July 14, 2016
The British had a disaster in its political life. Although the leaving of the EU is the most traumatic and in my mind stupid decision, the respect for democratic choice should be honoured with more than an afterthought. There should be an examination of the vote and the lies told to the electorate and at some stage in the not too distant future, the nature of the decision should be revealed. For example: votes cast in PENCIL could be subject to doubt; inadequate margin for a constitutional change (a Brexit campaigner started a petition to ensure that REMAIN did not win by the narrow margin LEAVE won by, and 4.1 million signatures indicated dissatisfaction with the “result” being such a slender margin, and a decisive victory for REMAIN in Scotland brings the unity of the UK into question); complete falsehoods being told to the voting public; a committed campaign of anti-immigration propaganda; the departure of all the LEAVE campaigners including the laziest and most absurd politician in history, Nigel Farage.
No, the disaster is the one that has just ended. The era of David Cameron and George Osborne; the blaming of the previous more successful administration for anything that was wrong for the first five years of Cameron’s reign, followed by a year of bullying and condescending humour at the Ballot box during weekly self-congratulatory PMQs, an opposition that has become neurotic about the choice of leader by its grassroots.
We welcome Theresa May’s new administration with trepidation and justifiable fear. Anything is better than being lied to, but it is the sacking of the old school tie, the removal so far of the worst front bench under David Cameron that is to be celebrated: Michael Gove, George Osborne, Nicky Morgan, Jeremy Hunt, Micheal Whittingdale: ALL GONE.
Let us hope that Boris can grow up and apologise to the British for his lies. Let’s hope he can start to realise that our relationships with other countries matter. I have a sneaking suspicion that he has been with May all along, sick and tired of the antics of the previous administration that factually can be blamed for causing the near breakup of the United Kingdom.
April 19, 2015
20 days away still
Read this excellent analysis of what is wrong with the Tories and the Lib Dems in Coalition. I really wonder at the Clegg strategy of saying he makes the best carping fishwife to either possible Prime Minister. It badly stinks to assume the power of Deputy PM with such certainty. He comes off as a complete ego strutting cock, the sincere hope for any future of the Liberal Democrats is that this man loses his seat. They could do so much better than moderate dictatorship.
Both parties could go into coalition with the Lib Dems, but this leader is toast if he halves the vote for his party. If he loses half his seats, that is another matter.
The half logical and half disastrous rise of UKiP (I spell it that way as independence is what is so unimportant to the development of this very right wing group attracting the worst of the Tories. Maybe we will have a Conservative party that actually does some good as all its extreme members desert it. Independence of UK is the same story as Scottish independence. In the final analysis it does not make sense.
21 days to go
Lib Dem agreed to a referendum on AV – that basically spelt their doom. AV is not the best form of democracy. I think the NZ system of Mixed Member Proportional is better but wonder why we do not change our voting system.
A slim “majority” meant a Tory led coalition that doubled the national debt with austerity. I predict we will get exactly what we do not need as a result of our FPP election, i.e. Tory and Ukip in coalition with Lib Dem and SNP offering support when it suits their interests.
22 days to go
Twitter analysis of the debates early April
December 15, 2014
We are different to any other species in that we have evolved what we call economics, science of extending survival. Or is it a massive inter-generational war that the current political generation are guilty of, increasingly responsible for causing environmental collapse.
Why do we measure progress by growth? When we solve that one, and measure progress with an economics that includes compounding interest for any future consequence of our indulgence.
Only then we can call ourselves good Christians or good Muslims or good Jews. We remain greedy and primitive in our mutual interests. Why think like this?
Part of the lesson of certain matters remaining secular and out of the control of the driving faith or the possessors of property or the military – but that the ultimate control must remain honestly in the hands of the people. So we have countries for that. But faith is a personal matter and your path to your saviour or prophet is a relationship between your self and something all powerful. Therefore when you are praying together it is as though a casting of individual threads to your personal heaven is a revelation to the self, not to the army, not to the workforce, not to the merchants, the bankers or even the holy ones we listen to preach their secret messages in sermons to the initiated. In all religions there seems to be a strata that pulls people up – spirituality is a wonderful thing, don’t get me wrong.
