Sunday, 29 May 2016

Leading not leaving? Puhlease!!

I can think of no more astonishingly ignorant statement that we should be leading, not leaving the EU. So much so it sends me into an eye-popping rage. It is the bovine thoughtlessness of it that sends me round the fucking corner.

The EU has a massive obligation and that is not to let the Euro collapse and drag us all back into the dark ages. To that end it needs near total influence of economic policy within the Eurozone. It has a mountain to climb to bring about the economic convergence it should have had before it set off. For starters it will have to effectively assume control of Spain and Italy the way it has Greece because they're not getting their act together in cleaning up their grubby economies.

That means Britain is not on the agenda. At all. And because we are not in the Euro we'll have precisely zero influence of economic and monetary policy. Our needs will be way down the list of concerns. Though we will be presented with the bill - you can count on that much.

Meanwhile we're being gradually stripped of our voting rights at all the global regulatory bodies with the EU tightly controlling who can speak on our behalf. It's bad now and it's only going to get worse because when global bodies like the IMO tell the EU to go fuck itself they never take no for an answer and will keep trying.

Not only will be be marginalised inside the EU we will be completely without a voice at the global level and then europhiles have the nerve to suggest we would be isolated if we left the EU. I genuinely can't think of a more asinine thing to say than that. It's cretinous. These people haven't the first fucking idea what they are talking about and when you have some insight as to what is actually going on you start to realise that these people are actually fucking dangerous and shouldn't be allowed out without adult supervision.

The other crass assertion is that we should stay in because all the other world leaders thinks we should. Excuse me? Really? Leaders of competing economies don't want Britain to have a full presence of the global trade and regulatory bodies? Well fuck me sideways!! I'd never have guessed that. Exactly why should we vacate the room for India, China and America? Fuck off.

And then look at who is actually making the rules. Global trade alliances are made up of minnow states, large corporate unions and philanthropic institutes. That's a mixed blessing but as the global rules based trading system evolves we see far less participation from anybody we actually elected. Some of them are way more powerful than even the EU. In any dispute between the US and the EU they hold the deciding vote. That's real leverage yet we have to do as we are instructed if we're even allowed to sit at the table.

And while you might think this doesn't actually matter, where do you think all these regulatory instructions come from? Not Brussels. More likely Geneva. Go and have a look at the new proposed cigarette packets courtesy of the WHO. Charming stuff.

I'm not one to rail about any and all regulation and I think the kipperish complaining about it is ridiculous. lt's a hangover from the 1990's but to say that because we allow MEPs a lookie-loo after everything has been decided that the process is democratic is one of the biggest lies ever told. We have Microsoft and Maersk Line making policy for over a hundred countries. Of course they don't want the process democratised.

Worse still is the UN's injection of sustainable development goals and climate objectives into every area of regulatory activities. Now I don't give a shit whether you think global warming is happening or not. I personally think the whole edifice of climate Science is a fucking joke that fails to satisfy even the most basic scientific principles and it is 100% politically driven by people with some very disturbing ideas. But let's suppose they are absolutely right. Don't you think it's a good idea that we have a say?

It's all very laudable to want Lesser Developed Countries to enjoy the benefits of modernity, but they are imposing a the eco agenda on LDCs to ensure they develop in the "right" way - ie renewable energy etc. All the stuff that europhiles adore. But these people are a fucking menace. As much as they are holding back development by impressing the most expensive energy and technology upon them, they have zero self awareness and can't see the connection between their policies and the unwanted unintended consequences. They just carry on without ever pausing for thought or ever taking responsibility for what they do.

Meanwhile the EU finances it with out money, often just handing it over wholesale to NGOs who are accountable to nobody. There is no democracy in this system and that's why europhiles adore it. The eco-left orthodoxy has near complete control of the agenda and they know full well the biggest existential threat to that order is democracy. That is why all the dignitaries right up to the very top do not want Britain to leave the EU. They do not want the people having a say on any level.

And that's why I will fight these people to the death. I will not accept a defeat at the referendum because they are rigging it. I will not submit to their rule and if we have to have a war to sort this out then so be it. Europhiles tell us that the EU keeps the peace but all it's doing is storing up ill will across the continent and necessarily it has seen a revival of popular movements springing up which they libellous brand "far right". If you label something you negate it.

