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Archive for November, 2018

For the UK to achieve everything that is possible, we must have an open international trade policy that is ours and only ours to decide

November 30, 2018 Leave a comment

Capitulation by a British Prime Minister to what we now know as the EU is nothing new.

One of the differences between what Theresa May is now attempting to do to appease a foreign power and the activities of Prime Ministers such as Edward Heath, is that there is now much more information available on what the EU actually does and what Theresa May’s predecessors did to appease it. Many more people and Politicians are certainly awake to where the best interests of the UK would actually be.

The other is that the Prime Minister is simply attempting to ignore the will of both the people and many of the politicians around her. She has complete contempt for the process of democracy in everything that she now does.

On the face of it, the motivation of those Prime Ministers who took us in and then bolted us into the forerunner of the EU is a puzzle. That is until you appreciate that Leaders who are driven by fear soon lose track of what is actually needed, bypassing what is right and proper as they are driven by what they see as safe decisions, rather than those which no matter whether they come easy or hard are the essential part of all they have been empowered to do.

When we went into the Common Market, the price that we paid in terms of International Trade was exceptionally high.

Not only did we turn our back on very lucrative relationships right across the World, but also trashed our relationships witht key trading dependents placed right across what we now know as the Commonwealth.

It was a move that was as disloyal and neglectful to the Countries which share common ancestry to our own. All for the price of harmonisng and subjugating ourselves with the designs of a range of European Countries, who had many priorities which were written into the terms of our entry into the European Project. Priorities which cost many of our industries as benefits to other Members and their own Industries were made the priority with a massive cost to the efficiencies, productivity, creativity and above all profitability of our own.

These are not messages which we hear widely spoken.

They are messages that give the lie to the suggestion that in terms of trading, Membership of the EU is better and more beneficial for the UK than the alternative.

The alternative being for the UK to stand on its own feet in the World and accept that it has much more to gain in just about every respect by being brave and going back to our natural disposition of going it alone.

The UK will and always has been most successful when standing on its own.

But our relationship with the World changed as the World itself changed when the true impact of World War 2 manifested itself right across the Globe.

As is often the case, Politicians then, as they are still doing now, completely misread and misunderstood that change for what it was, what it should be. What the real opportunities were and what it would require to evolve the UK to get us there.

They let their own fear of that change and their fear of the responsibility that they held dictate what they thought the right solution would be.

Instead of being brave, they opted for what looked like the certainty that grouping together with other European Nations would offer them and their place in history.

They did so by saying damn the consequences and without any thought for the real price for the people they were elected to serve then, and for the generations that would follow thereafter.

As historical figures show, our trading performance before we joined the Common Market was significantly better on a worldwide and unhindered basis than it has ever been under the restrictions of being an EU Member.

Put simply, the UK is likely to have been in a much better place if Politicians of the day had possessed the metal to actually lead us, rather than take what looked like the safe bet or easy option – tying us in to a tightly restricted relationship led by a Foreign Power and in which we should never have been involved.

The similarities between what happened then, and what Theresa May is trying to do now is simply staggering. The difference is that as history has shown, the first time around, there was still the opportunity for us to remove the UK from the EU. Whereas if Theresa May were to achieve her aims, there would never again be any contractual mechanism for us to escape the EU’s bureaucratic tyranny and follow a friendly pathway to remove the UK from being involved.

It would be foolish to suggest that the transition from leaving the EU properly would have no turbulence involved.

But turbulence is inevitable whatever path we now take. It would simply be better that the turbulence ahead is something we experience and embrace by choice, rather than accept as an affliction at the hands of a Foreign Power that will have no concern for the specific consequences for the UK economy. Instead doing nothing other than prioritising what is good for them and good for it’s ‘own’.

What is certain is that in the medium and longer term, the UK is almost certain to perform much better once we have leadership that reflects the needs of UK Businesses and our Population, and we no longer have to prioritise the decisions of 27 other Countries first – a relationship which guarantees that our interests will only ever register at a level like we have never and will never actually be involved.

A Democracy doesn’t overturn the will of the people before it is even implemented and tried

November 29, 2018 Leave a comment

Brexit, or rather the Brexit process has brought both the best and the worst out of almost everybody who has anything remotely to do with it.

Yes, I include not only the Politicians, but also the commentators and journalists – or rather the opinionators, many of whom have lost any sense of coherent reality when it comes to democracy, instead mistaking their own priorities for being the very same thing.

Having held a genuine people’s vote on Membership of the European Union on 23rd June 2016, the idea that holding another Referendum fits completely with this now obsessive behaviour, but is dangerous in the extreme as if carried out, it has the potential to create many more problems for this Country and our population than it ever has the potential to solve.

Whilst we are continually being told by those with vested interests that the Public have changed their minds about Leaving the EU, it is in fact their frustration at the lack of real action and attempts by Remainers to ignore democracy and derail it which has tired people to the people where they really feel no compunction to be involved.

The reality is that nobody could have changed their mind about what Leaving the EU would actually feel like, because to date, it is simply not something that we have even experienced or tried.

To be in a position where it could be genuinely argued that people have changed their mind about being Independent from the EU, the UK must first carry out the Instruction of the People; implement Brexit properly in every meaningful way, give it time for the changes to be experienced and only then could there potentially exist the circumstances where evidence might exist to even suggest that a return to EU Membership of the EU is something that might again be seen as beneficial and as such something to which the UK is once again inclined.

The binary choice of the EU Referendum made clear that the people’s vote was a majority decision to Leave, rather than Remain.

Therefore to Leave on the Terms that the People have instructed, we must depart from the EU on WTO Terms.

Thereafter, with the wheels of Government turning very slowly, it is unreasonable to expect that the necessary chnagess to Legislation would have worked their way into implementation for at least 2 years and probably several more beyond.

It is only then that the British People will really be in any position to even begin experiencing the result of the required Brexit, to have lived with it for a meaningful and unhindered few years, and are therefore be in a position to provide real feedback upon any question of changing their minds over leaving, if by that point there is any chance that they would wish to return to EU Membership and actually perceive that there could be any benefit to the UK doing so.

To overturn the process any sooner would be undemocratic, remove legitimacy from our whole political process and place the UK at the will of forces which will be the complete antithesis of anything that we have come to recognise as coming from the democratic mould.

 

UK security is best served kept in our own hands. The EU would only increase risk to itself by burning the bridges between us when they benefit disproportionately from what we already give

November 29, 2018 Leave a comment

To hear Theresa May and her coterie of die-hard Remainist Ministers speak, you would think that the UK is backward in just about every respect and incapable of making its way in the World without the stewardship and direction of a load of unelected bureaucrats shouting demands at us from an office across the English Channel and somewhere in the EU.

With the history we have – some of which will still be within the living memory of the Politicians who surround her – it is as amazing as it is sickening that people elected to the highest positions of power in the UK, could have not only adopted, but are hell bent on convincing everyone else of the validity of this view.

