Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Tittle-tattle news

As have I; Richard North, EU Referendum, has posted in days gone by on the ineffectual ability of the newsprint media to bring their readership "news".

Taking today's Daily Telegraph; as examples - and I have no intention of linking to the various stories highlighted as those with a print copy can do their own "linking" - consider:

Front page: We learn that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will, in the course of their visit to Canada and the US, visit a rodeo and Hollywood and during the course of the latter may bump into some stars.

Page 3: Alan Titchmarsh advises that: "Talking to plants is useless" and on the same page we also learn that adults with depression, anxiety or low moods can ask their GP for referral to an NHS funded trial for gardening lessons.

Page 4: "Bomb experts face growing threat to their mental health" - Military doctors have found evidence that EOD experts personnel are at greater risk of mental health problems because of their dangerous work.

Page 5: "After Essex, the only way is a hot bath" - A producer on a reality show felt contaminated  after meeting characters on his show. Yup, met a few of those in Oxfordshire too - and one suspects there is a similar view held in Westminster!

Page 6: "Daleks to take a break from Dr. Who" - they are to be sent into temporary exile after decades of being Enemy No1.

Page 8: We learn that Ukeleles are back in vogue as sales increase.

Page 9: "Muscle Men: Greek statues a true likeness" - it appears that Bettany Hughes, an historian, believes that men really did look like those depicted in statues and consequently had taut six-packs!

Not wishing to bore readers rigid, let us move on to page 16 and the op-ed piece and here we find in residence Mary Riddell - which seems a most suitable example with which to highlight the inadequacies of what purports to be a serious newspaper.

For a newspaper that attempts to present itself as a serious 'broadsheet' the Daily Telegraph seems to be providing an imitation of the Sun. What has happened to a newspaper which, during the 1950s, was just that - a serious newspaper, one who employed writers proud to be called journalists; a newspaper that presented unbiased reports of events in this country and the world at large; that carried reports of events/debates in Parliament (actually to be fair, at that time we did have politicians whose utterances were worth reporting).

Has the Telegraph gone the way of banks and in so doing, providing a crap service?

Oh, hang on - just realised, different Barclays..................

Monday, 30 May 2011


With this report by the Guardian, what pryce any prosecution will be hewn by the political elite in order to preserve one of their own - after all, we have to accept that the same laws should prevail in all cases?

Just asking........................

Principles? When linking the word with politicians?

Daniel Hannan has a post on his Telegraph blog initially about a recent event in Malta an event which he then links to a call for a referendum in this country on EU membership.

Because politicians, in general, of all hues have been shown to be men and women without principle, anyone (even a cynic like me) is now justified to question whether (a) is what they say the truth and (b) do they actually mean what they say.

It is said that appearances are deceptive and because politicians have created a sense of distrust within the public's perception it is also reasonable to ask whether politicians are, in fact, that which they present themselves as. In Hannan's case it has raised certain questions, for example is he a Quisling; in other words was he 'inserted' into the Conservative Party to bolster its (non-existent) Eurosceptism while all the while working to further Europhile aims?

It is a sad state of affairs when we are unable to accept at face value our politicians and what they say. Unfortunately, again using Hannan as an example, when a politician makes the accusation that expansion of Frontex will result in the creation of a massive quango at a time when we in the UK are attempting to cut such bodies (see previous post) and, together with another supposed 'Eurosceptic' Douglas Carswell, can also propose the dissolution of Better Off Out, replacing BOO with a cross-party of MPs who would then be able to exert more control over the Euroscepticism message, one may be forgiven for doubting the words of any politician.

In all the words written and spoken by so-called Eurosceptic politicians (including, sad to say, Nigel Farage) who have been calling for a referendum on EU membership, I have yet to hear one word expressed about how that referendum should be carried out, how fairness can be achieved in both message content and financial funding. Not one word has been seen expressing the fears of the Eurosceptic public about matters raised in this previous post of mine.

If I have slighted any politician named above then, needless to say, I apologise; however by their own actions politicians have created that, now natural, distrust so they only have themselves to blame.

Fontex - and boy, do the EU have a lot of 'front'!

Picking up on one point in this post from CallingEngland where she links to this story in the Daily Express, some initial comments arise.

Whilst acknowledging that the UK is not a signatory to Frontex, when has the fact that a member state has not been a signatory to anything ever stopped the EU implementing something - it should be remembered that what the EU wants, the EU gets. In any event it should also be remembered that where border control is concerned, this can be included in the subjects of territorial cohesion and sercurity - both matters in which the EU shares competence under Article 4 (c) (i) of the TFEU.

Another point that arises from the Express article is the quote from Daniel Hannan:
"As if the EU wasn’t undemocratic enough, it is creating this enormous quango while we are trying to cut them at home."
Really DH? You could have fooled me as it seems that for every one the Coalition has cut, another has been created to replace it. One of the qualifications required for potential MPs or MEPs must be that of being well-versed in the art of using smoke and mirrors, as illustrated in this particular case by one Daniel Hannan.

With regard to the statement by the UK Border Agency, how many times have we heard that an impending decision by the EU won't affect us as we are 'not involved'? As today is 'Wit'Monday, can we assume that the UKBA was joking?

