Tuesday 28 June 2011

Sir said, did he?

One of the RB clan came home from school yesterday and during the point at which they download on every little thing that has gone on, Thursday's teachers strike came up.  It seems that Sir has been sharing his tale of woe with the pupils about what will happen if the government press ahead with their proposed reform of the public sector pensions and how Sir would lose out on around £250,000.

I explained to my child that I understood Sir's plight of losing money and whilst Sir faced a tougher retirement than he had counted on something had to be done.  I had to hold up my hands and explain that there simply was no money to pay for their current package and use words like unfunded liability.  Sir was made a promise by a politician that someone else was expected to pay for.

I wish at the time I had this video from the Exposing Leftists site:

It might have helped put it in perspective

Sunday 26 June 2011

Fiscal Woodworm

For some months now, many in the independent blogsphere have been pointing eastwards and telling anyone who would listen that despite the absence of mainstream media coverage, that they might want to take a more detailed look at the Greek crisis. The view in our media up until recently was the occasional piece of coverage of some violence to spice up otherwise dull news bulletins, but any time the question came up of would the problem hit Britain, supposedly all knowing people would say that we are immune from it. 

Eventually, the magnitude of the problem would burst the dam of ambivalence in the media coverage when it could no longer be hidden.  The coverage is growing by the day.  There is however still a narrative running through the story that somehow we're okay whilst others are pointing out that we too will crash into rocks also.  For the average person like me it can create a confusing picture.

I therefore urge you to read this post on the Golem XIV blog.  I don't always agree with his output but I think this shows us something that should very much concern us all as he explains the accounting games that are played with money to make banks look stronger than they are. It helps explain the nature of the problem that is hidden by the waffle of punditry and experts trying to sound knowledgable. It is always worth noting this post when you hear our pundits talk about the assets a bank has and how that protects them.

In short, the system is riddled with a fiscal woodworm.  The structures that appear strong are significantly exposed to something that continues to devour its supporting structure and its weaknesses are being presented as it strengths. 

So let's take a look back at Golem's page and this quote in particular:

All banks are required to hold capital against their loans. The problem is that with leverage it only takes a small loss to destabilize very leveraged banks. And yet the banks remain leveraged and our politicians have done little or nothing to change this.

Golem has painted a dark picture of the problem of the banks being leveraged by working to a policy of growth fuelled by debt.  For the purposes of the example he has used a leverage ratio of 10:1 in others words every dollar / pound or Euros of assets to loan ten times that.

It is wise not to brush over his comment that the reality is more than that.

If you look at this report it is quite clear that Germany, France & Belgium are loaning on a much bigger ratio, with BG not far behind.  Germany & France are into Greece quite deeply.  If Greece goes belly up they will take a hit.

Mervyn King has finally alluded to the nature of the problem for Britain but its one that affects many global markets as well but wasn't clearly spelled out and has been avoided by the press for some time.  The Greece situation isn't just about the bonds that we keep hearing about.  It is also about the interbank lending. The banks are endlessly shuffling money between each other to finance each others activity. Many may recall early on in the global downturn about the locking up of the money supply as banks ceased loaning to each other as they had been doing which brought its own problems.

Given what we learn from Golem and the CNN report, a Greek collapse will likely mean a hit for German & French banks which will devalue their asset base and therefore affect their ability to loan and borrow money.  Whilst we're hearing all about bonds different countries hold in the Greek economy, we have no picture of how much our stability hinges on the stability of the European banks and what will happen if when their money supply locks up.

Methinks the engine is about to blow a gasket.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Time to saddle up

On April 18th, 1775 in what is now the US, Paul Revere took his famous ride through the night, knocking on doors to warn them that the British were coming.  It was a call to act to protect their fledgling republic.  My point is that it takes many to act to bring about a change but it only takes one man to start it and the others willing to copy. 

That is a lesson for us who want our nation to thrive once again, underpinned by representative democracy and freeing its people to improve their lives. 

But we need a message.

Today we have a message via Wittering Witney.  It is a rousing call that we should all take to heart.  There is however a paragraph at the end that is particularly sobering.  Rather than acting the post highlights an all too common response.  Despite the anger their is no action as we continue to act like spectators as the parade of decline marches past us.

