Ken Clarke seeks solace in Angela Merkel

Ken Clarke opines the fact that Angela Merkel is western democracy’s last hope, adding that he is: angry and depressed at the appalling state politics in the UK has descended into.

This article continues by stating that he has: a deep unease about the rise of populist, far-right forces that are ramping through western liberal democracies from the US to France. Clarke is reported to have said: It’s resistance to change, resistance to the modern world and a desire for simple solutions to very complicated political problems,” he says. “The manner in which the political debate is publicised has changed, the mass media is hysterical and competitive and social media is taking over with short soundbites. It has thrown politics into complete confusion.

Citing coverage of the New Statesman’s recent interview with Tony Blair as an example of media hysteria, he is positive about Blair’s intervention: My understanding [of the interview] was that Tony only wants to play a part in trying to reform centre-left politics, and that’s a good thing .

Those statements by Clarke beggar belief.

  • just who is it that should be held responsible for the appalling state into which politics in the UK has descended, if not the political class when it is they that have controlled politics through their iron control of information, coupled with their lack of knowledge of matters in which they should be knowledgeable?
  • just why have, what he terms, populist far-right forces rampaged through western liberal democracies?
  • just why does he think that they are resistant to change, resistant to the modern world and have a desire for simple solutions to very complicated political problems;
  • just why does he believe that the manner in which the political debate is publicised has changed, resulting in the mass media being hysterical and competitive and social media having taken over with short soundbites; and throwing politics into complete confusion?
  • On the basis that all Blair is attempting is to derail Brexit, something in tune with Clarke’s wishes, where Clarke’s comments about Blair’s motives are concerned, all that amounts to is one Europhile supporting another. Come to that, is not Clarke centre-left – so what the hell is he doing in in the Conservative Party? Perhaps, yet again, I digress?

Might just it be that they have created their own problem through their control of information, coupled with the fact they are, in truth unknowledgeable on world matters? Might it just be that the people Clarke terms ‘populist far-right’ are fed up with western liberalism, seeing ‘foreigners’  receiving better ‘treatment’ than themselves, the indigenous people of their land? For what reason should such people be termed populist far-right when all they want is for their own kind to be cared for before others? Might it just be that if change is to come, that they wish for said change to be on their terms – after all, just whose country is it? It is all very well for Clarke to complain about people wanting simple solutions to very complicated problems – but who is it who has failed to educate the electorate because they know not themselves? Yes, the manner in which  political debate is publicised has changed, so the political class who have failed to realise this now consider themselves blameless? Just why should the media be blamed for becoming hysterical when  Clarke and his ilk have stoked hysteria – and the media – by their benign utterances and articles? Do not politicians resort to soundbites? Have not politicians thrown politics into confusion by their total lack of knowledge where matters of state are concerned?

It is perhaps unfair to single out Kenneth Clarke as he is not alone in his ability to not fairly address the problems our nation faces – due  to being unaware of the detail involved and thus attempting to ‘flannel’ because of that; or, having a hidden agenda of his own.

I can but return to the comment of Tscheuhcter: You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb arse put him up there to begin with.

Just when has any MP told us the truth; just when has any MP who pontificates about democracy actually addressed – and discussed with us – the actual meaning/origin of the word ‘democracy’? Not one has, as to so do would undermine their power over us, a power they retain through, probably, the most undemocratic form of democracy ever invented. It is unfair to blame the ‘dumb arses’ who placed Clarke and his ilk where they are, because they know no better; as they have been lied to – and thus  led up the garden path – during the course of decades, by a collection of charlatans.

On his blog, Richard North takes to task Peter Lilley for being ‘stupid’; and illustrates his article with a picture of Lilley speaking in the HoC while MPs in the background are seen to be laughing. If only the reason for their hilarity was they recognized Lilley’s stupidity of what he was saying. Then we might be witnessing that we had serious politicians and not mindless voting fodder. Due to time constraints it has not been possible to read the Hansard account of Lilley’s speech, however I fear that what was amusing his colleagues was some quip – which means we then saw a ‘standing joke’ making another.

While this ineptitude by our political class continues it will not be long before a decision they make – and this observation is not related just to matters Brexit – will cause such outrage among the public that the result will make the ‘Duggan’ riots of 2011 seem like a gentle walk in the park. It would, perhaps, be quite fitting if we, the people, who have allowed our seat of democracy – aka, the Augean Stables ( a condition or place marked by great accumulation of filth or corruption) – to be created, were to clean it up.

