Friday, 24 February 2012

Where are our Mia Loves?

Over at Witterings from Witney, is another article raising questions about direct democracy, one in which the people take forward the nation through active participation in the process in whatever form it takes.  Not that he needs me to say it, but he's absolutely right that:

It is for that reason - and that reason alone - why the active and participative involvement of the people is not just desirable but is, one could suggest, mandatory. It therefore follows that the more distant from the people that decisions are taken, the closer democratised dictatorship becomes

Our participation in taking this nation forward, politically has been questionable.  As a people, we've been asleep on the watch for too long.  I think we've partly been seduced into such a stupour with the decline in our standards in which our ambitions have only been honed to worship the cult of cheap celebrity among other things.  But that's only part of it.  I also see impotent outrage, in the comment sections of news websites in which the people cry out for "someone to do something before it's too late".  There is lots of activity to look externally for someone to restore this nation and take it forward.  There is little activity to take those that claim to represent us to task, to hold them to account and to expel them from their cocoons when they fail in their representation.

Regular readers will know that I often compare what happens (or more to the point what doesn't happen) here with that going off with our cousins in the USA.  I often wonder where our equivalent of the Tea Party movement is - a collective coming together to bring its representatives back to the basic principles of democracy.

There's something else - the counter offering.  Too much of our political scene is run by a professional political class.  These individuals seem to work the corridors of power as though the people and through them, the nation come a very poor second to their own enrichment and advancement. 

Again such people thrive because we let them in two distinct areas.  Firstly we let them by not holding them to account.  Secondly we don't seem to offer alternatives that the the people can identify with.  People who will stand against them with a message of genuinely wanting to put the country back on track.

Again looking back at the US there are people addressing this deficit in their political scene.  Overall the US has woken up and the people are striking back.  I think it has helped that patriotism isn't as dirty a word over there as it is here, but nonetheless people are doing something.

Take Mia Love for example.  Chances are you won't have heard of Mia and her two terms as Mayor of Saratoga Springs in Utah.  Read her story as she looks to stand for Congress in the US.  She potentially has every piece of equipment in the 21st Century grievance kit bag that she could have used to do nothing.  When you read however both Mia and her parents had different ideas, choosing to strive for the life they want and to contribute.  She has offered up a simple message as to what she wants to stand for and to see from government.

Many of those messages apply here.  People like Mia are the counter offer to the managed decline of our nation.  They can exist to take on the status quo by standing against those who do not stand for the benefit of the nation and it's people.

We need people like Mia Love

The Missing Words

A couple of the MSM sites have tipped us the wink on something that is bound to cause some anger among the working taxpayer.  Both the Express and Daily Mail have picked up on the story in which those one benefits are to be awarded a 5.2% increase in their benefits so that as the government spokesman chose to put it "no one is left behind".  Certainly QuietMan has given his take on the matter.

Having looked a little further into the reports it seems the lions share could well be aimed at pensioners, to which I would say "about time".  If I have indeed read the reports correctly I would question what the papers are up to pitching it as a boost for the unemployed, although I accept that approximately £1billion is for them.

There are however two things about this story that need looking at and show where the real scandals lie.

The first point I take issue with is the quotation from the relevant minister mentioned in the Express:

At a time when the nation’s finances are under severe pressure, this Government will be spending an extra £6.6billion in 2012-13 to ensure that people are protected against cost of living increases

You see there unfortunately some words missing.  Words which put this into real perspective.  If used those words would make the following sentence

At a time when the nation’s finances are under severe pressure, this Government will be spending an extra £6.6billion of taxpayers' money in 2012-13 to ensure that people are protected against cost of living increases

Adding those words puts a whole new slant on it and one more reflective of the truth.  The reality is one in which the money you and I pay in tax is being dressed up to masquerade as their generosity.  They always conveniently omit the fact that governments don't in themselves have any money.  The only money they have is that which they gather from the labour of others.  Those others being you and I.  To put it another way, it's like being in a bar whilst someone who claims to be your friend boosts his popularity by telling the bar the drinks are on him, only to ask you to stump up the cash.

