Wednesday, 29 February 2012

When will our politicians 'grow a pair'?

Today in the House of Commons an emergency debate was held, at the request of the well-known 'eurosceptic' Bill Cash, on the Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance - on which the Hansard report can be read here

In his opening remarks, Bill Cash:
"The debate is about the rule of law: not only the rule of law as it affects the United Kingdom but, inevitably, the rule of law in Europe as a whole. The Prime Minister, to his great credit, rightly exercised the veto to protect UK interests....."
For the last time, there was not a 'Treaty' on the table so how could Cameron have exercised a veto? Sheesh!

John Baron (Con - Basildon & Billericay) asks:
"Does he share my concern that with democracy having been suspended, in effect, in two countries, with a deepening democratic deficit........"
Has not democracy been suspended in 27 nations, not just two? Has not democracy been suspended in the UK - with the compliance of our 'representatives'? Sheesh!

"Give a dog a bone" - we then find that Peter of that ilk repeats the fallacy that the Prime Minister vetoed a treaty. Perhaps Mrs. Bone might have a word with her spokesman?

We are continually informed that the UK should 'protect its interests' in its membership of the European Union, yet if as Mark Reckless informs us our influence is limited, one has to ask what is the point of our membership?

Robert Buckland is of the opinion that where debates on matters EU are concerned both the HoC and the HoL need to 'raise their game' in both debates and scrutiny. He appears not to recognise that until MPs raise their game to the point of saying 'Out', they can debate and scrutinise all they like - it will change nothing.

With Richard Drax, another Conservative who is unable to make up his mind about EU integration, admitting that we do not want out, we obviously have another Cameroon puppet and Buckland agreeing makes two!

That Robert Buckland, in an intervention to Anne Main, states that all MPs are patriots - or should be - hits a nail squarely on the head where matters EU are concerned!

In his summation David Lidington states that scrutiny and criticism is important but one has to ask: what is the point of scrutiny and criticism of something which you cannot change; which begs the question is not the existence of the European Scrutiny Committee and that the House of Commons thus unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer's money? Lidington continues to maintain that decisions taken by governments, in particular Greece, have to be enacted by democratically elected parliaments, but are not decisions taken by democratically elected parliaments, against the wishes of the people, no more than those of democratised dictators - in which case where is 'democracy'?

If anything demonstrates the ineffectiveness of our Parliament and the MPs therein, it is that three hours were spent discussing an EU matter on which we have no influence and can effect no change. And Parliament is sovereign? And we are, as political leaders maintain, a self-governing country? Sheesh!

EU Imperialism?

Open Europe, in today's press summary, reports that EU foreign ministers voted on Monday to transfer the presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean from France to the EU’s External Action Service headed by Catherine Ashton - of which not one word in the MSM have I found, but I digress. This think tank also produces a 'briefing paper' on the subject of EU aid to Mediterranean states and the effectiveness of this aid. What is surprising is that Open Europe makes no mention of the Barcelona Declaration, a subject about which I wrote previously here and here. For those readers interested more on the Barcelona Declaration, more information can be read on the EU's Summaries of Legislation website. It is also pertinent to refer to the European External Action Service website from which we learn that with the introduction of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2004, the Barcelona Process essentially became the multilateral forum of dialogue and cooperation between the EU and its Mediterranean partners while complementary bilateral relations are managed mainly under the ENP and through Association Agreements signed with each partner country.

What is interesting are two extracts from Open Europe's briefing paper:
"the poverty focus of EU aid cannot be measured solely on the basis of its geographical distribution…the EU institutions provide substantial financial support (including ODA) to prepare (potential) candidate countries for membership and to establish an area of stability, prosperity and democracy in our wider neighbourhood, pursuing our goal of greater political cooperation and deeper economic integration with our neighbours."
"Our neighbourhood policy is a success story. We work closely with our partners to help them advance their structural reforms and bring them closer to our Union."
Note the phrases "deeper economic integration" and "bring them closer to our Union". What we have here is no more than the now normal process, one practised by the EU to increase its size and therefore its empirical aims - it is also, I would suggest, part of the process, commonly known as the New World Order and/or World Government; a process about which the people know little, if anything.

That 'agreements' can be signed that will have an effect on the future direction of our country; that since 1995, the European Commission has supported the Barcelona Process with the provision of €16 billion from the Community Budget and that loans from the European Investment Bank amount to approximately €2 billion per year, all without the agreement of the people who are funding this, amounts to an affront to democracy - but hey, when was the EU ever interested in the idea of democracy. That our MSM do not report any aspect of the foregoing, for whatever reason, is another affront to democracy. That a think tank, albeit one a mouthpiece of the Conservative Party, seems incapable of mentioning any diminuation of democracy is another affront.

That we have 650 'Judas Goats' in Westminster is no longer deniable, consequently if our nation is to recover its independence and sovereignty; if we the people are to have any freedom; we have a desperate need to herd these 650 to the slaughterhouse immediately - followed by their lambs in Open Europe and elsewhere!

Treatment of the elderly

As Ed West writes on his Telegraph blog, more laws about age discrimination will not affect how we regard and treat our elderly. He is also correct in stating that Age UK spends an inordinate amount of its time in political activism and that no organisation receiving money from the state should become involved in politics, that where a charity is given money to run a service this should automatically be a condition. Age UK is of course, as Ed West writes, a fake charity in that the accounts for 2008/09 showed £4,666,000 (38.5%) of all voluntary income came from government departments.

On a personal level I have what may be termed an 'arms-length' interest in how the elderly are cared for in that my mother lives in a care home. The care home is 'state run' and what makes this care home so remarkable is that the staff working there really do care about their residents and take an interest in their daily lives - whilst unofficially complaining about the health & safety, politically correct aspects which make their work so much harder. Having observed the staff it is becoming a theory of mine that their caring attitude is almost an inherent gene with which they were born - the newest member of staff has been working at my mother's care home for 15 years.

