Posts Tagged 'Politicians'

Tory Euroscepticism another example of the Henry Smith syndrome

This should really have been covered yesterday, but better late than never.  A valuable piece was published on Witterings From Witney yesterday, taking a high level look at the voting records of Conservative MPs who use the term Eurosceptic to give the impression they are opposed to being governed by the EU.

As WfW explains, the term Eurosceptic is useless and even the Guardian’s content partner website makes the point that there are different kinds of Eurosceptics.  After examining the voting records and unpicking the definition of ‘Eurosceptic’ WfW makes clear to readers that:

It would seem to me that not only do we need to redefine the term ‘eurosceptic’, but that we also need to redefine just who amongst our MPs really is anti-EU!

Exactly right.  What we have here is an extension of the Henry Smith syndrome, where some MPs try to have it both ways and convince people of differing mindsets that they embrace their viewpoint.

Only by exposing MPs who claim to support the public view – that we should be an independent, self determining nation, yet who like Chris Heaton-Harris vote in favour of deeper integration with the EU  – can the public have any idea whether they are voting for someone who agrees with their views or not.  As such we should take every opportunity to highlight the duplicity of MPs who say one thing and do another. It is time to out them.

The end of the Eurosceptic

The more that people scrutinise and check facts for themselves, the less able the politicians are to deceive themselves and the public.  Following on from our exchanges with Roger Helmer, the always excellent EU Referendum offers a matter of fact piece about the enemy within.

What is clear, as some in the comments section have alluded to, it that it’s time to jettison the devalued and misleading ‘Eurosceptic’ label.  When it comes to the EU there are only two camps now, in or out, EUphile or Withdrawalist.  Any MP who votes in favour of any Bill or amendment that facilitates EU integration and closer union cannot, by definition, be a withdrawalist. Pragmatism is code for inaction.

When you look at the voting records of Tory MPs and MEPs, there are hardly any who consistently vote against handing further power to the EU. Less than a dozen out of over 300. If you want the UK to leave the European Union then don’t vote Conservative.  Like Labour and the Lib Dems, they are the enemy within, aided by a collection of ‘licensed dissenters’, Judas goats and useful idiots.

Rioters without a cause

It is not a protest.  There is no cause, ideology or grievance.  The acts we are witnessing are completely and utterly without justification.  As many commentators have rightly said, what we have seen in recent days and what is happening again tonight is just criminal behaviour.

As usual the talking heads such as Marc Wadsworth and Darcus Howe spill onto our TV screen and our airwaves to tell us why the behaviour we are witnessing is the fault of anyone and anything but those black youths who make up the majority of those carrying out the violent and criminal acts. Socialist politicians emerge to make political capital out of the events – always careful to sidestep culpability for their role in creating the conditions that have bred this generation of thugs.

What we are seeing is the product of the gang culture that has been allowed to develop and impose itself in a number of towns and cities.  These feckless, selfish, grubbing morons have grown up worshipping at the altar of gang culture and drug culture, with a chip on their shoulder the size of a planet, with aggressive claims that the world owes them something.

Not only are they togged up in the latest designer labels and £130 trainers, while sporting iPhones and BlackBerrys and gold jewellry, they have grown up being told by handwringing apologists that they are not responsible for their own actions.

Whenever they do wrong it’s always the fault of their ‘environment’, or ‘society’, or ‘lack of opportunities’ or a ‘failure of government’. The worse their behaviour, the more the sociologists fawn over them and say we aren’t putting enough ‘resources’ into their areas and that we are to blame for the supposedly understandable consequences.

We are not to blame.  The blame lays squarely on the shoulders of those who choose – who choose – to carry out criminal acts.  There are plenty of youngsters from identical backgrounds who shun the gangs and choose to make something of their lives.  They show commitment and they work their way out of their situation to make a better life for themselves.  They should be applauded.  If they can make it, there is no reason others cannot do so too. But the others don’t because they would rather have everything handed to them on a plate, or steal it from others, because they don’t want to make the effort.

I for one am sick of people excusing the behaviour of these thugs, who can generally be found on sink estates – carrying drink and drugs and selling drugs on to make some easy money – hanging around in groups attempting to intimidate people and demanding ‘respect’.   They have to demand it because they do nothing to earn it.  They are the antithesis to respectability and they themselves respect nothing, particularly not society’s norms or authority.

Until these feral beasts learn they alone are responsible for their behaviour and until the consequences for their wrongful actions are made severe this kind of lawlessness will continue on some scale or other.

By the same token, we need the police to revert to being a fair, honest and respectful police force – i.e. not polluted and corrupted by political correctness and quasi politician senior officers – instead of being uniformed social workers.  We also need the courts to hand down proper punishments to those who commit crime and make an effort to deter others from making the same bad decisions.  We also need more prison places to uncrowd the system and make proper rehabilitation possible to reduce reoffending.

