Friday, 31 December 2010

It is, after all, just another day


Unless something should happen 'out of the blue', twixt now and midnight, such as the fact my 'bete noire' - currently residing at 10 Downing Street - is proved to be but a figment of my imagination, I am blogged-out for 2010.

 May I wish all readers - and their kith and kin - a very Happy New Year. I would also wish to express my thanks to you all for following my 'witterings' and hope we shall meet, once again, in 2011.

To those 'out and about' this evening, have a great time. To those who like me have only themselves for company, I suggest a few drinks and then bed before midnight - as it is, in the words of Paul McCartney, just another day.

Ah, that explains it!

Following my previous post on the subject of Cameron's, Miliband's and Cleggs new year messages and the lack of any mention of the EU, my thanks to Autonomous Mind for pointing me to this article in the Wall Street Journal.

P.J. O'Rourke recently wrote that:
"People must be able to communicate with the political structure. People must be able to communicate certain information to the leaders of the political structure. Information such as, “You’re fired!......Information is the essence of what might be called the “Attitude of Liberty” — the feeling of being free. There’s power in the Attitude of Liberty — a sense that one has some knowledge, some understanding, and therefore some control, if only control over one’s own ideas."
By acceding to this agreement of 'staying on message' the Heads of Member States just confirm that they are no longer in charge of their country's destiny. Likewise there is no 'Attitude of Liberty'; there is no knowledge and subsequent understanding of what Heads of States discuss as no record or minutes are provided and individual ideas are now dictated by those who people are unable to influence - either 'at home' as 'they' refuse to grant the people a voice, nor in Brussels as 'they' are not elected and therefore cannot be 'fired'.

As on numerous occasions previously, it takes a foreign publication to advise the people of our nation what has been agreed in our name, a fact which only brings further shame onto the heads of our own spineless media.

Cameron, Clegg, Miliband - and their masters in Brussels - can put whatever gloss they like on the benefits of membership of the EU, but as Stephen Fidler writes:
"Slick public relations can try to put lipstick on the pig—but underneath it's still a quadruped with a curly tail that grunts."
A quotation not only applicable to the EU, but also to the vast majority of our politicians!

The three 'EU Puppets' New Year Messages

"A caged canary is safe but not free."
Walter Williams

David Cameron has issued his new year message, the podcast of which can be heard here and the text read here. Not to be outdone, the other two puppets do likewise and the text of Ed Miliband's can be read here - and that of Nick Clegg here. On the subject of the latter's, as an aside, the PR expertise in allowing the introductory freeze-frame must be a classic example, Not!
It cannot have escaped the notice of readers that there is one omission that links all three messages - besides the belief they all hold that they and only they have discovered the panacea to the nation's ills - and that is there is not one mention of the European Union.

Whilst Miliband and Clegg are Europhiles and make no secret of their aim to ensure this country remains a member of the EU, David Cameron is different in that whilst he has the same aims regarding membership the EU, he presents himself as a Eurosceptic. For that reason let us concentrate on the message of David Cameron:
"By nature I am an optimist – about people, about human nature and, above all, about the future of our great country.........As for politics, my approach is simple: politics is public service in the national interest.......But most important of all, particularly at times like this, is to deal with the real problem in front of us. And there can be no doubt what that is: the state of our economy and the budget deficit......But in the end politics is about national interest, not personal political agendas......We will shift power away from central bureaucracy and give choice to the parents, patients and local citizens who use public services. This will mean more open public services, more innovative, more responsive to what people want, and better value for money.......Fourth and finally, I want to say something about our national security.....But we must ask ourselves as a country how we are allowing the radicalisation and poisoning of the minds of some young British Muslims who then contemplate and sometimes carry out acts of sickening barbarity."
 Each and every one of those extracts cannot be solved by what are supposed to be our elected members of parliament due to one reason, which is this country's membership of the European Union.

1. Cameron may be an optimist about people, human nature and the future of our great country, but the future of all three do not lie within his remit, they lie within the remit of the European Union. Until Cameron deigns to allow the people a choice on EU membership, his optimism is a tad misplaced.

2. Cameron may well believe that politics is public service in the national interest, the only problem is that whilst the public pay for it there is no 'service' to speak of and what there is, is most definitely not in the national interest. There can be no national interest because the stated aim of the EU is that their policies override those of national interests.

3. Cameron is right that the most immediate problem is the state of the economy and the deficit, yet as our country's budgets have to be 'vetted' by the EU, whatever he might wish to do is constrained by what the EU will allow him to do.

4. For Cameron to maintain that politics is about national interests and should not be driven by ideology is a statement of the most blatant contradiction. How, in the name of all that is holy, can this man maintain politics is about national interests, whilst at the same time not admitting that it is driven by his ideology that the country's future depends on our continued membership of the EU? If that is not ideology, then what is?

5. Yet again Cameron talks with forked tongue by repeating the mantra that he will devolve power to the people. The Coalition's recently published Bill on devolution of power and the granting of local referenda specifically states that the results of such referenda will not be binding.

6. Cameron talks about national security and specifically about the threat of terrorism. Not one word about our national security being harmed by his decision to basically leave our country defenceless in the areas of naval and air capability; about integration of both with France, the latter point which can be seen as no more than a ploy to assist in the creation of one of the EU's dreams, that of an EU military air, sea and land force.

7. Finally, were Cameron to 'discover' the reason for the radicalisation/islamification of Britain's youth, what exactly can he do about it? Nothing, due to the impact of ECHR rulings on how we may treat those with whom we disagree through the judicial system.

8. Finally, in what bears a resemblance to the outpourings of the Soviet Politburo 'Head Honcho', there is not one wish for a Happy New Year!

