Posts Tagged 'People Power'

EU membership: We have to change the terms of the debate

Laura Sandys MP, we are told, is the Conservative Member of Parliament for South Thanet and the Convenor of European Mainstream. In Parliament, Laura was first appointed to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and, until recently, was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Barker MP, Minister for Climate Change. She is currently focused on consumer policy, energy security, the green economy and our relationship with the European Union.

Unsurprising to find therefore that she has written a puddle of unmitigated dribble for the Telegraph, in an article that the editors have chosen not to allow comments on.  A puddle that includes gems like:

[...] ‘Better off Out-ers’ appear fearful of negotiating abroad, unable to succeed in getting their way, and instead choose to loudly ‘beat their retreat’.

[...] However, ‘Out of Europe’ as a stated policy would be the first time in modern history that the UK’s aim would be to diminish its influence in Europe – an extraordinary retreat from our national interest.

[...] For my part I am greedy for the UK, not cautious – I want EU PLUS. I want the 500 million customers that the EU offers PLUS new trading partners and new export opportunities from across the globe.

There is a world of difference between ‘negotiating abroad’ and being subject to political control from abroad.  It is the better-off-outers who want to broaden the UK’s horizons and look beyond the borders of the EU for cooperation and trade in our own name and using our own voice.

It is worth noting that we are increasingly seeing politicians attempting to justify political settlements and the erosion of democracy with some perceived economic benefit.  Almost every political matter is now being projected through an economic prism.  Sandys is doing exactly the same thing here.

This shows the extent to which the political process has been captured and is now dominated by vested corporate interests.

The Europhile side barely ever talks about any other reason for remaining under EU control than trade and wealth.  Important as these things are, people power, accountability, sovereignty and self determination are essential elements for a society.

Having these removed by stealth, without our permission, then having a meagre promise of an economic carrot tossed in our general direction as some kind of compensation when the culprits are rumbled, is not acceptable.

We have to pull the debate back on to the political pitch and demand that the politicans talk to our interests, rather than move the issue on to the economic pitch preferred by their corporate paymasters.

The real Wythenshawe election result

Party politics is a tribal business and it was no surprise this morning to see my tribe had won the Wythenshawe and Sale East By Election in a landslide. The results were as follows:

Makes no Difference so Not Bothered   –   61,034  (71.8%)
Labour   –   13,261  (15.6%)
UKIP   –   4,301  (5.1%)
Conservative   –   3,479  (4.1%)
Lib Dem   –   1,176  (1.4%)
Green   –   748  (0.9%)
BNP   –   708  (0.8%)
Monster Raving Loony   –   288  (0.3%)

We will get to the implications for democracy in just a moment.  So what does this mean for the parties?

Labour said they knocked on every door in the constituency, yet even with the abuse-enabling postal vote they were unable to motivate even 16 in every 100 voters to make a positive vote for them.  This was always a win and from the moment he was appointed, Mike Kane could have used his candidacy as collateral for long term borrowing and planned a new, well funded lifestyle with plenty of holiday time and boondoggles to cherry pick from.

UKIP as ever talked a great game but even before the declaration, Paul Nuttall was moaning about a postal vote stitch up and the inability of a party to build momentum during a campaign. This is fatuous nonsense.  This is not the 1960s where voters had a range of policies to choose from on the big issues that matter, and therefore wait to be persuaded by powerful arguments before choosing who to vote for.  With the EU running almost all the major portfolios, parties have little scope to change anything of substance and even less therefore to offer voters.  Swing votes are increasingly cast on the basis of economic self interest, be that a desire for lower taxation and efficient services, or the preservation of benefits and welfare payments, in constituencies that are marginals between Labour and the Conservatives.

I said to friends before the election that anything less than 5,000 votes in this election would represent a failure for UKIP, as their vote would turn out even while others stay at home. Even as a dustbin for protest votes and with substantial media coverage over recent months, UKIP only managed to enthuse 5% of Wythenshawe’s voters to come out and support them in rejection of the other parties.  This does not indicate any sense of a breakthrough. It shows the limitations of UKIP’s appeal and it represents a bad result for the party in the current political climate.

They will do better in some other constituencies where a vote for UKIP can inflict a bloody nose on another party in a close race, or where the election is meaningless, such as the European elections.  But for all the noise of UKIP fanatics on comment threads, in the real world voters are not flocking to the party in the way its vocal followers imagine.  On this showing, second place in the Euro elections seems more likely now.

Conservative election managers were expecting a pounding and they rightly got one.  Their vote collapsed with it being obvious Labour would win easily.  Tory campaigns have been hit hard by the loss of supporters, particularly since Cameron became leader and turned the party into the new age Social Democrats, then rejected the option of forming a minority government and calling another snap election to secure the extra seats they needed for a majority – instead getting into bed with the Limp Dums in order to give Cameron the cover he wanted to dump much Conservative policy.  The party is finished in the northern urban areas.  It has nothing to offer that differs from Labour and its own efforts to maintain a client state in years past is coming back to bite it hard now finances necessitate welfare to be reined in.

Fib Dim supporters repeatedly rejected suggestions they would lose their deposit here, but they did, then promptly went into a self imposed media blackout.  Previously the party of all things to all men, now they are nothing to almost everyone.  The party will now write off the Euro elections and prepare to see its MEP tally slashed to almost nil.  All attention will turn to a ‘hold what we can’ strategy for 2015, where what remains of the Lib Dem activist base will be drafted in to selected constituencies where they have MPs for the most bitter and nasty election campaigns we will have ever seen in a desperate battle to retain most of their seats.  If any party is devoting more time to party maintenance than anything else, it is Clegg’s declining rump.  They have nothing to offer and most voters now treat them with the contempt they have long deserved.

Green / BNP can be lumped together as two cheeks of the same authoritarian arse.  While one seeks to undermine and reverse the progress made over decades in our industrialised and open country through damaging and regressive eco-loony policies, the other seeks to undermine and reverse the progress made over decades to build a more inclusive society through racism and identity politics.  Neither party is credible.  Neither party appeals to anyone outside a limited number of angry and hate fuelled drones who want to ‘purify’ this country through ecological and traditional fascism respectively.  Thankfully here they made up little more than 1% of eligible voters, but even that was too many.

Monster Raving Loony entertainment is always a fixture in By Elections and in addition to those who treated the election as a farce and stayed away, another 288 made an effort to come out and treat the party political process with a bit of extra contempt by voting for those upholding Sutch’s legacy.

So what does this mean for democracy?