What is the common thread in all this?  The politicians.

It is their policies that have allowed this subclass to develop, and their policies that have made it possible for this subclass to continue receiving substantial handouts for doing nothing productive with their lives.  The political class has cultivated this problem and refused to correct it.  The politicians must pay a price for what they have allowed to happen and the law abiding majority of this country must now hold them to account.

Obama’s debt flip flop

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

– Senator Barack Obama, 16 March 2006

This was the future US President speaking out against raising America’s debt ceiling to $8.965 trillion.  Perhaps he was reading the teleprompter speech for a Republican senator by mistake…  Quote hat tip: Gary North

Just hat is it about assuming governmental power that turns people into mind addled debt junkies after years of perfectly reasonable calls for reducing said debt?  It’s not just Ireland’s favourite son (after Daniel O’Donnell) Barry O’Bama, here in the UK David Cameron has spoken time and again about reducing debt and spending cuts, yet UK government borrowing is increasing.

Curiously both men are wedded to the idea of huge sums of public money being spent ‘fighting climate change’ with windmills, and increasing the cost of energy, making us poorer and subsidy hungry renewable power firms very rich indeed.  Could such waste be linked to our rising debt, perhaps?

We must protect freedom, by restricting your freedom

Richard North, writing on his EU Referendum blog, draws attention to a communique following a joint meeting yesterday of the two Council of the European Union working groups on terrorism – the Terrorism Working Party and COTER.  The release explained that:

Representatives of the Norwegian authorities informed the meeting about the events and the ongoing investigation. This was followed by a debate which included experts from EU member states, representatives of several EU bodies and institutions (Europol, European External Action Service, European Commission) as well as the office of the EU Counterterrorism coordinator. Delegations seized the opportunity to express condolences and solidarity with Norway and the Norwegian people.

This is an all-too-predictable self insertion into the fallout of the massacre in Norway in an effort to make the EU appear relevant and strengthen its control over member states.  Although this meeting is quite noteworthy as Norway is not a member of the EU.  It seems to suggest that this horror will also be seized upon by the EU to add weight to its effort to court Norway and enjoin Oslo to put EU membership on its to-do list. 

But reading between the lines this communique is deeply disturbing as what we are seeing is the groundwork being laid for an assault on our freedom.  The clue is there in the last paragraph (relevant section in italics) which reads:

The issue of ‘lone-wolf terrorism’, represented by terrorists that are self-radicalised (e.g. through the internet) with no obvious attachment to any terrorist organisation, seems to require increasing attention. The experts also agreed that in confronting the threat of a terrorist attack, regardless of its underlying motivation, the effective exchange of information is vital. The importance of strengthening response capacity was another issue that was highlighted.

Alarm bells should be ringing already because the whiff of censorship of dissent is in the air.  There is a mood for it among those who advocate big government and its agendas.  It is inconceivable that those who have the power to legislate these things beyond our control are not accumulating a raft of justifications for shutting down free speech and only permitting views and opinions that fit in with their worldview.

In the piece above we have the clear reference to internet centric radicalisation.  In the last week there have been similar assaults on the notions of free speech and openness that have arisen from very separate topics.  There was  Thomas Hylland Eriksen writing in the Guardian who said Anders Breivik has been ‘brainwashed’ by websites and that if he had:

instead been forced to receive his information through a broadsheet newspaper, where not all the stories dealt with Europe’s loss of confidence and the rise of militant Islam, it is conceivable that his world would have looked slightly different. 

Indeed. He would have been brainwashed with the state sanctioned approved truth instead, and the topics that don’t pass official muster are censored out of existence. 

Then there was Professor Steve Jones’ report commissioned by the BBC Trust into its science coverage, where the esteemed snail geneticist and doyen of the corporation openly argued that the BBC gives too much air time to people who are sceptical of the ‘consensus’ on global warming.  The thinking is that their views should be struck from the airwaves because they might strike a chord with other people, who in turn might choose to reject the position adopted and pushed by government and its media friends.  As this blog said at the time:

We are witnessing the most successful and far reaching attempt yet by the liberal left to censor the news and information delivered to the public and indoctrinate us with their selective worldview – and do it with our money.

Watch them come for the blogs next.

They are already on their way. 

Their mission is to deny us access to information, views, opinions and commentary they have not created and they do not sanction.  It is a dangerous leap forward on the path to a totalitarian form of control.  But maybe they are their own worst enemies.  For we have just seen what happened when one dangerous man in Norway felt his views and wishes were being ignored by his government.  He tried to assassinate the Prime Minister then set about murdering his supporters in the Labour Party youth organisation.

Does the EU not realise, do national governments not realise, that restricting freedom of speech and the ability to share views and opinions – no matter how daft some might seem to others – will not dissolve the threat?  It will result in duplication and replication of the very extremism exhibited by Anders Breivik and a consequent escalation in violent acts.

