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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Light dawns on the Political Class

For the second time in about a week there are signs that the issues that are driving the electorate, and to which the political elites have been so far blind and deaf, are finally emerging into their consciousness. Today it is Janet Daley in the Telegraph who shines the torch - and I hope the 'graph will forgive me for quoting her at greater length than is normal here;
(Parliament's failure to deliver Brexit) is not the real democratic scandal. The discussion that should be dominating the public debate is whether true self-government within nation states can remain possible in an age of globalisation. In a world where international players dominate economic and geopolitical reality, can the idea of an elected government accountable to its own populations survive?

The Remain lobby says, in so many words, that it cannot. Indeed, this is their principle argument: the world is too big for parochial little guys who want to make their own way with their own leaders making decisions on their behalf. At least, that is what they say when they deign to argue at all. Mostly they just smear their Leave opponents as bigoted know-nothings. But the terms of that abuse all add up to this one significant point: Britain cannot go it alone in the way for which it has been renowned, with only its unique institutions and the judgement of its own population to guide it. The world is a different place now: you have to belong to a much bigger conglomerate whose authority must take precedence over your piddling little outfit if you are to have any chance of competing for business, making your mark, having your voice heard, etc, etc.

This may or may not be true. (Most of the factual evidence suggests that it is not.) Either way, it is the argument that must be called out. It must be seen for what it is with all its deeply unattractive implications. This is what the case for Remain really amounts to: the democratic nation state is the past. The corporatist global bloc is the future.
There you have it. It is a political division between Globalists and Internationalists, between those who believe in the supremacy of supranational organisations such as the EU, IMF and UN and those who believe in the supremacy of the nation State. Can we determine our own future or must our potential, our wealth, the rewards for our children all be decided in the boardrooms of the global corporates and the corrupt plenums of unelected technocratic supranationalists?

What is considered to be extraordinary but actually isn't is the extent to which we - the ordinary folk, the little people - are alive to the key issues when the patrician elite at the centre of power are blind and deaf to them. We, after all, are the first to be affected; we are neither dumb cattle nor ill-educated political fodder. We are intensely sensitive to the things that matter. As Daley writes
It is that inexorable logic that is sensed by so many of the dissident “populist” forces in Europe and even beyond the EU. For there is a critical loss of confidence in government in much of the democratic West: a sense that what was once one’s own country is being run by some world-dominating club to serve its own interests, and that this global hegemony regards ordinary people with contempt (“They don’t care what we think”.)
We have fought long and hard for democracy, for the secret ballot and universal suffrage, for the freedom to form and associate in political parties. That is why Farage's simple message - It's Democracy - resonates so strongly through every part of the electorate.

And Daley is quite right - until our parties align as either Globalist or Internationalist, we will not have a settled demos.


DiscoveredJoys said...

It was bad enough being swept up into the EU' proto-empire through 'ever closer union'. I have absolutely no desire to be swept along into an 'Empire of the World' (although that would take quite a long time to pull off).

I can even see the attraction of an 'Empire of the World'... but the evidence to date, the British Empire, the League of Nations, the current United Nations, the EU, the USSR, suggest that there's a size beyond which the self interested and wreckers become more and more powerful, and eventually the experiment falls apart under it's own weight.

Is the nation state the optimum solution? Maybe yes, maybe no. International trade is generally a good thing, it generally reduces warfare, but there are few checks and balances. Democratic control is still necessary, which means that nation states are still necessary. Goldilocks nation states, neither too big nor too small.

RAC said...

"And Daley is quite right - until our parties align as either Globalist or Internationalist, we will not have a settled demos."

A party that was purely globalist, and honest about its intentions, would be unelectable. That, I suggest, is why we have the mess we have now. Globalists will infect any party, see the liars fighting Brexit now. Coming in under the radar is the way they get near power.
TBP and any Reformed Conservatives need to thoroughly vet candidates. There would have to be devised a mechanism whereby voters in conjunction with the parties could take swift action to remove and replace any globalist implants.

Dadad1 said...

The political elites are not blind and deaf; they are actually campaigning to keep us in the EU and have always done so. That's why they hate Farage so much.

Dave_G said...

Raed said: we are neither dumb cattle nor ill-educated political fodder.

Sadly, enough people are to make a difference i.e. Remainers, Labour voters, Greens etc (of course there are also many Tories of the same ilk too).

I cannot emphasise enough that it is the media that 'pull the wool over our eyes' and lead many people by the nose to the wrong conclusion, usually based on lies and obfuscation.

As an example, I watched a BBC News report on 'the rise of the far right' and at no time did it ask or answer the question WHY? Apart from the deliberate misrepresentation of anything slightly right of mainstream being 'far' right, the whole article was biased towards showing ordinary people, with ordinary concerns acting like 'fascists' in their choice of Government (they showed Orban in Hungary as one example).

This was our National News Service that is supposed to be unbiased, balanced and accurate but, as we all know and acknowledge, they are co-opted to the Globalist way as are the MSM - and, let's not beat about the bush (bring on the accusations) they are almost wholly owned by people of a particular persuasion (another subject for another time perhaps).