It cannot surely help the aged when their future (or what is left of it) is being decided by those many years younger and who, consequently, have no idea of what it is like to be aged; have no idea of the indignity that is felt by those unable to wash themselves or carry out other bathroom activities without assistance. It cannot surely help the aged when decisions such as this are taken; it cannot surely help the aged when we continue to pour money into overseas aid to the detriment of our elderly, where their care is concerned.

If our politicians must govern us, then perhaps they need to rethink how they intend doing just that, because as I reminded my Member of Parliament: when it is his turn to enter the world of the aged - even with his wealth - he ain't going to like the world he is creating, whilst also adding that for those of us who are not yet 'aged' or infirm, the world he is creating for us ain't so great either!

The way the elderly and vulnerable are cared for - and their treatment - is most definitely an aspect of our society which would improve with a dose of 'referism'.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Police Commissioners

With the election, later this year, of police commissioners we have had reports that John Prescott is putting himself forward and that it is possible Vera Baird may be doing likewise. Where the latter applicant is concerned, perhaps readers need reminding of her history - here and here. In the article from the Northumberland Residents Festival it is worth noting the comments by Henri Murison: "I believe we need a Labour commissioner to defend neighbourhood policing as the coalition removes dedicated funding for police community support officers. I would also continue the police authority’s work to show how unfair national police funding cuts are to our area". In other words Murison believes the post should be politicised - yet should not policing be apolitical?

Of course, the Coalition's idea of a Police Commissioner bears no relation to that originally envisaged by Hannan & Carswell in their papers published under the auspices of the Centre for Policy Studies: The Localist Papers, which were the forerunners to "The Plan". In the Localist Papers they called for elected sheriffs who would have the power to set procedures, levels of crime and sentencing. In fact the paper entitled "Send for the Sheriff" states:
"The deployment of police resources, the prioritisation of offences and the control of budgets should be the responsibility of Sheriffs, elected on a county or city basis. Sheriffs should also take over the function of the Crown Prosecution Service, acquiring the right to set local sentencing guidelines (although not to interfere in individual cases)."
As with everything that the Coalition has introduced to do with the devolution of power and 'localism', what has emerged in the form of policy has been a 'watered down' version of direct democracy and one which retains government's 'central control' of both localism and the devolution of power. Of interest to readers, whilst "Send for the Sheriff" does not appear to be readily available on-line, the idea encapsulated in the original paper can be found here, in an article from the Spectator. 

In other words, to deal with this on a 'local' level, there would be no more Thames Valley Police; the three counties involved, namely Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire would each have their own police forces (as it used to be in the good old days). If the people of Oxfordshire voted for a zero tolerance of crime, sentencing to mean what it said, a 'hang'em & flog'em' form of justice, Buckinghamshire voted for the present community order & asbo form of justice, whilst Berkshire voted for something in between - then that is what would prevail. That is 'localism' and that is what one aspect of direct democracy would entail.

Any police force must not - and cannot - be seen to encompass any form of political doctrine and for that reason I would suggest that anyone who has held a political appointment or who has issued what are patently political statements, at any level, cannot be considered for what must be seen as an apolitical appointment - which conveniently rules out any applications from anyone employed by ACPO! No doubt our political parties are working on the basis that "a Baird in the hand is worth two in the bush".

My line of argument leads to the general acceptance of the idea of direct democracy, in that should it not be the people of a 'locale' who decide the type of society under which they wish to live? Should it not be the people who decide what type of schools they want, or what type of health service they want? Should not an element of 'referism', ie wherein those wishing to provide a service need to publish 'estimates' in which they ask us to agree their spending plans - which all things considered comprises the spending of public money - and that that be part of their election manifestos? 

What say you, readers?

Daniel is a cynic? No, not that one..........

.....that one is a politician and politicians don't do cynicism - its not in their genes. In this particular case I am referring to Daniel Knowles, an Assistant Comment Editor at the Telegraph. Writing about the Coalition, he pens:
"So it is hardly shocking to find that the newspapers are full of accounts of Lib Dem intransigence. Last week, it was tax cuts, as David Laws was enlisted to go on Newsnight and make the case for an increase in the personal allowance. This week, it is the NHS. As you can tell from the report on page two of today's Sun (headline: "Cam caves in to Clegg on health") the Liberal Democrats are getting uppity, demanding more compromises to Andrew Lansley's zombie Bill. No one is pretending that has anything to do with the contents of the reforms. No one understands the reforms. It's all about positioning: Nick Clegg wants to appear to be mauling the Tories, and ideally, the Tories want to appear not to be mauled too much. Call me cynical, but I suspect it was all coordinated in advance anyway." Emphasis mine.
In respect of the emboldened section of the extract above, it is indeed gratifying to see cynicism displayed by one so young. Is not 'coordinated action' how politics is conducted in our country nowadays? Is that not how the charade of Prime Minister's Questions is conducted? Is that not how politics is conducted when any question on our membership of the European Union is raised? I note that Bill Cash has secured an emergency debate tomorrow on the subject of the legality of using European Union institutions to implement the fiscal pact agreed by 25 EU nations; following the decision by the Irish Attorney General that a referendum needed to be held in Ireland on the subject. And what exactly will Cash's debate solve when our real government no longer resides in Westminster - but then Bill Cash has never been one to shun the EU limelight.

Now can we have direct democracy and referism - please!

And the logic of this is what, exactly?