Having to take sides for your whole life is the commitment of belief. But the essence of individuality is the thing. It is the most important and elusive thing. Your thread can vibrate within a group but it can also find its own pattern. It does not matter. If we align beliefs into destructive paths then as a group we start to consume that which we have no right to, we take that we have to leave alone. The first lesson in The Book of Genesis was not to take the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge or die. Not to take the irreplaceable fruit means we must consider requirements of future life in our consumption.
The ways in which competing religions have interpreted this basic tenet of their own belief is astounding. The destruction of species is wanton, selfish and will result on our own death.
These words or wisdom are drowned by the clash of battle as we fight for our set of beliefs. But this fundamental exists. If we sow extinction, then we will become extinct. I am just not sure if today’s political science really gives a damn about the future.
August 7, 2014
A few Disturbing Trends with our comments in The Guardian:
7 Aug 2014
Boris Johnson’s bid for parliamentary return in 2015 leaves Tories divided
The true blue conservative denies they are running until the finish line is in view, their competitors unprepared, relaxed and busy elsewhere can then make a huffing and puffing dash for the main prize.
Salmond rallies SNP backbenchers after independence debate
If the UK had a government which paid a little more than latent lip service to the parts of the country that are not London, I really wonder if the Scots would fight for independence. The popularity of this possibly economically difficult endeavour is an indictment of the Coalition and the unfair lot dealt to the many to enrich the very few.
Democracy will finally defeat that act of “mentalism”. But the question, what options do we really have? That question is the emotional argument that precedes this revolution.
Of course we may be “better together”, but the majority have to ask “better for whom?”
NIESR says economic recovery slowing after weaker manufacturing figures
I fear that like the previous government’s folly with the city, and the horrors of the 70s recessions, that it is “shock” that suddenly causes fragile recovery to be history and disaster to be the sounding board for electability. It is “old thinking” that is still leading economic planning and reactivity to timebombs that manufactures “heroes”.
In other words you are so brilliantly right. Open your business to the world. Dependence upon “economic growth” (based on the value of assets) is simply not getting us anywhere.
Sorry, George but increasing London property prices is not economic growth. You got to create industries, cause people to invest in and start new ventures, be willing to take risks.
Worrying about interest rates and the resale value of your nest egg stultifies imagination and reduces the rationale for business growth. It is not just investment bankers having dosh, it is the actual activity that seems to be faltering.
6 Aug 2014 – on Martin Rowson’s cartoon on Lady Warsi’s resignation
Being “right minded” seems to be a qualification. Or is that encoded tory propaganda or merely ukip splashing about in puddles?
Or that vacancy leading the Liberal Democrats, he may have to resign also.
…governments that pendulum swing between building and destroying systems – how much waste that does that create? Democracy under First Past the Post is truly the most inefficient system, especially when it is polarised between opposite sets of values. Proportional representation is more effective as they get to be far less adventurous as their mandate is less total.
May 21, 2014
The European Parliament is a government body that decides upon the laws that join our people together. Issues like human rights. It is infected by “protest parties” who are only there to act as dead weight opposition but what is what achieving other than making the government of the EU less effective?
A strong UK voice in the European Parliament is a no brainer. Of course we need the best representation possible and make an effort to make the whole of Europe more and more prosperous.
May 14, 2014
John Pilger is both a respected journalist and a bit of an alarmist. And what is wrong with alarm in today’s world where American influence stamps all over alternative values. After the binary division of the world that was the Cold War, The New American Century’s New World Order briefly reigned. It seems that the American incursion into Ukraine politics is the latest in a long list of US military acts in the name of democracy overthrowing democratically elected governments that Pilger writes about, usually from a war zone.
His recent article article about Dr Strangelove raises the alarm to a new level. Are the American military a hungry lumbering beast machine that needs war to create demand for itself so it can run up more debt someone can call growth in the economy? Or is it the world’s freedom fighter, overturning injustice like some sort of Superman, knowing the results of its actions must be believed in, not only by the fundamentalists who seem to believe anything. But by the liberals as well.
January 4, 2014
Perhaps I should qualify: three ugly politicians. They are also bad politicians.
