What’s in a name? One hell of a lot! A ‘European Union of nation States’ is not just playing with words, it’s what the current European Union needs to become, and it is a union that Britain should be a part of. As Europe struggles to understand the lunacy of the Brexit decision, and Mrs May desperately tries to come up with a plan, there needs to be some fresh thinking before Britain reaches a point of no return. The disaster that is Brexit needs to be transformed into a catalyst for a new Europe, one that includes Britain. European leaders are very aware, much more than they ever have been, of the rumblings of discontent about the current European Union within their own countries. Even the bureaucrats who pull the levers in Brussels have had a very rude shock, one, many will say, that is long overdue. All talk of a federal Europe ended many years ago, but the Brussels machine, which was designed with a federal outcome in mind, has not changed. There has been no driving force for change, no new ideas to keep the European ideal fresh. Isn’t now the time for Europe to make the adjustments it needs to make, and to rebrand itself as a European Union of Nation States? I believe it is, but what Britain needs right now is for European leaders to start talking along these lines and to invite Britain to be part of this new Union. Britain needs a lifeline, Europe needs Britain. … [Read More...]
A tale of deceit and betrayal. Ask practically anybody in any country in Europe and they will tell you that they love Europe but they hate the EU. It’s the Brussels bureaucracy and the lack of transparency they hate, and so do we, but unlike some of us, they have no wish to destroy the Union. Being a part of the European ideal means something. A united Europe in the minds of most Europeans is about peace and security; about the creation of a safe, mutually beneficial environment that allows European nations to bond, to grow and to prosper. The European ‘ideal’ is a big idea a hundred years in the making, something few in Britain understand or want to understand. In modern Britain we don’t do ‘big ideas’. We find big ideas difficult, difficult to conceive, difficult to implement. We are a country that no longer has a vision, a country with no desire to be a leader in Europe, to contribute to the success of the ideal. Our desire to even promote our own national interest sometimes seems barely lukewarm. We have become selfish and insular, a mean, callous small-minded state. How has this come about? Because of a failure of politics. Our politics is both dysfunctional, and corrupt, morally and financially. Our politicians have become political technocrats, their parties political corporations, and both funded by corporates and the wealthy elite - to do their will. The primacy of parliament has been deliberately diminished, our political leaders choosing to sideline parliament … [Read More...]
No no, it is, believe me! We are where we are today because of the behaviour of the Labour party. Where does it start? Well, you could go back to Tony Blair’s failure to sack Gordon Brown. He might have done his job at the Treasury adequately, but everybody in the party knew Brown was mildly psychotic, and his disruptive behaviour did nothing to contribute to good government. Blair did nothing. The Labour Party did nothing. When the Brown premiership eventually arrived it was a total disaster. David Miliband who could have challenged him for the leadership, did nothing. Labour was booted out of office in total disarray. And then there was the famous leadership election when, with the help of the Unions, Labour elected the wrong Miliband. Ed Miliband who unfortunately looked as if he’s been plucked from the Aardman Animations studios, was a characterless political technogeek. He inspired nobody. His blank sheet of paper remained blank throughout his time as leader. He spoke in McKinsey speak, and bored the pants off the nation. The Tory dominated coalition delivered a cruel and unnecessary austerity, it imposed a conscious cruelty on millions of Labour voters, and still this Labour wunderkind couldn’t beat the nasty Tories. The fact that Labour failed to crush the Tories after what they had done, and failed to deliver an alternative government that the country so desperately needed, is surely one of the greatest failures in modern political history. Labour’s failure resulted … [Read More...]
It's time to rattle the cage! Time to give Mrs May and her Brexiteer cohorts the fright of their lives. Please march on the 25th March. This needs to be the BIGGEST march ever seen in the United Kingdom. I'll be there, hat and all! … [Read More...]
It seems such a long time ago since I put up a blog post - and it is! I have been occupied writing and marketing a book which has taken up most of my time. I have been active on Twitter - as you may have noticed, but the world seems to have got itself into such a mess that I feel it is my duty to add a little sanity and common sense to the proceedings! Enjoy! … [Read More...]
Today, in magistrates courts throughout the land, ‘justice’ will be meted out to ordinary folk for what are probably best described as minor misdemeanors or low level crime. Ordinary folk, our fellow citizens, live in a world where fear is ever present. The fear of not being able to provide for a family, the fear of there not being a pay packet at the end of the week, fear that benefits will be withdrawn, fear that they will be criminalised for being unable to afford a television licence. They understand fear. They also understand consequences. Bankers, over-paid CEOs and wealthy folk inhabit a different world. They have no fear and fear no consequences. The only fear they have is losing their wealth or fear of failing to recognise something that might threaten it. They may not be above the law, but they have the ability to distance themselves from it, of dimming or redirecting the spotlight. They use their wealth to influence lawmakers to enact laws that protect and promote their interests ahead of the majority. With wealth and power should come responsibility. To act responsibly and to take responsibility. Responsibility to act in the best interests of their less fortunate fellow citizens. To carry the can when things go wrong and not try and escape sanction by blaming subordinates. Unfortunately the understanding of what responsibility really means has been lost. Until the clink of handcuffs is heard in boardrooms across the land, until those who have ultimate … [Read More...]