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The political wage bill

Richard North, EUReferendum, posts on the gathering darkness in respect of the collapse of the Greek economy and the effects it may have on our country in the years to come, ending his post:
"On the bright side, it may take several years – even a decade – for the instability to spread to the UK, giving us time to adjust. The problem is, though, that there is no sign of a Churchill waiting in the wings, ready to lead to nation to the sunlit uplands. There will be no  "finest hour  " for us with lightweight fools such as Cameron in the driving seat. With him it may be our darkest hour. But how dark – and how quick - no one yet knows."
Whilst not disagreeing with that statement, it generated the thought whether we need another elected dictator at the head of what appears to be a bloated administrative. Some statistics are easy to obtain - the number of MPs and Peers - but not so when looking at local councillors etc. Google managed to throw up this helpful entry along with this BBC article on the cost of parliament - albeit that both sets if statistics are now out of date. However, whilst that data may have changed a tad, it serves for the purpose of this post.

In summary there are 650 MPs; 792 Peers; 433 local authorities according to Wikipedia, of which 353 of these are in England, 26 in Northern Ireland, 32 in and 22 are in Wales - providing the following number of local councillors:
  • London borough councillors: 1,861
  • English county councillors: 2,270
  • Metropolitan borough councillors: 2,555
  • English unitary authority councillors: 2,407
  • English lower-tier district councillors: 10,575
  • Welsh unitary authority councillors: 1,264
  • Scottish unitary authority councillors: 1,222
  • Northern Ireland district councillors: 582
  • Grand total: 22,736
on top of which it has been estimated that there are nearly 100,000 town and parish councillors. 

On the question of cost, from the BBC link above we learn that:
"The overall expense for taxpayers in 2008/9 came to £498.4m, down from £531.8m the previous year. The cost of the House of Commons increased by more than £12m, but the bill for running the House of Lords was reduced by £46m.The biggest single outgoing for Parliament was for MPs' salaries and pensions, which came to £157.2m.The total figures include wages for members and staff, building expenses, security and other administration."
Turning to the cost of local authorities, it is possible to access more recent date, courtesy of the Department of Communities and Local Government, from which we find that total expenditure by local authorities was £168billion in 2009/2010 and that they employed 1.8 million full-time employees staff and nearly 50 per cent of service expenditure (gross of income) was spent on these employees.

Which makes the suggestion encapsulated within my post even more pertinent:
".....it would seem that a mix of the US and Swiss system of government might just well provide that for which Richard North wishes. First, reduce the number of MPs elected to Westminster (they wouldn't be needed as all that Westminster would be left with would be matters such as defense of the realm, foreign policy etc); devolve to all county local authorities responsibility for internal matters - health, education, law & order - whilst also giving them tax-raising powers; and combining that with Richard North's idea for annual referendums."
The attractions in that suggestion are numerous, especially as it immediately rids us of unnecessary politicians resulting in less hands in our pockets, coupled with the fact that as cutting deficits is 'all the rage', the question is - as fellow blogger Mark Wadsworth is prone on occasions to ask - Whats not to like?

Yet another 'U' turn.........

to add to what is a growing list. Courtesy of CallingEngland and her "Sunday Roundup" I picked-up on the link to this, this and this, the latter having slipped under my radar and from which we learn:
"I'll tell you what; we're not having any more open primaries!" And indeed the party's not having any more."
Only problem is page 27 of the Coalition's programme for government:
"We will fund 200 all-postal primaries over this Parliament, targeted at seats which have not changed hands for many years. These funds will be allocated to all political parties with seats in Parliament that they take up, in proportion to their share of the total vote in the last general election."
I read Cameron has the aim of having 30% of his candidates being female, to which I wish him the best of luck, especially bearing in mind the words of Maureen Murphy:
"The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces."

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Words - and their potential

"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
Philip K. Dick
"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
Thomas Jefferson
Words, especially when uttered by politicians, are a bigger threat to freedom, justice, and truth than bullets because, when used by government politicians with an authoritarian bent, they can be used to enslave millions of minds, thus turning people into obedient machines without a will  - and without any understanding of their actions beyond a belief in the lies that their leaders tell them. Whilst words can serve as an agent of enslavement, they can also serve as a tool for liberation and transformation; however the latter can only happen when the media are not therefore, through their dependence on the political elite for their income, 'in the political pocket'.

Edward Spalton, commenting on my post "And Finally" (a comment well worth reading in full) writes that a British friend of his is of the opinion that the British people have been 'tamed'. That comment is one that 'hits the nail on the head', in that that is just what has been accomplished by our political elite through their careful use of words and policies such as 'social-engineering' whereby they have changed our society, a change they hope being one to their advantage.

Social-engineering is not necessarily limited to changing a society through the introduction of different races to that society, but can also be accomplished by allowing the politically correct brigade, who are of left-wing persuasion, 'free reign' to implement their ideas of equality and diversity; especially when considering the field of education (see Edward's comment). Having recently 'discovered' Thomas Sowell, yet another quotation from him is worth repeating:
"The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive."
That statement is borne out when considering any quango that is involved in 'educating' the British people where matters of health, education, personal behaviour or law and order are concerned - and the first part of that quotation is why no government of a socialist ideology should ever be elected in the future.

Returning to the subject of the media, when people select a British newspaper, or select either the BBC or ITV, one has to ask whether they really do believe that which they read or hear, or whether - due to their having been 'tamed' - they accept that which they read or hear without question. It is, methinks, the latter and it matters not whether a newspaper is 'broadsheet' or 'tabloid', BBC or ITV, as their output is couched in words to suit their target market. It must be logical to assume that whilst the media are reliant for their income on career politicians the market that the media should be serving, namely their readership or viewers, will never learn the truth.