I am of course querying the decision to extend free HIV treatment on the NHS to foreigners, a decision announced just two days after we are informed by George Osborne that the UK has run out of money. Ed West, on his blog, makes the valid point that offering this treatment may well encourage people suffering from this illness to come to this country. That this move will probably prove a magnet for yet more immigration at a time when the government is desperately attempting to reduce immigration would appear to have escaped the minds of our political elite. I have to question the logic - and the fairness - of the government asking the NHS to make cuts, cuts which will have a detrimental effect on  those who have, in effect, 'paid into' the NHS, whilst providing free treatment to foreigners who will have made no such 'investment'.

The comment by Anne Milton, the public health minister, that tough guidance meant that this measure would not be abused is completely laughable. I seem to recall similar assurances being provided on just about every policy that our politicians have introduced. When remembering the greatest assurance of all, that of Ted Heath who assured us that membership of the European Union would not involve any loss of sovereignty, just why the hell should we believe anything any politician tells us? 

Reverting to Osborne's statement that the UK has run out of money, perhaps this would not be the case if we had not provided funds to prop up the euro, perhaps this would not be the case if we had refrained from trying to teach Libya a lesson, perhaps this would not be the case had we refrained from such vanity projects as HS2, perhaps this would not be the case were we not forced to spend £5million per annum keeping Abu Qatada in our country.

The Telegraph article informs us that those from abroad, including failed asylum seekers, students and tourists are currently barred from receiving free HIV treatment - yet this does not appear to be the case, at least not according to Nam. It is also important to ask our political elite just when did they ask those who will be providing the necessary funds whether they agreed that their money could be used for this?

Now, if we had 'referism'...........

Monday, 27 February 2012

And the difference is, Andy?

Politics Home reports that Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, has accused the government of "breaking with 63 years of NHS history".

And Members of Parliament, across all parties, have not broken with centuries of history whereby the United Kingdom should be an independent, self-governing  and thereby, 'sovereign' nation?

The word: 'Hyprocrite' springs to mind. Tell me again why we should not rise up and slaughter them?*

Just saying..............

Afterthought: Or possibly 'burn'em'?

The 'Ugly Bug' Ball

Mary 'Hairyball', MEP, complains on her blog about the continual degradation of the female image by the Sun, the Star and the Sport. Hairy Mary states that the majority of women and a 'significant' number of men object to 'Page 3' - and just how 'significant' is the word 'significant', Mary? Like her most physical and most prominent female attribute, I can but suggest Mary H has resorted to 'navel gazing'.

Mary H writes that girls are humiliated by their peers in front of a boy they may fancy - well, Mary H, let me tell you that we boys also suffer humiliation in front of boys, although to be fair we boys tend to humiliate each other by inches rather than the 'full monty' in which girls tend to indulge. If we boys can get over it, why not you girls - after all, Mary H, you do believe in equality do you not?

There is of course the point that Mary H would not in any way be attempting to restrict how anyone should be able to earn a living? There is of course the point that if women are prepared to 'bare all' or 'partly bare all'; is that not their choice? There is of course the point that if actresses can 'bare all' on celluloid in the name of 'cinematic art', is that not all Page 3 girls are doing, in the name of photographic art?

Mary, Mary, why thou so contrary?

And politicians are not careerists? And we do not live under a democratised dictatorship?

Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home, has a post about reformation of the |House of Lords and Mark Harper, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform.
"......He was chosen to be the number two to Nick Clegg because of three qualities: personability, conservative credentials and ambition. Downing Street needed a “nice Tory” to work alongside the Deputy PM, someone that Clegg would like and trust. Harper, who backed Liam Fox for the Tory leadership in 2005, was thought to be right-wing enough to ensure the Conservative backbenches felt they had "one of theirs" holding this controversial portfolio. But Downing Street’s bigger observation was that Harper is also very ambitious. Number 10 calculated that Mark Harper’s eye to the future would ensure he didn’t rock the boat in a very sensitive brief. He hasn’t. Many ministers are loyal 90% of the time but over a drink or two they’ll share their doubts about some or other aspect of Project Cameron. Harper appears to be loyal just about 100% of the time....."
 Notice that word 'ambition', notice that phrase 'one of theirs'? Notice that No10 thought Harper's 'eye to the future' would ensure he didn't 'rock the boat'? And the political elite care about those they are meant to serve and that personal advancement is far from their thoughts? Such is the disdain with which our politicians are viewed that I believe it undeniable to suggest that even the not-so 'priti' MP for Witham would insert her patel(la) amongst a few 'Eds' if it meant she could climb the political ladder.

And where is the public's view in all this? So apparently 60% of the public believe that those who make the laws should be elected? And the question put on this subject, was? And the number of responses received, was? And of course those responding knew all that was to be known because it had all been explained to them in order they could provide a reasoned reply? We all know that questions on surveys are phrased in such a manner that they will provide the response wanted. Digressing slightly, on attempting to find out the question asked and accessing the British Social Activities website I find it is necessary to register. Why? Are they not providing information that should be accessible to the public free of restrictions? (Yes, yes, I know why registration is required - but why the hell should it be a requirement in order for a member of the public to receive what is public information?)

Note also the last paragraph of Montgomerie's article when he writes that Harper hopes changes to the Lords will be accomplished harmoniously - but that, make no mistake, an elected HoL will happen. Democratised dictatorship?

It is indeed sad that all the foregoing will escape the attention of the public who are more concerned about events Coronation Street/EastEnders/BigBrother/Facebook - and now can't wait for the Sun to appear every Sunday..........

Just saying.............................

Notice: Monday 27th February 2012

Posting will, more than likely, be non-existent today as I am conducting a 'recce' of three properties on the Shropshire/Herefordshire borders on behalf of an friend currently living in the US, who is looking to return to the UK this year. 

Back tomorrow.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Magical dexterity?

