On Governments

In the United Kingdom we are governed by governments chose by those we elect to Parliament. Today the old Parliament has run its course and the people will soon be electing a new Parliament. The old Parliament deserved to be extinguished; the people deserve better than what it offered. Members of the Government’s Opposition clung to their seats not to introduce or scrutinize legislation but to embarrass and humiliate the government as much as possible which largely left the government reasonably helpless and the people without a government that could govern.

It was said nearly two hundred years ago “that government is best which governs least” which a few years later Henri Thoreau turned into “that government is best which governs not at all”. But the world has changed in two hundred years. Life is extremely complex now and the people of each nation need competent governments and deserve governments, ideally good governments governing according to the wishes of the majority of the electorate that chose their representatives in Parliament.

The experience of the past few years shows that our representative democracy when mixed with plebiscite democracy leads to chaos. Many of the members of the old Parliament representatives did not feel bound by the referendum and thought it perfectly democratic to subvert the results of the referendum because they believed that representative democracy is more democratic than referendum democracy. If they did not believe that, they must have believed that they knew better that their electorate.

For all that, those purporting to believe in representative democracy are (ironically) anxious to limit their own democratic powers (and the wishes of the electorate) by subverting their own powers to the powers of foreign institutions. One Parliament, in constitutional theory, cannot bind a successor Parliament. The way around this rather inconvenient rule of the constitution is if one elected government can enter into a foreign treaty then the provisions of the treaty can bind every future Parliament for long periods of time, because treaties are so much harder to overturn than legislation.

For this reason, certain politicians seek to tie the hands of future governments in fields like employment (called workers’ rights) environmental policy and economic policy and immigration policy. Thus some politicians have sought to prevent future Parliaments elected by the people for putting into effect what the electorate may democratically vote for in future.

Effectively the electorate are told that they are not competent to elect a government with the powers that governments have enjoyed in the United Kingdom for hundreds of years. In fact governments that we may elect are also not competent; the only competent authority to govern us lies outside these islands.

I find this behaviour by certain members of the old Parliament as both immoral and disgusting.

We will do it because we can!

If in the 1960s a government had proposed that every person who wrote a letter had to, before posting it, file details of their name and address and provide details of the person to whom they sent the letters, and deposit a photostatic copy of the letter, which the government would not open without permission from a judge, the hippies and the establishment would have united to prevent such a plan. It would not matter how much the Home Secretary protested that the plan was to prevent the IRA blowing us all up and prevent organised criminals like the Krays from operating it would not have been enacted. Continue reading

My Voice is Too Small

Political connections and a strong lobby group can do things that a good cause and holding the right moral position cannot. When governments make decisions they succumb to the influence of the powerful. Continue reading

Entertaining the Taxman

The feeling that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor is strongest and most easily demonstrated when it comes to tax affairs. We all have to pay tax, whether we like it or not, or suffer the draconian consequences. We have to pay promptly and devote quite a lot of our resources, if we run a business, in figuring out the various taxes and getting the money to the tax man. For this we need to employ bookkeepers, accountants and others to discharge our duty. Continue reading

Why we should spend on Renewable Energy

There is a kind of unreasoned hysteria which affects some people when it comes to measures to control climate change. Those who do not think climate change a threat are doomsayers; they hold that if we spend our money on solar panels and wind turbines it will bring economic ruin, as these devices are far too expensive to be justified. They argue that such expenditure will make our lives unduly expensive and make our industries and services uncompetitive. In fact the doom and gloom spread by these ideas is at least as doomy and gloomy as the doom and gloom spread by environmentalist who want to control climate change and have nations invest in clean renewable energy. Continue reading

The Euro Crisis

The European Union has tried to solve the crisis that is affecting confidence in the Euro. It seems that the wisdom of the leading Euro nations has brought together a series of proposals which may or may not involve changing the treaties governing the European Union and which have the approval of all of the 17 nations that use the Euro as their currency and some of the nations that do not use it. The United Kingdom and Hungary have rejected treaty changes and Sweden with the Czech Republic want to consult with their Parliaments. It is difficult to summarise exactly what has been agreed because as usual the EU’s policy is shrouded in loose and imprecise language which might serve to assuage local Parliaments but does nothing to explain to all of us exactly what will happen. Politicians like loose language and develop its use over their lifetimes. Generally speaking, the more successful the politician the more ambiguous the statements that fall from his or her lips. Continue reading

Bank Charges

There was once, not so long ago, laws that made the charging of very high rates of interest illegal. Lending at interest is a fact of economic life and has become widespread notwithstanding the prohibitions against usury in the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran. When you hire the money you have to expect to pay a hire fee. However, if that hire fee is so high, so excessive, you trap people to whom you have lent, into economic servitude. Continue reading