We still don’t have it.  We have an electoral process, but that’s all.  Mike Kane will settle his backside onto the green benches, but will now answer to Labour whips in Parliament, vote as he is told and parrot prepared lines to take.  He will go through the motions of being a lawmaker, but ultimately change absolutely nothing for the residents of Wythenshawe and Sale East.

In 2015 he will stand again and will win again.  More people will be motivated to turn out and vote just to ensure the hated Tories do not sneak in by some fluke of electoral happenstance.  The Tories will regain second place as many of their stay away voters from this campaign come out in forlorn effort to stop Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister.  UKIP back will likely slide back into third as the enthusiastic support they have has already turned out and few others will jump into their camp at the General Election, so they will be overtaken by Conservatives who will turn out after getting in a lather as a result of the General Election hype.

All in all, after great expense and column acres of discussion, analysis and interpretation, nothing of substance will change.  Voters will be no more empowered and have no more control or ability to change things through the system than they had before.  People power will remain a soothing catchphrase.  Slowly though, more people will reject the process and increase the number of those who could be tempted to look at a radical alternative to what masquerades as democracy today.

One of many reasons why the establishment must be taken on

If this story (shown in full below) from Christopher Booker (not an isolated case by any means) doesn’t make every reader of it simmer with anger and righteous indignation then there is more wrong in the world than we already realised.

The lunatics take over the
asylum in ‘caring’ Britain

This story, if accurately and truthfully recited to Booker, demonstrates the state – which is supposed to serve the public and be accountable to it – is now dangerously out of control, having already long since asserted itself as our master and dictator.  It no longer seeks to serve, it seeks to control.  For the state to behave in this way in response to lawful and appropriate challenge to its self-conferred authority and unscrutinised decision making, is an outrage in the proper sense of the word.

The only way the state will relinquish the power it has granted itself is for consent to be withdrawn by the people so as to make it impossible for the state to govern us how it chooses.  Then power can be taken back by the people, as per the strategy of The Harrogate Agenda.  Seeking change through the party political process is a forlorn hope that will not succeed.

Tackling the web of delusion

Inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners Lee, is one of this country’s finest exports.  When one considers the huge contribution he has made to the ability of people to share information and knowledge around the globe in seconds, it seems a shame to find cause to criticise him.

But sadly that is the case today.  In fairness, Berners Lee has rightly articulated in the Telegraph a sound assessment that:

One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s Web Index is how the web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world.

But, while that is true to an extent, Berners Lee has fallen into that prison of the mind, a web of delusion, when it comes to understanding what constitutes democracy.  For perhaps understandable reasons, this otherwise extremely intelligent man thinks we actually have democracy, which leads him to argue that:

… a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy. Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online.

Surveillance and censorship of the type we are increasingly seeing are not threats to democracy; they are symptoms of the absence of democracy.

The definition of democracy has been corrupted.  Its definition today as advanced by the political class, has been adulterated to mean nothing more than periodic elections taking place.  Small wonder people are ignorant about what democracy really is and continue to labour under the delusion that we have it.

All this sham ‘democracy’ permits is a change of the colours of the tribe that will execute agendas formulated by unelected and unaccountable people, without consultation with us, or our permission.  The political process is completely detached from the people.  Power has been removed ever further from the people and the only solution is for people to take that power for ourselves – it will not be willingly reliquished by the establishment.

There is a way of taking that power and commencing the journey to democracy, one that will take time and numbers.  The Harrogate Agenda has the sole and unswerving objective of having democracy implemented in this country and has a strategy to achieve it.  A one page (PDF format) explanation of The Harrogate Agenda can be downloaded and shared from the right hand side of this page or by clicking on the PDF graphic below:

The Harrogate Agenda explained

Taking power for the people can be done, peacefully, intelligently and by operating within the law.  Withdrawing our consent to be governed in the way we are can be achieved by frustrating the establishment through a mass refusal to abide by their rules and requirements when it comes to the source of their power – the control of money.

When will these hacks open their eyes to the reality of party politics?

The Tories’ obsession with their ‘brand’ patronises voters by treating them as shoppers, so writes Brendan O’Neill in the Telegraph today.

It’s another of those commentary pieces that again goes around the houses to articulate and bemoan the hollowed out shell that now passes for party politics in this country, but consistently fails to seek and explain why this is the case.

In his own way, O’Neill tells us what we already know and have heard from numerous other talking heads in a variety of slants on the same core theme, when he says:

That everyone now seems to think it’s normal to talk about the Tories as a “brand” shows how shallow, how surface-driven, modern politics has become. A brand, of course, is an outer mark, a stamp either burnt on to one’s skin or, in modern parlance, stamped on to a product or service for sale. That the Tories, especially their modernisers, have become myopically obsessed with this outer mark, with the lick of paint on the outside of their party and the question of whether a new, more youth-friendly lick of paint is required, shows how bereft of serious thinking they are. Embarrassed by the historical and political substance of the existing Tory Party, and lacking any newer substantial political ideas for taking the Tory Party forward, they obsess instead over garb, over prettification strategies, over imagery, like those annoying hip graphic designers who think style is everything and substance is so 20th-century.

As always the cause and the answer are clear; we do not have democracy.  All that is left of the political parties is shallow, branded, tribal trivialities that are devoid of substance or ideas.  This is for the simple reason that all the major issues concerning goverance of this country are decided by the EU.  The UK is not a sovereign nation.  Our politicians have some relatively meaningless shreds of control left in areas the EU has not yet taken or cannot bother itself with owning.

The days of weighty and ideological battles, of matters of substance being argued over in Parliament, through the media and on the doorsteps, are gone.  This is what the EU – in all its guises – set out to do, to remove power from where ‘populist’ sentiment, i.e. voters, could influence it, because people vote for things in their ‘narrow national interest’ rather than the interest of the political class and their corporate sponsors.  I left the following comment in response to the piece:

The only philosophy is the desire to hold office, no matter how powerless or meaningless it is.  Of course there is the added incentive of pay and perks and the personal profile and future spin offs that come with such a position.  But anyone who makes the argument that they want to enter party politics to ‘change things from the inside’ is clearly too ignorant of reality to be worthy of election in the first place.

One wonders how long it will take for this to dawn on people, particularly the talking heads, who remain incapable of joining together a few dots or reading about what our surpreme government was created to do and recognising what it has so far done.  Bar a few notable exceptions, it seems the massed ranks of the lamestream media are either in denial or must have been subjected to a collective lobotomy.

