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How to get Elected: The conversation about getting into politics that I would have liked right now if I’d never been elected before

March 10, 2018 Leave a comment

 

 

When the watershed moment arrived when I finally accepted that Local Politics, National Politics and our Political Party system is completely broken, it was far from being a happy time.

Genuine democracy does after all require that a few can work collaboratively and collectively together, so that the many beyond them can all benefit together as one.

Hope that change will come from the top in Politics today feels like at best an aspiration. In reality, it looks to be little more than a pipe dream.

If the ongoing Brexit circus tells us anything in the future, when we look back at this time, it will be that the self-serving nature of many politicians is more entrenched now than it has ever been before. That far too many of the Politicians who we have most recently entrusted with our Votes, treat the Electorate with a level of contempt that they are now struggling to hide.

We are desperate for change right now. But with the system behaving as it is, the change necessary is likely to take time.

If time is what it will take to deliver a better kind of politics that genuinely benefits us all, taking the first steps in some way is progress that we must find a way to make.

After all, none of us will benefit from an immediate or revolutionary-type change if one form of oppression is simply replaced with something far worse or at best the very same.

Sadly, the rot in politics is as rabid at Local level as it is at Westminster. But it is here where the most realistic opportunity exists to create and develop a catalyst of change. One that will make people living real lives and the communities around them the centre and priority of government services and politics across the UK once again.

Whilst all of the Political Parties have ideas and members motivated in the right direction, they have reached the stage where the more they change, the more they stay the same.

Without convincing influence from outside, the Parties will never identify any pressing need to even consider doing more.

Real Localism is a fine place to begin. Putting people and communities back in charge. Giving Voters voices which genuinely represent them from within.

To do this, we need more Independent and like-minded people representing us in Local Authorities of all kinds. But they need to know what they are getting themselves into, and what will be required of them to get Elected, to be good Representatives and to work with others in ways that can achieve so much more.

With experience of being an Elected Member and running in the range of Elections that I have, I decided it was time to create, produce and publish a resource that can help.

Using the knowledge, insight and understanding that I have from that personal experience of our political world, I have this week launched the complete version of ‘How to get Elected’ (H2GE).

How to get Elected covers all things that a new entrant to Politics in the UK should consider. It is the conversation about getting into politics that I would have liked to have right now if I’d never been elected before.

H2GE ranges from the questions that should be asked before beginning a Campaign and the formal requirements of becoming a Candidate and running an Election Campaign, to the good practice principles which can assist and help individual Councillors and Campaigners feel more sure of themselves and what they are doing.

It is my sincerest hope that H2GE will provide aspiring community minded politicians with a form of support that will allow them to feel confident in their efforts and reassure them that they are not alone.

How to get Elected is a Free to use Website aimed at those who genuinely want to work for change. It is also available as a Book for Kindle.

Please visit, read, share and where possible ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

Brexit and the influence of Corporate Business: Money talks and the rest of the business community walks

Brexit 2The result of the European Referendum was a surprise to many, and that includes a substantial part of the leave side itself. Yet over a year on, with Article 50 Triggered over 3 Months ago and David Davies now participating in regular sessions of ‘negotiation’ with the European elite, nobody seems to know what impact Brexit will have on any of the key issues, and whether any of what are being considered as the obvious problems which led to the ‘No’ Vote will really have been resolved.

With Brexit constituting a polysemic reference point which in the imaginations of everyone will look as different as the number of people you might ask, it is perhaps no wonder that there really is as much confusion as there appears to be about the whole process.

Some do of course interpret what is already the natural anxiety which is accompanying these early stages of our departure from the European Union as change in the minds of the majority that initiated this whole process. Yet they would do well to remember that none of the reasons which prompted that significant choice on the part of so many have as yet been resolved, and especially so in the case of the many more beyond those generally accepted and not least of all the spectre of corporate and political self interest.

