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Boots Corner closed for 6 Months and the consequences for Cheltenham appear very much ‘out of sight, out of mind’

December 28, 2018 2 comments

Boots Corner montage 2

Yes, that’s right. The Boots Corner debacle, the traffic problems It has created for everyone beyond the Planners masterpiece and the now ghost-like roads just a stones throw from the Town Centre have been an evolving problem facing local People and Businesses for 6 Months.

The glad-handing and self-congratulation that we see pouring out in response to every legitimate concern that is tabled, wouldn’t be a problem for anyone outside the Council and the ‘project’ itself, if it weren’t absolutely clear to everyone else that the passage of time and every new thing being added is making the problems worse and worse.

Be in no doubt, the quantitative data that will be used to legitimise this train wreck of a Town Traffic Plan will inevitably support everything that Officers and Councillors say.

What it won’t do is consider any of the qualitative or experiential impacts which are the real consequence for local People, Businesses and frequent visitors or commuters to the Town. Simply because that was never what this vanity project was about.

Out in the real world, Cheltenham’s many passionate Small Business Owners know what does and doesn’t work in the Town Centre. They’ve done the trial and error already, many times over and know intrinsically how footfall and the number of customers who enter through their doors is directly affected and proportional to the cars and traffic that travel past and have direct access and line-of-sight knowledge of who they are and what they are offering to customers.

They possessed this knowledge long before the Boots Corner project got underway and have since increased their level of knowledge and understanding in a very practical way. Information which the arrogance and ‘we know best’ attitude of the controlling Councillors and the Planners both before and since the Scheme was launched has been overlooked.

The only figures and data which now matters to the Council are the number of feet on the High Street. And the answer to the question which should automatically follow this reality simply raises many more questions and a justifiably significant level of concern about what the priorities of Cheltenham’s District Authority now are as opposed to what they should actually be.

Take a walk in the streets behind boots, M&S and John Lewis and only the most unaware of people could walk away from the experience without recognising the physical and atmospheric change to what is still a part of Cheltenham Town Centre.

Whilst the confusing mish-mash of changes to what used to be a straightforward and accessible road system may seem much safer to some faceless bureaucrat in an office somewhere, the strange silence of these roads doesn’t foretell a beneficial change taking place for any of the businesses that cannot afford the significant rents and mortgages of the revamped High Street, forcing them to go beyond.

No, it tells us that the priority in Cheltenham is only big retail business, and that the lifeblood of the town which will always be it’s plethora of Small Businesses is being condemned by both the actions and words of both elected and appointed Public Representatives.

Unpalatable as it may be to idealistic Councillors and influential Officers who have been culturally conditioned to believe that they have no other way to respond, people notice and remember the places that they want to go when they are travelling through the Town in their cars.

Yes we may have a wider, cultural problem with the dependency upon four wheels that there is.

But there is nothing practical in trying to pretend there are not natural laws at work and that human behaviour itself dictates that the lack of foresight and absence of intuitive consideration of what these changes to the Town Centre have already and are set to do, confirms that this Council will only ever deliver on its own ideas, whilst paying scant regard to the consequences of its actions upon others. Namely the very people it exists for and is there to serve.

What is effectively the closure of what used to be the inner ring road is an avoidable blight on a large swathe of Cheltenham Town Centre which will mean existing businesses will fail, new ones will never get the footfall that they need to keep going, and instead of being a destination of business opportunity for the many, this idealistic approach to managing a Town Centre will instead only really be of benefit yet again to the deep pocketed few.

For the people who know and love Cheltenham for the great Town that it already is and has been for a considerably long time, John Lewis and The Brewery are great enhancements for the Town to have. But they should never be interpreted by anybody as being all that Cheltenham is now about.

Changing this Council may be the only way that Cheltenham can now overturn this injustice, as political action is the only way that self-serving Councillors are likely to be pushed to respond to any thoughts, feelings or ideas other than their own.

Are our MP’s sleepwalking us towards Dictatorship?

December 20, 2018 Leave a comment

 

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Brexit has pretty much taken over political life in this Country at the moment and it is set to continue doing for some time.

The most regrettable part of all of it is the division that the whole process has caused. I am sure that if any of us were to stop, stand still for just a moment and reflect upon how we really feel about other people – whether they voted Leave or Remain, as soon as politics is taken out of the equation, we like all of them pretty much the same.

As regular readers will know, I have been blogging about the Brexit process pretty much non-stop for a number of weeks now.

I make no apology for continuing to hold the genuine conviction that the best future for the UK and all of it’s People will be experienced as a Sovereign Nation and standing independent of Europe on our own.

I also understand why people have and do reach other conclusions too and accept that if I held precisely the same experience of life and the understanding that they do, my views would almost certainly be the very same.

The reason for being here and writing today however isn’t about Brexit itself, but about the issues for democracy upon which the Brexit process has become embroiled and underpinned. Issues which are actually not new, but have been forced into daylight by the behaviour of our Politicians over the European Referendum, the ongoing debate over what will happen after 29th March 2019, and what now seems like the eternity in between.

Whilst hiding in plain sight, Politics in the UK has been broken for a very long time.

In fact, the downward spiral has been in play since at least the 1980’s when Margaret Thatcher was PM, and has probably been in motion since long before that time.

People become Politicians in this Country for as many worthy but also non-worthy reasons. But the way that the Political System now works, with a near-monopoly status of a triumvirate of Political Parties holding sway over the gain or loss of Parliamentary Seats, it is the people at the top of the Parties themselves which now hold the real power over Policy in this Country, and not each and every MP working collectively, as it always should be.

The system corrupts entrants just as soon as they have been elected. They are greeted with the choice of becoming subservient to the will of the politicians who lead them if they want to progress, thereby selling out all thought of genuine representation of the people who elected them.

It has simply become a numbers game. Those who lead the Parties are in charge of everything that we do and it is a majority-sum game which itself gives the lie to the idea that we are now living in a genuine democracy.

In simple terms, those who can win the Party, run the Country.

All good until the point that a major decision is tossed back to the Electorate in the form of a Referendum, bucking the long-term trend of autocracy running our Parliament in all but name. Bewildering for those who have become complacent with their place within a broken system that feeds itself on ensuring that the status quo is fully maintained.

In a system that has increasingly worked because there has been a top to bottom absence of genuine leadership skill, the moment arrived in 2016 when the UK suddenly required real leadership. But no real leadership was actually there. There was no good leader available and ready to lead.

Be under no illusion, the crisis that we are all experiencing now began in earnest the very moment that an MP who represents all that is wrong with this broken system found herself achieving the dream of making it into No.10.

From that point the decisions were only ever going to be about maintaining the ‘existing’ system. For that to happen, everything that came after had to be favourable to what we now call ‘Remain’.

Yet under the cloud of considerable democratic intervention which was the European Referendum, the writing was from that point on the wall.

Whilst what appears to have been blunder after blunder and opportunity missed after opportunity missed seems to easy for this Parliament to blame upon the People’s decision to instruct the Government to deliver Brexit, the truth is much darker. It may now be the real reason why the UK could instead of capitalising fully from Brexit as it should have done, inadvertently be about to experience what will feel like a considerable fall.

The sickness and condition of British Politics exists because the political classes at all levels of Government are now made up in the majority by very ambitious people who put self-interest, furthering their own opportunities and being seen to have ‘glory’ before any recognition of what their positions and responsibilities were created for.

In Parliament, Members at all levels are now putting their own aims first, being disingenuous in painting themselves as the equivalent as the shining knights riding to the UK’s rescue from an out-of-control Brexit, when the cause of the very problems they are telling us they are equipped to solve are of their own making, not of the People who Elected them, despite the proposition of a second referendum which is by the very nature of this action, the clear Statement that we are now being told.

That Parliament tossed this decision affecting all our futures out to the Public and now plans to rescind upon the obligation to them which then followed, using whatever method that it can, has simply removed all value from the democratic process.

In an already politically disenfranchised Country, this is now making tangible the foundations upon which an alternative to this disrespectful treatment of the Public en masse could very realistically stand.

Now before you get carried away and think I’m simply setting up the suggestion that a Corbyn-led Government is now imminent, whilst that in some respects could be true, its manifestation because of everything that is happening, could actually be a catalyst to something much more profound, which sweeps away the corrupt and pyrrhic forms of democracy that we are used to, including the political parties as we know them, and opens up a very different kind of door.