As for the new year messages of Miliband and Clegg, the least said the better. However, a phrase from each, in the interests of fairness.
"It shows that political change comes because people make it happen."
Ed Miliband
And happen it will, when the public take to the streets!
"The next twelve months will be no different, because we will continue to build the Liberal, fairer, greener Britain that we all believe in."
Nick Clegg
Leaving to one side that he believes it quite acceptable for the tail to wag the dog, this is a statement from a man at the head of a political party that was not elected to form a government - and in that respect neither was Cameron.

As with so much in our lives today, if politicians cannot open their mouths to say anything of importance or which contains an element of truth, they would be well advised to keep them shut!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

As sure as eggs are eggs

Inspector Gadget posts that in 'Ruralshire', where he works, they have been told:
"...not to use the term “as sure as eggs are eggs”. Apparently this may upset any women listening, especially those who may suffer from fertility problems..."

1. Who decided to issue this directive?
2. What position in the police force does he/she hold?
3. What, exactly, is their job function?
4. What, exactly, is their function within the prevention/detection of crime scenario for which the  police are supposed to be employed?
5. Was this directive issued on that person's own initiative, or did this directive come from ACPO?
6. Why has no denouncement of this political correctness been issued by either Theresa May, Home Secretary, or Nick Herbert, Minister of State for Police/Justice? Is this an instance of the police actually informing the elected Home Secretary that whilst she 'may' suggest what should be done, the police will decide what is done? In the case of the latter individual - as an aside - one has to wonder if it is a case of 'Eades must', but again I digress.

Perhaps 6 above has not happened as both May and Herbert are saving their breath in view of this? Just who the hell are the police officers who consider themselves above that of the, I was going to use the term 'elected',  government - ACPO? 

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

The future of the Coalition and 'government' of the UK

"If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist."
Joseph Sobran (1995)
That statement sums up, neatly, the political situation in our country. In other words, bar the last classification, it is extremely difficult to determine the difference between our political parties.

First let us consider the future of the Coalition and the parties involved. For some time I have been of the opinion that Cameron, being a tad 'liberal' in his views, is currently in the process of forming a Liberal Conservative Party. Reasons: his 'pandering' to Liberal Democrat 'red lines' in the formation of the Coalition immediately after May 6th; his decision not to 'fully' contest the Oldham East & Saddleworth by-election; the apparent 'acceptance' by the hierarchy of the Conservative Party that it may be the future to stand as one party - an idea first floated by Nick Boles; and, the longer the Coalition lasts, the more Liberal Democrat ministers, PPSs and the Liberal Democrat Party get 'sucked' into a left-leaning Conservative Party - thus placing the Liberal Democrats in the same position as that of the Co-Operative Party to Labour - and thereby cementing Cameron's intention for a re-alignment of what was the Conservative Party.

It is possible to hold the view that the direction David Cameron is following is one with dangerous possible outcomes. He is obviously in danger of alienating those of his MPs who retain what may be called true Conservative opinions and also those Conservative Party members who are far from happy with the Coalition idea. The Liberal Democrat Party may well decide to rebuff Cameron's plan because, by retaining their 'independence' and 'identity', they could well present themselves as a 'moderating' influence to the electorate by publicly presenting themselves as a 'brake' on 'left' and 'right' government - which in turn could present the possibility of 'coalition government' for the foreseeable future.

It was, I believe, Nigel Farage who first coined the 'cigarette paper' analogy when comparing the Lib/Lab/Con, making the point that there was little to choose between them in respect of their policies, especially on membership of the European Union. What Cameron is in effect doing is to ensure that the choice, come a general election, will be between a hard left or soft left government. In respect of the quotation at the head of this post, it is this coalition of views by the Lib/Lab/Con - especially on the subjects of centralised control of money and social behaviour - that makes anyone of the 'Libertarian Right' labelled an 'extremist'.

Bruce Anderson has the op-ed piece in today's Daily Telegraph in which he believes the Coalition can slay the 'dragons' that escaped Margaret Thatcher. David Cameron will not slay anything for one reason - and that is he does not have the backbone that Margaret Thatcher possessed. Bruce Anderson writes that David Cameron is incisive - this the man who now almost has as many U-turns to his name as Eric Pickles has redundant U-turn signs. Anderson also writes:
"Most voters may not understand the specifics of coalition, but they like the idea."
Never mind the specifics of coalition, most voters are politically illiterate - how else does one equate the latest opinion poll findings that places Labour a few points ahead of the other two parties? This is the political opinion of an electorate that now supports the same party that 6 months ago they could not wait to evict from office? So we are asked to believe by opinion polls that the electorate now support the same party that through financial incompetence virtually brought our nation to its knees? Sheesh! It is no wonder then that Anderson can also write:
"In the present state of British politics, it is hard enough to foresee the recent past, let alone the longer term."
It is, also, no wonder that the electorate is unable to make an informed decision when they are fed 'pap' by a complaint media whose only claim to journalistic expertise is the ability to cope with the 'cut & paste' application provided by computers. Where is the requirement to hold government to account and to question? Witness this 'article' in today's Daily Telegraph, on the subject of the latest idea that the public should contribute to charity when using an ATM or their debit/credit cards? And the reasons behind this idea? Cynics may well, justifiably, claim that it is a method of 'covering' the shortfall caused by Coalition 'cuts' to public services - and they would not be far wrong either. Most 'charities' are now no more than government organisations to cajole and thus rely on public sympathy, whilst being funded in one form or another, by central government from the taxation system. How many of the electorate are aware of this? I would venture very few.

How many of the electorate have any idea how 'government' operates? Take a look at this and those readers of a perceptive nature will understand the point I am about to make. This document shows that actually how we are 'governed' is by the power of the Order in Council, taken into law via Statutory Instrument, with no debate or challenge in Parliament by those we elect, supposedly to 'govern' us - surely another example of 'democratised dictatorship'? Oh and did you notice that Simon Hughes is now a Privy Councillor? Once again the cynic in me surfaces and questions whether this 'elevation' was a means of ensuring that Simon Hughes does not cause too much 'trouble' in the future?

