For the last 2/3 months I have been authoring @the_harrogate Twitter feed on behalf of The Harrogate Agenda (the account is now deleted for reasons which will follow). Whilst ‘managing’ the account an attempt was made to ensure that the word ‘I’ was never used, instead using the word ‘We’ when suggesting changes that were needed to our form of democracy. The reason for attempting to keep my identity ‘secret’ was to ensure that no opening was made for people to infer my views, on my own twitter account (@scribblinseaham), were those of The Harrogate Agenda. In that regard I can but hope that I was successful.
It is ‘party conference season’ yet again; the ‘season of the year’ when political parties promise Utopia for the electorate, were they to be elected to power
We have had the LibDems and Labour, with the Conservatives still to come and without doubt the idea of the ‘sunlit lands’ will be presented to us yet again, albeit in slightly different words.
Political parties are, presently, in the throes of promoting ‘rights’ to this or that group. But a question: If politicians and pressure groups believe in equal rights, then what do ‘women’s rights,’ ‘gay rights,’ etc., mean? Either they are redundant or they are violations of the principle of equal rights.
Can anyone explain why, when someone dies, most of what he (or she – Ed) has saved up over a lifetime should be turned over to politicians, rather than to his (or her – Ed) heirs?
Many stories have emerged in the media detailing how people who have behaved financially, ie been prudent, have ‘lost’ their ‘assets’ (be that savings or ‘property value’, when they have needed ‘care’ in their final years (ie care homes).
I hold Power of Attorney for a lady, currently 103 years of age, whose savings were just over the border line whereby she could receive ‘free care’. This lady, who lost her ‘one and only love’ during World War II and never married, worked all her life for one employer and by means of ‘due diligence’ accumulated what, to some, would be considered a small fortune.
During Prime Minister’s Questions today (starts: 34:07) Jeremy Corbyn used all his questions on the subject of the NHS. Not only that but a vast majority of his MPs did like likewise; which would seem to suggest that this was part of a concerted campaign by the Opposition with a view to ‘inconveniencing’ the Prime Minister. Nowt wrong with that as it is the job of the Opposition to so do; and in any case if any Prime Minister needed to be ‘inconvenienced’, it is her.
It is reported that Theresa May is set to appoint new Peers in a bid to avoid further Brexit defeats. The article quotes Labour peer and arch-Remainer Lord Adonis who has accused the Prime Minister of stuffing the Lords with loyal peers in an attempt to ram through her Brexit agenda.
Is this not what all Prime Ministers do: create more Peers in order to ‘ram through’ their ‘policy du jour’? What does another Prime Minister (of an opposing party) do but repeat the process for exactly the same reason?
As a precursor, two quotes from Thomas Sowell:
Those who say that all cultures are equal never explain why the results of those cultures are so grossly unequal.
What ‘multiculturalism’ boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.
A few news items:
1. @AmberRuddHR 8 hours ago: Today is National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day. This Government is tackling child sexual exploitation by supporting law enforcement as they pursue offenders, developing new technology to protect victims & working to ensure tech companies remove illegal content.
If we, as people, want ‘liberty’ in order to make our own decisions that affect our life (and whose life is it, ours or that of someone else) then we need to change our system of democracy in this country. Under representative democracy we cannot achieve either as those we elect are able to make decisions over which we have no say, ie control. Those that make our laws are not bound by any constraint in regard to which they promise is that they will enact – think manifestos?
As two examples, consider both smoking and recall of MPs.
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).
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?
A few days ago I found this article.
This article, to my mind, is slanted to the common consensus of representative democracy. You just need to read this paragraph:
The second is that elected representatives ought to make those decisions. Those representatives have, it is thereby implied, a greater degree of expertise in doing so. And party politics means that when they are elected those representatives subscribe to a set of policies which will inform how that decision is made. They will not have free rein, once elected to decide how they wish. This is why party discipline, whilst no doubt frustrating for some of the more independent-minded MPs, is a critical component in legitimizing indirect democracy.