Posts Tagged ‘referenda’

Blog post 15. 5/10/17

October 8, 2017

Sent to Daily Mirror 28/9/17
I was pleased to read how Andrew Bridgen had been slammed by his constituents.
How about focussing on one MP each week?
There’s plenty of info on Theyworkforyou.com
The register of MP interests would be interesting, as would be comments from constituents

Sent to Daily Mirror 2/10/17
How joyful for Chancellor Philip Hammond that as he comes to the defence of Capitalism, Monarch Airlines goes bust, putting thousands out of work and even more stranded abroad.
http://www.newsweek.com/monarch-airlines-cease-trading-out-business-bust-675287?yptr=yahoo
This is on top of the shambles that is Ryanair and the avarice of those controlling company pension funds (BHS)
Maybe he was really expressing gratitude to the banks, which collapsed our economy, allowing his party to gain power and then plunder our taxpayer funded assets.
Our NHS is hanging on by a thread, as “Capitalists” gather around waiting for Jeremy Hunt to produce his scissors for the final cuts.
These “Capitalists” have no intention of funding new improvements as Hammond would claim.
They are asset strippers and cherry pickers, who will leave us with paupers’ hospitals, manned by volunteers, as happens in the USA.
Unfettered capitalism has proven an economic millstone for our nation.
We need a Government which directly controls delivery of key services, whilst ensuring that other industries are made to take steps to protect their employees and the taxpayer from their owners’ incompetence, fecklessness and, in some cases, undisguised greed.

Sent to Daily Mirror 2/10/17
Gove has called for a refundable charge on plastic bottles.
No doubt this is an appeal to Green voters but is it feasible?
At present, most go into the wheelie bin, some into litter bins and some chucked over hedges.
On the one hand there is the Dickensian charm of down and outs scavenging these discarded bottles; maybe, even raiding wheelie bins, like urban foxes, scattering unwanted items.
Perhaps householders, already resorting to foodbanks will stop off at wherever refunds are issued, even more life-enhancing.
Of course there’s the logistics of who will tender the refunds.
Will they have to be returned to the shops, where they were bought (I remember my local sweet shop putting a stamp on the labels of their glass pop bottles)?
Who will administer the scheme and collect these bottles from the shops where they’ve been amassed and stored in special set-aside areas?
Again, I recall how many off-licences used to have their back-yards raided by kids looking for an extra income from money due on empty beer bottles.
The present system just needs Councils to hire a few more rubbish collectors to tidy up after the slobs who carelessly discard everything, which they no longer have a use for

Sent to Daily Mirror 5/10/17

I totally endorse Brian Reade’s view that where Sportsmen have brought politics into Sport, it has been justifiable and that it is politicians impositions on Sport, which have been indefensible.
I suggest that prankster Simon Brodkin should immediately apply for a retrospective grant from the Arts Council.
Any one of his jolly wheezes would count as far more significant than most of the examples of Event Art that The Arts Council usually dole out taxpayer money for.

“25,000 homes for social rent by 2021” doesn’t seem worth mentioning, when the ONS says Britain’s population grew by half a million last year.
Instead of “Phish and chip” vans, far more data could be collected by giving an email address for phishing spam to be forwarded to.

In reply to ST Vaughan.
Referendums don’t cause the problems, they reflect an existing problem.
The call for Catalan independence reflects a long standing feeling of being treated as second class citizens by the ruling Spanish Government.
It’s not unlike the situations with Scotland, Wales and Northern England being dumped on by our London/ Home Counties focussed Government.

Printed version:

In reply to S.T. Vaughan, referendums don’t cause the problems; they simply reflect an existing problem (Madeuthink, October 5).

The call for Catalan independence voices a long-standing  feeling of being treated as second class citizens by the Spanish government.

It’s not unlike the situations with Scotland, Wales and Northern England being dumped on by our London / Home Counties-focused government.

 

The Jutexpo claim, that the 5p plastic bag tax has increased their sales, is undoubtedly true.
However, I’ve noticed a creeping increase in the number of people, ahead of me in shop queues, stumping up for this tax, rather than haul two or three “bags for life” out the recesses of their bags and pockets.
Many are finding it too inconvenient, to carry them, “just in case”.