The censorship that seems to be under consideration or construction to control ‘extremism’ will not passify the people, instead it will turn frustration and resentment into real anger, and it will only drive more people to adopt an extremist path trodden by Breivik.  And we all know how that turned out.

Good people of Crawley, rejoice!

If, as a voter living in the Parliamentary constituency of Crawley in West Sussex, you oppose the idea of giving £9 billion of our tax pounds to the International Monetary Fund to gift to Greece and other failing economies with no prospect of getting any of it back, congratulations!  Your MP, Henry Smith, voted against the measure in the Commons.

Representative democracy in action.

If, as a voter living in the Parliamentary constituency of Crawley in West Sussex, you support the idea of giving £9 billion of our tax pounds to the International Monetary Fund to gift to Greece and other failing economies with no prospect of getting any of it back, congratulations!  Your MP, Henry Smith, voted for the measure in the Commons.

Representative democracy in action.

Yes ladies and gentlemen of Crawley, Henry Smith MP is the very epitome of consensus politics. No matter what your view on the important issues, Henry has found a way to ensure he has given voice to your wishes.  The full incredible story is on EU Referendum.

With startling insight Henry has realised he can bring cheer to the supposed Conservative Eurosceptics by declaring he voted against the increase in contributions to the IMF.  This results in honourable mentions from the Guardian’s Content Partner.  But not only that, he can tell the whips and David Cameron that he supported the demands of the leadership to vote for the increase, thus preserving his hopes of getting a junior ministerial job in the future.

Henry Smith is a pioneer.  He has mastered the art of what political scientists are describing as ‘hyperactive abstention’.  Instead of refusing to vote, he simply votes for and against.  Not so much A Man for All Seasons, as a Man for All Arguments.  Rumours that Henry received campaign donations from have not yet been verified.  It is believed he came up with the idea of ‘hyperactive abstention’ when he was teaching children the Green Cross Code, where youngsters were encouraged to look both ways.  The exciting part of this is if all MPs do the same we won’t have any more idiotic legislation imposed on us from the Westminster bubble because every vote would be tied.

Unlike Richard North at EU Referendum we have been unable to reach Henry for comment.  However our sources just south of Gatwick tell us that Henry has come up with a sure fire way to be returned to the Commons at the next election.  He will be standing for the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP.  When AM pointed out this would not leave the voters of Crawley much of a choice, we were told that it’s not a problem as voters who put an ‘X’ next to Conservative Henry will be able to revisit the polling station a few minutes later and vote again by putting an ‘X’ against Labour Henry, thereby cancelling out their vote.

‘It’s more fun than abstaining by staying at home and watching Jeremy Kyle or sitting in Tilgate Park being eyed up by a gang of chavs from Broadfield,’ our source explained. ‘It also means when people ask you how you voted you can say you supported the eventual winner and couldn’t stand the other lot.’

With the turnout in Crawley likely to exceed 270% at the next election the local Borough Council is advising residents to vote early and vote often.

How Cameron confirmed our democratic deficit

Those readers who have also been following Dr Richard North’s developing theme of Referism over at EU Referendum may remember his original post on the subject early in May.

In his piece, Richard made reference to a piece by David Cameron in the Barclay Brother Beano in April 2010 titled ‘My credo for my Country‘. Cameron’s piece is insightful as he underlines in his own words the fact that this country suffers a democratic deficit. Cameron actually validates the need for people to take back power from the insular, self regarding and self serving political elite. Consider these words from Cameron’s op-ed:

Thankfully, the gods were smiling on me that night in June 2001 and I was elected MP for Witney. Barely a week later, my party leader resigned and I found myself being canvassed by this paper on how to revive the fortunes of the Conservative Party following its second defeat at the hands of Tony Blair.

The party has to change its language, change its approach, start with a blank sheet of paper and try to work out why our base is not broader,” I told the reporter, with what was, looking back, alarming confidence for someone just starting out in Parliament. “We need a clear, positive, engaging agenda on public services.”

Did you notice what was missing? In describing what he felt the Conservative Party needed to do to revive its fortunes (i.e. win a General Election) nowhere did Cameron say anything about asking the people what they want.

This is not an example of representative democratic politics. Cameron knew then as he knows now that once safely in office there is no need to pretend to consult the people and seek to follow their wishes, hence his autocratic and arrogant pronouncements on issues such as the EU. As Prime Minister he presides over a Cabinet Government (junior to our EU government) that can basically do what it likes (within EU law and bureaucratic control) domestically until the next election. There is no need to refer to the electorate. That is why Referism matters.

Cameron went on to add:

Believe me, I’ve had some run-ins, but I never wanted to annoy party stalwarts or pick unnecessary fights. I just knew that unless we got in touch with the modern world, we would not get the chance to bring our beliefs and values to bear on the challenges of the hour.

