Archive for November, 2013

The media’s pro-EU propaganda in action

Ukraine’s decision to break off the proposed association agreement with the EU is getting a lot of media attention.

The EU-fanatical Financial Times is just one of the media outlets that has been spinning a particular angle to the protests that have been taking place in the last week:

In Kiev’s central square and other Ukrainian cities, thousands of protesters gathered for a seventh day to call on Mr Yanukovich to sign the deal, and said more would arrive today and over the weekend if he did not. A protest last Sunday attracted more than 100,000 people – the biggest such gathering since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

A decision by students this week to go on strike has injected fresh energy into the protests. Some protesters said authorities were trying to prevent supporters from pro-European regions of western Ukraine – which played a big part in the 2004 uprising – from flocking to Kiev.

While the likes of the BBC have also openly called the protests ‘pro-EU’ they and the likes of the FT have chosen to ignore the real reason why so many people have taken to the streets.  This isn’t, as the UK media would have us believe, a popular protest borne of a burning desire for closer relations with the EU, even though some committed EUphiles in UKraine no doubt have that at the heart of their actions.

Rather this is a proxy protest by supporters of the former Ukrainian prime minister, Yulia Timoshenko, whose release from prison and transfer to Germany for medical treatment was an EU pre-condition of the agreement with Ukraine being signed.

Ukraine walking away from the agreement with the EU and instead looking east to Russia, meant Timoshenko would stay in prison – and it is that which has brought supporters of her All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland” party onto the streets.

A test of this would be seeing what happens if Ukraine’s President, Victor Yanukovich, has a change of heart and releases Timoshenko regardless of any agreement.  Then we would see if 100,000+ people are still on the streets demanding that the deal with the EU is signed.

Somehow I doubt they would be.  Not that our pro-EU media would deign to report that reality should it come to pass.  They are mad keen to publish their pro-EU puff pieces, but will go to great lengths to avoid publishing anything that shows anything less than unqualified adoration for the Brussels bureaucracy.

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The most potent weapon in the media’s arsenal deployed against the public

On Radio 4’s Today programme this morning was an interview with former Sun editor, David Yelland.  He was talking about his views on press regulation and the Royal Charter, attacking the press for their reaction to the output from the Leveson inquiry.

While it was an interesting take on matters, focused on the Leveson Anniversary Lecture he is delivering today at the Free Word Centre and covered in the Guardian today, one small snippet of his speech that he shared on air stood out as being an invaluable insight from a heavyweight media insider:

One of the most potent weapons a newspaper has is to totally ignore an issue or a story. People attack papers for what they print. But what they don’t print is often the bigger story.

This is essential for people to understand.

For campaigns such as those concerned with leaving the EU, challenging climate change orthodoxy, demanding democratic reform, exposing abuses and failings of the establishment and so on, this  bias by omission is all too familiar and occurs all too frequently.  Another example of it has surfaced today.  It is invariably a weapon deployed in the interest of the media itself – but most frequently in support of agendas in the interest of the political class (which the media relies on for stories) and the rest of the establishment.  This cosy little stitch up, by and for people who consider themselves important, is designed to keep people in ignorance and conceal truths that are inconvenient to the establishment.

While this and many other blogs have often pointed at instances of bias by omission in favour of the establishment, very rarely does a member of it break ranks like this and admit the truth in such a transparent and matter of fact way.  Yelland reinforces the reality with another observation, thus:

[…] Whether they are mad or just lack self-awareness, the fact is editors and proprietors in this country see themselves as the small guy, the powerless man struggling against the establishment. What they fail to grasp is that they have become the establishment themselves. They are the powerful, and others are the weak.

He also confirms the pack mentality and derivative nature of the media – which while focused in this instance on the reaction to Leveson, equally applies to just about every major issue covered (or ignored) by this country’s press:

The press has done itself no favours in the biased way this entire matter has been reported, when it has been reported at all. Few papers have dared differ from the fundamental response to the great mess that caused the Leveson inquiry in the first place. There is a party line. And nearly everybody follows it.