On the other hand, rather than create ‘societal unrest’, perhaps before then the light may dawn about the benefits of direct democracy – and yes, I am known to indulge in wishful thinking……….

Cause of a politician’s incompetence

From a comment by ‘Tcheuchter’ on the article ‘Conundrum’, a joke (which, not having heard it previously, is worthy of repetition):

While stitching a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, whose hand was caught in the squeeze gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to politicians and their role as our leaders. The old farmer said, “Well, as I see it, most politicians are ‘Post Tortoises’.” Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post tortoise’ was.

The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that’s a post tortoise.”

The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb arse put him up there to begin with.

 

Ideas worthy of consideration?

Where the position of the UK – in their negotiations with the European Union – are concerned, two ‘papers’ have come to light which appear to have bypassed those with an interest in ‘matters EU’, in that I have seen no reference to them; especially in respect of Brexit and life thereafter.

The first, a paper authored by Rishi Sunak MP (Conservative: Richmond – successor to William Hague) details the ‘supposed’ advantages of ‘Free Ports’ and the trading potential contained therein. It is worth mentioning that Switzerland, being outside the European Union, has a ‘Free Port’ located in Geneva, albeit for works of art and ‘valuables’.

Admittedly this blog has not had the time to research this subject further but if that which Sunak’s paper suggests is true, then this must be an area our Government should be investigating in order to maximize Brexit’s potential?

The second, authored by Michael-James Clifton, chef de cabinet to the President of the EFTA Court (writing in a personal capacity), explains the operation of the EEA and comments on its operation; whilst arriving to the conclusion that an updated version of the EEA Agreement could be a natural home for the UK post Brexit: a solution which could also be in the interests of the EU, EEA/EFTA States; and potentially Switzerland.

In  respect of this second article is is worth noting that Clifton is of the opinion that there is no possibility of ‘free-standing’ EEA membership’ (page 8). He also notes that (page 8): a precondition for EEA membership for the UK (outside of the EU) is EFTA membership.
The following positions were expressed at the EFTA Ministerial Meeting of 27 June 2016 in
Berne: The Icelandic Government considered that the members “should invite the UK to join EFTA.” Switzerland stated, “We are basically positive but we shouldn’t be too outspoken here, in order not to anger the European Union.” The Liechtensteiners were also cautious but a bit more positive. The Norwegians had reservations and the Norwegian politicians openly said they may lose the number one position in the EFTA pillar in case of British EEA membership, “and this is not in our interest”. It is unlikely that this is the last word but rather the starting position from the Norwegian Government which softened its position over the summer.

Something else worth reading is a summary of a speech given by Prof. Carl Baudenbacher
President of the EFTA Court at the University of St.Gallen on 20 September 2016. Baudenbacher’s lecture covered aspects of the future possible relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU in finding a relationship that works for all through EFTA and the EEA, as well as the implications and opportunities of Brexit for Switzerland.

In view of all the non-factual claptrap that one reads in our media and espoused by most of our political class I would commend readers to read all the above for which links have been provided.

 

 

A conundrum

From the Gatestone Institute comes an interesting article, one authored by Judith Bergman.

She poses the questions whether: (a) is it not time to review priorities in regard to citizenship for those who have chosen to fight against those countries whose citizenship they hold; (b) whether it it is time to rethink the idea, as enshrined in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which prohibits governments from revoking a person’s nationality if it leaves them stateless; and (c) that a terrorist is a poor, traumatized victim who needs help – which seems to be a recurring theme among European politicians – because he/she has a ‘right’ to that citizenship. But what about the rights of the poor, traumatized citizens who elected these politicians and who suffer from the actions of those who abrogated their citizenship in order to kill it?

Underlying all the above – and not to be forgotten – is, of course, the question of ‘rights’; and in this regard it must surely also raise the question of continued participation in the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Refugees, and also the modification or withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights. It can be argued that both the 1951 Convention and that of 1961, whilst enacted with the best of intentions was not — as is usual with most political decisions/agreements – not ‘thought through’ in regard to the possible end ramifications.

It can also be argued that during the June 2016 EU Referendum not one aspect of the preceding paragraph was discussed or even considered by any of those on either side – bar, to my knowledge,  one exception – namely FlexCit.