If politicians lie; if the media do not, for whatever reason, report the truth; if thoughtful individuals are barred from speaking their minds in public, being denigrated for example as racist or homophobic, then what has evolved is no more than state-inspired censorship to the detriment of humanity. It can also be argued that the suppression of information by the media - caused solely by the reason suggested above - has allowed the political ruling class to misuse the powers they have usurped, thus imposing authoritarian measures that result in the suppression of what are supposed to be free people. Thomas Jefferson uses the word man in the quotation above, a use I would suggest is generic in that in any democracy a majority view must hold sway. In that context the decision by our political elite to maintain the UK's membership of the EU, which is against the majority of public opinion, is authoritarian in the extreme - as is the Coalition's policy on overseas aid, a policy carried out to the detriment of those to whom the government of the day owe a duty of care. Never mind the word 'compel', used by Jefferson - to solicit funds and then impose a political dogma which the majority of people consider draconian is not only sinful, wrong and tyrannical, it is nothing more than an abuse of the trust of a people that have been led to believe they need leading - which leads me, as an alternative, back to a system of government referred to as "Referism" (see previous posts).

I would offer the suggestion that the greatest crime that can be levelled at our political elite and the media is that as words can shape a people’s destiny for good or evil and in so doing hide ugly truths from the people whilst protecting the powerful from retribution, our political elite and the media deserve the highest accolade possible.

And Finally...................

The eccentricity of the British is well known and there can't be many countries that would organise a "Shirt Race" which involves two people racing around a village, one pushing the other in a ‘chariot’. The pair have to visit all the village’s pubs and drink half a pint of ale at each.

The fact that Bampton lies in the Witney Constituency is, I suspect, the reason for confiscation of the starting pistol - which can be converted into a lethal weapon - and may well have something to do with the incumbent MP - one some people believe deserves rather more than a kick up the rear!

It would appear that my view of politicians and their rightful place being adorning lamp posts is now shared by one American. From the comments:
"dcwusmc, Vallejo, California says...
6:39pm Fri 27 May 11

What I cannot BEGIN to fathom is why the British people do not have the imbeciles who pass and enforce such anti-liberty legislation as this dangling from lamp posts. YOU are the people who once had an empire on which the sun never set? YOU are who gave us the Magna Carta? YOU are the people I must consider my ancestors?

I am truly appalled that I read such as this and then DON'T read about how you are rising up to TAKE BACK your individual rights from these usurpers. What ever happened to the formerly-renowned SPINE of the British people?

D.C. Wright

United States Marine Corps Retired


The idea of "Referism" , initiated by Richard North appears to have stirred up part of the blogosphere - at least that part that believes we have too many politicians who, in turn, believe they are the masters. Amongst other bloggers this idea has been commented on by Autonomous Mind, Cranmer and The Purple Scorpion.

Cranmer may well wish to 'label' the idea, he may attempt to mock the idea and he may believe there is a problem with human ego. He may also well believe that the people demand a leader, a view constrained by the fact that the people have never been offered any alternative having had their powers of freedom and choice usurped by our leaders. As I posted, smaller central government, power devolved to smaller units aided by North's referendum ideas would mean that we would not need a leader; more a chief executive and board of management to oversee the implementation of what the shareholders want, both nationally and locally.

The Purple Scorpion comments in his post that it will be interesting to see what emerges from the seed of "Referism". An aspect just as interesting to monitor will be the reaction of the political class and the MSM when they get to hear of it - and what their reaction will be.

Friday, 27 May 2011

More on our democratic deficit

"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are."
H. L. Mencken

Richard North, EU Referendum, continues his series of posts on the political problems encapsulated within our democracy and suggests a voter's alliance and in so doing links to CallingEngland, in which post her crie de coeur is:
"There is no political party or even an outsider who can lead us out of this mess. The change that must happen must come from us as individuals and we must be responsible for our own actions instead of looking to others. No-one will come."
The more I consider Richard's idea the more attractive it appears as it is becoming even more obvious that as Lord Acton, the British historian, who said: "All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." these words are proven to be increasingly more evident by the day.

Nothing illustrates that more than the leaders of the Lib/Lab/Con who all maintain that our country's membership of the European Union is necessary in order for us to succeed in the world. Power has indeed corrupted the reasoning of those three men - with opinion poll after opinion poll showing that the country wants a referendum on EU membership, they repeatedly refuse to grant one. MPs elected to Parliament are controlled by their party leaders and are forced through the whipping system to place party before their country and constituents. Political manifestos are produced at the time of general elections, the contents of which bear little relation to what actually is subsequently promulgated into law - and in some noteable examples manifesto promises are completely ignored.

The foregoing are examples of a situation which cannot and must not be allowed to continue. As I have stated on many occasions the present political system is enacted on the basis that politicians are those with the power and that the people must serve the politicians - when in fact it is the reverse that is true, namely that power rests with the people and politicians are no more than servants of the people. In this context Richard North poses the question of how to we get from where we are to the position where we wish to be - a people free from central government interference. He makes a telling point when he writes:

"..... the answer is to recognise that we are seeking to overthrow the status quo, changing the order of things. That makes us, by definition, revolutionaries - and no revolution ever succeeded by working within the system."

which kinda makes a mockery of Cameron's stated wish to change the European Union from within - but again I am guilty of digressing.