The media cannot be relied upon.  Every story that is published needs to be viewed through a filter where one should ask themself; why has this story been covered, whose interest is being served, what is the other point of view, how and why were those providing comment selected, and what information has been excluded from the story?

It may seem cynical to do this, but it is the only way to shield oneself from the cynical manipulation to which the public is subjected by the press, be it broadcast, print or electronic.

Daily Express… stupid is as stupid does

When one reads headlines like the one shown here in the Daily Express, it feels like we have been transported into some parallel universe where reality has been inverted, and where stupidity and ignorance are what pass for intelligence.

Such is the level of utter detachment and delusion at the paper that some would be forgiven for thinking of as UKIP’s house journal.  Well, with friends like the Express, UKIP certainly doesn’t need enemies.

As Richard points out on EU Referendum, in the Express and in the Daily Mail (which also claims for itself the credit for this imagined victory) for all the rhetoric, for all the analysis and for all the posturing, it boils down to the message millions of voters will receive: the government is doing something about migrants.  The reality is that the government is doing nothing of substance, because it can’t.

What started as an article in the Financial Times has blossomed into the front pages of the two “middle England” tabloids and dominated the media agenda for over twenty-four hours. Rarely can such a modest investment have yielded such huge dividends.

The odd thing is that David Cameron’s piece did not even enjoy the status of an official announcement. Go to the Government website or No 10 Dowing Street and you will see nothing on migrant policy. And neither, apart from an exchange in PMQs, will you see anything announced in the Commons. Parliament, it seems, is too unimportant to be kept in the loop.

Thus, we have “government by Financial Times“, thereby ensuring that most people will not have read the statement or have had access to the semi-firewalled article. They will be relying for their “take” on what the popular papers (and the BBC) tell them. And the message conveyed is as much as David Cameron could have hoped for.

How on earth do newspapers get away with being considered authoritative and worthy of respect – the prestige factor – and even have High Court Judges fawning over their supposed ‘powerful reputation for accuracy‘ when they present stories like this that are so completely and hopelessly wrong?

To echo Richard, nothing that Cameron has done in respect of immigration control has had the slightest impact on these figures, and nothing he is going to do will impact on levels in the short- or medium-term. But that doesn’t matter. His meaningless waffle and empty rhetoric is sufficient for now, and it will be enough to put UKIP back in its box for a week or so.  And this from the paper the Kippers consider to be their ally.

It’s politics, so perception trumps fact and facts aren’t even checked by the media corps.  They just take at face value what the spin doctors chuck at them and don’t even think to look at the laws or even the previous unkept promises that never materialised.  Then they file their copy, go to the pub and congratulate themselves on being such  important and well connected people with so much prestige.

These idiot journalists, with their fat salaries and with prestige weighed by the tonne, have been well and truly conned – and in turn, through their ignorance and laziness, are spinning a tissue of lies to their readers.  Useless wankers.

Perhaps those people demanding an early in-out referendum on EU membership would do well to stop and think how the media would negatively impact the out campaign when it can swallow government rubbish and get simple issues like this so catastrophically wrong.

Who should run Britain?

‘Who should run Britain?’

That is the only issue and it cannot be avoided any longer.  Should we stay trapped in the EU or should we become independent?  Whether it is immigration, trade, environment, energy or any other governance matter, the EU tells us what to do and we have to do it.

The pro-EU side try to frighten people with lies about having to stay in the EU (politics) to be part of the single market (economics).  It’s not true.  They only say it to move attention away from the core issue of sovereignty.

Don’t play the game the politicians want us to play by focusing on single issues like immigration, because all the roads lead to one place – sovereignty.  Look at the bigger picture and ask yourself ‘Who should run Britain?’ then decide if you want that to be the British or the EU.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Wishing all my American friends and readers around the world a very Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a little more encouraging, but only a little

In all my criticisms of Nigel Farage and UKIP, I have always made clear that I would prefer to be praising them for pushing the right agenda.  So it’s nice to be able to say that Farage’s op-ed in the Telegraph this evening represents something of an improvement for the UKIP leader.  It’s far from perfect, but it is better than much of what we have seen in recent months.