Where 'close-up' magic is concerned magician's dexterity has always fascinated me. The following video is posted for aficionados of the genre and to provide a break from continual politics. For non-German speaking readers, my apologies.

Compare & Contrast

It is reported that Frank Carson counted Bernard Manning as a friend and defended him against charges of racism. “How could anyone call Bernard a racist?” he wondered. “He even had black horses at his funeral”.

In the same newspaper we read of a man who, having placed his belongings including a scarf on the belt to pass through a scanner, noticed a woman in a hijab pass through without showing her face. Querying what would happen were he to cover his face with his scarf resulted in a lengthy questioning session in which he was accused of making a racist remark. After considerable time, during which the police were called and management from BAA, a compromise was reached in which this man agreed that his remark could be considered offensive to a Muslim. So it is possible for racism to be an offence if a remark could have caused distress?

How have we allowed ourselves to be conditioned to the extent that free speech and even our private thoughts can be held to be verboten? As with the health & safety brigade, so have the politically correct brigade built an industry, ones that the taxpayers fund.

Frank Carson was renowned for suffering from what might be called verbal excess, yet this man - because of the pc brigade - was prevented from talking the hindi leg of a donkey. Is it not better that we allow a thousandfold abuses of free speech than to deny free speech? Likewise, does not free speech carry with it the another freedom; to listen?

To underline my point that we do indeed live under a system of democratised dictatorship, I am reminded of a quote by Herbert Hoover:
"It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own."
 On that note - and to borrow a legal phrase - I believe I am entitled to say that I rest my case!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

What, exactly, are property rights?

Dick Puddlecote posts an interesting video, one that repeats the question of the heading to this post. Is it not right that the owner of a property or business should decide what can and cannot take place within the confines of which the government - and the law - maintain is 'theirs'?

From this post three years ago and the 2005 'manifesto' (page 67) of the Labour Party:
"The legislation will ensure that all restaurants will be smoke-free; all pubs and bars preparing and serving food will be smoke-free; and other pubs and bars will be free to choose whether to allow smoking or to be smoke-free. In membership clubs the members will be free to choose whether to allow smoking or to be smoke-free." (Emphasis mine)
Yet another manifesto 'promise' that became but ASH(es) as a result of a government funded pressure group - but I digress. Neither will I delve into the Conservative Party opposition towards this policy.....

Anyways, back to the video that DP posted and the question posed therein.

This subject, as with so many others, begs the question whether 'government' has the right to impose a blanket policy on the country, or should not - within the policy of devolution and invoking the belief in 'Big Society', assuming of course they actually believe in those policies - decisions such as this be left to local people to decide?

With regard to the last paragraph, I suppose my message to our politicians is if they believe in direct democracy - which they must do if they wish to devolve power and believe in a 'Big Society' - either implement it or stop talking about it!

Yall and all is to be forgiven?

A letter appeared in the Guardian from Adrian Yalland on the 'hard life' that MPs have and in which he mentions L'Affair Joyce. It should first be mentioned that Adrian Yalland is Vice-President of Chelgate, is also an Approved Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party - and a lobbyist. The content and tone of the letter are that which one would expect from a 'wannabe' politician who is also a lobbyist.

"The way they are forced to live is fundamentally inhumane" What????? "They work ridiculous hours....with no job security and a not particularly good salary. The worse thing is the constant misrepresentation they endure." What???? "The vast majority of MPs I know, across all parties, are motivated by a commitment to making this country better. Very few go into politics for an easy life or to get rich." What????

Perhaps Yalland would care to show exactly who has forced them to live a life he claims is fundamentally inhumane. Perhaps Yalland can refute the argument that anyone earning approximately three times the average salary must surely be well-paid indeed - and as for job security, since when did anyone on a fixed, short-term placement have job security? Perhaps Yalland would agree that if MPs, across all parties, are motiviated by a commitment to making this country better, then they have been accepting public money under false pretences. Perhaps Yalland would like to reconsider his assertion that few go into politics for any easy life and to get rich. Perhaps Yalland has not looked at the Register of Members Interests lately? Perhaps Yalland can answer how David Miliband can earn £70,000 for just three days work when it is highly doubtful that Miliband would command such fees had he not been a politician who had held Cabinet rank?

Perhaps Yalland has yet to learn about that political requirement of being transparent? Perhaps it would have put his letter in better context had he mentioned his background and present job?

Just saying...................

Going Green

Friday, 24 February 2012

The case for direct democracy

Regular readers will know that I have, of late, become an advocate for direct democracy, encapsulating 'referism', to be introduced in our nation; a system to replace the present 'representative democracy' which I maintain is no more than 'democratised dictatorship'.

Politicians present themselves as the only means wherein their forming a government is the only vehicle by which a nation can deal with the outside world through international relations and in so doing decide, facilitate and guide what are a nation's interests; as it is maintained by politicians that only they can protect and safeguard all that lies within its borders. In which case a democracy would only permit a government to be responsible for its military, defence, security and economic policy. Contrary to current political belief it is not the role of government to create wealth and prosperity - although they have this idea that that is something they can do.

The 'primary' responsibilities of a government are those set out above, which means that any others are 'secondary' and are, therefore, not concerned with the survival of a nation but more of development of a nation and its society. Bearing in mind human nature, whereby once an individual gains a power it attempts to acquire yet more power, politicians have a tendency to confuse and conflate secondary responsibilities, thereby creating a suggestion that those secondary responsibilities are in fact of vital national interest - and must be 'regulated' by them - and thus increasing their power.

