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Monday, 21 October 2019

The enemy within - the democracy-deniers

I have posted here previously on my concerns over a potential lack of confidence in democracy amongst the young. Several polls have suggested consistently that there is a gulf between the younger and older in our nation in the degree to which the fundamentals of democracy are valued. I hold that universal suffrage, the secret ballot and the right to associate and form political parties are together one of the most profound achievements of human civilisation; some folk don't share this faith in fair decision making in our society.

The benign rule of technocratic experts is a model of anti-democracy much beloved of supranational organisations. Why bother with popular opinion, campaigning for elections, allowing actual people to vote as they like? Surely like-minded well qualified experts can rule their subjects to ensure the best possible outcomes for the maximum number? It is not extraordinary that those who who belong to or support such organisations should believe this, but I am genuinely mystified as to why this form of anti-democratic serfdom would appeal to any subject person with more than one brain cell. Yet apparently it does - and the young, who should in a healthy society be the most intolerant of all of authority, would seem to be amongst them.

I am old enough to remember Franco ruling a Spain that had been politically and culturally shut off from democratic Europe since 1939. When tourism could be resisted no longer, from the early 1970s, the social impact was akin to dropping a lump of Sodium in water. The harsh, backward rule of a Catholic church complicit in fascism (unelected technocratic experts who thought they knew best what was good for people), a population fearful of the secret police and the night-time hammering at the door, could not withstand the bikini and the transistor radio. Democracy is contagious.

And in my heavy-smoking days when Spain sold cheap fags, the £60 cost of a day-return trip to Barcelona with easyjet was exactly equivalent to the saving of UK duty on just one single carton of cigarettes. The aircraft left Gatwick at about 7am and Barcelona at about 4pm, allowing for a leisurely lunch in the Ramblas and to be home in time for Eastenders. There were always little tents and roped off areas in the large expanse of flat, scrubby wasteland between the city and the airport; only later did I find that they were exhuming the remains of the victims of Franco's death squads, clearing the ground for development. That made me value democracy even more.

I am fearful of the anti-democrats within our nation; the propaganda lies of broadcasters, the intolerance of the snowflake generation, the violence of the Soy Boys, the coarse, bullying ignorance of those who would sell their democratic inheritance for a Eurorail pass. The anti-democrats, the democracy-deniers, are truly the enemy within, and we must defend from their assaults with our every breath our democratic rights and freedoms.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

People -v- Parliament III

Yesterday our rogue parliament had one chance to redeem itself. Whether or not you agree with Boris' deal, it was the very best that was available and leaving the EU without some sort of agreement is a damning failure of statecraft for a mature democracy. Up until now, the public perception of blame for the Brexit fiasco could be split between an intransigent Brussels and a petulant parliament. Yesterday that all changed. Now it is solely our own anti-democratic MPs who will go down in history as narcissistic zealots of the worst sort, jejune attention seekers bloated with hubris and self-righteousness, inflated with pompous self-worth and messianic delusions.

Yesterday they had one chance to redeem themselves. Had they swallowed the government motion even at this late stage, they could have won back a large part of the utter contempt in which they are held by the people of this country. The nation's relief at closure, at moving forward, would have acted to lift substantially the opprobrium covering parliament like a steaming blanket of ordure.

Instead they have condemned themselves to nemesis at the hands of the electorate, an electorate revolted and disgusted by their abuse of democracy, their abuse of the ordinary people of this nation. Letwin has no future anywhere. Business, industry, finance and the penumbral shadows of the grey men of the deep state were all behind this deal; everyone in this country with any power and influence backed this resolution. Letwin is now friendless, unless one counts the few mentally-ill ranters and painted idiots clustered on College Green. They are hardly in a position to compensate for the directorships and sinecures he will now have lost now after his constituency voters have also scorned and rejected him.

By their actions yesterday, parliament and its little bent Speaker have shown that they are not worthy even of the pretence of polite regard. The contempt shown to them by the government and Conservative benches yesterday should be repeated until they are gone. The time for the polite pretence of listening to their deluded bombast is past. Let their inanities echo around an empty chamber for another week or so, with their gurning fool Bercow squirming in the Chair. We can't be bothered with them any longer. They are nothing.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Will they or won't they?

It's now up to MPs. Either they swallow the Boris deal and we leave at the end of the month, or they vote it down and we're in unknown territory again. Personally I reckon Boris has played a blinder. Juncker would not have made clear his support for no further extension if he had not been reasonably certain that at least one of the 27 was so much on his wavelength as to veto the necessary unanimous decision of the council that would be necessary.

I won't rehash all the acres of newsprint on this. It's not a good treaty and it's not a treaty that will last for long, I suspect - but it gets us out and it starts the process. As a contributor keeps reminding me, after forty years Brexit is not an event but a process and if it takes ten years to unwind completely then so be it. But we must start somewhere and here is the best we can get.