The major and worrying problem is that Farage is still riding his immigration hobby horse and trying to suggest that leaving the EU is the antidote to this country’s migration issues.  This is disingenuous and risky for EUsceptic credibility because, as has been explained at a superficial level on this blog but in greater detail on EU Referendum, leaving the EU will not resolve our immigration problems.

No one is proposing leaving the Council of Europe (which includes a much wider range of countries that are not in the EU),  and we are still party to conventions and standards of the International Labour Organisation (contrary to the understanding of the UK’s Attorney General).  UK involvement in both of these means even after a Brexit we will still be bound to observing certain conditions on immigration.  This is another example of the global governance agenda that makes the EU little more than ‘Little Europe‘ – a proxy for handing down regulations and directives that the UK has had no opportunity to shape at the global top table where they originate.

Further, because it would be political suicide to attempt to sell to the British people the idea that the UK should not be part of the Single Market now or after Brexit, we would almost certainly have to maintain Single Market access through membership of the EEA – perhaps via EFTA – which would mean we would still be bound by the ‘four freedoms’, which include the freedom of movement and freedom of establishment.  As Richard has explained, this means the UK would be required to permit Bulgarian and Romanian workers to take up residence here in any case.  Farage is only outfoxing himself by not understanding this and shaping his policy accordingly.

But at least Farage has dared once again to reference leaving the EU.  He has at least aligned that imperative with the fact that as EU members we are effectively powerless and cannot change rules that cause this country harm or our people frustration.  He needs to go further in stressing the core issue as being about ‘Who should run Britain‘ and he needs to get off the immigration bandwagon because under scrutiny people will discover his ‘solution’ is nothing of the sort.  It’s a lot more complicated than simply leaving Brussels behind.

Farage’s time would be better spent countering the EuroFUD on economics and dragging the debate and argument to where it should be, on governance.  The whole Brexit issue is about one thing – sovereignty.

The whole EUsceptic side needs to rally around that issue, own it, hammer home the reality continuously to expose and deconstruct the lies of the CBI, Open Europe ad the other proxies for the EUphile side, and make ‘Who should run Britain‘ the defining issue of the campaign.  The current immigration focus may be convenient for Farage to score some easy hits, but it will damage UKIP eventually and that represents a huge risk to the EUsceptic cause; because as Farage clearly has no comprehension of our true situation, it follows that he can have no credible solution either.

Happy Hanukkah

A seasonal wish for my Jewish readers around the world!

Cameron channels his inner Clinton with ‘I feel your pain’ moment. But nothing will change

David Cameron, no doubt a huge fan of of former US President Bill Clinton, has said in response to public unease about the possibility of a large number of Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK without restriction from 1st January, ‘I share those concerns’.

Great!  That should do it.  Thanks Dave.

OK, in fairness, there’s more.  Cameron is attempting to construct a legend for himself by giving the impression he is going to reform the EU.  But for Cameron to achieve what he claims he wants, that ‘reform’ would necessitate tearing out the very foundations of the European project, by changing one of the Four Freedoms that underpin the march to ever closer union – namely the freedom of movement of EU citizens within the bloc.

As Richard explains over on EU Referendum, an article in the press today sets Cameron, a committed EUphile, at odds with the central tenets of the EU:

That piece is headed, “Free movement within Europe needs to be less free”, with David Cameron colliding head-on with the most fundamental of all the EU treaty provisions, one that goes right back to the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

With the Mail telling us that Mr Cameron “will today unveil sweeping new restrictions on access to benefits for EU migrants”, we learn that he “will insist that he shares the public’s ‘concerns’ about a renewed wave of migration from Europe”, declaring that “the founding EU principle of ‘free movement’ for workers has gone too far”.

Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, he writes in the Financial Times, Britain has championed the case for bringing nations which languished behind the Iron Curtain into Nato and the EU.  That is important to their prosperity and security – and ours.