So how do we begin to act.  Simply we tell people and we tell them to tell people.  We all know so many people who see what we see and who weep at what this country has become and long for a day in which their vote counts, their lives can begin to prosper again and in which there is a balance of freedom and a rule of law that brings justice for the innocent against the guilty. 

Telling them is easy.  Rather than make your next email a funny one, send them the message.  Think about who you know who thinks like you and would like to see that they're not alone, because that is your message.  Your message of hope is that they're not alone like they think they are.

So send them the links to Wittering Witney's post.  Send them links to the blogs on Wittering Witney, Calling England, EU Referendum, Autonomous Mind, Raedwald and others.  From there they can start the journey of exploration.  Even if you reach one person you will have done something.

Saddle up and ride out with your message.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Hardly rocket science

Who knows how much the war on terror is costing but it is huge, not only financially but also in human lives.  The real problem is the mindset.  Since it started the approach to the war on terror has been to deploy military assets and lock down the citizens of the target countries.  As it has constantly been de rigeur to refer to it as asymmetric warfare, maybe it is time to deploy some asymmetric thinking.

One of the main keys to the war on terror are not the weapons and the training camps but the money that funds it.  It all hinges on the money.  One of the first things that happened after September 11th was the work to identify Al Qaeda's financial assets and freeze them.. For me they were right with this back then and it is key that anyone serious about winning this battle with these groups, causes the cogs that turn the wheels to lock up.  To do that you need to remove the flow of money.  Take that away and these groups are dead in the water.

Most of that cash is widely believed to come from the oil rich nations. The oil they hold creates an excess of cash that can be thrown around like confetti.   It is the oil and our dependency on it which is helping to perpetuate the problem.  So my proposal for driving a wedge between the groups and their money is this:

I'm not talking about some save the planet scheme here to reduce oil reliance.  For me, reducing demand reduces the price stranglehold, which in turn reduces the cash available for certain individuals to splash on those who wish to attack our way of life. As an added bonus, those who wish to return to a way of life in line with the 12th Century and before, will achieve their aims.   Faced with that choice over their cash they are more likely to ensure that they continue to fund their own private luxury because they have become so conditioned to it.  We then jump into the driving seat on this issue.

Hardly rocket science.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Getting Ready for Judgement Day

A post over at 13th Spitfire this morning reminded of my recent post where I had explored the power in your hands lies at present in the establishment of a local voting bloc.  For me the power here is that the struggle to return to honest and open democracy relies on seperating our elected politicians from their herd and moving them the place where they are on their own - their local constituency.

As Spitfire points out, it really is time to give some thought to who you would vote for in that coming election.  I've already expressed my thought that the way things are currently being run, voting on party lines no longer means anything.  I've also expressed my view that what we need to do is find out which politicians are willing to be accountable to their voters and change and which of them are beyond redemption and need removing from their place at the trough (which I incidentally want removed also).

Witht these two things in mind it is time for those local voting blocs to start to grow in order to become established in time.  It is also time to start to grow and prepare independent candidates willing to change things.  Growing such a group and identifying or developing a candidate worth backing takes time and so it is time to start.

So here are some to help. Firstly I've added a link to the resources box over on the right.  They Work for You is a website that enables you to find your MP and see what they're doing in (or not doing in Parliament).  It is a good starting place for monitoring your MP.

I'm also advising the start of developing local voting blogs.  Just as the Independent Blogsphere is proving to be a vital tool in spreading the various messages, the growth of local blogs can do the same.  It is easy to say no one will look and use that as an excuse not to start.  I believe however, that just starting is the first step. So whatever you do, just start.

If you've no idea about to start with a blog set up, it really is quite straightforward.  There are lots of ways to do, but two free platforms are Wordpress (as used by sites like Autonomous Mind) or Blogger which is the one I'm more familiar with.  In reality you just need to set up and account and the rest of it the sites themselves walk you through.  Once set up, you simply do your research and start telling the truth.  Once you're going you start to grow the number of people who see your blog in your area.

For my part here's something I can do.  I've created an additional box over on the right to point to local voting blogs.  If you start one, leave me a comment in the box below with a link to your blog.  I'll quickly look it over just to make sure it is what it says it is and not porn or such like and I'll add it to the box.

I'm hoping that other Independent bloggers will also support and do the same.

Friday 17 June 2011

Some thanks

Blogging has been a little lighter than light recently having been away on business.  Other things on this weekend may make it difficult too.