Yet this is where we are, and for as long as people who can only prioritise themselves are able to influence our destiny as a Nation, there remains a risk that they will take the UK and our people to places that we never belonged.

Security is once again a multifaceted and complex issue relating to Brexit which many of us do not understand.

In reality, we should never need to do so as we should be able to trust our decision makers to have a complete and objective view of everything which has happened, is happening and of course, that which either wont be or simply hasn’t yet come into view.

Regrettably they don’t.

This means that we are yet again being sold a story of our place in the World which is thoroughly demeaning. One that is only ever intended to convince us wrongly, that the UK risks finding itself out in the cold and that we have a dependence on the EU which has never ever had any reason to exist.

Defence & The Armed Forces

The EU now has very ambitious and documented designs on developing a Euro-Army of its own. A clear sign that the plan for a United States of Europe is clearly manifesting itself and one which makes clear that it would be foolish to believe that the phyrric freedoms that Theresa May is trying to tell us she has won, would continue to exist for very long.

Militarily, the World is an increasingly dangerous place. The Russians are already testing borders around Eastern Europe itself, but are also parked on our doorstep, even testing the airspace which is above the UK itself.

Meanwhile the USA and China are on a competitive journey both in trade and in places like the South China Sea which in less than a decade could escalate to a level which leaves military action the only way it can be resolved.

With the seemingly limitless level of chutzpa that the EU leadership already employs, it is clear that their own ambition for power and control and to be seen as a de facto world player will soon get them into significant trouble if they are ceded power over so much military power.

If we were to be tied in on the Terms of any form of Remain or May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, it is almost certain that we would be dragged in and inevitably involved in anything that the unelected bureaucrats with power over 28 different Countries decide that they we and other Member States would be required to do.

The only way that we can guarantee complete control over the use of our Armed Forces and the choice over what future wars we may or may not wish to become involved with is to Leave the EU without an unnecessary and avoidable deal. We must take back control of everything with the first step being the reestablishment of trade with everyone – i.e. Leaving on WTO Terms.

Intelligence

On the gathering and use of security intelligence, Theresa May and her Remain-bent supporters are selling the UK very short too.

We have one of the best security and intelligence services in the World. We were at the forefront of intelligence service development and many Countries – not least of all the USA – have developed their own abilities based on the ground breaking and innovative work that we have done historically here in the UK.

There is and has never been any need for the UK to operate in any way other than alone.

We have always shared data with our allies and we survived very well indeed before the EU and its fearful disciples came along.

It is ridiculous to believe that we can improve the security of the UK by removing borders and harmonising everything that we do and have with foreign powers.

Those Remainers who read this and suggest that simply remaining would have meant that everything would stay the same as it is now are being either ignorant or disingenuous at best.

The evolution of the EU is and has only ever been one way. That is the centralisation of power of all kinds in Brussels and the removal of localised – ergo Nationally identifiable structures which could be used to initiate a democratic claw back by Nation States or in any other way get in their way.

Remember that it is not we the UK who are threatening to withdraw cooperation with the EU once we have finally rescinded our Membership.

It is the EU that is creating the problems.

It is the EU’s desire for overall control which is overriding the continuing benefits of working together sensibly.

It is the EU that has so much more to loose.

Cyber Security

Whilst the topic still remains without great attention from the media, it is the area of cyber security where the benefits of our continuing to work alone and without the dilution of other misleading interests that tell us the UK must continue to steer its ship and be happy standing out in the World alone.

We face threats of a technological kind, leveled at us from World players who in conventional military terms are not even on the risk list. Yet in terms of their current and developing abilities to access and potentially disrupt vital infrastructure at the touch of a button, they may already have the power to affect this and other Western Countries in ways which could only be more severe if we were to experience the fallout of a full scale nuclear war.

Joking aside, countering such threats is not something to be all communal about and leave to people who have no interest in the people and businesses of the UK.

We simply cannot trust the EU to protect us from the threats that we are already working against in the UK and have been for a considerably long time.

Terrorism

Terrorism is the final thing that we hear scare stories about that are used as a basis for our Independence to be denied. Yet returning our own borders is a much safer option for us to ensure that both malevolent would-be terrorists, foreign actors and arms shipments will be continually denied and not made more likely by the mission creep of the EU to abolish any form of meaningful self-government, its policy and rule.

Yes, we must continue to collaborate with our friends wherever possible. But giving them control over our future security is foolishness in the extreme. We must take back all power that has already been granted to foreign powers and share whatever we can when it is possible, whilst accepting that it will always be best to keep security as a key policy for our own Government to determine and decide.

 

Image thanks to unknown source (From the Film ‘War Games’)

 

 

28 different people will always have and need a different relationship with money. So why would the UK be any different when it comes to the economy and 27 Countries in the EU?

November 28, 2018 Leave a comment

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Everything we perceive is relative. We often forget to see it that way. Or, we simply lose the grasp on individual perspective when we could and should be applying its use to many other things.

In everyday life, the consequences are often played out in our misunderstanding of others, just because we overlook the opportunity to at least try empathising and seeing a situation from the point of being stood in someone else’s shoes.

Regrettably, the relativity between one situation which appears materially different from another is much easier to overlook, even though once the similarities are thought through, the same principles are often easy to apply.

How this Government and the Remain contingent are treating our relationship with the EU is sadly no different.

It is regrettably too apparent that the care and consideration, coupled with the intelligence and common sense that fuel an objective reality for the future of this Country are in this case being dangerously denied.

Economics is the topic of the day for the Government’s denial over the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

We see Phillip Hammond being wheeled out as part of May’s life support, knowing that like the coterie of other fear-driven Ministers that surround her, in the Prime Ministers immediate future is where their own legacies and political destiny will permanently lie.

Like one person who earns differently to another, has different family commitments and needs, has different resources handed down, lives in a different place, has different tastes and has a different culture and approach to spending, the individuality of our approach to economics relates to what we have, what we are, what we can get and what our independent priorities are – or yes, are allowed to be.

It’s part of how we are defined, how we survive and is inescapable as a key ingredient of how within a world ruled by money, we can be flexible enough to go forward and survive.

Countries are no different. In fact they are far more complex and have an ongoing need to be able to respond malleably to the needs of the markets in which they operate, to the needs of the majority of everyday businesses which operate within them and above all, to whatever might be the requirements generated by their own population – i.e. their own domestic need.

If you have need of any example to illustrate how removing economic flexibility can go wrong when you have the idea that synchronising your economic system with other Countries is the place where you belong, you only need look at the cases of the EU Members Greece and Italy to get a very good idea of how the idea of harmonising economics between different Countries can go dangerously wrong.

We are fortunate that we were able to leave the ERM at that point that we did in the 1990’s when the Conservative Party was last on a downward trajectory after getting so much about its responsibilities to the Electorate so wrong. It could otherwise easily have been the UK today which suffering so catastrophically, as we would be unable to make our own rules on money and be ruled completely by the will of 27 other Countries when it came to everything financially that we did.