Those that are neither dumb cattle nor ill-educated political fodder are poorly 'advised' if I want to be generous towards their intelligence but the issue of Globalisation would be SETTLED if more people knew of and understood the consequences of Globalist motives. They aren't going to get that information from the BBC/MSM but those institutions have a disproportionate effect on decisions.

Cheerful Edward said...

One problem is that no politician has the guts to stand up and to nail the problem.

That is, that the UK has millions of cynical, morally degenerate people, only too willing to service the primitive, dark-hearted side of their natures, and who find lying low-life like Farage very convenient.

As I have said, they often don't really believe the tripe that he peddles. But claiming that they do gives them an excuse for their viciousness.

We have seen it all before.

The James O'Briens of this world are rather too kind.

Raedwald said...

Ah, the familiar Sneer and Smear that is all the Remain side can come up with

The intellectual bankruptcy of the Remainers is staggering. No reasoned arguments, no countervailing positions, no cogent dialogue - just this gutter Sneer and Smear.

Well, it simply doesn't work. Three more days of it will be like water off a duck's back.

Mr Ecks said...

Arrogance such as yours needs to be forcibly removed from you Cheesy. A civil war is perhaps what is really needed in this nation. A chance to settle with treasonous trash like you would not be unwelcome.

Radders-- Cheese reveals himself as an arrogant remainiac puke and troll--all pretense of debate is now ended. I suggest it is time he was gone for good.

RAC said...

Don't allow him/her/it to goad you Ecky, two more shots then it's dead trolls click.

Span Ows said...

Indeed, yesterday's three somments by Ed were soooo desperate and patently worded to get someone to feed it, nobody did, which was great.

@Dadad1, 10:40

"The political elites are not blind and deaf; they are actually campaigning to keep us in the EU and have always done so. That's why they hate Farage so much."

Bingo and this makes their actions all the worse.

RAC said...

Thoughts on getting rid of misfit M.P.'s.
Have the party draw up a list of suitable candidates but don't have voting for individual candidates.
Voting to be for the party who, if it wins the seat, will place the best candidate on the list.
The successful candidate will be retained by the party as a self employed short term contractor, they will have the same duties and powers of an M.P.
Payment will be from the same source but will be routed through the party.
Written into the contract will be the clause that the contract can be terminated at any time without cause, by giving seven days notice.
The misfit can be taken out of the loop and put counting paper clips for a week whilst the next inline candidate from the list is spun up to speed.
Quick change over no bye election no problems.
May sound Orwellian, communistic even but would scare off troughers and trouble makers.
Wouldn't trouble genuine candidates and would deal with the few implants who did blag their way in.

Cheerful Edward said...

There's the small matter of Banks's £450,000, undeclared on the MEPs interests, for Farage to explain between now and polling day.

Not that some of his voters will care one jot about his rule-breaking or dishonesty, being the cynical, moral degenerates that they are.

But the polls are reliable of a sudden, are they? What happened to May's 21% lead in 2017?

Stephen J said...

@Dadad1 and Span Ows:

Very true, they regard globalisation as inevitable and for them it is a race to be the first to create a slave state, perhaps even the model for the others to emulate.

It is up to ornery folk across the planet to try to thwart the communitarian projects, wherever they spring up, and there will be more, after the EU has been beaten back.

Some people have suggested here that avoiding foreign produce is something they have been starting to do... It starts with the left boycotting South African or Israeli oranges and hopefully ends with all sensible people being more community minded rather than communitarian minded.

In other words try to source stuff from down the road, rather than on the other side of the planet and keep communities operating so that communitarians can't turn us all into "soupers". This does not entail cutting of noses or spiting of faces, clearly if you need to source from further away, it is better than the above.

Unlike globalisation this does not require forcing, or even nudging... It is normal human tribal behaviour.

Anonymous said...

"Have the party draw up a list of suitable candidates but don't have voting for individual candidates.
Voting to be for the party who, if it wins the seat, will place the best candidate on the list."

That would be the worst possible way to elect a representative for a constituency.

We need to be able to choose a local individual, preferably not a party member, by his or her experience, record and character. It is voting for parties that has produced the current crop of liars, crooks and incompetents at Westminster.

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

Time to revive Tony Benn's 5 questions to powerful people:

What power have you got?
Where did you get it from?
In whose interests do you exercise it?
To whom are you accountable?
And how can we get rid of you?

DeeDee99 said...

Mandelson told us this over a decade ago when he said that we are now in the post-democratic world.

Cheerful Edward said...


"Time to revive Tony Benn's 5 questions to powerful people"

Yes, and in the context of campaigning power (money, that is), let's ask exactly those of Farage eh?

What power - money - have you got?
Where did you get it from?... we can only guess
In whose interests do you exercise it?...ditto
To whom are you accountable?...ditto
And how can we get rid of you?...that's up to the UK popular, US-owned media, not us.

