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Taking Liberties?

By Mike Cunningham On May 8th, 2015 at 12:42 pm

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One of the true differences between our Nation and just about every other nation on this planet is that we have a sense of humour about those in power, those whom we have set above us, and those whom we have selected to govern us.

What other County on this planet has a Queen, a constitutional monarch who has conducted herself with decorum, with dignity, with true honour, who has seen twelve Prime Ministers in the sixty years of Her Reign; and who can also expect to have a cartoon literally ‘taking liberties’ with the Royal Person on the morning of a General Election?

Truly a wonderful country, despite the drawbacks of its political and voting systems; but most of all for the sheer luck of having Elizabeth 2nd as our Monarch!

h/t to The Times for the cartoon

E4 shuts down on election day to encourage young audience to vote

By Mike Cunningham On May 2nd, 2015 at 5:59 pm

When I read the above headline, I had to check the publication date twice, just to make sure that the previous day’s date was not March 31st. But, unfortunately, not only was this decision newsworthy, it was an accurate description of the political awareness standards of millions of British people aged between 18 ~ 25.

Dan Brooke, Channel 4’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer was quoted as saying:- “Less than half of under-25s voted at the last election so we’ve engaged the most powerful weapon that we have at our disposal to try and boost that number – switching off their favourite TV channel for the day!”

Mr. Brooke, along with his cohorts in the higher echelons of Channel Four’s programming and production, with their presumably vast knowledge of their target audience, have decided that the only way to encourage the people whom normally slump or slouch in front of the flat-screens to actually accept that they live in at least a good replica of a democracy, is to switch off all the re-runs and interminable repeats of all the American garbage which is pumped into their audience’s antennae, and tell them, repeatedly, that it might be a good idea to vote!

Times without number I have heard variations on the basic theme of ‘There will never be any change’ or ‘politicians; they are all the same, and to vote only encourages them’. These lacklustre statements infuriate me beyond belief, for I am a child of the Second World War; I was born in the North-East as the Battle of Britain was being fought in the air over London and the fields of the South-East of England, when Nazi bombers were randomly bombing British cities, when a ruthless dictatorship was attempting to prove, in the prophetic words of King George Sixth, that “Might was right!” To understand my anger, try reading the matter-of-fact diaries of the War, typical of which was that of  Thursday 15th August 1940, up here in the North-East. We were fighting for our lives in those dark days; and our descendants cannot even be bothered to go out and bloody well VOTE!

My father, along with many tens of thousands more, had volunteered for the British Armed Forces on Day two of the War; my Uncle who served in the Royal Artillery paid the ultimate sacrifice, and is remembered in a sleepy Normandy village. They volunteered, and sometimes they died, so that their grandkids might live, snug in their centrally heated homes; cocooned with their televisions, their computers, tablets, smartphones, and all the other techno-freakery which allows them to photograph someone, and send it halfway around the world in a second: and they have to be reminded to VOTE!

Give me Strength!

……..and now questions from the Public.

By Mike Cunningham On October 3rd, 2013 at 2:34 pm

My political beliefs were shaped, as most of the ‘thinking’ British minority were, by a combination of my parents’ thoughts and beliefs, our own lives and lifestyles when young, my education, both in terms of formal education and the harder terms of life in the real world, as well as exposure to that same wider world. My maternal grandparents were forced to flee from their Northern Ireland home by sectarian bigotry in the early 1920’s; my father was literally shunned by his own Northern Irish farming neighbours because he volunteered to serve in the British Army on the day after War was declared in 1939. My Dad was living in England, and as he said to my own Mother, ‘what sort of a man would not join up to serve and help a Country which had given him a job?’. He was automatically deferred from conscription by virtue of his birth in Northern Ireland, but would not countenance claiming that invulnerability! My father’s politics were Labour to the core, and he just could not understand how any son of his could favour any politics but his own brand, but at least he paid me the rare courtesy of stating that I had thought long and hard about the party and politics which I supported, and while he differed totally from my own beliefs, he recognised that we were alike in some measure.

My politics are right wing, as some, but not all the writers are who post on David’s blogsite espouse, and my own political heroes are well-known. Names such as Margaret Thatcher, Enoch Powell come to mind, as well as a (well-known to some) philosopher, political and economist theorist and Nobel Prize winner called Friedrich Hayek. His writings are dry and dusty, no Tom Clancy here, but  a definitive set of thoughts laid down which, if followed, might lead to a revival of responsible capitalism which would drown, forever, the sluggish gloop of a Socialism espoused and in fact demanded by the likes of Ed Milliband, truly a worthy successor to his Marxist father Ralph.  I have seen the true face of Socialism, and the Communist’s Workers’ Paradise in action, and it was not a pretty sight. Four times we berthed in Constanta, Romania, and every time, we saw the truly downtrodden in action, with the dock-workers treated akin to slave labour, and the only perks going to the privileged few.

I have taken a renewed interest in local politics recently, and after studying in grim and exhaustive detail a series of Council Minutes, Annual Reports and multitudinous documents all filled to bursting point with Diversity, and Equality, and everything short of the old Stalinist five-year-plans; I have unearthed, through my previous knowledge of how business is actually run and written-up, a couple of really doozy questions concerning literally millions of pounds-worth of waste and bad judgement during the bad management of our own local Council, naturally enough Labour-dominated because we still live, despite the passage of many decades, in the old-style ‘Rotten Borough’ where seats are handed down to the chosen few, and votes are weighed, not counted!

So, as I stated, I will ask my questions, and hopefully hear a satisfactory reply or two from either an Executive Officer or a Council Cabinet member, but I am not allowed to ask a further question on that subject, or to debate anything at all, because we might have ‘Democracy’, but not that much.


By David Vance On May 10th, 2011 at 8:54 am

Excellent post by Perry over at Samizdata; It starts with a wonderful quote;

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard

– H. L. Mencken

The best bit from the post is as follows;

“It hardly matters which of these lumps are in office. All the policies being bandied about are akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and not only does *no* major political party have the will to implement a radical reduction in state expenditure and a massive reduction in the red tape that limit the scope for new market entrants in industry after industry, they all lack the will to even seriously discuss such notions.

When someone suggests a budget that has the state appropriating 20% less of the national wealth overall next financial year and the same the year after that, and allowing banks to simply go bust if they screw the pooch on an epic scale, well then and only then are they are getting serious… but until that happens, let the various party loyalists blather on about Dave and Nick as if it actually matters.

The Ponzi scheme has reached the ‘end game’ phase and the antics of the clowns in Westminster and their supporters are as important as a tinker’s damn. Britain and much of the western world have got the leaders they voted for and the ones they deserve. Drink wine, watch films, play games, meet friends, but only pay attention to politics for the entertainment value. It is not like politics is actually going to have much impact on where the economy is heading.”

Isn’t he right?