Britain, he says, has also been one of the strongest supporters of a single market. It is in our interests for that it should grow, and for our citizens to have the opportunity to work in other European countries, he adds.

But, he now says, “things have gone wrong”. Since 2004, we have witnessed the biggest migration in Europe outside wartime. In Britain’s case, one million people from central and eastern Europe are now living here.

There is much more in a similar vein that Richard extracts and shares.  But then this leads us to an issue I raised recently where the EU is being blamed for inaction on the part of the UK government.

Where Cameron says he is, “changing the rules so that no one can come to this country and expect to get out of work benefits immediately; we will not pay them for the first three months”, he is only seeking to apply rules that the UK could have applied a long time ago.  Continuing with his theme, Cameron says that:

If after three months an EU national needs benefits”, he adds, “we will no longer pay these indefinitely. They will only be able to claim for a maximum of six months unless they can prove they have a genuine prospect of employment.

But again, this is what other EU member states already do.  Cameron is still constrained by EU law.  Brussels is not going to be the least bit concerned about the UK doing what, for example the Netherlands, already does.  Even where Cameron talks about testing benefit claims by migrants, it has always been the case that if EU nationals are incapable of supporting themselves in another member state, they can be returned home.  The UK has failed to apply such sanctions, something that UKIP has consistently ignored thus missing another open goal for attacking the failings at a UK level of both Labour and the Conservatives.

So there is nothing new under the sun when Cameron says that if people are not here to work, if they are begging or sleeping rough, they will be removed. They will then be barred from re-entry for 12 months, unless they can prove they have a proper reason to be here, such as a job. Those are the existing rules the UK could have long since applied, but failed to.

We have to get through all this nonsense and verbiage before we finally see Cameron get to the heart of this issue, which he has sought to bury as deep as possible in the detail, when he points out what EU Referendum has long explained and this blog has tried to reinforce – that all this is what we can legally do within the limits of the treaties Labour signed up to.

So after a trip around the houses, Cameron brings us back to his ‘reform’ agenda for the EU and that now is the time, he says, for a new settlement which recognises that free movement is a central principle of the EU, but it cannot be a completely unqualified one.

Having pointed out that other countries already see free movement as a qualified right, as the interior ministers from Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have said this to the European Commission, Cameron is actually showing us the EU has not changed its fundamental freedom and that his demands for reform come a long way behind those of other countries.  Quite how the EU can ‘return the concept of free movement to a more sensible basis’ when that freedom was always intended to be absolute and never existed on a more sensible basis, is curious.  But then, this is Cameron and he only has a passing acquaintance with reality.

Clinton felt the pain of an AIDS campaigner and Cameron is sharing the concerns of ordinary people who are paying the price for politicians giving away this country’s independence.  But ultimately nothing changed for the AIDS campaigner and nothing will change for the British people.  Not, that is, unless the UK asserts independence and frees itself from the political construct that has cost us so much for comparatively little benefit.

The EU calls the shots and its bureaucrats will continue to have their own way.  Some countries are frustrated and their people angry.  But that is cancelled out by other countries being delighted at the largesse lavished on them in return for joining the club and extended the control the EU enjoys.

The only solution is for the UK to leave.  But that is something Cameron will never do.  He is the classic empty vessel.  As for his promise to remove jobless EU migrants, we’ve heard it all before

Things always look better after a bit of a polish

When you pay the cherrypicker and get to pick out the cherries you like the look of, you tend to get what you want.

This is true of this week’s Alan Bown-funded poll for UKIP, carried out by Survation in the Thanet South constituency.  Political Betting makes the polling its main story with a headline that UKIP is just 5 points off winning Thanet South, pushing figures that have UKIP polling at 30%, ahead of the Tories on 28% and behind Labour on 35% as shown in their graph below, if a General Election was being held tomorrow.

The problem is this selective snapshot is only made possible by excluding from the model those people who replied ‘Don’t know’ or refused to express a party preference.  That is 35% of the respondants, and makes the cherrypicked data virtually meaningless.