If ever anything demonstrated that not only does this country require a complete overhaul of our political system, but also of our democracy, then surely this post does. Come general elections - and between elections - politicians are ever present, proclaiming that they are interested in their constituents views. This can be put into perspective by remembering that P.J. O'Rourke also said that whilst politicians are interested in people, fleas are also interested in dogs!

The time for a revolution - be that peaceful or otherwise - must surely be nigh!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

It is 'Custodianship', not 'Government'

Simon Heffer has the op-ed piece in today's Daily Telegraph in which he maintains that doing the right thing for Britain must be Mr Cameron's first concern. It is not the object of this post to discuss Heffer's assertions, however one phrase particularly stood out and that was:
"If those who govern us can spare a moment........."
Perhaps the belief that we need to elect representatives to govern us is where our present system of democracy falls at the first hurdle. As a people we do not need anyone to 'govern' us as individuals, we are quite capable of 'governing' ourselves - what we do need are elected representatives to safeguard our nation and to perpetuate its continued existence as an independent, self-governing country and in so doing preserve our traditions and way of life. Therefore it follows that when we elect those representatives they should be chosen as custodians of our nation, not a government of our nation.

Unfortunately, over recent decades, by allowing politicians to usurp our freedoms of choice, thought, word and deed, we have contributed to the present situation whereby politicians are now able to dictate to us and, in treating us as children, to assume the role of a parent. Presently we are subjected to exhortation, guidance, even diktats, issued by not only government, but also quangos, fake charities and the like, on almost every aspect of our lives. At this juncture it is worth recalling the words of Keith Joseph, in a speech he gave on Saturday 19th October 1974 at the Grand Hotel, Birmingham:
"The populist rulers of Rome thought they had hit on a foolproof method of achieving a permanent curb on their patrician rivals when they created a dependent proletariat relying on them for bread and circuses; but in the end it destroyed the political stability of Rome, and so Rome itself fell, destroyed from inside. Are we to be destroyed from inside, too, a country which successfully repelled and destroyed Philip of Spain , Napoleon , [Kaiser Wilhelm II ] the Kaiser, Hitler , are we to be destroyed by ideas, mischievous, wrong-headed, debilitating, yet seductive because they are fashionable and promise so much on the cheap?"
And therein lies the way forward - once we the people have regained our rightful place within the democratic hierarchy of this country, never, ever, again must we allow our elected representatives to assume that they - and only they - are capable of 'governing' us and deciding our individual futures.

Digressing slightly, in allowing our politicians to usurp power, it has also become obvious that an old adage is only too true, namely that:
"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely"
On the truth of that adage it is worth mentioning that in seeking power and, once achieved, in wishing to retain that power, politicians very often say things that, later, they wish they hadn't. Witness:
"I joined this party because I believe in freedom. We are the only party believing that if you give people freedom and responsibility, they will grow stronger and society will grow stronger."
David Cameron 2005

"The red flag has never flown throughout these islands yet, nor for a thousand years has the flag of any other alien creed."
Michael Heseltine 1976
Cameron has obviously decided that never again will the people be allowed true freedom and Heseltine ensured that for the first time in a thousand years the flag of an alien creed does fly throughout our islands.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Anger of a Quiet Man - and me!

The Anger of a Quiet Man posts on Islamification - a post well worth reading. He highlights a Cameron quotation that is indeed puzzling, yet one that is the cause of all the problems relating to race and religion that we presently have in our country.
"Not for the first time, I found myself thinking that it is mainstream
Britain which needs to integrate more with the British Asian way of
life, not the other way around.

David Cameron, “What I learnt from my stay with a Muslim family
The Observer, Sunday 13 May 2007.
It is not just the question of Islamification but also that of immigration that goes to the heart of what is happening to our society today - all at the whim of our political class, who are indulging in an exercise of social engineering, without our permission.

I can only illustrate my own views on integration with an example: Were I to decide to go and live with David Cameron and his family (whether they wished that to happen or not) I would live by their 'rules' and if that proved intolerable to me, then I would find alternative accommodation. (I can just imagine David Cameron's attitude were I to attempt imposing changes to his lifestyle!)

TAoaQM writes:
"Frankly I'll give it another 10 years before it explodes in the politicians faces at the latest."
Sorry, but I don't give it that long. When the underlying resentment that the people presently feel does explode - and it will be soon - it will indeed be bloody.

There is irony however in the political incompetence for which our politicians are renowned, because as TAoaQM writes, the social problems are caused by our politicians leading us ever further into cultural division all in the name of diversity and equality.

Petitioning Government

"To make good citizens. And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.
H.L. Mencken
(For 'citizens' read 'MPs' and for 'schools' read 'Parliament'!)

So the Coalition has announced that the on-line petition plan for Parliament is to be introduced, although the actual details are, as yet, unclear. This idea is being hailed as a great step forward for democracy - that it brings the people closer to the decision-making process, which is utter rubbish of course.

Regular readers will be aware that I frequently refer to the state of 'democratised dictatorship' under which I maintain we now live - and this is confirmed by this statement in a post from John Redwood, writing about the EU Budget vote in the HoC:
"The last time this matter came up only 42 of us voted against the EU budget, on the grounds that it was too wasteful and expensive. All three main political parties advised their MPs to vote for it, and most did."
Do note the last sentence, because whilst MPs continue to act as their party wishes, rather than how their constituents wish, democracy per se is dead.

