The Rise and Rise of Gina Miller

In England we are constantly told by ‘authority’ (a nebulous term covering everything from a Civil Service mandarin to a traffic warden) to respect the rule of law, a diktat predicated upon the separation of powers, which is given to include the judiciary.  Judges claim to exercise their authority on the basis of evidence only, without fear or favour.

So, there are those of us who might find it rather surprising that a ruling by the High Court in England that the recent prorogation (suspension) of Parliament for a defined period was lawful, should be overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court not by a majority decision among its eleven judges, but by a unanimous decision.  What happened?

What would influence eleven judges to make a decision so cleanly in a case without precedent which directly involved them in the political process, and from whence would that influence come, if not from political pressure?

No, please don’t insult me by suggesting I am not privy to the niceties of this decision – I am all too well aware that no matter how much sophistry and cant is plastered over the top of it the simple message on the wall remains the same: does the ‘Establishment’ accept the fundamental principle of democracy or does it not?

The case against the Queen’s consent to prorogation was brought by one Gina Miller, whose claims to financing the legal costs from her own resources may or may not be true.  Having ‘won’ this case she today threatened to seek litigation again if the Government acts in a way that is, in her opinion, outside the law.   Which could arguably constitute a coup, could it not?  Can it be the real power in this country now rests with Gina Miller?

Whether or not you agree with the verdict of the Supreme Court, or the manner in which the decision was reached, the outcome is a country without an effective government, needing an election that none of the Opposition parties will agree to call.  Power has been switched to the minority parties by a device which, know it or know it not, is regarded with horror by almost the entire electorate.

The Brexit issue is, of course, at the heart of this.  The authors of the confusion are a small group financiers riding the federal wagon in the sewers of Europe – however, this ‘model’ for overturning the elected wishes of the people is not unique to the UK, but spreads itself throughout the Western world.

It is no longer the job of the politician to reflect the wishes of those who voted for him – not if it conflicts with his private interests or those of his influential friends, or if he simply doesn’t like it.   Boris Johnson is lampooned and insulted personally on a daily basis, usually for his reputed ‘dishonesty’, which really refers to his journalistic efforts.  Yet he is the only person in the whole of the British ruling class with a true social conscience, and he is the only person prepared to lay his reputation on the line and actually get things done!

The comment ‘I have lived too long’ is frequently traded among those of similar vintage to myself.  I’m beginning to believe it.

 

This ‘Ere Eupo

Now, my Darlin’s, ‘tis like this.

Other year we had a vote, see?  ‘Twas like ever’body got to ‘ave a say about how us felt about the immigrants an’ our sovinty an’ that, an’ we all turned out and we told ‘em, no uncertain fashion, like, what us thought we ought to do.  Leave that there European Onion thing from the Brussels!   Yes!   An’ it turns out we didn’t want nothin’ more to do wi’ no onions, and ‘ow we wanted to go out by ourselves.  Aye!

Well, turns out we were wrong, see?   ‘Cause all these ‘ere thinkin’ people says we should stay in, an’ ‘ow we faces certain ruin if we don’t.   An’ we says to ‘em, see, it was a Democratic Decishun, but they say that don’t count, ‘cause apparently they won’t get so much money if us makes ‘em leave, and they won’t be able to live in they there nice London apartments no more, or travel around this ‘ere Eurpoe to get better jobs, and stuff like that.   They says we bin lied ter, an’ un-screw-pew-lus people, they led us up the garden path, an’ that.  We jus’ voted ‘cause of the immigration, an’that.

So they goin’ to change wha’ we want to what they want, and that’s on’y fair, ‘cause we’m jus’ ord’nary people, ands not great and good like they is – are.

So, seems to me that all these ‘ere clever people, they on’y peddle that there Democracy to us when they want us to see things their way; and if we don’t, then they got to twist it about until we do.  Lawyers, and Ac’demics, and that, they knows what’s good for us, don’ they?  An’ learned people, they thinks we’re too thick to unnerstand ‘bout Eurpoe.

See, I voted ‘cause I didn’t think that there Onion was goin’ anywhere.  I thought that my country is what serves me a livin’ an’ not none of the Brussels.   They’m got strange money that they keeps printin’ with no vaalue behind un, they keeps poorer countries strugglin’ for a livin’ an’ it’s not long afore we becomes one of those, if we stays in, like.   They’m sittin’ there with smirks of their faces, takin’  our money and givin’ us less back than what they takes; they makes rules we can’t keep up with, and my sheep dip’s more ‘ficient at keepin’ out the nasties than their imm’gration pol’cy.  They destroyed our fishin’ ind’stry, they put the cost of livin’ up for all of us an’ they make us tax things we shouldn’t, don’t they?  And we can’t take so many people!    Now, that’s not racist, nor nothin’, but us as dooty to house and keep the people we already got.  It makes sense, see?  If my neighbour, he don’t put no fence up,  his sheep gets all mixed up wi’ mine an’ they overstocks my land.  Seems simple sense to me.