Dadad1 said...

I've always thought that asking Benn's 5 questions of the EU reveals the paucity of the leavers' position. Indeed, I voted leave mainly because I cannot vote the EU commissioners out. There's just no democracy there.

John Brown said...

I agree with Don Cox above that a party list system (viz pure proportional representation (PPR)) is the very worst possible way to elect our representatives in Parliament as the elected will have no care at all for their constituency but only for party allegiance.

I believe a better system than either FPTP or PPR is AV (Alternative Vote) as it combines proportional representation with the benefits (in my opinion) of a single MP representing a specific constituency (as in FPTP).

It enables voters to vote for whom they really want, so that their real preference is recorded, followed by voting if necessary for the least worst option (as in FPTP in many cases).

The winning candidate has always over 50% of the votes cast, far more democratic than the FPTP system.

It also stops the ridiculous scenario where a constituency does not get the representation they want through vote splitting.

It is a shame we did not vote for it when we had the chance.

wg said...

Several thoughts (with apologies to Raedwald for its length)

@Cheesy Ed - how much of the European people's taxes has been wasted on propagandising for the EU?

@RAC - brilliant point: make MPs subject to conditions such as Short Term Contracts - just like many of the electorate. Let them feel and fear the real world.

On Tony Benn - his arguments on democracy are more relevant than ever: trace back any small NGO that claims to be caring about our ‘liberties’ or ‘rights’ and there is an almost inevitability that those NGOs will be affiliated to, or financed by a big NGO with the word ‘Open’ attached to their title - and the financing will be supplied by a well know currency speculator.

For me, one of my favourite Twitter commenters has summed up how I feel.

A certain Sam Hooper, in a blog post, has made the point (and I just take out the relevant bit) “…that Brexit – in all its halting, stop-start awkwardness – is the first significant attempt by any country to answer the question of how a modern nation state can reconcile the technocratic demands of global trade with the need to preserve meaningful democracy.”

This last point is exactly what our politicians should be addressing: instead they are posturing and protecting their own positions.

The People are right - again!

Cheerful Edward said...

Tony Benn's son, Hilary, would appear to be satisfied that his father's concerns have been addressed, wouldn't he?

As for those five questions to the EU Commissioners, since the answer to first is "very little" and then "from the EU Parliament" the rest become moot, don't they?

Span Ows said...

Misery Ed...that white fluffy stuff you see is clouds, that birdsong you hear is a cuckoo.

leila said...

A point to mention to Cheesy It's a decade since Dim McBruin sold our gold at two prices The 1st low and the second lower when he announced his intention, just after the 1st auction to sell more. I have wanted to know why for 10 years and why he was allowed to retire on full pension after such a gaff. (actually even worse he snuck in like Maybot to become PM!)

Cheerful Edward said...

The only material, independent power that the EU Commissioners have is to issue directives, in accordance with the laws to which they relate, passed by both the EU Parliament and by the Council. If you look at most UK Acts, they have clauses such as "Ministers may make rules" which is much the same thing.

You can't vote for or out out any of the UK Law Commissioners, the judiciary, the HoL, the Head Of State, or as for its office-holder, the PM either directly, plus many more powerful positions, such as SG of NATO. And the EU Commissioners only operate within the limited remit of the Treaties.

You're making a load of silly fuss about very little, but that is exactly, upon what this whole EU-phobia thing is based.

Mark The Skint Sailor said...

But Cheerful Edward,

If as you state the EU makes so few laws and affects such a small proportion of our lives, why is it that Brenda the hairdresser on the high street has to use EU-certified electrical equipment? Why does the EU get involved in the wattage of the vacuum cleaner she uses to hoover up the hair on the salon floor? Why has the EU legislated the wattage and type of the bulbs she uses to light her salon? She doesn't trade with the EU, so why does have to comply with EU directives?
Why does Kathy in the café next door have to comply with EU directives on food hygiene? She's not exporting cake and coffee to the EU, so why does the EU impinge on her business so much, adding costs?
The list goes on... in every business you will find EU legislation. Don't like it? Tough, you have no recourse. Vote for a different representative? they don't make the law, only the unelected EU Commission does that. Get your MEP to block legislation? Good luck with that, they can only suggest modifications and they are but one amongst hundreds that will pass the legislation.

RAC said...

The EU does not *YET* legislate on:
Crime and punishment.
Family and Divorce.
Land, property, and inheritance.
Traffic and parking regulations.
Town and country planning.
Professional standards in medicine, law, etc.
Public administration.
Electoral matters.
Legislative procedures and constitutional matters, parliamentary standards.
Media regulation.
Trade unions and employment law, except for H&S.
General contract law.
Health and education provision.
Regulation of privatised utilities etc., except where goods/services offered fall under Single Market rules.

There fixed it for you

Cheerful Edward said...

Yes, with a replacement for the Lisbon Treaty it could do those things, but how many member countries - every one of which would have a veto - would want that?

Span Ows said...

Replacement? Not necessary. Ah, that veto long?