Posts Tagged 'Democracy'



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.

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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.

Energy prices: Reality bites as the grotesque political deception continues

The Agenda 21-originating strategy for its notion of the ‘sustainable’ use of energy is now out in plain view.  We can see this in the Telegraph today with the headline above.

The story, by the Beano’s fearless dynamic duo Steve Hawkes and Jessica Winch, actually offers readers some value in its opening paragraphs:

Britain’s biggest energy supplier blamed Government costs as it pushed the average annual dual fuel bills up by £120 a year to almost £1,470 – the highest typical tariff ever seen in the UK.

Ian Peters, head of residential energy, said British Gas understood energy bills were a “real worry” but there was little the company could do.

But he faces a fierce backlash after telling customers a price rise didn’t necessarily mean they would have to pay more. He said: “The amount you pay depends not on the price, but on how much gas and electricity you use.”

And this is exactly what we were highlighting the other day in our post about energy.  I explained my personal situation where my only option to avoid paying more for my energy is to use less.   I explained that is exactly what the government’s energy policy is designed to achieve, to force everyone to use less by driving up the prices.  And now British Gas is explicitly telling customers to use less energy.

With that in mind, the sheer contempt and cold hatred I feel for the Axis of Weasel, warming their fat, taxpayer funded arses on the green benches on all sides of the House of Commons, should be understandable.

Instead of pursuing a strategy to devise effective, efficient, affordable and low impact energy generation and distribution systems, to comfortably meet the demand from a growing and, thanks to human progress, an increasingly energy-intensive population in these Isles, the entire political class has glued itself to an environmentalist driven agenda to reverse progress and force us to use less energy.

The moronic hypocrites in the Labour party naturally seek to make political capital of this latest price rise, declaring it was yet another example of why Ed Miliband’s price freeze was needed – as if they bear no responsibility for these measures being enacted when Miliband was the Secretary of State who pushed them through.  Thus we see the putrid Caroline Flint declaring that:

Britain’s energy market isn’t working for ordinary families and businesses.

Yet she and her colleagues are the ones to blame for this, and the execution of the strategy that ensures the market doesn’t work and prices are being forced up by government delusion over cutting CO2 emissions.  But the Tories and Lib Dems bear equal responsibility.   Which is why, when the likes of Michael Fallon spout shite about the energy sector needing more competition and that people can save money if they shop around; and Ed Davey demanding energy companies justify the price increases brought about by the very policies he is actively pursuing and seeking to make even more burdonsome, as the current Minister at DECC, I am left in a simmering rage at the whole shoddy, incompetent, deceitful, sick inducing lot of them.

Getting back to today’s news, Chris Weston, British Gas managing director, is quoted as saying the cost of green subsidies and environmental programmes such as ‘Eco’ – free loft and cavity wall insulation – were to blame for almost half of the increase.  Yet for most properties the amount saved off energy bills from reduced use would take many years to cover the cost of the measures government has forced energy companies to offer.  And there are many properties where the design does not allow for such measures, meaning they are stuck with higher bills in return for nothing.

Did you vote for this?  Did you want this?  I’ll wager the answer is no.  Yet, as a citizen of the EU (whether you want to be or not) you have supposedly been represented in the discussion and decision making that has resulted in our energy prices being driven up.  No, really.

But for that to be true, in the UK, unless you would need to be a paid up, consulted and voting member of:

  • The Wildlife Trusts
  • The Woodland Trust
  • Waste Watch
  • Scottish Environment Link
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Environmental Protection UK
  • Client Earth
  • Compassion in World Farming
  • Wildlife and Countryside Link
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Green Alliance
  • FERN – EU Forest Programme
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England

For it is only these organisations that ‘represent’ UK citizens in the discussion that informs such energy policies.  This is because, under the guise of listening to what ‘citizens’ have to say, these are the campaign groups the EU chooses to recognise as part of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).

Public funding from the EU and national governments flows to these groups to lobby back at them and sit alongside ministers and national representatives as equals.  This gives the ability to the senior leaders of these groups to dictate the approach to environment and energy that impacts all of us, and it is they who have driven and are driving many of the decisions that result in the increases in energy costs that are punishing the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.

But ask the members of these organisations how many of them were asked to vote on this approach to energy, or approve their organisation’s position, and I will warrant the vast majority had no say and probably could not articulate the political stance their membership is validating.  But there we are.  Realpolitik in action.  Democracy as interpreted by governments.  And we poor bastards continue to foot the bill – some of us dying for the lack of affordable energy to stay warm in past and coming winters.

The political class needs to be stopped.

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.)

Cameron’s ‘independent Britain’

An interesting, if unsurprising, finding over the weekend was the result of a YouGov that revealed privatisation of the Royal Mail is just as unpopular with voters as launching a military attack on Syria.

Only 20% of voters questioned support the Royal Mail privatisation (page 10 of the survey).  But one wonders how many of the 70% who oppose the privatisation plan (and the rest who don’t know what they think) realise it is only happening because the EU said it should.  A safe assumption is that it is a very small number.

Once again we see the all-too-living hand of the EU making full use of the power given away to it by the politicians in Westminster.  Despite the party political bitching on the subject and David Cameron’s verbal drivel about an independent Britain, just try finding a politician who openly concedes the origin of the privatisation plan is Brussels and the plan is a direct consequence of the UK being a member of the EU.