I would however like to express my gratitude to those sites who have included me in their Blog Roll.  I would like to add special thanks to Witterings from Witney for raising the profile of my blog.  The surge in traffic has been huge and inspires me to keep adding content.

Thank you.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Are they already here?

Over at Calling England (and cross posted at Orphans) yesterday was an excellent post about the endless series of assaults facing the British nation and its people.  It is seemingly never ending and coming from all angles.  Within the post was a very intriguing paragraph:

Nothing adds up any more and only one answer continues to make sense. It's impossible to conceive that successive governments should have been so incompetent therefore it has been done by design. We are a country weakened on many fronts and under assault from so many sides that it can't be coincidence. It's a perfect storm for the fall of a nation.

Like Calling England, the idea that what we see so flies in the face of common sense, we too ask ourselves could this be deliberate?  Chances are although we suspect something deliberate we censor ourselves because to do otherwise would lead us to question even ourselves.  Yet still, what we see niggles away at us.

So we write such thoughts off because we would really need to see some kind of evidence of such thinking by those who would promote such a plan.

So what would we make of historical figures such as Joseph Stalin making statements about the US like this?:

" America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas America will collapse from within." 

Furthermore what would we make of interviews by former Soviet spies such as Yuri Bezmenov where they explain in this post about a process called "ideological subversion" and a stage called "demoralisation"?  Added to this, what would we think when we understand about the works of the Marxist academics at the Frankfurt School on linking Marxism to society and culture and more as discussed at length in a documentary in this post?

Would we all of a sudden start to recognise a pattern emerging from the madness?  A pattern that is suddenly made recognisable through the works and viewpoints of a group of people expressed over the last 60 years or more, with the intention of collapsing western society from within?

I'll leave you to mull that one over.

Victory Loves Preparation...

....So expect us to lose out. 

News reaches us via WUWT that real experts have been watching the sun and note a serious decline in sunspot activity.  From this they conclude that we face another Maunder Minimum.  For those not familiar with our last Maunder Minimum, it got cold, really cold and was also termed the mini ice age.  The latest release on the the study of the activity also suggests we could be in a for a long colling period.

Of course a quick tour around the mainstream press reveals a lack of activity on this release on par with that on the sun.  To report on this would require one heck of an volte face, especially on the part of the BBC who blow the trumpet of AGW loud and proud. We now wait to see the reaction and one which will be telling.

We were "caught out" last winter after the debacle by the met office who have also become the standard bearers of AGW instead of being impartial assessors of the weather for the benefit of the nation.  I note we were "caught out" as other forecasters such a Piers Corbyn and Joe Bastardi were aware of such a winter through a willingness to look at the evidence and without a preconception that the earth is warming and a political need to make the evidence fit the narrative.

This need to make activity fit the evidence runs through politics and infrastructure management and so I can anticipate that once again we will fail to plan for a cold winter.  To do so would have to acknowledge something was very wrong with the idea that is being used a way to generate politicians billions in taxation.  Politicians struggle to make the right decision when faced with the obvious need to take action balanced against their desire for more of our money, with the latter usually winning out.

So in the event that we are set for a cold winter this year and that the powers that be refuse to entertain such a notion I'm issuing so of my own practical advice.  Be prepared.  Anticipating power cuts - stock up on candles.  Not serviced your boiler?  Try and do it now and save yourself the emergency call out cost.  If you've got a condenser boiler, get hold of some external lagging for the outdoor condenser pipe and look at whether a larger bore pipe will be better for you.  Go to a builders merchants and get your own bags of rock salt.  If you don't have tyre chains, now might be a good time to price up a set before a price hike comes along.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Wasn't "unfunded liability" a clue?

Some time ago I was party to an interesting conversation with a former colleague.  In a previous role he had been on the employer side of negotiations with trade unions over needed reforms within the industry.  What was described to me sounded like the kind of experience that would have left me banging my head against the table as the union were unwilling to give an inch and to concede that any of the employer proposals could be explored.  That evening the two parties agreed to have dinner together, but would not include negotiations.  It was during these that one of the union negotiators talking to my colleague observed that the employers were right in what they were saying about the needed reforms and that although they accepted the need for them, that wasn't their job.  Their job was to disagree and to slow things down for as long as possible.

