After the party is over

Humanity likes to feast; hundreds of millions of Christians feast at Christmas; other religions also have feasts and set times of their calendars. A feast is a feature of many festivals where all the joys of partying with loved ones come to the fore.

Of course, perpetual feasts and festivals would soon pall and people would long for the quietude of normality.

However, it seems when it comes to the use of fossil fuel energy and the earth’s rare resources the party never ends. Those people who are not invited to the partying of the western industrialised nations are rapidly starting their own parties modest at first but ever growing never ending, or at least never ending until the planet calls a halt. I am minded of Browning words about the partying of the people of Venice in their pomp.

“As for Venice and her people, merely born to bloom and drop,
Here on earth they bore their fruitage, mirth and folly were the crop:
What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop?”

Merry Christmas

and a happy New year

Merry Christmas

To everyone

The Electorate Has Spoken: “Democracy is Important”

The winner of political arguments in democracies is decided not by those who argue but the voters. The electorate has spoken and has definitively decided which side won the argument.

Despite this, journalists continue their mindless and boring speculation on what will happen next. In fact the predictions of the various BBC “political editors” have been a bit like the horoscope in a popular rag – all things to all people and anything could happen. The journalists will now (for a while anyway) embark upon sucking up to the politicians that they in the course of the election treated rudely and called liars.

The journalists fail to understand that the electorate is not stupid but really extremely perceptive – more perceptive than the political commentators and politicians give credit for. It perceived by the majority of the electorate great damage by not “getting Brexit done” was being inflicted on our democracy and according the majority voted to get Brexit done because the majority deemed democracy more important than prosperity.

The majority were right. I think that the important thing about democracy is that in the world today the majority of people in any nation can never be prosperous if the nation is not democratic, because democracy does create conditions for prosperity. Tyrants, dictators and democratically installed rulers of whatever political persuasion always end up impoverishing the majority of the people in the nation they rule.

The case for Brexit is simple: the European Union is not genuinely democratic; the real decisions are made by un-elected bureaucrats and the people of the EU have no real say in the direction that the EU is to travel and the policies it should adopt. In the United Kingdom the majority of the people perceived this and voted for Brexit. They understood that in the short term there will be loss of jobs, perhaps a loss of some prosperity, but in the long term democracy will bring prosperity and if it cannot be found in the EU then the UK is better off outside the EU. Staying in a nation (the EU is attempting to be a nation) that does not have real democracy will inevitably result in prosperity moving from those less well off to the large corporations and to the politicians.

Clever, this electorate.

Fashion In Climate Change

After about six years of there being very little public interest in climate change in the last year public interest has revived, perhaps as a result of a younger generation coming through and taking an active interest in demonstrating against global warming, or perhaps it is merely that there are fashions in news reporting and climate change has come back into fashion, replacing other fashionable items of public interest.

Other matters of public interest come and ago and come back again, in the same way that fashions come and go and come back again such as the fashion of starting wars, ending wars, reporting famines, the wearing of beards or the miniskirt.

Each time a fashion returns it comes back with a slightly new twist. Climate change has returned but with things that did not feature last time round such as demonstrations to inconvenience the public defended by the mantra that the public will be more inconvenienced by climate change, but that presupposes that demonstrations will change anything in the short term. Greta Thunberg did not feature last time climate change came around and I am thankful for that.

Climate change is a real issue and the solving of it require real thinking, scientific and technological innovation and not wooden boats in the middle of Oxford Circus or the whining of a person who has no solution but simply urges “them” to “do something”.

Carbon Dioxide Concentration in the Atmosphere

I regularly look at atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration even though it is invariably bad news. in the past twelve months CO2 in the atmosphere has risen to 408.53 ppm, which is a rise of 2.53 parts per million compared with 12 months ago. It seems relatively clear to me that this is shown in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic and the extent of ice in the Antarctic, both of which are reducing and in very modest sea level rises.

I think that now it is not about reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that humans push into the air, but about removing carbon dioxide from the air. It is not about targets, which as one commentator pointed out on these posts are usually politically motivated boasts but about hard measures of which there are insufficient around.

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.