While the parties get their little helpers, hangers on, proxies and useful idiots to loudly spread industrial scale quantities of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) by falsely claiming the UK will be adversely impacted economically just by leaving the EU (by conflating that with access to the single market) they are resolutely silent on the real world adverse impacts politically of continued membership, such as Royal Mail privatisation.  And that is the issue.  The urgent need to get out of the EU is a political imperative, which is entirely separate from the economic issues constantly thrown up as a fear-stoking smokescreen by those who see Britain’s place as being ruled forever from Brussels.

The reality is that unlike Norway, a non-EU country but member of the single market, which vetoed the EU’s 3rd Postal Directive (2008/6/EC) the UK cannot opt out of the Directive.  So no matter how many strikes there are by postal workers, how much disruption is experienced by households and businesses, or even which political party a Briton votes for, the UK is stuck with having to obey the EU’s demands.  The Royal Mail will be privatised because the EU has told the UK to do it.  Discussion over.  End of subject.  Case closed.

It is essential that people are not conned into thinking that leaving the EU means the UK has to give up economic benefits of trading within the customs union.  By exercising Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the only guaranteed way of initiating a negotiation with EU bodies, the UK could secure an agreement that maintains the existing trade rules while putting an end to rule from Brussels.  The political and the economic would thus shown as distinctly separate.

The ‘out’ campaign today, and in the future in the event of any referendum on EU membership, needs to focus all attention on the political issue at hand.  Leaving the EU is all about ensuring political decisions affecting the UK are made within the UK by people that only Britons vote for.  At this time there is little benefit to that because the British people have no democratic control over elected representatives.  But the principle is clear.

The EU in its present and former guises always has had and always will have but one destination – ever closer political union.  It was not created for the purpose of free trade, it was not created as a customs union.  It is a simply a political entity.  Nothing else.  That is what we need to leave and that is what we must focus attention on.  The Royal Mail privatisation issue should be used to help people understand what any future In-Out referendum is really about.

Don’t be surprised, this is exactly what is supposed to happen

And so, after publishing a festering pile of distorted and deliberately misleading rubbish that deceives people about the power and influence Norway enjoys by being outside of the EU, but having access to the single market (read how the journalist who did the piece was forced to concede his distortions by The Boiling Frog), the public suffers some more as the BBC rides again … this time with another festering pile of distorted and deliberately misleading rubbish that deliberately conceals the root cause of the suffering being experienced by households across the UK that cannot afford to heat their homes.

This is exactly what was supposed to happen.  The policy imposed on the UK by the EU is designed to reduce energy demand by driving up prices and limiting supply.  It is the same with forcing down demand for water by driving up prices and preventing an increase in supply.  ‘They’ have decided energy use is driving the planet to global warming thermogeddon so something must be done.  So we have to suffer the consequences.

‘They’ are the environmentalist  and sustainability NGOs at work, sitting by invitation at the EU top table as the supposed citizen body representatives.  Given equal weight to that carried by the national representatives they sit alongside, they are unelected, unaccountable and lavishly funded by the political class to lobby and inform or even direct the policies the political class impose upon us.

This is what passes for democracy in the EU.  Self professed ‘experts’ in the field of ‘sustainability’, reversing the positive progress mankind has made over decades to provide affordable energy to heat and light homes in even the poorest households in our society, because they believe the source of that energy is dirty and harmful to the planet and they demand we use less energy in order to accommodate the useless renewable solutions also forced on us as a partial replacement at enormous cost.

These are people who have been given huge power to determine how we should live our lives, without the inconvenience of having to seek our approval via the ballot box for their agenda and the implementation of their deluded and damaging worldview.

So it is that while:

Sixty-seven percent of people said they would support more coal, oil and gas stations being built in the UK if it brought energy prices down.

the prospect of it happening does not exist.  We are in thrall to the eco warriors who would have us living our lives in a de-industrialised society akin to the world portrayed on the US TV drama ‘Revolution’.  But where is the BBC’s analysis about why this is happening?

Heaven forbid that the environmentalists’ biggest and loudest cheerleader, the BBC, should shine a light on how we have been brought here and where we are being taken. Such coverage is not permitted in the echo chamber.

Heaven forbid we should be told how we are governed, who makes these policies, why they make them and that without a fundamental change to our ‘democratic’ structures that we cannot get rid of them.

UPDATE: The BBC has updated its story and the headline, in a typically slippery way.  Instead of focusing on 25% of the population ‘enduring cold homes’, which is a hard hitting fact based upon the survey results, they have changed headline to ‘Heating bills concern 38% of population’, which plays down the consequences of the legislation’s impact.

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.

What the Syria vote tells us about the state of democracy in the UK

Since last night’s vote rejecting UK involvement in any military action against Syria, MPs from all parties have been rushing to the nearest microphones and telephones to offer their tuppence worth to local and national media.

In an attempt to appear relevant and maintain the impression of democratic legitimacy, we have heard MPs reported as saying this was a good day for democracy and that Parliament followed the wishes of the people.

The fact is these assertions are nonsense.

While the media is happy to report such comments uncritically, the reality is Parliament was not bound by the wishes of the people at all.  Instances of genuine common sense among some MPs, and some MPs acting on the basis of representations from their constituents, was combined with the far greater impact generated by manoeuvring for party political advantage to see the motion defeated by the extremely slender margin of 13 votes.