Yes, the self-interest in Parliament has now reached such levels, that consensus is possible no more.

And this means that if groups of MP’s cannot work together in the majority to take the decisions that each and every one of them was elected for, thereby making the Parties they represent completely defunct, we must surely be in the position where the responsibility will fall on an individual to break the deadlock. Not only with Brexit, but with just about every policy where lack of consensus has led to damaging forms of compromise which never hurt the people making the decisions, but make life very difficult for the people they never consider, at cost to everyone and everything and a whole lot more besides.

We can only hope that if it happens, this will not become the UK’s Trump moment.

But if our MP’s continue with this unbridled attack on the little that is left of our democracy, they will soon have zero legitimacy and not be left in the position to decide.

History tells us that such an option manifested could be quite chilling.

But if such a thing as a worthy dictator existed, compared to the current shower in the majority sitting across Parliament giving the lie to our democracy as it currently stands, it is quite possible that the People of this Country might not actually mind.

If our Politicians think it idealistic to deliver Brexit properly, they must also believe democracy impractical and therefore wrong

December 19, 2018 Leave a comment

It’s difficult to laugh about anything going on in Westminster at the moment. Politicians are so far into their own bubble, they are screwing up everything they touch whilst being completely oblivious to the fact that what they are doing is wrong.

Yet looking closer and observing the pantomime nature of the he said, she said, you said, I am, no I am, you are and no, that’s you, it soon becomes clear that there is certainly comedy in the baseless nature of the name calling, which is being used as the only form of distraction that our MP’s can grasp to, to keep out of sight what is actually going on.

Of course, we live in times where words can be manipulated and used for all sorts of purposes, often deliberately because they have different meanings to different people. It means that a word can be used correctly or incorrectly and the interpretation of the listener or reader will automatically be wrong.

One word that has entered the Brexit lexicon as a term which is being wantonly abused is idealism and therefore to be idealistic.

In the Brexit sense, the term idealism is being splashed about everywhere as a way to criticise the thinking of others, rather than being used as an opposite of being practical and the area of meaning to where it should actually belong.

When any of us have our minds set on a certain route or destination, it is easy to interpret our own thoughts as being practical and therefore cast out all others, labeling them as impractical and idealistic, with the inference that we are right and they are wrong.

Yes, it’s easy to do on both sides of the Brexit debate, whether you are a Leaver or a Remainer too.

That is if you have lost or failed to identify the factual reality of what the EU Referendum delivered, when the choice of whether or not we would Leave the EU was passed over to the Public to decide.

The overriding and inescapable truth that came from that democratically attained decision was that the UK must Leave the EU and Leave it properly.

It wasn’t then passed back to MP’s to then fight over as if that decision were in fact ’50 shades of Brexit’ and therefore not important as a destination, but rather only a series of different routes over which to fight and ultimately divide.

When a decision has been taken and given democratically by the People to Politicians through a plebiscite, the only practical option available is to deliver it and to do so properly, no matter what steps or unpalatable actions must be enacted in order to achieve that which they have been instructed to do.

The dangerously impractical, idealistic or quixotic response to that democratic choice is to attempt to reinterpret it and to do so knowingly, when the decision was clear, you know that you might have a different idea, but the choice has been made and the decision is no longer yours to decide.

To call or label a proper Brexit idealistic, may play to the suggestion that there is strength and therefore practicality in sticking to we already know. But clinging to comfort zones and what we already know is a choice and just another idea that itself became idealistic the very moment that the practical choice of the British People was recorded and defined.

If the outcome the People Voted for is to be delivered through Brexit, the UK must actually step off before it can touch down

December 19, 2018 Leave a comment

The infamous scene from the Film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Jones (Harrison Ford) steps off in a leap of faith and finds footing on a bridge that had not appeared to be there

 

‘What could possibly happen next?’ is a phrase which is now used by Politicians as an indirect threat and way to create fear, rather than respecting and stepping up to the responsibilities which most of them covet, but would never understand even if they were theirs to own.

The complete shit shower, clusterfuck or whatever else you might feel the most appropriate way to describe the Brexit process, particularly in recent weeks is a complete mess that was avoidable from the outset, and must therefore in many ways be recognised as being there by choice.

Whether proactive, reactive, strategic or emotionally based, every decision on the part of the Politicians who have brought us to this point has not been based on delivering a proper Brexit as the outcome. To do so would have necessitated that every tie-in with the EU was broken BEFORE a relationship based on the UK being sovereign and independent could be discussed, implemented and yes, remade.

As I have written before, the problem with the plan for Brexit, is that Brexit has become all about having a plan.

Even now, as ‘contingency’ planning has been announced for the ‘no-deal Brexit’, the Political piggies, feasting at their Westminster trough are still enslaved to the idea that there can be no way forward without there being an agreed plan. And they advocate this, even though it has now been clear for a significant period of time that this same self-interest dictates that one will not be found which a majority will agree upon.

Until this past 7 days, there appeared to still be a group in Parliament that was ready and able to break this mould. But now even those who have until now been the advocates of a clean, proper, no-deal or WTO Brexit, have demonstrated that even they believe it is not possible to take the UK forward into new and unchartered territory without having some kind of plan.

Whilst fear drives everything in this world in some form or to a certain degree, we have the right to expect that the Politicians we have elected possess the leadership skills and wherewithal to look their own fears in the eye and step forward, knowing that they are representatives of the people, and that the challenges they must face are on behalf of others and therefore a much bigger cause.

Yet they don’t. And now racked with fear or the obsession of keeping what they believe to be control, even the Brexiteer contingent of the Conservative Party is obsessed with clinging to this out of control wreckage, from which the UK must now positively step away from, before it can find its footing and again touch down.

Call it a leap of faith or whatever you might like.

Opportunity by its vary nature is unpredictable.

Even when you can plan, those plans will only ever take you so far.

And when you have many decision makers in the mix who all advocate a different direction which without fail they will insist is the best, it is time to forget planning and deal with each and every thing as it comes along.

Yes, there are many who say ‘you have to have a plan when you are in government’. This is a myth and one that is as self-prophesying as it is destructive and as it is misleading.

It is a myth based on fear and the idea that there is safety in avoiding change.

Governments have, do and will succeed well by embracing uncertainty and making it work as they go.

This is the approach that must now be adopted, rather than indulging false premises based on the idea that finding consensus between decision makers will only ever be the first step.

It is a fallacy that such actions must be carried out before we have embraced and began working with the huge range of opportunities that will come from Brexit, just as soon as we step off and accept that things have already changed in the UK, that we must go forward and that things will not ever be the same again.

Tube Drivers earning £100K+ is outrageous. But privatising the Underground would reduce value, redirect that money to deep pockets and cost the Public much more besides

December 18, 2018 Leave a comment

The stranglehold that the Unions have on Transport for London has long since been questionable. But questionable and acceptable are two very different things.

With some Tube Drivers now reportedly earning six figures and potentially more, the point has definitely been reached where it has become clear that their ability to command salaries that completely dwarf comparative roles on other networks has simply gone too far.

There is no need to list roles and the salaries of other ‘public’ occupations that show how disproportionate this giveaway is.

Roles that in some cases require many years of academic study and then on-the-job experience to reach a level of employment and positions which encapsulate significantly more responsibility, comparatively unlimited hours and are even then paid perhaps some 25% less.

There is no question that there is specific value to a Tube Driver’s role.

But the financial value placed upon it must be proportionate and reflective of the industry as a whole. Not open to suggestion at any time at the whim of Unions, simply because of the near monopoly status that the Underground in London has. A monopoly status that is clearly being used as a weapon against the Public that own the service, by those the Public have only ever employed to serve it.

Yet running away from the cause of the problem will only cause many more problems in itself.

Privatisation is now being voiced as a solution because it appears to be a quick-fix solution to all the challenges that the Public Sector has.

The problem is that private interests will always prioritise profit above public service.

So when a system there to benefit the Public like the Tube should be thriving, in private hands you would inevitably see it go into serious decline.

The cold, hard, unpopular and politically unpalatable reality is that the unspoken solution to solving problems like these are buried within employment and industrial laws. Laws which were put in place to benefit some without thought for the consequences for others, often so that some politician at some point some where has been able to guarantee that they would gain re-lection once more.

Much of the damaging legislation that has allowed this travesty to unfold, falls at the door of the influence and drip-drip-drip of legislation from Europe.