Therein lies the problem. It’s all about internal party spats, control and personal agendas. In a referist system there would be no need to talk of getting ‘in touch with the modern world’ because politicians would have to listen actively and continuously to the wishes of the people before embarking on activities that require the spending of our tax pounds.

The political class would know our views, our concerns and our priorities and it would have to react to them and present plans to address them. Cameron rounded off his pre-election pitch thus:

So, I have the team, I have the ideas, I have the values and I have the energy to show you, to show Britain that a better future for our country is not only possible but is just weeks away.

Sadly what he did not and still does not have is a pair of ears, or a desire to listen to our wishes and take heed of them. Power must be wrested away from the political class and they returned to their proper role – that of servants, not supposed masters.  Until we have the power and politicians are required to refer to us to seek our approval for their legislative and governance agenda this country will not be democratic.

Will David Laws be prosecuted at last?

The year-long inquiry by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, John Lyon, into David Laws’ deliberate appropriation of taxpayers’ money to which he was not entitled, is said by an ‘insider’ to be so ‘damning’ that it could make it impossible for Mr Laws to return to the Cabinet.

If true a ‘damning’ finding would be very welcome .  Laws’ actions were a deliberate effort to defraud the taxpayer because he felt too ashamed to let it be known he was homosexual and living with his partner. It is inexcusable and indefensible. As this blog said in December, David Laws returning to the Cabinet would be a contempt of taxpayers.

The Mail on Sunday piece goes on to say that:

However, friends of Mr Laws last night disputed that, saying they did not expect the Commons sleaze watchdog’s report to be as critical as claimed and suggested it would not block his eventual return to government.

These ‘friends’ are fish from the same Parliamentary pool who are determined to have their man returned to a Cabinet position regardless of his theft. Why do they not expect the report to be as critical as suggested?

It is an open and shut case and Laws admitted his wrongdoing.  The fact is Laws should not even be an MP now.  He has faced no sanction for trousering £40,000 of our money, was allowed to resign rather than be summarily dismissed in disgrace, and is being lined up for a new Ministerial job. All this demonstrates is the ‘new politics’ is no different to the old politics and the political class works in its own interest at the expense of ours.

If John Lyon has been able to establish a pattern of wrongdoing by Laws, we can but hope, then there is no reason not to call in the Metropolitan Police and have Laws join his former Parliamentary colleagues in the dock to answer for his actions before a Jury.

Mandates and hypocrisy

Anyone who has listened to Ed Miliband (why, oh why…) in recent weeks, as he witters on about tomorrow’s voting system referendum, will have noticed the line to take that has been adopted by his PRs and spin doctors – that of electoral mandate.

Repeatedly, including this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme, Miliband has stated that the ‘Conservative led coalition’ is undertaking cuts and other actions for which they ‘do not have a mandate’.

It seems strange of Miliband to complain about this.  After all, was it not Labour who allowed millions of migrants into the country without a mandate to do so? Was it not Labour who signed the Lisbon Treaty without a mandate to do so? And where was Miliband’s righteous indignation about Labour’s lack of mandate when doing what it wanted, irrespective of the wishes of the public?

To emphasise the hypocrisy of it all, where was Miliband when a lawyer representing the Labour government argued in court that people had no reasonable entitlement to expect that a political party will carry out its manifesto pledges? Did he resign in noble anguish? Did he hell.

This brings us back to the reality of our situation today. We are merely pawns in the self serving power games of the rival factions of the political class. They spend all their time fighting like rats in a sack about trivialities because when it comes to matters of substance they are in agreement.

The voting reform referendum is just another triviality. Another contrived battle of ‘principle’ helpfully played out as a major issue by the dumbed down mainstream media. As this blog has asked before and does again now, what is the point deciding how we vote when our votes do nothing to determine which people wield power?

All AV would do is further cement consensus politics in this country.  It will permanently shore up the elective position of the political class and further distance people from decison making power. First past the post is a lesser evil, but elections are now irrelevant anyway as laws are handed down from the EU for our toy politicians to burnish, embellish and implement without hesitation.

The vote we should have, about whether this country should fully govern its own affairs through its own democratic structures, or accept rule from overseas by bureaucrats in Brussels and accept the EU’s alien anti democratic structures, is not on offer to us. We are denied that choice.

None from the Conservatives, Labour or Liberal Democrats want the people of this country to decide for themselves and make that fundamental decision about how this country is governed. So why should we play their game and take time to vote about which system best suits the narrow political interests of those insipid groups of power seeking climbers, liars and charlatans?

A plague on all their houses.

The Bin Laden story is changing already

And some people wonder why on earth we would ever doubt ‘the official line’…

Yesterday the story was clear.  It was repeated around the world by every major news organisation because an American official stated clearly that Osama Bin Laden was killed after he had used his wife as a human shield and fired a weapon.  In the absence of photographic evidence and eye witness accounts the narrative was transmitted as a given truth.  Because it came from ‘official sources’, no less grand than the Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan.