I can offer only the same message as the Express this morning.


Thursday, 17 October 2019

Catalonia, Kurdistan .. we either believe in self-determination or we don't

As our own struggle to free ourselves from the adhesive embrace of the anti-democratic nascent empire of the EU reaches its climax, I think we must spare a few thoughts from those elsewhere equally determined to assert their freedom and identity.

The right to self determination was first penned in modern times by Churchill and Roosevelt in August 1941, long before America entered the war and when Britain faced its darkest hours. The Atlantic Charter is a document of enormous hope and of confidence in the triumph of good and right over the dark and evil authoritarianism that had enveloped Europe;
..Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;
After the victorious alliance founded a permanent United Nations organisation, Article 1 of the New UN Charter signed in 1945 stated
To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
Of course what constitutes a 'people' is open to debate, but I believe that most of us will be able to recognise a genuine claim to a distinct identity and one that is contrived. Thus we can agree that Scotland, Wales and Ireland are distinct from England, but perhaps not that Wessex is so distinguished. The Kurds have a strong claim to self-determination, their people spread across largely artificial borders drawn after the Great War so that they are divided between Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The Catalans in the east of the neck of the Iberian peninsula have a claim at least equal to the basques in the west.

Self determination is an anathema to the global supremicists, who would abolish all national borders, all distinct national identities, to achieve a homogeneous mass of subjects of global government, global corporatism and global law and administration at the hands of a priestly caste of unelected experts. They dismiss self determination as 'nationalism' just as they dismiss democracy as 'populism'.

Well, I'm on the side of self determination. As a democrat and a localist you would expect no less of me. And the EU? They will side with those suppressing freedom, those imposing the authoritarian rule of conquest on their subject peoples. You would expect no more from them. If the Catalans imagine they will find support in Brussels, they are cruelly deceived.  

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Are we there yet? II

Yes, it's a question we've asked before. This time, no one seems to know. Everyone on our side is terrified that Boris will have given away too much, whilst the Remainers are praying that Boris won't concede enough to allow the EU to change May's Surrender Treaty, thus giving them scope for a second cancelling Referendum (which they will lose if it allows a single Leave option).

No one can get angry until the deal is published. We don't know what the deal proposes. Journalists know no more than I do - they stood outside the Berlaymont last night counting the lit windows and reporting the times at which the lights went out (most by 2.30, it seems).

So our barrels are charged with powder and shot, slow match is burning, and we are waiting. Ready to douse the match and fetch the shot-screw or otherwise.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The BBC's hubris will lead to nemesis

Channel Four news has broadcast footage of their reporters being scoffed at and refused interviews by both Boris and Arron Banks - the Arron footage is classic. They imagined that the public would be outraged that politicians had dared to defy the power of the news, but instead most folk just shrugged. Everyone knows that C4 News is deeply biased against both the Conservatives and Brexit - what do they expect?

When Boris went straight to Facebook to take public questions the BBC's Nick Robinson accused him of using methods common to dictators "down the ages". Up to a point, Nick - only those from the 20th century onwards, surely. Unless Tiberius had technology available to him we know nothing about. Robinson's jejune petulance and public silliness was because Boris had shown that ministers don't need the BBC.

The only reason a government minister gives a TV or radio interview is if their government / party gets more out of it than it costs them. There is no public right for angry Remainer journalists to harangue, insult, bully and demean their Brexit opponents in public just because they have control of the airwaves. There is certainly no obligation on anyone in public life to subject themselves to it.

The BBC's naked bias over Brexit has cost it the right to be a national broadcaster funded by the licence fee. The Charter must not be renewed in 2027 - and the sooner the lumbering behemoth adapts for life after the TV tax, the less the grief for all. 

Monday, 14 October 2019

Brexit to the sound of trumpets

Well, HM has just broadcast our Party's draft election manifesto to the nation - and it didn't cost a farthing of our permitted election spend. I lost count at 24 Bills - it may be 26 - and every single one a feel-good, popular measure that reaches across traditional party allegiances and touches the parts of voters that other parties cannot reach. Labour, the Illiberal Anti-Democrats and the Scot Gnats will be furious - and I'll be listening to the debate in a couple of hours to laugh at the dribbling meltdown on the opposition benches.

That's the price of not enabling a general election - every single day they delay allows the government to use the entire machinery of Whitehall and the State to build voter support.  Their spittle-flecked fury this afternoon will go down like a lead balloon with the electorate - they will just be reinforcing Boris' narrative that the Remainers are unhinged, bigoted saboteurs with little self control and no potential whatsoever to fulfil the duties of HM's Loyal Opposition, let alone be seen as a government in waiting. 

Carry on, Corbyn. You're doing a fine job.