It has been embraced by previous Prime Ministers thinking only about their own positions whilst selling out efficiency and the realistic end-user costing of services directed at the Public, whilst propagating the myth that ideas have more value than practical reality to the People they were elected to represent.

Legislation brought into being and implemented under the pretence that it will improve some lives, is through its indirect but nonetheless disproportionately massive impact upon all others, one of the biggest contributors to the struggle that many people on low incomes now face, as well as a whole lot more.

To solve wholly avoidable problems like these and many more besides, we need the ability to set our own rules completely and have politicians in power who are prepared to use the responsibility they have been given to take decisions which may appear wrong to a noisy few, but address genuine need as a part of the many wider issues that the UK has. The purpose most rational people believe that Representatives of the People are elected for.

Leaving without a ‘so-called deal’ or on WTO Terms with minimum fuss could have easily been achieved. The chaos we are experiencing instead is the bastard child of those obsessed with Remain

December 17, 2018 Leave a comment

img_2235As myth would have it, the last 30 months have actually been Brexit, rather than a process of chaos instigated completely at the hands of those obsessed by their wish to ‘Remain’.

We haven’t left the EU yet, and will never do so if the undemocratic and self-obsessed proponents on this full-scale assault on democracy should ever get their way.

On 23rd June 2016, in a Referendum which would never have needed to be called if Politicians had not already stepped way beyond their Common Market mandate, the People instructed our Political Classes that the UK must be sovereign and a completely independent Nation State once more.

The decision was clear. It wasn’t open to interpretation. There wasn’t an invitation for the malevolence of politicians to explore how they could flip the whole thing over, tie us in further and get us back to a situation that only suits the self interested and power hungry once more.

And with over two years available for the wheels of government to ensure the smoothest transition as part of the Leaving process, it was only the interference and attempts to override the will of the people which has created all of the problems we are now experiencing with the wholly poisonous irony that its creators are now attempting to use this chaos as an excuse to convince us all that we should Remain.

The problem is that the process of Brexit is not the act of Leaving the EU itself.

Had the energies of all our Politicians been focused upon what they should have been doing these past 30 months, the Country would be a matter of weeks away from the most promising of jumping-off points, rather than having the land of opportunity painted as a canvas of chaos in the forlorn hope that they can manipulate everyone into keeping everything that works only for them in place, under the suggestion that everything will just be the same.

Things will never be the same again. And if we now Leave the EU without the organisation and preemptive steps being taken that were always available but never taken seriously by those who’s strategy has always been to ensure that we Remain, it is these same people who will be responsible for all the problems that follow and exist from now until then.

Whatever the outcome of the coming days and weeks, the decision of the British People must be upheld.

For democracy to survive, the result of the vote cannot be superseded, and certainly not for the nefarious purposes of the few who believe that they somehow know better than the people, and that they have a right at any cost to ensure that in their eyes, the UK is forced to Remain.

The UK will get to where it is supposed to be going.

The UK’s departure from the EU can only ever be delayed.

And for the sake of our UK’s democracy, we can only hope that these ridiculously selfish people have an epiphany, get over themselves and start considering their true obligations which for the sake of clarity are to deliver upon the real People’s Vote to Leave and not attempt to create one for Remain.

A Referendum upon a Referendum is one Referendum too far

December 17, 2018 Leave a comment

img_2233Last Wednesday evening, the Conservative Party lost, or rather surrendered collective responsibility for its own direction on Brexit.

With it, democracy in the UK may have been served a terminal blow.

Whilst we now know that the latest stage of Britain’s political chaos began when the present incumbent of No.10 first boomed out ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and meant no such thing, this has been a much longer process. One delivered by Political Parties of all colours and shielded from open view by our own trust and reverence for politicians being massively misused, taken for granted and abused.

Yet a watershed moment arrived when that contempt for the people went too far.

Our politicians miscalculated the response that would come back in the form of a decision on policy which they tossed out to us on the pretence that there was a decision that was itself simply too big for elected representatives to take themselves.

They did not get the result that they were expecting and had complacently assumed was coming when the Vote for the UK to Leave the European Union was won.

Not only did these self-aggrandised leaders not like it. Many of them have and continue to do everything that they can to frustrate the will of the people.

After creating a completely avoidable mess and continuing attempts to frighten everyone else into to the spurious admission that their decision to Leave was wrong, then propagating the myth that there is no better option available for a secure future for our Country than the one they have created, they are now advocating a second referendum to try and fix the problem. The blatant inference being that it was the decision and not their own obfuscation and failure at every turn to implement a proper Brexit since the Referendum that is fundamentally wrong.

The simple truth is that the decision of the British People to Leave the EU called the bluff of the political class.

Members of this self-serving non-representative culture have and still believe that they have the natural right and authority – once elected – to manipulate anything and everything to suit what they want, what serves their own purposes and everything else required to ensure that they get their own way.

The narrative that suggests the decision of the People went the way that it did because Leavers didn’t understand what they were voting for isn’t just a lie. It also demonstrates a complete misunderstanding and contempt by many of our MP’s for their own position and responsibilities. They operate contrary to what the purpose of an elected representative of the People is actually there for.

Yes, most of the Electorate didn’t understand the detail or rather the minutae of what they were voting for in the EU Referendum.

But it is not the Electors who are supposed to understand the detail of any Policy.

It is the Elected themselves who have sought and as the direct result of their Election to Office been given the responsibility to deal with the details, thereby accepting their obligation to deliver upon the direction they have been given by the people though a legitimate plebiscite.

By Parliament voting by a considerable majority to give the decision on our Membership of Europe to the People through a plebiscite, MP’s surrendered any right to dictate the direction and end result of the choice that was made.

MPs also obligated themselves to then do whatever would be necessary with the detail that they should all clearly understand, to execute our departure from Europe. Not with the bells and whistles and ties ins that work for them. But with the result that was intended, which was and remains very clear. That is to Leave and not be restricted by any form of tie to the European Union anymore.

To now seek to overturn the original and democratic decision of the people demonstrates either that those advocating it are wholly unworthy to hold public office.

They have already failed to do what they were told by the People to do.

What is more, they have done and continue to do everything they can to frustrate the process and with it, the Will of the People. And now, believing that their game of bluff, counter bluff and pretending that they have done everything that they were supposed to do has began to pay off, they wish to deliver the final insult to the Electorate that gave each and every one of them their position of responsibility, by making the clearest statement possible that it is only the People and not they who have ever done anything wrong.

The problem is that as with most things that our Politicians have been doing for so very long, they have completely misread the People. They have underestimated the ability of people outside of the Westminster bubble to accurately perceive what they are up to. To still think that by simply telling People whatever they decide the truth should be, the People will simply believe.

The Electorate has been tired of Politicians and their behaviour for a very long time. But the nature of our current political system and the monopoly of the Triumvirate of Political Parties which has existed over a period of decades has meant that Tribalism itself has played the most significant role in Elections.

This has left very few Electors in marginal Constituencies to place a Vote that will really decide who gets the opportunity to lead us. It’s little more than a choice from the same-old same-olds, rather than being given the option of new blood that might make a difference and bring legitimacy back to our democracy. Fundamentally, it’s simply a case of leaving the corrupted apparatus of Party Politics to decide.

This is a story of the Politicians own making.

But there is now a future for politics, because politics is going to be reclaimed by the People.

Politics will be prized from the hands of the Political Parties who have boundaries and collective views which are set against, rather than in the best interests of the People – The same People who innocently Elected this shower of MPs. MPs who have self interest at their core and no longer possess a mandate to hold Office because their own purpose and the will of the People is not in any way aligned.

If MPs continue with this travesty and push a referendum upon a referendum back to the people, it will not be the result of that referendum upon which the future of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Parties will be defined.

For within every Election that follows a Referendum which will give the lie to the existence of a respect for democracy within our sick political system, there will no longer be a choice which follows the direction of the Political Parties as we now know them.

When the choice comes to appointing the representatives of the people, it will from then onwards be set between electing Politicians who represent only themselves, and electing Politicians who represent us all.

A Referendum upon a Referendum without having first delivered the instruction from the former, questions the legitimacy of the latter, simply because it questions what the first was actually for.

This is the act that could kill off democracy in the UK once and for all.

image thanks to unknown

Splitting the Conservative Party may soon be the only hope for Democracy in the UK

December 14, 2018 Leave a comment

The idea that a new political party will be the cure to all ills in politics is not a new one.

