Treating minorities well

          In a majority style democracy there is always a danger that the majority will get things wrong or will fail to heed wise words by the minority. This should all come out in the wash of elections and the public debate. A mature democracy also understands that treating minority groups and dissenters well is an important part of being truly democratic. Tolerance of others’ viewpoints is important, as long as they all accept the underlying system of resolving conflicts by debate , by votes and by allowing differing conducts and views to co-exist wherever possible.

          Some self appointed “left wing” moralisers like to castigate Conservatives as failing to appreciate the problems of minorities, of failing to understand what it feels like to be discriminated against and monstered for who you are rather than for what you do. In falsely portraying Conservatives like this, they give Conservatives direct experience of the minorities problem. It means we understand only too well what it feels like, as with their friends in the media the “left” seek to misrepesent us and put us on the back foot on so many issues.

           For years Eurosceptics  have been made to feel that they are  part of a minority by being  Eurosceptic. Never mind the polls which have often suggested majority support for not being in the Euro or for being critical of the Euro project. For a long time if you wished to argue that the Euro would be bad for jobs, prosperity and freedom you were thought by the BBC and others to be  beyond the pale of acceptable political views. Today many are rushing to appear as Euro currency  sceptics, but still regard it as an unacceptable view to say the Uk just wants to trade and be friends with the EU but  does not wish to be tied up in common government. Being a Eurosceptic is still a barrier for some when trying to get over  views on other topics.

             Because these commentators and media people regard this viewpoint as “right wing” – ignoring people like Benn and the Labour MPs who agree with it - Eurosceptics  are then often treated to guilt by association. The fact that they want a more democratic UK with less EU interference does not make them  a fan of the extreme right, any more than a democratic socialist wanting more equality from state action wants a communist tyranny modelled on the USSR circa 1956. It is time more commentators saw that Eurosceptics are democrats who have seen just how much damage the Euro and false political union can do to the peoples of  Europe.

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211 Comments

  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Just substitute CLIMATE CHANGE for the EU in this blog please.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is almost exactly the same on Climate. The BBC, the state sector, local government, many “charities”, the state funded scientists/universities, schools, many in the commons, the EU and the lords all benefit from taking the line they do.

      Both the EU and the quack green agenda, are mainly just pointless, overpaid, job creation schemes for parasites. As is much of OTT health and safety, planning, licencing, building control, “equality” and countless other streams of red tape from the EU and the UK.

      • David John Wilson
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        In a blog that is putting forward the view that the minorities have the right to be heard Lifelogic’s comment seems to have totally missed the point to the extent that he is arguing the opposite.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        We should, of course, treat minorities (and indeed majorities and individuals) well. This in so far as it does not start to impinge too much on others rights that is. One should, of course, have the right to offend, without this free speech is simply dead, as many will take offence at almost anything. There should be no special protections for any irrational beliefs any more than there is for rational ones. These protections need to be removed from the stature books in the interests of all.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        You forgot scientists in your list of people who tell the truth about climate change.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          @uanime5: Who knows if they tell the truth, remember that “Hockey Stick” graph, hardly the unbiased truth was it, remember those emails, hardly the unbiased truth were they etc. etc…

          • uanime5
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Got any real evidence they’re not telling the truth, thought not. Let me know when you’ve got something to counter the science, rather than a smear campaign based on no evidence.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! When your climate pushing scientists start using science themselves that will be the day, why do you think they only ever talk about “records” (that is modern records, often less than 200 years old), because nature proves them wrong – climate has been changing since the day the earth was formed.

        • David Price
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Scientists who tell the truth about climate change?

          Would that include Prof Michael Mann of hockey stick fame who it appears has falsely claimed to be a Nobel laureate in his own submission documents for a civil court action.

          Interestingly enough, Mann’s hockey stick “trick” has been disappeared by the CRU in their latest report which now shows that the 20th century temperature is no greater than it was around 1000 and 1750. It would seem that the majority now agree with the minority….

          Apologies to our host for yet another link but here’s a link that summarises these latest events – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/23/breaking-mann-has-filed-suit-against-nro/#more-72909

    • Timaction
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Every argument in favour of the EU can be refuted by simple facts. The repeated lies we have been told by our mainstream politicians over 40 years is to mask its true intentions of creating a United States of Europe by incremental treaty stealth. Always has been for our leading quisling politicians Lib/Lab/Cons to hide it from us “plebs” until its too late (FCO 30/1048 of 1971 states it all).
      Importing 3 million Eastern Europeans with another couple of million from Romania and Hungary to come in 2014, doesn’t make economic sense and cannot be in our “National” interest with 6.5 million economically inactive and 1000,000 young people unemployed. Historically the people of this country have been happy to subsidise the low paid English workers who are net benificiaries of public services (Housing, health, education etc). We are not happy to see money, services and benefits paid for foreign people and repatriated to Eastern Europe and elsewhere with no benefit to us at all. All this at a net cost of £11 billion and rising for an annual trade deficit with the EU of £50 billion. Reform of CAP? No. Reform of Fishing policy? No. More burdensome regulation? Yes, £ 9 billion annually. It’s really time for a change. Trade and friendship, nothing more. Perhaps if we had leaders and Sir Humphries who had experienced real world jobs, things would be different.
      There is need of significant reform of our political elite and to vote for true patriots. UKIP.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction
        Care to prove your point by refuting the following with “simple facts”.

        1) The EU prevented war between members of the EU.
        2) If the UK will be subject to tariffs if it leaves the EU, just like the USA is currently subject to EU tariffs when trading with the EU.
        3) Countries that use the euro want to continue using the euro because the euro is beneficial to them.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          1) The EU did not, NATO, the USSR and the principle behind MAD did what the EU now claim theirs.

          2) Why would it, remember that tariffs work both ways, so if the EU wish to impose tariffs on our exports to the EU (which account for less than 40% of our total exports) then we will impose equal tariffs on their exports to the UK (which stand at something like 60% of their total exports), far more likely trade will simply carry on much as before – with or without any formal agreement, why because the WTO say so.

          3) Care to cite a reference for that ‘statement of fact, and what do you mean when you say “‘beneficial to them”, I doubt that you will get many Greeks saying that, nor possibly the Spanish, parts of Ireland seems to be using a due currency (Euro/GBP)?…

          Also it might have escaped your notice but by joining the EZ there is no exit mechanism, thus they can’t (at the moment) leave, that doesn’t mean that such countries might not be wishing that they had not joined or wishing that they could leave.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            Jerry only 10% of the EU’s exports go to the UK, not 60%. So putting up tariffs will hurt the UK far more than the EU.

            3) No idea why you’re asking me to cite a reference for something. Given that the Greeks, Spanish, and Irish aren’t campaigning to leave the euro or electing anti-euro parties this is pretty strong evidence that they wish to remain in it.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            @uanime5: Even if you are correct about EU exports to the UK being less (but it is a lot more than your suggested 10% [1] in any case) the EU will loose any trade war due to being taken to the WTO…

            [1] I suspect that, once the Rotterdam fudge is taken into account, it is more likely the UK who exports the 10% into the EU

        • Timaction
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          1. NATO, nothing to do with the EU.
          2. With a £50 billion annual trade deficit, £20 billion with Germany alone, who’d win from any tariffs imposed on their BMW’s, Mercedes, Audi’s, French wine Italian cars and wine etc, etc. They couldn’t afford it?
          3. Ask the PIIGS where there is currently more and more poverty because of the never ending inbalances in their economies, austerity with no hope of competing. Civil disobediance is only just beginning.
          You really do need to wise up Unime5 as you are always on the wrong side of the argument and unaware of the facts as they occur here on planet earth.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            2) Germany, France, and Italy would win because their trade with the UK is a smaller percentage of their exports.

            The EU has a GDP of $17.6 trillion ($15.5 trillion without the UK), and the trade deficit between the EU and the UK is £50 billion ($80 billion). Given that $80 billion is 0.5% of $15.5 trillion the trade deficit between the UK and the EU is a tiny amount from the EU’s perspective.

            3) Given that the PIGIS had these problems before being in the euro and the people of these countries don’t believe that leaving the euro will fix these problems it’s clear that the euro isn’t considered the cause of these problems.

            I’m far more aware of the facts that you Timaction, specifically regarding just how little the UK’s trade deficit with the EU is worth as a bargaining chip.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            @uanime5: FFS go find something out about the WTO rules before you post any more lies about the EU wining a trade war.

            Also, look at the news, people of the PIIGS do want out of the EZ, that is what they are protesting about, they want co0ntrol of their own economy again and that would mean leaving the EZ. Duh!

          • Timaction
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            Unanime5. You are clearly not an economist. If the UK has a trade deficit with the EU of £50 billion then it would not make economic sense for it to start issues regarding tarrifs as there would only be one loser. The EU is a shrinking regulatory hughly expensive benemoth. Its market share in the world and trade with it accounts for only 10% of the the UK’s GDP at present levels and that is reducing whilst we increase trade (another 10% of GDP) with the rest of the growing world (BRIC’s). The EU has never been about trade but political union by stealthy incremental treaty change. Our politicians have been found out and the Gene is out of the bottle.
            Finally do you truly believe that the straight jacket of the Euro where they can’t float their currencies and devalue are helping the inbalances and austerity in the PIIGS? Please ask if you need any other facts as opposed to myths.