Much has been written on how to fix our democratic system and the cure for all our ills would seem to be the creation of an English parliament, one to rival that of Scotland and the Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland. There is also a movement for the United Kingdom to become a confederation, one comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst our country remains a member of the EU, all the creation of an English parliament would do is to cement the break-up of the United Kingdom - a course of action on which the EU is intent in accordance with it's NUTS programme. In any event all that the creation of an English parliament, or a confederation, will accomplish is yet more politicians resulting in more cost to the public purse. Yet another cure for our ills is outlined in "The Plan" (see righthand sidebar) , a treatise by Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan, in which they propose a "100 day plan". Ukip have also their version as the panacea to the problem of national politics and governance here (page 13). The problem with all these ideas is that we are still left with pesky politicians - and far too many of them!

To add my twopennworth to the mix - and admittedly not yet fully 'thought-through - it would seem that a mix of the US and Swiss system of government might just well provide that for which Richard North wishes. First, reduce the number of MPs elected to Westminster (they wouldn't be needed as all that Westminster would be left with would be matters such as defense of the realm, foreign policy etc); devolve to all county local authorities responsibility for internal matters - health, education, law & order - whilst also giving them tax-raising powers; and combining that with Richard North's idea for annual referendums.

Ok, so that may well produce some anomolies within the UK on how health, education, law& order are managed within the UK - so what? By giving local county authorites tax-raising powers - and here I 'pick-up' on a point mentioned in "The Plan" - it would create something I do not believe we have ever had in this country; namely a downward pressure on taxation.

Anyway, just thought I would 'stir the pot' even more..................................

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Could 'People Power' kill our EU membership

BJ, UKK41, has a most interesting post on the question of bail-outs and other matters 'EU - one well worth a visit.
"The nation state governments have favoured their new EU friends in Brussels and totally turned their backs on their own people – why should the people now pay for their greed and arrogance."
In the monthly newsletter from the Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB) Edward Spalton proposes that:
"Writing only requires pen and paper and the price of a few stamps or the use of a computer and email. It could be made a great deal more effective if writers were prepared to apply a little organisation. If an editor receives one letter, he may publish it if it takes his fancy - or not.  If he receives five or six on the same subject, all expressing the same points differently, one or more is almost certain to be published. The letters page is the most read part of local newspapers.

Then there are MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates. If they get one letter from a constituent complaining about the EU they may disregard it or simply give a stock answer. If they get five or six, they will begin to take notice. Their offices keep a note of topics which concern their constituents. If they keep getting individual complaints about the EU from their constituents, differently expressed and from different people, they will begin to take notice.

If you like writing, I would like to discuss the best ways of multiplying the power of the potent influence of public opinion. People can be front line campaigners from their own homes. We need to keep up the impetus now that the enemy is on the defensive. Would anyone be interested in forming a local correspondence circle get in touch with me?"
 Edward ends with his contact details: Tel: 01283 730903 - email: edward(at)spalton(dot)me(dot)uk

Yet another idea that would need 'organisation' presents itself with the passing of the re-call bill, if it ever does get proposed by the Coalition. I have pointed out previously, any re-call of an MP will be subject to the final decision of a committee of MPs, said committee agreeing that a serious error has occurred to enable a re-call to be enacted.

With the majority of the British people in favour of a referendum on EU membership it should not be too difficult to arrange for the necessary signatures on a petition, setting out chapter and verse, calling for a re-call of the majority of MPs. Such a plan would place our MPs - or at least those on the 'final-decision' committee in an impossible quandary - in that they would either have to agree to allowing what would amount to a referendum/general election, or they would have to deny every single petition and thus show themselves to be the elected dictatorship that they have become.


Is Ukip a 'busted flush'

So asks Richard North, EU Referendum, in a coruscating post aimed at Nigel Farage, the comments to which can be found here.

I was not a member of the party at the time of the North/Farage 'fallout', however I will state that from what I have read and been told (even by those not anti-Farage) is that Richard North has justifiable grounds for his statements - and which can but illustrate the point I made in this post, namely Farage is no administrator nor manager.

Perhaps WilliamGruff, in the comments, has the kernel of an idea:
"More seriously, I agree with you that new parties are not the answer. I am convinced that nothing can be changed until we return knowledgeable independent members to Parliament, accountable only to their constituents, and voluntarily 'policed' by dedicated members of the public who are concerned only to ensure the probity of our elected representatives and our political system."
The 'key' to this is independent candidates, ones not constrained by political party 'whipping handcuffs' - and chosen by open primaries.

Likewise, perhaps Richard North had the kernel of an idea with his post "Referism - Breaking the chains".

Hopefully your comments will be interesting.........................?

Police involvement in assisted suicide

An article in today's Daily Telegraph on the case of Daniel James, who travelled to Switzerland to avail himself of the services of Dignitas, provokes yet further discussion on the subject of personal liberty.
"But police were only alerted on the day that Daniel flew to Switzerland with his parents, which was too late to attempt to convince him to change his plans, because the doctor wanted to preserve patient confidentiality. Det Insp Adrian Todd, of West Mercia Police, called for clearer guidelines for medical professionals and an overhaul of the handling of assisted suicide cases."
Det Insp Todd in effect complained that whilst others were aware of James' plans to travel to Switzerland, the police were not informed until the day of travel. Yet it is known that James was assessed as having the capacity to make decisions for himself - in which case one has to ask on what basis was James' decision a matter for the police?