Put simply, we would already be the EU’s bitch, and if Theresa May is allowed to continue with her treacherous sell-out, that’s exactly where each and every part of our Country is going to be.

The scare stories being propagated by Ministers only interested in saving their big jobs and their own skins are a travesty of misinformation and bear no relation to the reality that it is only when you have control over the choices that you make, that you are fully equipped to adapt to each and every battle, and reach a position where as a Country, we can economically win.

There are already many Countries who want to do business with us, whilst remaining shackled under Theresa May’s Welched Brexit ‘deal’, will only ensure that all these massive opportunities will very quickly end up in the bin.

We must not be in fear of the EU. They have much more to lose by working against us, and everything to gain fro working with the UK to facilitate a genuine process for us to Leave, and then build a relationship with us which facilitates the same kind of access to each others markets that everyone but the EU itself wants and knows we can keep open – what is for all of us very much the ‘win-win’.

Growth and prosperity are only there for us as a Country to enjoy if we actually have and maintain control over them.

It will not be until we have recovered and used that Great British step into the unplanned unknown and broken all ties with the EU that we will again taste the real opportunities that meet and are open to our culture.

It is here that we will be able to achieve without restriction in our own markets, across the whole World including Europe, and be on a pathway to once again as a Nation being proud of who we are and appreciative that we are capable of so much more.

 

Image thanks to unknown

 

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement ‘Head-to-Head’: If we really must have May and Corbyn selling nothing which will be of use to anyone PLEASE at least remove the bloody script!

November 27, 2018 Leave a comment

May Corbyn Debate

Despite Sky TV’s continuing Campaign to make Leaders Debates a common fixture for all General Election Campaigns, I like many others am less than convinced that this further attempt at Americanising British Politics will deliver anything good.

Providing such a platform with politics working as it is today is showmanship at best. It comes at a time when we are suffering a drought of Politicians in positions of power who really care, giving them yet another way to provide us with only more of the same grandstanding is a place that probably most of us would rather not go.

With this in mind, you will probably not be surprised that I do not see the point in disrupting a Sunday evening viewing schedule – particularly when the Final of this year’s I’m a Celebrity Final is on, just to give Theresa May the opportunity to trying selling something in words that she will no doubt be able to choose – and especially so when the product on offer is oh so very very wrong.

Never mind the rather strange question which lays across the whole idea and relates to the Prime Minister’s reluctance to go near anything which resembled a debate in real time during her flawed 2017 General Election Campaign. The whole pretence that she is now out there to sell her idea gives the lie to the whole exercise for no more reason than it demonstrates that she hasn’t actually listened to anyone and just intends to convince everyone that her ideas are somehow right.

So if we really must be subjected to this kind of peak-time-viewing-charade, the least the TV Companies could do is make the whole process interesting.

How about removing the entire script and leveraging something along the lines of a real Question Time?

The questions could be chosen from a random selection by the public. But the show itself could be compared by a Chair who can follow up and introduce supplementary questions. It could all be done in a way that could really make the idea that testing the people who wish to demonstrate their ability to lead has some credibility. It would certainly give us an insight into whether outside the realm of the pre-prepared and stage-managed, May’s or Corbyn’s politics and metal really is so very strong?

At one end of the spectrum and without any intentional bias towards the offerings of the BBC, we could perhaps give the chair to Andrew Neil, who is only disliked by the people whose ideas are easily offended or upended and as such want to brand the questioner as the one who has got their policy wrong.

Otherwise someone like the up and coming Emma Barnett, who is highly promising as a political interrogator and has the same ability to press the right keys to get these two singing a very different and unorchestrated song.

Either of these two Presenters or someone skilled and unintimidated like them would soon begin to uncover the truths that people really need to hear about May’s Welched Brexit and Corbyn’s dangerous alternative reality.

And if this really has to go on TV, why shouldn’t the audience be treated to something they actually need?

In the absence of any structured and open disclosure on the reality of what it will be to Leave without an unnecessary deal and take control of our own destiny, this is likely to be the only way that a genuine story from either of these two on TV is ever likely to evolve.

May’s idea of an honest Brexit: This is my truth, accept it as yours

November 25, 2018 Leave a comment

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Action speaks louder than words is an expression that many of our politicians would do well to remember before they embark upon yet another round of telling us what they intend us to believe.

Regrettably, even at the very top of British politics, the principle that saying will be seen and therefore accepted as doing is still alive and kicking. It is a big part of Theresa May’s survival campaign.

When I wrote the guidebook for aspiring politicians How to get Elected demonstrating what it is that good politicians need to actually do, it was this very disconnect between what the Prime Minister thinks and what she does that I had in mind as illustrative of everything that a good, responsible politician at any level of Government should never do.

At some superficial level, the Prime Minister clearly understands the basics that voters need. She can talk up the principles and ethics involved verbatim. But she has absolutely no idea that saying and then doing are two completely different things.

Put in the perspective of Brexit, there is simply nothing about what is genuinely best for the British People or our Business Community reflected in the content of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

It is therefore clear that our future is currently in the hands of people who are either completely incompetent or are deliberately selling out their own Country. They simply have no interest in what the consequences of their actions will actually mean.

Over recent days, listening to Theresa May tell us all over and over again that she has our best interests at heart, with the clear inference that those opposed to her do not, simply gives the lie to her whole dangerous and fabricated reality.

A reality that has no resemblance to the messages that she keeps giving us.

A reality which is much worse than a sell-out that makes our existing relationship with the EU resemble the middle ground between her truth on Brexit and what we as a Country actually Voted for.

A looking glass reality that is not even located at any point in between.

The danger is that this whole false reality is being accepted by people who still mistakenly and innocently believe that a politician leading our country would always do what’s best for us and certainly would never sell us out.

As people in Northern Ireland, our coastal fishing communities and now even Gibraltar have already began to realise, nothing could be further from the truth.

But by the time everyone wakes up – with the absence of anywhere near enough MP’s in Parliament capable of thinking for anybody but themselves – this act of shear foolishness will have written us a defining path that is going to create unavoidable pain for us all.

Yes, even a Corbyn government is now increasingly likely. And whilst May’s version of conservatism is now terminally broken, on a respirator and fumbling along on borrowed time, every day that she remains in office with this travesty continuing to unfold, makes the likelihood that the Conservative Party itself will be irretrievably wrecked on the rocks that this all talk and no action prime minister has created, will like her departure be inevitable too.

People don’t build their realities upon what they hear. It’s what they see, feel and know about the world as they experience it which makes everything true.

May and those around her simply don’t get this.

It’s why we have Brexit in the first place.

It’s why May’s reality is so warped and out of touch, is taking us in completely the wrong direction and yet again only reflects the wishes and aims of the Establishment few.