It will be acknowledged, by any reasonable individual, that currently decisions are taken by our politicians; and those decisions are taken without any consultation with the people of this nation. More importantly, under representative democracy we, the people, have no means whereby we can challenge and demand a rethink (or negation) of those decisions.

Over the last few days we have had two ex-Prime Ministers informing us that (a) a second referendum is necessary and that (b) Remainers must have a voice in Brexit. Where was the people’s voice when Blair and his cohorts decided to ‘throw open’ the UK’s doors to make the UK more multi-cultural , whilst ‘rubbing the rights nose in diversity’? Where was the people’s voice – ie a referendum – when the other ex-Prime Minister ‘railroaded’ through Parliament the Maastricht Treaty, a treaty of such gigantic proportions?

For how much longer will we continue to allow someone who has managed to surface from a pile of crud to attain the position of a despot in what is supposed to be a democracy? For how much longer will the electorate continue to allow their franchise to be reduced to voting for the remaining crud to fill the Green Benches? Perhaps the time has come wherein we must agree to pay more tax  to cover the cost of the ’embossed stationary’ they require for their ‘farsical’ behaviour?

The time has surely come whereby our democracy needs a ‘make-over’ – in which case those of who who agree should immediately head over to dd4uk.com.

Tsk – you still here?

 

 

Vive la différence……….

On June 8th this year the following, by Phil Hendren, appeared on Facebook:

A week ago a mentally-ill person murdered people in a nightclub. When it was found that he ‘liked’ Islamist views, the Right leapt on it whilst the Left said it was irrelevant as he was mentally-ill.

Two days ago a mentally-ill person murdered another person in the street. When it was found he “liked” Neo-Nazi views, the Left leapt on it whilst the Right said it was irrelevant as he was mentally-ill.

_THAT_ ladies and gentlemen is political discourse in technicolour.

Don’t you just love ‘political discourse’?

So who do you believe when it comes to our political and media class?

Discuss

When do MP’s speak their mind?

Jess Phillips – Labour: Birmingham Yardley – has an article in the Guardian, one entitled: Jo Cox’s murder has left us MPs more fearful to speak our minds with a sub-heading: Online hatred, abuse and threats of violence to force politicians – female ones especially – to sing to a certain tune will be the death of our democracy.

Her article begins: Recently, I was in one of my weekly surgeries giving advice to local constituents when a man who was in a state of some distress leaned down to get something out of a holdall. I began to panic. It might be irrational, but since Jo Cox was murdered I have this feeling frequently. This week a local church called about my annual address at the Christmas carol concert. Every year I do a reading, never before have they called and asked me if they need to arrange a discreet police presence for my safety.

Do not the majority of MPs, at least those wishing to ‘remain loyal’ (fearing deselection), or those hoping for advancement, not toe the party line, thus ‘sing to a certain tune’? Leaving aside the point that democracy, per se, does not exist in our nation, cannot it be argued that true democracy is long dead since MPs, in the main, follow the party line for whatever reason, whilst failing to represent the views of their constituents?

With regard to the local church inquiring whether she required a discreet police presence is probably more to do with the church realizing that they ‘needed to cover their cross’ in case someone did cause physical harm, or worse, to their  MP; and that they then might be held liable?

The article continues: Yet I still cannot shake the feeling that in our country – and across the world – there is a rising tide of hate that mean events such as Jo’s murder are more likely. That statement begs the question: but who created the changes in our society from which were borne resentment; in regard to which it is possible to include the aftereffects of unlimited immigration, the apparent ‘favouriting’ of non-British where housing is concerned, the introduction of political correctness which now seems to govern political and  legal decisions? In none of these decisions were the indigenous people of this nation consulted to seek their approval.

More follows: Regardless of how people love to deride politicians, democracy is not an easy gig. My decisions, views and heartfelt principles are dismissed by so many as careerist, opportunist or attention-seeking. I cannot think or do anything without my motives being called into question. It is right and proper that I should seek opinion on how I vote, that I should gauge the feeling of my constituents (who, incidentally, are the most respectful and decent of all those who get in touch demanding I listen to them). Pressure and protest is fine, but using fear and threats to force politicians to sing to a certain tune will be the death of our democracy.

In regard to the first sentence; forgive me but I appear to have mislaid my Stradivarius – in other words, if one can’t stand the heat of the kitchen then one vacates. Bearing in mind how Jess Philips voted in the EU Referendum, she surely can not have sought the opinion, nor gauged the feeling of her constituents, as her reasons for voting as she  did can only be considered personal.