If you look at the poll numbers themselves rather than this top level take that Guido and others have seized upon without looking at the actual data, and include those who are yet to make up their mind and those who may well vote but refuse to tell the pollster which party they will support, we find somewhat more realistic figures (rounded from page 3 of the data).

Labour 23%
UKIP 19%
Conservative 18%
Lib Dem 3%
Other party 2%
Undecided 24%
Refused to say 11%

Make no mistake, 19% for UKIP, given their diminishing focus on the core issue of sovereignty, isn’t that bad.  As this is Kent, we are talking about a county that has suffered more than most from illegal migration, via France, of people from around the world.  In these circumstances, UKIP should be out of sight – not trailing behind the very Labour party that more than any other political entity threw open our doors to migrants regardless of the legality of their status or value to our society and skills base.

Thanet South is reportedly one of the constituencies Nigel Farage is considering parachuting himself into, in the hope of achieving his burning ambition of becoming an MP.  If he chooses to drop himself into Thanet based on the figures being played up, he should prepare himself to be disappointed.

Given previous polls about which parties voters would never vote for, the likelihood is that a majority of the undecideds will break towards Labour or the Conservatives, reducing UKIP’s overall share in the constituency.  UKIP’s core base across all polls is around 13-14%, and there is much between now and 2015 that could see floating voters drift elsewhere.

There is also a possible ’embarrassment factor’ to consider, which came to prominence in polling models after 1992 when Tory supporters who did not reveal their voting intentions because of the party’s unpopularity skewed polls to make Kinnock’s Labour appear more popular than it was.  The 11% who refused to declare their preference could easily break for the Tories, Lib Dems or even Labour.

When you take all this into account the picture looks rather different.

PCC report shock: Ex-copper recommends what police want!

The BBC is reporting that the Stevens review of policing in England and Wales is recommending that Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) should be abolished and replaced by a new system.

The review, set up Labour and led by the former Met Police Commissioner Lord Stevens who was handpicked by Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, said PCCs, introduced in 2012, should be scrapped in 2016 and more power given to local councillors and local authorities.  Irony of ironies, this is what Labour wants and what every police Chief Constable wants.

While the public overwhelmingly ignored the opportunity to vote for PCCs, the problem with this recommended return to the previous structure is that it control over policing is blurred and the ability of chief constables to run rings around local councillors as they work in cahoots with local government officers to pursue an agenda separate to that of ‘elected representatives’.

Councillors, who would be appointed to the ‘local’ police authority in return for additional cash and expenses, would be as ineffective as they were previously under the new regime.  But just to make sure the ‘local’ police ‘service’ can walk its own path with minimal interference from the police authority, Stevens says the current 43-force structure is “untenable” and that some police forces should be merged – an act that will further erode the notion of local policing.

In a classic example of the double speak that infests the public sector, Lord Stevens said there were 37 “radical” recommendations, including a commitment to neighbourhood policing as the “building block of fair and effective policing”.  Yet the concept of genuine neighbourhood policing is incompatible with the resulting larger forces that would be brought about through the recommended mergers.

Stevens is just another politicised plod, working to an agenda that relegates crime detection and prevention, and policing according to local priorities further down the police’s list of focus areas.  This becomes abundantly clear as while Conservative Home Secretary, Theresa May, believes the police service’s primary role is to cut crime, Labour supports Stevens’ view that police have a wider “social purpose” too, improving safety and well-being in communities – language right out of the Marxist-inspired Common Purpose playbook.

So if Labour wins the next election we can expect another change to policing that will be made without any reference to the public that has to foot the bill and put up with poor performance, low clear up rates and police ‘managers’ who choose to focus on soft target offences and thought crimes, while serious offences all too often experience low grade investigations and a failure to convict the offenders.

And people still vote because…?

Immigration: How UKIP is missing an open goal

In the Daily Mail was a story that exposes UKIP’s immigration platform as flawed.

For we learn from Bulgaria’s ambassador to the UK,  Konstantin Dimitrov, that not one request from British employers to hire Bulgarian immigrants – where the paperwork was in order – has been refused since 2007.

