Thursday, 13 January 2011

Democracy - Part 2


Do we have a sense of democracy?
Part 2
part 1 can be read here


Politics: The practise of fraud by any means or manner out with that of illegality by politicians; usually designed to disadvantage the people they represent.

My reason, within the context of this essay for including the democratic/politic equation is, while I’ve no sense of being part of a democratic system, I’m only too aware of my status as an unwilling, often rebellious, but generally impotent sacrificial pawn to the political system – a pawn of statistical nuance. Now given that I’ve listed my opposite to love as indifference not hate, and my opinion of politics are far removed from that of love, why do I feel the cynical loathing that I do for any product of the political arena and of the politicians who practice in them.

Could it be the product they manufacture as governance has degenerated to the point, where it no longer adds to our natural desire for improvement but is now actively deconstructing social progress to suit the aegis of control? 

Is that the gazillion dollar question. Where something as totally abstract as the economics of values based on digits and political convenience has overcome the evolutionary goals of improving our understanding, abilities and imaginings to survive and prosper as an individual, community, tribe or nation; and by definition, upwards to the level of the specie, can all be lost in the frantic haste of the controllers to reach the gazillion dollar honey pot? Because if it is, and given these controllers have no right to claim ignorance as to the costs associated with their game, then more fool them for trying to skew the odds to their advantage and more fool us for allowing the gamble any credibility.

Why have they no right to claim ignorance in mitigation?

Here I’m going to borrow the words and genius of Professor Robert Sapolsky. He is Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Stanford University. And since my purpose is neither for gain or vanity I am extracting quotes from his lectures on Biology and Human Behaviour: The Neurological Origins of Individuality; and in particular his lecture on Learning and Synaptic Plasticity. 

Now don’t go to sleep because this is about you – the thing in your head that makes you, the you you are.

“Scope: This lecture examines how communication within and between neurons changes as a result of experience. Particular emphasis is placed on long term potentiation (LTP), including and explanation of how the process occurs in two different parts of the brain: first the hippocampus, with implication for learning and memory, and second in the amygdala, with implications for fear and anxiety. Ways that the LTP process is enhanced and disrupted both naturally and artificially are also investigated.”

Still with me – just a few more extracts.

“Outline: Changing the strength of synaptic communication is the basis for learning.
The dominant paradigm is that learning is the process of making certain pathways work more readily than they did before.”

11. Long term potentiation LPT, a synaptic model for learning; is the process of stimulating a dendritic spine in a dense cluster of rapid action potentials, resulting in that synapse becoming hyper responsive or potentiated.”

“B. The working of the two receptors” (neurons with two receptors part of the LPT process) [my brackets] – explain the ‘Ah ha’ of learning.”

He then goes on to describe an experiment which may explain my purpose behind this flagrant plagiarism.

“VIII. Scientists at Princeton developed Doogie mice, genetically engineered rodents that had better than average LTP and demonstrated better than average learning.

Then, the scientists developed their less heralded cousins, mice with an impaired capacity for LTP and learning.

They then raised the impaired mice in an extremely stimulating environment, which overcame their deficit.

This experiment shows that even something as seemingly deterministic as a major genetic defect can still be subject to important environmental modulation.”

What price now, the shame of the disenfranchised, disillusioned and the great unwashed – the 30 - 40% of the bewildered herd; is it their nature or the nurture of their environment that impairs their capacity for cleanliness and the godliness of their LTP and learning. Science now tells us their natural abilities are merely dormant so who controls the nurture? And the controllers who, having access to this knowledge, which they surely do by generally funding the research, why do they adopt a selective approach to its infusion in the bewildered herd?  Could it possibly be down to the economics of control. The statistical faction deemed necessary to keep the rest of the herd quiescent. Strangely on par with America; 30% bums, 68% buffers, remaining 2% loaded beyond the dreams of avarice – except avarice accepts no limits, which makes it very dangerous to the general wellbeing of any specie.

We do have consent manoeuvred and manufactured upon us, and the financial idiocy that imploded in 2007 – 8, the tab for which we have to pay for generation to come, is only the latest example of a very long list of the people paying the price; not only from the pocket – they’ve already got most of that – but from life and limb and, perhaps most importantly, our natural values of worth and conscience.