On the subject of 'democracy being dead' - and it is already - it will be the government-of-the-day which will decide those petitions worthy of debate, a matter which yet again illustrates the 'dictatorship' aspect of our present democratic system. This idea of petitioning Parliament is open to so much farcical abuse that it is unworkable. Consider a petition is presented with 2 million signatures for, as an example, restoration of the death penalty. Under the proposals this would then be presented to Parliament as a Bill - assuming of course that the decision had been taken to even 'allow' it to go forward. MPs then debate this and promptly vote as instructed by their Whips - and it is then defeated. And the purpose of the entire exercise was? In any event, such a bill as restoration of the death penalty could never be enacted whilst this country remains a member of the European Union.

Yet another example of this pointless exercise is the famous example where 1.8 million people voted against Tony Blair's suggestion for road pricing. With the idea 'abandoned' this was hailed as a victory for 'people power', but the important point was missed by, I suspect, the majority of those voting and the media - the latter being either unaware or, more likely, choosing not to mention it. Under Article 4.2(g) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), transport is a shared competence between the EU and Member States. If the EU wish to bring in road pricing - which they surely will as it is one of the funding streams for their Galileo Project - we, the people of this country, can petition and pass Acts of Parliament on road pricing to our hearts content, but to no avail.

In any event, it would appear the opinion that our elected representatives have of the people has been summed up by Paul Flynn, who is quoted in the BBC report stating:
"The blogosphere is not an area that is open to sensible debate; it is dominated by the obsessed and the fanatical and we will get crazy ideas coming forward."
That statement begs to be challenged. Which is the more crazy idea: 42 days detention or the smoking ban compared to a petition for Jeremy Clarkson to be made Prime Minister? At this point I am unable to resist a small 'digress': Parliament is presently filled with people of comedic characteristics, so why not some petitions of comedic nature? Returning to a more serious level, just why does Flynn despair that the blogosphere is dominated by the obsessed and the fanatical - who is he to say that the blogosphere is obsessed and fanatical when Parliament is also filled with the obsessed and fanatical, witness the zeal with which all three parties remain zealous to maintain our membership of the EU - might it not be due to the fact that our elected representatives are deaf to the demands of those that employ them? 

Ramifications of this 'petitions policy' have obviously not been 'thought through' because if governments-of-the-day continue to ignore the wishes of the people - either by dismissing' petitions considered 'unacceptable', or 'allowing' petitions with sufficient signatures to be debated as proposed Bills, during which MPs debate and then vote according to party lines thus defeating the proposal - eventually the people will take to the streets. And when 2/3 million (or more) take to the streets and coerce into a well organised force - starting a revolution - how will the police cope? They won't, so then the army gets called in - and are the army actually going to open fire on their own people? Some may say that that idea is far-fetched, to which I say: go read your history books!

With the Coalition policy - and that of Labour's, too - for further integration into the EU state, this 'petitions policy' is no more than a ploy to present a facade of democracy - as was the creation of the European Parliament. With hindsight, unfortunately the future foreseen in the preceding paragraph will probably never occur, neither will the people realise that this 'petitions policy' is meaningless, because the people are 'politically dead'. Their brains have been numbed by a diet of 'pap' provided by television and newspapers, thus diverting their attention from what are far more important topics.

Paraphrasing Mark Antony in Julius Ceasar, David Cameron - and the rest of our political elite - have indeed appeared on the scene to bury the people. What I can only hope is that the people may, eventually, come to their senses and decide:
"The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with the political elite

Monday, 27 December 2010

Principles & Honour

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
Abraham Lincoln 
The subject of 'principles and honour' is one on which I have posted previously but one to which I return, having been prompted by a 'commentary' piece in today's Daily Telegraph (print edition, as it appears not to be available on line). The article is written by Brian Wilson, Labour MP from 1987 to 2005 - who served as trade and industry minister, under the heading: "Cable's folly hurts his self-serving party the most".
"The problem with Mr. Cable and his fellow Liberal Democrats is not that they are afflicted with a surfeit of high principle. It is that they have more faces than the town hall clock - and a willingness to display whichever one a particular audience wants to see."
The problem is not just one that is applicable to Vince Cable and his fellow Liberal Democrats, it is one that is endemic within our politics today. Until our political elite are able to divest themselves of their wish to be all things to all men they will never regain the respect of the electorate for politics and themselves.

Writing on the subject of Cable's 'openess' to the two Telegraph journalists, Wilson writes:
"Every minister has faced exactly the same problem. There are things going on in government which they, personally, do not like. Yet one thing they cannot do is talk about any of that. It is called collective responsibility."
To anyone with a brain it must be obvious that within the Coalition there are numerous differences of opinion on a number of topics - which begs the question that if those differences are known, why then can they not be discussed? 'Collective responsibility' is just a political ploy designed to attempt to cover up dissension and does nothing to restore principle and honour to politics. By having open discussion on differences of opinion, surely means that (a) the MP concerned then has to publicly justify his level of principle and honour, whilst at the same time allowing his constituents to judge him as a person. It also raises another question, one on which I have also posted previously and this is: just how much are principles and honour coloured by the lure of power and the financial reward that power brings to the individual?

Today in Parliament it seems we have few that have principles and deserve the sobriquet of 'honourable'. Two that spring to mind are Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering and Philip Davies, MP for Shipley. The first has no PA, research assistant nor diary secretary, refuses to pay his wife for her work as he does not believe that would 'be right'. The second believes it his duty to work for Shipley in Westminster and not for Westminster in Shipley whilst also promising to always put the interest of his constituents above that of his political career.

Perhaps more MPs of the calibre of Philip Hollobone and Philip Davies might just restore the trust that the people of this country should be able to have in their elected representatives, coupled with the fact that our MPs would then have earned the right to the title of 'Honourable'?

Just another thought......................