And I don't deny that the leaders of these grubby little populist parties are pretty shabby human beings but they are saints next to the shitstains like Blair, Cameron, Legarde and Juncker. I wouldn't be surprised if these people were satanists. When it comes down to it I will side with the grubby little upstart parties every single time - and when the great and the good have to start checking under their cars before setting off to work I won't shed a tear. They are the enemies of democracy and when democracy is stifled for long enough people will resort to extraordinary measures. This is what you are inviting if you vote to remain because you are voting to give the global elites all of the power forever. Let that sink in.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

We will learn the hard way what democracy is

I've always said that Britain will stay in the EU for as long as it has a puerile understanding of what constitutes democracy, and will not fully comprehend that they have lost it and they need it. They will then discover that returning power to the people is not nearly as easy as it is to give away.

As present, we are only superficially aware that we don't have democracy because we are missing an essential component of a healthy democracy - a free and inquisitive press. It is not that the state censors our media, rather it censors itself largely to appease advertisers and corporate cronies. In that regard the government does not need to censor the British press.

But as much as anything it has lost its essential inquisitiveness. It is concerned only with the entertainment aspect of politics rather than the dreary business of policy. It is for that reason I look forward to the day when our newspapers go the way of the dinosaur. A fate well deserved.

But in having such a dismally inept media, decisions that affect our lives go unnoticed. We are often taken by the idea that government takes sweeping decisions behind closed doors but the ultimate joke is that they are held in the open, transcribed and published on the web. These days the best way to ensure nobody will read something is to put it on the EU website.

The diminishing few of us who actually watch regulatory affairs see sweeping changes to industries all the time, with the public being only barely aware of the more egregious examples such as the recent rules regarding vaping. As much as anything the public have similarly lost their inquisitiveness for what is done in their name. Probably through habit, having established there is little that can be done to stop them.

With surprising regularity we see rules made at the very top of global governance approved and rubber stamped with little or no scrutiny and then waved through by a toy parliament with no authority to make amendments. The authority exists in theory only. That which is agreed at the global level cannot be undone.

In this we see laws made which at the stroke of a pen can wipe out entire sectors or prevent innovations and not a peep is heard. And so while we have voting rituals to appoint ineffectual apologists, we have no real control over what is done in our name.

Moreover, what makes the EU different from any other body is that the unelected commission has right of proposal and right to refuse proposals from member states. It is therefore a body with extraordinary powers yet it has no mandate of any kind.

Between the commission and the European Court of Justice, officials and judges can rule on what is and is not a an exclusive competence of the EU - and routinely abuses legal definitions in order to afford itself more powers over member states and more power to revoke our rights at the global top tables where regulations are now made.

Such has been the case for so long that we now passively accept impositions and intrusions and few ever ask where they came from or why. We just assume that the presence of MEPs means that at some point there is some loosely defined democratic activity going on. There isn't. The rules are made at the global level, very often made by corporates and NGOs and global trade coalitions with no mandate from anybody. The only unions present are those there on licence from the EU.

And this is why the EU is all the more worrying. The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade says "Where technical regulations are required and relevant international standards exist or their completion is imminent, members shall use them, or the relevant parts of them, as a basis for their technical regulations"

Not the use of the word "shall". As much as we have handed power to our MPs, they have handed it to Brussels and they in turn have handed over the power to global regulators, completely removing any public scrutiny from the law making process. Member states have their right of reservation removed, they have no independent vote and must vote the way they are told.

The excuse we are given is that the Council of Ministers is made up of people who are elected and they have a vote therefor this is a democracy. Britain can be entirely overruled by politicians they did not elect who are not acting in the interests of Britain (or even the EU) and though you can point to the empty voting rituals and say there was a vote, in a system where the sixty five million inhabitants of this island can be ignored, without right of refusal then by definition we do not live in a democracy.

And this is why I call the EU a silent assassin of democracy. A Potemkin Village designed to deceive. And by depriving us of the choice to refuse our government we are deprived of the ability and opportunity to innovate and so by the same measure it is also an assassin of prosperity.

In so doing it is eroding the unity and stability of Europe - and as people become increasingly aware that they are passengers in their own lives, without power, they become increasingly resigned but quietly resentful. This is why each wave of populist protest parties gets stronger each time.

For sure the elites can use the might of the institutions and the media to win their referendum and keep hold of the power, but in so doing are adding further fuel to the fire. They may well have discredited the utterly useless Ukips of this world but they have done nothing to quell the sentiment behind them. And that is why the future of British and European politics is set only to become more toxic.