In a true democracy national interests cannot be removed from an electorate's interests otherwise what has been created is government by fiat. If democracy is to be the system by which a nation is to exist, then the benefits that the people enjoy and the rules of the society in which they live must mean that the people have a fundamental role to play in the guidance of a nation's future and must be able to act as the "port of last resort" where decisions affecting that nation are concerned. It is for that reason - and that reason alone - why the active and participative involvement of the people is not just desirable but is, one could suggest, mandatory. It therefore follows that the more distant from the people that decisions are taken, the closer democratised dictatorship becomes.

Where 'government', as presently practiced, is concerned it will always be rooted in a possession of power and expansion of that power, or a preservation of the status quo with a view to expansion of that power - and therein lies the danger of the people's individual freedoms being eroded - which in turn means that there can be no 'demos'. Clausewitz famously declared that a nation's behaviour  is motivated by its need to survive and prosper - and who better to make that decision than the people of a nation? The fact that the European Union is desperately seeking "a soul" - a "crie de ceour" of Jacques Delors - a characteristic that it surely lacks, shows that because each individual nation wishes to be itself, the European Union cannot, logically, succeed in its aims.

That the foregoing shows the present system of democracy cannot be allowed to continue, is undeniable. That the people who fund democracy must be allowed to dictate the system of democracy under which they live, is undeniable.

In ceding the power to dictate, guide and decide our nation's future - have not our politicians abrogated their right to 'power'? Is it not time that the people reclaimed their right to decide their nation's future? Is it not time that the people re-assumed their inalienable right to decide their own future?

Does not the piper call the tune?

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

Its that damn 'Cyprus problem' again!

From the Open Europe press summary we learn that Turkey is refusing to have any normal relations with the rotating EU presidency when Cyprus takes over on 1st July.

Well, what a surprise - not! As I posted here, where Turkey's accession to the European Union is concerned the 'Cyprus problem' was always going to remain just that - a problem.

Just saying...........

Being unable to see the wood for the trees

Returning to the subject of John Bercow and following on from my preceding post, Politics Home is now reporting that Cameron 'backs' Bercow in calling for an end to a £400,000 contract for Commons fig trees. I notice that Bercow maintains that the public will think they were being "fleeced" and that MPs were living in "another universe". The BBC have picked up on this interview and their report quotes Bercow stating, on the subject of the party conference season and the long summer break: "I think a lot of our electorate think, given that the MPs finished in the latter part of July, why are they not back at their place of work undertaking their scrutiny, standing up for our interests, debating our concerns, in September?"

When exactly have Members of Parliament undertaken any scrutiny? When have Members of Parliament stood up for our interests? When have Members of Parliament debated our concerns? As for the public being "fleeced" and MPs living in "another universe", where has Bercow been for the last 40 years - in another universe?

Finally, does Cameron or Bercow actually, really "care a fig" - as long as the gravy train continues to roll?

Westminster? Nope, Brussels.

John Bercow has a 'big-up' piece on Politics Home, authored by Paul Waugh and Sam MacRory, in which  he maintains that "the House (of Commons) is the cockpit of our democracy."

It would appear to have escaped Bercow's notice that the one thing we are short of in this country is democracy - and if one were to concede that we did possess democracy (purely for the sake of argument) - the cockpit most certainly is not in Westminster as, with the consent of those in Westminster, it has been moved to Brussels.

Just saying...........

Thursday, 23 February 2012

David Owen 'spectates'

David Owen has a lengthy article on the Coffee House in which he gives us the benefit of his views on the eurozone and its present troubles, together with his idea of a 'double' EU - one with what he terms an inner zone and and outer zone. Let us leave to one side his views on the former and concentrate on his views on the latter. Do read the entire article - it is laughable in the aims that Owen proposes.

Like all europhiles, he maintains we should not walk away but remain, using quiet persistence, in order to achieve 'two Europes' -a wider and an inner - that would live in harmony one with the other (is this not more 'change from within' - a policy that has been shown to have failed already?). Just what is it that the idiot Owen does not accept about the entire reason for the EU's existence? The minute the EU allowed one member to leave, the minute the EU allowed a 'two-core-membership', its entire reason for existing is dismantled - the EU is an all or nothing membership!

Later, in this illogical piece of political thinking (but hey, when has any political thinking been logical?) Owen acknowledges that there would have to be a UK referendum on a choice of wider membership or inner membership, but fails to even mention that a third choice should be available - one of neither.  He discusses the matter of enlargement of EU membership, one possibly comprising a membership of 40 countries - which leads on to another thought.

There is much discussion about the drift to world government - which leads one to question whether the EU is part of this 'movement'? Richard N. Gardner, recent Ambassador to Spain, writing in Foreign Affairs, stated:
"In short, the 'house of world order,' will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down....but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault."
Which is basically the tenet of Jean Monnet in proposing a European union.

From Jordan Maxwell, Matrix of Power: How the World Has Been Controlled by Powerful Men Without Your Knowledge, (n.p., 2000) pp. 15-16 we read the words of David Rockfeller:
"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications...It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity....But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march  towards world government....The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

The English Constitution contains two documents; the Magna Carta and the English Declaration of Rights  of 1689 which cannot allow any of the above. From a Bruges Group 'paper' we read:
"If the British Constitution were simply followed, the rights and liberties of the British people would be placed above reproach. Recall that the collective body of documents comprising the British Constitution nullify government-imposed limitation of liberty. Even if a government were technically successful in achieving limitations on liberty, the corresponding action would be immediately void, as mandated by the English Declaration of Rights of 1689, and the Magna Carta itself. As explained earlier, the Declaration requires that, “…the rights and liberties asserted and claimed in the said declaration…shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed as they are expressed in the said declaration…in all time to come.” But are not rights merely words on paper if the people are not vigilant in their defense? The Magna Carta contains actionable measures designed to thwart despotic machinations."
That we the people need to become more vigilant in their own defense is not in question - and is but another reason why the introduction of direct democracy is required. A move wherein and whereby the people, being asked to assume more responsibility for their nation, would thus be able to impose vigilance for their own benefit and future.