        • peter davies
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          With the greatest respect uanime5, again you are spouting complete nonsense;

          1. The EU has never had any military teeth, this function as others have pointed out has been carried out by NATO – are you really saying there would have been a war if there had been no EU? The poverty coming from the EURO zone itself is the thing that could make war MORE likely.

          2. Norway is an example of a country that trades freely with the EU – enough said, stop using the argument about free trade, this can be sorted out as its in everyones interest.

          3. If the PIGGIS had not been locked into the EURO, they may have had individual country issues which they need to sort themselves, not the current scenario where one small country called Greece has had problems which then have spread across all the PIGIS almost to the point of taking the whole EURO project and plunging the world economy into another recession with it. It shouldn’t be difficult to see that had Greece, Spain and Italy still been in their own currencies, their problems (had they ocurred) would have been contained and not spread like a wildfire.

          These are the 3 pillar arguments we keep hearing and they are complete nonsense

          • uanime5
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            1) The EU prevented war by encouraging trade between the various European countries. Also forerunners of the EU, such as the European Coal and Steel Community, made it much more difficult to start a war.

            2) Norway is a very bad example from an anti-EU point of view because Norway has to implement all EU law in exchange for being able to freely trade with the EU.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

            Wrong again “uanime5″, NATO did, Norway does not. Please feel free to explain how the EU stopped any war considering the EU (which amounts to a set of office blocks) are without an army[1], please go and find something out about the EEA – clue, only the rules applying to the internal market need to be applied, “They are obliged to adopt all EU legislation related to the single market, except laws on agriculture and fisheries.” [1].

            [1] are you seriously suggesting that Germany didn’t trade with France or the UK before either WW1 or WW2?!

            [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Area

      • RM33inUK
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        The “foreigners” you are referring to came to the UK ONLY because a 100% British government decided they should be allowed to come. At the time eastern European countries entered the EU, EU members had a choice to make. Either sign up to a 10 year period during which work immigration from these countries would be controlled and managed, or the country’s doors wide open with no quotas or control. The British government of the time chose the second option, whilst every other Eu country chose the first option.
        Therefore, the massive influx of eastern European immigrants is ONLY down to a 100% British decision. But I guess no one tells you that in your UKIP meetings…
        On a side note, nobody seems to question why UK employers decide to give the jobs to “foreigners” rather than British people… Nobody’s forcing them, as far as I know.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      One minority which will not return the respect which it is now accorded by the majority is the homosexuals.
      Archbishop Cranmer details in his excellent blog two almost incredible recent examples of the intolerance of the militant homosexual lobby.
      1) Fri 9 Oct 2012. A housing manager for Trafford Housing Trust, in Manchester, Adrian Smith, was demoted & had his salary slashed by 40% for posting on his personal facebook page, in his own time, that he thought gay marriage in church ‘an equality too far’. The only reason he wasn’t sacked was he had been a good employee for many years.
      One who hadn’t earned the right to his own opinion, obviously.
      He is taking them to court.
      2) Thurs 11 Oct 2012. Dr Angela Mcaskill was the first deaf black woman to gain a PhD from Gallaudet University. She has served them for 23 years as a teacher, an administrator, & their Chief Diversity Officer.
      She has been put on ‘administrative leave’ while Uni officials ‘determine her future’ at Gallaudet. Why? Because it was brought to their attention that she had signed the petition to allow the people of Maryland to vote on same-sex marriage.
      The Thought Police do not believe in an individual’s right to an opinion.
      This is most profoundly anti democratic.
      Where has this (words left out) pro homosexual lobby come from?
      I believe it stems from UN Agenda 21. An 800 page plan for ‘sustainable development’.
      This is a blueprint for the 21st century, & plans a huge reduction in world population, (words lft out) , to sustainable numbers, judged by whom? It also plans the abolition of private property, & the abolition of the family.
      Among much else.
      Interestingly, Alabama was the first US State to ban UN Agenda 21.
      Other States are following.

  2. j goodchild
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Well said. The BBC and other left leaning organisations really do have to get their heads around this. Many people Share the view that Britain should just trade with Europe and not be governed by Europe. It does not make them Neo Nazis! Many Labour voters feel the same. If the BBC and indeed this Liberal government agree with democeacy they would let the people decide and give us an in out referendum asap. What are they frightened of?ive never heard any of the pro Europe lobby ever give a good enough reason for staying in. Yet i have heard many well thought out arguments that have convinced me that we would be far better off if we left.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      With Lord Patten in charge of the BBC he will surely just divert attention with Jimmy Saville. Lord Patten is the very embodyment of the problem. Anyway he holds far too many other positions to have time to do much.

      Thanks to Cameron we are lumbered with the Libdems and Patten.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Your comment seems fine on the surface j goodchild but what happens when we probe a little deeper?

      We have problems with fish stocks in the North Sea. The problems were bad before the EU was formed. Obviously to improve things we need European cooperation.

      Many of our mainstream politicians have developed and are supporting coherent reforms to the common fisheries policy which would increasing fish stocks and deal with the problems of current policy. Some MEPs are opposing these reforms because they have been voted in by people with short term financial interests in fishing. The situation (whether we get good reforms or not) has been finely balanced.

      Nigel Farage has a vote and a seat on the fisheries committee. Instead of using it for the benefit of British fishing he chooses never to attend so that he can sabotage coherent reform so that he can claim that Europe is dysfunctional. Some claim we treat his minority group badly but I think we treat them pretty well given how they treat us.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        At one time we had 100% rights to fish stocks within our territorial waters. Edward Heath gave it all away with a stroke of the pen. So what is needed is not MEPs jabbering away in a small committee room in Brussels but a fundamental renegotiation of our membership of the EU. If the EU refuses to renegotiate, we will have a choice between kow-towing and building a few gun boats.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          Given that the UK is currently sharing the cost of several carriers with France the gun boat option seems unlikely.

          Also there’s no chance of renegotiate the UK’s membership to allow the UK to ignore EU policy, however if the UK can convince other countries to reform the CFP then this will solve the problem.

        • Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          Or Nigel Farage could use his vote to give us a good collaborative policy and there would be no need for gun boats.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            Nigel Farage’s vote would be for 100% of the fish quotas inside British territorial waters being British. If you think this would be helpful, then tell him.

          • Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

            I suppose that explains why he thinks it’s fair to sabotage the British fisheries industry by not using his vote to achieve constructive reform.

            Perhaps our people who work in the fishing industry are a minority who deserve consideration.

            Fish move around Lindsay.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Agreed but the problem is that there are parts of the word “NO” that Brussels does not want to understand!

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Given that the choices are trade freely with the EU and obey EU law, or trade partially with the EU and not be bound by EU law it’s foolish to believe that the UK will be allowed to freely trade with the EU will ignoring EU law.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        @uanime5: Whilst you are ignoring the WTO, or the trade imbalance, the EU has far more to loose in any trade war than the UK does.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          The WTO has no teeth and the any loss the EU will suffer from not trading with the UK will be minor compared to the losses the UK will suffer.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            @uanime5: Only in your dreams!

      • zorro
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Why do you ignore the WTO….? Oh I know, it’s because it wasn’t invented by the EU, and free trade only exists between EU nations…..

        zorro

        • uanime5
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          Given that the WTO didn’t stop the USA from illegally putting tariffs on EU steel it’s clear that the WTO can’t prohibit one country putting tariffs on another country.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            @uanime5: What the WTO can’t stop is one country not wanting to buy the produce of another, and in any case why would the USA [1] chose to but a product it can make its self – and cheaper.

            [1] a country that is all but economically self sufficient if it chose

    • peter davies
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      The problem is when you have a “respectable” institution like the BBC partially funded by institutions like the EU then there is an argument to say they are open to losing their impartiality.

  3. Adam5x5
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    It always amazes me that no-one in these debates points out that, historically, the “left” wing is far more destructive, freedom destroying and unproductive than the “right” which prefers individual liberty over big government.
    the National Socialists and the Communists have directly killed millions of people in their concentration camps and gulags.

    Of course, that viewpoint would be unpopular amongst the self-righteous media types and those who see the Tories as “evil”.

    The BBC should not be considered as a metric for what is an acceptable political view. They are biased towards the socialist camp, public sector and unions. Anyone not supporting these ideas (as well as AGW and EU) are dismissed out of hand.
    Perhaps if the BBC was impartial, as it is supposed to be, we might see a shift to more reasoned debating, instead of grandstanding and soundbites.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Adam 5×5 history shows that idealist groups of all kinds have been hugely destructive in history.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I don’t know about that. Sacking the parasitic monestaries, chopping off the head of Charles I and ridding ourselves of James II and the yoke of the Roman Catholic church were all hugely beneficial. And I for one don’t regret WW2.

        “Which will sound better in the days to come
        ‘Fight on the beaches or kiss the Nazi’s bum?” (George Orwell)

        • Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

          I think those issues involved idealistic/extremist groups Lindsay so I’m not sure what point you’re making.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            Two points. (1) The Protestant Reformation and WW2 were immediately destructive but were hugely beneficial in the long run and (2) Both the leaders of the Protestant Reformation and Churchill were idealists/extremists in European terms at the time they acted.

            Idealist groups are not necessarily destructive.

          • Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            I think great leaders are people who are deeply connected to and understand the consequences of their actions.