When one considers opinion polls showed public support for action at various levels between 11% and 21%, yet almost half of MPs who voted in favour of the motion, we can see that public influence was quite minor.  Add to this the flip flopping of Ed Miliband.  He was originally and conditionally in favour of the motion, but flipped later.  Had he flipped back, many Labour MPs would have followed his lead and the motion would have been carried.  Right now, work up drills at RAF Akrotiri and somewhere below the waves of the Mediterranean would be underway in preparation for an attack on Syria.

The wishes of the public were not paramount among our elected servants.  This underscores a vital flaw in our democratic process – namely the lack of ability of voters to control the actions and voting of their MPs.  If MPs were genuinely bound by the wishes of their constituents, barely any of them would have been able to vote in favour of the motion.

David Cameron, William Hague and Nick Clegg wanted to attack Syria using as justification evidence that falls well short of the need in criminal cases to prove a case beyond all reasonable doubt.  Instead they contented themselves that on the balance of probability Assad was guilty of launching a chemical attack, and so the British armed forces would kill and injure Syrian soliders and civilians in order to make a point.  There was no reference back to the public, no mandate sought for our permission.

We do not have a democratic system in this country.  We have no control over MPs once they have been elected to Parliament.  The whims and emotions of those who wanted to have a political career and made it into Parliament still determine the actions carried out in our name.  Even despite last night’s vote, Cameron could still use Royal Prerogative to force armed intervention if he was so minded.

Only a wholesale restructure of our methods and manner of governance, of the type advanced by the Harrogate Agenda, would result in a genuinely democratic state of affairs.  As such people should not be taken in by the gushing self praise of MPs and the superlatives about how wonderful our ‘democracy’ is.  Last night was a fluke.  Next time MPs will continue to vote as they see fit, regardless of what we want.

The Europhile plot to steal a future EU referendum vote

For the last couple of days it has been my intention to close this blog, following my annoyance and despair at the extent of support for the reprehensible Godfrey Bloom; and the continuing ill informed and factually inaccurate assertions made by people in the comments, who nominally share my determination to extract the UK from the EU.

For now, while I consider whether there is any value in carrying on with the blog, there is one important issue that should be brought to wider attention.

Some readers may be familiar with the name Matthew Elliott. He is a Conservative strategist, the co-founder and former Chief Executive of the TaxPayers Alliance, founder of Big Brother Watch and he led the No to AV campaign that saw the Lib Dem effort to force the alternative vote system defeated in a low turnout referendum alongside other elections.

Last week, Elliott’s latest campaign vehicle, Business for Britain, got a mention in the Daily Mail, which reported that:

Tory Eurosceptics will challenge David Cameron to toughen his line on renegotiations with Brussels by calling for the UK to pull out of the single market altogether.

Up to 100 MPs are expected to back a tough manifesto to be released in November by a new pressure group called Business For Britain.

The group is run by leading Tory strategist Matthew Elliott, who ran the No To AV campaign against Lib Dem proposals for electoral reform in 2011 and is widely expected to take the helm of a No campaign in an in-out referendum promised by Mr Cameron for 2017.

The interesting – and concerning – bit here is the last paragraph and the assertion that Elliott is widely expected to lead the ‘No’ (or Out if you prefer) campaign in a prospective EU Referendum.

Why would this be a problem? On the face of it Elliott seems phenomenally qualified to lead such a campaign. The answer can be found in Business for Britain’s own manifesto and an article written by Elliott back in July this year for City AM, in which he wrote:

BUSINESS for New Europe’s manifesto – A Europe That Works – is a useful contribution to the debate on Britain’s membership of the EU, a debate that has often been dominated by political, rather than business voices. But the assumption that the UK’s wealth and job creators would seek to preserve Britain’s place in the EU at all costs has already been dispelled with the launch of our own campaign – Business for Britain – supported by over 750 business leaders, and calling for a fundamental renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership.

The EU Referendum ‘No’ campaign is a vehicle for people who wish to see the UK leave the European Union. The clue is in the nature of the prospective referendum – in or out. Which begs an all-important question that I now ask…

How could Matthew Elliott lead a ‘No’ campaign for people who want to leave the EU, when his latest venture is an organisation making arguments only for reform of the EU, not withdrawal from it?

Elliott is a favourite son of the Conservative Party, which wants to re-pay him for helping defeat the Lib Dem AV campaign, The Conservative Party is an entity that describes itself as Eurosceptic but aggressively fights any suggestion that UK should leave the EU, instead they believe it should be reformed from the inside. A state of affairs that leaves Brussels as this country’s supreme government.

So it stands to reason that Elliott is being tipped for the role of leading a ‘No’ campaign, because the Tories know he favours reform, not withdrawal. Any effort to install Elliott as the ‘No’ campaign leader would be a cynical effort to steal a referendum. No football team would turn up to a match and name one of the opposing team’s players as its captain and put him in goal. Putting Elliott in charge of a ‘No’ campaign would be no different to that folly.

Regardless of his campaigning credentials, no Eurosceptic should be fooled into accepting Elliott as the leader of a ‘No’ campaign. The Electoral Commission must not be allowed to hand control of the ‘No’ / ‘Out’ campaign to a Europlastic who wants to stay firm in the EU.

It would be nice to see UKIP, the UK’s only national political party that advocates withdrawal from the EU, speaking out on this important issue. Naturally the followers of the Farage cult will complain they would if only the media would take notice of them. Well, it doesn’t seem like Farage has any trouble getting the ear of the Guardian’s editorial team and they do have a website on which such messages – if they actually existed – could be shared.