It should really be of little surprise that things have looked like such a mess in these circumstances and genuinely forgivable given the lack of pre-Referendum preparation for its outcome and the chain of events including a change of Prime Minister and an arguably unexpected General Election which has distributed power in peculiar directions.

What is less easy to overlook, and perhaps should be of great concern to us all, is the readiness of former remain-backing politicians to focus upon the opinion and input of sources from the corporate world who also sought the same outcome when considering what will or wont work for business-full-stop, when what they appear to hope will be an indefinite period of transition commences in March 2019 and we formally leave the Union.

Input of organisations such as the CBI, whilst important in its capacity as a member-based industry voice, is nonetheless representative only of the executives and companies for whom they work, and therefore the highly subjective and specifically profit-led interests that they all have in conjunction with their own trading arrangements with Europe – rather than what is objectively in the better interests of us all.

Whilst it may be to some degree inevitable that UK-European trade will come at a greater cost to all businesses in the future, these changes will in real or financial terms be no different than the changes in costs of manufacturing, supply and service provision which have accompanied change after change after change which have been instigated by a continual flow of new European Laws and Directives when they hit relevant businesses. In fact, it is only the fact that this is an industry-wide phenomenon, rather than just another hitting one sector or another, which really marks leaving the European Union itself as being markedly different from changes that to real business, would really be ‘just one of those things’.

It would be disingenuous to suggest that the Government is listening to the wrong people, but it certainly does not appear to be taking into account the realities facing the complete range of the right ones either, and when the views of Remain-lite big business are put into their true perspective, the news is arguably far from as bad as the comparatively few companies which are big enough to swim in the pool with the CBI and have influence on its own Policy would like us and the Government to think.

Motivation is regrettably key, and whilst it is considered normal to talk about the individuals who give voice to CBI membership and the corporate business community as being representative of the ‘business view’, very few, if indeed any of the people who have reached the top of these large Companies will have really cut their teeth in the furnace of SME business start-ups, development and management. It is here where you ultimately have no choice but to accept, get on and work with legislatory change, or get out of the market and let someone else have a go if you can no longer make it work.

Small business, which suggested by Federation of Small Business (FSB) figures makes up at least 60% of industry, thrives on being adaptable and embracing each and every change that it will face, which for most will come to them pretty much on almost daily basis. What it doesn’t have – even with membership organisations like the FSB  – which are again only technically representative of the views of their members with a voice – is a seat, or what should be a significant number of seats around the ‘top table’ when it comes to getting the ear of Ministers and indeed our Government.

This is a travesty, as the business environment which they inhabit is the real engine room of our economy, and the place where industry feedback is most open and reflective of the concerns and realities which really do face all businesses.

SME’s are the business equivalent of the electoral grassroots and the only place to go if Government really wants to establish the priorities of British Business to inform our negotiations with the EU as we transition through Brexit to what may then prove to be a much more productive world for the British economy beyond.

 

image thanks to news.sky.com 

 

 

 

10 Years on from the 2007 Gloucestershire Floods: Some things are different, but out of sight is still very much out of mind for the politicians and this is what must really change

Floods 2007 1

Unloading water at the Wheatpieces Community Centre, Walton Cardiff, near Tewkesbury, following the July 2007 Floods

With 10 years now passed since the Gloucestershire floods of 2007 we cast our minds back to the magnitude of those events that affected significant numbers of people and communities across the County and surrounding areas in the middle of July that year.

Only a matter of weeks into my first term as an elected councillor at Tewkesbury Borough, I remember well that the significance of what felt like a tropical rainstorm parked overhead for most of that Friday would go way beyond a vast extension of what sadly remains a regular local event.

So much water trying to find its way to a natural watercourse created rivers and lakes in the most unexpected locations and seeing upended cars by the roadside and in ditches the following day, like some scene from War of the Worlds left a picture in my mind which was at the very least quite surreal.

But it was on the Sunday, when word really began to spread that there had been a problem at the Mythe Water Treatment Plant as a result of the Flooding which meant tap water was about to run out, that the real consequences of what we were afterwards told was a 1 in 100 year event really began to unfold.

