All posts by David

HMY Britannia

Currently on television is a programme about HMY Britannia – aka ‘The Queen’s Yacht’.

As this article shows, it was the politicians of ‘the day’ (circa 1997) who made the decision and who subsequently regretted it. Little thought was given, it appears, to the fact that that vessel was the reason for many of the trade deals that were ‘done’ (again, read the aforementioned link).

In this article, John Major is quoted as having said:

During the early Nineties, the monarchy went through a very difficult time,’ Sir John Major explains. ‘Ask yourself this question: in the midst of the recession, with the British people facing economic hardship, how popular would it have been to announce a £50 million spend on a new yacht for the personal use of the Royal Family? How would that have been portrayed by the media?’ In any case, he argues, Britannia, which cost £11 million a year to run, had been designed for a long-gone era of ocean-going royal tours — and air travel had rendered her semi-redundant. ‘Would I, personally, have wished to retain her?’ he wonders out loud. ‘Of course I would. But one has to be pragmatic about such things. read more.....

Whose life is it?

When I moved this blog to a country that would allow me to become ‘more verbose’ in that  which I have wished to say/write, said decision was taken with the best of intentions.

The fact that, since then, blogging has become a ‘tad sparse’ is that I appear to be wasting my efforts and breath where engaging with our political class, the media and commentariat are concerned.

That all of them appear either to be ‘tone deaf’, or more importantly, do not wish to engage/listen to my views – and, boy have I tried, especially on  twitter – is a ‘given’, due to the silence where any response is concerned. read more.....

Select Committees

Following on from Richard North’s article in which he discusses the effectiveness of Select Committees; and from which:

So often do we see this that we find select committees becoming repositories for misinformation – sharing half-truths and misconceptions and never getting to the bottom of the issues and contributing anything of value. Small wonder they are treated (as I am advised privately) with disdain by ministers and civil servants. If the system is to work at all, we need to see fundamental changes to it – and not just confined to the Brexit committee. In the past, we’ve had major reservations about the Defence Committee, which has proved just as inadequate in monitoring the MoD. One thing I would like to see is the end of the practice where MPs on the committee each take turns questioning witnesses. Instead, it be better if each committee appoints its own advocate (who might be a barrister) to conduct the oral sessions. The MPs would then act in a similar fashion to a judge (or jury). read more.....

‘Law’

If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.
Louis D. Brandels

Much was made by the Leave side, during the referendum, which involved the slogan  ‘taking back control’; and John Redwood MP is oft fond of making the point that it is the UK parliament that should decide the laws to which the United Kingdom should adhere. But just what is the origin of law to which we, the people, should pay heed; because in the vast majority of cases the UK parliament is not the originator. read more.....

Lowering the voting age to 16

Nikki Morgan, writing on Conservative Home, is suggesting that her party should be ‘pushing’ to lower the age at which a person can vote to 16 years; and this is not the first time a politician, regardless of party, has suggested this. In the UK, the minimum voting age is 18, except in Scotland, where 16- and 17-year-olds have been given the right to vote in local and Scottish parliamentary elections.

My argument against lowering the voting age is that 16-year-olds haven’t yet entered the world of home ownership, employment, tax or pensions but these economic issues are often at the forefront of election campaigns; coupled with the point that a lack of experience in these matters prevents people of such a young age from making a considered judgment at the ballot box. There is also the fact that 18- to 24-year-olds have the lowest turnout of any age group in elections, reflecting an apparent lack of interest in politics, so why would those two years younger be any different. read more.....

Cricket on ice?

Probably not well known is that the Swiss play cricket – and also play the game on ice. Not surprisingly the game was introduced by the English; and the earliest evidence of a match being played in the country is depicted in an 1817 painting of a game in Geneva.

There are now 15 teams playing league and cup cricket in Switzerland under the auspices of the Swiss Cricket Association (formed in 1980). Switzerland was granted affiliate status to cricket’s ruling body, the International Cricket Council, in 1985. The Swiss national cricket team regularly plays against other European countries. read more.....

Being led by the nose

Wherever one cares to look, where representative democracy is concerned, we the people get led ‘by the nose’ by the politicians we elect.

It can be said that no one enters the field of politics but for the wish to attain power in one form or another and thus have a form of control over their fellow man/woman.

We can all see that politics has become  a means of climbing the ladder of success; and with a bit of luck the top prize is to become the leader of their party with the result that ‘if the wind is blowing in the right direction’, said person can then become prime minister – a dictator in all but name. read more.....

Plus ca change, plus ca meme-chose

So Lansley, MItchell and Lilley have been stung as have, in the past, Hoon, Cable; and many others.

If only any of these latest three had any knowledge of ‘matters Brexit’ or ‘matters EU – but then perhaps Trading Standards should become involved, because is it not an offence to pass oneself off as an expert on sommat about which you are clueless to the detriment of those who would pay you for your advice?

Perhaps if the aforementioned did their ‘day-job’ properly and without deficit to their constituents, there might not be an outcry by a section of the media which considers itself the ‘Guardian’ of our nation? read more.....

So the Vacuousness continues…..

David Davis delivered a speech at Teesport – one could say an apology for a speech as where vacuousness is concerned this must take first prize.

From Owen Paterson, we get the following tweet:

:  No one arguing to sever trade with Europe, but only clean break from Single Market and Customs Union gives freedom to embrace huge opportunities around the world. Cabinet Ministers who do not support Government policy and manifesto commitments can always resign.

Not forgetting John Redwood MP: The UK needs to strengthen its negotiating position. Instead of asking for a transition period prior to any Agreement the UK should ask the EU do they want a comprehensive free trade Agreement w/ us or not. If no, we should just get on & leave in March 2019 under the WTO option. read more.....