Freedom and Justice – the Twin Pillars of Democracy

The politicians from the LibLabCon parties have begun their electioneering, and various speeches have been made to different groups. In essence, the messages from these boil down to this:

Conservative – Cameron thinks the economy is on the up, the NHS needs yet more money, immigration ‘needs to be looked at’, and the surveillance agencies need more powers.

Labour – Milliband thinks the economy is shit, the NHS needs even more money than the Conservatives have said, immigration isn’t a problem, and the surveillance agencies need much greater powers.

LibDems – what ever they say doesn’t really matter as the chances of them returning many MP’s after the General Election is pretty slim

UKIP – well at least here we have Farage speaking some sense about the erosion of our culture due to mass immigration, the evils of the EU and few other things.

But missing from all the above is any mention of Freedom and Justice. Without these, there is no Democracy. Without Freedom there is no Justice, and without Justice there is no freedom. Oh there has been lots of weasel words over the last week regarding freedom of speech, but this is not the only element of freedom. I am specifically thinking about the secret courts we now have in this country, some of which were brought in by the last Labour government. These should have been abolished immediately the coalition came to power, and any government with a hint of conservative heritage would have done just that. There is no place in a democracy for secret courts, absolutely none except in extreme cases. The ONLY time there should be secret hearings would be if national security would be compromised, or the safety of security agents/agencies would be compromised. But these would only form part of a court session, not the whole sitting. And instead of abolishing them or at least cutting them to those strictly necessary, this government EXTENDED them! And the option to use them only as a last resort was not included in the legislation. At least Family Court and Court of Protection proceedings can now be made public as of January last year, but that was after a long fight. But in a true democracy, these fights would not be necessary.

The current set of MP’s were are lumbered with appear to think that trading freedom for security is what everyone is happy with, as they will be fulfilling their primary role as a government, which is to protect the citizens. But sometimes, that price can be too high and we reached that point a long time ago. Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one”. Ansd how right he was. All this trading has ended with us being attacked on all sides from Muslim extremists, our way of life undermined by politicians, and our freedoms stripped away.

Every day, I walk a mile across town from a parking place to my place of work. I must pass at least ten ‘security’ cameras. Do I feel any safer than I did 30 years ago when these didn’t exist? Do I hell, because 30 years ago there was usually a copper around the corner patrolling the streets, and his/her presence automatically made you feel safe. We didn’t have security guards outside stores because a) there was usually a copper around as above and b) the justice system dealt correctly with anyone who was light-fingered who wished to do another harm. So the justice system worked for US. Now the justice system has been high-jacked to work for government and big business, government including the NHS, Social Workers and a plethora of government employees who feel they have ‘our best interests at heart’. NHS whistle-blowers get fired and do not receive justice; social workers who do the same receive no justice; and the families involved in both these instances don’t get justice. Local government rides rough shod over planning decisions especially if it has a ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ element. And wow betide the local council and people who vote against the construction of a wind farm This will be referred to Ed Davey’s group of idiots and it will be nodded through. So much for local democracy.

And this is a situation that is repeated over and over again throughout the country. The smoking ban is a particular nasty example of government riding rough-shod over the will of the people and instead, being in thrall to NGO’s, i.e. Tobacco Control. A survey on banning smoking found the majority of people did not want a ban. But that was totally ignored and the ban brought in anyway. How can that be construed as anything but an attack on Justice, Freedom and therefore Democracy.

How do we get back to a situation where by MP’s, civil servants, local government et al get back to being OUR servants and not the other way round? How did we slide into this without either noticing or shouting against it? Well one of the reasons is that one cannot get a cigarette paper between the policies of Labour/Conservative/LibDem and so we end up with the same government no matter how we vote. So will say, and I agree to a certain extent, that UKIP is different and a breath of fresh air against all what has come before. But I don’t believe that they will achieve any more than a dozen seats in the next Parliament, and while that represents a quite effective opposition, it still will not be enough to override even more ridiculous decisions that will be taken in our name. Maybe this will take 3 or 4 more GE’s to overturn and at each one, UKIP will make even greater inroads until finally becoming the majority. But that is 20 years away. Quite frankly, I can’t wait 20 years for things to change. We need to start getting our freedoms back NOW, piece by piece. How that’s done is a difficult question to answer, but we can start by questioning decisions made at local levels. Use the FOI to find out where money has been spent and why, and why those decisions were made. From personal experience, it doesn’t half piss em off in the local council when you pursue an FOI request. Especially if they knock you back the first time and you dig in. It costs them time and money, but they do ahve to comply unless they have a rock-solid legal reason not too. Once any information is released this way it can go into the public domain, via the local newspaper. And local rags love these sort of stories.

This may be a very small step in grabbing back our freedoms, but if enough of us do it, it WILL make a difference. And we can then start to rebuild the Pillars of Democracy.