As I have written at length before, the way that the Electorate interacts with British Politics doesn’t lend itself well to what the Establishment portrays as outsiders. Unless that is there is an issue at work over which the Establishment does not have control.

We only need look to the rise and fall of UKIP and it’s inextricable link to the EU Referendum and then Brexit itself to understand what happens when the Establishment has dropped the ball – whether for good or bad.

For decades there has been an embedded form of monopoly in politics held between the Conservative and Labour Parties, with the Liberal Democrats and its previous forms being held up or utilised from their position which is mislabelled as being between.

Breaking open this racket has been all but impossible for what seem to be very simple, but nonetheless seemingly impossible challenges to answer. Many have tried. Some have had significant bank balances to enable them to do so. But even when UKIP gained around 4 Million votes in the last General Election, it was simply the case that there was no new parliamentary real estate for them to be found.

In as succinct terms as possible, there has existed an unwritten and assumed covenant between Electors and the Elected, which has benefitted this triumvirate mode.

The purpose and responsibility of being a representative of the people, both given and received at the ballot box was understood.

A reverence and trust for politicians has been the default standard for all politicians in the psyche of the Electorate.

That is unless there has been some big scandal, usually focused on the actions of an individual politician rather than the Party itself, and once removed, the default position would quickly be resumed.

All, that is, until the straw arrived that broke this heavily burdened camels back. A straw which came in the form of a decision being tossed back over to the Public, after which the Establishment simply assumed the status quo would be returned once more.

The problem with that decision, the decision for the UK to leave the EU had its genesis in the inference that this was a choice too big to be left to the delegated powers of our MP’s alone. For a decision with such implications, the Electorate itself would be trusted with the choice, and once that choice was made, their decision would be delivered and not returned – as that itself would bring into question what the very purpose of the Referendum had actually been for.

Overnight the lines of that once apparently straightforward interaction between the Public and Politicians was overturned. Instead of Voters who are typically Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or of a mind to sit on the borders located in between, there has emerged a new understanding and assessment of our Political Masters which rather than being fluid between 3 or maybe even more possibilities, has now become a binary choice – only presented as being many others and not least of all, the direction of either Leave or of Remain.

But as with everything that relates to the human condition, it is far from being even that simple and the options which relate to those choices are now unlikely to ever be viewed by voters as being anything like the same.

That choice itself when it comes to appointing the representatives of the people, is now between electing Politicians who represent only themselves, and electing Politicians who represent us all.

The dividing line is democracy itself.

Not party lines or any kind of political philosophy.

This is about the choice of our elected representatives being to work unquestionably for others, or working for oneself and the accumulation of position, status and wealth for personal gain plus more.

This dichotomy is not false. Politicians can only have one master. It’s the Electorate or their own ideas, party and dreams.

The insidious nature of this dynamic crosses across all of our Political Parties, but it is within the Conservative Party where the divide between the two principles has now become so very clear, that the change that many of us for so long have been advocating, may have finally found the right place and time to actually gain traction and the process of creating a new electable party which puts voters first in every sense and can command a majority wherever it runs, can finally begin.

No, I don’t for one minute think that the Tory Party will split whilst they seem to be in power, simply because until it is set in stone that the Party can no longer win anything in its current form, there remains a chance, albeit a very slim one, that sanity is restored and comes in the form of those who vote only for themselves recognising the change in the Electoral terrain and what its true purpose is for.

But when the point comes that the Conservative Party in May’s image hits the buffers – which if the current chaos and uncertainty continue it inevitably soon will, there will come a point where all the Conservative MP’s who make up the subsequent wreckage will have the opportunity to return true democracy to the UK once more.

The morning after, it’s the same May as before

December 13, 2018 Leave a comment

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As will be the case with many others who see their politics being most closely aligned to conservative thinking, today, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Being a lapsed Tory in the most literal sense, there is something profoundly de ja vu about the fact that some five years after my own departure, the destructive blindness caused by nothing more than self-interest and ambition on the part of Conservative Politicians is not only alive, but in breathtakingly rude health.

Watching or rather reading all the glad-handing going on this morning following Theresa May’s Confidence Vote, one can only wonder what it will really take so many of our Conservative MP’s to wake up to the reality that in so far as delivering Brexit is concerned, by endorsing the May tragedy and breathing enough life into it to continue on further, they have removed their ability to assert any control on unfolding events.

They are now fully reliant upon the goodwill and word of Trident Tongued Theresa, who’s version of the truth has now been outed for what it really is, time-after-time.

It is a strange situation indeed, knowing well that there will be many of us outside of the Westminster bubble today, who have realised that Jeremy Corbyn calling a for a no-confidence vote in the Government, might now be the only way that the Tories can hope to eject May before her catastrophic take on a Brexit deal, is likely to be signed, sealed delivered and the UK as we know it has been well and truly done.

I say this, not because I have any desire for life as we know it in the UK to be transformed into Corbyn’s idea of a 21st Century Marxist State. I don’t.

I say this, because it is then and only under those circumstances that the Parliamentary Conservative Party would effectively have a tiny, comparatively minuscule window of opportunity to install a new Prime Minister and prevent either a General Election being called, or perhaps a Corbyn-led rainbow coalition simply being installed.

The stakes would be high. And for the anxious and faint of heart amongst us there is regrettably great risk.

After all, with the default form of many Conservative MP’s being that they have forgotten what being elected as a representative of the people is actually for, there is the inherent risk that even then they would prioritise their own choice for Leader (and the plum job that they no-doubt anticipate would follow) and blow the golden opportunity to hail the lifeboat, simply because their own priorities rise above those of the Electorate once more.

Sadly, sense may have little chance to prevail before Theresa May returns with her ‘re-worked’ Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

There is an additional risk that if Corbyn does instigate anything that can be called ‘constructive’ with a confidence vote, it will come too soon for the Tory Remainers to have their repetitive stress injuries from May’s dishonesty internally diagnosed, and probably not before every other trick in the Europhile playbook has again been rolled out in order to thwart democracy yet again.

I’ve written about all of this lots in recent days and weeks and I know that I am a very long way from being a lonely voice.

As voters, we pass responsibility for our communal choices to the people who are elected to be responsible for all of us and not only to themselves.

We should all be able to expect a lot more from Conservative Politicians and its time that they realised that every little thing they do with the responsibility of the Office which has been temporarily passed to them has the potential to impact the lives of everyone – whether that consequence should ultimately turn out to be good or bad.

So if a benevolent santa with a red tie and a cagoule should come calling on the Tories this festive season, please remember that its time to forget who’s naughty and who’s nice and start getting real about what treat comes after May.

image thanks to unknown

 

 

Give way to May today; give away the UK

December 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Following on from my earlier Blog today, there are now reports circulating that May will promise to stand down before the next General Election – with the inference that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement will go her way.

This plan sounds great for those who think the whole issue is about May.

It isn’t.

It’s about delivering Brexit, and Brexit will not be delivered if whatever we end up with is delivered by May.

The chances of the next General Election being over three years away are deceasing all the time.

The likelihood is that a General Election will be called in 2019 as a response to a question of confidence after May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement falls – if the Conservatives are bought off today by the ridiculous idea that May promising to stand down will actually remove the problem with her ‘deal’ in any meaningful way.

Her departure then at that point, would leave a new Conservative Leader dangerously exposed and with no time to develop and implement a new strategy before a Campaign begins.

Put simply, in this chain of events, May is setting up her successor to fail.

However, the very chilling reality is that with the endorsement of the Parliamentary Conservative Party today, given on these terms, May’s idea of Brexit is increasingly likely to be approved.

With UK sovereignty and independence, along with our ability to remove ourselves from this ridiculous plan treacherously given away, the Conservative Party as we know it will be at an end. When the Country wakes up to what our Politicians have done, as they inevitably will, we will have no choice but to abrogate our Membership of the EU unilaterally, potentially under very unfriendly, if not violent terms.

All this, just so Theresa May can go to bed at night feeling like she was right all along because she got her own way.

Please wake up.

Keeping May in power today will soon prove itself the much harder result for the Prime Minister, The Conservative Party and the Country itself

December 12, 2018 1 comment

That anyone in Westminster could have really felt surprised that the magic 48 was reached yesterday is actually the surprise itself.