Now, I do not mean that all bad politicians are ugly, far from it. Nor that all ugly politicians are bad. Not at all. I just mean that these three and various other villains become or are ugly. This is no attempt to draw comparisons or correlations – lets leave that to the experts! No, what I want to do is purely character assassination.
Kim Jong Il – although it would be churlish to fail to acknowledge how beautiful he is considered by his own media and owned people.
And the two on this sorry tale of appeasement. The sad figure is now bankrupt non-player and BNP leader Nick Griffin who seems to desperately try to take Britain back to the middle ages when a man could have surfs basically defending cruel dictator “I have a right to murder all my people” Bashar Assad because Damascus is not in ruins (as if he would bomb himself) but is leading a bustling life. Because Mr Griffin is able to deny what he sees he is able to maintain a set of beliefs.
How much of our image of Assad is formed by propaganda? Or is he the real thing, more evil than ugly but about as evil looking as Hitler?
June 5, 2013
Why do we comment in political columns? It may be necessary. Democracy depends on well framed usually moderate arguments that sway people rather than extreme arguments that insult intellect and isolate ideas.
A fine tipped right wing refutation of an unconvincing left wing assumption makes this interesting. It is worth wading through all the trolling and insults for those gems. Similarly, a left wing contrast on the effects of greed temper the right wing stomp to success so encourages social behaviour.
Comments in newspapers and on websites like this allow arguments to be refuted and no blood spilt.
Example of democratic discovery.
February 27, 2013
Twenty five percent of the vote in Italy went to a party that want an exit from the EU and a return of the Lira. The Monetary Madness continues apace. When a country could inflate away its debts and then revalue again after it had cleared its path back to being an attractive place to spread into some of ones’ investment risks. As part of a common currency they can not con each other in this way – they have to borrow to cover the shortfalls that stem from corruption in the political class. Italy has rejected austerity but the 25% is not a protest vote. It is a game changer. It is a kick in the face of the EU. It may be fatal.
However, if the PIGS were to leave the EU, they could form their own trading bloc – one hopes they call it SPIG rather than PIGS or GIPS or the less pronounceable IGPS – they would then be able to inflate their way out of their primary problem, together. And then they could then rejoin the EU as a block and create economic treaty zones, consider an example set of economic zones:
- Central EU (Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg),
- South EU (SPIG),
- Eastern EU (on or adjoining the Eastern border),
- Northern EU (Scandinavia, Denmark, Holland, UK)
Each part of the EU has an exchange rate balancer, so if they want to devalue, they can by negotiating revaluation elsewhere. The four zones have floating exchange rate mechanisms with each other relative to capital value. So any shift of liquidity between the zones has its economic effect.
Monetary conditions are created by a mechanism like the trading of bonds (not cash) between the Super Governments – here are a group of talented long range analysts can set the degree of valuation (this model may in effect be five currencies), the democratically preferred flavour of financial control and regulation levels that at least disallow fantastic risks with people’s pensions that maybe once paid off but now wear away at value. Perhaps Super Governments have no other function.
Each bloc contributes to a common currency pool and sells bonds to it to maintain an economic state of relativity. However something like that may or may not work it should be understood that the awareness of very different political system is required.
Europe without a central federal body probably leads to too many demands for regulation being imposed in the wrong markets as well as the more significant, in body count at least, the absence of regulations that would have prevented disasters evaporating vast tracts of wealth in an instant. Such an ephemeral quality wealth can turn out to be. Protecting it irrationally may backfire.
The central purpose is to introduce long range capital increases where they are needed. The absence of any Government led stimulus or infrastructure corrections that long range planning needs to consider in its calculation of growth. You can squeeze an orange once, but a healthy tree means more future oranges and you better have the infrastructure to squeeze them.
“a far less great Britain struggling with a mere percentage of its economy left yet more people to employ and an inability of the state to collect fair taxes”
The apparent Tory creed of demanding tax fairness, while protecting the tax avoiders who support them, will seem shallow as the record shows a far less great Britain struggling with a mere percentage of its economy left yet more people to employ and an inability of the state to collect fair taxes means it stubbornly refuses to finance progress. Italy may serve to push the EU into progress and reform the lumbering beast.