The defining truth for any leader and political party to be genuinely successful is that they delivers on what they say. Not that it tells us what we want to hear and then without doing the things they are telling us, nonetheless expect us to believe that it’s true.

The fairy tale fantasy Theresa May is writing to appease a Foreign power is destined to go so far wrong and beyond her control that even the tinkering around the edges that some senior Tories are attempting will do little if anything to deny.

For Brexit to really mean Brexit and for the actions of this Government to resemble what it tells us with words, the only option is the misnamed path of No Deal and for the UK to Leave the EU on 29th March 2019 on WTO Terms.

 

No Prime Minister, Brexit wasn’t just about immigration and pretending so is as ignorant as it is to call Leavers racist

November 24, 2018 Leave a comment

Brexit Problem

Like many, I’ve been wrestling with what makes Trident Tongued Theresa tick in recent weeks.

Treachery on a level which would have once seen her hung, drawn and quartered is now firmly in the open, even if it is being skilfully denied.

But whether the Prime Ministers actions are borne of simple stupidity or something far more sinister, trying to even understand why she has been so set on a UK sell-out and where exactly her direction is anchored has been quite an eventful ride.

Finally, with a welched Brexit made manifest within a Withdrawal Agreement that has zero resemblance to the UK leaving Membership of the EU and will tie us in even more firmly than the majority of people had voted Remain, we see No.10’s spin focusing on the result of restricting immigration. And therein we see how the lie was given to May’s form of Brexit, and where she has placed her focus and misplaced her aim.

To have done so underlines the reality that the Prime Minister has never understood the mechanics of Brexit. Why so many more voted Leave, rather than Remain. Why perception definitely is everything, but that each and every perception is different and that immigration may look like a simple thing to understand, but that like the whole plethora of issues surrounding Brexit, it is multifaceted, multilayered and has always had no defining link between a binary choice of Leave vs Remain.

To have and to continue to ignore all of the other concerns and by this I mean just those which are documented and tangible, strikes of ignorance on the part of the Prime Minister and those around her in the extreme.

It certainly gives value to the question of how someone with such a closed-off view of what is going on around them can get elected into a public role, never mind taking control of all our destinies from that highly coveted office, buried deep within No.10.

To have determined to negotiate the do-called withdrawal on the basis of settling the immigration question itself certainly answers a lot of unsettling questions. It certainly explains how the vote to leave could have been misread so very badly by those in power and interpreted as an opportunity to bind us more closely to a foreign power – especially when led by people who cannot employ impartiality when it comes to their own views prioritising Remain.

But it also makes clear that the whole negotiation process has been flawed. That the Withdrawal Agreement is democratically worthless. That the whole ‘deal’ must now be binned and replaced with a process and conclusion which brings all sides together. One that prioritises the UK, it’s people and businesses, but does not allow the motivations of any one or another become more important than what is right and proper, balanced and fair and considered in terms of the consequences and knock on effects for years and generations to come.

The UK voted Leave and whatever the words which form the document covering our departure, Leaving MUST be a process that simply works for us ALL.

Brexit will be a problem for everyone until the focus switches from agreeing a deal with the EU to actually leaving it.

Instead of allowing fear to rule the future of the UK any further, the opportunity to return the process of Leaving the EU should be returned to the place where it should have been started.

That of accepting that we will have left the EU, and all that remains is to agree the terms under which the UK and the EU will thereafter conduct a relationship, as we would do with any other Foreign power.

We must not in any way continue to entertain the false idol of a special relationship with our European neighbours being necessary, just because of geography.

Globalisation has already more than demonstrated that we are otherwise much closer to the other side of the World, to places beyond entire Continents and great Oceans.

We should not place ourselves open to the undue influence of other countries who’s primary aim has always been to subjugate us by any means. To remove us as competition and to take away any form of influence which encourages us to believe and trust in everything that makes us British; instead, aiming to condemn the people and businesses of the UK to a permanent position of not knowing who or what we actually are, but always making us feel that we are continually somewhere in between.

At 23:00hrs on 29th March 2019, the UK must leave the EU, adopt the WTO rules that it always should have, and only then begin to build up its new relationships with each and every Country of the World, side-stepping self-interest and building a future which is good for all of us. One which doesn’t just serve the interests of the EU and its disciples – but for us all is a genuine ‘win-win’.

UK Politics and many of its incumbents are writing a new destiny over Brexit. Change is coming and it will not be denied

November 24, 2018 Leave a comment

img_1855Like a real-life game of consequences, nobody can predict what the reality and fall out will be from the mess our Politicians have made of Brexit.

No matter what the intention of individual MP’s and influencers, their input has only ever been contributory rather than conclusive.

As I wrote recently, they have no control over the ultimate outcome even when they believe they have won battles as they have tried to control the direction of Brexit from the point of the Referendum Vote, to the serving of Article 50, the UK’s departure date and the entire process in between.

The self interest and contempt for the Electorate throughout all of this has been breathtaking. The lies formed and propagated based at best upon the political culture of promoting ignorance and at worst deceit and treachery have demonstrated a disease and rot being rampant throughout British Politics which is in no way friendly to Voters, is thoroughly insidious and is an institutional malevolence of the very worst kind.

The lie is given to this whole cultural malaise through actions such as giving out gongs and Knighthoods to Politicians who are now so detached from the realities of the people who elected them, that their principles and therefore their votes can simply be bought as the need to consider the consequences of every action upon the Public are brushed aside.

No, this is not confined to the actions of just one Party – even though this truth is one that the self-serving nature of today’s Politicians will require them all to immediately deny.

Through action and inaction alike over Brexit, many of our MP’s and the people who closely support them are feeding a hatred and distrust of everything that Westminster represents, that the mess our Parliament is now creating will leave it impossible for them to deny.

Many of them will simply lack the credibility to maintain their positions for the future. Their hands are bloodied, they are selling us out and will not be able to simply attribute blame to the poor leadership that their choices based on self interest has kept in place and fuelled. Ineptitude in leadership which they have and continue to contribute to which will leave them with no place to hide.

Politics as we have for so long known it will soon be over. There will be a new guard coming to guide us and even if it wears the clothes of the Parties which currently exist around us, the content and the people who drive them will be very different. They will look on their roles very differently, respect their responsibility to the people who elected them and work together to deliver solutions which work for everyone, irrespective of noise and biased voices. They will genuinely recognise Mutual Aims.

 

images thanks to unknown

The legacy of May’s Brexit in name only will destroy the credibility of the Conservatives who do nothing to stop her, just as surely as she has obliterated her own

November 8, 2018 Leave a comment

img_1739-1There are a growing number of accounts in circulation today that outline different ideas and conclusions covering the descent of politics into the deepening depths of the abyss in which it currently resides.

These articles, essays and books speculate on the whys and the wherefores of what the political classes have or have not done to aid, instigate and fuel this downward journey that they have taken us all on. Yet these writings overlook the influence of the human condition, and try instead to convince us that the problems are all systematic.