Advertisements

It is immoral that we are helpless to prevent the party in power from deceitfully & deliberately reversing a manifesto pledge e.g. #NHS

March 7, 2017

This was a letter to the Daily Mirror , published but with a hard edit

22/2/17
With what’s happening to our NHS, it’s unbelievable, for me, that we are helpless to prevent it.
There was no mention of this destruction in any pre-election speeches.
In fact we were assured that the NHS was “safe” in Tory hands.
In normal circumstances, one can understand the need for Governments to have the stability of a five year term of office but the Sovereignty of Parliament becomes a farce, when the wishes of the Population are ignored as an irrelevance, even in times of War.
There needs to be a means for the population to demand a General Election, or, at least, a referendum on issues, which directly affect the whole population

#|t’s unbelievable what’s happening to our NHS and it has left me feeling helpless. There was no mention of plans to shut hospitals in any pre-election speeches. In fact, we were assured that the NHS was safe
in Tory hands. There must be a means for people to demand a referendum on huge issues.

Bombing is civilised but capital punishment isn’t?

November 20, 2016

The murder of Jo Cox raises an old issue, for me, which I still puzzle over.
When I was young MP’s voted to abolish Capital Punishment, despite Public objections.
I think polls at the time were 90% for retaining it.
The reasons given, for abolition, were that it was barbaric, uncivilised and had led to the death of innocent people.
The puzzle is that modern technology has established, beyond a nano-crumb of doubt, who the murderer’s of Drummer Lee Rigby were.
The general public has witnessed the details of Osama bin Laden’s  assassination, the “drone”-ing of other Al Quaeda leader’s, the shooting of terrorists around the EU and a massive majority of our MP’s voting to bomb foreigner’s in their own land.
Voter’s would have to be schizoid to see how those deaths can be justified by our politicians, while the execution, after an expensive trial, of two such blatantly nasty individuals is to be considered uncivilised.
Can someone explain to me how maintaining such people in conditions, which some of our pensioner’s might envy, is civilised?

I can understand why our political elite don’t like referenda, because this is another issue which they’d have to claim was “only advisory”

@bbc this week #occupy we need an electronic age democracy.

September 3, 2014

It seems that Westminster has decided that we can’t be allowed any say in our own future as a Nation (Although The Scots may).

Labour says no referendum on EU membership.

LibDem says no referendum on EU membership.

Tories says no referendum on EU membership, until 2017, on assumption that we will have already been hog-tied and sold by then.

The present corrupted form of Democracy is based on circumstances as they existed in the days of quill and parchment, when only the rich had a say in events.

We now live in an age, when quill and parchment have been outmoded by electronic data processing techniques, which are not only swifter but capable of checking much larger numbers of people.

The lengthy business of organising local groups to select and appoint representatives is no longer a necessity.

World affairs and public reactions change on a daily basis.

We no longer need to wait weeks to learn the garbled details of some conflict in The Crimea, in fact ordinary citizens are often watching scenes of action, in process, whilst officials are still trying to contact the relevant Ministers.

The farce of a five year wait, while idiots declare wars, in our names and sign away hard won rights, without fear of recrimination, needs to end.

Instead of demanding just one referendum (on the EU), it’s time we demanded that Parliament give us back the power to decide our fate, with multiple referenda.
It seems that e-petitions and polls are easily arranged and able to relay our policy wishes to those managing our National affairs.
We no longer need a Parliament ( literally a talking shop).
We may still need politicians to propose and formulate policies but we already have The Civil Service to implement those policies and their Minister’s (as overseer’s) could rightly be directly elected, according to an actual relevant expertise.
The policies could still be set on a five year basis, by the whole population but with an electronic poll of a 12,000(+) strong panel, selected on the same basis as juror’s, should there truly be a need for an urgent executive decision and alteration of policy direction, or a snap referendum.