Today however it is a different story that is emerging from yet more ‘official sources’, as reports:

The White House backed away Monday evening from key details in its narrative about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including claims by senior U.S. officials that the Al Qaeda leader had a weapon and may have fired it during a gun battle with U.S. forces.

Officials also retreated from claims that one of bin Laden’s wives was killed in the raid and that bin Laden was using her as a human shield before she was shot by U.S. forces.

It turns out (apparently) the woman killed was not Bin Laden’s wife at all (‘A different guy’s wife was killed’ according to yet more sources) and Bin Laden himself was not armed when he was killed, yet they maintain he was offering ‘resistance’. Perhaps he was throwing Qur’ans at the SEAL team?  The question now is can we believe this revision?  Will this story change in the future?

Update: It didn’t take long.  Within moments of posting this yet another version of events has surfaced via MSNBC.

The most amusing part of all this will be the reaction of those people who wrongly assert I am now an ‘OBL denier’ or ‘conspiracy theorist’ for doubting some of the details we have been told. I haven’t said Bin Laden hasn’t been killed, I merely question the ‘facts’ that have been presented to us by ‘official sources’ because they don’t all add up.  All I wanted to do is reserve judgement until I have seen reliable evidence.  And within hours that reluctance to accept everything we have been told as gospel truth has been vindicated.

Like the t-shirt above the truth is black and white.  So, what else will change in the coming days, weeks and months?

Other people’s money…

… is just so easy to spend.

Regular readers will be aware of the scandalous use of hundreds of millions of pounds of our taxes, and a good proportion of our energy bills, to subsidise the inefficient and unreliable cashcows known as wind turbines so beloved by greenies and politicians.

So it will come as no surprise to learn that when there was too much wind and the turbines had to be turned off, the companies running the turbines were paid for doing so – up to 20 times more than the value of the electricity that would have been generated if the turbines had kept running.  In total six companies received around £900,000 over a 24 hour period in early April.

The scam being perpetrated against the British people is writ large when such stories emerge blinking ashamedly into the sunlight of publicity.  We pay for over the odds for these wasteful machines when they deliver their c.20% of generating capacity, and now we see we pay many more times over the odds when they can’t.

Someone at the front of this pay-or-else money train is getting very rich at our expense, aided and abetted by those politicians with a vested interest in furthering this daylight robbery.  For how much longer will we stay quiet and continue to foot the bill?

Savour this in all its brilliance

There is nothing I can say that will add any value to this outstanding post from Peter North on EU Referendum.  How many of us would love to pin an MP against a wall and recite North’s sentiments?  Witty, insightful and entertaining, I hope he will consider it a compliment when I say he is definitely his father’s son.

Update: And the old man is navigating his tumbrel around the political landscape in particularly fine fashion too…

Escape and evasion

Readers may recall this post on 25th January concerning the report from the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee inquiry of the reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s (CRU) e-mails (Climategate).

It was noted that one of the Committee members, Graham Stringer MP, had proposed an amendment to the report that was rejected by the other three members, excluding the Committee Chairman, who could be bothered to show up.

One of those three members, Stephen Metcalfe MP (pictured), was contacted by a member of the public to find out more.  The story has been posted as a comment on Climate Audit in the screenshot below, and mentioned in a comment thread on the Bishop Hill blog (click to enlarge):

It seems some ‘Honourable’ members from the 2010 intake have been receiving training in escape and evasion techniques that the lads at Credenhill would be proud of.

Public interest 0-1 Vested interest.  Another poor showing for public interest, which remains languishing at the bottom of the UK Establishment League and faces relegation to the Politico Ignore List League.

Cameron’s useful idiots, Hannan and Carswell

The Critical Reaction website carries a piece this evening which confirms the suspicions of many people that Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell are nothing more than David Cameron’s useful idiots:

In Committee Room 7 at the House of Commons this evening, Dan Hannan and Douglas Carswell proposed that Better Off Out should wind itself up. Arguing that the supporters of BOO – whom present tonight included Lord Tebbit – have, in one form or another, ‘sat for thirty years’ without achieving the objective of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, the two men, supported by Mark Reckless, proposed that BOO should go out of business and be replaced by a cross-party referendum campaign.

There seems to be no end in sight to politicians seeking to dismember grassroots campaigns while pledging to advance them in another guise. Closing down a grassroots campaign like Better Off Out so it can be replaced by a politicians’ ego club within the walls of the Palace of Westminster, which will wither and die, suffocated by the desire to attain consensus and horse trade over vested interests, is the worst thing that could happen.  I can’t wait to hear what Simon Richards at The Freedom Association has to say about this.