Or put more simply - and as proposed by Richard North, EU Referendum, some months ago - would it not be simpler if the people just rose up now and slaughtered the present political elite?

Just why do we elect these idiots?

The latest findings from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows, according to the BBC, that where immigration is concerned:
" increase from 235,000 in June 2010 but a fall from 255,000 in September 2010."
and that net migration to Britain remained steady at 250,000.

I find it incongruous that Damien Green can herald these figures as a decrease - likewise I find it incongruous for Chris Bryant to criticise the present government for failing to live up to the pledge to cut immigration, especially when one remembers it was Bryant's party that caused the problem in the first place - and for possible electoral gain. I am sure we all recall Andrew Neather

I find it totally unacceptable for politicians to, in effect, lie to the public about immigration, or any other matter. What is under discussion here is the inward immigration from outside the United Kingdom, which the government is trying to control whilst having no control of those immigrants coming from Member States of the EU - yet the impression given by our politicians is they are attempting to control immigration per se - and for the purposes of political point scoring opposition MPs allow that misconception to continue.

That MPs lie to their constituents is well known and is a deficit in our democratic system. Whilst on the subject of deficits in our democratic system, allow me to mention two others in passing. My constituency MP also happens to be our Prime Minister (a fact which may already be known), however my MP cannot rise in Parliament and highlight the plight of one of his constituents - neither can a Secretary of State or Minister. That is equality where parliamentary representation is concerned? (And please don't even mention that 'other routes' may be available to my MP or those of any others that hold ministerial responsibility). How many readers have a district councillor who also happens to be a county councillor? To take Witney as an example, the county council of Oxfordshire are hell bent on the imposition of a 'relief road', roads being their 'competence' (one which began with a costing of £12million but has now escalated to a cost of £20million), yet a growing number of residents in Witney are against this 'relief road'. What is the point in them lobbying their district councillor when that same person is also a member of the county council and has voted for that road to go ahead? Conflict of interest?

Anyway, returning to the original topic of this post, I am drawn to a post from Up Pompeii highlighting the percentage of births in this country where one, or both, parents is foreign born. And society in our country, its traditions and customs, is not being socially engineered? When the events portrayed in two books mentioned in my sidebar, namely "The Horse at the Gates" and "Invasion", come to pass - as they surely will if current policies are continued - it will be too late for our political elite to recall the old adage: as you sow, so shall you reap.

If only I were able to repeat the attempt by Guy Fawkes - but this time with a successful result!

The joy(ce) of drink

IanPJonPolitics, The BoilingFrog and Richard North, EU Referendum, have all commented on 'L'affaire Eric Joyce'.

It will indeed be interesting to see what transpires where the police investigation is concerned and whether if charges are brought and Joyce appears in court, what sentence will be handed down should the verdict be guilty. It will indeed be interesting to see whether the people of Falkirk do demand the recall of their Member of Parliament and whether the decision of his peers will concur.

It should be remembered that Joyce is a member of a class in our society that spends most of its time dictating how we should behave - some role model (not). From They Work For You comes two quotes by this sorry example from amongst the good and the great. First: ".....I go about my constituency occasionally with the cops on a Friday or Saturday night. We see a bit of violence in the streets and recognise where it comes from, what is happening and who the bad guys are—who has been caught up in things because they have drunk too much and so on....."; and second, speaking during Public Bill Committee: Drugs Bill: New Clause 1 - inclusion of khat as a Class A drug: "....I would be very reluctant to classify alcohol as category B. This debate goes on when we talk about how we should classify any type of drug. Ultimately, one of the most serious drugs is one that we tolerate enormously in society—everyone is this Room uses it, in moderation, of course—and it is alcohol." (Emphasis mine)

Richard North is correct to query why we have elections, as is IanPJ to maintain that this 'affaire' is just another reason why this rough house where the gang known as the rotten parliament hang out must be dissolved.

Update: It would appear that Eric Joyce had a previous 'problem' with the police in 2010. In case it has been 'amended' I am grateful to Max Farquar for taking a screen grab:

Mindless wimps or mindless automatons?

"As long as some specialised class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves."
Noam Chomsky
From press reports in the last few days come stories that pose the question of this post heading. Consider the case of Simon Burgess and firefighters, the latter who are graded as to whether they have had training to walk through water ankle high or waist high. Consider that ITV has felt it necessary to issue an apology because one of their reporters used the word 'coloured' twice 'on air', a story commented on by Mark Wadsworth. Consider the case of Mark Jury who stopped briefly at a bus stop, having seen an old lady fall over, resulting in his receiving a £70 fixed penalty notice.

Is the world a better place because we are all exhorted to follow dictats issued by those who have built an industry out of the issuance of said dictats? Has racism disappeared because we no longer use words like 'coloured', negro, black, etc? Has our attitude towards others less fortunate than ourselves been improved by mindless bureaucracy which prevent our helping others?

Is it any wonder that as a nation we have become mindless wimps or mindless automatons? Where thoughts of possible failure are implanted in our minds the result will be failure. Perhaps we need a culture wherein constructive thoughts are the norm as from them will result positive outcomes.

Just thinking.............

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Talk Constitution (2)

In setting up Talk Constitution it was made known at the outset, in the ‘Welcome’, that a blank canvas had been supplied and that it was hoped participants would build each segment ‘brick by brick’. Ian Parker-Joseph also repeated that point, adding the comment that being a participatory forum, it is the participants who make the running, who decide what sort of Britain is wanted.