The worst injustice: Contemptuous UK establishment has one law for us, another for them


It is said that justice should be blind.  The story in today’s Mail on Sunday (if it can be taken at face value) demonstrates it is also deaf and dumb.

The big story here is that the police stand accused of failing/refusing to investigate serious fraud allegations.  Further, that the police have only provided information that has been submitted to them to Parliament on the condition that the information is not made public.  Quite where the police get off telling our nominally elected representatives who make the law what they can and cannot do concerning the allegations that have been made, is jaw dropping.

But for a number of people, the claim that the police have deliberately refused their duty to investigate criminal activity, this is far from a new development.

For in the United Kingdom today we have a law enforcement and ‘justice’ system that selectively applies the law in the interests of their ‘friends’ – namely the establishment and the various branches of government and big business and – most importantly – their agents.  It has been that way for many years and it is not being challenged or reported.

But the problem goes far beyond that and has much more important and far reaching consequences.  What we are finding is that the police and the authorities are not only failing to uphold the law and failing to act within the law, they are taking upon themselves to make up law themselves irrespective of what has been decided in Parliament by our nominal representatives.  This shadow ‘field law’ is designed solely with the interests of the establishment in mind and used to maintain the interpretation of what these unelected and unaccountable officers consider to be ‘good order’.

While the Mail rushes into print to splash Graham Freeman’s story, they are nowhere to be found when ordinary people flag up stories of their own backed up with evidence, which has resulted in the police and branches of local government turning a blind eye to crimes being committed by agents of the establishment, such as bailiffs.  Complaints of criminal activity, especially fraud, against bailiffs result in the police twisting themselves into contortions to come up with unjustifiable excuses not to investigate, despite hard evidence of fraud and other offences.  One such ongoing case is being currently documented on a superbly written blog by Peter North.  There are 17 posts so far, but when you read it from the earliest post in June up to the most recent, the story that develops will stagger you.  It lays bare how the various entities display a dogged determination to evade their duty to uphold the law when those who have broken it are considered to be on the same team.  Bringing fraudulent bailiffs to account for their criminal behaviour would undermine the system’s ability to maintain their version of ‘good order’ by extracting money from ordinary people when the establishment deigns to levy it.

When people complaint to the local authorities, on whose behalf the bailiffs are acting, in every single case the authorities wash their hands like Pontius Pilate and say it’s nothing to do with them.  But it goes further, because not only are the bailiffs acting beyond the law, local authorities themselves are behaving in a criminal manner too.  The most common example of this is their fraudulent charges for liability orders.

The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended), permit councils to charge ‘costs reasonably incurred’ for liability orders to enforce council tax demands.  The court fee cost of liability orders, according to the Magistrates’ Courts fee schedule, is £3.00.  When factoring in administration and postage overheads the total charged to the resident should be no more than £10.  Yet many councils are charging between £80 – £125 per order, making a profit after costs reasonably incurred.  See here and here.  This is blatantly against the law, yet not a single prosecution has been forthcoming.  The establishment uses the law to ensure people who do not pay the council tax demand in full are threatened, bullied and harrassed until the money is prised from them.  Yet the same establishment works in concert to ensure when it breaks the law, no legal action will follow.  The rules are only for the little people.

Despite this happening hundreds of thousands of times each and every year, with the fraud – at a conservative estimate – running to around £1 billion per year in excessive charging, the media completely ignores the issue.  Despite the reams of evidence that debt is being used by the establishment as a tool to engineer even more debt from which it can profit – turning people into debt slaves – the slavers are being shielded from the rule of law by the dogged refusal of their friends to apply the law.

The implications of this are so serious and far reaching many people struggle to process and accept the unjust reality, and choose to avert their gaze and bury their heads in the sand.  The concept of our supposedly benevolent and munificent institutions abusing the law to extort monies to which they are not entitled from ordinary people, is just too terrible to accept, let alone challenge.

This issue again throws up a critical issue, namely the absence of a written and codified constitution.  The deliberately vague and disturbingly flexible unwritten articles which the establishment relies upon to maintain its control of the people, when it is supposed to be the servant of the people, makes this injustice possible.  Although we know broadly what our rights are supposed to be, the fact they are not enumerated makes it difficult to uphold them through the judicial system.  Rights cannot be given to people, they are ours by default.  But, like entitlements, they are all too often considered by the establishment as gifts to be distributed when it sees fit.  As a result the status quo maintains this unjust state of affairs where regulatory and oversight bodies are supposed to be independent but see themselves as sharing a duty to hold the line against the great unwashed, thus enabling fraudulent and illegal actions to continue without challenge.

And they have the nerve to call this a democracy.

To cap it all, we see Eric Pickles happy chuntering on about the way things are supposed to be, stating in the ‘Guidance to local councils on good practice in the collection of Council Tax arrears’ that some of the tactics and actions carried out as standard practice by bailiffs, break the law:

But where is he when the enforcement of the law is not forthcoming because the police ignore the reports made to them despite the evidence provided, go on to claim that confirmed criminal acts are civil matters, and therefore refuse to fulfil their duty to investigate and bring the perpetrators before the courts?  Where is our supposedly fearless media, fighting for truth and justice?  All we see are the various elements of the establishment obscuscate, convolute, buck pass and ultimately put their financial interests before all else.

