Monthly Archives: June 2018

Perhaps I have reached the end?

For some time now I have had great difficulty in writing anything of interest where politics is concerned – which may be the reason for the paucity of my output. I find myself suffering disillusionment, despair and disappointment for what passes as politics and journalism in our nation, but especially where politics is concerned. Two news stories, if they are to be believed, have deepened my emotions to a depth I did not believe possible.

The first is this ridiculous pledge of more money for the NHS as a result of what Theresa May calls the ‘windfall’ of Brexit, as reported in the Daily Telegraph (paywall). Because of her disastrous strategy where Brexit is concerned, anyone with a brain knows full well there will be no ‘windfall’. They also know that any such injection of money into the NHS must come from more borrowing or increased taxation. Once again the taxpayer will be presented with a bill to which they have never been asked if they agreed. Surely it is time that this ‘white elephant’ is ‘killed off’ as its  cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness. read more.....

Crocodile Tears, methinks

There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny
Frederick William Robertson

The hypocrisy of some is that we like to think of ourselves as sophisticated and evolved, but we’re still also driven by primal urges like greed and power.

Michael Leunig

It would appear that MP after MP is queuing up to condemn the award of a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List to Mike Carne; with Labour’s John Mann branded it “one of the most extraordinary rewards for failure”.

It is not as if Mark Carne has been knighted (see Wikipedia), so why the outrage?
How many of our political class have been honoured for their failure?  read more.....

‘Fur’, or against

On 4th June a debate took place in Westminster Hall following a petition (200888) which gained 109,554 signatures; a debate which has. to my knowledge, been ignored by the media; which begs the question how important was it, bearing in mind our media is supposed to report news of public interest (but I digress).

First, a little background: according to this article there is a small green bag in the House of Commons that hangs hidden on the back of the Speaker’s chair with a sign attached. It reads: “Do not touch”. Into this bag disappear all the petitions that pass through parliament.It is hard to see this bag as anything other than a metaphor for the triviality with which politicians treat petitions and civic engagement in general. This is nothing new. Petitioning, a practice from medieval times, was used by the working class in the 19th century to demand the vote in their millions; yet the government of the time was quick to reject the multiple petitions they presented……But Directgov is rarely more than a farce – and a destructive one at that. Almost half of petition requests submitted to the site by the public are rejected (link now inoperative) before they reach publication stage. When it promises that “if you collect more than 100,000 signatures, your e-petition could be debated in the House of Commons”, few realise the weight of significance behind the word “could”. Many petitions exceed this threshold and lead to no debate. In reality, they are passed to the backbench where, in the absence of an MP with a reason to champion the cause, they suffer death by committee. Of course, if you happen to move in the same social circles as an MP, you could just bypass the task of convincing 100,000 people a cause is right and convince just the one. read more.....

The ‘Merry-Go-Round’ continues

Since the invoking of Article 50 by the Government of the United Kingdom, in order to leave the European Union,  the UK has proposed measures and the EU has declined them.

The latest declination has come with this speech by Michel Barnier, tweeted by @RichardAENorth:

Barnier statement … europa.eu/rapid/press-re…

To which I responded:

The sooner the politicians of every party do their homework on ‘matters EU the sooner the current mess will be resolved. The sooner the ‘Westminster Village’ begin to acknowledge input from those outside their circle, the sooner this current mess will be resolved. read more.....

Cutting through the ‘waffle’

It was with interest that a few days ago I read this lecture by Sir Ivan Rogers. Of equal interest was another lecture by the same person about David Cameron, incorporated within which were links to similar lectures from  Charles Powell on Thatcher, Chris Patten on John Major, Andrew Adonis on Tony Blair and Stewart Wood on Gordon Brown.

In effect Rogers, Powell, Patten, Adonis and Wood were all ‘bureaucrats’; and bureaucrats appear to use twenty/fifty words when one would be quite sufficient – if you follow my drift. As such, I find that, particularly with Rogers, it becomes necessary for me to read two or three times anything he writes before I can begin to try to understand that which he wishes to convey – in other words, he attempts to write for the ‘Westminster Bubble’; not that those in that ‘rarefied’ clique would have the slightest understanding of the subject matter (but, yet again, I digress). read more.....