Given that the restrictions on freedom of movement for Bulgarian nationals to come to the UK have not even lapsed yet, this is more evidence that the EU cannot be blamed for most of the immigration to these shores.  UKIP’s attempt to blame EU membership for the immigration explosion in this country may be music to the ears of many EUsceptics, but it undermines EUsceptic credibility because the reality is very different.

Popular as UKIP’s immigration demonisation focus may be with many of the party faithful, the BNP leaning constituency in the country and a fair number living in multi-ethnic areas, the fact that UKIP lays the blame for our immigration ills at the door of the EU is a fundamental error borne of ignorance, and represents the party missing a huge open goal.  Public anger and frustration, and UKIP’s campaign, should be directed at the real guilty party – the UK government.

Over two-thirds of immigrants to the UK come from non-EU countries.  Much of the immigration is from India and Pakistan, particularly through the rules permitting family members of those already here to come and join them.  Chinese, Africans, South Americans all come here in significant numbers.  This has nothing to do with EU rules and everything to do with global rules and domestic decision making by British politicians.

But UKIP is not attacking the UK government, despite it bearing responsibility for the number of migrants from non-EU countries it allows to stay in the UK, most of the total.  And for years prior to Bulgarians having the right of freedom of movement thoughout the EU, the UK government has allowed thousands of them to settle here.  UKIP could be making mincemeat of Labour and the Conservatives for their record on immigration.  But they are missing an open goal by focusing on EU migration, which even if it was stopped overnight, would reduce by less than a third the number of migrants coming here.

State funding of political parties must be opposed

Hands off taxpayers’ hard earned cash.

If a political party cannot fund itself through membership fees or donations then it should wither and die.

That is one of the more sensible comments that left in response to a typically sycophantic outburst from Steve Richards in the Guardian.

People have the freedom to join political parties or not, to donate money to them or not.  However it seems that if we use that freedom to reject the parties and withhold our money from them, the establishment will remove our freedom by compelling – through a law to which we will not be asked to give assent – the confiscation of our money for their own private, party political use.  They will attempt to justify this in much the same way Richards tries with this appeal:

We need parties. The alternative is nightmarish […]

[…] Virtually every dark story in British politics over the last 30 years has a connection with the funding of politics, but without funding parties cannot function.

In other words, they want us to believe there is no alternative to the parties bar anarchy; and all the examples of dirty dealing and misbehaviour by the parties to hoover up cash have only happened because of our unreasonable refusal to voluntarily hand over our money to subsidise their vested, tribal interests.  It is only the because the parties have made themselves irrelevant, by treating the electorate as if we are irrelevant that they find themselves in this position.  And now they are going to compound the problem.

The softening up process of preparing the way for theft on an industrial scale – not for purpose of providing essential services, but for nothing more than the maintenance of parties with agendas that run contrary to the wishes of most people – is well underway.  Richards’ piece is just the latest call from within the establishment for state funding of parties.  Its inception would represent a staggering abuse of power.

Do you think such an obscene state of affairs could ever come about in a democracy?  It must be opposed aggressively.

Longrider has a post on this subject saying much the same thing, in his own inimitable way…

The Harrogate Agenda Explained…

A number of readers have asked for The Harrogate Agenda and its aims to be explained in a little more detail.  The document below is a one-page explanation.

You can also download the document in PDF format and save to your computer by clicking on the PDF graphic below…

The Six Demands are detailed on The Harrogate Agenda website.

Fantasy Island: EU renegotiation special episode

fantasy_islandFrom the ever confused and deceitful pages of the EU-supporting Daily Mail – the paper that quietly declared way down in a long editorial, ‘Let the Mail lay all its cards on the table. This paper has no desire for Britain to pull out of Europe’ – we have yet another bit of supposed red meat tossed to EUsceptics to keep them at bay.

Irrespective of the reality about trivialities such as how these things work, who has the ability to convene them, when they can be called and how items are accepted onto the agenda, the Mail reports the latest from Europlastic HQ to quiet the maddening crowd and give the illusion that something of substance is being done.

