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Posts Tagged ‘Corruption’

When we accept that money changing hands is not the only benchmark that identifies a corrupt Government we soon begin to understand what’s wrong

January 2, 2019 Leave a comment

No, Brexit is not the only ailment affecting this Government. In fact, what the slippage of time and the way we simply overlook so much allows is the strange and growing idea that there weren’t any problems before Brexit came along.

This is of course complete bullshit.

But it’s useful if you are a politician and you know that you have lost control of the very comfortable gravy train that you have been holidaying on, all too often for a very long time indeed.

For some reason, deeply embedded in our psyches is the strange idea that behaviour is either acceptable or unacceptable depending upon whether it fits within some written or identifiable set of rules.

Yes, the ambiguity of what we call social norms presents an increasingly difficult challenge when so many people are hell bent on changing the communal perception of what is considered to be acceptable – often for purposes which are only aligned to their own.

But without this interference, there had existed a code which worked well until the point when it allows something to go very, very wrong.

Set in this mould is the definition or understanding of what it is or means to be corrupt. And to what it means to therefore miss behaviour which should be included, which is not, and that which through its absence explains a great many things about the way that the world and our political system actually works and impacts upon us all right now.

In its purest form, corrupt action or behaviour is apportioned to financial payments or monetary payoffs to secure contracts, favours or influence in Government.

We hate it.

We hate just the idea.

We hate even the slightest whiff of it.

That is why the Parliamentary Expenses Scandal created such a furor.

But is that the nearest that the UK ever gets to experiencing anything corrupt within the Governmnet System?

I would say no.

And if we open ourselves up to the real definition of corruption and what it is to be corrupt, we soon realise that in fact, there is a whole lot more besides.

During 8 years as a Borough Councillor, I never actually saw money changing hands between Councillors, Officers and the 3rd Parties beyond. But the smoke which was the tell-tale of brown envelopes was never far from conversation, particularly when planning matters were being discussed. It was very clear to other Councillors and members of the general public that decisions went very differently to what it would have been fair and reasonable to expect on a number of occasions and that it was as such only fair to assume that there had been some kind of preferential or pecuniary treatment involved, as there was simply no other logic to support it.

Smoke however, isn’t in itself a form of proof. And whilst I still find myself writing about questionable planning practices which carry the overriding suggestion that there is an unseen force or influence involved, we cannot prove anything against anyone until some form of proof has surfaced which proves that they – and their corrupt practices were actually involved.

But the problem runs much deeper.

Finding that brown envelope or the trail of a financial transaction is much easier than it will ever be than to prove that impartiality of thought does not exist and therefore preferences or prejudices are being employed at a very non-evidential level.

Corrupt behaviour is far more than just that which is focused upon money changing hands.

You are corrupt and engaged in corrupt practice the moment that any form of bias is entertained in the execution of a choice or decision taken from a position of public responsibility whether that position be elected, appointed or some form of agency is involved.

To give this some context, we all find the stories of MP’s appointing family members, old boys networks and friends of friends getting plumb jobs in industry a very distasteful practice – and this is when there is no discernable link or impact upon the public involved.

Look a little closer and you soon know that any form of discrimination which disadvantages what should be the natural choice for a role, decision or policy will inevitably have negative consequences that reach far beyond the obvious. We can only conclude that corrupt behaviour has been involved.

Play all this out on a National stage and when you see politicians gorging themselves over the trough of opportunities that face them, we can soon see that money changing hands is in no way near as damaging to the practice of trading off their votes and therefore responsibility in exchange for career benefits, job security, patronage or where any opportunity to make a name for oneself has become involved.

We also forget that self-interest neglects the responsibility to ideas, actions and practices which will benefit the many, rather than just the few.

And in the days of Brexit, this is perhaps the most damaging and reprehensible form of corruption which is plaguing all of our Parliament, because this sell out is over the future of an entire nation. The cost of which is incalculable to everyone beyond those who have the positions of influence and power today, where priorotising themselves is the only motivation they consider to have voice enough to listen to and to allow to become involved.