November 6, 2012
The US Election has started.
It promises to be a close one, many pundits refer to the Bush-Gore clincher decided by the Supreme Court as a possible model for how this one should turn out. Let’s hope not.
A decisive election would have a more positive effect on America. If Obama wins, as the world hopes, the US should continue to expand its economy based on debt funding. If Romney wins, I expect the US will contract its economy as his weird economics take hold. Romney has promised growth and lower taxes in what sounds like a wish list of ideals for the wealthy. America is dominated by a middle class that I think will tend to believe Obama but are troubled by the actions of the Democrats when they controlled the House of Representatives in the first half of the Obama presidency – failing to take advantage of their power.
Regardless, Obama should win. His policies guarantee little, but Romney’s aggressive words against Russia could inspire fear.
We predict Obama will win.
October 3, 2012
Bill Clinton and George Bush reveal their friendship when they appear together on TV. So it seems, at least. Perhaps they will cause world peace together but something is odd about this caucus of ex presidents. It is as though Clinton has embraced the devil vs the rehabilitation of Bush. The presidential campaign costs 3 billion dollars and yet this could swing voters, but which way is anyone’s guess. It is democracy in a bottle, diplomatic sages warning the next generation of bucks about to debate with each other.
September 20, 2012
Cameron’s coalition: a government with ominous intent
20 September 2012 12:59PM
We, the voters, must remember that we did not vote for the policies of this government. They were thought up after the election as a result of a coalition that only forwards the aims of the Tories, policies that were not in their manifesto.
You have to remember that they were only just ahead of Gordon Brown’s Labour party in the election when according to their own propaganda any other party should have won by a landslide. Even with Lib Dem support the coalition’s majority was slender.
The real problem is the overall quality of political leadership is not inspiring. Leading the country into economic decline is not something that the electorate can believe in.
August 31, 2012
The Republicans are running with Romney and Ryan. After a lame introduction by Clint Eastwood – Romney gave a speech that has been noted for being fairly lacklustre. And what about the presumptive VP nominee Paul Ryan. He seems to be just there for the 1% and tells lies to the rest of us.
August 27, 2012
Contrary to the propaganda at the last election, it ain’t the spending that is causing the deficits. It is the other side of the ledger. Taxes collected by the Government are failing due to company losses. The recession was caused by money being ripped out of the economy by derivatives gone wrong, the government reaction is to reduce government spending, and now they weep at the consequent collapse in demand?
They are not thinking it through. They need to take their current efficiencies and spend a little on economic incentives that replace the demand by making the private economy sound. They are miles away from being able to recover the private sector so, as most hands off economist driven Conservative governments (GW Bush for example) do, they start a war to get that spending demand going.
The Liberal Democrats are not happy with their end of the bargain. They have to break this coalition.
– Comment on Guardian article
Coalition ‘most unlikely’ to meet key economic goals by next election
27 August 2012 11:59AM
August 25, 2012
The need for people to assert their ideas and own the consequences is invested in monumental sculpture as the preservation of memory is the stamp on history. Deep in our inner-child the need to be ahead of others can assert itself, core beliefs lead to a sense of oneness with a tradition of thinking. There is no fundamental reason that today’s left-right paradigm will be remotely similar to that fifty years on.
There is no guarantee that any of the many parties of Western democracies will be the same as they are now. Politics is a system of pools of clout and passages through which diplomatic pressure may be asserted.
Our model is like that of the herd animal – we create a flow to go with and democratically decide to lurch one way or another. In the current UK lurch, we have a Conservative-Liberal coalition. And lets abbreviate their gormless flight into obscurity with the epithet ConDem. Mainly as DemCon sounds like some video game marketing label and that would amount to mis-representation.
See also – Politics – Disturbing Trends history
June 20, 2012
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron takes time to criticise entertainer Jimmy Carr for putting £3.3N through a tax shelter scheme – one that may yet be undone. Carr made headlines as he has satirised the banks and tax avoidance as a comedian.
At least Jimmy Carr creates laughter. Perhaps he will make a big charitable donation so we can forgive him.
