I’ll see you in court, but where is the court?

Bringing justice (or at least law) to the people has always been one of the prime duties of any government. Governments can only function on the basis that the law will mostly be obeyed and that the rule of law will prevail and that the rule of law is without exceptions; it applies to the ordinary citizen and to the government. If the people cannot have their cases promptly and efficiently heard, or if the hearing of those cases is too expensive for people to pay, then the rule of law is damaged, badly.

At one time governments organised the dispensing of justice to try those accused of crime and to settle disputes by arranging for a group of justices (with counsel and other legal people, to tour sections of the country on assizes. Continue reading

I read the News Today, Oh Boy!

If you live in the United Kingdom and read the newspapers or watch the news on television or listen to news on the radio you would be under the impression that the main item of news is politics and not even the events of politicians but predictions and opinions about politics. If politicians are about to make some announcement, that is news and trailed. When those politicians make the actual announcement, then that is also apparently news and is doubly reported; once the announcement has been made a commentator (inevitably a journalist ) opines on the announcement.

At one time, news was about Continue reading

The Old Forgotten Skills

The skills that human beings require change radically over the millennia. I would not be successful at hunting, farming making textiles or building a shelter any more than a person two thousand years ago could do any of the divers tasks that I have to do each day.  I suppose that I could learn skills that my ancestors had eventually and perhaps even make do after a fashion.

Today we teach the young to be adaptable because we expect that they will have to frequently learn new skills in order to make their livings.  Few are the jobs that will last a working lifetime. For example, surgeons, cooks, drivers of cars and lawyers will eventually be replaced (wholly or partially) by robots. Continue reading

Referendum Sophistry

Parliament cannot decide what to do about Brexit. The people have already decided but Parliament will not implement the decision of the people. Some scream “another vote, a people’s vote, that is democracy”.

If there has to be another vote then there should be just two questions: Continue reading

Climate Change Protests

Like many Londoners I have been inconvenienced by the climate change protestors. I am sure that they do not care much and would hold that wasting a few hours of my time or causing me to walk a few extra miles is nothing compared to the threat to humanity and to all who live on the earth that climate change will bring. Continue reading

Demography Democracy and Gerrymandering

It seems to me that politicians arguing against Brexit do so because they cannot achieve their political aims by democracy as it exists in the United Kingdom but they can achieve their political aims by the rule of the European Union, if EU law over rides the law of these islands.

For example, we can look at the issue of environmental policy. The UK has generally adopted environmental policies that are not terribly helpful to the environment. The EU has apparently adopted slightly more helpful environmental policies. Therefore the political parties who favour more helpful to the environment policies prefer EU rule to the rule of a democratic United Kingdom. Therefore they are against Brexit because they cannot achieve their ends through the UK ballot box.

Certain politicians believe that the rights of employees should overwhelming prevail against the rights of employers. If the UK is left as a self governing nation there is a real risk that at some time in the future democracy through the elections at the ballot box will adversely change workers rights whereas they are confident that the EU, an autocratic bureaucracy, will be much less likely to do this, and so they are against Brexit.

There are other examples in areas of economic policy, taxation and laws. In essence those against Brexit generally oppose Brexit because they do not trust the voters of the United Kingdom to adhere to their favoured policies, but they can trust the EU or so they think.

Now the policies of those against Brexit may be marvelous or may be appalling. I do not make that judgment. The point I make is that it is for voters in a state to decide (more or less) what policies of what government the state should enact.

Those against Brexit are merely gerrymandering on a grand scale.They prefer to manipulate electoral boundaries so as to favour the rule of the EU over the democratically elected governments of the United Kingdom.

So democracy is out voted by an institution which really has no ideals other than economic ideals. The famous “four freedoms of the EU are all ones that we would not normally consider as freedoms at all. They are the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons within the EU. These are not what we traditionally think of as freedoms. We think of life, liberty, freedom of expression and freedom to elect those who govern us.  The four so called freedoms of the EU do no more than provide what large corporations and multinationals require – trading, finance and a work force. These so called freedoms are not to be enjoyed by those outside the EU. A freedom is a universal concept that should apply to everyone, not a local concept applying to members of a club.

Sovereignty of a nation is hard won. Many of the EU member states won their sovereignty as a result of sacrifices made by the United Kingdom and the United States. Others won their sovereignty as a result financial expenditure by the UK and the USA on defence, which ultimately wore out the old USSR.

The concept of sovereignty is an important one in a democratic context. If there is no sovereignty in a state there cannot be democracy there, and if there is no democracy then we as individuals cannot enjoy our individuality.

 

 

Trends In Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The latest measurements from the Earth System Research Laboratory show that in November 2018 the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide was 408.02 ppm compare with the November 2017 measurement which was  405.12 ppm. There are many figures that try to show carbon dioxide emissions but most of these rely on estimates, albeit highly scholarly estimates. The ESRL actually measures atmospheric content of carbon dioxide and using its measurements we can establish that the trend is continuing for there to be higher and higher proportions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, notwithstanding of all humanity’s rather futile attempts to lower carbon dioxide emissions by carbon trading schemes, treaties, and the like.

We are beginning, I believe, to see the results of the higher concentrations of CO2 in our weather; the climate in many places is slowly and surely changing although we do not yet know if the changes will be benign or malignant. It is unlikely that they will produce, on the whole, more benign weather, as traditional people have settled in places where the weather is kind and predictable and built in those places to take account of those conditions, and not more severe conditions.

The Earth System Research Laboratory will not, in the short term at least, be able to provide any more measurements about global CO2 concentrations, due to the deadlock between the US President and Congress which has led to a partial government shutdown. The US is at odds with itself about building a wall on its border with Mexico ostensibly to prevent unlawful immigration. Last Summer, the President suggested that the wall, when built, might be covered in solar panels generating electricity and providing an income to offset a small part of the cost of wall building. We have not heard too much of any development of this idea.

Some calculations indicate that the electricity generated could power 220,000 homes, although no allowance in these calculations seems to have been made of the intermittent nature of the electricity generated.