We are all familiar with the notion of justice being blind.  But reality nothing could be further from the truth.  People need to understand and come to terms with this shocking fact, justice for all, equal under the law, is a cynically perpetrated myth.  Our response, which should rightly be loaded with contempt and opprobrium, has to be the withdrawal of our consent for these vomit inducing creatures to govern us, as they knowingly aid and abet fraudsters and thieves in the commission of their crimes.  People need to learn how we can withdraw our consent peacefully in order to bring about change.  The writings of Gene Sharp point the way, but they are not a template.  He makes clear that how we challenge the establishment beast is down to us to figure out and execute.  The question now is will we?

So while it is all well and good for the Mail on Sunday to splash today’s story about how members of the establishment are covering for each other while only the little people face the full force of the law, when will it focus on the much larger, wider and more insipid injustices we have detailed above, that go on day after day in this country?

I dedicate this post to Madame Justice, in honour of the holiday that she seems to have taken from these parts, and in recognition of the impostor that stands in her stead.

Another day, another effort by Robber Barons to snatch our money without our consent

tax_lordsWhen the talking heads take to the press and airwaves to witter on about tax ‘fairness’ and the need of taxpayers and businesses to pay their ‘fair share’ the comments and the kneejerk reactions to them are enough to make one lose the will to live.

For while the governmental entities, local and national, are striving to relieve us of ever greater sums of our money, too few people stand up to demand these entities explain why they need so much of it and to account for its use. The media never asks.  There is no accountability.  When the Americans waged a war of independence from the British one of their demands was ‘no taxation without representation’.  Today in the UK we have plenty of taxation, but the only representation we see is the political class representing its own agendas at our expense.

Whenever governmental entities cite the consequences of a lower tax take from us, do you notice how they always provide examples of the effects of lower spending on essential services and describe any inability to confiscate from us whatever they want as being a ‘cost’ to the council or government?  The notion of living within their means is alien to them.  There’s always someone else’s bank account to raid to make up the difference.  Notice also how they never provide examples where essential services are unaffected, but rather the council or government’s discretionary (non essential) spending is reduced, so their pet projects and bribes are scaled back instead instead of core services.  You see, their priorities are always put before our priorities.

If we refuse to feed the parasitic beast then it will dole out punishment by protecting spending on what it wants to focus on, while reducing spending on what it has to focus on.  Rather than enforce the law when it comes to taxation and illegally set fines, local authorities are not even behaving as if they are above the law – they are behaving as if they are the law.  This is a matter of great concern that will be revisited here soon.

But, focusing on local government for now, we must not – like the waste of time press – ignore how council income has increased substantially through the ever growing list of charges and fees which residents have to pay for services that we already pay taxes to provide.  Councils not only get their central government grant and collect council tax from residents, they also make a fortune in charges that far exceed the cost of administration they were supposedly designed to cover.  The total amount that councils take from residents over the course of a year far exceeds the council tax demand we receive each year.  Ask your local paper where they’ve written on that subject.

Despite all this, just over one week ago, the Local Government Association published a briefing note in which it suggested a number of amendments, one of which demanded the government in Westminster scrap its plans to embed council tax referendums in the Local Audit and Accountability Bill:


Not only is local government increasingly abusing its ability to snatch money from us at every turn (as we saw earlier this week in Barnet  and is something that is happening up and down the country) its mouthpiece representative body (guess how that is funded) is demanding that we residents should not be asked for our consent via local referendum for increases above a very small percentage.

Brighton & Hove City Council has already declared its refusal to hold a referendum on any proposed council tax increase.  The leader of the Green Party minority administration in Brighton, Cllr Jason Kitcat, really took the biscuit when he told the local press:

The referendum rule is mad. It’s not really workable and would cost about £300,000 to run.

There you have it.  A sitting councillor who no doubt prattles on about ‘democracy’ and the ‘wishes of the people’ when trying to get elected, declaring that having to seek our democratic consent for a raid on our personal wealth, is unworkable.  In other words, the council should be allowed to demand what it likes and to hell with what residents think.

No doubt Cllr Kitcat subscribes to the view of elected politicians and council officials throughout the country (which Richard articulated so effectively in a post on EU Referendum) that revenue-providers (aka citizens) are confined to expressing their wishes on council tax via approved channels – such as voting – which can be safely ignored, or funnelled into areas where the message can be discounted.  Find one party political manifesto for borough or county council elections that has not been torn up mid-term so a council can do something different.

Of course, forcing residents to declare their revenue raising wishes by voting in council elections also has the happy coincidence of giving the impression these parasitic charlatans have legitimacy for their subsequent actions, which is almost impossible for voters to control once those fat arses settle on the comfy chairs in the council chamber.

Understand this.  Unless you withdraw your consent and stand up to press for change, you are nothing more than a cash cow who risks being turned into a debt slave.  Your rights are ignored by your public servants, you are treated with contempt by them and even the guardians of the law will not uphold the law to protect you from illegal actions that echo the outrageous, lawless and intimidatory behaviours of feudal lords, robber barons and corrupt clergy in centuries long since passed.

Have you had enough yet?

Update: Richard beat me to the punch, and with far more eloquence expands on how councils whine about having to place statutory notices in the local papers, yet won’t yield an inch when it comes to spending a small fortune producing, printing and distributing their propaganda sheets – which always give a self congratulatory take on the news they want to share.