After days and weeks of bluster about May’s welched Brexit deal being the only one available, the Prime Minister pulls the whole thing with just a few hours to spare, heads off to get a steer from Europe and whilst she’s on the plane, her Euro-chums come out to help her by making clear that there will be absolutely nothing more forthcoming.

Talk is very cheap, as the Prime Minister of 29 months quickly found out. But when you are playing a game that will result in the sovereignty of an entire Nation being needlessly flushed away in perpetuity, just because of some suicidal vanity project, anyone with a sense of any logic and reason must conclude that this is one dog that has definitely had its day.

Being out of the EU will be far better for the people and businesses of this Country.

We will soon resume our place in the world with confidence, once we have departed from the constrictions of this Foreign Power that employs a modus operandi that has always been based on doing the UK down.

That we have had so many Prime Ministers who on assuming Office have been slave to the idea that they could win against the power of the EU by being within it says much about the ignorance and lack of understanding that exists within our political culture.

Without exception, even Margaret Thatcher had a rude awakening to the cold, hard truth that the EU is an out-of-control entity that is on a continual power grab.

Each and every time it is successful, it simply moves the goalposts as it ties every Member State into surrendering more, usually on behalf of its unknowing people.

Theresa May has just played straight into their hands.

Instead of responding impartially to the Instruction of the British People, the Prime Minster has either deliberately or through sheer incompetence created a situation where even democratically elected MP’s are so fearful of what the mess she has made is now creating and will become, that they are seriously contemplating giving up the UK’s ability to be independent to a Foreign Power – and along with a whole lot more besides.

May knows that there is no strength in her position. And by standing at the lectern outside No.10 this morning and stating that the only step that a new PM could take would be to beg for an extension of Article 50, or just rescind the whole Brexit process in full, she has given the lie to the suggestion that her trip around Europe to see other Leaders would have yielded anything meaningful before she returns her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to the mercy of this rabbit-trapped-in-the-headlights-Commons once more.

All credibility in No.10 has now left the building. What Conservatve MP’s will commit the whole Country to later today, if they fail to accept the invitation to remover her, will be a world of pain which is of their own making.

There are a number of ways that keeping May in power could unfold.

Firstly, there remains a serious risk that if May wins the Confidence Vote, she will string the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement issue out, until fear itself is used to push through the result that would then keep her in No.10.

Make no mistake, in these circumstances the EU would be very happy about everything they are about to be gifted by the unwitting, unled UK. For them May’s success will be a year of Christmases despite everything we are being publicly told. And be under no illusion about the risk of this happening, as the terror of the misnamed ‘no deal Brexit’ plays heavily upon the emotions of the unobjective Members in Parliament and too many of them see safety and a misplaced trust in the mythical changelessness of Remain.

There will be no glory for this option for the Conservatives who went with the current PM. You can rest assured that the poison of this treachery made manifest by May would very quickly rub off on many more of the Parliamentary Party with any chance of Conservatives forming a future majority government very quickly evaporating away.

As I write, the more likely result of May’s surety in Office is that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, now lacking all credibility and there clearly being no scope to change it in any meaningful way, will fall when it finally comes to a vote.

At that point, just a few days or weeks into the new Year, we will then – at the cost of the Corbyn-led Labour Government that will surely follow, then and only then see the end of Theresa May.

Yes, May might resign following a success in a Confidence Vote, before being forced to go to the Country. But on the basis of her track record alone, if she will not resign right now today and make way, faced with a General Election in 2019, she will almost certainly do the same.

The Conservative Party will not win power again under the leadership of the current Prime Minister.

The benefit of bringing her term in No.10 to its conclusion today is that there will at least be time to prepare and publicise a new and much improved narrative before what now increasingly looks like a General Election one way or the other in 2019 is called and the campaign gets under way.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a chance of winning when it does?

Update – 1.21pm:

Shortly after first publishing this Blog today, news has began to come out that Theresa May is to announce that she will stand down before the next General Election. All I can add to this is that her deal is already dead and by continuing her Premiership, the promise of standing down before a General Election would only be likely to set up another leader to lose, whilst almost guaranteeing May’s giveaway of the UK. There is a growing chance that there will be a General Election in 2019 and the issue today is whether the Tories will approach it in a controlled way, or give in to the ‘easy’ alternative which will be more chaos, with the only beneficiary being Theresa May.

image thanks to unknown

Everyone take a deep breath because there’s only one candidate for No.10 who can pick up this shit-soaked ball and move us towards a place where the whole UK can begin to win again

December 11, 2018 2 comments

I’ve made little secret of my distaste for the damage that ambition and self-interest in politics does. So much so, I even wrote a book to help people entering politics to counter it.

But when the shit hits the proverbial fan, like it has done through the premiership of Prime Minister Theresa May, there is simply no choice but to look to how we play with the cards we have been dealt, rather than shuffling, or better still introducing a new deck to take things in a direction that resembles where they should have been.

When you spend time talking to people out in the real world about politics, you know that the question of who will replace May is something that has been playing on minds.

None of what the political world would identify as being the usual suspects within a sitting government – aka the Cabinet itself – now have the credibility or clear political disposition to take things a different way.

They are inextricably linked with May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement which is an extended version of Remain, and their behaviour guarantees that they are now personally too entrenched with a direction which runs contrary to the will of the People, for any of them to be taken seriously as a force for good which can bring us all together, rather than continue to polarise by playing to one audience whilst singing a different song to another, all under a pretence of ignoring the Electorate in the same way as May.

Yet Cabinet Members share a commonality with all of those who would now be king or queen. They are all ridiculously ambitious, and whilst in virtually every case that ambition is clearly about gaining the position and perceived kudos which goes with going our PM, it is not the responsibility itself that they covet. And that is where in a time of increasing National need, rather than bring something new and in-touch with the people to the table, they will doom us to another term of self-interest and I-know-best led government. The very same as May’s disastrous tenure, just without the same figurehead and a change of names.

Out of the obvious candidates who we recognise as being available for the Parliamentary Conservative Party to choose from, there is only one candidate who stretches beyond this, is capable of doing something different than the others, and Boris Johnson is his name.

Yes, to politicians Boris has a taste like Marmite. Ask anyone else who doesn’t like him and they will claim that ambition and buffoonery are the only things that spring to mind when you mention his name. But the thing that we all should consider much more carefully is the power of his touch. Boris can bring people together in unfathomable ways, turn electoral tides in different directions like he did in two Mayoral Elections in London, and as Leader of the Conservative Party and as our Prime Minister, when we need something very different from the Conservative Party to deal with both the EU and the risk from Corbyn’s Labour, Boris can sprinkle his form of fairy dust and turn things around in Parliament just the same.

The key to embracing the idea of Boris is to understand that whilst he is stupidly ambitious to be our next Prime Minister, there is a key part of that ambition which is very different to the other likely candidates and it is not as simple as him being a ‘Leaver’, rather than the case of many others being linked inextricably to Remain.

Boris knows his destiny is intrinsically linked with the will and direction of the people. He has the knack of being just a step ahead of the game when it comes to what people outside of the political sphere really want, and whilst there may be a flurry of big words and faffing around that accompanies it, it’s the delivery at the end of the process that people now want.

This is what Boris can give, unlike the other candidates who will sell a great sounding the story, but like May and a series of PM’s before her will never actually be in the position to deliver or give.

We simply don’t know how Boris would behave in a crisis. But his best will surely be no less than anyone else could give. Right now we need a form of political leadership that can reengage the masses, bring a good leadership team together, deliver what people have instructed and begin the process of once again making the UK a great place to live.

Until the time things have changed in Politics and we have other options, there is little doubt that a Boris-led Government is the best of what is available, and taking a risk on anything else will almost certainly be akin to going around in yet more disastrous circles and is destined to hit the skids.

image thanks to bbc.co.uk

May remains the EU’s patsy for as long as she squats in No.10 and we should all be concerned as they have serious form when it comes to loading the gun

December 11, 2018 1 comment

Whilst I know that I am far from alone in being hopeful that the Parliamentary Conservative Party will finally put the May Government out of everyone’s misery before too long, recent history shows us a catalogue of missed opportunities for them to have already done so. One that suggests they are all still hoping that someone else will be prepared to get their hands dirty at a time when they are all much mistaken and regrettably very wrong.