You have heard me in the past define democracy as people power, from its literal Greek translation. The key part is the "demos" aspect - the people. You cannot, as we discovered in Iraq, define a demos by the lines you draw on a map or by the institutions you impose on them. A demos is self defining.

In that regard, it comes to one estimation. What would you, if push came to shove, be willing to die in muddy ditch for. And that is why the EU can never be a democracy. Nobody when exposed to the truth about the EU would lay down their lives to protect this artificial construct which represents nobody but itself. It is that which is the true test of whether the EU has a soul to speak of. It doesn't. There is no demos - and the peoples of Europe have no control over the EU entity. They have only protest - and protest without power is impotent.

And that is why Europe will tear itself apart under EU rule. Sooner or later we will discover that we are wholly impotent, and will discover that we do not have the means to institute new Government. We are already there in fact. It is only a matter of time for this temporary peace and stability comes under threat, not from external forces, but from those forces internally for whom the ends justify the means.

And it can only end in fire. Because it always does. We have been given one chance and one chance only to pull the lever to send the process of power transfer into reverse. We will not pull it because we live in fear, denial and self-deception. We would rather tell ourselves the lie that things can go on as they are without rocking the boat. And that is why we will have to learn the hard way what democracy really is and endure the misery of being without it.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

There are consequences for squandering democracy

As the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union approaches I find myself feeling ever more resigned. The polls suggest Britain will stay in the EU. It’s depressing on two counts. Firstly I see enormous economic opportunities in being free of the EU and secondly because democracy is not on the cards unless we leave.

There is, however, something a little more depressing than that. Virtually nobody believes the EU is a democracy yet bizarrely they will vote to remain in it. Consequently I have arrived at the conclusion that people have only a thin grasp of what democracy is and those who do don’t actually want it.

As far as most are concerned, democracy is the empty voting ritual every five years whereby we appoint people to make decisions on our behalf. The power that flows from the people is loaned to individuals who only ever have to account for the decisions they make come election time. The rest of the time they do as they please and seem to enjoy the fact there is nothing we can do about it.

In that regard the model of representative democracy we have is more an extrapolation. A sample of the public, who in theory will make decisions roughly representing those the broader public would make. This is a wholly flawed idea.

For starters British political life consists of constant shouting and complaining about our politicians, often for their vanity, corruption and incompetence. Most Brits do not want to participate in politics. They want to be entertained and outraged by it but take none of the responsibilities for it. They are interested in the people and their personal affairs but not the real business of policy.

Because of this, it takes a particularly sterile sort of person with a knack for avoiding controversy to become a Member of Parliament. We have our freaks like George Galloway but these are wholly licenced dissidents who don’t achieve much and never last long. This instantly distorts the representative sample.

Further to these anyone who even seeks this kind of power is of a certain ilk. By the time you put them all in one room, subject to its own groupthink and you have nothing even close to a representative sample. That is why something like EU membership must be put to a broader public vote. There is no way that MPs could produce a result representative of public sentiment.

But the rest of the time the public are happy with the arrangement; to have no actual power themselves and take none of the responsibility. That way, whatever goes wrong in government is someone else’s fault. Just like children. The children are free to play while the parents make the hard calls. Unpopular decisions will result in tantrums but the child is powerless to reverse the decision.

But governing is unlike parenting. A child does not get to select new parents every five years. If they did, we would find parents caving into tantrums. Politics however results in exactly that. Politicians afraid of losing their pampered positions will not take hard or unpopular choices. Consequently we are a nation of infants ruled by infants and the results are there for all to see.

And therein lies the inherent hypocrisy of representative democracy. We complain that we want better choices made on our behalf but are prepared to do none of the necessary things to ensure that happens. We say we want honest politicians but their dishonesty is a reflection of our own. We duck our responsibilities as voters and our obligation to participate. When every decision results in a childish tantrum it's little wonder politicians stop caring what we think.

The natural consequence of this is a system incapable of making adult decisions - where politicians are only too happy to surrender their powers to bureaucrats. It means our politicians can outsource the business of governing and regulating, absolving themselves of blame, while being free to pretend they are the ones in control.

They can enjoy the trappings of office for as long as they can keep making excuses. Consequently at elections we do not vote for a government. We are simply electing a management team whose purpose is to oversee the implementation of foreign rule. In that regard we are an occupied country with a collaborative administration.