Try and find a single story in those reams of dead trees about why councils issue liability orders to residents that are way above the cost of the administration in producing them, which is legally all they are allowed to recoup.  Find one story about how the bailiffs they contract to enforce their council tax or parking fines break the law by charging illegal fees and claiming for visits that never happened.   Find one explanation about why we pay an ever rising policing precept to the county council, yet the borough council uses money for local services to fund restricted-power PCSOs to make up for a shortage of real police on our streets.  It’s happening everywhere, and no one is holding these slimeballs to account.

Labour’s selfish priorities laid bare for all to see

Far better to have a two-tier United Kingdom that includes a second class country than a two-tier Parliamentary chamber that includes second class MPs.

That’s Labour’s thrust in its opposition to the notion of MPs from English constituencies possibly being able to block legislation that only affects England, which would have been progressed through the Commons because of the party whipped votes of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs.  The Independent has gratefully palmed the proffered crumbs from the establishment table and is running with the story.

Labour says the coalition idea that only English MPs could have the final say in approving or rejecting legislation on matters that only affect England, is ‘hare-brained’.  They are right, but for the wrong reason.

It isn’t hare-brained because it marginalises and creates a lower tier of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs, who would not be able to impose laws on England that won’t apply in their own countries.  Boo hoo.  It is hare-brained because it continues to deny the English people – uniquely among western ‘democratic’ countries – their own national Parliament and the same level of self determination as that enjoyed by the other UK countries.

This Tory-Limp Dum plan tells the English they must remain second class citizens within the United Kingdom. It says the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish people will continue to have more control over affairs in their countries – in competences such as education, the NHS, transport or environment – than the English have in England.  It says the other parts of the Union can have power that is denied to the English.

These are not the reasons Labour are opposed to the ‘hare-brained’ idea, their only concern is that their party whips would lose a substantial number of votes in the lobby on English only matters, because 67 of their MPs are from north of the border or west of Offa’s Dyke.  It is self serving party maintenance of the worst order.

Why anyone in England would vote for such a rancid collection of bile-infused troughers remains a mystery.  Hopefully this will help some of those voters see Labour for the mendacious and bitter collective of grubbing  entitlement that it is.

England must have its own Parliament. That is the only acceptable solution to the West Lothian Question.

In a democracy decision making power should be delegated to the lowest possible level, as close to the people as can be achieved.  An English Parliament has a place in such a structure.  We just need real democracy in this country in which such a Parliament could function according to the will of the people…

Farage meltdown

Confession time.  No way did I think Nigel Farage would inflict so much damage on himself so quickly after such a high profile improvement in his party’s fortunes.

His badly thought out appearance in Scotland was bad enough.  Requiring a police escort away from protesters was humiliating.  But what has followed – his ill-tempered name calling and undignified petulance in putting the phone down during an radio interview when walked into confirming the somewhat  embarrassing fact UKIP has no elected members north of the border, suggests the shine is coming off the blessed Nigel incredibly quickly.

UKIP insiders are all too well aware of Farage’s ignorant refusal to brook any challenge or opposition to his views.  But Farage’s demonstration of his inability to rise above the abuse he experienced on the street and defuse its sting won’t play well with voters, who are entitled to expect potential leaders to deal with such things in a gracious and magnanimous way.

I honestly pity Farage’s press adviser.  I am certain in my own mind that Farage would have been told how to handle this incident and respond assuredly to the unpleasant and seemingly intimidating experience, but refused to take the advice on board.  He could have told the media that seeing those Scottish protesters enjoying their freedom of speech was a welcome sight because such freedom is essential in a democracy – and that the political class increasingly censors people and the deeper we are integrated in the EU the less democratic this country becomes.  He could have added that while he strongly refutes and disagrees with their arguments and accusations he defends their right to express them and he would respond fully and openly to their claims.

Instead we have seen a senior politician engaging in pathetic namecalling that would be considered immature on a playground.  Far from being the bloke one would he happy to have a pint with, I would now be more concerned he would smash some glasses and kick some tables over if he hears something he doesn’t like.

Farage, as predicted, has just done some damage to UKIP and its credibility.  That party deserves better.

Labour and Lib Dems ask: What do you think this is, a democracy?

It has long been argued that Labour, and to a lesser extent the Lib Dems, have been waging a class war in this country.  The evidence of this is clear.  The political class has declared war on the class most simply defined as ‘everyone else’.

The defiant refusal of Labour and Lib Dems to support a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union, is the most serious and pressing political story of our time.  It has far reaching implications for the democratic process.  Yet the media, for reasons we understand all too well, is ignoring the most obvious questions this issue poses.  Where has a single BBC, Sky or ITV news journalist asked Ed Miliband or Nick Clegg:

‘Why are you refusing to let the British people decide if this country should be part of the EU?’

This position goes beyond arrogance.  It is the continuation of a nothing less than a coup d’etat.  The British people have never been asked for their permission to consign the independence of the United Kingdom to the dustbin.  They have never been asked if they consent to more than 75% of the laws and regulations by which they are bound to be created by alien bodies overseas.  They have never been asked to approve the wholesale export of billions of tax pounds to Brussels to be spent in the way special interests and other nations see fit.  They have never been asked if they want our borders torn down to enable millions of foreign nationals to set up home here and take advantage of benefits and infrastructure to which they have never contributed a penny of funding.

It is this way because the political class does not want to know or hear the answer.  When the wishes of the people are ignored and even suppressed this country cannot be called a democracy.