Thankfully the author of the Critical Reaction piece has their wits about them, unlike Hannan and Carswell.  As the editorial rights points out:

If Tory MPs are reluctant to join BOO because of the implications for their career prospects, any group which is established that doesn’t threaten their personal ambitions isn’t likely to be doing its job.  David Cameron has been unambiguous on this point: he fully supports British membership of the EU. A group that he and the whips can tolerate ambitious Tory backbenchers belonging to is, almost by definition, a neutered body. With, in this instance, the proposed distinction of being one that intends to neuter itself.

Perhaps that is Hannan and Carswell’s intention?  Cameron would be very grateful.  After all, despite claiming to want Britain to leave the EU Hannan and Carswell have resolutely stayed within a Conservative party that has vowed to remain inside the EU and also refuses to allow the British people their democratic say on membership in a binding referendum. Perhaps Hannan and Carswell value the trappings of power as MEP and MP respectively more than principle.

Better Off Out should remain.  It should continue to provide a grassroots outlet for those outside the Westminster and Brussels villages who want democratic accountability restored to the UK. It should redouble its efforts to educate people about the consequences of being run by the EU and it should do so without a couple of parliamentarians attempting to play power games within a system that ensures they are doomed to failure.

SciTech committee – who was pulling the newbies’ strings?

Bishop Hill explains the ‘findings’ of the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s (CRU) e-mails, a key part of the Climategate scandal.

To describe this latest report as another bucket of whitewash is an understatement.  Andrew Montford, the author of the Bishop Hill blog, covers some of the assertions of the Committee members and sums it up thus:

The best that can be said of the report is that it is marginally better than expected. This, I suppose, is the great advantage of low expectations. My impression is of a group of people who know they are raising two fingers to the general public, and feel forced at least to admit that there is something amiss, but the overwhelming need to hold the line on global warming gets the better of them and leaves them looking at best foolish and at worst outright criminal.

Once you have read Montford’s post on this, do take a few moments to absorb his follow up post that shows a proposed amendment to be included in the report.  Despite this amendment being proposed by the only MP on the committee with a scientific qualification and understanding of scientific rigour, Graham Stringer, it was voted down by the other three MPs present, all of whom are wet behind the ears having been elected for the first time at the 2010 General Election:

There are proposals to increase worldwide taxation by up to a trillion dollars on the basis of climate science predictions. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held. The release of the e-mails from CRU at the University of East Anglia and the accusations that followed demanded independent and objective scrutiny by independent panels. This has not happened. The composition of the two panels hasbeen criticised for having members who were over identified with the views of CRU. Lord Oxburgh as President of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and Chairman of Falck Renewable appeared to have a conflict of interest. Lord Oxburgh himself was aware that this might lead to criticism. Similarly Professor Boulton as an ex colleague of CRU seemed wholly inappropriate to be a member of the Russell panel. No reputable scientist who was critical of CRU’s work was on the panel, and prominent and distinguished critics were not interviewed. The Oxburgh panel did not do as our predecessor committee had been promised, investigate the science, but only looked at the integrity of the researchers. With the exception of Professor Kelly’s notes other notes taken by members of the panel have not been published. This leaves a question mark against whether CRU science is reliable. The Oxburgh panel also did not look at CRU’s controversial work on the IPPC which is what has attracted most [serious] allegations. Russell did not investigate the deletion of e-mails. We are now left after three investigations without a clear understanding of whether or not the CRU science is compromised.

This paragraph should not be forgotten, it is a damning indictment that should be trailed as widely as possible.

What possible reason could the three MPs, Gregg McClymont, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Mosley have for rejecting this paragraph proposed by an experienced scientist and parliamentarian?  We seem to have moved on from ‘hide the decline’ to ‘cover up the truth’.

Disgraceful efforts to make capital from mass murder

One expected consequence of the shocking mass murder of people at the political surgery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson is the  frankly disgraceful attempt of some to make capital out of the attack to shamelessly further their own political agenda by attributing responsibility to people that had nothing to do with it, but whom they wish to undermine nevertheless.

This has manifested itself with various tweets and blog posts laying blame for the attack at the doors of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the US Republican Party in general,and the disparate Tea Party movements around the US. Biased BBC and the Telegraph’s Toby Harnden examine this with two must read posts that provide some much needed context.

Another expected consequence of such a terrible criminal act is kneejerk responses that paint an inaccurate and unfair picture of the American people. Comment that asserts some kind of British moral superiority as a result of the tragedy, then suggests the outlook of the American people calls into question if we can describe America to be a democracy. This is what I want to look at in more detail.

