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The Civil Servant doth protest too much, methinks

October 16, 2018 Leave a comment

img_1583Hands up. I am one of the many. I think that May must go and that May must go now.

May must go before any last chance of an honest Brexit is destroyed and the UK is completely condemned to Remain in all but name.

It’s not personal. I don’t know her that way.

But this is not how a genuinely Conservative Prime Minister behaves.

This is certainly not the kind of Conservative Government that anyone who really cares about the future of this Country would knowingly vote for.

That said, I am under no illusion of the mechanics of how decisions at all levels of Government are actually made. There is a considerable team of politicians, advisors and civil servants or local government officers who have influence on – and therefore responsibility – for the choices, options and directions often presented as little more than fait accompli to the Political Leaders above them. Leaders who are also responsible, but the only ones who the Public will openly blame.

For those of us who know this and see the reality of how Government and the Public Sector works – up and down, Sir Mark Sedwill’s intervention in the form of an open letter to The Times today, attempting to distance the Civil Service from the chaos which Brexit has become, is both untimely and disingenuously made.

The inherent suggestion that Civil Servants only do what they are told, and carry out their instructions to the letter is at very best laughable. At worst, it demonstrates the farcical nature of an executive system that wants to dominate and exert its influence within every corner of Government and the Public Sector.

The executive or non-elected element happily takes credit in any way that it can when things are going well. But it seeks to distance itself and pass the buck to elected representatives just as soon as the self-serving, and self-aggrandised plans which have nothing about service to the Public at their core, go wrong and have the potential to wreck a gold-plated pension plan and the previously ‘clean’ CV.

It is a ‘Team May’ effort which has ‘live-time’ responsibility for the Brexit chaos. And within that ‘team’ there are many Civil Servants who share the responsibility for the perfect storm which is brewing, not all of which is itself is attributable to the actions of the current PM.

What’s worst about the role of the non-elected executive, is that for far too long culturally, the gift of being employed within roles which are blessed with misplaced impartiality, would normall leave any of them directly involved, immune from any form of punishment when anything decision making involving politicians goes tits up.

Brexit being the monumental clusterfuck that it has become, clearly doesn’t offer such levels of sanctuary. That is why we now have letters being published in newspapers from top Civil Servants which portray such ridiculous and pre-emptively pleading statements such as ‘It’s not my fault it all went wrong’.

 

image thanks to http://www.thetimes.co.uk / someone unidentifiable on the Net.

 

 

The PM’s Tory Conference entrance was one giant tell and the air is thickening with the stench of a political fudge

October 9, 2018 Leave a comment

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Treating people like mushrooms; keeping them in the dark and feeding them on bullshit, is likely to be the greatest epithet of the EU.

Despite the result of the 2016 EU Referendum in the UK, the message that the general population has grown wise is still not getting through.

We now see the EU engaged in one of its classic bluff-based, interactive dances with one of its greatest disciples, Theresa May.

Last weeks entrance to the Conservative Party Conference should really be read for what it was. Not merely the pretence of  hamming it up to try and look cool for a tired and trivialised audience on the part of an incompetent Prime Minister. But the meaningful strut of a confident peacock certain that the audience is about to be taken in completely by a very colourful and expansive display.

As many will already know. The EU has well-documented form when it comes to creating the impression that things are going differently to how they would like them, and by double bluffing or even doubling-down when they sense they are at the point of a win.

Over recent days, we have not only witnessed the arrival of the great pretender in all her glory, but claim and then counter claim that a deal on Brexit is getting closer and closer. Then we are assured that the truth is not any such thing.

Meanwhile the obsessive talk of a second Referendum is becoming so frequent that its inevitability is being deliberately painted into our consciousness whilst we are being coerced into questioning the original first and legitimate democratic win.

Chequers was never based upon an honest principle of ‘Brexit means Brexit’. It was a calculated way to bluff up a storm at the end of which once unacceptable concessions would then be seen as being perfectly reasonable, keeping Brexit in name only as the only option saved from the bin.

Regrettably, politicians from all areas of the political spectrum and from both sides of the  EU Membership Debate seem to be buying into this either emotionally, or just logically to save theor own necks.