Sunday, 26 December 2010

"it's actually possible in the 21st century to keep an airport open after a snowstorm."

"With the aid of vehicles called snowplows and stuff called de-icing fluid." So states the director of Alaska's Anchorage airport, quoted by Richard North, EU Referendum.

And the response of the person ultimately responsible for the debacle we have seen at airports - one who, unfortunately, does not feature any knowledge of aviation amongst his 'qualifications'?

Oh yes, another inquiry - which will no doubt cost £hundreds of thousand and be paid for out of our money! And the public reaction to that bit of news? Silent acquiescence!

So I don't think it is the politicians against whom the criticism "idiots" can be levelled.

Just a thought..............

The temperature usually rises when it gets Warner

Courtesy of UKK41, attention is drawn to this article by Gerald Warner, writing on The Global Warming Foundation.
"These are challenging times for climate jihadists. Last week the Met Office was forced to issue a press release stating it "categorically denies forecasting a 'mild winter' ". In fact, in October, its long-range probability map predicted an 80 per cent probability of warmer than average temperatures from November to January in Scotland. It claimed Scotland, along with Northern Ireland, the eastern half of England and Cornwall, would experience temperatures above the 3.7°C average, more than 2°C higher than last winter. Perversely, those are precisely the regions most ravaged by blizzard conditions; but the Met Office now insists that was not a forecast. Apparently, just as weather is not climate, a Met Office map predicting an 80 per cent likelihood of higher temperatures is not a forecast."
"Our MSPs - mostly people who give cretinism a bad name - have gone overboard for a world-leading role in climate crusading. How much energy did Scotland's ice-bound wind turbines generate this month? The regulation director at Scottish Power Renewables has stated: "Thirty gigawatts of wind maybe requires 25 GW of backup." Few Scottish windfarms attain even 28 per cent of capacity. Cutting-edge technology, eh?"

So, according to the regulation director at Scottish Power Renewables, for every GW of wind power we need virtually the same amount of GW 'back-up'. I only have one question for the regulation director: 

In which case, WTF are we building wind turbines then?

And THAT is the problem!

"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."
Justice Learned Hand*
 Richard North, EU Referendum, writes:
"In my view, the Britain of 1912 was more democratic than the Britain of 1932. And every succeeding year up to the outbreak of war saw us retreating farther and farther away. It was of course mainly the fault of the people themselves. Too few of them took a critical interest in public affairs. Too many allowed themselves to be gulled by any nonsense, chiefly appearing in newspapers that could no longer be regarded as serious organs of opinion but were simply a mixture of propaganda sheets and comic turns....... Let it be admitted, once and for all, that you cannot have a democratic government long, cannot make a democracy function properly, if you have an apathetic and passive people."

The Guardian reports that Cameron is to increase the number of policy 'advisers' as he felt frustrated that No 10 was failing to keep abreast of thinking in Government Departments. The Guardian report includes:
"We are organising No 10 more along the lines of how it was run under Tony Blair," a source said. "David feels he needs experts in policy areas. He has asked, 'Where's our expert on crime?' for example, and not got what he wants."
One would have thought that Cameron's 'expert on crime' would have some legal background, but no - he appoints someone whose academic achievement is a BA (Hons) in Georgraphy to become Home Secretary, when he does possess in his party members with a legal qualification - but I digress, to a certain extent. So "progressive politics" means a return to the old ways - plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, or put more simply: new government equals same old.....

In their document "The Coalition - our programme for government" we were informed, in the Foreward, that:

"the days of big government are over; that centralisation and top-down control have proved a failure."; that: "We are agreed that the first duty of government is to safeguard our national security...."; that: "We both want a Britain where our political system is looked at with admiration, not anger.". It becomes obvious, as days progress that the days of big government are not over; that the Coalition has not safeguarded our national security and that our political system is still a joke and viewed with anger.

We are informed that:
"We will be strong in defence of freedom. The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness."
Yet it hands power to an authoritarian organisation in Brussels whose aim would appear to be the negation of our fundamental freedoms and historic liberties and in so doing further increases state power on the individual.

We are informed that:
"We need police forces that have greater freedom from Ministerial control and are better able to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that blights people’s lives, but which are much more accountable to the public they serve."
Yet leave an organisation like the Association of Police Officers (ACPO) to continue to exist.

We are informed that:
"The Government believes that we need to take action to safeguard our national security at home and abroad. We also recognise that we need to do much more to ensure that our Armed Forces have the support they need..."
Then cancel aircraft, yet continue to build aircraft carriers for which we then have no planes - and then proceed to virtually hand those aircraft carriers to France for their and the EU's use.

We are informed that:
"The Government believes that climate change is one of the gravest threats we face, and that urgent action at home and abroad is required. We need to use a wide range of levers to cut carbon emissions, decarbonise the economy and support the creation of new green jobs and technologies. We will implement a full programme of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy."
Yet whilst 'prattling on' about deficit reduction, they adhere to a policy that will commit our nation to an annual bill of £18billion each and every year until 2040 - based on an unproven 'science'.

We are informed that:
"The Government believes that Britain should play a leading role in an enlarged European Union, but that no further powers should be transferred to Brussels without a referendum."
The government may believe that Britain should play a leading role in an enlarged European Union - but when have they specifically asked the British people, who surely have a say in this? The 'manifesto' states that no further powers should be transferred to Brussels without a referendum, yet no mention is made that this does not apply if it is an existing power that the EU has under the Lisbon Treaty - the Coalition's 'manifesto' simply states that 'no further powers should be transferred to Brussels'.

