Bristling Brock speaks out...
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"I'll put Jeremy Corbyn in a cab to Buckingham Palace and tell him to demand a dissolution of the government !" - or words to that effect. So declares John McDonnell, now blatently showing his true colours as a Marxist radical and also flagging up that Corbyn is no more than just the puppet figurehead within the Labour Party. Power is everything; power is the key to the political ambition of these people; as for the greater good, forget that. The public and the electorate are merely the pawns on the chessboard to service the inflated ambitions of this increasingly ultra left wing political entity. To take the balanced view, it would likely be true of the right wing and even centreist political party's also, where power and influence and the feeding of ego's takes precedence over doing the right thing for the country.
Britain is, perhaps, at its most critical constitutional point since the Civil War era of three and a half centuries ago. That we don't have a written and unequivocal constitution means that political influencers can make interpretations, often through the judiciary, of what it both means and what it might limit. This makes for very lively 'interpretive politics' as Mr McDonnell seems to imagine that he can despatch his 'party leader' to see the Queen in the event of a government no confidence ballot and put his own tribe up for forming the next government. Not only is this dillusional but it is also extremely unhealthy - politically - to posture in a way that suggests a new Labour administration - unelected as it would be - could just whip the reins from the hands of the incumbent government and start exercising power and authority over the country. Even our unwritten constitution would recognise that as a coup d'etat meriting an immediate arrest for treason by the perpetrators. Such is the short-sightedness and lack of perception that the McDonnell's of this world show. Yet it nevertheless poses danger, for the constitution - in its relative ambiguity - would permit such a pre-emptive, first move to try and dissolve parliament and initiate the fervour of certain allied political groupings (the scary SNP and LibDems, for example) before being thwarted by a judicial process. Such an attempt would be most damaging to this country at a time whilst Brexit is still in play as a key political dynamic in establishing Britain's future global, political and economic position. Only the EU would be smiling in that event.
The added danger of such a coup succeeding is, of course, its singularity of purpose - Brexit. The pretenders have no other policies that could feasibly work and a team of aspirants who would both make us the laughing stock of the world and ruin us all in one swift manoeuvre. The whole motivation of the Labour Party and its proposed coalition supporters is destructive - kill Brexit, kill the Conservative government, kill the Union and essentially kill off anything else that stands in the way of political ambition. All of those, collectively, would kill the country. That is not to say the Conservatives are paragons of virtue or wonderful in governance - they are not - but the alternatives are worse, driven by that obsessive belief that remaining in the EU is the only way forward. And BB uses the word 'obsessive' slightly tongue in cheek, for with the exception of the SNP, both Labour and its allies in this potential coup have switched from positions of honouring the referendum mandate to positions of being very happy to ignore it and cast it down in order to get their own political way. This is not a sign of good governance, it is not a sign of truly dedicated public service, it is not a sign of professional and decent conduct, it is not a sign of any recognition of Britain's constitutional flexibility rather it is a complete dismissal of constitutional restraint. In short, it's a seriously bad notion to believe or promote treason and governmental overthrow - unless you believe in dictatorship. And the last time that happened, we had a civil war.
If Brexit is the mountain to climb - for Leavers and Remainers - then it needs all sides of the debate to pull together. If the legality of Brexit is unquestionable (BB is unaware of any other legal position having been established) then the country as a whole needs to grasp the opportunity and achieve common purpose. Constant rebellion will only prolong the inevitable. Britain needs to get on with its affairs now - not be constantly distracted by the ambitions of politicians, who, let's face it, have not shown themselves to be a particularly worthy species across the board.Add a comment
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As the new government heads towards the Brexit deadline, we have a new chapter of woes, dire predictions and utter negativity toward the future prospects of this country. What has brought us to this level of bleak outlook that a determined core of folk are obsessed with trying to spread - and, we should be shamed to admit, are succeeding in perpetuating the very orchestrated Project Fear - which version is it now ? - I'll go for Mk IV ?
A good part of this negativity can be laid at the doorstep of abundant information - factual or gossipy. In this media age, the one thing that the world has successfully created is doubt. There is no substance to maybe 95% of media output but it creates, nevertheless, a notion, a doubt that it just might be right. And the gullible swallow it all, hook, line and sinker. And that is where this country now finds itself. Bedevilled by scare tactics, half-truths and likely a good few whole truths that are laid open to being trashed by a group of - what shall BB call them ? - so let's call them zealots for want of a collective name.
Now democracy has at its heart the concept that all folk should be able to express agreement, dissent, disinterest, argument and consent (and possibly a few others as well). However, democracy does make some sweeping assumptions that all folk are of common understanding and acceptance of what the democratic position entails. Regrettably, the human species is more venal. As in many instances, we stimulate groupings, vested interest parties and lobby groups that are prepared to bend the interpretations of democracy to suit their own agendas. These range across the spectrum of social behaviours and reflect the ever shifting norms of what is considered acceptable and that which folk reckon they can get away with. Those shifting sands are indicative of lost respect, lost discipline and a lost sense of community and collective ambition. We have become extremely 'me, me, me' oriented and this shows itself clearly in the Project Fear campaign being engaged in by those who would wish for no change in Britain's EU ordained future - '...change is bad, let's just accept what is and carry on because I'm all right, Jack !' Not a pretty sight we might agree.