Yet again Jess Phillips writes: During the Labour leadership election there were lots of threats about my job – “Do what we want or we are coming to get you.” This is not democratic – it’s despotic. Is it not a fact that do what we want or we are coming to get you is the attitude of politicians where the people attempt to disagree with the laws they create – or those to which they acquiesce? So when the people attempt to fight against the government it is not democratic but despotic – but when the government forces people to obey a law they do not like or want, or have had no consultation about, then that is democratic and not despotic.

For me the ‘killer paragraph’ comes at the end of this article as it appears to show where the priorities of politicians lay: People who say “I hate politicians, you’re all the same” will soon have to face the fact that all politicians do say the same thing – the thing that keeps them safe.

So we can assume that as all politicians say the same thing, the question arises why do we have different political parties, what is the point of their individual existence and, why therefore, is tribal voting so prevalent? It then appears that regardless of their need to keep safe those they represent, they are more concerned with keeping themselves safe.

When MPs do speak their minds one only has to view the interview of Rebecca Long-Bailey by Andrew Neil to witness that their minds understand not that for which they claim the right to decide – so what is the point of having someone speak their mind when what they utter is total ‘spheroids’? That question is addressed not only to Rebecca Long-Bailey and Jess Phillips, but also to John Redwood and Nigel Farage, together with a host of other political figures and political commentators.

George Orwell is reputed to have said: Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. I could not agree more.

 

 

That’s another fine mess you gotten us into……..*

When one considers the inane comments that are being emitted by our Members of Parliament where Brexit is concerned, those of us who understand ‘matters EU’ can only grow increasingly frustrated by the day.

From this source we are informed that the main functions of Parliament are to:

  • Check and challenge the work of the Government (scrutiny)
  • Make and change laws (legislation)
  • Debate the important issues of the day (debating) 
  • Check and approve Government spending (budget/taxes)

In order to do any of the above it is necessary that those performing the acts of checking and challenging the work of the Government, making and changing laws, debating the important issues of the day and checking and approving Government spending had any knowledge of just how to go about that. If only MPs had an understanding of the basics about which they would have us believe they do, perhaps we would not be in the mess that they have gotten us into.

When we have MPs who are unable to differentiate between ‘Single Market’ and ‘Customs Union’ – and conflate the two; who are unable – or unwilling – to understand the difference between membership of EFTA and full membership of the EU; who seem to have no understanding of how long trade deals require to come to fruition; who appear not to know the origin and process of how international standards come to be implemented; who have no understanding of the amount of law, inherited through our membership of the EU – with their blessing – that needs to be unraveled; a few questions arise:

On what basis should we listen to their utterances; and more importantly, on what basis should we continue to fund their livelihood and thus their careers? If, as so many MPs claim, they have a career as an MP, perhaps there is a case for an investigation by Trading Standards? If, as is obviously apparent, the people of the United Kingdom have some of their number masquerading as ‘rulers’ under representative democracy,  then perhaps it is time we changed the system of democracy whereby said masqueraders are ‘shown the door’?

Readers may be thinking I have overlooked the part that our media play in the problems we suffer where our politicians are concerned –  which I hasten to assure is not the case. Journalists (Christopher Booker excepted) are but  ‘ticks’ feeding off ‘host animals’ (aka the political class), the latter ‘suffering’ said predators because of the benefit they, the host, gains.

A little dose of direct democracy would not only control the parasites, while making the host a pointless feeding ground for the former – and also bringing the latter under domestic control.

*A saying attributed to Laurel and Hardy, a comedic double act of the 1920/1940s – in which regard MPs bear a striking resemblance.

Afterthought: Far be it for me to ‘declare war’ on any other blogger(s), but a thought arises: it is all very well to criticize politicians for their lack of knowledge in regard to ‘matters EU’, but it seems pointless when said blogger(s), who ‘usurped’ the idea of introducing direct democracy (and then did nothing with that ‘usurpation’ over a period of 4 years) – which after all would negate the utterances and power that politicians undoubtedly have – then proceed to totally ignore, or mention that the introduction of direct democracy would ‘put said politicians back in their box’.  Perhaps priorities need reviewing?

Just saying……….

‘Labouring’ to keep the status quo – and are they not all ‘labouring’, regardless of party?