A “filthy, dirty, posh wanker” or just a deluded idiot?

David Cameron has dignified a foul-mouthed and abusive outburst by Russell Brand with a typically juvenile response, reported as a story by the Guardian.  No surprise there.

The real story however concerns the substantive issue Brand raised recently, concerning disengagement from the political system by increasing numbers of eligible voters.  While some of the disengaged understand clearly what the problems are, others are disengaged only because they have a sense that things are not right, that politicians and parties are to blame and that as nothing changes there is no point in voting.

The reason why nothing changes, as we have explained in the two posts on Hard Truths here and here, is because our politicians have given away the power to govern this country to the EU.  They could not change things even if they wanted to, unless they first made the UK independent again.  Politicians have continued with the transfer of power despite knowing for decades that the EU undermines and erodes sovereignty and democracy by design.  Democracy can lead to outcomes that don’t suit the political class, so they simply use power to prevent the wishes of the people being followed.  It is this that is fuelling disengagement and anti-political sentiment.

So while it is self evident that you cannot believe in democracy and support the EU or membership of it, we find Cameron making a comment of profound and deluded idiocy – or cynical deception – in response to Brand’s call for ‘revolution':

I’m a democrat. If Russell Brand’s got a better idea, he can let us know.

I have a better idea, Dave, and I’ll tell you right now what it is, let’s have democracy!  Not the sham that describes dictatorship by an elite as ‘democracy’, but the real thing that reflects the meaning on the word, demos kratos – ‘people rule’.

Whatever Cameron is, he isn’t a democrat.  Cameron wants to continue with the fraudulent notion of democracy that merely collapses ‘democracy’ into periodic voting, while isolating the political process from any form of control by the people.

Brand’s desire is for revolution.  We do need a revolution, but not of the kind Brand has in mind.  We need a peaceful withdrawal of consent to bring about a change of the system.  Resorting to violence plays into the system’s hands, because they can put down violence with far greater and better equipped violence.  Brand doesn’t seem to get that.   No, we need a revolution that leaves the state’s hands tied by making their systems unworkable and their rules unenforceable.

It can be done.  But it needs to be done in a way that keeps structures and rules intact, only under the control of the people, in order to avert anarchy.  The Harrogate Agenda has a strategy that can achieve that .  A post on that later this weekend.

Representative Democracy: The disengaged

Four in 10 people are “alienated” from  Britain’s political parties and say they will not consider voting for any of them, according to new research that is reported by the Independent.  It is an interesting article that is worth a couple of minutes of your time to read.

The problem with the article is that it drifts off into the realm of fantasy when it goes on to tell readers that, although the polling carried out by TNS-BRMB does not mean people are apathetic about politics,  the Committee on Standards in Public Life which commissioned it believes the findings pose worrying questions about the future of democracy in Britain, maintaining the illusion that we actually have democracy in this country.

Lord Bew, who chairs the committee, said the growth in the size of this group over the last 10 years represents a real challenge to politicians, parties, local organisations and community groups to provide the public with a sufficiently attractive and relevant set of options to choose from.

This is where the lack of understanding about how this country is governed, and by whom, is utterly exposed.  The politicians, parties, local organisations and community groups cannot provide the public with attractive and relevant options to choose from because they do not govern the country, the EU does. This is why we have meaningless posturing, endless broken promises that could never be kept, fights over narrow meaningless matters and soundbite politics, instead of genuine choices and real change when people want it.  This needs to be repeated over and over until people understand it.

British politicians do not run Britain.  This is why no matter who is elected in this country, on the substantive issues nothing changes because they do not have control over those issues.  This is not a sovereign country.  Our control over the laws in this country has been lost, our control over the taxes payable in this country has been lost.  Whether most stay-away voters realise this or not, they do at least see that voting changes nothing and is not a worthwhile exercise.  More people are joining their ranks.  The disengaged is a growing constituency.  The only solution is a wholesale change of the system where the people hold the power, not the political class.

Getting back to the democracy illusion, one of the comments in response to the article captures the essential point about our condition with ruthless efficiency. It is an excellent potted summary that deserves to be shared around, for it underlines the reality and helps to reinforce the necessity of challenging and changing the system to replace the cheap and nasty sham we have with real democracy:

Their fear is growing, the establishment is circling the wagons

Russell Brand’s interview by Jeremy Paxman, and the subsequent furore about not voting, has evidently rattled the political class.  So much so, the columnists are still pouring out their implorings for people to trapse to the ballot box and continue doing what clearly has no effect whatsoever, and think tanks are now weighing in to spread their own brand of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

The latest examples are in the Independent today, where Jane Merrick reports (without any question or challenge) a tidy piece of scaremongering from the Labour party’s closest thinktank, the Institute of Public Policy Research.  And John Rentoul uses his space to argue that even a vote for Nick Clegg is better than not voting.  The IPPR piece stands out for its FUDmongering:

People who do not vote are more likely to face public spending cuts and reduction in household incomes, a leading think tank reports today.

Political parties are more likely to tilt their policies and economic decisions towards groups who turn out at the ballot box than those who do not, the IPPR says. As a result, it leads to a “vicious cycle of disaffection” because low turnout groups feel politicians are not listening to their concerns, and this makes them even less likely to vote.

There really is a worry among the political class that the increasing tendency of large chunks of the electorate to stay away from the polling stations, recognising that however they vote nothing will change and the will of the people will be ignored, will increase as a result of high profile personalities articulating the reality and encouraging more people to follow suit.  To help things along, this comment has been added to the article’s discussion…

And you still think this is a democracy?


The problem for someone who has initials that lend themselves to being nicknamed ‘GOD’ is that sooner or later, they start to believe that is exactly who they are.

For we hear that Lord Gus O’Donnell – an unelected and unaccountable civil servant who ascended the greasy pole to become Cabinet Secretary, a real life version of Sir Humphrey Appleby, enjoying and wielding immense power over the way this country has been run in recent years – has recommended that aspiring MPs should be forced to meet ‘pre-qualification criteria’ before being allowed to stand for election.

It doesn’t stop there.  O’Donnell also recommends in his piece, called ‘Better Government‘ that government policies should be vetted by former ministers, accountants and ex-civil servants, arguing that radical change is needed because the country is ‘in a bad place’.  In the article where he outlines his ideas, O’Donnell states that:

  • Politicians have a “ludicrous bias” in favour of older people
  • Health provision is “expensive and inefficient”
  • The education system does not produce the skills that businesses need

Yet his solution is to engage, among others, the very former ministers and ex-civil servants who presided over the creation of the mess in the first place.