Some historical examples – since the past is all we have to go on and, while we may not be too sure of the integrity of the reporting – they will show a trend that has no sign of changing but is in truth accelerating.

Elizabeth I, and Drakes victory over the Spanish Armada. History portrays it as a rousing victory celebrated by Queen and commoners, Admirals and Jack Tars.
Fact: Elizabeth refused to de-commission the fleet because to do so would mean she would have to pay all the sailors who had made it possible. At the time sailors were only paid once their services were deemed to be no longer required. The fleet had to anchor in, I think, Lymington Bay within sight and smell of land and left, for both ships and crews to rot. Those who had the strength and sense to swim to shore were branded as mutineers and if caught were swung from the nearest gibbet. Not that many were caught; that wasn’t the aim of the exercise, she merely didn’t want the expense of paying them. 

How do you think we the children of the fifties and onwards would have reacted if that small fact had been included in the history lessons? 

Slightly more current:

1912: The inception by the use of the media to manufacture consent. 

War in Europe was on the horizon but the citizens of America were by a huge majority pacifist. Why would they not be. It was a European imperialist war to preserve the traditions they or their fathers had struggled to get out of. However the industrial moguls took another view. War is grist to any corporate mill and a mill rich in grist was one in profit. At first they went for the mother lode and tried by arguments of production and promises of employment to be able to supply to all the warring nations. But that didn’t sway public opinion and didn’t get through the Senate.

But once the war was underway and the German Army marched through Belgium they sponsored another tack by the media. That was to scream in banner headlines the crucifixion on farm gates of Belgium babies and other atrocities which, excepting the normal venal atrocities and idiocy of war, were pure fiction. However by 1916 they had turned the tide of opinion in their favour and they now had the grist as a participating nation to fuel their profits. Unfortunately this grist and the American participation would prove costly to the existing protagonists for the following reason.

By 1916, with the exception of blood, misery, tears, fears, and casualties, the execution of the war was in stasis; as was the hubris of the generals conducting it and the governments prosecuting it. Victories were few and often ephemeral as to objectives won or lost – in every sense it had degenerated into a stand-off in an atrocious quagmire, and nobody knew that better than the troops, of both sides, sent in their tens of thousands to die in it.

It should be no surprise that it didn’t take these men long to realise the strategies of their commanders were limited to the level of stock they could draw from their stores of cannon fodder. But that cannon fodder consisted of sentient beings that very quickly recognised and evaluated the game they were in and the cards they’d been dealt – the stakes of death were rising but the game was going nowhere. What could they do? If they deserted they were shot, if they mutinied, they were machine gunned; if they refused to go, they were spat on and handed white feathers by women. It seemed their country and civilisation demanded their sacrifice for yet another thrust, another push, another charge over 500 meters of quagmire composted by the cadavers of thousands. What could these lions (not all) lead by donkeys (not all), do to ease the odds of survival slightly towards their favour in their rat runs of trenches.

Why the tactic was adopted is easier to comprehend but the comprehension of how it spread and its effects is more difficult – perhaps the well reported Christmas truce was the springboard. The tactic adopted was one of reciprocal altruism – call it reciprocity, and the method adopted by both sides was to fire as  ordered, but unless the danger was immediate, to aim high or wide; and for the artillery to aim their barrage short or long. Obviously it couldn’t and wouldn’t work all of the time, but for the fodder in their trenches it increased the days when their torment was eased by the luxury of routine created by an unofficial truce.

And it was ‘unofficial’, because while some commanders may have had their suspicions and others turned a blind eye to it, the official response of the High Command was to increase the rotation of troops from the front line to reserve in order to try and disrupt and break it. But the not so dumb insolence, of an aside here and quiet chat there beat the High Commands arrogance in favour of sense and survival.

The inclusion of the Americans and their initial, naïve but natural, gung-ho attitude, which was hoped by the High Commands to tip the balance in their favour, did for a time threaten the reciprocal tactic; till such time as the reality of drudgery, atrocity and casualties swung sense back in its favour.

The importance of this, is not that authority knew of this tactics existence - they had to know of it by trying to break it – but the ability of the commonalty of the fodder to devise and implement a tactic that protected their specie by at least frustrating the hide bound arrogant ignorance of their ‘masters’.