The problem for those of us who do want real democracy is that the bureaucrats are not actually doing a bad job as far as the average voter is concerned. They might complain but the roads are maintained, the bins get emptied, and all the layers of invisible government go on without interfering in our lives in any way that we might notice. Why rock the boat?

As a political settlement, everybody gets what they want. The politicians get to pretend they are in control, the public have somebody to scapegoat and the corporates like the fact that nobody is paying attention to what the bureaucrats do. The public are content to be managed like cattle so long as nothing disturbs their self-indulgent lives where their only responsibilities are to themselves. They do not want to take on the responsibility for managing their own political affairs nor do they want the blame for the consequences.

This is why I will be less interested in politics after the referendum. The result will call the bluff of the hypocrite voters. They say they want change, they say they want democracy but when it comes to the crunch, they prefer not to behave like adults. They cannot then complain that their politicians are suboptimal.

If democracy means anything at all it means the power resides with the people at all times. If people relinquish that power to politicians they cannot be surprised if they in turn surrender it to a foreign power. 

This is why a vote to remain in the EU is such a landmark. It marks not only the death of adult politics. It kills any hope of democracy stone dead.

This is because the public do not understand democracy, why it’s worth having or the consequences for giving up on it. But there are consequences. The system will eventually run everything for the convenience of the system rather than those who live within it. Government will become the master and not the servant. Little by little we become economic units to be coerced into behaviours that fit a grand design - where the ideas of accountants take precedence over the needs of people. The EU is a manifestation of that exact dynamic.

Meanwhile we have the theatricals of Westminster politics to keep us distracted and outraged. The illusion of democracy. From this we get our daily dose of gratification – to pretend that what happens to us is the fault of the politicians and not a consequence of our own slovenliness. We can pretend that we are the good, decent and honest lead by the corrupt and the self-interested.

But the fault is our own. We could choose to take control and take responsibility. We could demand that the power be returned to the people and we could take an interest in the policy rather than the politics. But we don’t want to. We don’t want to be disturbed. We are happy to walk away from our obligations so that we can disown the choices made in our name. It is the ultimate in hypocrisy and the hypocrisy is all ours.

We are told that soon after the EU referendum we will see the Chilcott report on the Iraq war. Watch it closely. Watch the reaction. Outrage at what our politicians conspired to do. We will wail and complain and make scapegoats of our politicians and then we will go back to our insulated little lives secure in the knowledge that we take no blame.

But let’s be honest just for a moment. We are only interested in politics as far as seeking out somebody to take the rap. We are only interested in participation so far as seeking someone else to blame. We don’t like to be troubled with detail. We don’t want to seek out the facts for ourselves. We want the decisions made for us and we want to be spoon-fed with sanitised information. That is why we maintain a state broadcaster.

That is why I have no hope that we will choose democracy. We have become infantilised and we like it that way. Only when we encounter the very real consequences for surrendering democracy in exchange for certainty will we realise what we have lost. And by then we will have to fight to reclaim what we have so carelessly squandered. Those who hold the power will not surrender it willingly. They never do. And then we will ask why. Who is to blame? The answer is whoever still stands among the ashes and the rubble.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

The Matrix is here

Just about everyone I talk to recently remarks on how intellectually, socially and spiritually bereft the UK is becoming. It seems I am not the only one gripped by a certain cultural ennui. You have to be a singularly two dimensional creature to derive any kind of satisfaction from a life that gives you everything without having to really try.

My wonderful Polish friend remarks that she knows a number of high flying Poles in the UK and the reason for that is not because there is anything special about Poles coming here. It's just that they are the only ones inclined to do anything at all. It doesn't take all that much to get somewhere but Brits are just disinclined to lift a finger if someone else is willing to do it for them.

But even as immigrants settle in they become uniquely British they start to notice how hollow the British definition of success is. It doesn't matter if you earn £20k or £200k. You are still just a passenger. Perhaps if you have a few extra quid you can afford a few more baubles and trinkets to distract yourself with but you will still be acutely aware that Britain is turning into a giant retail park punctuated by filing cabinets that we now classify as homes.

And while the dream of owning a yuppie shoebox with a view over the river is now available to all, it is spoiled by way of looking across the river to see an identical building with an equally depressed version of yourself staring back at you.

We've dismantled all those dirty and dangerous jobs and outsourced them to China. We've even outsourced the boring IT stuff to India. Each of us who has a job are now in some way just an administrator of varying sophistication and responsibility. Even starting a business is just looking for a demographic who will set up a direct debit with you in perpetuity for a service they don't really need and could do without.