It is noted that Pat Glass MP has tabled a private member’s bill (which today had its second reading) saying officials must use the latest electoral register when drawing up new constituency boundaries,  which seems a logical suggestion; however she also wishes to keep the number of MPs to 650. The Hansard report of the ensuing debate can be found here. Never mind a ‘talking-shop, it seems ‘looking after number-one’ is more important; an accusation that could well be leveled in other directions where the introduction of direct democracy is concerned.

Labour are the biggest losers under the commission’s proposals, with up to 30 of their current seats expected to disappear – including Jeremy Corbyn’s. Ms Glass’ Parliamentary Constituencies (amendment) Bill would keep the number of MPs at its current level.

We’ve got a democracy in which, at general election and local elections, fewer and fewer people vote, but when people bother to register we’re not even counting them, she said, adding: There is something wrong in a government which is seeking to reduce the elected house at the same time as it is creating 250 more Lords.

The first question that arises is if the ‘democracy’ that we have results in fewer and fewer people actually bothering to vote, how can we be sure that newly registered members of the electorate will, in fact, exercise their franchise – and, more importantly, should we not change that system of democracy so that any of the electorate feel their vote will actually matter? The second question is one that asks if the membership of the Upper House is to be increased, why is it left to the Prime Minister – and Leaders of other political parties – to so decide without obtaining the agreement of those that have to fund his/her/their largess?

Under our present system of democracy we are reminded time and time again, by the 650, that they are elected to represent their constituents. Just when do they; and how can they when invariably their vote is ‘whipped’, or they vote for their party in the hope of advancement up the ‘political ladder of opportunity’?

Should not those that fund any system of democracy have a voice in how it works and its cost?  Why do we need 650 ineffective ‘representatives’; ‘ineffective’ in that they care not one jot about how their constituents feel when they have a career to follow?

For how much longer do we, the people that fund our politicians and their, for example, sycophantic fake charities who to a certain extent have an element of control over the  actions of  our elected representatives, have to endure a system of democracy whereby servants dictate and are thus able to rule their masters? Is it not the case that those who hire paid labour to carry out work on their behalf then decide what and how – that paid labour does?

Paul Flynn stated (@10.44): ……. She referred to this place as the mother of Parliaments. In the past that would be said with pride, but we can no longer claim to other countries, particularly those with newly minted democracies, that we are the example to be followed. Now, sadly, the mother of Parliaments is a dissolute, degraded hag.

So one final question: if the mother of Parliaments is a dissolute, degraded hag just why do we allow it to continue in its present form – which includes funding it and its occupants?

I shall elaborate further about the content of this article, on dd4uk.com, during the course of the coming weekend.

 

Overstepping the ‘mark’?

According to this report it would appear that a senior judge who will be sitting as a member of the Supreme Court may have compromised her impartiality.

Lady Hale, the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, queried whether a “simple Act of Parliament” would be enough to give Theresa May the authority to kick-start the two year countdown to the UK leaving the European Union. Instead, she argued that the Government may have to come up with a “comprehensive replacement” for the 1972 European Communities Act, which authorised Britain’s membership of the then European Economic Community. She also stated: What has to be done instead is perhaps not so clear. But the case is destined for our court, so I must say no more.

The question may well be: P’haps, M’Lady, you have said more than you should anyway – even allowing for the fact it is well known that those born in Yorkshire tend to be a tad outspoken? Is it not a case that her views should be reserved for the ‘judgement’, having heard all the legal argument – and not aired prior?

This situation illustrates that perhaps where those that are to rule on decisions made by the people, they should be elected by the people – rather than being, at the end of the day,  a political appointment? In any event is not the judiciary supposed to be separated from government and thus be impartial?

Discuss……………

Laugh of the year?

I note that the Daily Telegraph now has a ‘premium’ level of access (£); however, there is a free level which affords users to one article per week. Having subscribed to this free access I promptly received an email from the Telegraph, part of which read:

Premium has been designed to provide exclusive online access to the highest quality journalism from the reporters and commentators at the heart of the story. [ ……….] Our team of award-winning writers, authorities and insiders offer you a unique perspective across all of the world’s most important stories……….. (emphasis mine)

‘Highest quality journalism’? If only……………………….

Afterthought: I exempt from my criticism Christopher Booker and, possibly, Ambrose Evans-Pitchard.