Has anyone spotted the little flaw in all this?

Yes, that’s right.  It is the people who should decide who represents them (however badly), not some self selecting, establishment appointed cabal that is unelected and unaccountable.   As usual, there is no place whatsoever for ordinary people like you and me in determining who gets to hold this significant influence, and we will have as little influence over those people as we do over the current crop of politicians who do so badly by us in return for so much.

While a ‘source’ at the Cabinet Office has responded by saying that:

It is not clear who would oversee the pre-qualification of Parliamentary candidates, and for what purpose. At present they undergo rigorous scrutiny by the electorate. It’s called democracy.

the concern we should have is that this was dreamed up at all.  And now it has been mooted, you can be certain there will be politicians who will spot opportunity in all this and their voices will, over the years, add to O’Donnell’s call and seek to put his recommendations into practice.

O’Donnell wrote in his article that:

There are very few jobs that do not require individuals to undertake training and development before being promoted, so this would bring MPs into line with the reality of their constituents’ lives.

But this fails to recognise that the role of an MP is to represent their constituents, not serve their own interests by seeking advancement.

However, that said, we should recognise that the idea of training for MPs who have been elected does have some merit.  It might put an end to many of the nonsensical, ill informed and ignorant comments they make about lawmaking and fatuous assessments of where power resides, which demonstrate they do not understand the structures of governance, how laws are made or what processes bring them into being.

But it is insulting for O’Donnell to call for the creation of an Office for Taxpayer Responsibility to vet government policies and opposition manifestos, when such an office is not accountable to taxpayers.

As it is taxpayers are not consulted about how their money is used.  Such an entity would simply be the addition of an extra layer of bureaucracy and control, that only serves to move ordinary people further away from anything resembling democratic control over the actions of the political class, rather than improve governance.

It is small comfort that the aforementioned Cabinet Office source accepted that improvements were needed.  But to be of any impact they would need to be something of the magnitude of wholesale structural reform and, in particular, empowerment of voters, which is the central tenet of the Six Demands of The Harrogate Agenda.  And we can be certain that approach will most certainly not be something that is put on the table.

As always, this is another example of the establishment talking to itself and arranging the furniture in a way that suits its wishes, doing unto us what they will, without our consent or any reference to us.  Until that central problem is rectified, nothing that GOD or any of his establishment ilk suggest will improve our situation.

It is sometimes said the voice of the people is the voice of God.  Not in this case, evidently.

Nuclear disaster in the UK

The news over the weekend and this morning confirms the UK is in the throes of a self inflicted nuclear power disaster.  The fall out has the capacity to be catastrophic for energy consumers.

This concerns the deal, mentioned in passing in our last posting, that sees the French and Chinese consortia behind the financing and construction of HInkley Point C in Somerset, guaranteed a minimum price for the energy generated that is nearly double what we pay for nuclear power today.

The comment I intended to make at this point is eclipsed by Richard’s observations, which more eloquently articulate what I intended to say:

What is very far from clear, though, are the exact reasons why nuclear has increased in price so much. Nevertheless, in what is clearly a rigged market, the most likely culprit is the regulatory ratchet.

Increasing the time taken to approve schemes, and adding to design and construction costs, regulation is reckoned to be enough to have caused the massive price hike. And much of the regulation will have been promoted by Green activists, the aim being to price nuclear power out of business.

According to this seminal book, the process has been going on a long time. Now, it would appear, the activism has achieved its effect. We have a nuclear disaster – but not one that the Greens had predicted.

As fuel costs rise fuel poverty will kill vastly more than nuclear power is ever likely to. That is the real disaster, made all the worse by the fact that it is largely the result of deliberate ploys to increase the price of nuclear generated electricity.

We have recently seen similar efforts across the European Union by green activists to make the potential of shale gas to provide a secure, domestic source of energy, unaffordable through regulatory cost.

This is not about safety.  This is not about efficiency.  It is certainly not about providing sufficient energy to meet the growing demand of a rising population.  It is solely about forcing countries to adopt what the activists perceive as ‘green’ and ‘clean’ energy because the alternatives would have been made uneconomic due to politics alone.

These green groups are pursuing their own narrow, dogmatic and flawed agenda, but have been appointed by the EU as the ‘voice of the citizens’.  Without our consent or input these groups have been installed as our ‘representatives’ to government – but are following an agenda that we have never been asked to consider, let  alone endorse.

Harrogate Agenda takes another step forward

The Harrogate Agenda returned to its North Yorkshire spa town home today, to build upon the outputs from the last meeting in Leamington Spa.

As there were some new faces it was an ideal opportunity to explain what the Agenda is and what it is not.  With new readers to this blog all the time, this is an ideal opportunity to explain the same here:

  • It’s a movement, not a party
  • It seeks supporters, it is not a membership organisation
  • It is not issue based, save the implementation of truly democratic structures
  • It seeks to bring about change from outside the ‘system’, not get entangled within the system and its diversionary intrigues
  • It has revolutionary ambition, but in the classical sense of bringing about significant change from status quo
  • It is non-violent, its campaigning may necessitate civil disobedience at times but that’s all.
  • And finally it is uncompromising, it will hold true to the 6 Demands and not dilute them or be taken off at a tangent.

There we have it.  The Harrogate Agenda is not about remedying specific current issues, such as wind turbines, planning matters or taxation.  But what Agenda seeks to do is bring about structural change that empowers people, so issues such as those can be resolved or prevented from ever becoming an irritant in the first place.  The focus of the movement is empowerment, through a new and truly democratic framework, where nothing can come about or stand without the consent of the people.

As a concept it will be difficult for some people to come to terms with, as they are used to expressing their dissent through tightly targeted protest, which almost always burns out having failed to achieve its objectives after a comparatively few fleeting moments of media attention.

But experience shows that the ruling class, with its top-down approach to decision making and its laughably dictatorial system of ‘guided democracy’ can easily brush aside such complaint because the people don’t have structures that empower them and ensure bottom-up decision making.

It’s helpful to think, therefore, of the 6 Demands as ‘enablers’.  While some of the points may appear narrow in themselves because they do not tackle specific issues people rail against today, the scope of empowerment the demands would deliver would bring about the conditions that allow for wider and more complex issues to be tackled and overcome.  The people would decide how they wish to be governed and the executive would carry out instructions rather than give them.