After an unexpected phone call from a constituent that afternoon, asking where they could get water I found myself spending over two weeks delivering water and coordinating drinking water supplies around my Council Ward, increasingly conscious of how very thin the veil of individual social responsibility, commonly known as civil order actually is, when it was pricked in so many other areas by people fighting over water, steeling it and even urinating in bowsers where communities had been supplied. We can only begin to imagine what would have happened if the emergency services had not won their battle against the rising floodwaters of the River Severn when just centimetres from flooding the Walham Electricity Substation just outside Gloucester.

From my own perspective, the contact with members of the community I then represented that getting so directly involved gave me was of incalculable benefit. Not only did I see the impact of the breakdown of our utility service supply at first hand, I also gained real-time understanding of flooding and also what can be the very localised nature and requirements of our arbitrary Planning system, which continues to fail local people, and the communities in which they live every day.

The news channels have today made use of the good-news stories which followed the 2007 Floods, such as the permanent flood protection and defences that have been erected in places such as Upton on Severn, just a few miles upstream from Tewkesbury. Yet the bigger story beyond remains the lack of understanding or failure to acknowledge the real impact of building not only near or on flood plains themselves, but also on ground which in extreme weather events, would or has historically become the natural channels where a rainfall overload will find its way to our local main rivers via the floodplains in between.

Sadly, consideration of the issues which sit behind those which are most obvious is not something that Government at National or Local level beyond is happy to embrace, particularly at a time when the politically expedient route to solving our housing supply problems is to simply focus on everything that encourages people and businesses to build.

Events like the 2007 Gloucestershire Floods are not rare events. This fact has been only too well illustrated by the many different experiences that Towns, Villages and in some cases even Cities have been continuing to experience ever since, and yet we still have a Planning system, environmental policies and public sector approach which is in real terms not even fully reactive in nature.

The pain, loss and suffering which people suffer, often much longer than during the time of these flooding events themselves should have by now resulted in a proactive approach to flood prevention. But 10 years now gone – a period in which even the very slow wheels of Government could have delivered the creative and fully considered policy changes and developments which might at least have future-proofed existing properties from what might be avoidable disaster – Politicians are still failing to adapt to dealing with the biggest issues which are facing communities, albeit the ones that are far from being obvious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a conservative through and through, but I do not identify with anything that the Conservative Party currently does or stands for

UnknownFinally, after 5 years of a Coalition, unexpected majority government and subsequent referendum results which completely re-wrote ‘the script’, soon followed by an apparently bomb-proof prime-ministerial-tenure being turned to little more than wobbly jelly in just one night, the Conservative chatter has began to focus on the health of the Party itself.

For a few moments as I glanced upon one of the latest articles to outline some angle upon the need for change, I found myself hopeful that this consistent run of electoral shocks might now at last be about to hit the right spot.

Regrettably, my momentary lapse of reason disappeared as I realised almost instantly that the Party continues to perceive its problems to be completely outside of itself and with the way it communicates with others, rather than being anything intrinsic, or even slightly in-between.

It’s not to say that the thoughts of prominent Conservative Politicians such as Bernard Jenkin and Robert Halfon don’t make sense, because the symptomatic problems they identify are certainly there. However, as has been the case both Nationally and Locally for a very long time, decision making within the whole Party has and is being made without any relationship to core conservative values, leaving both policy and approach with an identity crisis which far too many seem unable to understand.

That is why no message – no matter its medium of delivery – is going to genuinely captivate a wider audience of any age or demographic, if Conservative Party Politicians and the Party itself continue to exhibit and practice a belief system which is increasingly focused upon the self .

Until this week, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour had done a very good job of doing the exact opposite – arguably to a point where in a post-General-Election-panic, the Tories have been trying to mimic them without even hesitating to ask themselves why.