We are informed that:
"We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.......We will fund 200 all-postal primaries over this Parliament, targeted at seats which have not changed hands for many years.....We will ensure that any petition that secures 100,000 signatures will be eligible for formal debate in Parliament......We will give residents the power to instigate local referendums on any local issue."
Yet, in reality, we find any re-call of an MP by their constitutents will only be 'allowed' once Parliament decides the 'offence' is sufficient to warrant that re-call; that MPs will decide the rights or wrongs of any petition that secures 100,000 signatures; and that the results from a power to instigate local referendums is not binding on the local authority concerned. What happened to the idea for local primaries to find candidates for election to Parliament - is that one of the cuts the Coalition have forgotten to announce?

The quotations from Justice Learned Hand and Richard North are extremely apt, when considering the political system under which we now live - and which we have allowed to be foisted upon us. Where is the mass public outcry along the lines which I have laid out above? Is it because people are fixated on attempting to keep themselves financially 'afloat' or is it due to their fixation of keeping themselves abreast of the latest events in Coronation Street, EastEnders or the X-Factor. Or, more pertinent, is it really because they have "allowed themselves to be gulled by any nonsense, chiefly appearing in newspapers that could no longer be regarded as serious organs of opinion but were simply a mixture of propaganda sheets and comic turns", in which case the media do have serious questions to answer - especially as they uphold themselves as a "fair and informative" service.

I have written on that which I have termed the Democratic Dictatorship under which we now live, previously - and one that would appear to be at the heart of Coalition policy. What is wrong with our political system today is best summed up in a previous post, here. In support of that post, I would like to leave you with three quotations that seem to encapsulate the ills caused by 'government' - as it is today.
"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are the legislators."
P.J. O'Rourke
"The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not keep 'protecting' you by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring that you do this and forbidding you to do that."
Lysander Spooner.
"The limitation of tyrants is the endurance of those they oppose."
Frederick Douglass
When will the British lion awake? Is it so fast asleep that it needs a kick up the rear? Or do those Bulldogs amongst us have to act, on the basis that the British lion is presently now no more than a state-owned - and house (of Commons) trained -  pussy cat?

* This man would really have felt at home in the EU - not! According to Wikipedia he believed that courts should not be empowered to " to overrule the legislation of elected bodies, except in extreme circumstances". Instead, he advocated the "combination of toleration and imagination that to me is the epitome of all good government"

Water, Water everywhere - and to be regulated?

On 23 October 2000, the "Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy" or, in short, the EU Water Framework Directive (or even shorter the WFD) was finally adopted - a Directive that set out the basic aims of water conservation and best use thereof.

True to form, the EU does not rest for long without further strengthening its powers over member states where environmental matters are concerned - allowed in Article 4.2(e) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) - and as reported in EUActiv there are plans for measures to rein (or should that be 'rain'?) in water use, with a particular focus on savings in agriculture, buildings and industrial processes.
"Ideas put forward included improving land-use planning to take account of water issues, introducing more widespread use of pricing and metering technologies – in households and agriculture – as well as promoting water efficient devices. Education and communication campaigns are also in the works to help raise citizens' awareness about water..........The policy paper will focus on increasing water savings in all areas, with a particular emphasis on agriculture and improving water retention by making changes to land use and management. Other areas where efficiency gains are expected include water supply infrastructures and buildings. This will be done by ensuring "demand management" of water – including pricing policies – in a bid to secure enough water for all essential uses."
One further extract from the EUActiv report is worth repeating:
"A Commission communication on water scarcity, published in 2007, laid down a hierarchy under which "water demand management should come first, and alternative supply options should be considered only once the potential for water savings and efficiency has been exhausted."
It is worth noting some important phrases in the foregoing quotes:

"..introducing more widespread use of pricing and metering technologies.....making changes to land use and management........ensuring "demand management" of water.........water demand management should come first.." As with Smart Meters for electricity, which have the capability to be controlled by the supplier thus 'regulating' when electricity is available - so, no doubt, technology will be able to 'regulate' when water is made available.

Reverting to the shenanigans over the EU Budget, readers will recall, as part of the trade-off to keep the budget increase to 2.91%, it was decided that an 'own resources' tax would be levied. This may take the form on a tax on financial deals, an 'energy' tax, or possibly an increase in VAT rates. What price a water tax in the years to come, once this 'water regulation use' directive is finalised? Needless to say, as can be seen from the EUActiv article, all those involved in water provision etc, are all enthusiastically 'on-board' - so no surprises there then.

For those readers what got taught geography as it was - and should still be - you will recall that islands get more rainfall than do continents. This is borne out by the stats table here - from which will be seen the average rainfall for the following countries: Average annual precipitation in mm: Netherlands 778.3 England 1219.8 Germany 699.9 Belgium 847.4 France 866.7 - which, in 'our language', equates to 30.64"; 48.02"; 27.56"; 33.36" and 34.12". The figure for the UK must be higher on the basis that presumably Scotland and Wales get more rainfall then England (it is always raining when I am in Wales!). It is not known yet, obviously, how this tax (assuming it is brought in) may be computed, but if on rainfall and the infrastructure required to cope with that - then the UK, as with budget contributions, could well end up 'subsidising' the continent.

Lends a whole new meaning to the old adage (in its most polite form) of "extracting the water"!

Saturday, 25 December 2010


In time of war this nation of ours has paid many sacrifices, none more so than during the years 1939-1945. From the words of the film maker of the time:
"Destiny gave her the torch of liberty to hold and she has not dropped it yet......Today England stands unbeaten, unconquered and unafraid."

The people of our nation - not just those in the armed forces, but also those left at home - during the years 1939-1945 fought so hard to preserve their way of life, their liberty and their nation. History shows that they were then sold out, years later, by a procession of incompetent, unlistening, self-serving politicians.

Fast forward to the present day and thanks to those incompetent, unlistening and self-serving politicians, England - together with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - has dropped the torch of liberty and stands beaten, conquered and, to those of us who can be bothered to be interested in matters EU, very, very afraid.