In calling for clearer guidelines for medical professionals - ie, calling into question doctor/patient confidentiality, then what is the next step if not calling into question lawyer/client confidentiality? Some might well argue that this attitude of the police is in direct contravention of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1988.

Be that as it may, I have to raise just one question: Whose life was it that James wished to terminate - his, or that of the police?

And the author is...........?

From the May/June 2011edition of "Free Britain", the newspaper of the Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB), the first two paragraphs of an article (which I trust CIB will not mind my sharing):
"The shambolic sight of UK rescue operations in Libya was a national embarrassment.The ridiculous choices of the Coalition Government,to spend more on EU membership (now £48million a day) and foreign aid (£23million a day) when we are making dangerous cuts to our own military services speaks volumes. They cut at home to squander money abroad. And we call these politicians our public servants!

This piecemeal salami slicing of our self-government has dire consequences indeed. Even if we did have an independent foreign policy, the Coalition's outrageous defence cuts leave us almost defenceless. why else would there have been speculation on loss of the Falklands when the cuts were announced? How can aircraft carriers without any aircraft to carry make sense? The idea should have been laughed out of the room."
And the author of this coruscation?

The man who famously stated:
"I have been increasingly impressed by the leadership shown by David Cameron in dealing with this country's problems."
Oops! They say that words will always come back to haunt you...................................

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Louise Bagshawe

It is not very often that I read Labour List, however I cannot allow this post on their website to pass with comment. It would appear that Ms. Bagshawe has commented unfavourably on the decision to allow dumping of low-grade nuclear waste at a site in her constituency, as reported by the BBC and the Guardian. One can but agree with Ms. Bagshawe that this does indeed make a mockery of the government's 'localism' policy, although she does omit to mention that it is therefore just a continuation of central government's policy of 'democratised dictatorship'.
"No doubt Bagshawe's concerns are linked to the size of her majority (which is less than 2,000) but nonetheless this is a remarkable attack on her own government, and another example of the rebellious nature of the 2010 intake."
The first part of the quotation above may well be true, but the second most definitely cannot be - as witnessed by her voting record, where only once has she 'rebelled' against her party.

Chic-lit author or voting fodder MP - the decision is yours.

Hear, Hear!

Courtesy of CallingEngland comes notice of a speech given by Ashley Mote:"What has Britain become". Approximately of 30 minutes length, I can but echo the sentiments expressed by CallingEngland that there is not one word of what Mote says with which I can disagree.

Mote states that the takeover of this country began in 1928 with the Frankfurt School Strategy to promote Marxism worldwide. Rodney Atkinson, however, believes the EU arises from plans belonging to Nazis and Fascists:

The central message of both Mote and Atkinson, that EU membership is not in the best interests of our country - regardless of what our political dictatorship believe - does need repetition. Said repetition will need to be a DIY job by the British people as we sure as hell won't be getting any help from the MSM.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Thomas Sowell

I have posted on this man previously and, unashamed, I "nick" a further video of this man's words from Richard North, EU Referendum. (If you have not seen the first video, do please watch)

"Their insulated lives on college campuses was followed by insulated lives on government payrolls..." 

Where politicians and bureaucrats are concerned, those that have never had a 'proper' job but have PPE degrees - at which point they become 'interns' to those who believe in 'social engineering' and political dogma - then 'graduate' to the political 'gravy-train' can only result in a situation where any nation is well and truly 'self-procreated'!

Christopher Heaton-Harris, Eurosceptic - a fitting epitaph?

A comment submitted on my earlier post: "Moderately Eurosceptic Conservatives":
"I remember Heaton Harris very well from 1999. I was standing in the EU elections against him.

He took me aside and berated me for doing so because without UKIP  "we could get another seat  ".

I said   "Well, say you want us out of the EU and I will campaign to help you get it  " but he declined.

I am afraid he is one of the Tories' whited sepulchres - eurosceptically shining for the up country voters on the outside but full of Vichyite, Europhile corruption on the inside. The sort of chap who sold   "In Europe but not run by Europe " very plausibly.

People of this sort are worse than honest, out and out Europhiles who genuinely believe in their cause. The Heaton Harris's of this world believe in their entitlement to office . FULL STOP.
 I can only add to the comment by saying Heaton-Harris is but a prime example of what is wrong with our political elite - namely their being a collection of self-opinionated, self-important puff-ball nonentities.

Heaton-Harris, as one of the prime shepherds of mis-direction, will be one of those with his own individual lamp post and will not be getting his stall in the promised abattoir - after all, how many "second homes" does a man need, even if of a temporary nature?

The collapse of another Empire?

An interesting article by Wayne Madsen on the Strategic Culture Foundation has been brought to my attention by an email contact.
"The history of Europe is one of successive collapsed empires. Some, such as the Roman, Holy Roman, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires, simply overextended themselves and collapsed due to nationalist uprisings coupled with domestic political and economic inertia. Others, like the German Nazi, Soviet, Italian fascist, Napoleonic French, Spanish, and Portuguese empires collapsed as a result of their military aggression and incessant subterfuge from external forces. The European Union appears to be suffering from the same symptoms as those experienced by the first category of failed European empires: over-extension, a stagnant and bloated bureaucracy, and economic collapse. As Europe strives to become a more unified and federal union, there has been a backlash from across its member states, with a North-South divide and economic turmoil now threatening to bring down the whole house of cards."
What Madsen unfortunately does not address is the fact that regardless of what the people of the European Union want, their national politicians continue to press ahead regardless. Democratised Dictatorship? 