The problem with these views is that they have been based upon reading the effects of action, non-action or misdirection as the cause itself. They have overlooked or perhaps neglected to observe or detect that which still seems either too simple, or perhaps too unpalatable to accept as being the true origins of the problem.

From this point of view, it is actually important to say none of the writers are wrong, as from a certain perspective based on only some of the facts, what they say is certainly true.

By overlooking the genesis of the problems, they unquestionably fail to recognise that almost every political problem we see manifested is the result of a series of falling ‘decision-dominoes’. Whether it be just one or two, or many more, there is certainly no recognition of the infinite possibilities of where events could have headed either accidently or deliberately, simply because of a directional tumble, located in the chain somewhere in between.

Whilst this often unseen and unrecognisable mechanistic reality gives cause to suggestions of conspiracies and malevolent forces being at work, the chaos Politicians are now causing is rarely attributable to any such truth. The real impact of human motivation and error is as such somewhat foolishly overlooked.

Hanlon’s Razor speaks a rare and quantifiable truth about the reality of the political mess which we have above us. Yet it is difficult to imagine that the behaviour of people who have been gifted such power and responsibility on trust, could in fact be explained by simple stupidity rather than some form of malice. And in terms of the whole myth which surrounds politics, it is this regrettable dynamic upon which many of the issues of disenfranchisement lie.

In what may not actually feel like the rare circumstances due to the none stop bombardment of news which has accompanies it, the Brexit Process provides a magnifying glass of public-wide proportions where the true motivation of otherwise influential politicians can not only be observed, but has been amplified under a very bright spotlight.

Many of our Politicians and in particular our Parliamentarians, have become so ambitious for themselves and their own ideas, that they have simply forgotten why they were elected in the first place and what a Representative of the People is actually in office to do.

Whatever the level in Politics reached, it is sadly true that in all too many cases, as soon as somebody is elected, their beliefs transform and the buy in to the fallacy that now in possession of a Seat, they know better about everything than the electorate, even when through a Referendum, an instruction and conclusion has been handed to them in plain sight. They are certainly unaware that their role is to be no more than a channel, a hub, an interpreter and a voice, and that their true value is in making the best decisions and fighting for change based on information which by its nature must be sourced continually and from a great many different things.

Yet power at all levels in politics is intoxicating. It is too easy for good people, when exposed to the realities of the political bubble, to believe it is their own ideas and decision making which makes them special in the roles that they now have, and that what they think themselves is therefore representative of what everyone else who is sensible and to be taken seriously really thinks too.

So when it comes to reaching the highest levels in politics and that possibility of becoming Prime Minister is now apparently in clear sight, it is then, as we have now for many months been witnessing, that Cabinet Ministers, who might be very capable in other circumstances, have become so blinded by the opportunity that they perceive as being before them. The real chance that they could at any time have the door opened to run for the Conservative Party Leadership and ergo, get an immediate ticket to see the Queen and move into No.10.

They simply have no idea how serious the consequences of their deliberate decision not to be seen as the one who actually stops Theresa May from delivering a Brexit in name only are likely to become.

Whilst the realities of the Westminster bubble are blinding MP’s who at other times we might have good reason to respect, there is now a complete lack of understanding and connection with the outside reality for the people outside of politics.

Real people, with real lives and real common sense who are looking on at the melee that is unfolding, know and understand that what many MP’s and particularly those at the top of the Conservative Party are doing is not what their Representatives were instructed democratically to do.

People know intrinsically that what Theresa May and those placed intimately around her are trying to achieve through manipulation and outright deceit whilst hiding the evidence through mealy mouthed words and lip service to the concrete ambiguity of interpretation is simply wrong. The history of blinding people to the truth of the EU and its disciples is over and the British People will not be conned by self-serving and career-minded Politicians anymore.

The misjudgment of what the Electorate actually thinks, based on a complete misunderstanding of what people are genuinely experiencing and how they really feel about things is what led to the Brexit Vote itself.

These same and unchanging deep-down and experiential views are now – involuntarily I might add – slowly but surely being redirected against the Conservative Party.

Under May’s continuing Leadership and decision to deceive us all by coercing us into Brexit in name only, The Conservative Party is currently destined to cling on to power only through the use of ridiculous deals or compromised coalitions. We should be under no illusion that Conservatives across the Country will be doomed to electoral oblivion, the minute that Jeremy Corbyn is removed by the Labour Party and they elect a Leader who is both credible and genuinely involved.

That Politicians have contempt for the understanding of the Electorate over what being a part of the EU really now is, when they do not themselves understand the insidiousness of the whole Project is in itself damning enough.

That many Politicians are now not only prepared to ignore the Public Instruction to remove us fully from EU Membership, but to tie us up to ensure that the UK will not technically be able to remove itself thereafter borders on politically suicidal and resembles nothing that can even remotely be labelled sane.

The selfishness and naked ambition which is ruling over Westminster is now very clear. Intellectually or viscerally, the People see all that is going on for what its and the most senior of our Politicians who have the ability to head off this catastrophe before it happens, must now put the Country first, remove May and accept that Brexit DOES NOT mean Remain.

Conservatives are going to pay a very high price for this insular and insidious self interest, as will the whole Country itself, if the return to democracy which is now required by the leadership of those who would be king is not facilitated very soon.

Time is running out.

Image thanks to clipartxtras.com

Whilst there is no justification for Parliamentary bullying, a career politics culture at Westminster may hold the real key

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

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Right now, we are all feeling the fallout from an indefinite bout of issue fatigue. The cause being the endless blame game which has taken over news channels at every turn, making us question and in many cases overlook so much of what we now hear.

In amongst the continual barrage of Brexit-esque mischief making currently absorbing everything and highlighted with the ever-present shout-out for Remain, there lies a developing story about another abuse of political power, which yet again should be deeply concerning for us all.

Right at the heart of British Politics, stories of bullying, poor people management and abuse of responsibility are growing, as is yet another tale of the Parliamentary Establishment failing us all by failing to act.

Horrible as it is, bullying can exist within any workplace.

But whether bullying is deliberate and enacted through malevolent intent, is unconscious and reflective more of poor management and social skills on the part of the bully themselves, or more a reflection of how direct management instruction can now be misinterpreted by people who want to brush the realities and requirements of a job description to one side, its presence or the perception of it being so should never go unquestioned. And particularly so when it is our legislators themselves who are intimately involved.

Events that have taken place already are one thing, and there is no doubt that The Speaker should facilitate proper scrutiny of all that has taken place immediately and ensure appropriate responses and transparency throughout.

But work must also be carried out to address the potential for bullying in the future, and to do this it really is important that the impact of the career politics gravy train is made clear openly and the dark realities which influence behaviour in Parliament spelled out.

Regrettably, the evolution of the Political Party System to what it is today has not only made, but actively encourages politics to be an aggressively ambitious place.