At the risk of being classified as a kill-joy at this time of family celebration, I wonder how many of us paused to consider the sacrifices of those who lost their lives, the sacrifices of those who survived - and are now being forgotten and ignored in their hour of need by this government? How many of us, I wonder, paused to consider the freedoms, even allowing for war restrictions, that the people then had - and which politicians have, over the years, usurped so that, in comparison, we now live in a far more restrictive society?

The youth of today, through no fault of their own, know nothing of our nation's past and of the sacrifices made - but I also wonder whether, had they been taught our nation's history, our youth would be so dismissive of matters such as, for example, pride in one's country, courtesy and tradition - all aspects which go into building the character of an individual - and that of a nation.

H/T: Fraser Nelson for the video.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas 2010

I am presently working up a post which will appear after Boxing Day on a subject about which we will have an awful lot, once this snow melts.

In the meantime, rather than post a carol, I thought the following would be of interest, in that it is sufficient to make a grown man cry - as does a great deal of Mozart's music. This particular version features Emma Kirkby with the Academy of Ancient Music and the Winchester Cathedral Choir.

May I wish all readers a most enjoyable Christmas and I hope the New Year brings everyone that which they wish for themselves and their families.

God Bless.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

So I lied - So?

Having said that there would be no posts tonight, pretending to be an aspiring politician it behoves me to break my word!

There's nowt on telly, so be entertained (with a 'tip of the hat' to Dick Puddlecote from whom I 'nicked' it):

An interview with Nigel Farage - How free-market is UKIP? from Institute of Economic Affairs on Vimeo.

Thursday 23rd December 2010

Apologies, but no posts today. To paraphrase nourishing obscurity: "matters in-house".

Will post on something tomorrow - promise!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves

Ex-judge Andrew Napolitano, a pro-life libertarian, now works for Fox News (enough said, I hear the cries), however the video below is worth viewing even though it is US-based. The central points that he makes are also applicable to our nation.
"When we pliantly accept violations of our natural rights, we embolden the government to violate them even more. The more sheep-like the people are, the more wolf-like the government becomes....When you believe the government, that it can keep you safe by invading your natural rights, you end up with neither - not liberty nor safety. Who will keep us safe from the goveernment?"

In this country, Napolitano's Constitution Offenders comprise: Heath, Wilson, Callaghan, Major, Blair, Brown and, more recently, Cameron. With each (Major just 'scrapes' in) blame can also be laid at the door of our elected representatives, as the more sheep-like the MPs behaved (putting party before country), the more wolf-like the respective governments became.

Making government interoperable

Following my post yesterday "Making government services interoperable", an article in Euractiv 'brought home' something which seems to have escaped the notice of the vast majority, most noticeably our media - hence the slight alteration between the titles of that post and this.
"Despite opposition behind the scenes, plans to let Europeans seek medical treatment in other countries in the 27-country bloc surged forward Tuesday (21 December) when EU countries gave their stamp of approval. The deal, reached at ambassador level (Coreper), paves the way for a vote in Parliament on 19 January and increases the chances the cross-border healthcare directive could be in force as early as 2013."
(For the uninitiated, Coreper is the Committee of Permanent Representatives (whom some would say) are the most powerful body within the European Union.

Such a move as that reported in Euractiv is the forerunner to total control of healthcare passing to Brussels and, in effect, assuming the status of a competence - resulting in yet another loss of power. Not that should come as a surprise, if one considers Articles 4 and 6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
"Article 4
1. The Union shall share competence with the Member States where the Treaties confer on it a competence which does not relate to the areas referred to in Articles 3 and 6.
2. Shared competence between the Union and the Member States applies in the following principal areas:
(a) internal market;
(b) social policy, for the aspects defined in this Treaty;
(c) economic, social and territorial cohesion;
(d) agriculture and fisheries, excluding the conservation of marine biological resources;
(e) environment;
(f) consumer protection;
(g) transport;
(h) trans-European networks;
(i) energy;

(j) area of freedom, security and justice;
(k) common saafely concerns in public health matters, for the aspects defined in this Treaty.

Article 6
The Union shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States. The areas of such action shall, at European level, be:
(a) protection and improvement of human health;
(b) industry;
(c) culture;
(d) tourism;
(e) education, vocational training, youth and sport;

(f) civil protection;
(g) administrative cooperation."
The give-away - and the most worrying, when considering losses of power - is that word 'coordinate', which the Concise OED defines as:
"v tr: bring (various parts, movements, etc) into a proper or required relation to ensure harmony or effective operation etc" (my emphasis)
 At some time in the future, when the European Union has completed coordinating each member states' healthcare system, industry, culture, education system and civil protection (law & order), has exhausted their shared competence in the matters detailed in Article 4 - and added that lot to the exclusive competences it has under Article 3, the joke that presently passes as our national parliament will most definitely become redundant, other than as an administration centre answerable to Brussels. 

Of course, the comment about Westminster presently being no more than an administration centre, with the continual ceding of power, has been made previously - notably by Richard North, EU Referendum - and after careful thought it will be agreed that the present situation of our national parliament is but part of their training programme for when the EU assumes total control over every aspect of our governance.