Moving on, the attendees saw the premieres of two short films.  The first deals with the anti-democratic nature of governance in this country and underlines the need for the type of change The Harrogate Agenda is seeking, including the devolution of power to the local level.  The second examines how Norway thrives outside the European Union, underlining the global nature of rules and directives and demonstrating the UK’s membership of the EU, which while incompatible with the concept of democracy and civil empowerment in any case, prevents this country from being at the top table, wielding influence and formulating decisions.

Both films will soon be available to buy (to cover the costs of making them, which was significant), with trailers soon appearing on YouTube.

The next workshops will focus on each of the demands in more detail, helping supporters to understand the concepts and be able to articulate them to new people effectively, something that is essential if the movement is to grow and the message is to take hold.  This is a vital ‘level set’ to ensure supporters all have the same depth of knowledge and can engage with people in a confident manner.

The movements of the past that have been most effective in advancing their revolutionary thinking have all taken time to develop.  They have ensured they have an intellectual base and forms of revenue that fund further development and campaigning.  That is why the ‘placard protest’ model is unsuitable.  That is why Harrogate may seem to be taking time to make a difference.  But once the ducks are in a row and there is an informed and engaged supporter base carrying the message to more and more people, Harrogate will show itself to be a movement that has longevity and the capacity to drive a real transformation in the way the British people are governed, and most crucially, by whom.

Of independence, protections and democracy

Where’s the benefit in striving to have a new boss, when he’s actually the old boss, and mostly just as bad if not much worse than the new old boss he would be replacing?

Put differently, what is the point of British people seeking independence from the EU, when putting British politicians back in charge to govern us from Westminster results in outcomes that are every bit as bad, if not worse, than what is forced on us by the crowd in Brussels?

Today’s earlier blog post about the squeeze on legal aid forcing some law firms to close down or restructure, focused on the consequences of long term abuse of a system designed to provide protections under the law for this country’s citizens and visitors.  The passing reference to cuts to the legal aid budget having ramifications for the ability of less well off people to have access to justice, really didn’t do justice to the magnitude of the changes being made by the coalition.

So this follow up seeks to put things into greater context.

What the cuts to the legal aid budget will result in was made clear in 2011.  As part of the cost saving plan, the UK informed the EU that it would not opt-in to the proposal for a Directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest.  The reason was clear.  Clause 12 of what was then the Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, contained provisions that restrict access to legal advice for criminal suspects, with cost saving one of the reasons given for it.

Ostensibly the provision was to pave the way for means testing of defendants to determine if they should get legal aid, as a step change on the route to removing the automatic right of those arrested and in police custody to have access to a lawyer at the police station.  A director of legal aid would decide which detainees should get legal aid in the ‘interest of justice’ without any right to appeal – leaving the way open for the state to persecute individuals who, if of limited means, would be denied access to counsel.

Note the ‘interest of justice’ element of the clause.  It suggests this is not merely a financial consideration, but the state giving itself the ability to determine whether it’s in justice’s interest to have a defendant assisted by a lawyer if he can’t afford one.  It’s a wide open swinging door to abuse and miscarriage of justice.

By any measure, using the cost savings yardstick, it would be wrong to equate the entitlement to legal counsel upon arrest with the kind of abuses of legal aid that have seen millionaires defended at public cost.  But that was the excuse being used to push through a pernicious and worrying bill.

Now fast forward to two weeks ago in Brussels.  There we find the European Parliament plenary adopting a proposal from the European Commission to make a new law, to guarantee the rights of all citizens to be advised by a lawyer when facing criminal proceedings.  This is what the UK opted out of.

So what we see are protections being afforded to EU citizens that are not available to UK citizens.  Being in a signatory EU member state, ironically, would ensure the interests of defendants are protected far more than here in the UK.

This goes back to a long standing question.  Why bother pushing for independence when that still leaves us at the mercy of politicians and civil servants who are every bit as bad, if not worse, than those we seek to escape from in Brussels?  Out of the frying pan and into the fire.  It’s all well and good arguing for independence, but it is ultimately meaningless unless the UK becomes democratic.  Truly democratic.

That does not mean merely voting every 4-5 years then having no influence or control over the people we send to Parliament.  It means the people holding the power, and politicians not being able to impose on us restrictions and laws, like the eroding right to legal counsel paid for by the taxpayer, without our consent.

This is brings us to the intersection of independence and democracy, where there is a crossroads between the campaign to leave the EU and the embryonic campaign to realise the Six Demands of the Harrogate Agenda.

This post is just food for thought, and a reminder of the complexity that faces us as we seek to define the future of this country and our people.  Things aren’t always as black and white as they seem.  Getting out of the EU isn’t the end in itself, only the means to enable us to formulate the end for ourselves in the future.

(With more time I would probably do a better job of connecting the dots, with far better writing than the jumble above which was banged out in a few minutes of downtime. So this post may be revised slightly over the next day or so, to complete thoughts, add emphasis or generally improve it.)

John Kerry’s u-turn – what has changed?

Spotter’s badge for Jeremy Poynton in the comments who links to a powerful blog post over on SayAnythingBlog.

The post shares with readers John Kerry’s 1971 testimony before Congress, where he argued America’s involvement in Vietnam was never about national security, that America lost its sense of morality by bombing villages in Vietnam and most striking of all that America should stay out of internal civil wars in other nations – no matter how bad they might be – because history shows that is the right thing to do.

The post compares these comments with his comments this week vindicating military intervention in Syria.  It lays bare the complete and utter u-turn Kerry has executed since becoming Secretary of State in the Obama administration and part of an establishment that is determined to undertake exactly the same actions Kerry railed against 42 years ago.

What has changed?

It can be argued that as Kerry’s immersion into the establishment has resulted in this change to his worldview.  It is a consequence of iving in the unhealthy political bubble that exists, separated from the realities of life and the views of ordinary people outside the ring of steel that protects the elite.  As such he and his ilk are cut off from all sources of information bar that provided by political advisers and government apparatchiks – who themselves live in the bubble and are therefore susceptible to bias confirmation and reinforcement by other narrowly focused minds.  This structure exacerbates the widening disconnect between the electorate and the political class and is perhaps the reason why the interests of the establishment always seem to be so very different from our interests.

The only way this problem can be recognised, challenged by the people and ultimately corrected is to adopt properly democratic structures.  Increasing frustration among voters suggests people are becoming more receptive to the idea of discussion about this otherwise dry topic. Make no mistake, being asked to vote for MPs, Mayors and councillors every 4-5 years is not the be-all and end-all of democracy.  A measure of a democratic society is the degree to which voters have control and influence over their representatives after they have assumed their seat in a political chamber.

