Sunday, 26 December 2010

And THAT is the problem!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


microdave said...

A damn good post, thank you.

Witterings From Witney said...

microdave: My pleasure!

Autonomous Mind said...

Well said.

Now, where does our vaunted mainstream media assemble this information in one place so people clearly understand what the government is doing?

Silly me. I keep forgetting, we need bloggers to publish this while the media sucks up to the political class in the hope of the occasional exclusive.


Witterings From Witney said...

Thanks AM, for your comment. Lucky for me it has been picked up by Richard North which will help to increase circulation!

Chris Edwards said...

Thanks for depressing me on boxing day! sadly you are so, so right, for me? I have given up on the british bulldog and gone to Canada who are 15 years behind the socialist times and looking at Toronto going "backwards" fast! I can only see Churchillian blood sweat and tears in the english future and that will only assure a future at all not a comfortable one. Holly shit if the bulldog can be roused (if it does I will have to come back and join it) there will be blood on the streets , hopefully that of the political elites first.
As for the old media, I would hesitate to call it mainstream any more, more disused branch in railway terms, it is deserving of the american reference for the media outside fox, ie "kept whores" for that is all hey are now. Off topic I went to Whitney Tech in the 1970s, nice place then!

Witterings From Witney said...

CE: Apols for depressing you on Boxing Day - being on my own, got bored and started looking for something to write about.

I am all for taking to the streets etc, but difficult to 'organise'! Do think it won't be long though!

You would not recognise Witney now, regrettably, not that I was here in the 70s, but have seen photos. I been here just 6 years and seen changes for the worst in that time!

Having great fun at the moment making myself a pain in the butt for my local MP - David Cameron!

Sassoferrato said...

And now to site in my Boys antitank rifle,
You Sir have put into words what my thought process could not.
Thank You.
George Tetley

Witterings From Witney said...

Sass: Many thanks to you for visiting and your kind comment.

Anonymous said...

I dream every night of buying a machine gun and slipping into the House of Commons and gunning them all down. They do not deserve to live let alone govern this wonderful country - that was. We need a UKIP government for about 4-5 years to get us out of the EU and then you can all go back to your red or blue rosettes but for God's sake put UKIP in to stick two fingers up to the EU and have a bonfire of the directives.

Witterings From Witney said...

Anonymous: When they have experienced the promised land they wont want their blue red yellow rosettes!