One of the biggest errors that Conservative Parliamentarians have made in summing up the abilities of their current leader, has been to overlook everything she has been doing and the patterns of behaviour which provide the tells about her form of play.

Whilst incidents as small as the way she answered questions on Trident, to big ones such as calling a General Election on a whim tell us much about the substance of the leadership they have been working with, it is May’s interactions and prioritisation of other EU Leaders at pivotal moments which dwell in plain sight, but like that ever illusive elephant in the room even now don’t seem to be troubling anyone quite enough to actually get in her way.

So in amongst the breathtaking chaos that is overtaking all of Westminster and its news bubble today, there may be a new dimension to all this brewing whilst May has a jolly around Europe.

One which is dependent on this continuing inaction, is not being widely talked about and could very much conclude in just a matter of weeks with Theresa May looking like she was always the one who did know best, ending up with her own form of Brexit being accepted at the final minute as the only acceptable way.

With the clock counting down towards the 29th of March, the EU knows that playing on people’s fears and upping the anti as they do so will be a process that at some point between now and then will reach a critical mass and has the potential to deliver its greatest reward.

May’s flawed and nonetheless EU-favouring plan could suddenly be seen as being very reasoned and the only way to stave off a catastrophe, leaving the EU perpetually in charge of our real destiny, whilst a Trumpton-esque future plays out with Remainers thinking that the world has stayed static and our pretend State is left under the CON-tinuing CON-artistry of a reinvigorated CON-servative Theresa May.

Inaction based on ambition has failed to remove an incumbent prime minister who clearly doesn’t know how to lead or be loyal to her own people, but when it comes to her own ambition is happy to cosy up with the EU to make sure that such trifling issues will never really get in her way.

Chaos and uncertainty are now inevitable whatever happens. But fear is stopping MP’s from taking action; inaction that is nonetheless a choice to give the EU the power it now needs to manipulate matters to go their own way.

There is now a serious risk that the fears of a majority in Parliament will very effectively be employed against them and they will then take a knee-jerk but nonetheless critically undemocratic decision that will tie the whole UK in to a situation which will be far far worse than anything which ever resembled Remain.

Conservative MP’s are the only people who can now put an end to this mess and begin a process that has the potential to make things better.

If Conservatives want things to play out differently, its time to grow some bollocks, replace the Prime Minster and remember that the UK has already chosen to Leave the EU, not to be manipulated into vassalage Remain.

Please Conservatives, stop this farce now

December 10, 2018 Leave a comment

img_1739-1You couldn’t write it is a term that I’ve often heard used, but never felt it more applicable than in relation to May’s ditching of the Meaningful Vote and the debate that has followed today.

Watching and listening to the Statement that the Prime Minister has made to the Commons this afternoon, it is clear that she does not intend to return to Parliament with anything new.

In fact, the whole episode has the very same hallmarks that have blighted her stewardship of Brexit in No.10 already. That of nothing changes except the words, and that is all in respect of Brexit this Prime Minister ever intends.

There always was and remains the prospect of a much better deal or relationship with the EU.

But to get that deal, there is simply no point in going forward under the pretence that the model to base it on is akin to what is known as Remain.

Theresa May is now only interested in doing whatever is necessary to keep herself in power. That much has been demonstrated by the contradictions in what she has been doing and saying just today.

The UK cannot and will not make any progress with the EU and Parliament will not move towards anything like a workable consensus for as long as this Prime Minister remains in No.10.

May’s terminal tenure is not only defying the whole pretence of delivering democracy in this Country over Brexit and making an alternative more likely, it is now entering a critical phase where the continuance of this travesty is making the Conservative Party less electable by the day.

Conservative MP’s can bring an end to this shit show now, and if they have any mutually shared feeling of responsible to the wider Electorate and to our democracy, there are many outside of Westminster who now implore them to get on and do so now.

Please, please, please put the Country first. Give us a Prime Minister who can and will lead us to get the best from leaving the EU – even if that is leaving on WTO terms, and prevent the implosion of the Conservative Party before inaction condemns us to a Corbyn Government which will not only renege on Brexit, but inflict many more horrors on our people, our businesses, our economy and our future besides.

 

Image thanks to clipartxtras.com

Neither a new single issue Party nor one made up of the rump of the Remain Campaign can solve the Brexit crisis now

December 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Whilst it would be very easy to think differently, based upon how our MP’s are still behaving, the Vote to Leave the EU wasn’t just about one issue. It wasn’t about two, three, four or five. In fact it was about a whole lot more, and even then it looks different to everyone because their own experiences and views of the situation are different.

If the question over whether we should Leave or Remain had been a single issue, the decision and the reasoning behind it would be simple to quantify. Between the two choices there would be nothing in between.

Put simply, there is no way to avoid the reality that Brexit is multilayered, multidimensional and as such has multiple problems that cannot be solved by pretending that it is all about just one thing.

Yes, the single issue approach was successful over many years in the sense that it ultimately delivered the EU Referendum.

But to pretend that once the Referendum was secured the complexity of winning the public argument was anything other than an attempt at herding cats for either the Leave or Remain Campaigns would suggest that there was a level of control that neither side could ever have had over the process, even if they thought they did.

In this vein, the purpose of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) effectively came to its end at around twenty minutes to five on the morning of the 24th June 2016, when everything that it and its previous evolution The Anti Federalist League had been created for had effectively been achieved.

Indeed, the only real commonality between all members and politicians involved in either project was the mutual aim of ending the UK’s Membership of the EU once and for all.

Whilst much knowledge of policy and legislation governing the relationship between the UK and the EU always existed within its ranks, UKIP shared the same lack of foresight when it came to qualitative impacts upon the people it was trying to represent as the politicians in the main parties.

It is these impacts which are still not understood by the majority of the political class and the establishment itself. The reality for all which must be collectively acknowledged and considered before what has now gone bad can be made good.

UKIPs reach before the Referendum came from the misleadingly distilled version of the EU question that Nigel Farage delivered. He was prepared to speak out in ways that political correctness had for too long prevented politicians in the three main parties from doing. He tabled the blunt edges of the real world perspective which has always been the flip side to the EU debate coin, but did not demonstrate the complexity of those issues that even now continue to be overlooked and assumed to be very specific and identifiable as simple-to-explain issues using words like immigration, Leave and Remain.

Other than being openly and completely committed to the proper version of Leave or Brexit that so many of the People outside of the Westminster bubble want, the creation of a Party to replace the political squat which is today’s UKIP will not bring anything new to the situation the UK is now facing.

It will not bring a new dynamic to the debate and as it would not be anywhere near power within the required timeline, it is questionable whether its creation could in fact distract from the real issues by giving those who’s only argument against Brexit is that it is a right-wing conspiracy the tools to further polarise, when our divided People need and want something which unites us all.

A new Party, whether from the perceived right, the left or the centre would not be able to influence the debate positively and there remains an overriding obsession with making other people wrong, rather than working to deliver what is right.

What should be recognised by all of our MP’s is that without the acceptance and understanding of the real issues and the true value of the Public experience which led to Brexit in the first place, now being used as the real basis upon which to take the UK from here forward, there is simply no way that any political party – whether new or already existing – will ever find a solution which will be agreeable to all.

image thanks to unknown, quote attributed to Albert Einstein

Is this a Conservative Party or the Conservatives parting?

December 7, 2018 1 comment

If this was a perfect world, we wouldn’t need political parties. In fact, we wouldn’t need politics at all. Things would just get done without reference to anyone.

But we don’t exist in a perfect world, and after recognising that there is such a thing as mutually shared interests between us all, democracy, facilitated by the necessary evil which political parties (or groups of people working together) are, when it comes to getting things done on behalf of us all, is pretty much the next best thing.

At some point however, the working framework which political parties were only ever supposed to provide, got exchanged for something perceived as being bigger than that laudable purpose itself. Political Parties are now all about the Party itself, and they have forgotten one very big and fundamental thing.

Political Parties are not and never will be more important than the People that their elected members represent.

A vicious circle exists where we cannot get sufficient numbers of good people into Parliament because Political Parties work coercively to ensure that almost all of their elected members are on message, and because that message is simply wrong, it ensures that the Parties keep on recruiting the same kind of people in the very same image.

Whilst this problem is increasingly evident within all the established political parties, it is today the Conservative Party where this malaise is so clearly evident.