            I’m not up for the ‘lets put a bomb under everything because some good things might come of it in the end’ mode of government.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Err the “National Socialists” were (ultra-)right wing, not left, once again the ranting, unthinking, right destroy their own argument! :(

      • Farmer Geddon
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        I think the word socialist is a clue that the Nazis were extreme left wingers, just a different shade to communists but still a totalitarian state.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Unless you believe that the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) is a democracy and a republic you should be able to figure out that not all names are 100% accurate.

      • zorro
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Try thinking it through yourself, they were socialists….. Who called them ‘right wing’?

        zorro

        • Jerry
          Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          I could call myself the Pope, it doesn’t mean I am the Pope!

          Adolf Hitler was a very skilled manipulator, by using the word “Socialism” in the name of his ideology he was attempting (and achieved) to draw people away from all he disliked.

          Nazism used elements of the far-right racist Völkisch German nationalist movement and the anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture which fought against the communists in post-World War I Germany.[6] It was designed to draw workers away from communism and into Völkisch nationalism.[7] Major elements of Nazism have been described as far-right, such as allowing domination of society by people deemed racially superior, while purging society of people declared inferior which were said to be a threat to national survival.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism

          • zorro
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Wikipedia teaches you about Hitler really about the Freikorps…..Remember the Night of the Long Knives in 1934…..They were duped by many others and were ‘useful idiots’….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freikorps

            zorro (Check relations with Hitler)

          • zorro
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            Hitler thought that the Freikorps were ‘pathological enemies of the state’…….Now there’s a socialist talking!

            zorro

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            @Zorro: Oh right so 70 years worth of history (books) are wrong, is that what you are suggesting? As for the “Night of the Long Knives” that was about eliminating those who might wish to take Hitler’s place at the head of the table and take the organisation to his political left.

            Plenty of South American dictators have considered their political opponents the ‘pathological enemies of the state’ – now that’s a junta talking!…

        • uanime5
          Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Actually they weren’t socialist; that’s why the companies weren’t publically owned and were allowed to make private profit.

          Perhaps you should look beyond the name of an organisation.

          • zorro
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

            Er……that’s how they described themselves. Yes, they were bankrolled by the German industrial sector who benefitted from some slave labour and the quasi totalitarian state Hitler tried to create. It’s called state corporatism – just a different cheek of the same backside. Socialism in all it’s forms is essentially anti individual, and tends towards statist authoritarianism.

            zorro

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Unthinking right? I think you need to take some time to do a bit of research into which end of the political spectrum the Nazis sprang from. Stalin saw a kindred spirit in Hitler; I wonder why that might have been?

        • Jerry
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          See my reply to Zorro…

        • uanime5
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          Given how anti-communist Hitler was I can’t imagine what Stalin would see in Hitler. Though Russia and Germany did sign a non-aggression pact this was so Germany could attack France, Russia could attack Finland, and both could divide up Poland.

          • zorro
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            If you read ‘Mein Kampf’, you will see that rather than being anti-communist, Hitler was against the ‘Jewish Bolshevik’ threat. That was the international conspiracy that he believed that he was fighting against and to preserve western civilisation….

            zorro

      • Mark W
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        I’d be interested to see any of Hitlers domestic policy that is anything other than the state control of the left wing.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          @MarkW: Please see my reply to Zorro above…

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        The Nazis were neither socialist nor capitalist but simply unspeakable. Their economics were the economics of plunder – invade one country, bleed it dry and move on to the next. Adolf Hitler was the laziest man that ever lived – never up before noon, then lunch, film watching, dinner, a few hours with his generals then a two hour rant about his “philosophy” [sic]. He even slept through the Normandy landings.

        • APL
          Posted November 2, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          Lindsay McDougall: “The Nazis were neither socialist nor capitalist but simply unspeakable. Their economics were the economics of plunder .. ”

          But it seem you are drawing attention to the similarities between the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regiemes.

      • APL
        Posted November 2, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “Err the “National Socialists” were (ultra-)right wing, not left, ”

        The conventional ‘left’ – ‘right’ terminology is worthless when discussing totalitarian regiemes. If you examine the Soviet and the Nazi regimes they have more similarities in for example, their attitude to dissent and individual freedom than there are differences.

        Economic policy may appear to differ, Soviets advocated state control of the commanding heights of the economy and five year plans etc, but was it all that different to the Nazi model where the state and the corporate sector were hand in glove to meet the production targets set by the state.

        It is a difference in form rather than substance.

        Jerry: “once again the ranting, unthinking, right destroy their own argument!

        Once again Jerry it is you that are wrong.

  4. Simon Jones
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Treating minority groups and dissenters well used to be part of being a tolerant democracy but we now have a state enforced “tolerance” of groups such as homosexuals and those who belong to minority racial groups. Say anything which the government does not approve of about them and you will find yourself in jail. We have turned into a society which is so intolerant of those who are not “tolerant” that we criminalise them and more are being thrown into prison on a weekly basis now for the most trivial of Thought Crimes.

    There seems to be a pattern of increasing repression of those who do not share the views of the state and draconian punishments for those who demur. Eurosceptics have had a pretty easy ride thus far but who knows when their views may be criminalised. I would have thought it impossible for someone to be jailed in this country even ten years ago for wearing an offensive T shirt or writing a stupid comment on facebook but now it is becoming the norm and things are getting worse rather than better under Cameron despite all the promises of repeal acts etc.

    • JimF
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Very good post.

      We need to tolerate the intolerant. They can be the harbingers of change and progress, but also the conservatives who stop to ask whether the current fad or fashion is really to the benefit of mankind.

    • Adam5x5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      This. A thousand times this.

      The government has to be consistent about discrimination – is it illegal or not?

      Some forms of discrimination are allowed.
      For example – women only gyms (for women who may not want to exercise with men to avoid being eyed up/embarrassed/fear of rape or assault.
      Why is this allowed if we’re anti-discrimination?
      Replace women with straight and men with homosexuals.
      Still acceptable?

      Also what does this say about the opinions the women who go to these gyms have about men?

      Back O/T:
      The idea of having being offensive as illegal is dangerous – where do you stop? and whose definition of offensive do you use?
      I find the majority of what the labour party and trade unions spout offensive. Does this mean I can get the people who run these groups locked up?

    • Jerry
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      …more are being thrown into prison on a weekly basis now for the most trivial of Thought Crimes.

      No they are not (unless you care to cite proof that the state employs mind reading, how can it be so), they are being prosecuted/imprisoned because they suggest to others -it would be come under incitement if the crime didn’t have a specific name- and people have always faced such a fate. What has changed is the fact that people now think that they can do what they used to do in a brown envelope or person-to-person telephone call on the public internet. Had the Great Train robbery been detected by postal -interception or phone-tapping then those people would have faced the same punishment had they stuck bill-board posters up (the internet is in effect a very large bill-board).

      There seems to be a pattern of increasing repression of those who do not share the views of the state and draconian punishments for those who demur.

      That has always been the case, you just don’t like the fact that you might now face jail rather than those you dislike, for example (seeing that you mentioned them) 50 years ago it was possible for someone to face jail for simply being a homosexual, now it is possible to face jail for suggesting homosexuals should be jailed simply because of their sexuality.

      As for political intolerance, your suggestion that it might become illegal to be a climate or EU sceptic, well yes, but then again it was once illegal in the UK to talk about forming a trade union never mind actually form one, nothing new in politics…

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        It is a crime to incite someone to commit a crime. So if you posted online that people should kill a certain minority (inciting murder) this is as illegal as if you had put up a poster or shouted it in the street that this minority should be killed.

        Regarding the Great Train Robbery they would have been charged with attempting to commit a crime or conspiracy to commit a crime, rather than inciting themselves to commit a crime. Conspiracy is generally used when the criminals haven’t undertaken enough preparation to prove an attempt, incitement is used when criminals encourage others to commit crimes.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          @uanime5: Indeed but just to pick up on what I think your thrust was, I was suggesting that people today use the internet to talk to selective people, forgetting that they are in effect often shouting across a public space to each, thus the analogy with a bill-board.

          Anyway, it is quite possibly to conspire in public, or incite in private, it isn’t one or the other.

    • zorro
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is because of the ridiculous Section 5 Public Order Act 1986 introduced by the Tories…..the start of the slippery slope

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Why not forget the pretence and go for a fully fledged ‘Loi des Suspects’…..

        zorro

    • John Doran
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      & yet Russell Brand & Jonathan Ross can be extremely offensive on prime time TV, with no sign of a cell.
      One rule for them, another for us?

      • APL
        Posted November 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        John Doran: ” .. Russell Brand & Jonathan Ross can be extremely offensive ..”

        It’s the ‘unique way the BBC’ is funded protects its media personalities, once in the limelight, it seems they can do absolutely anything and the BBC will cover for them.

        Not going to mention the protection the BBC afforded to one Jimmy Saville, Oops! I did, but it was an accident.

        Could there be a institutional predisposition to criminality at the BBC? There does seem to be a bit of a pattern emerging.

  5. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I suggest that we are largely run by minorities:

    Trade Unions fund the Labour Party.

    The Conservative Party membership of say 130,000 decides selection of candidates and therefore in most instances MPs.

    Scottish MPs running England.

    The EU/Brussells cabal run Europe, including most of our legislation.

    The Liberal Democrats in Government are imposing their views by veto.