One can only hope that his final sentence does, indeed, come to pass!

Moderately Eurosceptic Conservatives

This afternoon a debate took place in the House of Commons on the question of Eurozone Financial Assistance and the provisional* copy of the Hansard report can be read here.

A number of observations need to be made. 

Due to what may be termed the shenanigans of government business managers the original motion for debate was never voted on. In fact Bernard Jenkin rose, at the end of the debate to lodge a protest in the form of a Point of Order.

From Conservative Home we learn that the original motion required the government to:
"place the European Financial Stability Mechanism on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement which relieves the UK of liability under the EFSM has by then been agreed."
In what has been termed a "whips' operation", a watered down amendment, proposed by a supposed Eurosceptic Chris Heaton-Harris, merely required the government to "urge" the government to raise the issue of the ESFM at the next meeting of the Heads of State. |(has Heaton-Harris been "bought" or promised a promotion in any forthcoming reshuffle?)

Some MPs made points which are more than worthy of repetition:

Kate Hoey: "Let us stop being afraid of our constituents’ views, and listen to what many people out there want to say. This Government need to accept what the previous Government would never accept—namely, that we are here to stand up for our constituents and our country on this issue."

Richard Drax: "Perhaps we are led to the top of the hill and then let down by parliamentarians who do not have the guts to stand up for their country."

Ian Davidson: "The wider question we need to address is why it appears that this Government are consistently going soft on the European Union. When they were elected, the impression was given that they were going to be much tougher on Europe than the previous Government had been, and I welcomed that different position, on that issue if on no other. I welcomed the fact that the Conservatives gave the impression they were going to stand up to Europe much more than the previous Government, and that they were going to seek opportunities not only to repatriate powers but to reduce the amount of money we give to the EU and to pursue all possible ways to clip the European Commission’s wings. Why, therefore, has it come to pass that they seem to be simply acquiescing in so much that goes on in the EU?" (A very good speech and one worth reading in full)

Douglas Carswell: "We have sat here for too long listening to what Ministers tell us. We have been fed too many bogus assurances and too many reasons that have turned out to be excuses." (Much as I have disagreed with Carswell in the past, this again is a good speech and worth reading in full)

Whilst it was heartening to see Labour MPs defying their party's decision to abstain and voting for their Eurosceptic beliefs, what was sickening was to see the number of Conservative MPs - the majority of whom had not been present for the debate - all dutifully obeying their Whips orders and voting like the sheep they undoubtedly are.

Those sheep may console themselves that they will be accorded a waiting pen, with individual nameplates, in the abattoir to which they will, one day, be led!

* This provisional copy of Hansard will be replaced in the morning by the official copy and I will change the link at that time.

European External Action Service

Today in the Daily Telegraph we find this country's apology of a Foreign Secretary, one William Hague, stating that he has advised British Embassies world-wide to be on their guard for the EU's External Action Service embassies "power grabs". We also find EUobserver referring to David Lidington as a "junior minister" (such a delightful phrase to describe a politician of Liddington's lack of stature) and that he has criticised Kathy Ashton for seeking too much money and too much power.

Err, guess which individual voted in favour of the External Action Service when this was debated in the House of Commons? Yup, one David Lidington - and now he complains about possible "competence creep"?

Interestingly - and something I didn't know - Lidington runs a blog and from that source is the text of a speech he gave to the UK Association for European Law on 25th November last year, in which he quoted the now infamous words of Lord Denning on the subject of the impact of the European Communities Act 1972:
"The treaty does not touch any of the matters which concern solely the mainland of England and the people in it. These are still governed by English law. They are not affected by the Treaty. But when we come to matters with a European element, the Treaty is like an incoming tide. It flows into the estuaries and up the rivers. It cannot be held back. [...] Any rights or obligations created by the Treaty are to be given legal effect in England without more ado. Any remedies or procedures provided by the Treaty are to be made available here without being open to question. In future, in transactions which cross the frontiers, we must no longer speak or think of English law as something on its own. We must speak and think of Community law, of Community rights and obligations, and we must give effect to them."
I never cease to be amazed at our politicians spending time attempting to repeat that the sovereignty of parliament must remain supreme whilst at the same time trooping through the government lobbies accepting and agreeing to membership of the European Union. 

When considering Lidington and his slavish adherence to EU membership it should be remembered that he served  as special adviser to the pro-European former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd from 1989-90. Either Lidington learned his love of the EU whilst with Douglas Hurd or perhaps the additional 30,000+ pieces of silver he receives, on top of his MPs salary, might well have had something to do with this. Who can tell when considering a politician's principles vs power vs salary?

David Campbell-Bannerman

Who? That one word just about sums up the person in question, whos one claim to fame is that he lost the last Ukip leadership election to Nigel Farage. It also seems he was involved in the preparation of the present set of policies for that party.

The Boiling Frog believes that the less said about this defection to the Conservative Party the better, however never having been backward in coming forward, I tend to take the opposite view.

Leaving to one side the question of how anyone can believe in self-governance for one's country one day and the next be of the opinion that one's future lies with a party that believes in continued membership of the European Union is a conundrum that only David Campbell-Bannerman can answer.