Try to find any of the above in the history books.

Couple of other points regarding this war.

The armistice: The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

Walk round the cemeteries of French dead. Nobody died on that day according to the inscriptions on the stones – but hundreds if not thousands did, and all down mainly to the paranoid equivalence of their single brain cell Colonel Blimps to achieve objectives that within hours – in some cases minutes – would have no significance.

This madness was buried in ‘official’ archives until its exposure in 2005.

Another fact associated with this war, is the statistics of casualties are remarkably low for civilians compared to those of the military. This in fact is the last war or conflict where the true measures of civilian casualties have been significantly less than those of the military. I say true, because, World War11 excepted, when the massacre of civilians was regarded as a legitimate strategy, the modern methodology is to class all casualties as terrorists unless they are still in nappies, heavily pregnant or in their dotage when, if they can’t be classed as collaborators by their presence in the killing zone, are awarded the ambiguous honour of being collateral.

So! Shit happens.

Perhaps it does and perhaps it always will. But is that any excuse let alone reason not to use the benefits science and technology have afforded us and allow ourselves to be controlled by systemic abuse that degrades freedom of mind, will or speech and the principles of democratic government into euphemisms for tyranny?

I specifically used these dated examples to show the manipulation, duplicity and obfuscation of governments, politics and its parties; and the accelerating avarice of the conglomerates – perhaps to a point where they’re controlling governments - is not a new objective; but one that has by careful nurture, and patient aptitude to the insidious corruption of the political process may be approaching its zenith.

But then as now, the situation of democracy is not without hope. I’m reminded of Roosevelt’s response when he was pressed by Governors, Mayors and the moguls of industry to send units of the National Guard to protect the automobile factories that had been occupied by the workers. He did as requested but instead of removing the workers he ordered the Guard to protect them from the police and the goon squads commissioned by the owners.

Today we have the World Wide Web, its internet and the proponents who maximise its use for the disclosure of facts and truths as opposed to edited propaganda. Wiki leaks is but one example, which, by the quantity and quality of the latest exposures indicates clearly and precisely the dire incompetence of the MSM to produce any news beyond the drivel of propaganda. I haven’t a clue as to how they acquired such a wealth of damning evidence from what must be one of the most complicated, dynamic and secure security systems of all time. But I would hope it was leaked by whistleblowers – a small army of them; all sickened by the duplicity of morons committed to the dance of power and the sparkle of avarice.

Irrespective of their number, whoever they are they’re due our respect and gratitude.

In the last hundred years while the strategies and executions of wars have changed from the quagmires of trenches, to the guy sitting at his terminal in the suburbs of Los Angeles deciding where and when the drones under his control will unleash their ‘smart’ weaponry in, for the moment, Afghanistan; we, through the same advances in technology are beginning to get a truer picture of the lies, deceits and purposes that fund and profit from them. It’s they, the control freaks, the governments who aide and abet them and the media who through lies and distortion support them, in short, the Establishments, who are the real enemies of peace, progress and democracy. They have instigated the first truly global conflict of might against right. One where the statistics of collaterals, if they are measured at all, will extend beyond the loss of life and limb, to the misery, attrition and the despondency of survival effecting not millions but billions. It is a war they cannot be allowed to win, because if they do, it will be the war where the winner really does take all.

I would like to close the essay with a couple of points in relation to Scotland and its aspirations towards independence.

It is fact that Britain is a declining force with regard to its position and influence in the modern world. In conjunction with that fact, it’s patently obvious the establishments of Westminster and Whitehall have no intention of taking a critical analysis of the position Britain should adopt in order to cut its cloth to suit its means. Instead it will hang on by tooth, nail and strained gut to every rung it’s forced to drop. The process will be matched with vast amounts of wasted costs across the carpet of values we hold as our birth and civil rights and, if allowed to continue will in fact finish Britain; and by the acts of the Union, Scotland with it.

But the true costs may be greater than that, though we the impoverished Brits, may be by then, too poor to care. The fact it can be done, and seen to be done could decide every tin-pot dictator, or devious democrat who manages to have control of any of the nations on the way up, to adopt a similar system and quality of governance.