    Cameron did not have a mandate to make Clegg his Deputy or enact the 5 year Parliament rule with a 75% get out vote.

    Successive Governments did not have a mandate to give away our sovereignty.

    Frankly the list is endless and until we have a Swiss referendum system on major issues we will always be run on the whims of political cliques.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Another way forward would be to make the processes by which decisions are consulted and made more transparent, accessible and inclusive.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed he did not have such a mandate it shows just how open the system is to abuse for short term political convenience.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Your forgot MPs being elected despite more votes being cast against them and the unelected upper house. The UK’s voting system needs improving.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        @uanime5: Oh right so you want MPs to be elected because they do not have a majority?! Whilst the current system MPs might not have 51% of the votes cast but do they have a majority share of the vote.

        As for the upper house, why does it need changing, never mind electing, they do not ‘pass’ our laws (only the Commons does that), the upper house is a reviewing and revising chamber, we don’t need popular people in that chamber, we need experts (in a given discipline).

        • uanime5
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          Having the largest minority doesn’t change the fact that more people voted against this MP than for them.

          You’re displaying a huge degree of ignorance regarding the House of Lords; it is the equal to the Commons, not a subordinate body. It does pass laws, it introduces laws, it amends laws, and it can veto laws. The Lords has never been a reviewing and revising chamber, nor has it ever been full of experts (historically it’s been full of upper class peers and former MPs).

  6. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Some may think my views are of the “extreme right”. But I say to them my views only appear to be so far to the right because their viewpoint is so far off to the left.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Right and Left are misleading terms, I want to see much smaller government, lower taxes, a real meaningful UK based democracy, no quack greenery and strong civil liberties. Is that right wing or just what actually works in the real world given human nature?

      • Jerry
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        @lifelogic: Except that you don’t seem to want those strong civil liberties to apply to those less fortunate than yourself, some of the language you (and others) have used to describe people who do not measure up to your own standards or abilities does actually place you to the right, you are certainly not to the left nor pure centrist.

      • zorro
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        True, often politics is about the struggle of the individual against the overbearing state…..that being a state inclined either to the ‘right’ or ‘left’….

        zorro

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. People who are off to the far right often try to paint all those who raise concerns about their views as being ‘off to the extreme left’ when in fact they are simply ‘in touch with and concerned about reality’.

      We’re used to that in education.

      • Adam5x5
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        The same could also be said for the left…

        • Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Idealists on the left often accuse pragmatists of being ‘idealists on the right’ when they are not, they are just talking practical sense.

  7. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    In the world of debate by slogan you need a better slogan.

    In the world of debate by attacking the person rather than the issue you need a telling repost.

    In the world of debate by dismissing an argument by claiming it causes offence you need to reply that such a claim is equally offensive.

    Hopefully, after such initial skirmishes have ended in a futile draw the real debate can begin!

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      To all who find their views dismissed out of hand as being those of a “NIMBY”, I offer you by way of a repost “DAMSY” – Doesn’t Affect Me, Stuff You.

      NIMBYs of the World unite; I am sure someone can come up with a better put-down.

      • APL
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Alan Wheatley: “NIMBYs of the World unite; I am sure someone can come up with a better put-down.”

        Another name for ‘NIMBY’ might of course be ‘Localism’, people getting involved in their own locality.

        A policy the Centralised Tory party has quietly dropped.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Trouble is, every NIMBY is also being a DAMSY, never mind what the majority needs are, it Doesn’t Affect Me, Stuff You…

      • Graham Swift
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I’d prefer DAMFY.

      • David Price
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        If you aren’t prepared to look after your “back yard” no one else will.

  8. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Now that all my British friends are going to leave the EU, let me be pragmatic and make up my mind. Here goes: When the Dutch government can guarantee me that our trade, prosperity, social welfare and peace with all our neighbors will only increase and be ensured in a rapidly changing world with loads of cross-border issues, climate change, scarcity of resources and the emergence of new global powers like China, India Russia, if all this can be guaranteed without European cooperation, then I wouldn’t mind if the Netherlands left the EU, as it would cease to have much added value.
    Pfff, at last I’m not a minority anymore! :)

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      What makes you think that your beloved EU can guarantee those things? You seem to have a very insular view of the world – it is the EU. Cooperation and subjugation to another governing power are two different things. I favour the former and reject the latter.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        @Brian Tomkinson: Having an insular view is the prerogative of those who live on an island, like you, I simply cannot afford one/
        You said that you understood supranational democracy, but I still have my doubts. An EU governmental structure would be equally MY government as my Dutch government. That’s something islanders don’t seem to get.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Your final reference to “added value” is the key issue. Does the EU/EZ add value to the lives of those living within its boundaries? Many in the UK doubt that it does. It must be an open question how many living in Spain and Greece think the same way.

      Of course membership of the EU is no guarantee that national attitudes will be overturned. I recall that (the late) DAF Trucks had the greatest difficulty selling their products into their near neighbour Germany.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        @oldtimer: Of course I cannot speak for Spanish or Greeks, having noted thateven in June the Greeks voted massively to stay in the eurozone.
        For me personnaly it is a very obvious “yes”.
        Yes, national attitudes die hard (hardly die). A major obstical to completion of the Single Market. But as you mention DAF, on an ironic note, in the former DAF factories BMW will be producing Minis as from 2014 when the Mitsubishi production will have ended there. I’ll buy a union jack as a sign of appreciation! :)

        • Jerry
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          @PvR: I don’t recall the Greeks having a EZ referendum, I do recall them having a general election, who knows how Greece would vote if such a single issue referendum was held.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            @Jerry: I believe that opinion polls also always gave majority support for staying in the euro. Have you got different information? Anyway, what they (and you and I) have is representative parliamentary democracy.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            @PvR: Sorry to say but I take no notice of opinion polls, they are far to easy to fix, to obtain the answer that suits your own views (why do you think commissioning and quoting such opinion polls is so popular in the mass-media, it allows them to reinforce their editorial line – the only poll that counts is the one that involves a ballot box.

            As for democracy, considering the fear installed by the EU with regards a default and either a EZ or EU exit, it is no surprise that most Greek voters opt(ed) for what they know, fear of the unknown makes people act in ways they otherwise would not. With so many demands and threats being made both overtly and indirectly by the EU to Greece I do not consider that there is any true democracy in Greece at the moment, they are being governed from afar (via the EU and IMF).

          • uanime5
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry
            So according to your logic when the Greeks voted for parties that wanted to remain in the euro and publically stated that they wanted to remain in the euro this is because they were coerced because you don’t like the euro.

            Perhaps you should accept that the Greek wish to remain in the euro, rather than conjurer up conspiracy theories to explain why the Greeks aren’t doing what you want them to.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            @uanime5: They voted for the safe option, out of fear of the unknown, who knows what they would have voted for had the EU given then the option of leaving the EZ…

            They were faced with a Hobson’s choice – their choice was either accept some form of EU/IMF bailout or face a default and (according to the rules of the EU) tumble out of the EU.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          The Single Market was supposed to have been completed shortly after 1st January 1987. The reason that it didn’t happen was that France (and others) found lots of ways of dragging their feet.

          I can recall France creating a Customs clearance centre in the Pyrenees for imported Japanese electronic goods, simply because they didn’t like their penetration of the French market.

          The French have always been anti-capitalist. They gave two 7 year terms as President to the Vichy collaborator Francois Mitterand. There was once a genuine Thatcherite candidate in one of their elections; he got 6% of the vote.

    • Pleb
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Peter, twice before you have been run by the Germans, I suppose a third time will not matter much.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        @Pleb: We would be more dependent of Germany outside than inside the EU/EZ, as I suppose you’re talking economically. I don’t expect German armies quite soon over here, and never for as long as the EU will exist

        • Jerry
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          @PvR: That has more to do with NATO than the EU.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            Oh dear oh dear what a lack of insight, also obvious from some comments you made to others. Please try and learn to distinguish between preventing armed conflict with an outside perceived enemy (Nato deterrent, USSR etc.) and bringing about “peace”, something that doesn’t come from the barrel of any gun, but from creating circumstances and processes in which perceived opposites start talking together and learn to appreciate one another. The armies occupying West Germany right after WWII were borne of (justifyable) fear. The peace project and peace process brought about by the EU is something really different. It changed the continent.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            @PvR: Your comment is a classic example of a pot calling the kettle black, Peter, stop trying to twist factual history, it just makes you look very ignorant.

            The EU wasn’t even founded when NATO was formed and started to keep the peace in europe, NATO was created in 1949, the ECSC [1] (the forerunner to what we now call the EU) was created in 1951. Duh!

            [1] European Coal and Steel Community

          • Jerry
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            Just one other comment to “PvR”, do remember that as a result of the 1945 Potsdam Conference, (West) Germany was bared from having any military forces other than for their own direct national security, and these feel largely under NATO command in 1949, thus before the ECSC/EEC came into existence there was little real chance -in fact zero chance- of western controlled Germany from becoming involved in any armed conflict unless under the direct control of NATO, never mind instigating such action.

            About the only thing the EU has in common with keeping the peace in Europe is the fact that the NATO HQ is also in Brussels, perhaps this is why the EU thinks it can get away with their lie…

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Peter, you are so right. Without the EU, the Royal Netherlands Navy will sail up the Medway and burn an English fleet, Spain will rediscover an interest in sacking Breda, and the Dutch will lose all interest in commerce and enterprise.