Worse still with today's story is the notion that people who are in the middle of various income freezes are to fund increases to the income of others.  To achieve that the taxpayer has to take a hit to his or her disposable income, because there is no obvious growth strategy to the economy, nor are there any meaningful tax breaks for these people.  The government won't consider that as part of their austerity packages.  So it comes from potentially two places, given that governments don't have any of their own money.  One is an increase in taxation.  The other is to borrow the money, which will result in debt that will be laid at the door of the taxpayer.  Either way, you and I will be saddled with the bill for a policy which the politicians alone will attempt to take the credit for. 

The second scandal is one further down in both stories.  As well as increasing the amount of money they intend to spend, it also turns out that the government is overspending in its welfare commitments with each year due to fraud and errors.  For some reason, the two sites are reporting different figures, but either way we have a problem.  Fraud will always be with you, especially in a nation in which you seem to have a make a very determined effort to get imprisoned for committing a crime, but it's the error part which I find insulting. 

There are pledges to try and reduce these over payments by a quarter, by 2015.  According to the Mail, the year 2010/11 saw over payments of £3.2billion and suggested that over payments stayed stable in that year.  I'm fascinated to see what they mean by that.  Assuming it stays stable as they so simply put it does we could be looking at at £3.2billion in over payments for each passing year.  Will the quarter they plan to reduce it by be across the total overpayment for the next 3 years (i.e. £2.4billion) or will it be a quarter of 2015's £3.2billion overpayment which will be £0.8billion. 

Either way, it's nothing short of a disgrace. 

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Mustering Point

Many moons ago on another planet I wondered if the start of a hole was being punched in the AGW narrative.  Not the science I might add, but the real important battle of perception amongst the public.  The narrative has always been the important part as evidenced by the lengths and efforts the AGW proponents have gone to to dominate minds of the Joe public around this concept.  At the time I felt the story I mentioned earlier seemed to be a small but telling victory.  They've always needed the wall or shield of propaganda because their science doesn't stand up well against scrutiny

Since that time the challenge has been ongoing (and in fact started before that), but it would seem that groups have been very industrious in chipping away at the small hole in the AGW propaganda wall, slowly turning it into a larger hole that people can pour through and take the battle right to its proponents.

I thought about this when I began to see more inconvenient truths such as the ever increasing stories of cold across Europe and the very real problems its causing.  I also stumbled upon this over at Facts Not Fantasy.

Why it particularly concerns me, is that Britain is still making spending and policy decisions on an argument that is collapsing around its supporter's ears.  Every day, more and more of the flaws in the science are being exposed and so is the duplicity being used and tarted up has hard impartial science.  Those policy decisions are bankrupting its tax payers for reasons known only to the politicians pressing on with the nonsense and pretending that the cold doesn't exist long term.  Worse still is that people will die because of this fallacy.  Any politician who can live with that to maintain their own vanity and overinflated sense of self worth must have ice inside their veins.

I often feel that at the heart of this, remains the battle for perception.  If there's one thing those on the left (particularly the hard left) do well it is perception.  They do it better than than those of a more centre right / conservative / libertarian nature.  They've always done it better and I often think it's a key reason why we find ourselves surrounded by madness that makes us think we are in a Franz Kafka novel.  It's not that they're right and we're wrong, they just know it matters and so they fight for it. 

Why do they do it?

Well I don't think they are the majority.  In fact I see anecdotal evidence all around that suggests they are actually in a minority and the majority is mostly silent.  I also think this goes to the heart of another behaviour of theirs - shouting down dissenting voices.  If there's something else they do well it is arguing against the counter narrative.  Whenever a member of the majority makes a reasoned comment, the response is immediate and hard and it comes in numbers.  They operate a zero tolerance policy for two reasons.