My position regarding independence is, while the SNP have earned the right to lead Scotland towards independence it, as yet, has not earned the right to govern an independent Scotland for the following reasons.

Within the context of this essay and its arguments for democracy, while Scotland as an independent nation will have little power to influence the present alliances of power brokerage utilised by governments, conglomerates and their institutions of Establishments. It is an imperative that Scotland’s model of democracy, should be the best, the most democratic and egalitarian that can be devised by the wit of mankind. To this end, the phrase – the sovereignty of the people – cannot be degraded to meaningless rhetoric. 

At present the SNP miss the mark in that respect. Their language of “we will do what’s best for the Scottish people” still has suggestions of control and of an administration having sovereignty. When I hear commitments to the effect - They will advise and administer the will of the Scottish people – then I would consider them candidates for the role of governors of an independent Scottish nation and protectors of its democratic covenants.

Scotland gaining its independence will be a massive step in the affairs of the Nation, but to paraphrase Armstrong, it could also be a small step for the wellbeing, if not the survival of mankind.

John Souter: 11/01/11.

24 comments:

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Have printed off both SR (easier to digest) and to quote Arnie - I'll be back!

Hamish said...

Who is this bore writing a long-winded essay and squeezing so much vitriol onto his quill pen?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

WfW; appreciate the consideration. look forward to your comments and critique.
John

WitteringsfromWitney said...

John: After a quick scan, don't think there will be much 'critique' - just added comments!

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Hamish: sorry if it bored you, but the connection between quill and vitriol - if fact can be classed as vitriol - is a well established practice.

John

Hamish said...

Thanks John for your courteous reply to my ungracious comment.
But the fact is that in these times we all have a short attention time-span. Nanoseconds in some cases.
The days are long gone when we crowded into the local hall, waited for the epidiascope to be set up, and then listened to the words of wisdom and well-turned phrases and witticisms of the speaker.
In some ways, that's a change for the worse.

However, one of the most successful businessmen I have met, when confronted with a weighty submission, always said: Be aware, I will read only the first page.

So, here's a challenge:
Can you condense what you have to say into a screenful.

Hamish.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Hamish: You're not the first to comment as to my writing style; and on occasions a lack of focus, so could I condense the essay? Yes I could, would I want to - probably not.

I could have used any (huge) amount of more contemporary examples to support my argument, but chose these to show it was a mode long in construction.

As to your business man - he may have only read the first page, but if it grabbed his interest his minions had probably to wade through every dotted i and crossed t before any decision was made.

Short attention span!
Wisdom degraded, rhetoric becomes science, Mammon wins world and humanity buggered.

Short enough?

John

junican said...

John.

I don't much like the idea of compulsory voting. The right NOT to vote is just as much a democratic right as the right to vote. Not voting means much the same as 'none of the above'.

I have often wondered what would happen if less than 50% of the electorate voted. (NB. I am fully aware that the person with the most votes would still be declared the winner!). I use 50% only to indicate a sort of cut off point. What I really mean is, I wonder what would happen if interest in voting fell steadily over a number of years to the point where only, say, 20% of the electorate voted. In constitutional terms, what legitimacy would any government have in those circumstances? Would there come a point where people would become very rebellious? I mean in the sense of refusing to accept authority.

Personally, since the imposition of the smoking ban, I find myself moving more in that direction. For example, prior to the ban, I would have thought twice about emptying my car ashtray into the street - now, such an action would not bother me at all (not that I have ever done such a thing!) Since the ban, I have found myself rebelling in all sorts of little ways. For example, I WILL NOT (if I can possibly avoid it) buy tobacco in this country - if they will not let me smoke in the pub, they can do without my tobacco tax monies. Before the ban, I would have deplored smuggling (we were all 'propagandised' to regard smuggling as awful) Now, I see nothing wrong with it.

There was a discussion on Frank Davis's blog a couple of days ago about TRUTH. It is worth looking at. Here is a quote from a comment that I made...