However, before running away with the immediate impression that I am focusing just on the behaviour of MP’s and Politicians themselves, it is also important to recognise the roles that they will have played before their own election. Roles which are often subordinate to MP’s, which form the basis and lifeblood of Parliamentary Staff, Jobs that are filled with a plethora of political aspirants who are just as focused on the end game and what is in it for them, albeit at a much earlier developmental stage.

Politics has become all about the job and not about the responsibility. In such an environment, it is inevitable that the aggressiveness which accompanies people on this pathway will win-out, no matter what the stage.

What is not inevitable however, and what is just a sign of the times, is the reliance which has fallen into place, on there being some kind of quasi-dependence on there being a career pathway to a job being an MP at all.

And whilst for the various reasons and for the interpretations of bullying outlined above which make it likely that it will always in some form in the workplace always continue to exist, the return of politicians to the Parliamentary Estate who see their role as a gifted responsibility from and on behalf of the Electorate, rather than a job, a career and therefore a right, will go a considerable way to heading off even the chance of behaviour which has little to do with the impact of decisions and of actions in sight.

 

 

 

 

Brexit is more popular than ever. The majority of people just have better things to do than spend their lives in echo chambers or answering the phone to pollsters

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

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One of the greatest difficulties in politics, is understanding how and why voters’ minds appear to change.

Whether you are looking to get elected to a local council or are running the Country as a Member of Parliament, this fundamental rule simply doesn’t change.

It is a wise politician who can look beyond the noise of media and vociferous campaigns to both see, analyse, interpret, AND trust the basis of the information that they find.

It is an even greater politician who can place this knowledge in the perspective of the political terrain in which they operate, whilst recognising where and how their own flaws may contribute to a possible fall.

In times when politics seems to have become the land of the self-righteous, rather than the place where trust and responsibility to the Electorate are respected in every way that they should, such skill seems not only to be absent, but also well out of anyone’s mind.

Just as the Brexit Vote was misread by people on both sides in the weeks and days leading up to the Referendum, the understanding of what and how people think at any one snapshot moment about Brexit and the manufactured debate about Leave or Remain is as elusive as it always has been.

Data abounds from every direction suggesting that people have changed their minds. Yet there is an odd absence of any suggestion of what they have changed their minds about.

A continual flow of stories tell us that everyone now wants a second Vote about Brexit. Yet there is no detail about why people might actually think that Politicians and the Establishment need to be told all over again.

Above all, there is this overarching and almost tangible feeling that the same people who have always overlooked the feelings, views and realities of others when it comes to the impact of the European Union, are building up to deliberately fail us all on the basis of believing their own propaganda all over again.

Just as lead Remainer Theresa May misjudged the reasons for calling of the 2017 General Election, there are so very many factors which continue to underpin the legitimacy of the Vote to Leave, themselves repeatedly overlooked whilst the realities of changing perspectives over time is being used as a peculiar way to argue that people now want to Remain.

Outside of the Westminster Bubble and the land of the Twitterati, real people have better things to do than be obsessive about the realities of political policy and decision making each and every day. On 23rd June 2016, the Electorate Voted to Leave the EU and that is exactly how they expected it would actually be.

Whilst it may be hard to believe, many people, not understanding how politics in the UK works actually thought that the UK had left the EU as soon as the Result of the EU Referendum was announced. This reality has itself not been without problems and one wonders if even this has been considered when people are now asked if they would like to remain?

 Yes, the mess which has been caused by poor leadership, deliberate intent, deceit and the repeating of a series of untruths over and over again, has created and exacerbated a zeitgeist of complete and utter distrust.

But this uncertainty and lack of faith exists not because people have changed belief or what they feel. Their feelings have always been based on real life experience and to them are very real.

No. The uncertainty and confusion exists because of the behaviour of the people who were elected to represent them. People who upon reaching the highest Publicly Elected Offices that the people of the UK can entrust to them, have simply overlooked and squandered that trust on every front. Politicians who are blinded to the will of the people and are obsessed with the ideal that is Remain.

Rather than keep trying to manipulate peoples views by asking loaded and leading questions, taking sample data which depending which way you read it could be beneficial to either Leave or to Remain, or deliberately overlooking how hard life in this Country is made by policy making formed with biased and misinformed data, why don’t you just get out there and talk to a few people outside of your Parties or back-slapping groups, ditch the labels and stereotypes which you use for excuses, and focus on what will really work for the British People and is in the best interests of this, our United Kingdom, rather than your idealistic and self-serving political indulgences instead?

Those Politicians and Opinionators obsessed with overturning the People’s Decision to Leave the EU at any cost would do well to remember that the power that they now cherish yet so willingly abuse, will no longer exist if they should ever succeed in erasing this Nation, as it becomes little more than a notional province in the EU’s supranational land of Righteous Remain.

The travesty of Tuition Fees was the commercialisation of education, the myth of qualification-related Social Mobility and the creation of lifetime debt for those who can least afford it

November 5, 2018 Leave a comment

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Somewhere, there was a cheer last week. Quieter than the Government was expecting. Bringing noises that didn’t sound quite as expected.

Yes, the dropping of Tuition Fees does sound good. But the question we should all be asking – just as we should have when they were first brought into being is ‘at what cost?’.

Living in the age of political idealism made manifest as we currently do, it is all too easy to get distracted by the noise from the media as new public policies are launched.

We fail to look beyond and see the true consequences of what the Government of the day is doing with our money, and what the legacy – and yes, what the fallout will actually be from everything they do.

The creation of Tuition Fees was one of the biggest travesties of them all, simply because it all sounded so good, whilst the negative impact and knock on effects across so many different areas of policy were simply too-far reaching to justify anything about it which was tangibly good.

The UK’s Education System has been failing us all for a long while anyway. But the impact from Tuition Fees was never going to deliver much that really helped anyone in the way that the genuine concept of equality in education for all really should.

That so many former, existing and future students are now destined to have a lifetime of debt must surely now be a given.

Yet it is through the accompanying shift of emphasis from quality of teaching to fee-generation and profit alone within the Further and Higher Education Sectors which has secured the Blair era one of its darkest, yet most unrecognisable legacies as the true cost of ‘degrees for everyone’ becomes manifest and begins to become widely known.

It should come as little surprise that the leaders of the Institutions in these Sectors are now worried that a restriction on Fees may begin a process where ‘struggling’ universities are set to close.

That is the true price of making education a business, where money should never have been the target of a reprioritisation of direction. And certainly not in a place where the benefit to the student, our industries and the National interest itself are so very closely entwined.

Beware the siren calls and suggestion of this being an attack on Social Mobilty too. Academic qualifications have only ever been a very small part of what it takes to get any one person through the perceptual barriers which hold so many people back. Whether they be school-age students, young people, graduates, career changers, returners or retirees, we all have a part to play in everyone else’s future too.