In a statement on Conservative Home Campbell-Bannerman states:
"I have been increasingly impressed by the leadership shown by David Cameron in dealing with this country's problems. In particular, the Government's determination to clean up the economic mess left by Labour. Similarly in Europe, I have been pleased with the robust stance taken by David Cameron and Conservative MEPs over the EU budget negotiations and I believe that it is Conservative MEPs who are working hard to defend Britain's interests."
That, from a man who only 11 months ago castigated the party to which he has defected with this article in the Guardian. 

From being a fairly big fish in a small pond, Campbell-Bannerman has now become a small fish in a large pond - a view, it seems, confirmed by our apology of a Foreign Secretary,William Hague:
"I am sure David Campbell Bannerman will be a valuable member of our team in the European Parliament."
One also wonders whether part of the deal is for Campbell-Bannerman to be pushed up to head the list of candidates standing in the European elections in 2014.

It would also appear that not every Ukip supporter is wishing Campbell-Bannerman God-speed with their best wishes, an example of which sentiment is this tweet:
"UKIPPER to DCB we flogged guts out, THAT is why you were elected, not yr (somewhat deficient) charisma nor yr (equally limited) intellect"
On the basis of that tweet, especially where charisma and intellect of the leading Conservatives are concerned, perhaps the two partners in what could be held to be a marriage of convenience really do deserve each other.

Update: In response to Richard North's post, in which he links to mine, I would wish to make plain that any sense of loyalty I have is to the party and not to Nigel Farage. Regular readers will know that I have criticised Nigel Farage in respect of his leadership skills on previous occasions, the last time here.

UKIPPER to DCB "we flogged guts out,THAT is why you were elected, not yr (somewhat deficient) charisma nor yr (equally limited) intellect"

Monday, 23 May 2011


A video of the urgent question debate on the matter of injunctions/superinjunctions took place this afternoon in the Hoc and a video of proceedings can be seen here.

The first matter of interest is how did Ryan Giggs manage to secure a seat on the Government front bench next to Dominic Grieve, or is it just me that sees a likeness twixt Giggs and Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Media, Culture and Sport - but I digress........

Not being one with any legal training/knowledge, but merely as an interested onlooker the following questions/observations come to mind on a subject which involves what is the opening of yet another Pandora's Box.

Some MPs questioned whether a new privacy law was required and therein lies yet another problem - what is privacy, to whom should any such law apply - and to what degree -  and who should decide the parameters?

Any such change to the existing law would need to strike a balance - and one then comes back to the question posed above, namely who will decide that balance?

John Whittingdale raised the point that the law is being made an ass by 'social media' - which begs the question, is his answer a form of censorship? That question is posed as Twitter and some blog hosts are based outside the jurisdiction of the English courts, so how would MPs enforce such a law other than by denying the use of such social media sites- which must then involve a degree of censorship.

If the basic right to freedom of speech is paramount in a free society then surely it cannot be curtailed under any circumstances?

The matter of Giggs being outed in Scotland was raised by one MP and Grieve admitted that English courts could not do a damn thing about that as Scotland was not answerable to the rulings of English courts. Therefore does it not follow that if the government cannot alter what is published in Scotland, it must follow they cannot do anything about what is published on printed matter that is produced using a publishing outlet that is outside English jurisdiction?

If the press has a right to report on the proceedings of parliament, how can they be held to be breaking an injunction if the information contained within that injunction is then released within the confines of the HoC?

Bearing in mind that MPs are supposed to reflect the views of their constituents, how can they support a law that does not have what is perceived to be public support? Oh, wait, EU membership........?

Returning to the subject of balance, one has to ask which is the more important - the privacy of a husband who attempts to ban the publication of his infidelity, presumably to hide the fact from his wife; or freedom for all to see the draconian restrictions imposed by social workers of local authorities on parents whose children may well have been taken into care in order to meet targets?

The point that must also be considered is that if all political power is held by the people and delegated -and therefore 'on loan' - to their elected representatives, should it not be the people's decision on whether a new privacy law is required and the content of same?

Yet another point for consideration is that by being secretive with matters that do affect us - and I return to the accusations made many times on this blog about the political class not practising honesty with the electorate on matters of polical importance - is it any wonder that the public become fixated on what amounts to 'tittle-tattle'?

What we have here is another case of law being promulgated by parliament, the ramifications of which have not been thought through - the result of which means that those who consider themselves a 'class apart' and 'superior' have managed to create for themselves yet another 'fine mess'.

Benedict Brogan, in common with the majority of Daily Telegraph 'journalists' (Brooker,Delingpole and West being noticeable exceptions) commits the classic example of putting fingers to keyboard without first engaging brain. He writes - and I use the word "writes" in the loosest possible way - that with the events in parliament being transmitted by the BBC, us mere mortals have a duty to decide whether any stated fact is fact or fiction. He seems to forget that the BBC is a news outlet and as such we mere mortals are at perfect liberty to quote from such a source. Brogan also states:

"We have a history of mobs driving politics, of popular movements shifting official thinking." 

Just who the hell does this paragon of virtue think he is, writing such patronising rubbish? Mobs????!!! Popular movements shifting official thinking???!!! I have to return to the statement above, that if power rests with the people - and is lent to our elected representatives - then should not the people have the final decision on laws by which they should live? Brogan is a classic example of a so-called 'journalist', one dependent on not upsetting his paymasters - aka politicians - by supporting what amounts to 'democratised dictatorship'.