Next week, a group of Tories will unveil their own blueprint for reform of Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Andrea Leadsom, Chris Heaton-Harris and Tim Loughton, from the Fresh Start Project, have identified at least five major changes to EU treaties they say should be at the heart of Britain’s renegotiation.

They include reforms to protect our financial services industry and an end to limits on work hours. Tory Eurosceptics also want reforms to energy policy, the common agricultural policy, defence and immigration.

Add in to this renegotiation mix other ‘demands’ including limits on EU migrants who claim benefits in Britain, and the right to stop making payments such as child benefit, to the dependent children of migrant workers – and the Mail’s self delusion that this ‘move’ comes only after a poll for the Mail identified deep public anxiety about the ending of transitionary immigration restrictions on new EU members Romania and Bulgaria in January – and we have all the ingredients for a special episode of Fantasy Island.

Let’s not forget of course the shallow commitment to an in-out referendum sometime in 2017 that keeps being floated to keep the unruly peasants in their hovels, something that is almost certainly not going to happen because the EU will be in the midst of a new treaty negotiation to shore up the Eurozone and provide the EU with direct taxation powers to help with its revenue vs spending shortfall.

I’m only surprised we haven’t seen Osborne Tattoo running for his bell shouting ‘De Plane!! De Plane!!’

[Many will be pleased to know blogging will be light to non existant this weekend – lots on at Mind Towers]

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.

New coal-fired power plants: All the news that’s convenient to print

It’s almost a week since Steag GmbH, started up the new 725-megawatt Walsum-10 coal-fired power plant, in eco-friendly Germany.  The plant is due to commence full commercial operation before the end of the year.

Germany is consistently cited by environmentalists in the UK as a stunning example of the use of renewables, and evidence that the UK should follow Germany’s ‘wise’ example in moving away from fossil fuels.

How curious it is, therefore, that the same environmentalists have been completely silent about Walsum-10.  For that matter, how curious it is that while the UK is being saddled with more disproportionately expensive and grossly inefficient wind turbines, the UK lamestream media has completely ignored the Walsum-10 story.  You could perhaps understand a single coal plant’s opening being ignored, but no less than ten new hard-coal power stations, or 7,985 megawatts, are scheduled to start producing electricity in the next two years.

The difference between the German approach and the UK approach is stark.  The German government is determined to produce affordable and reliable energy for its industry and domestic consumers and is building substantial new coal to meet its needs.  Meanwhile the UK government is determined to put up wind turbines regardless of the cost and at the expense of reliability and is more concerned with forcing people to use less energy rather than striving to meet demand.

The compliant UK media remains silent.  They only publish the news that’s convenient to print, and in any case the journalists who cover political issues have other more pressing concerns than something as trivial as keeping the public informed.

Panorama: Britain’s Secret Terror Force

This has to be a mistake.  Surely the BBC meant to call the programme:

‘Panorama: Britain’s Secret Militant Force’

or

‘Panorama: Britain’s Secret Dissident Force’

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.

Politics of the kindergarten

A measure of just how far party politics has sunk, and the extent to which the desperation of politicians to see their tribe ‘in power’ trumps everything, can be seen in Nick Boles’ suggestion that the National Liberal Party be revived by the Conservatives.

Such is the contempt in which voters are held by the political class, politicians like Boles believe that the Conservatives setting up a modern day National Liberal Party – which in its previous incarnation after splitting from the Liberal Party had the likes of Michael Heseltine and John Nott on its roll, before going on to merge completely with the Conservatives in 1968 – would attract liberal-minded voters at the next general election that the Conservative brand cannot.

The point here is that Boles is admitting the Conservatives are unpopular and need to win Liberal Democrat votes.  Knowing most of those Lib Dem supporters who could be tempted to jump ship from the SS Clegg would jump left rather than right, he is pinning his hopes on people falling for a false flag party that, he reasons, would appeal to the centre left yet obey the Conservatives’ bidding without question.  It failed in the 60s and it would fail again now.  But the fact the idea is even being kicked around shows the depths these people will plumb.