The reality is that the State should pay for everyone’s education. But in doing so, we must be practical and realistic about how access to education is applied and how much benefit is derived to us all from the provision of each and every course.

We must recognise that there is just as much value to be gained by opening up truly vocational opportunities for the less-academically-inclined at the age of 14.

And that as a result of doing so, not only would we release many young people from the painful and unnecessary realities of being in debt, we can also exploit the opportunity to create a parallel track of time-served and experienced trainees to support all of our businesses in a way that the obsession with degree level education has all but denied.

It would be far more sensible to begin this process of change now, accepting that neither the student nor the Nation itself can afford the process of awarding superfluous and non-beneficial degrees. And help the Sector to change through reform, rather than through a process brought on by necessity, which is what is currently sure to happen, if Politicians continue to think that money is the only benchmark by which the future of education can and should be defined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Welching of Brexit finally comes into view, yet there is still no sign that the Cabinet will stop May’s intent to sell us out and set it all in stone as she does

November 5, 2018 2 comments

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Understanding, exploiting and manipulating the flaws of basic human behaviour and voter psychology has been one of the key strengths of the EU from the very start.

Strategically, EU Leaders have long known what has been required to make a United States of Europe an irreversible dream.

Until Brexit, the EU had achieved a near perfect record of doing so.

Yet, in the bizarrest of circumstances, it is our elected leaders and the civil servants around them who have and are doing all the work to ensure that Europe’s supranational club of control is delivered across the UK.

Even now, the Prime Minister, armed with the knowledge of how all of her so-called negotiations and the Chequers debacle have been received, is still working towards the outcome of a Brexit in name only.

Theresa May is banking on the prospect of what she now tells us is Brexit being accepted as so, simply on the basis that time and the war of attrition which has been waged by the Establishment against all those who voted to Leave will have finally worn us all down.

Reading the articles in yesterdays and today’s media, it has become only too evident that the Prime Minister believes that she has achieved her own plan for us to accept whatever truth she herself defines as Brexit as being the very best that we can now expect to get.

With so many different examples of May being outed as committed to a manipulated form of Remain, then let off the hook, just to come back with the very same set of proposals just in a differently worded form, we should have been able to hope that by now, the more genuine of the Politicians around her would have already stepped in and pushed this very contemporary form of treachery to one side.

Whether Trident Tongued Theresa’s triplicity is based on ignorance, stupidity or something far more maligned, there is no way that anyone should be the Political Leader of this Country in circumstances like we find ourselves now.

The Prime Minister is clearly in no way prepared to stand up for our interests, and is committed to selling out not only her own, but the futures of all of us, whether we are young or we are old, to a supranational state which is systematically succeeding in its aims by ‘legally’ removing all processes and apparatus which can be used to identify and facilitate our independence and by which our legal sovereignty can be maintained, if not defined.

That wording is even being considered for a so-called ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ which could be legally interpreted as leaving the UK permanently tied to a Foreign power, their influence and yes – leadership, is at its best the underhand act of someone with only their own future at heart.

It is certainly not the act of any Leader who has a true understanding of the EU strategy AND has accepted that their first loyalty and commitment is to the people who put them in power, rather than to the idealism of a broken ideology whose mast they have selfishly tied themselves to and continue to be inclined.

Within the frenzy of ideas seeking to delegitimise the result of the 2016 EU Referendum and our Democratic decision to Leave Membership of the EU, few of the speakers scrambling over each other in the race to get their voices heard even hint at recognising the true magnitude of the events which they are helping to fuel as they develop around them.

And as we enter the week which sees the 100th Anniversary of the end of the War which we are taught as being the end of legitimised European Empires and the trouble that the leaders of such monoliths bring, our own Prime Minister is looking to sell us out irreversibly into yet another.

The consequences and reality for future generations of seeking the exit from the influence of Foreign power that they inevitably will, may well include the experience of such similar horrors that in the modern day could become even far more profound.

It is not too late to honour the contract and instruction placed upon Government by the EU Referendum Vote and Brexit.

Yet we must hope that someone, somewhere in a position of influence and power will now finally step in and stop May and the self-serving who dwell around her, before this mess and the trouble that is destined to come for us all as a result is fixed and firmly set in stone.

Belief that cannot stand up to scrutiny or ridicule is a problem for the believer, not those who question it

November 3, 2018 Leave a comment

BeliefLike many people, most of whom remain very quiet and even tight lipped about it, I have a growing difficulty getting my head around the growing fashion for attacks on anyone who questions or ridicules any of a certain set of ideas and beliefs of others, whilst people exercising those same beliefs appear free to inflict them on everyone else, even though they are doing exactly the same thing.

Ask anyone how they would feel about having to keep their own views quiet for fear of being intimidated, ostracised, attacked, having their career destroyed or perhaps a lot worse, and very few will argue the benefits of being in such a perilous situation.

Yet turn that position on its head. Question people with a fixed set of beliefs about how those who don’t share their views should be treated and few of the responses will come out through a mirror which should unquestionably leave the outcome looking exactly the same, albeit in a projected form.

Belief, or what we as individuals voluntarily perceive as the world around us, how it works and the systems we have been conditioned to view as the bedrock that underpins it, is to all intents and purposes, the lifeblood of how the human world operates and functions.

Whether it be the extreme of a religious calling, the fashion trends that we follow, the eating plan that we have adopted or even what forms the basis of our basic road sense as we look to cross in traffic. Our whole experience is underpinned by a series of different beliefs.

Many of these beliefs, such as what happens if we place our hand in a fire are shared.

Others, such as Leaving or Remaining in Europe, what constitutes cruelty in terms of animal welfare, or who is the best film star to have ever lived are very much our own, even though we may appear to share them with others.

The former group, that’s the ‘what happens if we run in front of a car’ type of belief, is a practical, accepted or universally accepted basic truth. One which we will rarely question, and when it is, we would not feel a sense of being put on the spot ourselves or that our own experience is being called into question, because we know it to be true.

We simply have no reason to feel that our views or our integrity are being questioned when it comes to universally accepted basic truths, because we know that to question them is itself based either on ignorance, stupidity, or a reason which once investigated would make sense and never be deserving of a disproportional response.

To be in the latter group however, is to be in possession of beliefs based on our own truths, the sum of our own experiences, and could only ever be arrived at by someone who had walked exactly the same path, had the same conversations, seen the same events, been in the same places at the same times, and interpreted the words, teachings and views of others in precisely the same way as we have ourselves.

Oddly, the reality of the latter set of beliefs in others and what the differences present actually mean are increasingly being overlooked, and considered by a growing number to be of the same value as a universally accepted truth.

They see their own views as being above scrutiny, and of such legitimacy that they must not be questioned by others or ‘non-believers’ on any account.

Reading that back, it sounds more likely that I am writing about the Spanish Inquisition or the logic of the Albigensian Crusade, than I am about the behaviour of the Social Justice brigade or a frightened 21st Century Western Establishment bowing to their every demand, because the prospect of doing otherwise makes them too afraid.