""But I think that we have to differentiate between 'facts' in the sense of physics and 'facts' in the sense of ideas. For example, it can be 'true', as some people see things, that 'Socialism' is the best form of government, and, at the same time, it can be 'true', as other people see things, that 'Conservatism' is the best. I suppose that this ‘relativity of truth’ may be correct in the realm of ideas since there is no objective measure of correctness; also the ideas (of what constitutes Socialism or Conservatism, for example) are, in themselves in a state of constant change. Recognising this, we can easily see how the minds of politicians work. They all have their own individual theories which are malleable. All of their theories, as each individual sees the situation, are true.

But what is the big problem here? The problem is that there is no way that decisions which require action can be taken on the basis of these manifold visions of ‘the truth’. Enter now into the world of compromise and party politics! Enter into the world of coalition government! What sort of compromises do we see? One is watering down of ‘principles’; another is, “If we agree to what you want to do on this, will you agree to do what we want to do on that?”""

The point I make is quite clear - 'principles' would be a luxury for politicians. Everything is about compromise. But there is a further relevant point, and that is, does the thinking of politicians go much beyond the immediate necessary compromise? I have my doubts. In other words, the decisions of politicians lend themselves very much open to 'unintended consequences' (like the effect of the smoking ban on my own thinking re smuggling).

I Scotland does become independent, then I think that the Scottish people should look long and hard at their system of government. For heaven's sake, do not become a mini London parliament! The flaws in our democracy are becoming clearer and clearer and the cracks are becoming wider and wider.

junican said...

Hi Subrosa.

I posted a comment a few minutes ago. At the top of the comments section, words appeared saying, "Your comment has been saved......etc" (as usual). The comment however seems to have done a bunk.

Any ideas?

subrosa said...

junican (http://junican.livejournal.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Democracy - Part 2":

John.

I don't much like the idea of compulsory voting. The right NOT to vote is just as much a democratic right as the right to vote. Not voting means much the same as 'none of the above'.

I have often wondered what would happen if less than 50% of the electorate voted. (NB. I am fully aware that the person with the most votes would still be declared the winner!). I use 50% only to indicate a sort of cut off point. What I really mean is, I wonder what would happen if interest in voting fell steadily over a number of years to the point where only, say, 20% of the electorate voted. In constitutional terms, what legitimacy would any government have in those circumstances? Would there come a point where people would become very rebellious? I mean in the sense of refusing to accept authority.

Personally, since the imposition of the smoking ban, I find myself moving more in that direction. For example, prior to the ban, I would have thought twice about emptying my car ashtray into the street - now, such an action would not bother me at all (not that I have ever done such a thing!) Since the ban, I have found myself rebelling in all sorts of little ways. For example, I WILL NOT (if I can possibly avoid it) buy tobacco in this country - if they will not let me smoke in the pub, they can do without my tobacco tax monies. Before the ban, I would have deplored smuggling (we were all 'propagandised' to regard smuggling as awful) Now, I see nothing wrong with it.

There was a discussion on Frank Davis's blog a couple of days ago about TRUTH. It is worth looking at. Here is a quote from a comment that I made...

""But I think that we have to differentiate between 'facts' in the sense of physics and 'facts' in the sense of ideas. For example, it can be 'true', as some people see things, that 'Socialism' is the best form of government, and, at the same time, it can be 'true', as other people see things, that 'Conservatism' is the best. I suppose that this ‘relativity of truth’ may be correct in the realm of ideas since there is no objective measure of correctness; also the ideas (of what constitutes Socialism or Conservatism, for example) are, in themselves in a state of constant change. Recognising this, we can easily see how the minds of politicians work. They all have their own individual theories which are malleable. All of their theories, as each individual sees the situation, are true.

But what is the big problem here? The problem is that there is no way that decisions which require action can be taken on the basis of these manifold visions of ‘the truth’. Enter now into the world of compromise and party politics! Enter into the world of coalition government! What sort of compromises do we see? One is watering down of ‘principles’; another is, “If we agree to what you want to do on this, will you agree to do what we want to do on that?”""

The point I make is quite clear - 'principles' would be a luxury for politicians. Everything is about compromise. But there is a further relevant point, and that is, does the thinking of politicians go much beyond the immediate necessary compromise? I have my doubts. In other words, the decisions of politicians lend themselves very much open to 'unintended consequences' (like the effect of the smoking ban on my own thinking re smuggling).