Firstly it's a size thing.  They need to give the impression that they are legion and that their viewpoint is the dominant one.  If you believe they are everywhere, you are more likely to retreat and hide.  It's a tactic promoted by Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radical, a sort of street fighters guide for activists.  Secondly they treat dissenting argument like a virus.  Given the notion that they are smaller, it is important that they snuff out all evidence of a counter argument taking hold which the majority can take heart from and begin to rally around.  Giving any ground whatsoever cannot be permitted because it permits a counter idea to possibly thrive and that too cannot be permitted. 

We on the "right" tend to expect an argument to stand on its merits.  We are however up against a mindset that works on the notion that The War is Everything.

In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the background to the Zero Tolerance approach to crime in New York.  The real story is so much more fascinating than that the simplistic version taht gets told here in the UK.  Much of it started on the New York Transit System where William Bratton first started out.  In fact, a significant part revolved around graffiti on the subway trains.  They decided that's where they would start their fight back as the graffiti riddled carriages were a travelling advert for the malaise that had swept New York.  First they "reclaimed" each car by cleaning it, or repainting it.  Then having reclaimed it, they determined it would never fall again to the graffiti artists. Graffiti was usually a three stage process typically done over three nights in the siding yards.  First night a base coat was laid.  The next night came the outline and on the third night, the detail work.  Any efforts to vandalise a reclaimed car was  nipped it in the bud on that first night.  Once the base coat was down, they would simply paint over it or remove it.  Night after night they did this.  Eventually the artists got tired of trying to fight this act of will and moved on.  Having took back the first piece of ground it gave them as base from which they could start to take back the rest of the subway.  It also acted as a beacon to everyday people as well that a law abiding way of life was fighting back.

On first examination, the above story can look like a parallel with the AlinskyiteAGW being one of them.  As I mentioned earlier that has much to do with our perception that we may be in minority.

But as I also mentioned, the AGW story is starting to show some cracks in its wall.  Those cracks can be made into gaping holes that the propagandists won't be able to defend if the perception battle is won.  There are many fronts in the battle to restore this nation to greatness but here's one that some headway is staring to be made.  Maybe therefore, like New York, we need to start by mustering our forces to take back the initiative and perception on this topic by acting in numbers here.  Once those numbers start to act and demonstrate their size, the battle for perception tips in the favour of honesty as everyday people who want to see honesty brought back to the nation join in and send the message loud and clear. 

Right now, we're not cut out to act on every front.  We haven't understood what the hard left have for so many decades and as such they have a headstart.  If however our natural majority acts on a  single point, they simply cannot hold it and we can win the battle to write the correct narrative that once established on genuine facts and science cannot be undone with propaganda.  In turn it gives us a better ground for to influence political decision making based on common sense because we will have established that that is where the votes are won and politicians always go to where the votes are won.  Once we have taken this ground, the argument and common sense can hold it, allowing us to concentrate our majority on another battle ground where we can push back by getting in their faces once again.

So how do we do it?  We need to do what those who propagandise do and go where the argument is performed in front of everyday people - the press.  As the stories crop up, we need to go there and outnumber the AGW argument, demonstrating how it is collapsing around their ears.  We need however to go there in numbers and be prepared to hold the line no matter how vicious they get, because they will kick, scream and spit (metaphorically of course) as we call them out on their lies.  It's a numbers game and you therefore need to be organised to go in numbers.  One way to do this is to sign up for alerts on services such as Google.  Tell them what you're looking for  and receive emails to showing you when these stories appear online.  Start on safe ground by taking back home territory by visiting those sites and news outlets that most reflect the centre / right hand side of the political debate.  Keep it polite but no nonsense.  Correct misperceptions with fact as some will be what Lenin referred to as useful idiots which is a translation for well intentioned but wrong or misinformed.  Once you have taken back the narrative on those sites, get ready to go into their back yard in numbers and take the argument right to them.

Why, because that's why they do what they do - they fear the idea getting out that decent honest people are in the majority.