      My experience, over many years, was that, as a Conservative, my fellow Conservatives, if Europhile, were venomous and, it must be said, untruthful. Members of the public, by contrast, when they have the opportunity, listen to the arguments about democracy and form an honest view.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        @Alte Fritz: There are objective, well documented calculations of Dutch profit from the EU. In the UK I never see any gains ever being published. Why does the City (with much influence over Cameron & co) want the UK to stay within the EU? Because there is no benefit?
        I’m sorry not to hold UK democracy in high regard, as compared to my democracy (hereditary life-long legislators, “life-long” safe seat MPs, completely disproportional representation in the H.o.C, parliament not properly not proportionally reflecting public opinion at the time of voting, gross and chronic underpresentation of the female half of the population, need I go on?). Realy, I don’t mean any offence but I see it that way. How can an important thrust of public opinion like UKIP not be represented in parliament for 2 decades? Is that good democracy?)

        • Alte Fritz
          Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          I will not comment on the first paragraph of your counter reply, but the second is fair comment. My point, however, is that each time, and I mean each time, an EU related referendum has not supported the EU case, it has been held again and again until the “right” answer is provided. That too is historically demonstrable.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            @Alte Fritz: Demonstrably correct, but what is left out in the reporting is that there always have been (sometimes rather minor) amendments or extra protocols to overcome some of the objections to such a treaty. If a treaty is held up by one of the 54 x “yes”, you cannot expect major changes to satisfy e.g. a small population like the Irish people. Note that even president Klaus got a negotiation result before he signed (ratified) the Lisbon Treaty on behalf of the Czech Republic. On a similar note, I don’t know how often I have had to explain to people, mainly British, what really happened in the Netherlands after the Dutch stroke down the “constitutional treaty”. It is not a story that is alltogether simple. A populist one-liner always seems to win, but that to me is a sad development, not acknowledging the real arguments and due process.

  9. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I concur.

    But I would like to gently point out that the Conservatives (at least some of them) are not above falsely portraying minorities in unjustified terms.

  10. me2
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    People whose families have been British for generations should make sure the rights of minorities are protected as they will soon be a minority themselves.

  11. Boudicca
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I always find it amazing that the MSM esp. the BBC thinks it is so dreadful for the British people to want to be Democratic and self-governing. Yet they were all in favour of the former Eastern European countries breaking free of the USSR and any Middle East country which seeks to introduce democracy is supported.

    Why is it so strange for a country that until 1972, was completely independent, Sovereign and free to govern itself, to become that again. Why should the British surrender their Democracy (such as it is), their Sovereignty and their independence – in favour of being governed by a structure that mirrors the Soviet Union in its ant-democratic structure and unaccountability. Why should we want foreigners making our laws?

    Wanting your country to be independent, Sovereign and self-governing isn’t right-wing. It’s patriotic, democratic and people who believe in nation-state democracy are found on the right, middle and left of British politics.

    Unfortunately, very few are found in LibLabCON – and none in the current Cabinet.

    • Chris
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Boudicca.

  12. Liz
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Of course tolerence of minority views should be guaranteeed but what happens when those with minority views gain power and then try to suppress the views of the majority? This has in fact happened. There is cross party agreement on many things to which the majortity of the population disagree- Europe, Immigration and Crime/justice being three. Most of our laws are made by an unlectected commission in a foreign country. No wonder people feel powerless, disinfranchised and are increasingly disinclined to vote.

  13. oldtimer
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I agree with your analysis. The situation you describe is known these days as “framing the debate”. It is an attempt to close down rational discussion of a subject by denigrating your opponents. Brown`s description of those who queried the CAGW hypothesis as “flat earthers” is another recent example. Dr Goeebels had a characteristically blunt description of this approach (of which he was an expert practitioner); he called it the Big Lie. British public life will be better served when there is more balance in the presentation of important issues. Regrettably the BBC fails this test all too often. Moreover, as I have commented before, it gives its (unaccountable) editors carte blanche to peddle any line they like without let or hindrance. The unsavoury revelations of the Savile affair have blown wide open this previously closed world.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      @oldtimer
      So because you don’t like something anyone who supports it must be a liar? Perhaps you should try attacking the person’s argument, rather than forming conspiracy theories.

      • oldtimer
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        That is not what I said at all. You have demonstrated my point, the role of ad hominem attacks by those who want to close down debates. That is precisley what Brown was trying to do with his remark about “flat earthers”.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          You compared anyone who doesn’t deny climate change to Dr Goebbels and his Big Lie, then accused the BBC of peddling lies because they weren’t saying what you wanted to hear. Perhaps you should provide actual proof of your claims before condemning others.

          • oldtimer
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            I refer you to Peter Lilley`s demolition of the economic case set out in the Stern Report, recently published.

            I refer you to the late Richard Feynman`s description of how the laws of science are developed:
            (link to an unavailable video-ed)

            The CAGW hypothesis does not meet this standard; it thus remains an hypothesis. It also relies on shaky instrumentation records (they, and the methodology to read them, have constantly changed), questionable statistical methods, and models about the future that rely on forcing assumptions that are just that – assumptions without evidence.

            I note that while I talk about CAGW, you infer that I am talking about climate change – something very different. It appears that the advocates of the CAGW hypothesis have found it necessary, over recent years, to change their language to advance their hypothesis when the actual evidence of recent years revealed that the forecasts, on which the CAGW hypothesis was based, turned out to be wrong. Just compare the data revealed in the recent Met Office report with the forecasts.

          • oldtimer
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Sorry about the bad link. I think it was a mix up between o and zero. This should work:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0
            It is all of 1 minute 3 seconds long.

  14. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    As for the BBC, I believe it is unreformable within the present structure. We now have devolved adminstrations, except for England of course, which must be remedied soon. There must be case for a complete structural break-up of the news and current affairs between the nations, entirely independent of each other, (no collusion allowed) and sell off the entertainment.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      By that rational only the country were a news story takes place should report it! But back to the main thrust of your comment, why should Sky News be allowed to report what the BBC (or even ITV Ltd/Ch4 and Ch5) could not, should there also be a total restructuring of BSkyB?

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    JR: “It is time more commentators saw that Eurosceptics are democrats who have seen just how much damage the Euro and false political union can do to the peoples of Europe.”
    Agreed, and the exact opposite can be said of Euroenthusiasts. Some of us realised this back in 1975 when we had a referendum but the political class largely conspired to present a totally false prospectus. This is still the case today. The question of universal suffrage in a meaningful way is ignored. A group of people has decided that they can govern countries without the active consent of the peoples of those countries. These hypocrites, who demand “More Europe” or “ever closer union”, are among the first to offer crocodile tears for those in North Africa and the Middle East who want to overthrow their totalitarian regimes. They talk of democracy in those countries whilst preparing to deny true democratic government from the member countries of the EU. It has seemed self-evident that, if people lose the power to choose those people who govern them, it will eventually result in an uprising.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Were politicians who in 1975 opposed remaining in the EEC also part of this conspiracy? If not then why didn’t they tell people everything you disliked about EEC.

      • Jerry
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        @uanime5: People like Mr Foot, Benn and Powell for example did tell those who would listen what they disliked about the EEC and the future face of ‘Le Club’, and why, I guess you are to young to remember?…

        It’s just a pity that more sceptical Tories didn’t stand on the same soapboxes and town hall stages with these wise men.

  16. backofanenvelope
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Surely Eurosceptics are not a minority?

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      It depends how you define ‘eurosceptic’ back of an envelope.

      If you define them as being people who are concerned about particular aspects of the way the EU behaves, such as the Euro, lack of transparency and so on and want to take action to address those issues then I think the eurosceptics are in the majority.

      If you define them as being people who are are determined we break all ties with Europe and think everything will be brilliant if we don’t have any common policies and we just all fish the seas dry and so on then they are in a minority.

      The problem for the first groups is that they include the second group. The problem for the second group is that the don’t include the first group.

      • Keith
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Simplistic drivel

      • Adam5x5
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        If you define them as being people who are are determined we break all ties with Europe and think everything will be brilliant if we don’t have any common policies and we just all fish the seas dry and so on then they are in a minority.

        Who are these people?
        No-one in their right mind is suggesting any of these.
        Break all ties with Europe? We would want to remain friends and trading partners. We just don’t want to share government and laws with them.
        Not sharing policies with them sounds pretty good considering the profound effect they seem to be having on our hospitals and energy situation.
        Fish the seas dry? Not good business sense – and it is EU regulations that force fishermen to throw perfectly good fish back which they caught because of quotas…

        • Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          I suspect you haven’t read my post above about Nigel Farage’s behaviour Adam. Just to be clear refuses to use the vote he has which he could use to properly reform the common fisheries policy. Instead he chooses not to use it. He prefers to stick with poor policy.

          “Who are these people?”
          Let’s start with Nigel Farage and talk about his attitude to fisheries policy which seems to be a ludicrously oversimplistic ‘it will all be great if we leave Europe’. Or perhaps it’s a ‘let’s build lots of gun boats and have another war’. You tell me?