Today is the 750th anniversary of the first elected parliament in 1265. It laid the foundation for our current political system. It wasn't perfect, it still isn't, but over the ages it has evolved. Change has often been slow, those who have been 'in power' have been reluctant to embrace change. So it is today. Today we have a political class which has little interest in giving the people what they want or what they need. Inflated with self-importance and captured by the ego massaging trappings of their 'position', politicians are set on a course of self-enrichment and determined that nothing shall stand in their way. It's party before people and 'me' before anything else. The main cause of this malaise is corporate power: the political class have been bought by corporations and vested interests. Their corrupting influence has prevented political parties from connecting with the public, it has distorted spending and tax decisions and become a cancer metastasizing at the heart of our democracy. It explains the drive to privatisation so loved by Friedman's Chicago School, a light touch to banking regulation which nearly led to our ruin, a disastrous dalliance with PFI which has left the country with huge debt obligations, and the ability of the very wealthy few to get even wealthier at the expense of the majority. Parties accept 'funds' and favours follow. How has this been allowed to happen? Because the political class have refused to reform the political party … [Read More...]
Who he? He Peter Mandelson. Perhaps the description of this ex Labour grandee is a little harsh, but I despair at the twaddle that the political class of both main political parties, both past and present, are spouting about the economy and about austerity in particular. Mandelson has been imploring the Labour shadow cabinet to come clean about the Labour version of austerity, to be honest and ‘speak with a single voice’ about their version of this ludicrous and wholly unnecessary policy. Does he think we will love Labour more for dressing up austerity in a new suit of clothes? If he does then someone must have cut the connection to his ivory tower. Labour politicians seem to be totally hung up about being seen to be ‘responsible’ about the economy. They are fixated about convincing us that they will maintain an iron discipline over spending and exercise financial probity. That this will grab our imagination and persuade us to vote for them. But if this means that Labour are intending to try and sell us a sexier version of Tory austerity then they are heading for a fall. Who are they trying to sell this half-baked policy to exactly, themselves or the Murdoch press? If it’s the electorate they’ve got it seriously wrong. The electorate are not blind to the fact that Osborne deliberately trashed growth in 2010 in order to install his austerity Trojan horse. A policy disguised as a means to ‘deal with the deficit’ (which it has failed to do), but with a deeper, nastier … [Read More...]
Is the mistake is ours? Maybe we assume that our so-called ‘leaders’ are exceptional people, that their ordinariness is just a mask, and that buried deep inside their unimpressive forms there’s a Churchillian spirit waiting to be unleashed. I wish it were so! The reality is that our leaders are clever, but they are also really very ordinary and very unimpressive. Leaders? Mmmm...they have the responsibility of leadership, they understand what it is, but have very little idea of its practice. The reality is that our leaders are political technocrats. They work to predetermined party formulas that are meant to give us the impression that they are in control and have the measure of things - and that they are working for the common good, which they are not. Their prime motivation is personal and political survival. They work harder at this than anything else...until....well, until circumstances lay bare their inadequacy and they have to deliver something big to survive. That’s where we are now. Today, Miliband cuts a rather pathetic figure. Everything is catching up with him. His technocratic instincts tell him that he must fight his political opponents point by point. (Blind to the fact that his agenda is being set for him!) Viewed from inside his Westminster cocoon that might seem the right thing to do, but from the outside it’s a very boring, uninspiring spectacle. And the worrying thing is that he doesn’t seem to understand why we find it so unutterably boring and … [Read More...]
“This castle has a pleasant seat; Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses” Words that Alex Salmond, leader of the 40+ victorious SNP MPs could be uttering as they enter Westminster next year having demolished Scottish Labour in the general election – and it could be that they hold the balance of power in their hands. Possible? Not only is it possible, it is becoming increasingly likely as support for Scottish Labour tanks. For more than half a century most of Scotland has been tribal Labour, but now all that is changing. Labour supporters in Scotland feel they’ve been taken for granted by the Labour leadership and many are beginning to realise that years of blind, unquestioning support for Labour has done them little good. Housing in the east end of Glasgow is terrible; there is still real poverty in the city and the level of unemployment remains stubbornly high. Scottish Labour councils are as bureaucratic, corrupt and self-serving as they ever were. Lazy, knucklehead Labour councillors reign supreme, but have delivered little. Labour has been sussed. It is about to pay a very heavy price. But is the catalyst for this mass desertion just about a general dissatisfaction with Labour? Not totally. It’s about a betrayal of trust, but it’s even more about people believing that their vote can make a difference. The referendum proved that to them. The ‘Yes’ vote might not have triumphed, but it mobilised support for its cause in a spectacular manner, … [Read More...]
We’ve waited a long time for a ‘big idea’ from Labour and then out of the blue comes the announcement that it’s going to abolish the House of Lords...no fanfare for this momentous news, it dribbled out over the airwaves on Saturday morning almost apologetically. Why be so coy Ed? This is something that needs to be shouted from the hilltops. Be bold, for heaven’s sake! We need radical new thinking about the way the Union is governed and we need bold new ideas. Abolishing the House of Lords is long overdue. It is anachronistic, unelected and well past its sell by date. It should be replaced by a House of Representatives – Senate if you like, but it’s not the best description. The new House needs to be filled with representatives from Regional Assemblies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Yes, we do need regional assemblies in England. The regionalisation of England is long overdue. The current system of local government is cumbersome complicated and inefficient. England must have a means to devolve power to the regions effectively, and regionalisation is the best way to do this. A House of Representatives means that there would be regional representation at the heart of government. Having it outside London is a nonsense. Look at the Bundesrat example and copy it! It works well, it should do because we helped to set it up after the last war. Let’s not have some appalling British compromise where we try and take everybody’s opinion into account and produce … [Read More...]
More Current Posts
- Austerity, a cruel, but deliberate deception
- Many Happy Returns!
- I’m taking time out!
- The British Constitution needs booked into the Priory
- Why would anyone ever vote Libdem again? What might change peoples’ mind?
- Contrived contrition and a game of Banksters’ Bluff
- When will the US stop paying Israel to annex the West Bank?
- Why clever Michael Gove is so foolish