Even when some tiny vestiges of democracy are permitted by the establishment, such as the requirement put on local authorities to hold a local referendum if they want to increase council tax by more than 2%, the response is a desperate and aggressive campaign by the politicians and bureaucrats to eradicate that need to ask permission to tax people more.  They want our money to fund what is of interest to them, such as first division civil service salaries for senior bureaucrats, index linked pensions far more generous than anything in the private sector, and hugely expensive rafts of sustainability related positions and campaigns to service an repressive and controlling agenda set down by UN bodies and the EU, which have never been put to or approved by the electorate.

This is why we see the Labour, Lib Dem and not a few Tory members of the Local Government Association, a kind of cross-party self interest ‘union’ for councils, demanding the right to extract as much as they like from local taxpayers without the need to get our permission or approval.  They have done this is such a stunningly brazen and transparent manner because the local authorities consider themselves to be above challenge, untouchable by ordinary people.  They believe they should be able to do what they like and feel they can.

Democracy in this country is a myth.  Being allowed – increasingly pressured – to vote every 4-5 years is not democracy.  What marks a democracy is the control the people have over their representatives and public servants between elections.  We have none, because this is not a functioning democracy.  The British people are not permitted to decide how this country is run or by whom.  Every election cycle is characterised by pledges to ‘change’ yet the only changes are the faces of the grubbing parasites that infest our town halls, county council chambers and parliament.  No matter who people vote for the outcome is a continuation of the same agenda handed down from supranational bodies.  The wishes of the people are trampled upon, scoffed at and ultimately ignored by those who like to tell us they know best.

Increasing numbers of people are seeing that voting in elections is meaningless.   They are increasingly rejecting the political process.  Tellingly the political class is becoming nervous about this because they know the lower the percentage gets, the weaker their claims of systemic and personal legitimacy will be.

That is why we see their ideological allies in ‘think tanks’ coming up with ideas such as compelling 18-23 year olds by law to vote in the first general election that takes place after they attain the age of majority, or face a fine.  Other ideas include making voting compulsory for all, or moving voting to the weekend in the hope of increasing turnout.  All these ideas have one objective in mind – preserving the legitimacy of the political class.

Participating in the process gives it legitimacy.  As long as people continue to vote they are validating the political class and enabling it to continue eroding our democracy while continually reducing accountability.  It’s not enough to want to vote the current lot out by voting an identikit lot in.  It plays into the hands of the parasites and maintains the illusion of democracy.

To achieve genuine democracy – and thus take back for ourselves the power to address the vital issues that are before us instead of dancing to the political class’ tune – we need a different approach.  We need to educate and inform people and show them how we can take back power and eject the parasites.  The strategy for doing this is being developed.  More to follow in due course…

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.

Nigel Lawson awakens from his long Euroslumber

Okay. Let’s… I tell you what, let’s forget the fact that you’re coming a little late to the party and embrace the fact that you showed up at all.

That line from the West Wing is my message to Nigel Lawson today. I’ve always had something of a crush on Nigella Lawson, and I’m now starting to become fond of her old man too (not in that way).  First he speak sense on climate change, now he is speaking sense on the UK’s membership of the EU.

Setting aside the fact Lord Lawson’s u-turn on the EU is akin to him declaring that, in spite of the warnings and raft of evidence that was available to him, he is thoroughly disappointed that his expensively acquired tulips bulbs did not blossom into the beautiful roses he was convinced he would get, he makes the powerful point that any changes David Cameron might be able to secure from the EU will be equally as inconsequential as the crumbs from the table hailed by Harold Wilson as the outcome of a successful renegotiation with ‘Europe’ in the 1970s.

After years of delusion and self deception, it has finally dawned on Lord Lawson that the EU is a purpose-built bureaucratic construct, with the sole objective of drawing power to itself and eroding the sovereignty of nation states to the point they cease to exist in anything but name.  That aim has never changed, it’s just that Nigel is now saying he can see it for what it is and rightly concludes the UK should have no part in it.

However, what is disappointing is that there is no mention in his comments to suggest Lord Lawson acknowledges the fundamental problem with the EU is that it is anti-democratic by design.  Its very reason for being is to subvert and replace democracy, because allowing the people to determine for themselves what they want would result in the EU’s collapse, which would not suit the corporatist interests it serves.

So Nigel Lawson has correctly identified the remedy, even if it is still not clear to him what the ailment is.  It’s progress of sorts.

Now we just hope more people will listen to this political heavyweight and see through Cameron’s pathetic charade of a loosely defined ‘re-negotiation’ before he declares success and recommends the UK stays part of the EU, regardless of how little control over our own affairs he repatriates from Brussels.

And the scales begin to fall from their eyes…

There is a problem with the people at the top of our political parties. They just don’t listen. They don’t listen to ordinary people or our concerns. The European Union referendum is a good example. David Cameron says he’ll have a referendum, but no-one believes a word he says. I don’t believe a word he says, and I’m a lifelong Conservative.

So says former Councillor Alexis McEvoy, writing in the Telegraph, after being defeated in the South Waterside ward of Hampshire County Council.

The question is, feeling the way she claims to, why did she continue to work for and prop up the Conservative party machine?  Perhaps in losing the council seat her paramount reason for remaining a Tory and supporting a party that had long ceased to be conservative, has now evaporated.  Too little, too late, Lexi.

It’s a bit rich of people like McEvoy to be bleating now about the Conservative leadership ditching conservative values and principles.  It’s been happening for years, which is why many principled people – and I count myself among that number – resigned from the party and walked away long ago.Perhaps the ConservativeHome narrative, propagated by Tim Montgomerie and others, that Cameron would suddenly uncloak himself to reveal his ‘inner conservative’, is responsible for so many Tories clinging to their delusional belief that Cameron was one of them and just executing a cunning strategy.