I'm always reminded of that story when I see union disputes and once again it sprang to mind as I saw Richard North's observation about the latest potential strike action from the public sector unions over pension reform.

Its a story that polarises opinion among the public depending on whether they are currently private or public sector employees.  I get it because I've sat on both sides.  I know that many public sector employees are not all state employed leeches.  Many a time I sat with colleagues and marvelled at the waste and ridiculous spending that took place before our very eyes, particularly by those who had portrayed themselves as class warriors.  They would spend it whilst the remainder would scratch our heads and wonder why we couldn't just give it back to the public.  My point is that the public sector is filled with people with families who share everyday concerns like putting food on the table and keeping the mortgage payments coming.  They go along to get along.

All that said, the issue with public sector pensions is very simple - there's no money for them.  They are not sustainable.  The posh phrase for them is that they are unfunded liabilities.  In other words it was typical of the modern day politician. Promise something in the short term to ensure their place at the trough, hopefully safe in the knowledge that when it blew up in someones face it would be long after they had passed from power.

There are several things here.

Firstly the unions are as aware as everyone else that there is no cash to cover the pension liability.  As with the story at the top of this post, its irrelevant.  They can criticise the need for reform whilst at the same time, knowing that it needs to happen.  For them however, it is not their problem to solve.  They are particularly fond of pointing out a problem without ever having to offer a workable solution to get round it.  If they don't offer anything they can see how much they can get away with sometimes getting a bigger result than they anticipated.

One of the popular narratives they are currently thriving on at the moment is trotting out greedy bankers and the rich in general and how we should hit them up for the money.  It all sounds very plausible if you don't examine the numbers behind that too hard.  To see a simple explanation of the problem take a look at how US commentator Bill Whittle ran through this observation.  It's a little simplistic and tongue in cheek but it effectively captures the problem with relying on the eat the rich type argument, especially when you bear in mind that some of that money Bill is talking about was made by US companies in this country so we would have wanted some of it too.

The other point for me is the window dressing on this "assault on our members pensions".  This unfunded liability is not a new one.  It was unfunded long before now.  Nor was it a secret.  Every day nobody did anything about it was simply making it worse.  So my question is when did the unions know about the problem?  And if they knew some time ago as many analysts had been commenting on it, why did they sit on it?  Surely it would have been "in the interests of their members" to warn them of this so that they could take their own alternative action in order to plan for their future.  Why do they only now appear to be fighting on this issue?  Where were they when the political party they bankroll was in government on this issue?  Is it coincidence that this dispute now puts them in a face off with their old traditional enemy the (albeit fake) Conservative Party?  It certainly does raise the question of exactly whose interests this battle is representing.

And then there is the final problem.  To the unions, the outcome they want is simple.  Carry on as before.  Just give them the money and all will be okay.

Erm.  Erm. Erm.  I'd like to point out there's no money.  We're borrowing more than we take in via tax.  The institutes and nations loaning the money are also in debt and so are those who are loaning them money. If you don't understand the problem, take a look at my previous post.  That's fine while everyone keeps pretending there's money and shuffling the numbers around but as soon as one party stops doing it (cough - Greece) it all goes a bit pear shaped.

The Fan is on. Shovellers on the way

It looks as though the proverbial will be hitting the fan in the not too distant future.  EU Referendum highlights how at long last one aspect of British Mainstream Media has decided to share with the rest of the country what has been brewing all along with the news that Greece is really in such a bad way that their credit rating has basically had a "don't touch with a barge pole" sign stuck to it.

For those who are thinking that it is only Greece, well it is time to have a bit of a rethink.  Allow me to show you how far the rabbit hole goes Alice.  First up, is this little scene setter from Waspsnest who talks to us about the real debt we have.  Then as recommended by Waspsnest, take a look at this very clear explanation how we're all linked together, beautifully explained in the graphic further on down.

Time to keep our eyes open as politicians make a ham fisted effort to solve this.  Buckle up!

Sunday 12 June 2011

Get Ready People - We're Going In!

Although I can be critical of the mainstream media, there is occasionally a story which points out some the madness that passes for life in a so called modern democracy.  What is often the heart warming sight is the outrage in comments section at the bottom.  It shows me that there are many who are angry beyond belief and want something very very different than what we have right now. 