One example that particularly stands out for me is a post from Conservative activist Chris Hawes. It suggests not only a lack of knowledge but the absence of any self awareness of our situation in Britain.  I’ll explain. Hawes briefly tours the US political scene and notes the polarised landscape, then goes on to suggest to readers that the Democrats and Republicans in the US:

‘truly hate each other in a way that is totally alien to us in Britain,’

This is an insult to the Americans that stems from complete ignorance of American politics. I know from personal experience that Hawes’ claim is way off the mark. It is true to say that the Democrats and Republicans frequently hate what each other stand for politically, but unlike here in the UK there exists a sense of unity borne from the shared experience of being part of the great American nation.

Hawes then incredibly goes on to add 2+2 and make 7 when he opines:

Going back to this specific incident, Gifford was at a public meeting called “Congress On Your Corner” where she was actively responding to her constituents and doing her job when she was gunned down. The assailant didn’t appear to be interested in asking a question and getting a response from his Congresswoman – in short, participating in the democratic process – but intent on assassination.

All of this together makes me wonder whether America can truly be called a democracy any more. Democracy requires consensus and acceptance of the democratic process – if an opponent is elected, they have the mandate to govern until the next election. Violence should never be part of political rhetoric; reasoned debate is foundation of democracy. If polticians have to be concerned about being attacked if they support an unpopular motion (even if it is only unpopular amongst a certain demographic), democracy is failing.

I’m sorry, but that is utter nonsense. Since when has an act of terror or the act of a mad man/men denoted that a nation might no longer be democratic? The murderous incident was perpetrated by a man who clearly has psychological issues, was rejected for military service (which takes some doing) and harboured violent intent to government and while possessing a hatred of the law.

The target of the attack, Rep. Giffords, was the kind of Democract who appealed to a large number of Republicans, being (as Harnden points out) a deficit hawk, someone who voted to lift the ban on guns in Washington DC and who voted against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. If anything, Rep. Giffords created more anger among Democrats than Republicans, which is why a blogger at the left wing DailyKos blog said that Giffords was ‘dead to me‘ for failing to back Pelosi.

Hawes is also wrong to suggest democracy requires consensus. In fact, consensus undermines democracy because it stymies healthy adversarial politics which provides people with political alternatives. Consensus has been used by the political class to ensure the voting public is presented with nothing more than an opportunity to change the faces of MPs while leaving the direction of the country unchanged.

The piece goes on to say that violence should never be part of political rhetoric. Yet the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems in this country have all been guilty of it. Remember all the talk in recent elections of decpatitation strategies and George Osborne referring to the attempt to defeat Ed Balls as a castration strategy? In a nation where guns are a way of life, gun related metaphors can only be expected, even if they appear unseemly in countries like ours that have been disarmed through legislation. But the metaphors are not an incitement to murder politicians with whom people are dissatisfied or that political opponents hate each other personally.

Hawes then says that if politicians have to be concerned about being attacked for supporting a particular line then democracy is failing. This line in particular really rankles. Democracy is failing, but not for the reason he offers. Look at Britain. With all three main parties singing loudly from the same hymn sheet on the central political issues of the day, such as the being governed by the EU, taxation, state interference etc. the electorate is being denied democratic alternatives. The people we have asked to serve and represent us are ignoring us.

No number of letters to MPs and Councillors, campaigns, petitions, demonstrations and marches to signal our discontent or insistence in a change of direction by our representatives have any effect. The political class is determined to tell us what is best for us and impose it upon us regardless of what we think. That is what is subverting democracy and needs to be tackled, not the act of a lunatic.

The attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords, resulting in the death of at least six people, was horrific. It was the act of a deranged man or men. But it should not be used as an excuse by media outlets or individuals to build strawmen to knock down, further agendas or seek to make political capital. Such behaviour is disgraceful.

I feel nothing but sympathy for the families and friends of those whose lives have been cruelly snatched from them and I hope Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of that maniac who are being treated in hospital make full, swift recoveries.

They have lost their fear, so we must lose ours

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Dr Richard North of EU Referendum examines why the people who serve us just don’t give a damn. The central thrust is that our public servants have lost their fear of us and now feel they are our masters. As North explains:

It is my belief that the rot starts at the top. But for answers, you need to go back to the great Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

He saw how the people and their governments should relate, declaring: ‘When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.’

There lies my conclusion, gained from a lifetime of experience at all levels of -government. Our ‘rulers’ have lost their fear.

You have only to go down to the Houses of Parliament or Downing Street to see this. Our masters have retreated behind concrete barricades, blastproof windows, policemen with machine guns, armoured limousines and riot police.

The political classes are now a gated community. They feel safe. They are not afraid of us.

Have you noticed in recent years how public service doors are increasingly closed to us? How previously open avenues to simple solutions to problems have been put off limits and we are forced to accept complicated and bureaucratic rules that serve every interest but ours? How the distance between us and those previously accessible people responsible for those who deliver our services has widened to the extent they are now completely out of reach?