Many sense that the only way that Brexit can be delivered legitimately will be if there is another General Election – one which with Theresa May in No. 10, the Conservatives have little to guarantee them that they can win.

We cannot be sure what form it will take. But the devil will most certainly be in the detail of any agreement that May attempts  to persuade us that she has negotiated and achieved.

One of the greatest political fudges and injustices is now in the making. And its success was ushered in with a gawky, inelegant rendition of Abba’s Dancing Queen.

The war of ideas is lost. Somebody please tell the politicians before it really is too late

October 2, 2018 Leave a comment

the-future-is-won-or-lost-in-the-war-of-ideas-quote-1If you are following the Political Conference Season, even at a peripheral level, and are able to cut through the constant flow of noise created by Brexit, you will surely have come across one group or another saying something like they have to stop this person or stop that person from doing this thing or that thing to prevent some unspeakable outcome, which they are uniquely empowered to predict.

There are times, yes moments even,  when the lunacy of the behaviour in which our political classes engage would be laughable.

At some level, it really is. But the consequences of the constant flow of proclamations about who is fit, unfit or the right person to lead, speak or do whatever in the public sphere which can be interpreted as outshining someone else in some way has entered dangerous territory indeed.

Dangerous, because these attempts to micromanage this Country’s destiny based on little more than taste and appearance is focused on ideas created from nothing but self interest. It has severe disregard for the consequences that will follow, and that’s not because they will succeed.

Because so many of our politicians and members of the opinionati are now doing it and in a competitive way too, there is no longer a direction of travel available for the majority of forward looking and common-sense thinking people to get behind. There remains just a mish-mash of ambition for good or for worse blocking everything sensible from gaining traction, all coming from a no mans land between points of reason at one end placed within a zone of nostalgia for a different past and at the other, a world ahead where any alternative idea to that of the commentator will result in disaster.

If you really need to observe the reality of this in all its comical but nonetheless horrifying glory, do please take note of the lack of attendance at the Key Ministerial Speeches which are taking place at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this week.

Attendees are instead packing out fringe meetings where they are focusing their attention on the figureheads that the media loves to make us believe we all hate at every turn, whilst actively overlooking the over-crafted words of the very people who are running this Country today.

That the Government can now be composed of so many different politicians at the most senior levels who might otherwise have good skills, but have become consumed by the race to position themselves for the long-anticipated Leadership Race is very telling.

That they do so whilst overlooking the genuine will of the people who once supported them to gain the places at the big table that they now have, is very telling indeed.

Whilst an unpalatable truth to the political many, one of the reasons that there is such a void at the top of Politics today, is because of the control that the Party Political System now has exerted on Candidate Selections and upon the behaviour of junior politicians once they have obtained and wish to do nothing more than hold on to their coveted Seats.

Sadly, the way the system works is to require of once principled applicants that they are unswervingly loyal to their party, and therefore completely subservient to the whims of the leadership without question, if they a) wish to stay and b) wish to have any genuine chance of ‘career’ success and advancement.

Being conditioned by a process that requires people in a position of responsibility not to question, but to say yes at every turn just to get along every day leaves many of them becoming the living caricature of Mrs May the automaton made manifest. They are unable to say no to anyone who postures around them once that long-aimed for responsibility has become theirs to possess. Saying yes to the loudest voices is now all they know how to do.

The individuals who break this mould are few. Yet they are ridiculed for demonstrating the power to think outside of the tent.

The Boris’s, The Jacob Rees-Moggs, some others no doubt sat frustrated and waiting in the wider wings.

These are the potential leaders who may be far from being the perfect options in the idealists eyes.

But these are the very people who have the power to restore some purpose and hope for all of us, because they are different. They have already shown that they can stand alone, and that they can consider there being a different way to do things, rather than the way the political system has taught them to behave.

The Party Political system suits the purposes of the EU, simply because it is highly effective at stifling and shutting down dissent. It is the perfect antidote to the reasoned, moral and best-interests-of-the-people fight against technocratic government which demonstrates the behaviour of an autocratic dictatorship, and is to all intents and purposes that very same thing in all but name.