 

 

 

 

It’s time to have confidence in our own destiny and accept that in today’s World, standing alone will make the UK a whole lot more

January 1, 2019 Leave a comment

‘We are doomed!’ is the current epitaph of the Remain-at-all-costs and all those amongst us who live by the belief that this Country cannot and is incapable of doing anything on its own.

The sell-out mentality which has gripped the direction of both the Media and the Government itself would be best placed in the archaic nest hole which would be the foredeck of some wrecked ship as it deceptively lifted into the air before crashing into the see and coming to rest in the dark, freezing depths way below. Not in the foreground of one of the greatest opportunities that the UK has stood in front of for past generations and beyond.

Many of the self-interested politicians and influencers who are so convinced of the need to remain in the comfort zone which they believe to be in their own image, mistakenly consider their own destiny to be entwined with that of the whole Country and the People who surround them, not realising that self belief of an entire Nation does not equate with their own gutlessness and is in fact the key to something much better for us all after we leave the EU and step bravely into the world of our making which will soon follow beyond.

‘Doing it properly’, by embracing a pathway even more rigorously than anyone has done so before, doesn’t mean that you can suddenly make the unworkable work.

It means that you are blind to what everything around you is telling you. That you are a fool and are setting yourself – and in this case a great many innocent people – up for a very big fall.

However, whilst that can be viewed as the inevitable further integration with the EU that will happen if the Remainers should ever get their way, or indeed the catastrophe which will follow Corbyn’s Labour in the form of a Marxist mess if they win a General Election against a Conservative Party that is still led by May, it does not fit with the evolving class of political opportunists who will align themselves with what resembles the best option to facilitate a rise in their own fortunes.

With the May ‘deal’ unattractive to even some of the most militant Remainers, it was inevitable that many other pretenders would push themselves into the leadership frame, championing some other cause or another painted up or repackaged idea, selling it as the new and improved or latest form of the same old Holy Grail which will ultimately deliver everything for them, but nothing for anyone else.

We have had Norway, Canada plus plus plus and even something about Switzerland from the quasi-Brexiteer brigade. Now we are having Singapore MK2 as the model posted by the born-again-Brexiteers who in the Summer of 2016 sounded almost identically like everything we heard from then new Prime Minister Theresa May.

If it sounds like we are going around in circles, it is because we are.

Nothing is going to change until we, as a Country, break new ground and literally stop going round and round.

Our future is not to remain inextricably linked with the ‘European Project’.

Nor is it to parrot ourselves or model our future on the past, present or future of any other Country.

Their destiny is theirs, just as our National destiny is very much our own.

The obsession with plans has to stop if we are ever to begin succeeding.

The future of the UK depends upon proper Leadership, not some dubious plan measured up against a PH Scale where Acid & Alkaline have been replaced with Leave & Remain.

Our political classes are simply out of any new ideas.

UK politics is without original thinking.

And so it is little wonder that our would-be leaders are raking around everywhere to find something new to anchor their dimming light to, whilst attempting to rally a new direction from the other politicians around them. Politicians who themselves are so self-obsessed, that they can no longer discern the benefits of being within and working for a community as the only surety for them comes from the reliance on ideas which are their own.

We are now perilously close to a point where we will need an entirely new parliament. One untainted by the corruption and self interest of the existing party political system and the obsession with benefit and kudos to the individual, disregarding members responsibility to the electorate who elevated them to their positions. A responsibility they now take for granted and believe that they possess and therefore own.

‘We can be the new Singapore’, ‘be just like Sweden’, or ‘model ourselves as perfect Europeans’.

How about actually just being happy with being British. Having confidence in our own destiny and accepting the truth that in today’s World, standing alone will make the UK a whole lot more?

 

 

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.

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