Articles
MORE POWER FOR THE EU COMMISSION ?
"Whither politics ?"
Council Tax Subsidy for Local Government
Morals and Respect? Where did they go to?

 

MORE POWER FOR THE EU COMMISSION ?

Kate Ironside says that 10 Downing Street is "relaxed" about the European Union Commissionís current bid to increase its own power. Could that be because Tony Blair expects to become the Commissionís first elected President after he has lost Labour Party support to Gordon Brown? (Another case of the EU being run by clapped-out and discredited national politicians)

Nearly every incompetent tyranny in history has sought to increase its own powers, having realised it canít cope, instead of cutting-down on the number of variables under its control to an amount it can deal with. The result: any dying tyranny has to spend all its efforts coping with what it thinks is most important while virtually ignoring other issues, which it still refuses to relinquish control of to others who could do those jobs a lot better. The Commissionís handling of European fisheries is a case in point: it has never either cared for nor understood marine productivity yet it wonít relinquish its control over fisheries, even after thirty years of obvious failure, back to the fishermen who know what is going-on and who could manage their own local fisheries far better. Thus, all EU fisheries continue to decline while, with global warming on its way and an exponential increase in the human population already under way, make it imperative that we get more of our food from our seas, which together cover 70% of the planet, are highly productive, are virtually flood and drought-proof, and which we should have been farming thirty years ago.

If the Commission thinks it should also control justice and economics in the EU, I suggest it first sheds a number of responsibilities that it clearly does not understand. But the trouble is that, having removed national vetos from matters like fisheries, there is no way that the Commission can be dismissed for incompetence because it can so easily manipulate the self-interest of nations like Spain, Greece, Austria and Luxembourg, with no clue about fisheries, into giving it yet another chance to get things right. Were it an elected government, the EU Commission would never even have got a second term, let alone survived four decades, despite its secrecy, of humiliating public demonstrations of appalling lassitude, waste, incompetence, corruption and nepotism which have exceeded anything which has ever before so disgraced European history (which is not at all short of disgraces).

I was also interested to read, right beside Kate Ironsideís column, the letter from Harry M Randall in which he demonstrates how the design of what is currently (and temporally?) called The European Union, following several other disguises, seems to have originated from some Nazi lectures in Berlin in 1942. I shall certainly visit www.SilentMajority.co.uk to see those texts for myself.

 

Tony Maskell, 3 Newton Close, Newton Ferrers, Plymouth PL8 1AL; www.tideguide.co.uk

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"Whither politics ?"

"Whither politics ?" Kate Ironside might have asked, today. Politics withered decades ago because it attracts more mice then men and the few rats it recruits go straight to the top of their party heaps.

The problem is that party politics, a minority interest, has become too important. How often is it absent from our national press ? Anyone would think the nation loved it. But we hate politics and party politicians. By contrast, look how we warmed to the doctor who wanted to save his local hospital from the back-stage fixers awarding contracts according to party donations. Look how we heeded Martin Bell, who understood more about international conflict than all the MOD and the Foreign Office ministers put together. Think how we might warm to a fisheries minister who spent thirty years working on fishing boats before representing his or her community.

Party whips are the root of the problem. If a party leader talks a lot of rot, like the present PM, he or she does not deserve a loyal following. Sending dissenters to Coventry or threatening to expose their indiscretions to their spouses is no way to inspire loyalty because any officer has to earn, and keep on earning, the respect of their rank, and not take protection of it. New Labour's bleeper system to keep people on message is straight from the thought police in George Orwell's "1984".

We are controlled by a tiny minority who are members of a ruling party when the combined membership of all the parties together don't amount to a row of beans. If we are to keep party politics in Britain, they had better get a lot more members, say, a minimum of 10% of the official population. Otherwise, the parties should collectively resign from public life and let some other system take their place.

1 have such a system to suggest. It's not perfect; needs some work, some expert input, but 1 offer it because if 1 don't people will say 1 can criticise but 1 can't offer an alternative.

