Tag Archives: politics

British Government? You’re fired!

I think it’s time the British electorate stood up and demanded the Westminster government and parliament be disbanded as not fit for purpose.

It has failed us for too long. 

Why do we even need them? What good do they do?

It strikes me all they ever do is meddle with things, and generally make things worse or break things that weren’t really broken.  They don’t really seem to represent us any more. You only need to look at the disconnect between the electors and the elected to see this.

This country will function quite happily without meddlesome politicians. The Civil Service will continue to run things for a bit, free from constant poking and fiddling from some “here today, gone tomorrow” politician sticking their oar in. While the country is being managed by those who really manage things anyway, we can decide how we want our country to be run and who should be given the responsibility to run it—if anyone.

So, let’s start a campaign to close down the British Parliament and Government. They have failed us too often.

How did The Coalition, a political satire so preposterous it’s beyond parody, ever get commissioned?

Parliament returns next week. Season Two of The Coalition, the best political satire currently on TV. Most of it is scripted. Yet it has a very “real”, improvised feel. You almost believe these preposterous characters could theoretically exist.

A prime minister as sleek as a human aubergine, tetchily returning from holiday after holiday to rail against a “culture of entitlement”. This is the bloke, remember, who promised an end to Punch and Judy politics.

Does Cameron ever watch playbacks of Prime Minister’s Questions? The whole nation is subconsciously expecting a backbench question from a crocodile, or a string of sausages. Although a string of sausages actually has more spine than government backbenchers.

And Clegg. Clegg. A deputy prime minister so pompous and irrelevant he might as well be a Twitter account. Putting the word “sigh” in asterisks. Blaming his lack of followers on the haterz and the cynicz.

Has a cast of extras ever been so cruelly treated as the Lib Dems? Once-optimistic party members – students, psych-folk fans, chiropractors and so on – now hold the coats while their Bullingdon scuttler overlords kick the welfare state to death, steal all its money and glide away, cackling, on monogrammed Segways to play whiff-whaff. What’s for supper, Gids? “Panda tartare and some very expensive Colombian dessert …”

Ian Martin (Comment is free, The Guardian) gives me a rare early morning laugh.

BBC News – What was the General Strike of 1926?

Trade unions opposed to public sector pension changes are threatening the biggest campaign of industrial action since the General Strike. But what happened during this benchmark strike in the 1920s, and just how big was it?

The strike was called by the TUC for one minute to midnight on 3 May, 1926.

For the previous two days, some one million coal miners had been locked out of their mines after a dispute with the owners who wanted them to work longer hours for less money.

In solidarity, huge numbers from other industries stayed off work, including bus, rail and dock workers, as well as people with printing, gas, electricity, building, iron, steel and chemical jobs.

The aim was to force the government to act to prevent mine owners reducing miners’ wages by 13% and increasing their shifts from seven to eight hours.

There’s been a lot of references to the 1926 General Strike in the media this past few days. Finally, the BBC has decided it might be helpful to explain what the General Strike was all about.

There’s always an impression the 1926 actions lasted for months on end, but the strike only lasted nine days in total. It eventually petered out, without achieving the goals originally intended, and resulting in legislation to make sympathy strikes and mass picketing illegal.

Johann Hari: This royal frenzy should embarrass us all

In most countries, parents can tell their kids that if they work hard and do
everything right, they could grow up to be the head of state and symbol of
their nation. Not us. Our head of state is decided by one factor, and one
factor alone: did he pass through the womb of one aristocratic Windsor woman
living in a golden palace? The US head of state grew up with a mother on
food stamps. The British head of state grew up with a mother on postage
stamps. Is that a contrast that fills you with pride?

A genuine belly laugh from the Independent today.

Signed, A Republican.

Britain needs to end its love affair with the world stage | Jackie Ashley | CiF | The Guardian

And once upon a time it might even have been reasonable, as Britain continued to gently adjust to new realities. But we have a big debt, dwindling military capabilities and far bigger problems to confront as a country. We don’t know how we are going to pay our way in the world any more. We are still unsure of how, if at all, we fit into the rest of the European project. It is no longer appropriate that it is Britain who, when some part of the world goes up in smoke, rides first toward the sound of gunfire.

We should do our bit, but no more. We should learn our lesson after Iraq. Why should richer, bigger Germany do so little in Afghanistan? Why was Libya not an Italian problem before it was a British one? Now that India and Brazil bulk so large on the world stage, why aren’t these two democracies doing more for the democratic cause?

I don’t think I need to add any comments, save to say I agree completely.

The biggest lie in British politics : Johann Hari

British politics today is dominated by a lie. This lie is making it significantly more likely you will lose your job, your business, or your home. The lie gives a false explanation for how we came to be in this crisis, and prescribes a medicine that will worsen our disease. Yet it is hardly being challenged.

Here’s the lie. We are in a debt crisis. Our national debt is dangerously and historically high. We are being threatened by the international bond markets. The way out is to pay off our debt rapidly. Only that will restore “confidence”, and therefore economic growth. Every step of this program is false, and endangers you.

Let’s start with a fact that should be on billboards across the land. As a proportion of GDP, Britain’s national debt has been higher than it is now for 200 of the past 250 years. Read that sentence again. Check it on any graph by any historian. Since 1750, there have only been two brief 30-year periods when our debt has been lower than it is now. If we are “bust” today, as George Osborne has claimed, then we have almost always been bust. We were bust when we pioneered the Industrial Revolution. We were bust when we ruled a quarter of the world. We were bust when we beat the Nazis. We were bust when we built the NHS. Or is it George Osborne’s economics that are bust?

We’re all in this together, my arse.

Free to protest? I can still be arrested if my placard reads: ‘Nick Clegg, oh dear’ | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

It could have been worse: at least the police didn’t try to kettle half a million people. But as footage obtained by the Guardian from the great march on Saturday shows, the glorious tradition of impartial policing and respect for peaceful protest remain undimmed. The film shows senior police officers assuring members of UK Uncut who had peacefully occupied Fortnum & Mason that they would not be confused with the rioters outside, and would be allowed to go home if they left the store. They did so, and were penned, handcuffed, thrown into vans, dumped in police cells and, in some cases, left there for 24 hours.

Isn’t all that supposed to have stopped? Haven’t we entered a new era of freedom in which the government, as it has long promised, now defends “the hard-won liberties that we in Britain hold so dear”? No.

Good, if sobering, read.

I wonder how far the Powers That Be will go to thwart legitimate protest in this country.

David Cameron has even less grasp of how government works than I’d thought | Comment is free | The Observer

He [Cameron] said he was “taking on… the bureaucrats in government departments who concoct those ridiculous rules and regulations that make life impossible for small firms”. On the face of it, this is simple crowd-pleasing stuff. It’s easy to slag off the faceless bureaucrats, who supposedly waste our time and money with all their stupid rules. It’s convenient to forget that bureaucrats, or civil servants as they’re called when they’re not being victimised, don’t actually make rules, they just enforce them. Maybe, sometimes, they enforce them officiously. Maybe, sometimes, the processes they “concoct” for enforcing them are unnecessarily time-consuming. Maybe fewer of them could enforce the rules just as effectively. But they don’t make the rules, Parliament does.

I think that sums things up nicely.