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 are What We Vote

I have been thinking about voting. There will be a General Election in the United Kingdom on 7 May next. It is, I think, the duty of every citizen to vote and with that duty comes responsibility. If we vote for a government we sustain that government. Therefore if we vote for a communist government we are sustaining theft as a means of redistributing wealth. If we vote for a fascist government we sustain them in their fascist ways and we are racists. In the case with the Blair Government in 2003 when it joined the war in Iraq, those who subsequently voted for that government were violent people, because they sustained a violent government. Continue reading

Chilcot: the Forest Beyond the Long Grass

In July 2009 John Chilcot opened an Inquiry into the lessons of the Iraq War. Mr Chilcot was a senior civil servant and over the past six years seems to have been singularly unfitted for the task. It was a case of the great and the good inquiring into the lies and mistakes and  scandals of the Iraq War not caused by the military but by the elected politicians and the civil servants of the time – in other words the great and the good. I would expect a civil servant to be well practiced in the art of kicking difficult problems far into the forest beyond the long grass, and Mr Chilcot has not changed my expectation by his conduct of the Inquiry.  Continue reading

“Influence”

The Scottish Referendum was a close run thing. The worse the Scots behaved the more concessions they wrung from the rest of the United Kingdom and matters will probably reach a state in which independence will be necessary; it will be achieved de facto, if not de jure. The independence movement was led in Scotland by Alex Salmond, who is a very talented politician. he was First Minister (there is no “prime” in Scotland) and has now resigned from that position. It seems he is likely to become a Member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament at the next election. That seems to me to be very odd. Continue reading

Vote For the Official Monster Raving Looney Party

No one wants a government that they did not vote for to run the country. The Scots who voted for independence recently used as a main plank of their argument for independence that Scotland had had to “suffer” a government which the Scots did not elect and by independence they would be able to enjoy a government that they did elect.
That argument is hopeless. Of course, a majority of people in Scotland did not vote for the same government (or coalition) that a majority of people in the whole United Kingdom elected. That is the nature of democracy. In the referendum the people of Glasgow did not vote to stay in the United Kingdom. The people who live in the house where I lived have during the last twenty five years voted for all sorts of political parties including the Green Party and on one desperate occasion when the candidates were all disgusting, the Official Monster Raving Looney Party. Perhaps I should declare my home to be independent of the United Kingdom. I could then set up my own government, my own tax regime and ensure that those who governed me always met with my approval.

Politics Starts Up Again

The Olympic Games has ended, and the Para- Olympics will end soon, and we will now enter the Para-Normal events of politics. Elections for a new President of the United States will take place in November. Mr Obama has not fulfilled his promise or our expectations. he speaks a good speech but in terms of achievement has produced not great vision for the world. By his own measurement of the game, he has failed to come up to scratch. He will now try to convince Americans that he deserves another term of office while his opponent will try to convince them of exactly the opposite. the prize is leadership of the world’s most powerful nation, with power over the life an death of many people. Like Mr Fezziwig he has the power to make people happy or miserable, and uses his power of life and death when he arranges for drones to kill those he deems to be terrorists, which designation includes all people close to the person he deems terrorists.

I have no vote in the American elections; deciding how to exercise my vote in the United Kingdom is hard enough, as one has to usually make choices between the least incompetent, that that kind of choice is very hard to make rationally. perhaps it is better to make an irrational choice going by feelings prejudice and instinct.

There are no UK elections of any significance planned. The next German General Election will take place in 2013, the next UK General election is due to be held in two and a half years’ time.  General Elections may take place all over Europe much much sooner if the euro crisis deepens. The European Union leaders do not yet send out drones to kill people, but they have the power to make people rich or poor, happy or miserable by their actions and decisions and frequently exercise that power. Usually, whether consciously or not, they exercise that power in favour of those they know, those who are or who have become their friends, either because they believe that friendship with such people may help their political career.

A few years ago David Cameron was a big friend of Rebekah Brooks. Was such friendship based on anything but a mutual ability to use each other to help in their respective careers? I doubt it. This is and has become a normal part of the political process; manifestos no longer matter, arguments are not made out, principles are avoided as though they were as contagious and harmful as a plague, and instead politicians seek to acquire and retain office by the use of contacts and by sucking up to those with influence. This process goes at every level of politics. It has infected the civil service and the regulators.

It is of course a denial of democracy; votes no longer count because the question does not appear on the ballot box; only names appear and we do not really know what those names stand for. Democracy has been subverted by the lobbyists. We dance to their tune now.

Please vote on Thursday

The United Kingdom will be holding two elections on Thursday. One Election will be for representation in Europe where Members of the European Parliament will be elected, and another will be for local authorities, where local councillors will be elected. There is no doubt that the elections will be very bad for the Labour Party. It will end up as a death by a thousand cuts. The Labour Party is the party that governs the United Kingdom. They have to take the blame for the expenses scandal that is making us all so cross. The fish stinks from its head. Continue reading