It really is time for us to leave this madhouse - we have the chance of trading, unencumbered, with the rest of the world - which is far bigger than the European Union. A choice which, echoing the words of Vince Cable, could be summarised as a 'new clear' option?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Repeating a 'Cri de Coeur'

Courtesy of Autonomous Mind and his '5 Star Blogging', my attention is drawn to this post from the Adam Smith Institute in an article highlighting the continuing problem about who governs our nation:
"Stranger still, the media are silent. Surely who governs Britain is a newsworthy topic? Cameron talks tough but actually goes along with whatever Merkel and Sarkozy agree, e.g. the EU budget and the transfer of Financial Services lawmaking to Brussels. He definitely does not want the gap between his EU bluster and his achievements exposed in the media. The Lib Dems, naturally, favour closer integration within the EU legal system with no questions asked. Andy Coulson is doing for Cameron what Alastair Campbell did for Blair. Mark Thomson has admitted that the BBC is soft on the EU and this can be interpreted as deliberately keeping the sovereignty issue out of the headlights. If someone does not wake up the media, this will not be our country any more."
I can do no more to reinforce the ASI's plea in respect of waking up the media, than to draw reader's attention to this post and this from November this year. It has been shown that the blogosphere does drive the media content - witness the many instances where the media have written about subjects that have been commented upon by bloggers days previously, or where bloggers have shown that what the media has written is either totally incorrect, or biased.

At present we no more have a free and informative press than did the USSR or the Third Reich. Our 'so-called' journalists are dependent on their income for access to government ministers and MPs, therefore they are faced with the situation whereby should they write or broadcast anything detrimental to that minister's or MP's good name or actions, their income will abruptly be halted - hardly conducive to a free and informative media.

We, the public, are fed 'pap' by our media - invariably 'cut & pasted from government statements - aided and abetted by surveys which now appear almost weekly showing Labour leading the Coalition where public voting intentions are concerned. FFS, we are 7 months into what is supposed to be a 5 year parliamentary term! Is it any wonder that a party, whose mismanagement of our economy during the last 13 years, is considered the better alternative when that public are not properly informed of the previous government's past record? It cannot be purely due to the public's memory only having an attention span of 6 months - can it?

Following the Cable 'affair', this evening we get the following appearing on Twitter:
" House Of Twits
RT @ There isn't an MP in Parliament who will trust or speak with any openess to anyone they don't know well ever again."
In effect what Dorries is stating is that, like the media with their public, she will not be 'transparent' with any of her constituents with whom she is not previously acquainted. Is Dorries not supposed to be 'open and honest' with those she has been elected to represent?

In one respect the ASI is slightly 'behind the times' - when our media is 'muzzled', or just plain incompetent; when our elected representatives do not feel able to be open and honest with those who pay their salaries; when our Prime Minister admits in Parliament that he is powerless to stop any future UK participation in bail-outs until 2013 and that 'snippet' is not reported in the media; when the immigrant and criminal population appear to have more 'rights' than those of the indigenous population - then this most definitely is not our country any more!

Making government services interoperable

IanPJ on Politics posts today on two very important reports - and in this post I wish to concentrate on the first of those reports, namely the release by the European Commission of the Commission’s European Interoperability Strategy (EIS) and the European Interoperability Framework (EIF).

As both IanPJ and I are aware, readers are a tad averse to ploughing through EU documents, so I will just extract what I believe to be relevant sections, for consideration.

The introduction to the EIS states:
".....The EIS aims to provide guidance and to prioritise the actions needed to improve interaction, exchange and cooperation among European public administrations across borders and across sectors for the delivery of European public service......"
The definition of a European public service is:
"a cross-border public sector service supplied by public administrations, either to one another or to European businesses and citizens"
Note point 5:
"Without a comprehensive approach to interoperability, there is a risk that Member States might opt for mutually incompatible solutions that, rather than boosting efficiency and savings, will only build new barriers to the delivery of European public services in the internal market."
Note also point 7:
"Once fully adopted, the EIS will become the key driving force for the EU’s new ISA programme from 2010 to 2015 and possibly other EU initiatives. The EIS will also have an impact on interoperability activities undertaken by the Member States."
Note: the ISA programme is the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations which came into force on 29th October 2009.

The EIF contains 25 'recommendations' in order to facilitate the 'interoperability' between member states because, as the EIF document states:
"...European public administrations must be ready to work together to deliver European public services to meet the needs of businesses and citizens."
Continuing, the EIF also states:
"It is important that interoperability frameworks used by public administrations, both national (NIFs) and European (EIF), are aligned as regards how to achieve interoperability so that Member States can agree on the concrete implementation of the EIF recommendations when establishing European public services. By their nature, NIFs are, in general, more detailed and often prescriptive than the EIF, which operates at a higher level of abstraction, as a ‘meta framework’ and, in line with the subsidiarity principle, does not impose specific choices or obligations on the Member States."
A footnote to the above states:
"The principle of subsidiarity applies not just to the EU vis-à-vis Member States, but in some cases within Member States themselves, at federal/national level or at other levels (e.g. regional, provincial, county and municipality)."
What all the above is leading up to is this, dear reader. Public Services will become an EU competence, no doubt with an EU Commissioner. Such a move will strengthen the control Brussels has on member states - and via the regionalisation programme (NUTS) - this control will reach right down the chain to District and County Councils, nay even Parish Councils.

And no doubt the government of the day will still insist that they govern our nation - although accepting that the EIS/EIF will take years to fully implement, hopefully by then the UK will have cast anchor and sailed off into the sunset!

Addendum: In the course of surfing the net I came across this 'tome', which whilst published in 2003, is basically a discourse on nationhood - and the perceptions of same - versus citizenship of the EU. Running to 333 pages, understandably readers will definitely not wish to read the entire document, however I would point you to pages 30/54 on the relationship of the UK with the EEC/EU, authored by Dr. Atsuko Ichijo (good British name) which may be of interest. Needless to say, in view of the fact it was published in 2003, some of the views are 'out of date' - but it is worth reading, just the same.

The section by Dr. Achijo highlights one aspect - and the aspect that I believe will be the downfall of the European Union. In this country we have a sense of nationhood, of heritage - as do the French, Germans, Dutch, Czechs etc - and that 'sense of nationhood' will never be obliterated from the peoples of the individual member states, however much Brussels tries.