Of course, nowhere in all these shenanigans is there any consideration of what the people may want, or recognition that most of the promises the parties will make ahead of the 2015 General Election could never be honoured in any case because the power sits in Brussels, not Westminster.  While a relatively small story with little traction, this is by far one of the most cynical trains of thought and naked attempts to con voters into supporting something they don’t want that has so far emerged from the festering swamp that is home to the political bubble.

Voting for any of these lying crooks would be an obscenity.  They are nothing more than children playing games.  We are looking on at the politics of the kindergarten.  It’s well past time for a change to the system.

Paul Sykes should be careful of what he wishes for

To see Paul Sykes is going to put substantial financial resources into funding UKIP’s election advertising is not a surprise, but is nonetheless a pleasant boost for UKIP.

The party has seen its polling fall back and stagnate since its high in May; it is in the throws of yet another internal punch up about a friend of Nigel being parachuted in to the MEP candidate list – this time in Scotland; and it has been all but silent in the face of a concerted campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt being sown by the EUphiles – who are desperate to talk about economics and avoid addressing the fundamental point about ‘Who should run Britain?’.

There is no doubt Sykes has his heart in the right place.  He wants an independent Britain and his interview on BBC Radio 4 this morning, and follow up story on BBC Online, shows he recognises the need to negotiate a settlement with the EU if Britain announces its intention to leave the bloc – a clear rejection of Tim Congdon’s scorched earth policy of abrogating all treaties with no agreements in place regarding trade, standards and movement of people and capital.  So far so good.

But for Sykes’ money to make a difference and boost the wider EUsceptic campaign, we have to hope he insists his money is used wisely and focuses on the core issue of sovereignty.   That is where the battle for an independent Britain will be won or lost.  Fighting a battle on economic interest or immigration would be doomed to failure.

Sykes’ comments on immigration do seem to mirror UKIP’s focus on Bulgarians and Romanians becoming eligible to migrate to the UK.  While that does play to a certain consituency in UK politics, those who did or were considering lending their vote to the BNP, it does not play well with the majority of eligible voters who find the current UKIP approach of scaremongering without a solution distasteful.

Too few people understand many of the immigration problems this country experiences are not so much to do with EU policy as UK government policy.  Where migrants are unable to support themselves in this country, they can be removed back to their own country.  Italy and France have both done this.  The UK government however has not acted where it has the legal ability to do so.

Further, too few people stop and ask what effect on immigration would we really experience if we left the EU.  UKIP present withdrawal as the answer to immigration.  In reality it would change little.  Two thirds of the migration to these shores comes from non-EU countries.  Too many people refused asylum are actually removed, rather they are given exceptional leave to remain.   So if UKIP maintain a focus on leaving the EU as the answer to the negative effects of migration, it is selling people a pup.  If Sykes backs this UKIP policy initative with his money, he may as well give it away, because UKIP have not ‘got it’ on immigration and its complexities yet.

If Paul Sykes wants to get maximum punch for his pound, he needs to ensure the awareness campaign he bankrolls focuses attention on who runs this country, and helping people understand how so many of the issues that frustrate them are linked to or originate from EU governance.  Any campaign needs to stick to the politics and the core issue, ‘Who should run Britain?’.  It will have a more significant impact with those who will vote and it denies the EUphiles the victory of pulling UKIP onto a false fight on economics that will only lead to a confused public sticking with the status quo.

All credit to Sykes for putting his own personal money into the fight.  He is a top man for doing so.  But please, let’s hope it will be spent on awareness of the right issues, upon which a successful ‘out’ campaign can be waged.  Otherwise it will just be an expensive folly.  And let us also hope he sees that an early referendum, thanks in large part to UKIP’s refusal to speak to the issues loudly and consistently, puts the EUsceptic side at a disadvantage.

Perhaps Sykes should spend some money on private polling to get a real idea of where people are based on the arguments being made and the status quo factor.  Too few will be on our side until the sovereignty issue is put front and centre and dominates all other arguments and distractions.


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