Party politics isn’t about democratic choice. it’s about jostling for power

May 7, 2014
I sent this as a letter to the Daily Express. It wasn’t published, probably because it ramble’s and it didn’t appeal to a point that they wished to advance:
Despite Ed and Dave wanting to confine the forthcoming election debates to the economy and issues deriving fom that; there are other issues, which voters will base their choices on, regardless of this mock battle.
Obviously, both are having to take account of the public wish for a bit of democracy, by holding a referendum on EU membership. This has been almost entirely because Nigel Farage has exploited the glaring insanities of that membership.
The other issues, which they and Farage have chosen to sideline are related to the Global drive to privatise all State functions.
For voters, privatisation has been a fiasco but has been made more apparent by Dave Cameron’s acceleration of the carving up of the NHS.
The main parties have been squabbling over how much cash has been thrown at the NHS and how some aspects of the NHS have become not only unfit for purpose but harmful to the Public.
They believe that because the awarding of NHS contracts to private companies has been kept low-profile, no-one has noticed.
However, although it has not been widely covered in the mainline Media, that doesn’t not mean it has escaped Public notice via Social Media.
The emergence of the NHAparty etc. will become more difficult to ignore after local elections.
Labour has already become aware of the Public dissatisfaction with the privatised Railways and is considering re-nationalisation of them (Leo McKinstry’s knee-jerk moan about the ’70s won’t carry any weight with Today’s commuters).
It is noticeable that Ed has only commented about stopping further privatisation of the NHS, rather than any re-patriation of it.
He’s possibly worried about the EU’s signing of the TTIP and the EU’s commitment to further alignment with The USA’s medical system.
The privatisation of The Post Office was too obviously a rip-off of Public funds to escape notice. People are more aware that privatisation is not for their benefit.
By 2015, the privatisation of the Police and the use of Traffic Camera’s to raise revenue by the likes of G4S will have become more noticeable to the General Public.
The battle with the Fire Brigade to make it more saleable will have possibly passed, without being greatly noticed but the inability of Government to come up with any means of reining in the Energy Companies and their profiteering will definitely not pass unweighed in the electoral choices.
Strangely, UKIP hasn’t made as much of the EU inspired HS2 vanity as The Public would like but they have their own weak points and may want to focus on other EU failures.
Tories can attack Labour and UKIP on the NHS. Cameron’s EU defence is a paper Tiger that can be shredded by UKIP. Tories would do well not to attack Labour over Rail. Labour would do well to defend the Fire Brigade and actually be more pro-Union (UKIP can’t attack the Unions and Tories shouldn’t, whilst they are sacking so many voters). Tories will try to blame the energy situation on the LibDems (no-one will care about this failed party) and can be attacked by both UKIP and Labour (providing they can come up with a half plausible control measure).
This three party election is going to make the debates much trickier than Ed and Dave were looking forward to.
 

yes to AV and further referenda

April 18, 2011

the recent poll stating that 43%would say No to AV, with only 37% saying YES, received a lot of press coverage.

Suspiciously so.

The coverage gave prominence to those opposing AV and did not question the source.

The big problem with these polls is that they will sway the weak minded. There are many, who like fashion followers, who run with the herd. I.e. they will look on these poll announcements as guidance on how they should vote.

Fortunately there are 20% cited as don’t know. It may be that enough of these will see that this is not just a vote on AV, it’s a vote on referenda.

If the “Keep us in Power” lobby win, we will find it harder to force further referenda, at a later date.

AV referendum

February 19, 2011

It seems pretty obvious that a vote for AV would count against the interests of Labour and Conservative politicians and they will campaign strongly against a yes vote.

It would also count against the interests of Political theorists and political commentators, who are geared up for and educated in a two party system. I expect that the massed media coverage will be vocally opposed to AV, as was evidenced, in my view, by Paxman’s Newsnight coverage of it.

This will not only be a blow for AV but a blow for all future referenda, as well.

If the British vote yes to AV, it will force politicians to concede that a referendum gives the people a democratic choice.

If the yes vote fails, the politicians can refer to this referendum as a reason for dismissing future referenda as unnecessary and inconsequential.

HugoYounglecture

November 10, 2010

Having signed up to NO2ID and the PR campaigns, I’m on the mailing list for the “take back parliament” group and so I got an email inviting me to the above lecture where Nick was to be guest speaker.

Of course it was in London, where the important people live. This prompted the following reply, which I posted to hugoyounglecture@guardian.co.uk  and to news@unlockdemocracy.org.uk

I can’t afford to travel down to London to join this discussion (Hugo Young lecture)  on democracy but I would be pleased if one of you more enfranchised Londoners could ask Nick ( Hon Nick Clegg M.P., Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Lib Dems.) about his feelings on referenda, with regard to other issues, such as membership of the EU.

This is something denied to us by all three main parties and much as I support his call for PR,  I would find it hypocritical, if he dismissed the concerns of a large portion of the electorate on this issue, completely out of hand, as the media has thus reported him to have done.

I wonder if they’ll respond?

referendum / referenda

December 6, 2009

A recent edition of BBC’s Question Time had at least three people uttering the mantra that government by referenda was a bad thing, because referenda were always “yes or no” issues.

It strikes me, as odd, that Parliamentary Democracy is deemed so superior, when it essentially consists of asking the people, once every four years, to make an even more “black and white” choice between the twits or the twats.

See the item on Afghanistan for an example of the more reasoned and thought-out decisions, made by elected representatives, rather than by the “great unwashed”.