But there.  I don’t know nothin’.   I’m jus’ the peasant who’s ‘pinions you thinks you can ignore – I’ll jus’ tug my forelock as I passes you by and you can try to forget it’s me who does all the work, who keeps your nicely feathered beds stuffed an’ makes the country run.

Let’s drop the accent now…

So, overturn the will of the people with your contrived arguments and Machiavellian tactics.   Buy your politicians and your expensive lawyers to find a case for you to make.  But if you do, and you succeed in controverting the will of the people you will finally write the obituary to democracy, and prove the lie you have been trying to disguise for so many years.

And I, at least, will stand against you, tooth and claw.  And if you succeed I will never bother to mark a ballot paper again.  I wonder if anyone will?

A Time for Change?

A report by the Hansard Society, the UK’s leading source of independent research and advice on Parliament and parliamentary affairs, should give everyone pause.

Interviews conducted with a representative sample of 1000 British citizens found 63% agreed that “Britain’s system of government is rigged to the advantage of the rich and powerful” and in response to the statement “Britain needs a strong ruler willing to break the rules”, 54% agreed and just 23% said no.

Only 25% of the public had any confidence in MPs’ handling of Brexit,  (see my post ‘Let’s Discuss Nationalism’) Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they believed Britain was in decline, while  47% felt they had no influence at all over the national direction.   The public feels strongly that the system of governing favours the rich and powerful and that political parties don’t care about the average person.

People are not confident that politicians act in the public interest.

When, in 2016, it was suggested a referendum concerning severance from the EU should be held, 77% of the population surveyed were in favour.  The current figure in favour of referenda has slumped to 55%.

Although many have chosen to do so, it is unfair to blame the Brexit issue for ‘breaking Democracy’ when all it has really done is shine a spotlight upon flaws that were already there.  Democracy, inasmuch as it is a recipe for governing which ‘carries out the will of the majority while having regard for the needs of the minority’ probably never existed at all.  Our much-vaunted ‘world’s oldest democracy’ was a sham from the start – Members of Parliament only started receiving an income for their services in 1912.  Prior to that, right back to 1721, the time of Sir Robert Walpole, only those of significant means could afford the honour of representing a constituency, being bought and paid for by the local landowners.

Twentieth and twenty-first century political history has no place here, although I am happy to trade blows with anyone who would vie with my observation that the Conservative and Unionist Party, or a close imitation of it, holds and has held the Golden Ticket in the UK for the best part of the last hundred years, at least.  That is too long – at least, that is too long.

Does the freedom of information the internet provides spell the death of Democracy?  The lies no longer convince – the truth is harder to hide.  Understandably, there are many who will see the proposition “Britain needs a strong ruler willing to break the rules” supported by 54% of a representative sample as dangerous. They will hold up the spectre of intervention by right-wing extremists, Marxists, anarchists, and any other ‘ists’ you care to name.  They will warn of the breakdown of law and order – little realising, perhaps, that it is their law and order, no longer the law of the people.

A strong ruler.  Maybe it is time; maybe Democracy has failed to withstand the test of truth, and maybe even dictatorship is better?  Does Churchill’s quote ‘Democracy seems a very bad system until you examine the alternatives’ hold good in 2019?  Personally, I cannot see myself casting another vote until radical changes have been made.  We are already stabbing each other in the streets; if we take no action now, when does the shooting start?

Torn down by the Mob

For those so far uninformed, I have this footnote to add to my post of two days ago. ‘The Public are Cautioned not to Feed the Sharks by Hand’.

Welsh Labour Minister Carl Sargeant, who was suspended last week for ‘personal conduct’ (the exact nature of which was never disclosed to him) has been found dead.

I wonder which part, which limb, or which fragment of someone’s sacred dignity he allegedly so offended that it carried the penalty of death without trial?   I wonder who, at the hub of this vicious, unfeeling, mindless rumour mill might have a little trouble in sleeping tonight?

I find myself helpless in fury, because no matter what the circumstances of his demise may be, there can be no doubt the heartless way he was treated must have played a major part.

My respects and condolences to Mr. Sargeant’s family.  May they find peace.

The Dream of the Fat Controller

It is the sort of figure that is whispered in awed, reverential tones.  This is money beyond the powers of imagination, a theatre of surreal dreams.

20 billion – no, not dollars, or even euros, but pounds sterling.  And bear in mind a UK billion is 1 million times a million.  Enough to overheat every slot machine in Las Vegas, or keep a zoofull of Pandas for ten years.

What could we do with £20 billion?