I Scotland does become independent, then I think that the Scottish people should look long and hard at their system of government. For heaven's sake, do not become a mini London parliament! The flaws in our democracy are becoming clearer and clearer and the cracks are becoming wider and wider.

subrosa said...

Junican, I think what happened was it registered as too long. I've posted it on your behalf as length doesn't appear to be a problem for me.

The copy, luckily, was in my moderator's email.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Junican: it is a truism that words such as truth, freedom even facts can mean different things to different people.

And it naturally follows that concepts such as democracy can have equally diverse interpretations and still have legitimate claim to the use of the title democracy.

But, like all concepts it has to grow and evolve; move with the times and be refined to suit the times. My contention is our Democracy, as practised in most of the world, has been hijacked, reformed and manufactured to suit establishments.

To compromise in the context of keeping an open mind is fine if the perceived compromise still advances towards a positive objective. But if that objective is negative or degrading - to use your percentages - 80% and advantageous to 20% where does 'compromise' feature?

The test for any concept is to keep the word stupid from being applicable to it. Stupid socialism is just as tyrannical in process as stupid capitalism, communism etc.

What, hopefully, we don't want is a Stupid Democracy fed by stupor manufactured by the power brokers.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Fine sentiments but I see no mention of the elephant in the room - that one that bears the blue flag with the ring of stars on it.

Independence for Scotland?

Bring it on!

But that is not what the SNP is proposing, is it?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

WY; true, but as I was arguing for democracy against sham democracy, I assumed my position with regard to the EU would be clear.

John.

Derek said...

Having bided my time over part 1, part 2 has been digested.

My thoughts echo Rosie's with regard to compulsory voting. If we are give X, Y, and Z party to vote for, and the difference is a splitting of the hair, then we have no choice, and no choice is Hobson's choice.

Your writing style is of course yours, but for me I have to say it was hard going, and quite verbose. However, your main points I would agree with completely with the exception of the aforementioned.

In essence, we have too much government. We have a government that has stopped concerning itself with the people, and concerns itself with itself. The EU is a disaster and should be severed politically - it's an illegal construct, but that has not stopped our court system going along with it against our Constitution and Bill of Rights as John Hurst's case has shown:
http://indyspareings.blogspot.com/2010/11/traitors-daytreason-and-john-hursts.html

No wonder so many bloggers are leaving the 'net. Run silent, run deep.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Derek I've answered a similar question re the voting anomaly in the comment on part1.

I'll add to it by commenting on the Saddleworth results where Labour is claiming a victory when the total vote for all the candidates were only 48% of the registered electorate.

As to verbosity, that depends very much on the issue being covered; whether an isloated incident or a contextual argument. The latter requires some history, explanation and reference.

That said, one man's meat is another man's soya and at least we seem agree on principles.

John

Jo G said...

I don't quite get the point made about the SNP not having "earned the right" to govern an independent Scotland. Independence wouldn't give any Party the right to govern Scotland. Elections would take place as they always did.

Parties will always need to have policies which people will endorse through voting for them. It may not be pure democracy but nor do I think we can vote every hour on the hour on various things just to demonstrate the existence of real democracy. We'd never get anything done.

I can understand that many smokers resent being chucked out of pubs when they want a puff. I do however understand the reasoning behind the decision to do this. As a smoker myself it was most inconvenient but even I can see the difference now in the atmosphere in such places especially in those places that serve food. That we expected others to eat our smoke with their food was pretty selfish.

Its fine to retaliate by buying cigarettes abroad but in my view absolutely nothing can justify any smoker-driver dumping an ashtray full of cig-ends into a road. I think that is disgusting.

Finally I think you have a wonderful vocabulary John but I think those whom we would want to be re-thinking the current set-up will pretty much not take the time to sit and study what you're writing. Your writing needs to be studied and I did that but in order to get through to people in greater numbers I think you need to structure your articles differently. They need to be sharper, have shorter sentences and hopefully will catch the attention of more people.

Jo G said...

Sorry, the two paragraphs on smoking are obviously not directed at you John but at a separate post on this same thread.

junican said...

Hi Subrosa.

Thanks for that - I was hoping that the comment had got through somehow!

junican said...

Jo G.