It is an example of a Party where blind ambition and nothing else has delivered us a Prime Minister who is out of touch with the People. She is so convinced of her own infallibility, that she is using the Party apparatus to try and force Members to agree she is doing the right thing.

Conservatism is not synonymous with what the Conservative Party is now doing.

The Conservative Party has lost its way under this and past leadership. It is blinded by the arrogance of power and many years of believing the self-prorogated myth that it is the ‘natural party of government’. Many Conservative politicians now carry an obtuse sense of entitlement and the belief that they possess a magic formula which means any decision they make will always be accepted by the People as being correct.

Pride comes before a fall.

In its current form and with the words being spoken and undemocratic action being taken by so many of its prominent Politicians, the Conservative Party’s days are very much numbered.

This itself is perhaps the biggest shame of all. Because out of all the Political Parties capable of being in Government with the peculiartities of our Electoral System as they are, it is only from the basis of Conservatism that Policies be delivered which will really be beneficial to and considerate of the needs of all.

May’s abuse of the Party apparatus and their combined attempt to force Local Conservative Associations to herd MP’s into the correct Voting Lobby over her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement now demonstrates how out of touch CCHQ itself is with its own people on the ground.

Without radical change, the Conservative Party no longer has the promise of a shared ideology with its own paid-up supporters, let alone the grassroots conservative-leaning voters who will be essential going forward if they are now to secure seats or victory in any campaign.

When the change comes in No.10, as it now surely must, the Conservative Party must embark immediately upon a process of comprehensive change taht not only supports the structure of a Party capable of winning terms of majority government. But actively engages, encourages and takes with it not only its local association network, but individual members and non paid-up supporters too.

If it doesn’t, the Conservative Party itself as a credible party in either power or opposition is almost certainly doomed.

 

Image thanks to clipartxtras.com

No plan is going to solve the Brexit problem. We need leadership without the unbridled ambition and we need it now

December 6, 2018 Leave a comment

The only comfort for many of us peering into the Westminster fishbowl as it continues its daily mission to self destruct, is that there are at least some voices of reason breaking through this malaise, running contrary to the crap that various factions across the Establishment are trying to feed us, and bringing truth to power. Something that we so desperately need.

The real problem is of course, that with so many politicians so very obsessed with having their own ideas heard and prioritised – no matter the cost, very few of the people who are in the position to influence any of this mess for the better are hearing, considering or acting upon what wise voices now say.

There is an obsession with the idea that there has to be an agreed plan for however we handle Brexit. This is a fallacy and simply isn’t true. And as I wrote last July, the problem with the plan for Brexit, is that Brexit has become all about having a plan.

This whole perception that there has to be a fixed strategy in place before we can do anything at this level is one of the key reasons why Brexit and democracy itself are now in such a perilous state, and so many normal people across this Country are now feeling completely cut off from their representatives and wondering what the hell will now happen and if there is anything that anyone with any influence can actually do.

Whilst it makes curious reading when the Will of the People to Leave the EU was so clearly defined, the fact remains that there is no majority amongst our 650 MP’s for any plan or direction. A situation that in every sense possible means that for the People of the UK, democracy as good as doesn’t exist, and that the result of the EU Referendum is by a majority of our MP’s being at best ignored and at worst, clearly denied.

Getting out of this mess is not going to be easy. Not least of all because all the options that are being openly considered as being possible right now, have no guarantees that they would change anything.

A General Election might not change anything as at best we would still have most of the same politicians left in Parliament coming from the self-interested culture where the purpose of representing the people, once elected is in many cases simply forgotten if not actively denied. At worst, Theresa May could actually stay in No.10, not because she isn’t seen as the biggest part of the current problem, but that many Voters would vote strategically against the prospect of a Corbyn government – which for anyone who understands his modus operandi knows his brand of leadership is not how we want to experience the next 5 years of our future being defined.

A Referendum is in trouble before it could even be put into being, as its very existence would underscore the reality that far from only being in the process of dying, as far as the UK is concerned, democracy has already died. It doesn’t matter what stories influencers who should know better tell us, out in the real world across the UK, people haven’t changed their minds about Brexit, in fact they are more disillusioned now than ever, see the EU as the controlling foreign force that it is, and are desperate for the people elected to represent them, to actually do what they have already been told.

And whilst there are many left who are behaving like they have not just a chip, but a whole sack of spuds strewn across their shoulders, there no longer exists any such thing as the option tabled in June 2016, which is still being romanticised as ‘Remain’. The true relationship with the EU is now in a continuing process of being outed, they will never allow the UK to resume its former relationship as a Member and if the EU is seeking to keep indefinite control over our future as a condition of actually leaving them, just imagine what the price of being ‘openly’ joined to this pathway to the United States of Europe could actually do.

It may seem like the antithesis of everything accepted as being normal, but planning when we are in a situation like we are now, with so much fluidity, risk and the potential for disaster, is simply not something we have either the time, or the luxury that having reasoned debate – that the presence of a complete chamber of objective politicians would allow us to do.

We now need real leadership of a very different kind. Leadership that is guided only by the ambition of the UK and our future, with vision, humility and a respect for the age of consequence. Leadership that actually leads with the responsibility it has been given, rather than leadership which was only ever about gaining position. A situation we have no for too long been forced to try.

May must go and it is only the Conservatives who can replace her.

This talk of governments of national unity is not only dangerous, it would still be constructed of the very same people who have contributed to this unholy mess. People who are still dedicated to listening to only themselves. And with this kind of power, would continue to overlook everything that has now become important. Not least of all what the People of the UK have told them, and that everything which has happened since has itself began to model a different destiny for this Country, which requires new thinking and not giant leaps backwards of the kind to which they are clinging to – and not one to which Voters are in the majority inclined.

The question of who in Parliament could really replace May now. The ambitions of the Cabinet are now so inextricably linked to her Plan for Brexit that the question of how each and every one of their priorities, demonstrated by their acquiescence with this whole travesty could possibly show that they are now equipped to seize the moment and take this Country forward is not a story that I can honestly the Electorate stomaching for very long, should it be one that were now to be told.

Fresh starts require fresh thinking, and like the Conservative Party that is currently built around them, the Prime Minister who replaces May must be all about change, respecting the will of the people and no longer obsessed with the destructive tribal reality of thinking and acting in terms of either Leave or Remain.

Rename Remain ‘informed consent’ or anything else you’d like to try to overturn Brexit. The democratic decision to Leave has not yet been delivered and that’s the truth your obfuscation can never deny

December 4, 2018 Leave a comment

Culturally, perhaps one of our worst pastimes of the day is the habit of trying to make everyone else wrong.

Whilst the clearest manifestation of this behavioural menace is that of the blame culture, it is the adoption of this approach as the standard tactic by Remainers in their continuing efforts to overturn Brexit where its presence is most clearly and most dangerously felt.

I have met and spoken at length with many people and friends who are Remainers. Individuals and professionals who are intelligent, sensible and have the wherewithal to steer their way through the day-to-day minefield which is the voter end of the political spectrum – just as long as the politicians are being honest and the truth isn’t actually being denied.

What They all have in common is that none of them have been able to provide genuine reason for Remaining a Member of the EU other than some form of personal advantage, such as banking or what their employer does, or it simply being most often the case that they hate notified change and they want to maintain the status quo.

It is clear that the vitriol which drives the Remain faction is based upon a sense of loss of control, the sense of personal cost or just the sense from fear of change.

There is nothing tangible about benefits to the wider community, the interests of anyone beyond those they care about or the surfacing of any argument which indicates that Remaining a Member of the EU is a genuine solution to all the ills around us – it being the case that since June 2016, this is what we have been repeatedly told.

So it is the media support and manipulation through communication and the disingenuous behaviour of our Politicians which form the basis of this sell-out of our Sovereignty to an accumulation of different foreign shores. And when there is no real substance to anything that they are telling us or even saying, it comes as little wonder that so many of their messages and soundbites are so freely susceptible to change.

The big problem with all of this is that Leaving the EU properly offers UK People and Businesses a clearly discernible difference to everything that we have for over 40 years experienced and to that which we are still being drip-fed and directly told.

But a real Brexit as yet hasn’t been delivered. This despite the fact that the objective was set in stone as a democratic instruction. It was given by the People, by a majority and in direct response to the binary choice which was binding – as the same Politicians who are now trying to commit us to the EU, convinced us before that historic European Referendum and underlined their very clearly in bold.