Well, we could pay off the National Health Service deficit for the next eight years, perhaps?  Or we might take everybody whose life is going to be made unbearable by the Heathrow third runway project and settle them on nice country estates with a 5 million pound fortune each to help them get by?

Maybe we could finance a nice set of aeroplanes for those aircraft carriers we are building so they don’t have to hang around looking useless for 10 years.  Or, philanthropically, we might build really affordable housing for every young couple struggling to get onto the property ladder; or…

The possibilities are endless.  And rest assured, those who rule us are going to spend that 20 billion.   Breathlessly, I hear you cry – is it me?  Are they really going to give me twe…

Sadly, no.

Yet there is an upside – a glorious, innovative project to stir patriotic pride within us all; the new rail link we call Phase One of HS2!    In 2026 – only 10 years time – 15000 fat businessmen every hour will be able to ride by train from London to Birmingham in just 49 minutes.   That’s a saving of 20 whole minutes on the current 9:01 from Euston, which takes 1 hour and 10 minutes  (get a taxi now and you’ll be just in time to catch it).

And 15000 will, presumably, come back. But will they want to?

That’s a lot of canned people, stuffed into 18 trains doing Japanese Bullet speeds in each direction every hour.  The strength of the argument for this project relies on overcrowding in the present service; but come on, people!  15000 an hour?   For what, eight hours every day?  Do the math, please!   This is Birmingham we’re talking about!

I’ve only been to Birmingham three times in my life, and only under duress.   I can think of no occasion when I actually wanted to go there.  I mean no disrespect to Birmingham, which I’m sure is a fine city, although I cannot see it as the new hub of Great Britain Ltd..  No, Manchester would be a more likely candidate for that crown.

Never fear!   By the middle of the century HS2 will have cut further swathes of rail to Manchester and Leeds, too, and on to Edinburgh and Glasgow, with a stop at Gretna Passport Control, if the Scots will still have us.  No-one seems to have got their head around the costs for that, yet, but rest assured, the measure in human misery will exceed any official figures.

In achieving these targets the lives of thousands will be irreparably changed.  Homes and heritage ripped down, noise and hazard brought to the thresholds of those for whom tranquility and peace have no price.   The aim of this flagship project would seem to be political, and intended to turn the UK into one enormous City State, lucrative, doubtless, but unsustainable.

We British, it seems, have no capability to assemble a structured plan for these precious islands.  Instead we flounder beneath the constant bitching of one pressure group or another, one political agenda or another with no single entity to coordinate anything.  Every five years the government sets off upon a new track, postponing or promoting according to the words it thinks the public want to hear; every county sets a conflicting agenda, and nothing ever really gets done.

All that results is chaos – a long string of white elephants trailing back to the far horizons of history, each with its own tale of inhumanity and sorrow.

Oh, and as a footnote:  this is British Rail we are talking about, so I assume we are going to be asked to finance another ultra-fast bus service to cover the route on Sundays?

 

Eurpoe

mermaid wall (2016_04_04 15_16_25 UTC)
The Sirens of Brussels

 

A word from Divvin (that’s an English County next to Zummerzet and just down the road from Darsit, if you’m wonderin’).

Now, my Darlin’s, ‘tis like this.

Other wick we had a vote, see?  ‘Twas like ever’body got to ‘ave a say about how us felt ‘bout the immigrants an’ that, an’ we all turned out and we told ‘em, no uncertain fashion, like, what us thought we ought to do.  Leave that there Eurpoe Onion thing from the Brussels!   Yes!   An’ it turns out we didn’t want nothin’ more to do wi’ no Onions, and ‘ow we wanted to go out by ourselves.  Aye!

Well, turns out we were wrong, see?   ‘Cause all these ‘ere thinkin’ people says we should stay in, an’ ‘ow we faces certain ruin if we don’t.   An’ we says to ‘em, see, it was a Democratic Decishun, but they say that don’t count, ‘cause apparently they won’t get so much money if us makes ‘em leave, and they won’t be able to live in they there nice London apartments no more, or travel around this ‘ere Eurpoe to get better jobs, and stuff like that.   They says we bin lied ter, an’ un-screw-pew-lus people, they led us up the garden path, an’ that.  We jus’ voted ‘cause of the immigration, see?  Aye.

So they goin’ to change wha’ we want to what they want, and that’s o’y fair, ‘cause we’m jus’ ord’nary people, and not great and good like they are.

So, seems to me that all these ‘ere clever people, they on’y peddle that there Democracy to us when they want us to see things their way; and if we don’t, then they got to twist it about until we do.  Lawyers, and Ac’demics, and that, they knows what’s good for us, don’ they?  An’ learned people, they thinks we’re too thick to unnerstand ‘bout Eurpoe.