Starting with constituency elections, they would choose NTs from lists, regardless of party, of local candidates who have become prominent in their own areas. At the same time, every county and county borough would select two Senators for a wholly elected House of Lords. Then, the House of Commons would elect from among its number a Prime Minister to head-up the executive and the House of Lords, a Lord Chancellor to be responsible for the judiciary. The Prime Minister following the principle of "Primus Inter Pares" would then select his Cabinet from both Lords and Commons, not only from his own party, according to ability and experience in the subjects of the portfolios concerned. The reshuffle as we know it would disappear; instead, ministers would be replaced as and when necessary, according to how well their departments performed. This would stimulate the accumulation of considerable expertise in up-and-coming prospective ministers in their chosen fields; and it would also fore-ann them against being ruled from below by their department's civil servants, thereby generating higher standards throughout Whitehall which has completely insulated itself from the consequences of its own incompetence. I think the failure of successive governments to deliver is a direct result of successive ministers being unable to re-direct their departments which have suffered spiralling downward levels of competence over decades of weak, inept and under-qualified leadership. MAFRDEFRA is a classic example.

With every ballot to select representatives, at every level of government, there would also be a long menu of topical issues from which every elector would select, say, their ten most important. These would then provide the new government with its policy priorities for the coming Parliament. Thus, we should attract, in place of actors, party activists and power-seekers, competent managers who knew their business and displace of all those special advisers who currently corrupt and clutter-up our democratic processes.

Tony Maskell, 3 Newton Close, Newton Ferrers, Plymouth PL8 1 AL.

 www.tideguide.co.uk



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Council Tax Subsidy for Local Government

 

The Labour self-styled 'prudent' Scot Gordon Brown , Chancellor of the Exchequer,has stealthily  and permanently removed about £5 billion tax concessions from sources of pension funds. This, inter alia, has put most , if not all, pension funds in dire straits. 
 
A further iniquity is that council - tax - payers are now being forced to subsidise local government pension funds ,whilst their own pensions are suffering from the same effects for which there is no subsidy.  Compared with this situation the 'Poll Tax '  was  fair and reasonable  and yet there is little or no protest ! 
 
Most people seem to be ignorant of these facts, which indicates  that  it is possible ,  provided there is sufficient  apathy, to fool  most of the people most of the time |   It seems that  not only can Tony Blair walk on water  , his disciples  have the same ability !
 
H. Norcross



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Morals and Respect? Where did they go to?

 

I read with interest the letter from James F. Barker re. Law not Principle.  In it he highlights the need for individuals to have respect, good manners, act courteously, be ethical and have good morals.
 
My 15 year old stepson plays football for a local youth team and is involved in a league that sees teams from all over the North West compete every weekend.  We always used to go and watch him play in previous years but feel resigned to the fact that it is now no longer a viable option unless we relax our morals.  This weekend was a case in point that the opposition team were flinging expletives around like confetti and we were expected to bear this in stony silence.  At the final whistle one young lad decided to vent his frustration at losing by swearing at his adult manager.  When we objected we were met by more abuse and I for one felt close to physical violence caused by pent up frustration at the behaviour.  When the adult manager was confronted he excused the behaviour by saying "they have just finished a match and lost".  Even after the initial confrontation had died down the youths still continued to mouth obscenities with no challenge allowed from us as this just fuelled a situation that we could not hope to defuse.
 
My point is how is it that less than 30 years ago behaviour of that sort would have been met with stern disciplinary action by club, adult supervisors and parents alike but nowadays these children (for that is what they are) feel able to hide behind their age when punishment is mentioned but still have the freedom to behave is such a manner.
 
There are plenty of pressure groups to provide protection to the child and in many instances they are well founded and needed.  However what about the rights of the adult and the need to maintain a moral and ethical base on which to build a solid society.  It appears that the small minded loud mouthed minority have brought this country to the brink of anarchy and blame the silent majority for the ills they themselves have provided.
 
For the record I am a self employed PR and Marketing Consultant, Grammar School educated with 12 and a half years regular military service followed by a commission in the Territorial Army.
 
Keith Fagan

 

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