Mr Cameron convinces that he puts his panic, preference and public image ahead of any constructive logic, attacking an individual from his office, really. His job is not to be a whip wielding critic of those following the laws he is making a fuss about – it is simply his job to write viable new laws so that inherent unfairness in the system being used even by the likes of Mr Carr is prevented fairly. Takes a steady hand, and a cool head.
It is great that Mr Carr has donated his public profile in protest at so many others getting away with it and maybe he will pay his dues ultimately but is hardly a reason for the Government to pull laws out of a straw hat. Depopulating the HMRC says it all, really.
This is grandstanding at its most inept.
May 13, 2012
Authority dictates that which we socially agree must be accepted as a condition of freedom. We elect those who make the laws that authority is dictated to, if we elect a government that changes those laws then a different set of people may be marginalised. The current financial crisis is an inexcusable threat to progress and it is entirely due to a systemic corruption of the mechanisms of the system itself.
The indecisive democracy practised in Europe makes change occur in a different way than it does in the more rapidly decisive preference voting systems that expand the power to “vote against” a candidate by those who are not completely sure but certain they did not want one of the leading candidates. I can not advocate FPP however, but that is also produces a decisive result swiftly, it is a method of voting that is then able to change government and importantly give Government a continuity and direction. I say importantly – meaning that the lack of an ability to run things without new rules being made – is an important distinction between Government having authority and the state having authority. The rules are only being made by a Government when one is rightfully recognised as representing the will of the people. And look at their choices. People want a government that is not tied to the whim of the fanciful investor. They want a stable entity that will look after their pensions and provide purpose and ability to the young people who may otherwise be overlooked in a market driven economy if forced by it into menial tasks.
The British Conservative Liberal coalition attacked education and health as their way to save the UK from financial collapse and another financial institute is reduced by 13 billion dollars overnight due to action on the derivatives market (2 billion in actual loses) followed by share market reaction (far more lost in capital value, but that’s life).
Meantime Greece is having to democratically consider if being a slave economy in the Euro is preferable to breaking away from it and becoming measured purely on its own merits (maybe that would be a tougher but a more rewarding environment) as Governments in Europe continue to bail out banks that have run foul of the improbable mathematics of the derivatives market.
It allows speculative destruction of common wealth. The hoarding of it by individuals and hedge funds which strip the banks bare at any available opportunity. Why are we democratically deciding to fund these vipers?
April 23, 2012
The French Republic is democratic – like the Republic of India – meaning it has a large number of candidates standing for a multitude of views dictating self rule.
The English First Past the Post democratic method mean that the only way to be elected is to form a massive party to represents a trends of ideas – usually a serving one side of a dichotomy; which has evolved two vastly powerful parties that shun independent views to allow for domination by class – a pendulum swing between capital and labour – gradually alternating directions.
Asserting that the benefit of the populations’ final authority defeating a developing trend or the abuse of power or a developing ineffectualness of the best that one or the other of these schools of thinking can produce. When one is in power, the other is preparing a new batch of leaders.
Another form of government is the selective capitalism of China hardly benefiting a vast population of traditional self-sustaining farming. Ironically, it has evolved an extreme aristocracy – a bubbling caldron of capitalist ideals inside a massive feudal population that feeds itself.
The weakness that the traditional Westminster based Western Governments, (USA and UK) have is this modernist limited duality. If one side of the argument is correct, then every other is (with contempt) to be assumed incorrect. Limiting the potential for adaptation.
Proportional representation is a method that includes new voices into the management of the affairs of a country. The reason we maintain countries per se is that allows us to organise in different ways. War can be made a thing of the past by recognising that it is not race or even territory that makes wealth – all those are is the imposition of rule over people. Wealth is a measure of accumulated activity versus need.
We experiment to experience different forms of governance. Traditions are a part of this but without change and variety our national barriers remain economic barriers. War is the imposition of another system upon a population. It is bound to eventually fail as assimilation is a false objective – as we adapt to environments by necessity – that we adapt to ideology is not as efficacious in producing the spectrum of social norms – as is the necessity of getting on with those who live around you.
War imposes brute force and eradication. Democracy can evolve a stronger form of government.