See, I voted ‘cause I didn’t think that there Onion was goin’ anywhere.  I thought that my country is what serves me a livin’ an’ not none of the Brussels.   They’m got strange money that they keeps printin’ with no vaalue behind un, they keeps poorer countries strugglin’ for a livin’ an’ it’s not long afore we becomes one of those, if we stays in, like.   They keeps takin’ our money and givin’ us less back than what they takes, they makes rules we can’t keep up with, and my sheep dip’s more ‘ficient at keepin’ out the nasties than their immigration pol’cy.  They destroyed our fishin’ ind’stry, they put the cost of livin’ up for all of us an’ they make us tax things we shouldn’t, don’t they?  And we can’t take so many people!    Now, that’s not racist, nor nothin’, but us got a dooty to house and keep the people we already got.  It makes sense, see?  If my neighbour, he don’t put no fence up,  his sheep gets all mixed up wi’ mine an’ they overstocks my land while I feeds ‘em for ‘im for free.  Seems simple sense to me.

But there.  I don’t know nothin’.  I may know the price of livestock an’ ow to run a business, but to you they ac’demics I’m jus’ the peasant who’s ‘pinions you thinks you can ignore – I’ll jus’ tug my forelock as I passes you by and you can try to forget it’s me who does all the work, who keeps your nicely feathered beds stuffed an’ makes your country run.

So, talk your way into believing you are doing the right thing in trying to overturn the will of the people with your contrived arguments and Machiavellian tactics.   Buy your politicians and your expensive lawyers; pay the media to find a case for you to make.  But if you do, and you succeed in contraverting the will of the people you will finally write the obituary of  British democracy, and prove the lie you have been trying to disguise for so many years.

And I, at least, will stand against you, tooth and claw.  And I will never, whatever ‘democratic’ compulsion you thrust upon me, mark a ballot paper again.

What Lies Beneath

Every now and again landmark issues test our concept of ‘Democracy’ by laying an unpalatable truth open to the public gaze. And the only conclusion we can then draw is that ‘Democracy’ has lost its definition (if indeed it ever had one).  It has become simply another word for ‘rule’.

This is no shock. In England we as a population are used to being ruled. lorded over and treated dismissively at best, more generally with contempt.  Effectively the UK system is a plutocracy: the monarchical tradition, though ostensibly symbolic, always shaping the thinking of our ruling class and providing the yardstick for government.  A seething undercurrent of financial interests is what really controls the destiny of the common man, and if there is new money to be squeezed out of what remains of Shakespeare’s precious jewel you may assume the tourniquet is already applied.  Which is why, against the wishes of almost everyone, 100 licences were granted by government yesterday for Fracking.

I can’t believe there is anyone out there who does not know, now, what Fracking is – the process for extracting oil or gas from shale by boring deeply beneath us and bullying the strata into submission. Below ground it’s by-products include earth tremor, the random release of gas, and introduction of chemicals into the water table that will ultimately find their way to our rivers and pollute them. Above ground Fracking sites disrupt normal life with the usual paraphernalia of industrial scale mining and heavy transport.  It is destructive and has no place in an eco-system trying to supply its energy needs from other than fossil fuels.  Even those who love it only seek to defend it on economic grounds (the usual news-media lizards with their dulcet insincerity oozing over the breakfast table), but hey; why bother to defend it at all?

We are the people – we have no voice.

Embarrassingly, it turns out that some prime Fracking sites occur in our National Parks; you know, areas that are preserved as being of outstanding natural beauty; that sort of thing?   So immured are we to flagrant abuse, so dulled are our senses by constant outrage we seem prepared to absorb this additional blow with little more than a plaintive murmur: just as we are complacent to the fact that most sites are in the Midlands or North of England.   The only Fracking experiment so far conducted in Britain caused an earthquake, so you may be certain the ‘Shires are not at risk of intrusion: the home turf of our ruling elite is safe.

Personally, I stopped believing in ‘Democracy’ long ago. Those who manipulate us are far too astute to allow their ambitions to be compromised by a five-yearly vote, and ‘Political Science’ is only a palliative for an endless cycle of self-justification and lies.  Of little help when the custard pie is delivered in your face, it merely offers the cloth to wipe away some of the damage and walk on.  The creed of modern politics – promise everything but deliver only what you really want – means we will never discover the true will of ‘ordinary people’ regarding Fracking.   There will be no referendum, heaven forbid – just an assurance when our next ‘General Election’ comes that Fracking was always a cornerstone of the victorious party’s energy policy.  Somehow we will be persuaded we actually voted in its favour.

Living in modern western society equates rather to being passenger on a very powerful and glitzy ocean liner with agents of Mephistopheles for a crew.  We know the place we are being taken is not somewhere we should be, and we know the means of travel is morally heinous, but we have no way to stop it because we can’t seem to find the engine…