Good people within politics do not see this for what it is. They still believe that this is just the way that things are; the way that the system works. But that doesn’t make it right.

If they continue to wait for the perfect or rather the ideal option, the one that fits with the ideas which being in this broken system has given them, they will condemn us to a future which will make the lack of connection, conviction and a preoccupation with messages and soundbites employed by the May regime look positively democratic and in touch with people in the extreme.

We don’t have a perfect option today where leadership is concerned. We have to take the best that is available.

This is certainly not Jeremy Corbyn. We already know that it is not Theresa May.

The flurry of ideas might look great within the walls of all these different minds. But the many differences mean that there is no coherence. That they result in little sense and this war of ideas and the idealism behind them is already over and will never be won.

We need direction which incorporates a return to real democracy. That means putting aside the ‘I know best’ mentality and embracing change which must start with us all and come from within.

Embracing and making the very best of Brexit is now the only way that the UK can really win.

 

 

 

The EU is the idealists’ nirvana. That’s why Brexit is visceral, instinctive and for some Leavers hard to explain, whereas many Remainers are simply addicted to the EU and will do whatever it takes to keep things the same

September 18, 2018 Leave a comment

Wolf Sheep ClothingIts not often that I find myself laughing about anything to do with Brexit. A no-deal, or rather the position from which negotiations should have started is where we should actually be. Yet over two years later, Theresa May’s Government is still pretending that the UK can be independent whilst maintaining the functions of a member state.

I laughed this morning, when I heard that a high profile Remainer had branded Leavers as idealists, knowing full well that nothing could be further from the truth.

When people who should know better are busy calling people names, they do after all often betray the way that they really see themselves, deep down and at a level our conscious world is all too happy for us to miss.

The European Union has, is and will continue to be the idealists nirvana, both strategically and functionally until the day that it ceases to exist.

The EU’s history is much better documented than the behaviour of most Politicians and Opinionators would have us think.

A little reading would soon uncover the true origins and chronology of the European Project. Its original, its evolving and its often self-interest-laden aims. And how like the work of all quixotic idealists, the central tenet upon which the whole thing is built, is the pathway to complete control, cleverly camouflaged as a way to maintain peace, prosperity, a sense of belonging and of course gold-laden career opportunities for politicians who have forgotten where they came from.

The European Commission’s cultural mindset is that it understands the function of the world, all businesses and people within it, better than the people and businesses which are functioning within.

This is best demonstrated by the endless train of regulation that nobody in the UK actually asked for. Rules and standards that often make little sense, but make life increasingly expensive, politically correct and devoid of humanity in relationships because some rule created by a bureaucrat with a great idea in another Country has been introduced instructing us how people they will never meet should interact in between.

The European Union not only works, but its influence in every part of life fervently accepted, because we are trusting and assume that ideal measures introduced to manage anything can only ever be a good thing.

They are not.

Since we joined the Common Market, an earlier stage of the United States of Europe’s life-cycle, life for us all in the UK has began to become unrecognisable, with behaviour, morals and values smashed in pursuit of nothing more than the idealist EU’s dream.

That the British People, and a majority of them at that, have recognised that there is an alternative truth and within it a better way to exist and prioritise the people, businesses and communities that we care for is not idealist.

It is being real and knowing that we have already for too long been on a destructive legislative pathway which without immediate change will soon control even more of our lives and the way that we think.

And all those MP’s and Establishment idealists who are singing to the EU’s tune during these so-called negotiations, instead of carrying out the process which the Electorate instructed should be aware of just one thing.

The EU is reliant upon the principle that when you finally begin to wake up from aiding and abetting what is in reality a foreign power to win, the EU’s measures of control will have progressed simply too far for any rebellion against it to be even mildly fruitful, should any one of you then be brave enough to even begin.

image thanks to unknown

A housing market correction will be nothing to do with Brexit, Gov’. A lot of people would actually like a 33%+ drop in prices and those who would suffer could and should have been helped by preventative regulation long before now

September 16, 2018 Leave a comment

images (12)Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England has become a divisive figure, despite some protestations that his efforts are the only thing keeping the Government sound.