Among those comments is something that piques my interest.  It is usually a comment along the lines of "wake up" or " so when will you do something about it?"  In other words its a call to people to stop returning to the coma that most of us live in while this decay persists and spreads.  It is quite telling because that is the truth of the matter.  Whilst the outraged are probably in the majority, they will allow things to carry on as they are, which is precisely how the situation got as bad as it has.  It will only stand a chance of turning around if people do something about it as opposed to saying "someone should do something about it".

If we were to take modern politics for example the lack of engagement with politicians allows them to ignore the democratic rights of voters and allows them to assume powers over us they simply do not have.  Autonomous mind yesterday gave some perfect examples of these abuses in power.  They are assuming a dominance over us which has no grounding in the law.  No one challenges them on the legitimacy of their actions and as such we surrender freedoms every day.

But it doesn't have to be this way.  I am not suggesting illegal action.  Far from it.  The strength of this nation and its people lies in the power of what is left in the legitimate democratic processes.  The rights that they haven't yet outlawed in order to protect their place at the trough.  It is following these and working within the law that I am talking about.  I am an advocate of taking processes that are legally permitted to bring about the nation we all want to see and to return democratic power to the people of this country.

So shall we get to work.

The first thing many of the lost voices of this country need to do is change their perspective.  Too often we see the powers that be as a single whole unit attacking our lives from all angles.  This gives us the perspective that the task that faces us is overwhelming.  Let us take Parliament for example, those circa 650 are often viewed as a collective whole over which we have no power.

Not true.

They are quite happy for that perception to persist because they are acutely aware that a change of perspective will shift the power from them to you.  Look at them differently in order to bring the fight to a territory on which you can win. They are in fact not a whole but individuals at a trough of taxpayers money.  You need to look at them as individuals because that's where your activity needs to take place. 

Think about it.  Does a lion on the hunt for prey look at the whole herd of wildebeest on the grazing grounds.  Not at all.  Lions pick out the one on the edge, the one that looks vulnerable.  It is something we should copy in our work. 

Fortunately all of our MP's are on the edge of the herd and vulnerable if we look at them in the right way.  Not only that they are already on the ground on which we can fight them and win.  Its called their local constituency.  On that ground, they are not 650, they are alone.  We the people are the legion on that ground and they are the ones vulnerable to democratic process that could cancel their place at the trough.

We should organise on that ground.  Richard North mentioned it some time ago with his post on local voting blocs, which partly came out of a blog post from Wittering Witney.  It is there that they must answer for themselves.  It is there that we must develop our strength and begin to send each of them a clear message that we are waking up to our legitimate rights and are taking back our power.

Some will recognise the change and will come into line.  Some are beyond redemption and think they are safe.  If we organise and begin to set up our local base camps we can deal with those who are beyond redemption. 

One thing we must do is forget voting for parties.  Voting for parties at present takes them out of our control.  A vote on party lines is a vote for party machines which I will explain further in another post.  We must vote for individuals and hold individuals to account.

That is where I think we start.  As well as blogging about news stories it was always my aim to make this site a resource around this principal.  The independent bloggers network is bringing the stories, but it needs many more people to help the aims get some traction and momentum.  The people need to act because in some areas we are in an endgame.  If we never start legitimate and legally permitted action, all the blogging in the world will have been in vain.  But the bloggers cannot do it all.  They can re post messages like this to reach a wider audience or they can write their own version.  But people have to start in their localities with the setting up of their base camp and growing their local base. 

Its time to decide.  What will you do?

Saturday 11 June 2011

Message for Independent Bloggers

I have a quick message for all independent bloggers using blogger blogs.

It seems that they are currently testing formatting of the blogs to be read more easily by mobile phone users.  At present they don't automatically reformat for reading on a mobile phone which can make navigating the site a bit more cumbersome.

I've already noted from my stats that a significant percentage access this site by mobile so will be setting it up to be more easily read.  If you want to do the same for your blog, here's how (if you don't already know):

  • Go to Dashboard
  • Access settings tab
  • Click on email & mobile tab
  • At the top of that page click next to the setting: "Yes. On mobile devices, show the mobile version of my template."
  • Scroll to bottom of page and click "save changes" button
 You're now ready to have your blog viewed more easily using mobile phones.  You'll also get to preview what it looks like.