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Well they were in 1975 when the UK voted on whether to remain in the EEC. Oddly the eurosceptics were a majority in 1974.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        When the Wilson government renegotiated our accession terms on coming to power in 1974, the EEC made it a precondition of negotiating that, if the negotiation was successful, the UK would recommend acceptance of the new terms to its electorate in the forthcoming referendum. So in 1975 all 3 mainstream parties – Labour, Conservatives and Liberals – recommended acceptance. The opposition was on the right and left – Enoch Powell, Neil Martin, Tony Benn, Barbara Castle, Peter Shore and Michael Foot. Tony Benn refused to share a platform with Enoch Powell because of Enoch’s views on immigration. Barbara Castle didn’t refuse but the the result was incongruous. Let’s face it; they looked a motley crew.

        What should be remembered are the words in the Wilson government’s pamphlet urging acceptance: “Our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament”. Nobody has cancelled those words. They are as true today as in 1975, which is why it matters whom and on what platform we choose as our MPs in 2015.

  17. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I think those who treat badly a minority viewpoint, to dismiss it by categorisation or association and to deny it a voice, do so out a lack of confidence in their own position.

    Human being find it very difficult to change their minds, and the more convinced they are that they are right to more difficult it is to admit that they have been wrong, even when the evidence is staring them in the face. The ERM exit, for instance.

    So, having stated unequivocally that the UK’s best future is within the EU it is very difficult to change to a different position. Especially when the alternative to IN is OUT. Faced with such a stark choice some sort of half-way house is naturally appealing, so appealing in fact that the practically will be conveniently overlooked.

    This conundrum is especially difficult for leaders. Having lead in one direction, what do you do when the followers start to drift off in another direction? Do you order them to stay? What do you do when your arguments are increasingly at odds with the facts?

    Does the leader doggedly hang on to the chosen direction in the belief that it is inherently right and will be justified in the end? Belief can subjugate reason.

    Perhaps the leader recognises a change of direction is required, but how to charge without loosing credibility. Perhaps the leader hangs on in the hope that a solution to the dilemma will come from outside rather than from within. Events dear boy, events!

  18. Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    To treat minorities well we need high quality governance, where consultation is thorough and the decisions made are widely consulted and considered.

    The reason conservatives treat minorities badly is because many of those in power are woefully underqualified for the roles they are in.

    So take for example Michael Gove. He is attempting to treat minorities well by saying he will give anybody the school they want. But this is just incoherent and ludicrous in practice. Sadly he’s not capable of understanding how coherently integrated system of education which cater properly for all minority groups are created.

    If conservatives want to cater for minority groups they need to appoint ministers with experience and ability in managing organisational change.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Of course if they are only interested in managing the media so that they can portray themselves in positive ways rather than actually doing anything decent then they should appoint hacks with no credibility and experience in anything but managing propaganda.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      To “cater properly for all minority groups” is not the main purpose of education. It is to develop pupils’ and students’ minds. Top of the list is to develop the minds of our cleverest people so that they can be leaders of men. For example, our best engineers should take an extra year to acquire skills of relevance to business; this can be wide ranging – statistics, market research, accountancy, game theory, returns on investment, divide and rule etc. Then perhaps the practice of ceding ownership of our best companies to foreigners will cease.

      Competition between educational establishments is a good means of ensuring that the best minds are fully developed. Mike Gove appears to be far more aware of the requirements than the educational establishment.

      As for the state sector, if it spent no time or money on religious “education”, it would have more time and money for real education. Faith schools should provide faith teaching out of normal hours; it should be voluntary and parents should pay for it.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Competition between educational establishments will not ensure the best minds are fully developed; at best it will do nothing and at worst it will hinder children learning.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        “Mike Gove appears to be far more aware of the requirements than the educational establishment.”

        Having read your posts I’m quite prepared to accept that this statement is credibly to you Lindsay.

        Since when has he been called ‘Mike’ by the way? I’m curious.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      At last Gove does not bore us with interminably long-winded and garbled PC committee-speak.

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        It’s always good to be accused of being both “interminably long-winded and garbled PC committee-speak” and being oversimplistic in the same discussion (see Keith’s comment above).

    • Keith
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Did you enjoy the Common Purpose training course ?
      More drivel

      • zorro
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        From what I see, you are on the right track there…..

        zorro

      • Posted October 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        “the Common Purpose training course”
        What’s that?

  19. Acorn
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I suppose we should appreciate our Euro-sceptics, they do put up a bit of a show, but they never step over the Whip line. The Euro sceptics will never vote their conscience, never mind their ideology, if it would embarrass the party. After all, what the plebs think is our democracy in action, is all a bit of a show. Voting at elections in the UK is really part of the entertainment industry, and far more important on shows like “Strictly”. All part of the supply of bread and circuses for treating the minority 99% well.

    People of my age (sixties) really should be grateful, we have had the best of it. It will be downhill from here; we had an empire for nigh on a quarter of a millennium and we are now in the last few decades. Rome; Spain; Portugal here we come.

    PS. The beauty of having clear bin sacks for paper and the like, is that you can spot all the torn up Poll Cards for the coalition’s most recent stupid initiative. I would like to vote for an Executive Mayor for my District Council first, and let him appoint a Police Commissioner as part of his “executive”. But, when did you ever find politicians who knew anything about Systems Engineering.

    Reply: I seem to recall 81 Conservative MPs voting for a referendum against a 3 line whip, with another 19 declining to vote at all. I also recall no UKIP MPs were present and able to vote.

    • Acorn
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Who mentioned UKIP? Labour and Conservatives voted almost equally for a referendum. This is not the place to argue about coalition mean and median voting majorities. But I suggest Redwoodians look at which MPs voted against an EU referendum; and those that ducked out. They should remember those names at the next election. Here is the data.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/oct/26/eu-referendum-davidcameron .

  20. Martin Ryder
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    This is indeed a matter of great concern. Not just because of the EU and AGW but because the desire to control other people’s thoughts and words by the ‘politically correct’, both inside and outside of Parliament, is turning England into updated version of East Germany under the communists. No doubt more and more police time will be spent on monitoring blogs such as this to look for ‘thought crimes,’ abusive language, ‘incorrect’ attitudes, etc.

    I am in my seventies and grew up feeling free to express my views, within the bounds (decided by me) of good manners and the feelings of those I was talking to. But now if you wish to discuss immigration, crime, ‘equality’, etc you have to keep your voice down just in case someone listening in objects to your views or takes umbrage at something they misunderstood.

    The police always, according to the newspapers, take the side of the accuser, rather than take a neutral stance until a crime is proved. Who wishes to spend time in a police station because, for example, you moan about (words left out) East Europeans (migrating-ed) into the UK and are overheard by the East European working behind the bar.

    As for the EU, a train-wreck is a train-wreck, and even the most myopic and dogmatic supporter of the project must be beginning to see it for what it is. Likewise AGW.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      @Acorn & Martin Ryder,hi.
      It must be something to do with age: I’ll be 60 next year.
      I too have a sense of having seen the best of times, these post WWII years have ,by & large, been prosperous & tolerant.
      Now I have an opposite sense.
      The riots here, & those in Greece are a foretaste of society breaking down.
      Our criminal justice system is a joke, & our major faiths are dying.
      The EU is stealthily trying to take over our govt, & the developed nations are crippling themselves with carbon taxes & ridiculous energy policies in the name of the myth that is man made Global Warming.
      I see signs of hope, but there is no room for complacency.

      Minorities? minorities have become bullies, & this is profoundly undemocratic.

  21. David John Wilson
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear you supporting the need for more coalition governments in the future.

  22. backofanenvelope
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    There is a minority in this country that has far too much influence. This minority is the one that sits in Westminster and Whitehall. There are only a few thousand of them but they determine how things will go in this country. They constantly talk about the “centre ground”, but that is where the electorate is. They are all somewhere else – usually to the left of the centre ground.

  23. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Agreed. So when are we going to end the “independence” of the BBC and eliminate its Europhile bias?

  24. forthurst
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    ‘Mainstream’ opinion is very largely controlled by a very small, but extremely devious, authoritarian, un-English, clique which has dictated ‘acceptable’ political discourse through the use of various stratagems. This clique has assiduously infiltrated the MSM, book publishing, government, politics, the university humanities departments etc and gathered round them an extremely vociferous claque of ‘believers’, who unthinkingly adopt whatever the clique has decided; their opinions can be found daily in the heavily loss-making grauniad.

    One of the stratagems used by the clique is to identify very able people who would be capable of effectively opposing their agenda and be able to attract ‘mainstream’ opinion away from them. In order to oppose them, they use their control of the organs of ‘opinion’ to monster them and their views as extreme, unconscionable, denying them access to the MSM, as well as through attempting to block their progress in their chosen calling, by intimidating those who would offer them promotion.

    The clique has everything in common with the Bolsheviks and nothing in common with ordinary people who are both bemused and disconcerted by the extraordinarily damaging changes which the clique has effected in their country and continue to press.
    The clique is clearly scared of the potential power of the web to form and disseminate ‘heretical’ views and has adopted a policy of locking up ‘thoughcriminals’ against the potential bursting of the floodgates. We can hope that the web is a weapon of truth which will destroy our enemy in the same way as economic reality destroyed bolshevism

    • Keith
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      They are called Fabians or Common Purposers & use the Frankfurt School subversion techniques.

      • John Doran
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Beat me to it Keith.
        :)

      • zorro
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        I have seen this in action….

        zorro

  25. Tad Davison
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Well said! I couldn’t have put it better myself, although I have been trying to do so for the past thirty years!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  26. Graham Swift
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Cameron , Clegg and Miliband all support the totalitarian EUSSR. After all it is their aspiration in each case to be a Euro Commissioner , or should I say a Euro Commissar ?