Convincing as this few week period of a new compassionate politics was, the cat was well and truly let out of the bag when senior shadow frontbenchers came clean publically to reveal that Labour’s electioneering ‘promise’ of ending student tuition fees was only ever an ‘ambition’ after all.

We can only begin to imagine what that revelation might have now meant when applied to any or indeed all of Labour’s Manifesto ‘commitments’, had those voters who had trusted this now debunked document been sufficient in number to see Mr Corbyn now resident in No. 10.

Possessing the front to tell such whoppers in order to secure a majority in any election should not even be an aspiration of a Political Party which will take its role in government seriously when called upon to represent the interests of ALL voters with equanimity, let alone one that could even come close to gaining that considerable trust.

Sadly, the common ground which all of our Political Parties share seldom touches on the provision and creation of policy itself and they are today all too alike, for all of the wrong reasons. This would almost certainly no longer be the case the very minute that the political direction of any significant part of these groups were focused upon a cause which were genuinely focused beyond their own electability.

The clear differentiation between a Conservative Party motivated to deliver and take responsibility in every way that it can without prioritising its own electoral prospects before non-newsworthy need, and an apparently resurgent Labour Party focused only on attributing blame on anyone who doesn’t share their views and inspiring generations of young people to do exactly the same, would be striking.

But gaining and maintaining power for nothing more than the sake of having power itself is the position which the Conservative Government has reached, just like many of the Councils the Party and its Local Associations ‘control’ right across the Country.

Until conservatives with decision making responsibility can once again accept and exhibit the behavioral responsibility they could and should reasonably be expected to have to others once elected, and take difficult decisions outside of their comfort zone as well as those that feel expedient or easy, nobody within or supporting the Conservative Party is going to find it simple to inspire or engage others at grassroots level and on the doorsteps, irrespective of what the message or method of delivery the Party marketing machine might employ.

The precarious nature of the Prime Minister’s ‘working majority’ today should bring no happiness to anyone on any political side, as the implications tomorrow may prove to be particularly far reaching for us all. Yet the increasingly game-like nature of government and the crowd-pleasing nature of politicians of all sides leaves the serious side of governance in this Country being extremely weak within an increasingly fragile world where real strength would serve us all very well.

If elected Conservatives really want to make, live and evangelise change that will deliver something genuinely better for all people, whilst inspiring the whole electorate by giving them something truly conservative to vote for, they must all ‘dare to be different’, rather than continue to live and propagate the lives of the caricatures that the majority of the people outside of the Westminster bubble really do today see and believe them to be.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Brexit and the Supreme Court: What will be the price of ‘objective’ judgement if no new precedents are set?

December 13, 2016 1 comment

technical-truths

Dipping into the proceedings of the Supreme Court last week was hardly the emotionally charged experience that Leavers and Remainers had been conditioned by the media to expect. But should we really be surprised when case law is being used to define arguments that have never previously been made and do in fact need our Judges to make a judgement in the purest sense?

As with all too many arguments in the political sphere these days, there is no small amount of semantics in play. Labelling of one kind or another has progressed to a level where the very act of simplifying language has progressed beyond the point of being intelligent and really given the lie to the idea that one word really can and does mean the same thing to all people.

Never mind ‘hard Brexit’ this or ‘soft Brexit’ that. Judicial process is itself hiding the truth that case law did at one point or another have itself to be created. It was at these very moments that it was the objectivity of the Judiciary or other high-level-offices of responsibility upon which we have relied and trusted to make the decisions which would today become the precedents that the debate over parliamentary interest in the triggering of Article 50 has rested.

At a time when the level of public confidence in politicians can be generalised as being the core issue that brought Brexit about, we all need to see leadership within the system of law which reaches beyond the scope of sticking to what is considered safe, or fundamentally right, simply because it’s the way that it is expected to be done.

So when we look to the Judiciary for the impartial type of leadership which is sadly lacking from government, why have the Courts not focused on the chronology of events, and above all what cannot reasonably be disputed as the democratic will of the people?