March 2, 2012
The Tory government religiously believe that privatisation is the solution to the economic woes of the UK and although not given a clear electoral mandate, seem determined to plough ahead and apply their political philosophy to one of the few genuinely working state run health delivery systems, the NHS.
January 17, 2012
Ron Paul is not advocating use of drugs, he is advocating pure choice. How does his model of society treat a victim of crime? These are the margins that would be sacrificed, very progressive, very unkind, very fair, a world where money talks, a world where money shouts, when you are down and out.
Foolishly, left as a comment on youtube
January 14, 2012
Is it political? It is by its location and jobs of those concerned. Police appear to be taking to random street thuggery? That is hardly what we need to assure us all that we live in a democratic country and not a fascist one. The police must defend why they would pin down people without cause and intimidate and assault innocent civilians (who happen to work for Labour MPs making this political). And if it is not defensible, then something must change if we are to consider the UK a democratic land. Maybe a bit of self reflection on this as social commentary will become too embarrassing to the Government. It needs to change sharply, we do not require this culture of violent control.
Not at a civil level, nor at a parliamentary level either. In fact the conflict between super powers is counter intuitive and regressive.
December 10, 2011
On one hand we have 27 countries agreeing that there is a solution in unity, and on the other protecting London’s financial influence and therefore effectiveness – a crumbling cornerstone – a shambles of belief in a system that has massively artificially inflated the economy without deflating the currency because electronics and computer muscle provide a sea changing wealth of opportunities to create capital, that is financial obligations committed with regard to imbalances in the ratio of risk vs return when things went wrong.
A Unification of the rights and obligations of all European citizens is commended by all but the British. Mutualising the benefits of “state capital” to the benefit of Europe would require considerable contribution of raw capital power that London City is and unlike other major sponsor economies in the EU – Great Britain is reluctant to play ball. Being singled out as the new Switzerland is one thing.
Europe becoming what it will become is probably a better destiny for the entire zone with the UK integrated into it, but is what Cameron has done a bad thing for Great Britain? In the final analysis that is not what matters.
November 28, 2011
The makeup of the new New Zealand Government indicates a continued trust of the ring wing values of Prime Minister John Key (National) but a distrust of the extreme right wing ACT party that was subject to a take over by (National ex-PM) Don Brash (he ousted the former leader, Bill English, now Finance Minister and deputy PM (to be confirmed in the potential new cabinet lineup).
The irrationality of re-election of many seats for New Zealand First reflects gentrification of the mid-right-wing protectionists voicing their protest against the more solidly conservative National party. The left wing has fragmented as Labour had a weak but very smart leader and the Green party now has a major voice in parliament most likely in opposition.
New Zealand appears to have chosen asset sales over education, steady as she goes values over progress and their system of Proportional representation MMP has delivered the Government that people voted for – sort of – it really could lead to a failed parliament if John Key does not attract the Maori party into coalition or make fresh overtures to the Greens – which would require some fairly major policy shifts. But it would be the wisest option, a stable government with Green progress as its priority – it is what the electorate has said.
October 11, 2011
So many convoluted answers and the likelihood is that those we elect into power will have none of it.
The real answer is simple enough. The tax payer bailed out the banks, and now there is not enough cash in the system to stimulate demand. When we have demand we buy the stuff that is offered, investments that do not benefit the client as much as the provider because those providers are endlessly trying to dig themselves out of the hole they dug with securitisation assets that require an economy 100 times larger to support. It is not demand that is lacking, it is the ability to demand.
Cameron can achieve his blundering objective, make credit card interest illegal or fix it at 3%. Make all private mortgages fixed at 2% and regulate the hell out of bank ponzi schemes. Get back to a fair economic playground where the citizen is more important than the corporation and the dollar. Get back to a political environment where politicians serve the electorate, not the ruling elites. And do not bail out failing gambling banks. Put the bailout cash in the hands of the citizens to buy what they need and restart the engines. Make business that produce exports our priority. Reduce our reliance on gambling to get by.
We get two things remarkably wrong, both are our own purely human inventions: politics and economics. We just need to wake up one fine day and realise that all our assumptions about both are out of date and work out a way to do things that will work. We have the computers and can do the modelling. We need a financial revolution and to realise that capitalism and socialism, neither one, will solve it.
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