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Well Cameron is the closest as he’s a European Councillor. Cameron could have chosen Nick Clegg, rather than Catherine Ashton, as his European Commissioner but this would mean that Nick Clegg would have have to resign as deputy PM.

  27. Richard1
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    One basis on which left wing people are happy to attack people is if they belong to the minority who were educated in independent schools. In Parliament this week a Labour MP questioned why Sir G Young (an old Etonian) had replaced Andrew Mitchell (an Old Rugbian), implying that Sir George should not be made chief whip because he is an OE. I doubt that Labour MP would still be in Parliament had David Cameron appointed a black or Asian member as Chief Whip & had that Labour MP then implied that he shouldnt have done, it would have been better to appoint a White.

  28. Duyfken
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    JR, I wonder if you could please inform me why so few eurosceptics (and others) were in the chamber of the HoC when Douglas Carswell introduced his Bill for repeal of the EC Act 1972.

    Reply: because the bill had no chance of getting to the point where we could have a vote on it, and the last thing Douglas needed was more people trying to speak, taking up time to ensure it could not get any further. Douglas did not ask for any of us to be there, presumably for that reason.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Re reply: indeed, there were already MPs a plenty taking up the time in the preceding debate, the government minister who closed being a prime example. Carswell seemed pretty relaxed while he waited, I guess because he knew what to expect. But at least he made a stand.

      Reply: Yes, it was never going to happen on friday which is why most did not attend. Some stands make more impact than others.

    • Duyfken
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      My thanks for your response. Maybe a larger attendance of colleagues such as yourself would have shown how much strength of support there is to Mr Carswell’s cause, even without any speaking to the motion.

  29. Sue Doughty
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    There is one question, relevant to your minorities argument, that I could not phrase when asked for a good one to ask Lord David Trimble.
    At Conference I came across two German MEPs who were there to find out how the British do politics. Simple, you approach complete strangers and ask them what interests them, as I had just done them. For generations you could have got shot for doing that in Germany, and in Napoleonic France, and in Northern Ireland, but Trimble stopped all that and brought forgiveness.
    My parents bought a house from the man who lived next door to it, named Airey Neave. In Reading I came face to face with a man who had just planted a bomb in the building I was walking into. Both those men met violent deaths shortly after.
    My question was to be how do we find forgiveness and live with that? It could have taken him all night to answer or he would dismiss it with an inadequate one liner.

    The europhile / eurosceptic debate has not gone so far as blood letting but somehow peace has to be made and forgiveness found, preferably in my lifetime. Europhiles used to say they wanted my home continent to be a closed bordered military state where democracy was an outdated adventure Europe no longer needs and all national parliament buildings are turned into museums. Eurosceptics wish to retain the right of self determination and of electoral democracy, to retain government by consent, all impossible under a European Commission that granted itself the sole right of initiative under the Maastricht Treaty.
    The only solution I can envisage is the abolition of the European Commission.
    Mr Redwood, how can peace be achieved in Europe once more, this time with no bloodshed?

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Why does the European Commission need to be abolished? Why not just make European Commissioners directly electable, like MEPs, rather than have them appointed by the member state?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      “The abolition of the European Commission”!
      Please do read Marta Andreasen’s book.

  30. Barbara Stevens
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh how true this rings! The BBC in particular, have for years been a law unto themselves; a culture with a culture, and this breeds compempt for real debate between persons. To disagree with the general political correctness of the day one was considared foolish and out of ones depth. Having as view point that did not fit in with the political thinking of the day you were outcasts in your own country. Free thinking became very difficult. This was also prevalient within the education system, left wing thinking. The Brown years created a culture of left wing supremacy, large public service employment, which were the army to protect such thinking. It was becoming impossible to hold views on for example, homophobia, and if one said anything out of gear, the police would knock on your door. It has happened I’ve read of such instances in the press.
    The Conservatives were labelled the ‘nasty party’, and this was a good thing for the left and the political correctness brigade to pursue. It also stifled free thinking. In fact I wrote to the Queen once on my fears for the freedom of this nation under Brown and the Labour party’s policies; such was my fear of becoming like the old USSR. We can now breath easily, almost say what we think without retribution, or persecution. My only moan was, during these times the lack of support via the free press; we all now know it had too become a manopoly of one company, and the badness which followed it. I hope in many areas we can now change things and points of view, agree or disagree, we are able to voice them and the press and media do the same.

  31. Torontory
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    As usual, a very insightful post.

    Isn’t the simple, democratic point that voters have the opportunity to vote for/change their goernment/legislators every 4 to 5 years. For EU legislators, there is no opportunity at all.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      You vote for MEPs every 5 years with the next election in 2014. You really need to research basic facts about the EU legislators.

      • Torontory
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Are you really saying tht all legislation and more particularly regulation is going through the Parliament?. If only that were the case; think of the positive impacts not least on the EU budget.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          All regulations and directives have to go through the European Parliament and be approved by a majority of the MEPs.

  32. Neil Craig
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “the underlying system of resolving conflicts by debate ”

    Well said. The problem is that there is pretty much a state TV monopoly in Britain.

    I agree that public debating of the issues is at the heart of any free government system. Yet the state broadcaster absliutley censors any true debate. What the BBC call “debate” – essentially the Question Time formula, is 5 people speaking on 1 side (including the BBC moderator) and sometimes, not always, one on the other, with the moderator ensuring points are cut off after a few sentences or less

    On Thursday the Tory told Paul Nutall that UKIP had no economic policies, invited him to name them & interrupted him 2 seconds into the answer. Dimblebey then disgracefully cut him off and moved on.

    True debate is 2 parties or teams, who actually hold opposing views on the issue in question, given a set amount of time, without interruption, to make their case &/or rebut their opponent’s. The BBC have specifically refused to broadcast anything like that.

    Until such time as the state broadcaster is required to adhere to the legal requirement of balance its Charter mandates Britain will not be a free state. Not onlt do I not think that EU membership, global warming alarmism, state central planning or mass immigration would survive a regime in which such free debate was allowed I know for a fact that, at least as regards the warming scam, that those promoting bit know it wouldn’t & thus refuse to engage in any public debate.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      What about the other news channels; do they have the type of debates you want? If not then why do you think the BBC will have these debates?

    • John Doran
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Neatly said.
      Is democracy dying in this country?
      As Frank Field has remarked, during his time in the house, voting turnout has dropped from 85% to 60%.
      Have our masters in the EU, who I believe see themselves as the vanguard for one world govt, decided that democracy is not the way to go?
      It’s sure looking that way.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Voting turnout has dropped in the UK because the FPTP system leads to a large number of wasted voted. If the UK had PR or the system the Scottish Parliament used then voting turnouts would soon rise.

  33. harry
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I think you should read your first paragraph to David Cameron ,if I remember correctly when asked in parliament about the way the English are being unfairly treated in this union—he said the English should stop moaning.

  34. Credible
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    John,
    ‘Tolerance of others’ viewpoints is important’ yet you refused to display my comments on this forum, presumably because you didn’t like them. The information I presented is openly available for verification by readers and was not presented in an offensive manner.

    Reply: I do not wish this blog to become dominated by personality and behavioural issues about named individuals, where there are legal matters and where those contributing often do not know the facts. That is probably why I did not post whatever it was you sent in.

    • Credible
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      OK, that seems reasonable, it would have been better to keep names out of it and just leave it to those reading this to have a look at the register of members’ interests (link below) for themselves to discover how much money some MPs are earning as directors and advisors of boards, but more importantly, how much time is spent on these activities when they are already supposed to be employed using tax-payers money to serve their constituents and government.

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/contents1213.htm

      There is also the issue of conflicts of interest in the energy debate given these activities (on both sides of the argument).

  35. merlin
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t have put it better myself @Simon Jones, you have stated exactly what I have been thinking for a long time. In our family we have even discussed that if we criticise the EUSSR in our local pub there may be thought police listening to what we are saying, this may seem a little extreme but I do beleive that this is on it’s way if we do not get out of the terrifying EUSSR. The 3 main parties are all the same and have no intention of withdrawing from the EUSSR, the only hope is UKIP which is the fastest growing political party in the UK. My individual view is that it is no good relying on a yes no referendum since the 3 main parties will con the public once agin into voting yes. We have to get UKIP MP’s it’s the only way, you cannot negotiate with a totalitarian regime.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      “EUSSR” = Lost argument, skip comment, move on to next…

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        I tend to agree. But there is a case for comparing the constitution of the EU with that of the defunct Ussr – and indeed of the SECOND Reich. Both were – are – sham democracies which easily turn into terrible dictatorships.

      • sm
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        EUSSR=lost argument?

        I think it means you hide because points have been made which clearly are working.

  36. Electro-Kevin
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    We treat minorities very well in this country in fact.

    To the detriment of the majority.

    On TV debates minority interest groups are given equal airtime to majority groups.

    On this blog “Middle aged white men” are piloried without censure. A whole class (a productive one at that) dismissed because they are unfashionable.

    As it happens I am frequently confused with The Edge from U2.

    My wife confused with Leslie Ash in her better days.

    • Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      I like middle aged white men!

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Well catch ‘em while they’re hot, Rebecca. They don’t stay that way for long.