It is, I would have felt, generally agreed by all participants on the forum that "the less government, the better" must be the maxim when devising any new system of democracy and one which still retains the ultimate sanction, one whereby political dictatorial power can be constrained/denied by the people. Consider: the more distant decisions affecting a nation’s future and the lives of its peoples are taken without the ability to be influenced by its peoples (which is the situation presently), the less any government is then able to claim it operates as a democracy. All governments have one single raison-d’etrê - and that is control. It is when political control centralises power it always follows that that power and control expands to a size and scope that goes beyond the wishes of the people (a situation under which we presently live), hence the need for the people to be the voice providing the necessary checks and balances.

Over at the Talk Constitution website I have posted a suggestion detailing those matters for which a national 'government' should have responsibility, together with the 'democratic restraints' that are required to ensure that the voice of the people can be heard and which maintain their 'absolute' right to be heard and dictate that which is done in their name.

Off you go...............

Afterthought: No comments on this subject here, please - comment on Talk Constitution. If you have not registered, then please do so. Due to the number of registration requests from what are obviously spammers, very few registration requests are granted. If anyone does wish to register then I would request they email me through the facility in my sidebar, informing me the name they have selected in order that I can process their registration.

So where are our elected representatives?

There is a debate taking place in the House of Commons, as I write, on the NHS and the Coalition's proposals for reform. As at 18:15 it would appear that there are approximately only 40 Members of Parliament actually in the chamber. On this point I reproduce a tweet from Alex Cunningham, timed at 17:54:
"There isn't even one Tory minister listening to the health debate at this time only a whip staffs the front bench. It is a disgrace."
Cunningham is, I believe, being polite in calling that situation a disgrace. Where are the other 610? Do not Members of Parliament have a duty to attend on behalf of their constituents? At the end of the debate those missing will appear and troop through the lobbies, but on what will their decisions on how to vote be made when they have not heard the arguments put? My Member of Parliament, unfortunately, happens to be our present Prime Minister and whilst it is acknowledged he has 'affairs of state' with which to deal, does he not have a duty to his constituents to be present? Or is his absence yet another area of democracy in which I am disenfranchised? As an aside, how many Members of Parliament have held public meetings with their constituents to garner their views?

This is a system of democracy by which our lives are decided? This is democracy? This is a system that costs taxpayers £millions - and for what? Members of Parliament will, generally, vote along 'party lines' - aka the diktat of their party leader. And we do not live under a democratised dictatorship?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

State Conspiracy

Conspiracy - and conspiracy theories - take many forms, of which perhaps the best known is that 9/11 was in fact a US government led operation, but where this post is concerned that is neither here nor there. The state conspires against its people in a number of ways, included in which can be: lying, acting for the personal gain of those that work for it, or the use of state organisations to protect those that matter to it - and all this happens under the noses of the people.

Taking the last example first, look at this video posted on the Free Robert Green website in which the cases of Hollie Greig and Ian Puddick are discussed by Brian Gerrish, Ian Puddick and Lou Collins, their radio host. It may be rather lengthy, being 59 minutes, but it does bear watching and is well worth your time. As you will see, those fighting the injustices of the State have had the full resources of the State used against them. In the case of Hollie Grieg serious accusations have been made against prominent people, of abuse including rape and worse, of a Down's Syndrome child. With regard to Ian Puddick, as you will hear, a private security organisation became involved in his persecution, namely Kroll. And who is Chairman of that organisation? None other than one Bill Bratton, who it may be recalled was originally touted as the new 'police chief' for the Met and is now an advisor to the Home Office on 'policing'. Note that Bratton's hands would not appear to be that 'clean'. In respect of Kroll, Channel4 are producing a programme "How power corrupts City of London police and Kroll". The film questions why officers from the Counter Terrorism Directorate made misleading statements in court under oath and the questionable relationship between City of London Police and elite global security giant Kroll.

Let us turn to another form of conspiracy, one practiced by the State and in various forms and returning to my first paragraph, what follows is an example of where the State lies to the people. It is necessary to go back in time to Tony Blair's attempt, through John Prescott, to set up 'regional governments', where the first attempt in the North East was firmly rejected in a referendum. Having been rebuffed - and in typical political mode - the government of the day had another go with the attempt to create Multi Area Agreements (MAAs), on which I posted in January 2009. Probably due to the fact that I had only just begun blogging about three weeks prior to the publication of that post, it only attracted one comment and that was spam! What you find in that post is the government of the day attempting to impose an EU  'wish' without any mention of the 'EU factor' - so once again we were lied to by the State.

To return to the accusation of the State using State 'organisations' to preserve those that matter to it; two  examples and admittedly the first is but a WfW 'theory'. Today, courtesy of the BBC, we are advised that Rachel Reeves, Labour shadow chief secretary to the treasury gave a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research think-tank (text here), one in which accusations were made and various figures 'bandied about'. For sure the BBC mentioned, almost as a footnote, that the present government accused the previous administration of leaving the nation in an economic mess - but where is the 'detail' of that last statement? Why was there no mention of the fact that it is rather ironic that an administration which left this nation 'economically broken' is now criticising a new administration for it's economic policies and alleging it is creating yet more debt? If we are talking about 'double standards', which is what in fact is happening with Rachel Reeves' accusations, why no mention that the present government is implementing a policy which, in opposition, they criticised as being a "reckless" invasion of privacy? Are we not witnessing two supposedly opposed parties in agreement on policy? Are we not then looking at a situation whereby opposing parties are 'going through the motions' of appearing to be at odds, yet are committed to the same ends - purely for public consumption - thereby, as part of the State, ensuring the the preservation of those that matter to the State, the State being the self-preservation  of the Lib/Lab/Con?

