far more likely to end in a third Arab-Israeli war with the high possibility of it going nuclear this time around. The Eurozone is on the brink of collapse and the good ole US of A is digging itself deeper and deeper into the economic mire at each passing minute. Any mismanaging of any of these and other crises could conceivably see serious warfare breaking out almost anywhere, most likely in the Far East, Near East or even South America, not just the Middle East, serious enough to have exceptionally nasty global consequences. And what ever you do, don't underestimate the capacity of politicians and governments to mishandle crises, it's what they do best after all.

Anonymous said...

Who is Benedict Brogan?
He was parachuted into a job on the Glasgow Herald with no training or experience, on an unlikely nepotism claim.
Raised and educated in France and Washington, why did he come to Britain, and as he is a pathetic writer, how has he got these jobs?
His agenda is always as an apologist for the greedy and scummy elite.

cosmic said...


Very clearly put regarding the EEC as a free trade arrangement.

This idea that the EEC was a trading arrangement which we voted for, as opposed to the EU which we did not, is a very persistent one, largely because of the way Le Projet has been presented, and lied about, in the UK.

I think that's mainly the reason why the notion of EU reform is taken at all seriously.

The EU has become political (it hasn't, it was always political).

The EU has gone too far (it hasn't gotten out of control, it was all in the design)

We'd be OK if we could get rid of the political baggage and reform it back to a free trade area (it was never a free trade area, it was a customs union and the political design was there from the outset).