For Brexit, such behaviours carry with it the continuing national division, no longer party political but in Leave or Remain stances. Whatever the outcome now, these divisions have been cemented into the polar extremes of the two ideological positions. If we choose Leave (as is legally mandated) then those who would Remain will continue to pour scorn and disruption upon the very building blocks of New Britain; if we were to choose Remain then we would be breaking the central tenet of our democratic and parliamentary principles and would nurture a discontent within the nation of a scale probably not previously seen in our long history. So what should it be ? Should Brexit be forced through at all costs - for that is the legal position and the democratic one - or should we aquiesce to the pressure groups who would have us stay within the EU ?
BB has long favoured Brexit, preferably with a deal but if all else fails then as an absolute and clear cut withdrawal. If we fail in this then we effectively position Britain as a non-democratic state - for the will of the majority of the people, sanctioned by parliament, ratified by all political entities will have been abandoned. BB has also been in favour of fairly radical political and parliamentary reform so that we develop a new position where the arithmetic of current political activity is not favoured by the loudest and most vocal but by the true majority. If Britain fails in its Brexit obligations and succumbs to the loudest and most vocal opponents, then we cease to uphold democracy. The real tragedy in that is that by continuing within the federal objectives of the EU we would lose our democracy anyway - a real double-whammy. Our vote would be neglibible and subject to 27 other veto's. We've seen it all before.
So what's to be done ? Our democracy isn't perfect - not by a long stretch - but it is the foundation of a set of principles upon which we can improve, bit by bit, to make it more representative of our national values - changeable as those are. Brexit is not an isolated event, it is part of a wider desire and need to make changes to the Westminster, Whitehall and nation states functioning systems so that it does improve the lot of an ever widening public demand. The system we currently have has gone through all manner of changes in the last 200 years and is ready now for the next phase of updating. Brexit is merely the expression of that need and it is important above all else to bring it about. If we don't, BB shudders to think what the EU super-state will drive toward.Add a comment
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Today it is reported that the Northern Ireland Office has removed pictures of the Queen hanging on the walls and paid £10k compensation to a nationalist civil servant who was offended by having to pass by them in the course of his work. Have we gone entirely bonkers ? Have we lost every shred of dignity about what being British means ? Are we so far up our own politically correct orifices that we give a payout to someone who would see us blown up and then meekly take down pictures of our Head of State because he is offended ? Give me strength ! In fact, lay me down in a dark room to rationalise how we, the British State, can pander to the whims of anyone who would have us harmed and damaged by paying them and then removing that which allegedly causes his offence. We have gone stark raving mad. The last time I looked, the NI Office was a part of the British civil service - though nowadays that certainly doesn't exemplify the impartiality and dignity of the office - and as such its employees are subject to the ways and means of the British Crown. If this 'nationalist' is offended (why was he ever employed in the first place ?) then he knows where the front door is. Go where your sentiments lean, but don't ever assume that the rest of Britain wouldn't give you a good kick on your way first. And as for the civil servants who sanctioned this travesty of decent behaviour they should be identified, fined and thrown out on their ear. No wonder there's been no assembly for God knows how long in NI if people with these character traits are in charge.
The broader picture of NI and Brexit poses equally Draconian measures emerging. The backstop is anathema to the UK and is said to be the principal reason for the discord with the EU. Whether that's strictly true or not we shall likely never know but if, by default, we end up with a 'no deal' then the likelihood of direct rule from Westminster for NI becomes more probable and by definition, more problematic. Nobody can pretend the NI situation is easy to comprehend - it differs so markedly from the political and social landscape of the rest of the UK - but there is one fundamental fact of life that currently exists: that NI is a constitutional and sovereign component part of the United Kingdom. That is unequivocal fact. In the future that may change, or not, but in the meantime it is governed - up until 2017 at least - by a devolved assembly that functions under the umbrella of British constitutional governance. That also is, or was, unequivocal fact. Now without a functioning assembly, NI is in practise being run by civil servants. It's a tough role to play for it involves such deeply rooted sentiments and acrimony that treading the pathway of neutrality between the factions is unquestionably difficult. Yet we expect our civil servants to adopt such political neutrality and act in the best interests of the Union whilst simultaneously taking account of the political and social views of those who would have NI removed from the UK's grasp.
That position of neutrality can seldom be achieved between factions that are so far apart in their thinking, which prompts the thought of whether the Union as it now stands has reached the end of its natural existence. NI remains as difficult a constitutional issue as ever, Scotland is campaigning openly to bring about a second independence referendum in its desire not to be taken out of the EU under the British flag. Should we therefore question whether the Union is serving the people it was intended to serve or not; is it actually achieving its mandate ? - for if it is not then is the UK a manifestation of something that has become historically defunct ? These are questions to be asked, not because there is a groundswell of popular belief that the Union should be dissolved - far from it - but if we have continually failed as a Union to hold the support and empathy of its members then we might wish to consider what its purpose is. The extreme might consider it tyranny, the more moderate might say the collective outweighs the sum of its individual parts whilst the thoughtful might come to the conclusion that as the desire for political reform in our nation state grows as an imperative then we might have to concurrently consider whether reforming the Union needs to go hand in hand with that.
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