If you don't like it, it can be undone just by clicking on the no button

    Looking after Number 1

    Not that you would know it thanks to the seemingly wilful blindness of the mainstream media outlets but there is a larger disaster looming than the faux cuts story we are being presented with on an almost daily basis.  The faux cuts are part of the looming disaster but not in the way they're being reported.  They're a disaster because in reality there is no significant effort to tackle the deficit or the debt and failing to do so will be a disaster.  I saw the measures being taken as akin to "kicking a tin can around".

    Among the things we're not as a nation hearing about because things like Wayne Rooney's hair transplant is considered bigger news, is that wider world is struggling to manage its financial problems.  Its there if you look, but once again it brings us back to the vital role of independent bloggers through the Gates of Vienna news feed.  It seems that Greece may need another bailout as they fail to resolve their debt problem, with Germany wondering if Greece faces Bankruptcy . However it would seem that Germany and the ECB don't agree on the approach although analysts reading the tea leaves of the ECB position suggest they might be backpedalling from an earlier standpoint.

    There is also the view that Ireland still hasn't solved their woes despite injecting money into their system.  Added to which it is being reported that the US credit rating is at risk as the US administration struggles to get its economy in order, despite the best efforts of a fawning press to present it as an issue of presentation.

    The problem comes in that although what I've described is taking place in places away from our shores, we are plugged into all of it.  The fancy word they use for it is interdependence.  We really are all in it together as the former conservative party would say.

    Now although I sound something of a Private Fraser with my "We're all doomed" alarm, that isn't really the aim.  I actually have a different more positive aim.  The point of the matter is that despite the utterances of our politicians, everything they "assure" us of  regarding the economy, our financial situation is plugged into that of other nations which they are not in control of.  In other words what is true one day will certainly not be the next.  That presents us with a choice as individuals.  We can choose to carry on as normal or we can decide that we need to spend time on our own "economy" so that we can reach a position where we are more ready to adapt to the coming changes.

    The second choice sounds better to me because it involves being reliant on ourselves and not on a group of people whose only thought and action is for themselves and their place at the trough.  Many of us need to grow our financial literacy for our own sakes.

    To that end I'm adding some new links to the resources section.  Although my original aim was to make it solely about links that would enable readers to take an active interest in revitalising our nation.  I have come to realise that part of that requires the ability to prevail when changes occur such as financial ones.  The first ones are from the US.  The first one I have been looking at, is the Rich Dad series by Robert Kiyosaki.  Kiyosaki takes the average reader on a different journey and says some thing that will make you think twice about the sausage machine operatives who are looking after the financial affairs of most of the country before putting your money with them.  The other one I'm putting up there is the Townhall.com finance section.  I think they're great starting points.  I hope you find them useful also

    Friday 10 June 2011

    The Narrative

    I'm currently working on a new post at the moment.  Before I do I want to show you a video and with good reason.  If you're relatively new to getting your news from blogs, you might find yourself in a state of disbelief because you've either not seen the story on the TV news or the version you have seen doesn't tie up to the version you're seeing on blogs.  Understandably you might think that the mainstream news wouldn't have a slant to it unlike what is often referred to as "some random blog".

    Unfortunately not all is what you might think.  And it is for that reason I want to show you the video.

    Warning: There is some language within the video that is considered racially offensive.  It is however used as a direct quote of a third party and not the viewpoint of the Bill Whittle and is certainly not my viewpoint

    If you're looking for something a little more robust on the subject then you might want to look at the link below which bears a lot of similarities but there's a lot more background to it, which makes it less easy for people to write it off as shallow and incorrect. You will have to get over the somewhat strange use of the presenters smoking pipe as a prop.

    A history of political correctness

    Growing the list

    I've had a little time on my hands so have had a quick jump around to grow the list of independent blogs over on my blog list.  For many of you I'm sure you will already be aware of the work they are doing.  For those of you who may find some new ones, please take a look and become informed.

    Cui Bono?

    The Telegraph are leading on further revelations of the long held view that during the Labour Years, Brown & Blaire were engaged in an ongoing battle for the keys to Number 10.  Although constantly rumoured at the time and confirmed later in memoirs, today's news takes it a step further with the publication of memos.