Too many people believe that the act of voting delegates authority to the elected to do what they see fit in our interest.  The fatal flaw in that belief is demonstrated by the existance of the echo chamber described above and the way our interests are consistently trumped by party political interests and the wishes of highly influential individuals and groups who finance those parties.

Increasingly and even more disturbingly, we are seeing governments claim citizen involvement in the governance process because of their inclusion of membership body Non-Governmental Organisations, such as WWF and other environmental and sustainability pressure groups, as equals sitting around the table with elected politicians.

This nefarious state of affairs is highly sinister as the governments choose which NGOs they will embrace and award a seat at the table, give them funding from our pockets and allow them to dictate the rules the rest of us live under.  We have no control over the leadership of these organisations and no control over which organisations are selected to be part of the establishment club.  One member of Greenpeace cannot overturn a campaign direction of travel to ensure the NGO does not push government (such as the EU) to impose highly damaging and hugely costly policies on the rest of us.  This is a theme that will get more prominence soon.

Closing the loop, the issue of John Kerry’s re-programming therefore is symptomatic of a much wider, much bigger and much more dangerous problem with democratic structures, one that need to be addressed if the people are to again be the masters and our representatives and public officials are to be the servants.  We owe it to ourselves to bring about the necessary change.  An excellent starting point are the demands of the fledgling Harrogate Agenda.

Different day, same old handwringing

It has become so common that people on the taxpayer funded gravy train public payroll abuse the system to enrich themselves financially, the stories reaching mainstream media about the grubbing, self serving behaviour no longer shock, and rarely do they elicit sufficient public anger to generate a campaign designed to remove the said parasite from office.

It suggests people have conceded defeat and reluctantly suppress their disgust at the political class and the well-fed bureaucracy, then, believing that little can be done or that it will be too time consuming or focus the unwelcome attention of the state upon them, focus on other things – like that evening’s TV schedule.

Another example of this can be found in the Mail today where it is reported the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, nominated an ‘office’ location near his home as a detour destination from where he could claim mileage to the force’s Headquarters to which he would not be entitled if he simply drove there from home.  The comments section contains the usual handwringing indignation and disgust, but nothing beyond that.  Although one comment does stand out because its author gets what needs to happen:

Well if we the British people keep throwing our arms up in the air and say “OMG that is terrible, BUT WHAT CAN WE DO” We simply must unite and demand action be taken, we must collectively grievance issues with Councillors and demand that questions be answered not brushed under the carpet. I am not sure if Britain has always been so corrupt and I was blind to it or have things become so bad that I can no longer fail to notice it. I know one thing divided we are conquered but united we are strong. IT IS TIME TO BECOME STRONG.

- Beam MeUp, Cheshire, United Kingdom, 11/5/2013 23:06

Perhaps the thing holding people back is the sense of powerlessness in the face of the huge parasitic establishment that shields the likes of Stansfeld from proper accountability.  Perhaps it is largely to do with not knowing where on earth to target their campaign in order to remove a grubbing parasite like Stansfeld, because the lines of control and power are not clear to people – and that is intentional on the part of the various authorities.

There are some people I like and respect who believe what is needed is an effective template, developed from apparently successful local campaigns – and ‘flashmob’ national campaigns such as the Fuel Protests – that can be dusted off and rolled out nationally for people to deploy.  Sadly there is a major problem with this.  It doesn’t take into account what exactly the final outcomes of such protests were.

All too often, having been apparently successful in achieving their intial demands after raising thousands of pounds for legal representation and exhausted their physical and emotional capital during a draining protest, the powers that be go away and quietly redefine the rules to overcome the objection – resulting in eventual defeat for people power.  Look at any number of previous targeted protests from recent years and you will find many of the things they stood against have subsequently found their way into being, or are in the process of being pushed through using alternative mechanisms.  The Fuel Protests are a good example as they appeared to gain concessions from the government, but most people do not know the campaign was stamped on in ruthless fashion by Blair’s government when the protest’s leaders were told they would be deprived of their livelihoods through confiscation of their vehicles if they did not bring the protest to an end.  Fuel duty continued to rise and despite sabre rattling no follow up protest took shape.

This is why the answer lies not in improving the organisation and coordination of protests, but in changing the rules of the whole game by taking back power from those who are supposed to be our servants.

Why focus attention and waste energy on challenging power time and again when a carefully developed, thought through, concerted grassroots campaign to take power back would remove the capacity of the establishment to impose on the people that which they oppose?  Not for nothing is the web domain www.peoplepower.co.uk devoted to a local authority energy scheme rather than the promotion of democracy.  Even the image above is being used by ‘Conservative Future’ – a group devoted to furthering the aims of the same Conservative Party that is doing all it can to deny the people their say about how this country is governed.   The establishment has no interest in addressing our interests. So we must take back the power we have allowed to be taken from us.

Over the coming months the Harrogate Agenda will continue to take shape as the foundations are put in place to enable people, who agree with the six core demands that have been developed and want to see democracy – people power – hold sway in this country, to learn where power resides, and how change can be brought about by challenging it and rebalancing the relationship between the state and the people in the people’s favour.

And they call this ‘government’

As the BBC reports, Iain Duncan Smith has said that wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills or free travel should voluntarily return the money to the authorities.

The Work and Pensions Secretary has told the Sunday Telegraph that he would ‘encourage’ people who do not need such financial support ‘to hand it back’.

Well that should do it!  Thanks very much, Iain.

For decades the political class in this country has served its own interests, with naked bribes to voters in return for being able to enjoy the trappings of power.  The cost of welfare and the other promises that make up many of these bribes is largely responsible for the staggering level of borrowing and the horrific debt this country simply cannot repay.

Once again reality meets political expediency and instead of doing the right thing by British taxpayers Ministers are trying to do the best thing for their own electoral prospects while doing contortions to appease the plethora of bodies constructed by the transnational overlords and follow rules everyone else avoids.

Collectively this is why the government doesn’t get serious about only spending our money on essential services and supporting the vulnerable people in our society.  This is why our money gets spent supporting overseas based families of migrants who have contributed barely anything to the pot in the short time they have been in the UK.  This is why now hear the government enthusiastically ‘plays by the rules’ in forking over hundreds of millions of pounds for healthcare costs for UK nationals treated overseas, while permitting the NHS to fail to keep accurate records of foreign nationals treated here under the services British taxpayers fund, so we only get back a fraction of what we are due for use of our overstretched resources.