The easy response would be to suggest that the Judges concerned are expressing views which have been informed by bias. Indeed many of our media outlets have gone to great lengths to explore the backgrounds and links of the Judges who sat on the case previously, as well as the 11 who have sat in the past week at the Supreme Court.

The upshot of this approach which is inherently linked to the Brexit camp, being the inference that a decision which goes against the perogative of the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 directly and without further reference to Parliament is pro-Remain.

Be it right or wrong in terms of principle, the hardest pill to swallow for anyone looking in from the outside who supports Brexit is that the Judges have not done anything wrong by ruling the way that they already have. Nor will those sitting in the Supreme Court do so if they then uphold the previous ruling.

Yes, the Judiciary may well be hiding behind process and this could indeed give legitimised cover to the less objective members of a bench who might put personal or subjective views before what Brexiteers would see post 23rd June as being clearly right. But that is their gift and we are unlikely to ever know the truth to this question and the fact is that the system does – as its stands – both allow and facilitate an intelligent form of responsibility-ducking which sadly permeates all forms of government today.

Technical truths are the harsh and uncompromising reality of a protectionist and self-serving age where taking responsibility is considered dangerous and actions are legitimately excused by reference to the precedents set by others rather than what experience tells us exists in front of our own eyes.

The objective view would recognise the democratic decision and therefore the mandate of the people above all else. Equally it would reference the fact that Parliament has already had its say when it passed the legislation for the Referendum in the first place and then made that choice directly subject to the will of the people. Ironically, it would also reproach the significant transfer of legislative power which has been undemocratically transferred to the EU beyond the previous mandate given by the British people for a common trading relationship, respectful of national sovereignty, which people on all sides of the argument still actually want.

It is possible that the Supreme Court will support the Government view and allow the triggering of Article 50 without any further debate. But it is unlikely.

Like it or not, we simply do not exist within a time of true leadership. If we had, we would not be anywhere near the constant two and fro of discussions surrounding our exit from Europe and the rise of a new American President whose arrival together in 2016 are being heralded as the turn of a populist tide.

We certainly wouldn’t find ourselves questioning what constitutes good judgement.

ISIS will not be beaten with token gesture warfare, just as sure as feckless political policy could destroy Western Democracy as we know it…

winston_churchill_quote_2

However we might look at the Liberal Democrats or how we might feel about their policies, the recent and untimely passing of Charles Kennedy should perhaps draw useful attention to the fact that at least some of our politicians said no to the war in Iraq.

Had the decision been reliably black and white without the mix of political dogma and skilfully crafted grey areas – painted by Blair at his truly allegorical best onto a canvas not unlike the image of the dulux dog that everyone attention is focused on, rather than the paint itself – the words of the leader of what was then the UK’s third largest Political Party may have perhaps resonated a whole lot more.

War will always be dangerous. But when based only upon principles and political principles or ideals at that, the results are almost always going to be catastrophic, and may never be as apparent nor likely to manifest themselves as quickly in the immediate term as we might optimistically think.

Today, much of the uncertainty in the Middle East can be viewed in terms of the consequences or effects of the Iraq War, and there is perhaps a frightening irony that the threat to our own Country that was used to justify that particular invasion is now – as a result – comparatively very real indeed.

The brutality of ISIS is motivating fear-based responses on a world-wide scale which eclipse anything that New Labour spin doctors were able to use to take the UK to war.

It has gifted an insignificantly sized force with a weaponry which is delivering disproportionate results and threatens the UK directly in terms of the risk of further terrorist attacks, but also indirectly through the impact of factors such as immigration via the North African area.

With even Iraqis who fought us now asking for the British Military to return, it is becoming easier for politicians to ‘see’ an increasingly compelling, and arguably safer time to commit further military resource. But should they really even be considering doing so when we must surely be practical enough to accept that it would serve as little more than a token gesture for us to do so?