Finally, once again slightly digressing, should not those in the public eye think ahead prior to posing for publicity pictures:

Just a few initial thoughts to provoke debate..........................

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Letters of the day

Two letters in the Sunday Telegraph today are worthy of mention:
"SIR – You say that Britain and the EU need to debate an alternative to “ever-closer union” (Leading article, May 15).
Might I suggest a Common Market? That, and no more.
Major Nigel Price
Marple Bridge, Cheshire
"SIR – Gordon Brown considered to run the IMF? I doubt whether he could have run MFI.
Michael Scott
Harrow, Middlesex

Belles de Commons

The Mail on Sunday today contains an article on two blogs purporting to be written by parliamentary interns of MPs, detailing the salacious on-going events behind closed doors. To save readers the time and trouble of searching for the two blogs mentioned, they can be found here and here.

Whether these blogs are fact or fiction - were one of these blogs centred on Jim Paice, Minister for Agriculture and Food, it would be more correct to use the words tract or fiction; but I digress - matters not. What is important is the reaction of Louise Bagshawe, Conservative MP - and chick-lit author, prior to entering the HoC - who is reported as having said:
"I think it is important for staff to maintain confidentiality. If it is a real account, then I don’t approve at all. Private lives should remain private."
That comment, in my opinion, sums up what is wrong with the mindset of our politicians. Confidentiality of matters political - when that refers to constituents inquiries, correspondence; party policy - is of course required. However it is, I believe, generally accepted that we do not fund MPs salaries, expenses, second homes, etc so that they can have relations with their interns or anyone else who catches their predatory eye, especially on parliamentary premises.

With the likes of Illsley, Chaytor, Morley - probably to be joined shortly Hanningfield,Taylor and possibly Huhne - already serving detention and with many MPs still sitting in the HoC when, again in my opinion, they should not be, then comments such as those from Louise Bagshawe stretch one's incredulity to breaking point.

Just a thought..........................

Saturday, 21 May 2011

These guys are nuts

Courtesy of James Higham I came across a video that does make you wonder about the sanity of the youth of today:

And how about this for a variation of British Bulldog?

Just something different for a Saturday night.....................

Censorship now government policy?

Courtesy of The Sovereign Independent we learn that if you wished to view Roger Hayes action at Birkenhead Crown Court you now cannot as this video is no longer available due to "a government removal request".

From the Coalition 'Manifesto": Our programme for government:
"We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion"
From the novel 1984 - Part Two, Chapter 5:
"Syme had vanished. A morning came, and he was missing from work: a few thoughtless people commented on his absence. On the next day nobody mentioned him. On the third day Winston went into the vestibule of the Records Department to look at the notice-board. One of the notices carried a printed list of the members of the Chess Committee, of whom Syme had been one. It looked almost exactly as it had looked before -- nothing had been crossed out -- but it was one name shorter. It was enough. Syme had ceased to exist: he had never existed."
Like Syme, the Birkenhead court protest has ceased to exist, it has never existed - or so our government would have you believe.

Kathy Kirby 1938-2011

The death of Kathy Kirby - or Kathleen O'Rourke, her real name - brings a certain sadness to this blog with the news contained in her obituary, in today's Daily Telegraph, that she ended her days a recluse, living on state benefits.

To celebrate the occasion of my 30th birthay I was taken by my first wife to see her at The Talk of The Town - which in those days was probably 'the' nightclub - and my first reaction on arrival at the 'surprise venue' was: "Hell, not Kathy Kirby". However, afterwards I had to admit that attending a live performance changed my opinion of her completely - she 'wowed' the audience and after her act wandered amongst the dining tables, talking to people.

Those readers old enough will remember her greatest hit, an upbeat version of "Secret Love" - originally sung by Doris Day as a ballad - which as my tribute to this artist, is reproduced courtesy of youtube:

I always find it sad that, on the death of anyone who has been 'famous' in the entertainment world, besides factual reporting of the 'highs' in their obituary, writers deem it necessary to include the 'lows' also. Most fans of 'stars' - be they actors or singers - are well aware that these people are not 'saints' and would, I believe, rather be left to remember their 'icons' in the best of lights.

Just a thought....................

Friday, 20 May 2011

The noose tightens? (2) Sport

Courtesy of The Albion Alliance Presents we learn:
"The EU's first ever Work Plan for Sport was approved by sports ministers on 20 May. This is a new area of EU competence introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. Another issue addressed at the meeting was sport-related aspects of on-line betting, which was discussed - apart from the formal session - in a  "high-level structured dialogue " between EU and national public authorities and representatives from the sports movement. For the period 2011-2014, the main objective of the Work Plan is to strengthen cooperation in the field of sport between member states and the EU. The document identifies three priority themes for action: integrity, social values and the economic aspects of sport. Several working groups will be set up to address issues such as anti-doping, education and training in sport, and sport statistics. Under the new distribution of competences, EU-level action in the area of sport supports and coordinates the activities of member states, while decisions continue to be taken at national level."
The minute I see the phrases "social values of........" or "the economic aspects of........" I find my nerve endings begin to twitch because history shows that it leads to interference in whatever subject resulting in a cost to the member state.

This latest information to emanate from the EU may seem to be of little significance at the moment - but just wait, my friends, just wait.........