But the transfer of unqualified personal, private belief into the realms of legitimised, common accepted truth is now our dangerous reality. One that we must put in check, before the lack of understanding that underpins it begins to dictate everything in the world around us, how we all behave and everything that we do.

This week we have seen a British Magazine Editor step down for making thoughtless comments in an email about Vegans. Yet another incident which overlooks questions about the role of the accused, the accuser and the ‘court of public opinion’ which has subsequently become involved.

You can be sure there has, is and will be a whole lot more incidents of this kind.

Underlying such events is a commonality of errors. A vein of social misdemeanours and blunders which I am afraid to say have, are and will be at some point committed by us all – often without even a hint of deliberate intent. And none of which we would ourselves be likely to find warranting of any form of punishment or unnecessary trial-by-media of it were just a universally accepted basic truth which was involved.

That some can react so very badly to the direct or indirect questioning of their own beliefs is not itself wrong. But such a level of response to that question, whether it was posed in the form of ridicule, analysis or any other form of scrutiny, does itself ask fundamental questions about how strong or indeed comfortable that individual’s own belief in the subject under question might actually be.

Anything perfect, which cannot be disputed, doesn’t need the protection of any form of belief for it to exist or for it to be maintained.

Belief is what you make it.

Cheltenham & Boots Corner: When things don’t add up, questions need to be asked

November 2, 2018 2 comments

BCWith the Boots corner closure remaining firmly in local minds, the Council attempts to write the concern off as nothing more than the views of a ‘vociferous minority’.

Regrettably, this is how Local Government glosses over disquiet in the UK today and hitting the spot when it comes to overturning undemocratic decisions is a very hard thing to do, as the whole culture has evolved to protect itself.

In reality, even elected Councillors that do have their local communities and constituents at the heart of what they do, can find it an almost impossible task to get the right questions answered, as the system is geared to allow the close-down of unwelcome debate.

That said, persistence is the greatest ally in achieving worthy aims in Government, and if you keep asking questions, and then the questions which then follow any answers that you might get, the right result is far from being impossible – even if it doesn’t arrive within a timescale that you might find comfortable or like.

If I were representing people in Cheltenham right now, there are a number of questions that I would immediately ask. I would anticipate having many more, depending upon the answers I received or found. They would be as follows:-

Why has Boots Corner been closed?

Whilst it sounds like the answer should be obvious, it isn’t. BUT it is in the interests of the Council and/or whoever benefits from the closure for members of the Public to think that it is. Be sure not to fall into the trap of reading or listening to opinion, such as the article in last Sunday’s Observer, which framed the whole issue as being about pollution. That is just a useful excuse that takes the debate in a very different direction and is designed to make the real issues subservient to those that are in vogue.

Who or what is the driving force behind the change?

Is it the whole Council? Is it one of the Political Groups? Is it Officers? Were there Consultants involved? If there were Consultants involved, who paid the bill and what was the Brief?

What is their reasoning and motivation for the change?

Why now? What do the changes to Boots Corner really achieve? Is the reasoning given the full story, or is there more that we should know?

Who are the real beneficiaries?

Who stands to benefit from the changes at Boots Corner? What will those benefits be? What evidence was used to suggest that these results would be achieved? What modeling was used? What real-life examples were used and how do they relate to the very idiosyncratic nature of Cheltenham’s Road Plan?

What else is happening which is related?

There’s no such thing as coincidence. What else is happening on the same timeline as the changes to Boots Corner? What bigger Strategy is at work?

How did the Council reach the conclusion that the change was necessary?

What was the process within the Council that led to the decision to make the changes at Boots Corner? What is the chronology and timeline of the events that led to it? Who was involved in the process? What influence did each of the Parties involved have?

What evidence or tests being met will confirm the change as permanent?

The changes have been portrayed as being temporary or as a trial. What evidence will be used to decide if the changes at Boots Corner should become permanent? How have those levels been defined? Who has defined them? Who will write up the final Report, Conclusions and table the Proposal for the Council to decide?

What has been used as the basis of those tests?

Where did the ideas or methods come from which have been used to define these tests?

What has changed?

What has changed since the last time the Council and/or other Local Authorities considered closing Boots Corner and decided not to?

What is the long term Strategy?

 Is the closure of Boots Corner part of a much bigger plan? Does the Council intend to pedestrianise the whole of the High Street and Centre of Cheltenham? Is there something on the horizon that isn’t Publicly known?

What consultation with the Public has taken place?

Did a Public Consultation take place? If so, how was it carried out? What questions were asked? Who took part? How many people took part? What were their responses? What questions were raised? How were those questions answered?

What consultation with local businesses has taken place?

Did a Consultation with businesses take part? If so, how was it carried out? What questions were asked? Who took part? How many businesses took part? What were their responses? What questions were raised? How were these questions answered?

What consultation with Developers and Landlords has taken place?

Were Developers and Landlords consulted? What role did they play? What influence did hey have?

What influence has the arrival of the John Lewis store had on Boots Corner and other changes to the Town Centre Traffic system?

Has the arrival of the John Lewis store and its opening this Autumn had any influence on the Council’s decision making? If so, how?

Who designed the current plan?

Who designed the revised traffic and/or road plan to facilitate the Boots Corner closure? What modeling did they use? Why was that modeling considered appropriate as the basis for the changes?

What work was undertaken on traffic displacement modeling?

What work was undertaken on traffic displacement modeling? (Literally, what were the recognisable alternatives for drivers?) Where are the plans and figures showing where the traffic would go when Boots Corner was closed? How do the Council know what alternatives people who used to drive through Boots Corner to access the North of the Town Centre and beyond would use?

What steps were taken in response to the traffic displacement modeling before Boots Corner was closed on 28th June 2018?

What steps were taken to address the impact of the traffic re-routing which was going to take place after the Boots Corner closure BEFORE it actually took place in late June?

All of this information should be available in the Public Realm, but it is far from an exhaustive list of questions, and I am sure that many more would arise as you go along.

The primary sources of information should be the Minutes of the Meetings of the Full Council and also any of the Council’s Committees which have been working on or ‘overseeing’ the Boots Corner changes.

This is where all of the decision making, the reasoning and the evidence that supported it should be open to Public view.

If not, Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) should enable access to anything else that isn’t disclosed because it has taken place outside of Public Meetings.

Please Remember: The Boots Corner Closure is a matter of everyday Public concern. As such, legitimate questions should always be answered when asked or presented appropriately. If the Council and any party involved has been fair, balanced and done everything properly to ensure that the best interests of local people, businesses and anyone it has a duty of care to are served, they will have nothing to hide and everyone working on their behalf will be as open and helpful as they can be. They certainly wouldn’t need to rely on or have reason to resort to ridicule or any other form of personal attack as part of their response – whatever the medium.

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