And even good jobs have become deskilled. We're seeing a digital Taylorism whereby no one person is ever permitted to work beyond the boundaries of their job and the recruitment process rules out the possibility that an individual could be good at two or more things.

On every level, the sum total of what we do now can be reduced to putting things in the appropriate boxes. That is what software system analysis is all about, creating the spaces, identifying the inputs, classifying them and boxing them up. Now we do the exact same thing with people.

It's why I wouldn't actually mind a boring warehouse job moving boxes. It amounts to the same thing and employs roughly same skills only you might actually break a sweat and get to drive a forklift. At least then any energy I have for cerebral activity can be devoted to something worthwhile rather than advancing the margins of an insurance or asset management company.

But it's not just our jobs that suck either. We spend eye watering sums on technology. Web enabled smart devices. Not for the creation of media but for the receiving of it. We end up watching twenty year old movies on high resolution televisions because none of the media designed for the modern technology is nearly edifying enough.

And while smartphones were supposed to create an apps revolution, who actually buys apps? Children and people who think like children.

Meanwhile our technology addled brains give us all the attention span of hamsters. It seems like nobody is capable of forging and maintaining relationships anymore. Everybody is searching for that missing piece of the puzzle that will make them feel whole, grasping for either a quick fix or a momentary distraction. Course the game is rigged because the human condition is that we are never sated. The void is forever there which makes us all such whining, greedy mindless consumers of shit. Our houses are full of it. DVD box sets of shit we never watch. Flat pack furniture that we hate. Clothes that we never wear. Food that we never eat. Things from Ikea.

We've abolished most of the "social constructs" that brought any kind structure to our lives and social media now means that nearly all the people we value might as well live in Narnia - or we haven't even met them at all. And because we are now so utterly without a moral compass we are now attacking even basic concepts like gender. It's the self-absorbed "cult of me". You are that which you define yourself and nobody is entitled to challenge that, however divorced from reality it may be. I have a fin, therefore I am a shark.

And for us conservative types it's hilarious. Some people are actually worried about it all. I'm not. I'm a misanthrope. I am bored and depressed but at least I know why. You people lack the first clue and I enjoy your lack of comprehension and your misery makes me smile.

For years the left rammed it down our throats that all these social constructs were oppressive and elitist and exclusive. And maybe they were. But they were there for a reason and now we're learning that if you are going to chuck it all out the window then it might be a good idea if you have something to replace it with - lest everybody be cast adrift to eke out a living in a spiritual and cultural wasteland. Depressed? Good. This is what you wanted.

But then who am I to complain? It's only intelligent people who suffer. And they are in the minority. Intelligence is an evolutionary dead end. We have designed the perfect machine for the perpetually asleep. And it works. The Matrix is here and now only we didn't need virtual reality. It IS reality - and it's only we few who see anything inherently wrong with it. The people who want a participatory democracy are in the minority.

Between technology and globalisation we have made ourselves wholly redundant. We've all read those editorials about how automation will ultimately improve our jobs and that we are not threatened by robots. But we all know that's bullshit. We're not all going to be robot engineers or software designers. We are in very serious danger of creating a post scarcity world where capitalism just doesn't work because there is no real purpose in accumulating wealth. We are free to roam the earth like cattle and be managed as such. Hence why the anti democratic, managerialist EU is the perfect form of government for it. It doesn't require particpation. All it requires is the power to remain in the hands of the few and for people to vote for the status quo. Life will be good so long as we do not question our existence.

And why should we? Why would we want dirty back breaking work and the possibility of having something more than what is allocated? Why would we want the uncertainty and unpredictability of democracy? Why would we want the diversity of an unplanned economy? Why would we want the hassle of things being different if you go somewhere else? Why would we want dirty ships polluting our "urban marinas"? Why would we want to drive our own cars or grow our own food? Why would we want anything other than our smartphones and our remote working desk jobs? Why wouldn't we want auto-enrollment and direct debits? Why would we want to be masters of our own lives? Why wouldn't we want the state to raise our offspring? Why would we want to be anything other than bovine? Why would we want to build lasting and beautiful things?

Why would we want family and community when we can all be individuals, accountable to nobody and responsible for nothing? Life can be great. Just conform, obey, consume and keep your credit rating clean. All this can be yours. All you have to do is vote to stay in the European Union. Take the blue pill.