EU Bullying and Other News

Yesterday, the Swiss people exercised their right to vote in a referendum regarding limiting immigration into Switzerland. The Swiss have possibly the most democratic process of all countries (as far as I can see) in which all major decisions have to go to referendum. The outcome of the latest referendum, by a very small margin, was to limit immigration into Switzerland, including people from other EU countries. This last bit is the item that has really got up the noses of the EU dictators. Switzerland is not a fully paid-up member of the EU but apparently ‘enjoys’ some of the ‘privileges’ of membership. These include free trade with other EU countries.

Quite predictably, the Germans and French, as well as the Italians, see this as a BIG PROBLEM.  The German Foreign Minister is quoted as saying: “there can be no cherry-picking when it comes to the EU“. But surely thats precisely what you can do when you are not a direct member of the EU. And indeed should be able to even if you are. The French struck an even more ominous tone. This the reaction from the French Foreign Minister: “This is bad news for Europe and the Swiss, because Switzerland will be penalised from withdrawing into itself“. Quite how Switzerland will be penalised is not made clear but the bullies are all lining up to have a pop. I hope that the Swiss will stand firm on what is a democratic decision, by the people.

I think this illustrates very clearly the dictatorial nature of the whole EU system. If you belong to the ‘Club’ you must comply with everything we propose, and if you are not in the club, you must adhere to our rules if you trade with us.

In another, but similar, area of the EU, Viviane Reding has been spouting off about how we Brits are too ignorant to make a decision on EU membership and therefore shouldn’t have a vote in a referendum. Apparently we need to be made aware of the facts about Europe and is quoted as saying the following:

She said the European Parliament was now ‘the most powerful parliament in Europe’ – Yep we knew thats what they thought already and is something that worries most people and is probably one of the drivers for people wanting us to leave.

‘Seventy per cent of the laws in this country (UK) are co-decided by the European Parliament,’ – Yep we know that as well and is something that worries most people and is probably one of the drivers for people wanting us to leave.

She said it was ‘not possible’ to curb free movement of people while retaining free movement of goods, services and capital. – Yep we suspected they were all intertwined and is something that worries most people and is probably one of the drivers for people wanting us to leave.

So actually Ms Reding we do have enough facts to make an informed vote. Perhaps you should inform yourself of where the UK does most of it’s trade. It’s outside the EU, so we would not have a problem if we left and the EU slapped trade sanctions on our goods. Indeed, all it would do would limit the goods that EU members had access to and would make prices in the EU for such goods increase. So that economic argument breaks down in a jiffy.

In direct contrast to the Swiss system of Peoples Democracy, the ‘Mother of All Parliaments’ decided yesterday to curtail even more freedoms by enshrining in law, the right to invade your private space whilst enjoying a perfectly legal pastime. I refer of course to the banning of smoking in cars with kiddies in ’em. I shall not dwell on that monumental piece of undemocratic legislation. Suffice to say is has been ably covered in other blogs. For a list of MP’s who voted AYE, see Hansard:

If your MP is on there, give ’em hell!

EU Nonsense

I get regular updates from my local MEP, which is considerate of him as I usually have a rant back about all the nonsense being drafted/decided etc. His latest bulletin contains the following regarding the voting on e-cigs:

“Originally, the Commission (supported by almost all national governments) wanted to make e-cigs subject to strict pharmaceutical prescription.A majority in the parliament disagreed – because e-cigs are a way of stopping smoking, and since ordinary cigarettes are available without prescription, so should e-cigs.In the final “trilogue” negotiation between  parliament and the governments, a compromise had to be reached. It is likely to be voted on, yes or no, by MEPs sometime during February.The major stumbling block was about safety of the refillable phials and how to keep them away from children.If three countries can prove that there is a safety risk with a particular type or brand or cartridge, then the European Commission can adopt measures to ban it. But this will only apply to the specific product, not to all, and the European Parliament has the right to veto any such ban.

A spoonful of concentrated nicotine could kill a child so restrictions of some kind were inevitable. The original proposal was for a restriction of 4mg/ml and no refillable cartridges so this is a far better deal than we MEPs could have expected. It might mean people have to refill more often or take longer puffs but it won’t have any impact on the amount of nicotine they can physically breathe in.”

It was that last paragraph in the main that made me gag especially the bit about a spoonful of nicotine concentrate. Well yes, I am sure it may well do, but so would a spoonful of bleach and that ain’t banned yet. In fact, applying that principal to many other substances would surely mean an outright ban. So why is nicotine seen as so special and needing such special precautions. Well, I think we all know the reason for that. And of course, the above reflects the complete lie that its all about ‘the children’.

I of course, replied to this information in a suitably robust manner, to which I doubt I will get any reply.

Other news from the bulletin shows the troughers in the EU want to continue to select people for high office within the EU by the closed meeting method. So once again, we get a bunch of people dictating our lives for whom none of us have any influence on. And yet all these MEP’s, including the one supposedly representing me, seems to be more than happy with this situation. What is in the mindset of people who champion democracy and liberalism, while at the same time accepting the EU situation. I really don’t understand.

My personal stance is that anyone, in any flavour of government, who accepted all the treaties (Lisbon, Maastricht etc) should be regarded as a traitor and judged accordingly. For they have sold our sovereignty to the highest bidder.