Monday, 20 February 2012

Ever decreasing circles*

"It is one of the saddest spectacles of our time to see a great democratic movement support a policy which must lead to the destruction of democracy and which meanwhile can benefit only a minority of the masses who support it. Yet it is this support from the Left of the tendencies toward monopoly which make them so irresistible and the prospects of the future so dark."
Friederich A. von Hayak, The Road to Serfdom
"The British People, taken one with another, now constitute the most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the middle ages."**
H.L. Mencken
That our politicians are all of the 'Left' in that there is little difference twixt their policies and that when regarding us as the source of their next meal, only argue whether we should be served 'rare', 'medium' or 'well done'; that they are intent on retaining a monopoly of control over our lives; that they appear to have forgotten they are elected to govern for the people, yet by their actions deliberately omit the word 'for', is now an indisputable fact. One only has to read James Kirkup's article in today's Daily Telegraph in which he refers to "David Cameron as governor" to see the mindset of politicians and the press where our democracy is concerned. That the majority of the British people are exactly as depicted by H.L. Mencken is also true - just look around you.

Ana the Imp, a most erudite young lady - and whose posts are a delight to read, whatever the subject - recalling, from act 2 scene 1 of Shakespeare's King Richard II, the words of John of Gaunt, ends her post (well worth reading): "The fortress is gone, the wall breached, the moat bridged; the enemy is within the gates. The happy breed gets less happy by the day".

From Politics Home we are advised that every single phone call, email and website visit is to be recorded and kept for a year under new legislation tabled for the next session of Parliament. Security services will also have access to social network site visits under a revised version of plans initially put forward by the Labour government. The irony that the scheme was originally drawn up by the Labour government under the title of the Intercept Modernisation Programme seems to have escaped the Coalition. The only main difference would appear to be that the Labour scheme would have created a central database of all the information, something decried by almost all the opposition at that time with the Conservative politicians condemning Labours 'reckless' attitude on privacy. Terrorism is indeed a most convenient hook on which politicians hang many hats in order to maintain their control of those they are meant to govern for. Were we not promised by the Coalition, in their Programme for Government (page 11), that: "We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion..........We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation...........We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason."

As Chris Huhne had reason to be called an honourable man, so has his replacement Ed Davey, indeed they are so we are told both honourable men. Unfortunately not all politicians are honourable men - as we witnessed with the 'Expenses Scandal'. Ed Davey is one of a rare breed where our politicians are concerned in that he did not claim for a second home, nor food, furniture, a penny piece for mileage, neither does he employ relatives. So, Ed Davey is indeed an honourable man - however, unfortunately 'mud sticks'. Bearing in mind politicians all wish to 'clean up politics' and thereby place themselves above any hint of suspicion, it is hard to understand the appointment of Ed Davey to the position of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Why? Because his elder brother, Henry, is a partner with the leading London law firm Herbert Smith and from the Mail we learn he has handled multi-million-pound deals for firms such as Centrica, EDF and the Brazilian giant Petrobras. We are assured by Department of Energy and Climate Change officials that the relationship will not compromise Davey's work on energy issues in the Cabinet. It is extremely sad that the lowering of standards of behaviour within politics means that two brothers - both no doubt honourable men - should not even remotely be connected within their spheres of work.

Tim Montgomerie, Guardian CiF, has an article headlined "Cameron must make brave steps towards a Federal UK" with a by-line "Giving more powers to Scotland would save the union, empower the Conservatives and haul the UK into the 21st century". Being the blinkered commentator that he undoubtedly is, Montgomerie chooses to totally ignore the question of Wales and Northern Ireland when suggesting that Cameron should move towards the creation of a federal UK. Is it not logical that were Cameron to move towards a federalised UK, Wales and Northern Ireland would want the same powers? Does Montgomerie not understand that it is impossible to create any form of federalised UK within the current system of representative democracy and its 650 (or even 600) MPs? That Montgomerie makes no attempt to even mention how, within his potted potty idea, he envisages federalism will work shows that in his case blinkers are unnecessary when one is completely sightless. That Montgomerie also chooses not to take his argument about federalism to its logical end and write about direct democracy and 'referism' can only illustrate that he too is a goose-stepper in wishing to maintain the present system of democratised dictatorship. The fact that on this question of devolution, the genie is well and truly out of the bottle can only lead, eventually, to a system of direct democracy being introduced - meanwhile the public suffer while politicians fight their battles for self-preservation as elected yes-men answerable to a foreign power.

It is indeed ironic to read in the Foreward to the Coalition's programme for government that Cameron and Clegg acknowledge technological innovation has - with astonishing speed – developed the opportunity to spread information and decentralise power in a way we have never seen before, whilst they currently attempt to hide information and centralise power. At the same time it is both sad - and slightly humorous - to witness democratic movements supporting policies that can only lead to the destruction of democracy and, in so doing, chasing round in ever decreasing circles attempting to stave off their own demise.

* With acknowledgements to the BBC programme of the same name

** Actually Mencken's quote used the word 'American' instead of 'British' - but no doubt you get my drift.

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