The government could slash taxes, but instead it chooses to hoover up our money so it offer some of it back in credits and benefits in return for votes.  Too many voters don’t understand that while they are being given these bribes with one hand, they are crumbs from the table as much more is siphoned off and wasted on administration and diverted for spending on things people do not support.  The government could rejuvinate the economy and reduce borrowing dramatically if it simply let people keep more of their own money and spend it on what they want, rather than fritter it away on boondoggles, wheezes, special interests and these disgraceful, self serving bribes.  But it won’t because if it controls the money it controls everything.  It can  build the insipid client state and increase the size of government to justify the ever worsening kleptocracy that has developed.

Voting for any of the political parties is an endorsement of the continuation of this scandalous behaviour.  Voting for any of the political parties props up the faux democracy that exists in this country.  It does not result in change.  It results in the electorate and taxpayers continuing to be treated with ever more contempt.

What we need is not a reshuffle of the deck chairs, nor a rotation of faces who are all committed to perpetuating the same corrupt system that holds sway in this country.  We need a complete overhaul of the system, to bring about real democracy where control and decision making rests with the people and where the executive serves the people rather than dictates to them.  We need a genuine revolution.  The potential alternatives to this, borne of desperation and anger, are too awful to contemplate.

We need real change.  It will never be realised by playing the political class’ game and using their rules – and that includes the charade of traipsing to polling stations to vote for the least worst option in the certain knowledge that on the major, substantive issues nothing will change.  They will continue to take their steer from unelected, unaccountable, self selecting entities instead of us, the people they are supposed to serve and whose wishes they are supposed to execute.  It is time for people to assert themselves and take the power back.

We have to define the game and set the rules that should be used.  We have an outline of how they should look.  Now we need people to consider how they can be realised.  In the meantime, while that discussion takes place and the approach is refined, we need to withdraw our consent by refusing to play their game and refusing to heed their desperate attempts for validation as they plead for people to use their vote.  Don’t feed the beast.

Miliband illustrates why politics is broken

Readers may be shocked that Ed Miliband of all people is getting any credit from this blog, but he performed a valuable public service yesterday at Prime Minister’s Questions – albeit unwittingly.

In his desperate desire to give the impression of being a strong leader – stop sniggering at the back – and take advantage of supposed Tory in-fighting over renegotiation of powers from the EU, Miliband accused David Cameron of ‘losing control of his party’. That little soundbite said it all.

There, in his own words, Miliband demonstrated he knows nothing about leadership. Among a number of important qualities, good leaders share one in particular, the ability to listen to and take on board the views of people who disagree with them in order to clarify or modify their thinking. Miliband’s perspective on leadership however reflects his dogmatic socialist worldview that leadership is about dictating to people, keeping them under control and only listening to oneself.

But what else can one expect from a man whose life has been one long training programme to become an MP; to the extent that he has never done a proper job in his life yet is worth several million pounds and claims to speak for the less well off in society? In what possible way can he relate to the everyday struggles of we ordinary people outside the establishment?

Setting that aside, Miliband unwittingly showed complete contempt for Labour Party members by trying to portray himself, in contrast to Cameron, as in control of his party and its MPs. The party is owned by its members, not Ed Miliband. Such arrogance is nauseating, yet uniform among the establishment claque of which Miliband is a youth product turned full member.

What all this underlines is that the party political process, which is riven with personality politics, does not and cannot serve the interests of ordinary people. It is said if politics could change anything they would ban it – that is only true of party politics where mindsets such as Miliband’s and Cameron’s are all pervasive.

Politics is far broader than the narrow interests of political parties, stuffed with control freaks who devote their lives to lining their pockets and accumulating positions of power as far removed from accountability as possible, while telling other people what’s best for them. Grassroots politics and campaigning, without stifling structures and dictatorial leaders, has and still can get things changed. That is why the politicians and establishment fear that approach.

We are in a much changed world and living in challenging times. Now, more than ever, grassroots campaigns rather than party politics are the route to achieving ends. Thanks to Miliband more people may wake up to this and see that loose groups with substantial autonomy, that offer a vision for people to support if they wish and gives them space to campaign in their own way, is far more powerful than trying to herd people within a party and forcing them to swallow whole that which an autocrat decrees to be the way things must be.

People want proper listening and receptive leaders. They don’t want to be controlled Miliband fashion.

David Cameron’s Impotent Number 10

Over at the paywalled Sunday Times there is a story that anyone who has worked within representative politics will recognise, as subscribers are told that David Cameron often learns of his policies from reading the papers and listening to the radio:

‘David Cameron’s former policy chief has revealed his “horror” at the powerlessness of Downing Street to control government decisions, admitting the prime minister often finds out about policies from the radio or newspapers — and in many cases opposes them.

‘Steve Hilton, who remains one of Cameron’s close confidants, said: “Very often you’ll wake up in the morning and hear on the radio or the news or see something in the newspapers about something the government is doing. And you think, well, hang on a second — it’s not just that we didn’t know it was happening, but we don’t even agree with it!  The government can be doing things … and we don’t agree with it? How can that be?”

‘He described how No 10 is frequently left out of the loop as important policy changes are pushed through by ‘paper-shuffling’ mandarins.”‘

This is what happens when civil servants in government departments and the various tiers of local authorities take their orders and direction not from elected politicians in Westminster or City and Town Halls, but from the various organs of our supreme government in Brussels, the EU.

This is the state of ‘democracy’ in 21st Century Britain.  The likes of Cameron cannot have complaint about this state of affairs, it is what they support and want to maintain.  So any bleating from them should be treated with the contempt it deserves.  But the British people do have cause for complaint.

What is being done by the civil service, following the instructions of a foreign entity that is answerable to one one, has not been elected and cannot be removed by this country’s voters, operating outside of democratic accountability can justly be described as a coup d’etat – albeit one the idiot politicians have facilitated by signing over huge swathes of power without understanding what that entails and without asking the permission of the people they are supposed to serve.  The Irish get it.

This is why the UK needs to become independent again by leaving the EU.

Useful idiots Big business mandarins like Richard Branson couldn’t care less about democratic legitimacy and accountability matters such as these, and certainly don’t want ordinary people to understand the consequences of EU membership for this country.  They prefer to retail scare stories about a departure from the EU threatening our economy and jobs, while deliberately ignoring the fact being part of the single market does not require this country to outsource political control by being a member of the EU.

It is not xenophobic or acting like a Little Englander to want the UK to leave the EU, rather it is an expression of the desire for democracy – people power – that the political class cannot stand and is trying to erode.  We are Better Off Out of the EU.