    • Duyfken
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Your wife or Leslie Ash?

  37. uanime5
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I guess that since there are so few millionaires in the UK they’re technically a minority that the Conservatives represent.

  38. Tom William
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post JR. Your putting “left wing” as a quote highlights how the expressions left and right in politics lack much meaning these days. They have come to mean “views I oppose/support” or “good/bad” etc. and are too all embracing.

    Both National Socialism and Communism were popular with the masses (which many people think means left wing) until their systems collapsed or were defeated. Both needed enemies or hate figures and both wanted to control the way everyone thought or spoke. Both wanted to control everything, including the way people spoke/wrote.

    It is simplistic to package politics into left and right, but only too tempting.

    And while on such matters, the sneer “populism” only means “a widely held view with which I disagree held by people who don’t understand the issues”.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Both needed enemies or hate figures and both wanted to control the way everyone thought or spoke.

      Right wing government also do this; for example in the USA the enemies were Soviets and Islamic terrorists.

  39. merlin
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    @ jerry

    correction, an argument is a logical series of steps resulting in a proposition, my argument which you obviously are not prepared to indulge in, is that the EUSSR is a totalitarian anti democratic institution and Great Britain should leave it as soon as possible, probably by getting enough UKIP MP’s in the Uk Parliament to ensure that this happens. You may also be interested to know that I am at present reading a pamphlet entitiled EUSSR which essentially suggests that the process of the formation of the EUSSR was started by Gorbachev, the originals which can be found in the archives of the Gorbachev Foundation ( inventories 1-1 2-2 2-3 and 3-1), worth aread. I believe that Great Britain should be a totally independant Nation State, self governing and trade with whoever it chooses to trade with, and that Great Britain should have its own laws and not be governed by a foreign power which ultimately will be the EUSSR. I f you disagree with me that is your choice but I will continue to argue the point because I know I am right. This great country of our has existed as a Nation State for over a 1000 years long may it continue.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Merlin for Prime Minister.
      :)

      • Jerry
        Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        @John Doran: From a country suffering mass immigration to one suffering from mass emigration, in one Prime Minister…

      • Bazman
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Tory.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      So you believe Gorbachev ended the USSR, then turned the EU into the EUSSR. Any particular reason why he did this?

      • APL
        Posted November 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: “So you believe Gorbachev ended the USSR, … Any particular reason why he did this?”

        Because it was becoming ever more apparent that the USSR under communism was not economically viable. He tried to introduce economic liberalization, but failed because it is difficult to control liberalization once you start the process.

  40. David Langley
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Every UKIP speaker I have listened to in TV debates or radio has not talked over the other party spokespersons and has listened attentively and politely before replying if given the chance.
    I appreciate that without winning the argument UKIP will never convince the electorate that they can form anything let alone a government. You therefore have to admire the reserve and decency with which this new party is trying to trying to present its case for leadership. The big winner is the fact the truth of UKIPs proposition is blindingly obvious to all who have the common sense and basic willingness to test their contentions by reading and examining the facts of our government real position. Yes we are a small group but have a growing membership who are slowly realising the true extent of the horrible situation that faces us within the undemocratic EU project. I am convinced that whatever happens I will never ever stop trying to break free from the stranglehold that is slowly and remorselessly killing our British traditions and unique sense of our own proud history and belief in a better future.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      @David Langley: Sorry to say but every UKIP leader, apart from Lord Pearson, has done exactly what you claim they do not, perhaps we both look for these interruptions in different ways, to me an interruption doesn’t need to be vocal.

  41. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    The Euro doesn’t work and will not work without a central European government.
    Many people want a central government for Europe and they seem to hold all the power in Europe.
    Our politicians do not want to get wrong with Europe because the media and the civil service and a lot of businesses want to stay in. Also they want to be friendly with our allies in Europe. And a lot of them are of the generation that saw Europe as the solution to the loss of Empire too.
    So they pretend and lie to us so they can get re elected.
    Most people are just not that interested anyway. And that is how the Labour Party and a lot of Conservatives want to keep it.
    But things are changing – for the better.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Indeed the EURO will not work without an EU govt.
      This, I hope, is a step too far for most europeans.
      As Daniel Hannan has pointed out, the EU project is becoming less successful.
      EU share of world trade is dropping, not increasing.
      The EU is becoming less competitive as it becomes more regulated.
      (I think this is deliberate, but that’s another story)
      Our old commonwealth now has a larger population than EU, & Asia & the BRIC countries now represent better long term trading opportunities than the increasingly moribund & undemocratic EU.
      For an influential cabinet minister like Michael Gove to openly question the value of our EU membership is hugely encouraging.
      There are signs of light at the end of the EU tunnel.

  42. Alan
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it verging on the paranoid to suggest that eurosceptics have been a persecuted minority? Several large circulation newspapers and quite a few MPs have campaigned against the EU from the beginning. There are established political parties that advocate it as a major part of their policy. Europhilia is far rarer. You see hardly any support for a EU superstate, and I don’t think any MP has advocated it, nor does any party have it as a policy.

    Being in a minority, or a majority, does not mean you are right. It’s conforming to observable facts that matters, and our governments and MPs should, in my view, base their decisions on facts. I wish we had reliable facts about the EU.

  43. Derek Emery
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that majority of the UK elite believe in an EU-centric Universe just as the elite believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe prior to Copernicus.

    They are therefore incapable of rationally considering any alternative to EU-centricity.

    Reality will not hit home for around a decade. The EU will have been displaced to the sidelines economically by the rest of the world, especially by China and India. By then the elite will be forced to use confirmation bias on steroids to explain away the rest of the world’s success against flat performance from the EU. Naturally they will still insist the EU is the best thing since sliced bread, regardless of reality.

    The consumer markets of China and India will triple over the course of this decade and amount to $10 trillion annually by 2020 which corresponds to about 11% pa see https://www.bcgperspectives.com/10TrillionPrize

    There will be nearly one billion middle-class consumers in China and India within the next ten years. More than 135 million Chinese and Indians will graduate from college (compared with 30 million in the US)

    There will be intense competition for work at graduate level in the EU from the rest of the world by 2020 to add to the competition for skilled and unskilled work .

    Work in the EU will be much dearer for the same graduate skill levels. In addition the majority in China and India will be taking the STEM subjects that businesses love. Place your bets over who is going to win.

    The EU is not big enough to beat the forces of globalization as has been already proven by work moving outside the EU.

    The EU elite live in a dream world where the EU is still the centre of the universe as it was a couple of decades ago before the rest of the world decided to become competitive. By 2020 they will find out just how wrong their assumption is as there is a paradigm shift to Asia as the centre of world economic power.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      What do you reckon middle class Chinese and Indians earn?

  44. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    If all the fragmented minorities could see common ground and reach a common agreement on certain issues they would no longer be a minority and could affect change.

    They’d also no longer be so concerned with name calling because the boot would be on the other foot.

    A Democracy is said to be like two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.
    A Republic is similar to the above, except the sheep now has a gun.

    Minority Views (even or especially when they are correct) are sometimes ignored or laughed at in a Democracy. The problem with a limited democracy (especially in America where Political Success is dictated to by Corporate Interests) is that it’s not really very democratic.

    There are some excellent “Minority” Presidential Candidates – as demonstrated by the Third Party US Debate. Even though their views more closely resemble the Majority Views of the Americans, because those views do not necessarily agree with the Corporate Views, they won’t win, as to win, they need Money – and Wall St is where the money is.

    So, perhaps the problem is Mr Redwood, that your Eurosceptic Views are not Minority Views at all, but shared by most people in the UK, and a small Minority who wish to force the concept of Europe down all our throats are the ones who should be gotten rid of. So Mr Cameron’s right to veto Europe but not right on protecting the interests of the City of London, who are still expanding their influence and wealth through deregulation.

    The Glass-Steagall act of 1932 was put in place for a reason – to prevent another Great Depression. When it was removed, we should not have been surprised to find a new Great Depression on the horizon.

    Why is the Government protecting High Frequency Trading in the City of London? 90% of trades done are withdrawn so it is not a genuine price discovery mechanism, rather a means of manipulating markets for gain by a small group of individuals extracting peoples pension money, leaving a higher degree of responsibility on Government spending in the future as pensioners will be shafted by this practice.

    It’s all a question of real-time Latency – who can get the information first and profit from it. Does this really serve the public interest – if not, why is the Government protecting something that is feeding off people’s savings investments. Markets are supposed to help inactive money find productive investment – not speculative, gambling style invesmtents.

    True to say that we’ll have a couple less C++ Programmers writing High Frequency Trading Software getting £125K, but there’s plenty of other sectors that programmers can work in – they are a very adaptable group of people you know.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      A Democracy is said to be like two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.
      A Republic is similar to the above, except the sheep now has a gun.

      Generally the quote goes that liberty or freedom is the solution to the sheep’s problem.

  45. Jon
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    We had a lot of that when Labour were in. I got a reminder when I watched BBC Question Time. The issue was benefits for more than 2 children. The Labour MP reminded us that the working class having to make decisions about having children based on financial ability was irrelevant, the only people to matter were those on benefits who should have the choice to have as many as they want. Labour treat the working class as less than second class unless ofcourse they are public sector and a union member. Then again the private sector worker is relegated to a serf to work till they are decreped to pay for the early retirement pensions of the public sector.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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