Appointed by George Osborne, some would have been surprised by the recent extension of his Contract, but less so by his intervention this week suggesting that there could be a housing market crash, post ‘no deal Brexit’. He has form when it comes to ‘Project Fear’ after all.

First things first. Bank of England Governor or not, nobody has the level of knowledge of the future that it would take to make a credible prediction of this kind with such clarity and yes, conviction too.

The great irony surrounding Mr Carney’s latest projection is that a great many people throughout the UK would not only welcome a drop in house prices of the kind he has suggested. They would probably go out and celebrate it too.

A correction in the massively over-inflated UK housing market is long overdue and We can be sure that with the experience and background that Mr Carney has, he jolly well knows this too. It’s just very easy right now for him to link anything bad with the all absorbing process and negativity being peddled about Brexit by key people who should really behave better.

Houses in this country have been vastly overpriced for an entire generation already.

The gap between income level and the borrowing necessary to secure home ownership grows exponentially every year.

Yet the people who could do more to bring into check the out of control monster that is the housing market – that’s people like Mr Carney himself, have long since given up on trying to tackle the issues creating the housing crisis head on.

They instead rely on hollow excuses to create policies like aggressive house building which won’t actually solve the housing problem through our Country but will certainly ensure that the green parts of England will soon never ever look quite the same.

Ask yourself this. When was the last time you experienced house prices falling in your local area when a new and probably large housing development was built nearby?

No. House prices are drastically over-inflated and it is only because so little meaningful regulation is placed upon the banks and finance houses, that their unbridled processes of money creation have been allowed to build and consolidate a mountain of private debt for the general population.

Meanwhile those responsible for what is to them a distant reality live gilded lives which are only possible because they have been allowed to create a culture of financial oppression for others which is progressively enslaving the masses whilst the benefits push up prices for everyone but only deliver benefits for the few.

The false world which has been created by the work of the financial sector really is a wonder to behold. But it is not real and it is dangerously dependent upon the security and stability of the financial markets which are intrinsically linked to the wants and whims of traders and government appointed officials, leaving little in terms of cushioning or a safety net located in between.

The correction in the housing market for which many are now waiting could as easily come after a no deal Brexit as it could at any other time.

But if the housing market correction should appear to arrive at the time of our leaving the EU, it will not be because of the decision made in the European Referendum in 2016.

It will do so because of the catalystic behaviour of officials and politicians in the European Union and our Government who have and continue to resist the democratic decision of the British People to complete Brexit.

They have worked tirelessly instead for a mismatch and mess of measures which cannot possibly work as a solution as it has always been their aim to place the UK within a mythical no mans land between us and the EU which could never actually exist, even though they would continually tell us all that it was so.

 

image thanks to thetimes.co.uk

 

The problem with the plan for Brexit, is that Brexit has become all about having a plan

When Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Downing Street in May 1940, he didn’t have a plan or a date in mind for the War to end in 1945. He just knew what he had to achieve, and took the initiative to lead.

Right now, Brexit has effectively fallen on its arse. Not because the instruction given by the Electorate on 23rd June 2016 wasn’t clear. It was.

Brexit seems to be going nowhere because almost everyone has become obsessed by the ‘plan’ that will get us ‘there’.

Having a plan in itself isn’t a problem. Having plans is pretty normal. But when you allow yourself to become paralysed and glued to the spot, just because there isn’t a plan in place which appears to suit your purpose, there is little wonder that everything soon begins to resemble one giant mess.

Plans, or creating plans for any aim or desired outcome is a very deceptive process. Having an ‘agreed’ plan gives a false sense of security, built on the complacent view that everything will then work like clockwork and turn out as good as you could possibly hope.

In practice, or perhaps I should say the real world, plans rarely work out as anticipated, particularly when it comes to Government or running anything which involves the input or influence of more than one person.

Roll that idea out into a negotiated peace with the European Union, its advisors, negotiators, commissioners and 27 Nation States in between and we can begin to get a very real idea about how hard agreeing a plan which will suit all of them – and don’t forget us – would actually be.

