Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The One That Is Back. . .

Life, both personal and work has been the order the day recently. With that and the World Cup, blogging time has been scarce.

The other problem is that we are still in the honeymoon period of this new government, the dropping of clangers sounding like a Disaster Area opening chord have been noteable by their absence. It makes facepalming blogging that much difficult. Don't worry, they'll make an arse of it before long.

Or will they?

I've just finished reading 'The Plan' by Carswell and Hannan. A fine prospectus and one that I heartily recommend. There's a few things in there that I don't agree with, but on the whole I'm of the opinion that if the suggestions contained within were implemented we'd be a damn sight better off than we are now.

A few points contained within have been introduced or announced already, perhaps Libertarian thought has more sway in the Conservatives than we've be led to believe. Time will tell. The whining from the Guardianistas is most comforting. Less so the BBC who just don't seem to understand that the election has resulted in a change of government. I was amazed yesterday (actually, I wasn't amazed, it's still nice to know I can rely on the BBC for my morning dose of 'Oh, fuck off.') to see an article on their news channel about children feeling scared because parental units might have a glass of wine of an evening. I don't have kids, but I'm betting that asking them what they did at school today would result in me drinking myself into a stupor. Today I've half caught a story about the dangers of letting a five year old ride a bike.

I digress.

I'm going to pass on my copy of The Plan to a friend of mine. This friend of mine is a lefty, but the more I speak to him, the more I get the impression that he's far from happy with what the left represent. The fact it is written by two Tories will upset him. Once the mention of Thatcher would have the veins standing out in his neck, now it is just a shaking of the head. I'm of the opinion that Carswell and Hannan are in the wrong party.

Maybe not. Perhaps they're in the right party. Perhaps they can bring around the ground shift that Blair, Brown and Smith brought about in the Labour party? Only it would be an improvement, not a destruction of what the party stands for and a betrayal of those they claim to represent.

Here's the rub, and it is explained in a far better way by Hannan and Carswell than I could ever manage, the logic is deeply, deeply flawed; Everyone accepts that X is a problem. Y is proposed as a solution. Those not agreeing with Y are lambasted as wanting X to continue, or not giving a toss about those suffering as a result of X. When what those who disagree with Y really want is Z. Solution Z is probably simpler, cheaper and quicker.

In a nutshell, Hannan and Carswell draw the following conclusions:

  • We rely far too much on the opinons of 'experts' who have a vested interest in any policy.
  • The State is not very good at providing for people, it is impersonal, officious, unfeeling and expensive.
  • People know what is best for them, and if given responsibility for themselves will gleefully take it up, saving money for the State (which they pay for) as they see a direct connection with the taking of taxes and how those taxes are then spent.
  • The centralisation of power is bad for democracy, bad for services and bad for politicians.
The fact that Carswell and Hannan are Tories does not mean they are wrong. I hope that when I pass my copy of The Plan to my friend, he will accept it in the spirit it is offered and read it with an open mind. I think he'll be surprised at what it has to say, and even more surprised at his reaction to it.

When Neil Clark, or whatever his name is, talks about restoring our freedoms and asking us about bills to be put before Parliament, there's only one that I want to see. We can fiddle around with smoking bans, hunting bans, environmental legislation as much as we like. We can hold as many referenda on the electoral system as we can shake a stick at, we can cut the number of MPs to 45. It won't make any difference. The only act that needs to be repealed in the first instance, and that is the European Communities Act 1972. If we are to bring around the changes that I believe we need in this country, then we simply cannot remain a member of the EU.

As Carswell and Hannan point out, there is a basic misunderstanding of what the EU is for, and every PM since Heath has been guilty of the misunderstanding, has ignored it, or has supported the EU's purpose. Clegg is in the latter camp, and it is duplicitous of the residents of the support camp to talk about participation on our own terms. The phrase 'Ever closer union', is no idle ideal, it is the primary driver of the EU and can only have one outcome.

The EU is set up to remove power from the electorate, as we have this annoying habit of making the 'wrong' decision as evidenced by the Irish vote on Lisbon. We need to ask a different question; not 'what is our role in the EU,' but 'do we want to be a member' and 'if not, what will our relationship be with it?'

I may be in the minority, but if I am, it is a significant minority. I don't want to ride roughshod over other's opinions, that is what the fascist EU does. Let's have a referendum on our continued membership, that is, of course, the action proposed by Clegg over the Lisbon Treaty. If people vote to stay in, then that's democracy.

Is the EU fascist? I belive so. That doesn't mean that hundreds of thousands will be transported to death camps - that isn't fascism, that's genocide. What is fascism? I'll leave you with what I think is a pretty good definition from Jonah Goldberg:

'Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the 'problem' and therefore is defined as the enemy.'

That sounds like where I live now.

Once you get past the fact that facism is a hateful, unthinking removal of someone's individuality, the main problem is that the State is administered by flawed, imperfect humans like you and me. Just sitting in a office with a plaque nominating you as minister for whatever does not mean you will not make bad decisions that either wilfully or accidentally hurt others.

I just want the opportunity to make my own decisions. If I get it wrong, the number of people who get hurt will be limited to single figures. If a Statist politician gets it wrong, the hurt can number in the millions.

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