    The BBC's take on the story was that this was really only of interest for historians.  For me this analysis is shallow in the extreme because I think it is very telling. I would also question if it is of such inconsequence, why the BBC are running it near the top of the news.  I suspect their view is the story behind the "story".

    Although I agree with few of his opinions, Tony Benn once offered a sound piece of advice in a documentary on spin.  His advice was that when you hear or read a story, ask yourself who benefits from that story being told in that way.

    As this story tells about the Brownite plot to take over No10, the current top two at Labour Milliband and Balls are implicated.  However, Balls seems to be positioned as more of a key player, especially when one looks at the graphics placing Balls right at the centre of this plot.

    The relevance?  Well Milliband is taking something of a kicking at the moment.  His honeymoon period as Labour leader is over.  Rumours grow that the party has lost direction and has reverted to the class war model to cover up their paucity on policy.  Milliband needs a distraction from those stories.

    Step forward Ed Balls.  Reports are emerging reports that some of the hatchet men of the dark days of New Labour are starting to return to the fold.  The jungle drums also seem to be raising the question of whether Balls is back into his mode of briefing against key figures for his own aim.

    How timely therefore that a story appears, highlighting Balls previous plotting activity.  How beautifully barbed that it shows his willingness to engage in this sort of behaviour in the middle of a terror crisis and the subtle implication of what a cold hearted plotter he must be.

    To politicians, this or something similar is probably closer to the real story. 

    But for us, it still isn't the real story.  Salacious though it might sound to politicians and the press we the great unwashed get more dejected for what passes for democracy in this country.  For the public, the real story is why in the midst of some of our big challenges, do we have politicians spending time plotting their own paths to personal power.

    Saturday 4 June 2011

    Just in case you're still sitting on your hands

    If you read the websites of the mainstream press, you'll eventually read a story that charts another day in the decline of this country.  Chances are your blood threatens to boil.  You may wonder if you're the only one outraged by what you see but when you read the angry comments at the bottom you realise that you're one of many.  Somewhere in those comments will be posts including phrases such as "Britain - wake up"" or "When are the people of this nation going to actually do something about.....?"

    Which is the nub of the issue.  It seems we have now become punch drunk to the abuses of democracy, our national identity and our way of life.  Whilst we might criticise what we see, we will remain sat on our hands probably muttering that someone should do something.  Hopefully one day the many will realise that when our house is on fire we really need to act.  So I hope the following story is one that will prompt you to think hard about how much longer you can continue to sit on your hands.  My concern is that many are waiting for the current "Conservative" government to get into their stride to turn this nonsense around.  Well if you're one of them - read on.

    Autonomous Mind is running with a story in the Telegraph drip feeding (as AM so wonderfully puts it) the idea of us joining our military assets with France and along with Richard North, point out that this isn't a new idea but one that has been slowly developing over a number of years in line with an EU vision.  Worse still this started under John Major.

    Every time I read this I am reminded of a piece I read in recent years but I'm unable to locate to post the link here.  That particular article highlighted one of the reasons for the lack of engagement with NATO by France.  The conclusion it came to was that France did not engage because they did not hold many of the significant positions of command in the structure.  In other words they wanted to run the thing.  I find knowledge of that article sheds a very different light on this "sharing" and "interdependency" being talked about.

    Even if this isn't a French power grab, we are seeing our cede power away from Britain into a wider EU military force.  But think about that for a while and think about what that means.  Effectively we can no more decide that we're going to enter a conflict based on our own decision.  If Argentina decides that the Falklands is now theirs again (despite having sold them to us) and invades we won't simply be able to deploy the aircraft carriers without plenty of horse trading.

    Let us also consider what happens if we end up with this EU military force.  How will that work?  Who decides.  The movement to any warfare at least goes through the show of a debate in this country.  Try applying that to the EU and it looks very different.  Let's take a quick look back at recent conflicts that European countries have been involved in.  Dithering is a word that springs to mind and so is disagreement

    We could down this route for a long time, but the point raised is this.  You're watching this unfold and it is being done without your say so.  You are watching your nation being ground down slowly although the pace is picking up as your politicians are now more convinced than ever you will simply sit there and accept it.  It has been commented before that it is part of the British character to wait until it is almost too late before they act.  The problem is we show signs that we won't act until it is too late as we now appear to be what is popularly known as the end game.

    There are still some vestiges of democracy left if you will get off your hands and put them to work