On the same subject, preservation of those that matter to the State, let us consider a second example. What is the punishment for those convicted of paedophile tendencies? Years in jail if you are one of the public - not, it seems, if you are someone who 'matters' - and I am indebted to Subrosa for this information. Presumably the court involved used this ruling to justify their decision - why, in which case, not this ruling? And justice is applied evenly, without favour?

Reverting to the question of regionalisation of the UK I am drawn to another post by Subrosa on the question of Alex Salmond's intention to impose one police force and one fire service on the Scottish people - a subject also covered by Raedwald. This, I would suggest, is no more than a ploy by Salmond to further his aims for Scottish Independence and the subsequent membership of Scotland to the EU. This aim of one police and one fire service also ties in neatly with Blair's aim of regional government - and he too aimed for both. I refer to the matter of the regionalisation of fire services, one which the Coalition appear to be dismantling - which begs the question why? It is a policy for which taxpayers are still paying the cost under PFI agreements - but the question remains, why is the Coalition appearing to go against this policy? Reverting to MAAs above, perhaps in years to come it will be in-built into the continuation of this policy to create MAAs, one which I do not recall the Coalition actually repudiating - lets face it, they have devised Local Area Partnerships to replace Regional Development Agencies which in effect allow the continuance of MAAs, which logically will include the creation of one police and one fire service? As with the idea that by local authorities sharing 'back office' staff savings can be made for the public purse, so the creation of one police force and one fire service to make 'savings'? This policy is duplicious in that by presenting to the public the idea of cost-savings, they are able to implement the wishes of their masters in Brussels.

There are two methods by which any nation can be 'taken over'. First, by outright invasion and the imposition of military rule, or second, by stealth - or as Monnet and Schumann maintained slowly and surely by political means.............

What the foregoing shows is that any sense of democracy is 'stone dead' where our nation is concerned and that we do, indeed, live under a democratised dictatorship'.

Afterthought: Apologies if I have 'rambled' a tad - hopefully, you get my 'drift'.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Why Ukip languish in the polls

Exhibit 1 (and only 1 example is needed, really) Gawain Towler, Ukip Press Officer, posts on Twitter:
"@GawainTowler: I liked a @YouTube video New Project"
a link which appears not to be 'repostable', but one in which Lawrence Webb, the Ukip Mayoral Candidate, talks about third place being up for grabs as Ukip are on 6%, only 1% behind the LibDems.

6%?! Bearing in mind the political climate why the hell are Ukip not on 26% - more importantly, for a party that would have us believe they are a force in British politics, why are they boasting that third place is 'up for grabs'? Would not any political party, 'worth its salt',  not be proclaiming it could take 1st place - whether it believed that or not?

The mind 'boggles' - let alone go into decline. Who allowed such a 'message' to be produced? Where is the leadership, the strategy, the management? If a political party, one that maintains it could form a government, cannot put out a positive political campaigning message and do so competently - what chance does it have of convincing a country that it is capable of forming a government?

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

Oh dear!

Douglas Carswell posts, lambasting the UKBA whilst stating that half a million people are able to enter Britain without checks, apparently.

To which I have commented (awaiting moderation at time of posting):
"And 650 people are able to dictate to 65million, each 5 year period, without 'checks' - and the difference is?
"Seems yet another arm of the British state is run primarily for the convenience of those who work for it."
If Carswell - and come to that, Hannan - believe in this direct democracy thingy, why are they not advocates of total direct democracy 'a la Switzerland'? Because they are not - and if you read "The Plan", that which they are promoting is but a form of direct democracy (not) 'controlled' by Westminster - ergo, it is not direct democracy!

I can but think they are disciples of Judas, ones who have sold their principles for monetary gain in order to remain in the Conservative Party, thus maintaining their careers, positions and power. Are these two politicians truly representatives of the people? Methinks not - but they are 'representative' of the majority of those 650 that inhabit Parliament.

I can but repeat the question - we live in a democracy?

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

Vested Interests?

Much is made about serving politicians having 'outside jobs', the argument being that it gives them the benefit of the "workplace experience" from which can be brought wisdom in the framing of laws which affect us all. Such politicians are in receipt of remuneration from organisations of which they are employed; and/or represent as 'consultants'; or have received a fee for having given a talk about a related subject at an event hosted by an organisation/company that has an 'interest' in the subject under discussion. Politicians with 'outside interests' have either accepted a position within an organisation, for monetary gain, to act as a supporter/lobbyist of that organisation, or they believe in the aims of that organisation whilst accepting a fee to further its aims. The minute anyone accepts a fee from any organisation, that organisation becomes your master, in that no organisation will provide you with a remuneration without you, in turn, providing a 'return' in lieu - which is why ordinary mortals get fired for nonperformance.

Politicians are supposedly elected to further the aims of their constituents, when MPs; or their country, when elected to the House of Lords. In both instances those members of our society are provided remuneration from the taxpayer's purse, which begs the question for those MPs and Lords with 'outside interests' of how they can serve two masters? When speaking in Parliament MPs and Lords are required to make known any outside interests they may have in relation to the discussion in question, yet no requirement is made of them to state for which of their interests they are speaking.

The current 'debate du jour' is about the proposed changes to how the NHS is to be organised - consequently it has to be asked how can any such debate be carried out impartially for the good of those that use the NHS and for the good of the country when those on this list have two masters?

Are not MPs and Lords listed in the foregoing link not disciples of Judas, thus also Judas Goats? Are they not careerists? Are they not mercenaries, selling their expertise to the highest bidder? Yet, have they not already sold themselves, where they are MPs, to the highest bidder - the highest bidder being the number of bidders who caused them to be elected?

And we wonder why our democracy is in such a mess, that it has reached a nadir none could have foretold?

Initially, just a thought - then, consequently, just saying...................

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.