With our Armed Services having finally withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2014, some of the inconvenient truths of what really happened in just that theatre of war alone have found their way into the mainstream media.

Whether you read the news or watch some of the more insightful documentaries which have been produced, it is very clear that there are two resounding failures on the part of overall strategy. The first, that there simply was not enough resource – or boots on the ground. The second, that winning the peace – or ‘hearts and minds’ as the spin doctors these days prefer to call it, simply didn’t happen in any kind of meaningful and dare I say it ‘informed’ way.

The real tragedy of this wasn’t just what might otherwise have been the less than inevitable death and injury of so many of our fantastic service men and women. It was the fact that the whole project was doomed to fail, leaving us and our partners caricatured and projected as the true villains of the peace, when in fact, if we really had to be there fighting a foreign war at all, we could have done so and walked away being anything but.

Looking back at the last 100 years of our history, we may soon begin to see the elephant trap which is the wide-held perception of British Military invincibility.

With both the First and Second World War and perhaps the Falklands too, all-too-often portrayed as the benchmark images of our military capability and reference point at which we sit upon the World stage, it is easy to understand why many people, and perhaps far too many of our politicians too, have been patriotically misled into the idea that we, at war, simply cannot fail.

Regrettably, of course we can. And the way that everything is now spun as a win by government, when it is actually nothing of the sort, is only putting us, and the dwindling number of our austerity-ridden armed forces members at an even greater risk.

Spending any reasonable amount of time in study of the Second World War will quickly demonstrate how far from certain the whole episode actually was, and that chance, good fortune and shear obstinacy on the part of our then leaders was in the early years often key.

Ultimately, we realise that it was only the assembly, use and logistical support of forces of such overwhelming size and magnitude, shoe-horned surge-by-surge into the European Theatre of Operations by leaders who truly understood the level of ruthlessness and sacrifice required that made the difference in defeating the technically and at times strategically superior German Army.

Whilst smaller than the 1940’s, our military capability was much more substantial than it is now at the time of the Falklands crisis in 1982. Yet even then, the use of commercial resources and the hasty re-introduction of equipment that had already become museum pieces played its part in keeping war machine GB afloat. The realities of how very hard it was for those who did their bit to get just one ageing Cold War bomber to Port Stanley in order to win the propaganda war, using the RAF’s entire mid-air refuelling fleet in the process, perhaps illustrates the point only too well.

Yet with these lessons only too easy to pick up and read, Government Ministers would have us believe that we can really make a difference by sending just a few hundred soldiers to try and teach people to fight an enemy obsessed with the medieval vogue of lopping-off heads at whim, and with no resource in place that will be there and capable of rescuing those soldiers who have been trained, should they be unfortunate enough to get caught.

The harsh reality of the ISIS problem, and in fact most of the militant-based problems around the World, is that in terms of the physical military capability that these uncontrolled forces have, they will only be fully defeated by the use of disproportionate and overwhelming military force, which then has to be backed by the immediate introduction of local governance and support structures which are aligned with the general population in those countries and not just those who seem easiest to approach and often have the most to gain by befriending an occupying force which doesn’t understand local culture.

Today, the UK is not capable of winning a conventional offensive war alone against an organised and hostile enemy, and nobody should be fooled into thinking that we can use defensive resources to do so.

Our political establishment has become far too used to being able to manipulate the truth for the purposes of little more than political expediency. However, the cold hard facts of military intervention will be ignored at our peril and pretending that we can solve a whole problem with a mere fraction of the solution is going to help nobody, and least of all the UK at all.

We should not be choosing to fight battles that we simply cannot win. Its time that the politicians accept that our big military presence is actually quite small, and that some words actually need to be backed up by real action too – and that isn’t quite as simple as begrudgingly keeping up with a peacetime spending commitment the politicians have made to their buddies in club NATO.

If a time does indeed come when this war reaches beyond the pictures on our TV screens as ISIS have threatened, the feckless politicians who treat this terror as a game today will have many more innocent people paying for their irresponsibility tomorrow.

