Saturday, 29 November 2008

A Police State? or just another cockup

I stand amazed at the action of the police against an elected representative in my country. The BBC report compares the event with the entry of King Charles I into the Commons in 1642 - which led to the civil war.

Did this happen as a result of some grand plan to create a police state in the UK? Certainly not, it is the result of a series of foolish and ill thought through reforms and processes - and of course a number of fools implementing them. The fact that the Speaker of the House of Commons was informed in advance, and did not tell the police to stop, indicates that he is either pathetic or stupid (or both). Yes, I know this is libel. I really don't care.

What we have is a country that probably has more apparatchiks per head of population than the Soviet Union at its peak (or is that trough). The police are so overactive that they can act against a Member of Parliament with apparent impunity. The only question left is how many of our other representatives have the courage to stand up against this and defend hard fought for freedoms.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, 1 November 2008

The Madness of Crowds

Here comes an association between the Radio 2 debacle and the disappearance of pubs. These are very strange phenomenon. The common feature is that the decision making in these cases is influenced by people who are fundamentally not involved. It reminds me of the response given by an Italian Roman Catholic woman, when asked about the Papal stance on contraception said "He doesn't play the game, so he doesn't make the rules."

So, when the infamous Brand and Ross broadcast was made, there were two complaints. After the red tops (British popular tabloids) got hold of the story it escalated to tens of thousands of complaints. The media and political bandwagon rolled, as did heads. Now please don't get the impression that I approve of the broadcast, but surely there is a strange effect going on here. These complaints are coming from people who are only involved third hand. Do they have a right to express an opinion? Certainly. Do they have right on their side? Well, I doubt it really.

Let's look at the pubs. Since the banning of smoking in British pubs I have seen many of them close. The argument was that when smoking was banned, the non-smokers would fill the pubs. This has been demonstrated to be wrong. What has happened? Well, the non-smokers wanted to be able to go into pubs without being assailed by cigarette smoke. Seems reasonable, except it is pretty clear that they aren't going into the pubs - otherwise they would not be closing. All they wanted was smoke free pubs - not to go into them.

The danger here is that we moving into a society where decisions are made by our political classes doing that which seems popular. This may be a worse expression of vox populi than a society where decisions are made by referenda - and that would be a truly frightening society. The deprecated term is plebicite. The UK has developed a concept of "representative democracy" - where our elected representatives are expected to make up their own minds on matters - not purely reflect the opinions of their electors.

So what next? Well, on the current pattern we will end up with public floggings and hangings. All I can say is watch out. Good people must speak out against this appalling trend. If we remain silent then we tacitly approve of it.

So, so take the cockspiracy analysis, there is no conspiracy to drift towards a fascist state, just a series of cockups removing our traditional attitudes, institutions and freedoms.