The services we pay a huge sum of money to have delivered are performed by people who want the money that comes with the job without the need to do the job. It is blatant contempt. Only a trivial anecdote maybe, but my request to speak with the headmistress at Mind Jr’s school was rejected out of hand. I was told she did not meet with parents, that is the job of the head of year and the deputy head.

Another many readers will be familiar with concerns our binmen.  Previously these rugged men would march up your garden path, grab a heavy metal bin and swing it over their shoulder, march it to the rubbish vehicle and empty it, before bringing the bin back and picking up anything that may have been dropped. Now? You must put your bin out on the pavement so pedestrians cannot pass. If the lid is partially open it gets left. If the bin is not fully on the path it is left. If the bin is not brought in that same day you risk being fined. Some authorities task binmen with rummaging through the bins to see what is being thrown away and if there is anything in the bin they say should not be there, a red sticker is affixed and the bin is again left.

Letters to MPs and Councillors, campaigns, petitions, demonstrations and marches to signal our discontent or insistence in a change of direction by our representatives are sneered at and ignored. Government creates teams to ‘nudge’ us into doing what government wants us to do, rather than what we want to do. The democratic process changes nothing because the alternative political parties capable of winning an election comprise a cosy consensus so the only thing that changes are the faces.

They know it. We know it. But the charade continues as too many of us foolishly play the game by their rules and believe they can bring about change by doing so.

The only thing that has changed, as North says, is that they have lost their fear – while too many of us are too scared to act. They will not give anything to us while we do what they want us too. The time has come to turn the tables and assert our power. If we want our country back we need to lose our fear. They will not give us anything. We must take it.

The people of America did not cast off the British yoke by playing by London’s rules. They declared their independence and literally fought for their freedom. History is littered with examples of people rebelling and removing rulers who ignored the wishes of the people.

Due to their arrogance, the political class in this country think it could not happen here. They believe they are immune. This is Britain, after all. If their abuse of the law and corruption of democracy continues from behind their barricaded positions then must lose our fear and prove them stunningly wrong.

Ford Prison riot underlines government incompetence

News of the riot at Ford Open Prison in Sussex will not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed events there over recent years.

The ‘inmates’ rioted because prison officers had the temerity to attempt to administer breath tests after alcohol was found in the prison. Any attempt by an offender in an open prison to evade such a test should result in automatic return to a higher category prison, but there is no effective sanction. The system at Ford is so lax and lacking in basic resources it has previously experienced problems with burglars going into the prison to steal items. Documents have also been removed by ‘inmates’ due to the lax conditions. For years there have been repeated reports of drugs, alcohol and mobile phones being taken into Ford at will, despite these items being banned as they should be in a prison. But Ford is a prison in name only.

‘Prisoners’ come and go almost at will, irrespective of the terms of their resettlement release, because their rooms are unlocked and it is easy to leave the grounds. Many wander out at night to buy drink and drugs, blatantly flouting the regulations. The place is a government run holiday camp that far from preparing offenders for release back into society practically leaves them to their own devices when they are not working in the vegetable plots or the workshops.

But what else can we expect when over 200 ‘inmates’ are being supervised by only two prison officers and four support staff? Is it any wonder over 70 ‘inmates’ absconded in 2006 alone? Is it any wonder that a soft soap attempt to enforce the no alcohol rules among Ford’s ‘non violent’ offenders resulted in a riot, destruction of facilities and arson?

This is what happens when those in authority are not in charge and are continually starved by the government of the resources and manpower required to ensure the prison is run as it should be. The incompetence of successive governments is inexplicible given the tough talk about criminal justice. But when you understand that the promises are just rhetoric and the politicians have no intention of following through on their campaign pledges it all becomes clear.

Incidents like this give people opportunities to say that prison doesn’t work. Prison does work, but only when the regime is effective and offenders are rehabilitated in a disciplined environment. Ford is anything but a disciplined environment and that is the fault of governments who squander money on vanity projects but starve services essential in a civilised society of what they need.

Hammond: Buy an electric car, I’m keeping my Jag

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond showed up the double standards of spinning politicians on Sky News this morning when asked if he would be giving up his diesel Jaguar and buying one of the new Nissan Leaf vehicles or other electric cars he wants us to buy with a subsidy of up to £5,000 per vehicle. Watch him duck and dive as he tries to avoid saying ‘good God no’. The message is clear, electric cars are for ‘other people’ and are not good enough for great people like Hammond.

Hanging would be too good for them

If you have a couple of minutes spare, read this account of the rows and scheming between Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy, Jose Manuel Barroso and Peter Mandelson over the allocation of jobs in the EU, as outlined in a new book by Dr Anthony Seldon.

Once you have read it ask yourself the following question… how does any of this ferrets in a sack nonsense benefit the British people or advance our interests? The EU is about political power, by politicians for politicians, with the bill picked up by the taxpayers. Their interests have nothing to do with our interests. These people are nothing but parasites feeding off us for their own gain.

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