So no matter how much effort is spent on trying to repackage the same old story, it is clear that the same old lack of substance Remains.

This whole plan is still about selling out the UK to a foreign power. One driven by an autocracy that wants to use the UK as a resource for nothing more than its own empire building, doesn’t care about democracy in the UK or the people or businesses within it. Yet it will do everything within its power to sell the idea that we cannot live without the influence and control of 27 other countries and that Remaining is the only way that we can ever be safe, secure and feel prosperous, when the truth is quite the opposite.

Put in the words of one of the World’s most influential statesman, ‘You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time*’.

So go ahead. Rename Remain ‘informed consent’ or anything else you’d like to try to overturn Brexit.

The democratic decision to Leave has not yet been delivered and that’s the truth your obfuscation can never deny.

image thanks to unknown

*Abraham Lincoln

Meglamaniac May ignores her Remainer-in-Chiefs; the Cabinet wont act because they all want to be PM and all who could stop this madness are prepared to leave her fate to a Parliamentary Vote – irrespective of what new hell this chain of irresponsibility will unleash

December 3, 2018 Leave a comment

May Halo 2

We all love a parliamentary parody, but not when it has actually become real life and instead of seeing a script acted out, we are witnessing the daily evolution of the real thing.

Make no mistake. The story we are now seeing unfolding bears no similarity to what the principle of democracy and the will of the people was ever supposed to be about.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum and the impact of everything that they are now doing is not going to be without significant cost to us all, in the many ways that the Brexit charade delivers its range of consequences and fall-out.

We see a full Cabinet of Ministers propagating the myths of the current Prime Ministers making, just so they can keep their hand in when it comes to the ‘expected’ pool of choices when the potentially imminent Conservative Leadership Contest begins.

We see Remainers so hell-bent on overturning the decision of the People which they took so personally, that they now have to prove that the majority of the British People were wrong. They are prepared to destroy democracy by pushing for a second Vote, when through the actions of their own camp, the Country has not even delivered upon the first.

We see Brexiteers still so fixated on their own idea of what Brexit should look like, that they have themselves forgotten what it was that the British People have voted for. They are overlooking the strength in numbers that comes from recognising and working on the democratic principle of commonality. By doing so, they have surrendered their own strength to the misunderstanding and mistrust that Remain continue to sew, which Brexiteer unity would quickly push aside.

An at the top of the tree, we have a Remain-obsessed Prime Minister who has become so fixated with the belief in her own hype, that she is now even ignoring the advice of her own Remain-obsessed Civil Servants. She is prepared to withhold Legal Advice to Parliament so that she can single-handedly ensure that her closer union with Europe, sold as Brexit can be coercively pushed through Parliament and British Democracy not just now, but for ever then be denied.

What should perhaps be most worrying, is that most of the MP’s in Westminster know that we are riding the cusp of a constitutional wave which has the potential to deliver changes for the UK which in any form they now come will be very sinister.

The status quo has now been cracked right down the middle and even staying exactly where we are would not resemble anything like the 22nd of June 2016 – in terms of what some still see as an option labelled ‘Remain’.

This obsession with being seen to keep ones hands clean or simply to save ones job means that inaction is continuing to rule the day.

Like the many Theresa May related events which have materialised before, Conservatives with the ability to precipitate change are waiting to see what happens.

They are ignoring the fact that they are going around in circles and are likely to find themselves giving May yet another chance just as soon as she steps out of the Voting Lobby next Tuesday after the ‘first vote’ hits the floor, puts out the begging bowl and blithely asks them ‘Please MP’s, can I have some more?’

Labour don’t come out of this any better. And their obsession with getting into Government at any cost, aided by the inaction of the Conservatives on both front and back benches may very soon come to pass.

By taking the easy option and waiting for the ‘meaningful vote’ to take place on December 11th, all of our MP’s are setting themselves up for a very difficult and possibly monumental task.

Whether Theresa May decides to go back to the Country, the Remainers push for another Referendum which puts democracy firmly in the past, the Government falls and with the DUP ‘walking the floor’, or Jeremy Corbyn and a rainbow coalition walk right in to No.10 before Christmas, it is clear that Parliament now has no discernable power or direction, nor the ability to make any decisions which have legitimate longevity and as such the surety to even last.

This free-for-all of ‘my idea is best’ and ‘I will do whatever I can to make everyone else wrong’ is actually beyond parody. In fact, it is becoming a real-life tragedy.

Whilst MP’s have been doing shocking things for a very long time, the transparency that the Internet and age of Social Media has brought means that their idea of what responsibility looks like is already having a far-reaching impact.

It is now action and not more words the People are looking for before there is even the chance that some faith in our Parliamentary system could even begin to be restored.

If MP’s seriously want to regain their credibility, they must do whatever necessary to stop the Theresa May show right now.

The best thing for us all will be an immediate change in Conservative Leadership, to someone who is not self-obsessed with the idea that getting into No.10 is all being in politics has ever been about.

Someone who can look all the Remain hyperbole in the eye, face it and the ever-controlling EU down and then push through a process to Leave which works for all of us, guarantees the UK its Sovereignty and freedom, and outs the ridiculous idea that anything even remotely Remainish is going to be of genuine benefit to anyone or any home-based business in the UK.

 

 

 

 

The UK must have the ability to Regulate the Internet, control and respond to data management issues in ways that we never will with the rules-for-the-sake-of-rules EU involved

December 2, 2018 Leave a comment

How we govern the Net, it’s use, the transfer, storage and sharing of data is a Policy area that like many others our Government should be on top of and ahead of the game.

That it isn’t and that many of our politicians simply have no understanding of what is happening around us in the parallel world of data is not, however, a sign that we need the EU Bureaucracy to take over and install a set of draconian and out of touch rules that demonstrates Brussels has even less understanding of the changing world than Westminster does.

Scare stories some might think.

But the reality of what the EU is attempting to do is very real and the iceberg which is coming is very much deeper beneath the surface than the relatively tame tip we now know to be GDPR.

Right now, we could be well on the way to being legally unable to share material such as newslinks from the Internet, or even take pictures of or in public places because of what the EU is now attempting to deem as being assumed copyright for things like buildings.

Idealistic, dangerously impractical and without any real regard for how life works within the world of the Internet and in its relationship with everything else, unelected bureaucrats lurking in an office somewhere in Brussels are about to take nanny-stating and big brotherish concepts to a whole new level.

If we either Remain or worse still, embrace May’s deal, we will have no choice but to accept these undemocratic and choking restrictions however far reaching and personally restricting they might be.

In governmental terms, the arrival of Internet based technology and the online universe has caught legislators napping.

To many, a fallacious idea now exists where the Net has broken down geographical boundaries and barriers and heralds a new age where concepts such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain will make localised governance systems redundant and that markets will now reach across the world and take care of everything that crops up in between.

They won’t.

The reason they won’t, is that no matter what we do online, be it personally or for our business or employer, the dehumanisation of relationships which the rise of the internet has already inflicted upon us has shown that real life requires a level of tangibility and physical stimulation that technology will never offer us, even through virtual reality.

Centralising and ceding power to the EU over data and the rules which govern our Internet access and use would be a catastrophic abuse and denial of the real opportunity to take control and influence the response necessary to the powerful technological and informational changes taking place around us. And to do so for the better.

Our businesses, our people and the physical environment across the UK are very different to the 27 other Countries that make up the EU.

We must have regulation which is sensitive, tailored and responsive to UK needs. Regulation must not be set on a one-size-fits-all basis which at best will be modelled on a false commonality between 28 very different Countries and more likely will be much worse, offering no basis of practicality at all or any sense in which we could identify consideration of any specific UK need – either domestically, or for our interactions with the whole of the outside World.

This will not be possible if the UK’s choice to Leave the EU is ignored. Or through the dishonesty and lack of responsibility to the Electorate on the part of Politicians, the UK is coerced into a much closer and technically irreversible union with the EU as will be the outcome of May’s deal being adopted, or an alternative series of false choices are created which mislead us to Remain.

We will only have the flexibility, the adaptability and the necessary cultural intuitively to give the UK the right Data Policies that we need, if we Leave the EU, take complete control of our own Policy making once again, and then push our self-orientated Political classes to get on and deliver the key Policy areas like Data which will return the UK to the place where we can meet opportunity or crisis from wherever it may come, head on.

 

image thanks to entrepreneur.com

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