Open letter to Philip Gordon, US Assistant Secretary for European Affairs

Dear Mr Gordon,

I read with interest the following comment you made on behalf of the Government of the United States of America, in your capacity as US Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, regarding the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union:

We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU. That is in America’s interests. We welcome an outward-looking EU with Britain in it.

This comes as no surprise as it reflects the thinking of other senior members of the Obama administration, who have previously opined that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the EU.

The President of the United States is considered by many to be the leader of the free world, and the United States itself considered to be a beacon of democracy.  So it is profoundly disappointing to see the United States administration endorsing and encouraging something that is fundamentally undemocratic.  I would like to ask you the following questions.

  • Would it be acceptable to you and your fellow United States citizens that over 70% of the laws and regulations they were forced to comply with across all 50 states were created by a supranational government comprising layers of complex political and judicial structures, mostly unelected and unaccountable, and made up of delegates from not only the US, but Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru?
  • Would it be acceptable to you, your fellow United States citizens and members of the Senate and House of Representatives that they were routinely handed diktats from the various bodies that make up the supranational government and were bound by law to implement the directives or be fined or dragged into a supranational court operating an alien form of judicial code and process?  Further, that Congress was denied the ability to draft, and the President sign into law, other legislation of national interest whenever the supranational decided it was not appropriate?
  • Would it be acceptable to you, your fellow United States citizens and the Justices of the Supreme Court that decisions made by the bench, the highest court in your land, could be appealed to a supranational court overseas with the hearing presided over by foreign judges and if overruled the Supreme Court would have to accept that as a binding ruling?

If these scenarios do not sound very democratic or judicious to you and your fellow Americans it is because they are not.  Intentionally and by design.  But this is the reality of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union and its associated bodies and institutions.  UK membership of the EU has entailed a substantial loss of power from our democratically elected Parliament as it has been quietly and steadily transferred to unelected and unaccountable bodies abroad – all done without the people of the UK being asked to give their consent for it to happen.

While it may be in the geopolitical interest of the Government of the United States for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union, opinion polls show this anti-democratic situation is opposed by a majority of British citizens.  Membership of the EU dilutes the voice of the United Kingdom.  Seats on various world bodies held by the UK have been given up so the EU can supposedly represent the competing and disparate interests of 27 countries in a wholly unsatisfactory fudge that frequently fails to serve British interests.

I am sure you will recognise the obvious contradiction in the position of the United States, on one hand calling for Syria’s regime to heed the wishes of the Syrian people, while on the other calling for the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to maintain membership of the EU, despite the wishes of the British people.  I am sure you will also recognise the obvious contradiction of the United States urging countries around the world to embrace democracy, while urging the United Kingdom to maintain its place in political and judicial structures that replace representative democracy with control by unelected and unaccountable aliens who are drawn from a pool of self-selecting career politicians and civil servants.

Would such a situation be an acceptable settlement in the United States?  I think we both know the answer to that is categorically ‘no’.

No one who believes in democracy – people power – would endorse and encourage a continuation of this anti-democratic situation for the United Kingdom.  That is what this issue is about.  So, Mr Gordon, please do not presume to meddle in our affairs and wish on us that which you would aggressively oppose for yourself.

Yours sincerely,

Autonomous Mind

A ‘New Politics’ is emerging that rejects the political class

One key element of the Harrogate Agenda is that the movement does not have a defined ‘leader’ and rejects the idea of morphing itself into a political party.

Part of the thinking is that the focus remains on the aims of the movement, allowing every supporter of those aims to have the autonomy to organise meetings and events and support the campaign in a way that suits them.

In this way internal intrigues are thus diminished and autocrats are prevented from seizing the direction of the movement and diverting the energies of supporters to activities that suit a different agenda. It is a reflection of the dwindling trust in political parties among ordinary people.

This shift has accelerated as politics has become ‘professionalised’ to the extent where future party figures are groomed from a young age in party youth sections, read politics and economics at college and then work in think-tanks and policy institutes before being streamed into party candidate selection. Real world experience and a productive employment history is noticeable by its absence among this political class.

With this in mind we notice that another non-aligned, organic, grassroots movement has similarly rejected the idea of electing a leader or forming a political party, while still recognising the need for a government.

Regardless of the cause this movement is pursuing, this is yet another striking example of the rapidly changing approach to politics and campaigning that deliberately marginalises the political parties and strives to keeps them and their influence at arms length.

We are seeing the advent of a new politics, one that operates in a way that encourages people power instead of seeing that stripped away by the political class which hijacks and plunders each passing bandwagon.

People are increasingly joining such campaigns because they have a great deal more confidence that grassroots movements won’t be saddled with the party political baggage and the selfish motivations of power seekers who use politics as a route to personal enrichment and seek reward from the self selecting establishment they inevitably service.

Times are a changing.

It’s not our money now, it’s the government’s

On yesterday’s Andrew Marr show, Danny Alexander, who has been fuelling an ill-informed and wholly unjustified campaign against Starbucks, Amazon and Google, said:

At a time of austerity, everyone has an obligation to to play by the tax rules.

Absolutely! And playing by the tax rules is exactly what those three multinational companies have been doing.  Otherwise they would already be in court facing charges of tax evasion with HMRC being the key witness for the prosecution.

But of course, the spiteful Alexander already knows this.  That’s why he is using weasel words to incite anger among the have nots who don’t know the difference, furthering the ongoing blackmail to extort money from the companies the UK exchequer is not legally entitled to.  He knows these companies are following the rules, he just doesn’t like the fact the rules mean the government can’t get its hands on the companies’ cash because they prefer to be based in countries that charge lower rates than the UK.

As a number of governments look into how they can get hold of even more of the money individuals and companies have, Alexander and his ilk are exploring how they can enforce the same tax rate which they can then increase as they see fit knowing there will be no option for the people and businesses other than to pay up.  This is a form of armed robbery, the proceeds of which are to be used to bail out the governments for their disgraceful waste and refusal to live within their means.

The proposed actions are not only anti-c0mpetitive, they effectively mark the creation of economic imprisonment.  Our supposed servants are devising measures to take full ownership of our property and our money.  Where is the grassroots protest movement campaigning to fight this outrageous affront to personal freedom?  We already have no control over how government uses the money taken in tax, and slowly government is trying to stop us from deciding how we use our money by taking more and more of it from us.

When in the name of all things holy will people wake up and see what is happening?  The political class is out of control. The rules of the game have changed.  People need to take the power back.


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