My example of 'rebelliousness' (emptying a car ashtray into the street) was intended to be just that - an example.

But do not take this example lightly. You are an intelligent person. Do you want the UN and the WHO and the EU directing how you live your life? Do you want the people of England, Scotland and Wales to live their lives as directed by the UN?

Our Government at the moment have accepted this idea, in the interests of 'a level playing field'.

Erm.............`

Also, we must clearly understand that most of the policicians are corrupt. I do not mean in the sense of claiming expenses,I mean in the sense of being carear politicians. Start as a researcher, become a MP, move on the the EU, become a 'Eurocrat'.

I have nothing against the EU. It is a great idea to have common laws economically. But, for the life of me, I cannot understand how the EU got into Tobacco Control. It makes no sense. It can only be that Tobacco Control got a free ride. The whole situation is unbelieveably corrupt. We must fight against this corruption. If we do not, then all our English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh customs can be legislated out of existence by the UN or the EU, on the flimsiste of grounds.

The UN and the EU seem, at the moment, to be irrestible forces. But, by Newton's Law, for every force, there is an equal and opposite force.

Let us not forget it.

Jo G said...

Junican, sorry i misunderstood the ashtray part. : )

There are many things I can't forget about tobacco, not least what the UK government makes out of smokers. Small matter of 85% of every pack going straight to the Treasury. My dream is that we smokers will all stop at the same minute, and by God, the UK Treasury will need a fleet of ambulances because they'll all have heart attacks when the money stops rolling in from all of us!

I do definitely know how bad a habit it is tho, how dangerous it is and how disgusting it is for others who don't smoke to have to share our smoking space with us. So while I was severely aggrieved when the smoking ban came in in pubs I also understood why.

Like you I liked the principle of the EU but I am also now increasingly concerned about the powers it has over other member countries. I'm also very concerned about how much it costs us.

I share the concern about "democracy" and what, exactly, it means for any of us. I don't believe that all politicians are corrupt and I think it is unfair to say that. But to be honest Junican the group I despair most of as a body is the electorate. Because if they don't engage there really is no hope. And the evidence is that a significant proportion spend their thinking time focused on an endless game of celebrity-watch. Its all that seems to matter. I find that quite terrifying. Especially since TV programme makers don't make programmes about anything else these days either. Maybe its a plot to distract people and leave politicians to do as they like because only a minority of us care. The rest are watching soaps, programmes about soaps, looking at pics in magazines about soaps or watching reality TV programmes. : (

If we think its bad now how much worse can it get still?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jo G.

With regard to the SNP my position of one broadly in support but, as stated in the essays penultimate paragraph, with concerns over the language used and the gaps left - probably for tactical reasons - as to the constitution, conventions and democratic process they propose for an independent Scotland.

I understand their need for for a decisive mandate from the people and why the mechanics of getting it can best be achieved by appealing to the broadest church. But surely there are ways a proposed constitutions can appear for study, discussion and evaluation prior to its adoption by any political group?

As to my writing style. It's a fact blogs, or any form of media, is not the forums I generally exercise the small amount of writing talent I may have in. Generally (as a Luddite) I have to print, read and proof off paper to get the flow I want. For me, reading from a screen just doesn't give the same feel.

In my defence, one thing I do strive for is honesty.

John

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jo G - I did answer your original post earlier, but for some reason -or fault, probably mine, its done a bunk. I'll try again.

Broadly I support the SNP and understand their need to appeal to the broadest possible church. After all's said and done, they need a decisive mandate from the people to take the first step in actually incorporating independence.

However it's my opinion the publishing of a constitutional framework for study, discussion and evaluation could be a major factor in persuading many to join that church.

The blunt fact is politics and those who practice in its arenas have lost the trust and respect of the people. The SNP need to show they recognise this defect and expose how they intend to correct it.

As to my style of writing - it is a fact my usual efforts are not directed at blogs or media - indeed my Luddite tendency requires me to proof from print in order to get the flow and syntax. Reading from a screen, for me seems to lack that 'feel'.

However, in my defence, what you do get is honesty, in both what I write and my reasons for writing it.
Regards

John

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jo G,
I meant to add: re: your discussions with Junican. My total agreement with your penultimate paragraph.

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