It is looking more likely that the complaint that the mainstream parties don’t listen to people’s wishes is becoming redundant. Growing numbers of people are now showing they don’t care about being listened to by this lot any more because they are not interested in being represented by these politicians.  Similarly they are no longer bothering to listen to what the mainstream parties have to say.  They’ve heard it all before.  Evidence the fact Labour’s share of the vote has failed to reach even 2005 levels.

People have seen too many crucial promises broken on a whim.  Now it seems there is a move is underway to remove the self serving charlatans from the stage, piece at a time.

Bankster racket – The Cyprus template that wasn’t a template is now a template

Remember how Cyprus was supposed to be a special case and not a template for similar wealth confiscation elsewhere in the future?  Remember how it transpired the measures taken in Cyprus had already been written into the Banking Act 2009?  Well the Banksters are getting bolder as a piece on ZeroHedge makes clear:

The CEO of Unicredit Federico Ghizzoni said yesterday that it is “acceptable to confiscate savings to save banks.” He said that the savings which are not guaranteed by any protection or insurance could be used in the future to contribute to the rescue of banks who fail and that uninsured deposits could be used in future bank failures provided global policy makers agree on a common approach.

The organised racket is very clear.  Any money we put into bank accounts is a loan to the bank.  Given that governments don’t have the money to bail out banks, which have been run into the ground while using our money to carry out poorly considered lending to borrowers who are defaulting or declaring bankruptcy, they are now treating the money lent to them by depositors as exactly what the rules say it is – theirs.  Caveat creditor.

Note the reference to having a common approach to global policy.  Global governance is the agenda at play.  The wealthy elite makes the rules and is now applying the rules to protect their financial position at the expense of anyone who is willing to risk putting their money in one of their institutions.  If the Banksters don’t get your money, then be assured the global cooperation and harmonisation gradually being developed by governments will see to it that taxation will hoover up your wealth.  No permission sought, no approval given, just the abuse of power by the political class and their establishment cronies.

It has been clear in the way governments are exchanging supposedly confidential account information between each other, under the pretext of tackling tax evasion.  But even where there is no evasion, this exchange provides vital intelligence about the holdings of individuals that can be used to inform governments about who has what, so policy can be created to target them for specific taxes and wealth confiscation – all to satisfy the bribery and spending fetishes that politicians rely on to buy votes of the net consumers at the expense of the net producers.

While politicians like to spout off about democracy and freedom, their actions are designed for a single purpose, to enslave the people who are supposed to be their masters.  Government, both supranational and national, never shrinks.  The parasite continues to expand by feeding on the people they are supposed to serve.

The only thing it doesn’t seem to have planned for is what happens when the incentives to production have been destroyed and the wealth it plunders has run out.  What will the state’s clients do when their free handouts come to an end?  Perhaps by they the planet will be so collectivised we will be scratching the land to produce food and resorting to barter as the medium of exchange.  Progress will have been reversed and the green wet-dream of ‘sustainability’ will be realised.

At what point will the sleepwalking masses wake up and put an end to it?  There is no conspiracy theory here, just conspiracy.

The Conservatives will never return to the ‘common ground’

She often comes in for a lot of stick, but Melanie Phillips often articulates the reality of a situation with supreme clarity. Consider this rhetorical contribution directed at the conservative-in-name-only in Number 10.

“Mr Cameron does not have to enter an alliance with UKIP in order to reconnect to Conservative voters. All he has to do — revolutionary thought! — is adopt Conservative policies himself.

Since the fall of Mrs Thatcher, British Conservatism has lost its way.

Mr Cameron wrote yesterday: ‘It’s not about being Left-wing or Right-wing; it’s about being where the British people are.’

Well, the British people want to get back from the EU the power to govern themselves. They want to live in a country that does not resemble an international transit camp, but where citizenship is based on a truly common culture.

They want to end ruinous and pointless green taxes, and to conserve the countryside against urban sprawl. They want armed forces that can actually defend the country and a drastic curtailment of international aid. And they want solid, unambiguous support for traditional family life.

That’s where the British people really are, Prime Minister. The problem is that you are somewhere else.”

So, sadly, are all but a tiny handful of senior Conservatives. While I wish well the genuine conservatives who in spite of everything remain in the Conservative party, my decision to resign as a Conservative Councillor and leave the party, because of the direction Cameron and his cronies were taking, has increasingly shown itself to have been completely justified.
What Phillips is saying is in her own way is what this blog has long said – the political class’ interests are wildly different from the interests of ordinary people.
The likelihood of the Conservatives rediscovering the common ground is so remote as to be negligible. The party leadership has been infested by people like Cameron, devoid of principle or belief, who want to govern for its own sake; and who think they alone should have the monopoly on decision making and therefore refuse the electorate’s wishes on a wide range of issues.
The concept of representative democracy is just that, a concept.  Something the Philosophy, Politics and Economics graduates learn under the likes of Vernon Bogdanor, before heading off into the world to maintain elected dictatorship.  Compare and contrast with the way things are done in what increasingly appears to be the last true democracy in the western world…  Until the status quo in the UK changes the politicians will never come close to sharing the common ground with the people.  Power to the people, Citizen Cam?  Not bloody likely.

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