The elephant in the room with all of this process of working up and then waiting for the EU to agree a plan, is and always has been that it is completely unnecessary.

The result of the European Referendum was a clear instruction. An instruction to Parliament and our MPs to take every step necessary to facilitate and then implement the specific action of rescinding, and therefore leaving Membership of the EU.

That instruction wasn’t advisory. It wasn’t just a view. The Electorate’s instruction was not a request for MP’s to go away and spend two years arguing over what the word ‘leave’ actually means and dream up excuse after excuse to excuse themselves from doing that which they have been told to do.

It certainly wasn’t an invitation to delay, divide and destroy a legitimate democratic process by creating the pretence that you don’t need to be in or out, but can hover happily somewhere in between. You can’t.

Even attempting to create a comprehensive or exhaustive plan to undertake such a complicated process as returning full sovereignty, law making and responsibility for our own trade, was always going to be impossible to achieve. But that is no reason to fall into the trap of thinking that without a plan, Brexit or rather leaving the European Union is something that we should not or disingenuously then have an excuse not  to do.

In 1940, Churchill had no plan for winning World War 2. Yet one way or another, dealing with each and every battle, set back, resource issue and foreign affairs nightmare as it came, he achieved for him his aim and for us as a Country, much more besides. As our leader, he just took each and every step, looked each and every day in the eye and didn’t accept defeat as an option which was on the table, let alone a choice which was his alone to decide.

It didn’t take one big plan to win that War. It took a whole series of many smaller plans to do what adds up to being the same.

It’s simply the case that hindsight has allowed the story to fit together snugly when the words of history overlook the mistakes, blunders and blind alleyways that lurked continuously in between his appointment and our Victory.

What the delivery of such a giant task did take however, was leadership. And when we look at the way that we are being led into Brexit today, compared to Churchill’s take on being ruled from Europe from 1940 to 1945, there remains an almost universal gulf sitting in between.

image thanks to Wikipedia

Even if the Government has ‘reports’ on the UK’s future after Brexit, it would remain foolish to rely on expert opinion about an event which hasn’t already taken place

December 27, 2017 Leave a comment

download (9)Brexit has been created by a phenomenon, the elements of which many of us are still failing to understand. For non-decision makers, this is just a social problem between people who are usually friends. But for our politicians it has now become an elaborate game of pin the tail on the donkey which risks much more than a simple prick to the finger if they get their blindfolded judgement wrong.

The exquisite mix of having a government led by people who do not believe in what they are doing, trying to deliver working solutions to problems that they do not understand would in any other situation be recognised for what it is. But politics has regrettably moved on from an age when it really was in some way chivalrous – if it ever really was, and power being all, is all it has now become.

This insidious environment does not lend itself well to the power of original thinking. Trust has become as interchangeable with myth as proof has become with fiction, and unrelated history has become the benchmark of reliability against the future that we can also not personally see.

Measuring the possible impact and consequences of Brexit against such a backdrop is therefore down to either fortune telling – which is at best no more than ‘an educated guess’, or of relying upon economic viewpoints and philosophies which have been developed on the basis of events that have already passed, rather than what will actually happen in the future.

Put simply, nothing like Brexit has happened before and nor will it happen again, as even the smallest difference – perhaps down to the outlook of just one of the key players involved, could deliver an outcome which we could never imagine.

That the Government and Ministers responsible for any part of the Brexit process may or may not choose to rely upon reports which have been devised in this way and within this unique set of circumstances, is perhaps more about their own take on the opinion of others, rather than anything we could really label as setting out to deceive.

Whether they be Specialists, Experts, Economists or not, it is little more than opinion that they actually give and we would all do well to remember that even then, nobody has the ability to offer such ‘expert analysis’ of an event which has not already taken place.

Yes, we all have concerns about what is to come as a result of Brexit. But staying within Europe would not in any way have meant that a stable future of any kind was assured. And it remains worthy of note that whilst Brexit may prove to be temporarily challenging for us, for the UK to have remained a member of the EU may in time have proven to be truly catastrophic.

image thanks to fortune.com

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