Money may indeed be tight. But there is no price that cannot be justified in the fight for any one particular man’s ‘true freedom’.

ISIS understand this all too well and herein lies perhaps the greatest threat facing Western Democracy today.

 

 

 

 

 

Referendum on Europe: France says you cannot switch to rugby when you are already on the pitch playing football. Do the Europhiles not realise that we only ever signed up to buy each other a drink rather than take to the pitch and play a game with rules that were never of our own choosing?

There can be little question that David Cameron is going all out to steal the initiative on Europe whilst all the other Political Parties are preoccupied with their leadership issues.

We would however be foolish not to take note of the responses coming from European speakers, whether positive sounding like Angela Merkel’s latest comments, or more contemptuous in nature as those from the French Minister Laurant Fabius who tells us that Britain joined a football club and now wants to play rugby.

Much will be made of the German Chancellor’s intervention which sounds far more favourable and positively aligned with the PM’s rhetorical stance on renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with our European Partners.

But behind the scenes, should we perhaps be just a little more eager to question whether this represents the early stages of yet another gleaming political fudge of the kind that we have sadly become all too used to, in a world where politicians are hardly rated for their qualities of trust?

Europe has arguably been the most divisive power in British politics for a generation or more, for reasons that we should perhaps not feel convinced that even the PM actually understands.

The centralisation of power, taking it further away from the people and placing it in the hands of the unelected, does after all rather fly in the face of the whole concept and convenient truth of the increasingly political union which was mythically presupposed to prevent another autocrat accumulating power over Europe, following the devastation that Hitler’s dark chapter wrought for millions across the Continent.

However, if this very aim was indeed the ‘football game’ that the French Minister has suggested, he, like many others should perhaps reflect on the fact that in terms of our only referendum on the European project to date in 1975, which pretty much did nothing more than authorise politicians to make a commitment to a free trading agreement, the British people have in fact comparatively done no more than agree with the European states to buy each other a drink in the bar, whilst participating within some unfavourably biased political ‘game’ on a bent playing field was never actually on the agenda.

Regrettably, many of our political leaders since then, have presided over the steady drip, drip, drip of power to the European Parliament through the devil-ridden-detail of documents such as the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties, with the situation only being made that much worse by our perhaps overzealous cultural penchant for doing everything by the book and accepting changes to laws that affect almost every part of our lives like they really mean something, seemingly all without question, but actually with a rather large dollop of misplaced trust.

Shame then that successive British Governments haven’t taken the same approach with the power entrusted to them by us. Deliberately or not, they have acquiesced in allowing the European elite to expect little more than complete subjugation from the British People when our elected representatives have never had any democratic mandate to do so.

The principle of free trade with Europe is a good one, and nobody should be under any illusion about the 2-way dynamic of this relationship which serves European commercial interests as lucratively – if not more so, than our own.

But that is as far as it should have gone for us, and the fact that our political classes have allowed a situation to exist where a majority decision of foreign nations can prevent us upholding rights that are actually ours, and simply dismiss that notion as an attempt to change the rules of their ‘game’ is ridiculous.

Worse however, is the standing commitment of a British Prime Minister to support and uphold a ‘Yes’ vote in a referendum, which however it is worded, will surely result in a commitment and increasing material and political deference to foreign powers on the part of the people of this Country which voters have never knowingly signed up to.

The most concerning factor in all this, is not that we already have David Cameron shaping up his own Yes campaign whilst Nigel Farage almost certainly hopes that he will be the face of the No.

It is the simple non-existance of any political force which is even attempting to elucidate the real meaning and feeling of how the silent majority of people feel about the laws which are used to govern us, and how we all want to feel the return of a touch of reality in government, which doesn’t burn appropriate bridges with the Nations that abut our shores, but doesn’t also surrender the historic freedoms of this nation that quite frankly, nobody from outside is culturally equipped to fully understand.

Picture thanks to http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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