Acute Disorder

Law of unintended consequences

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Governance

without comments

Living systems on every scale have governance — methods of self-regulation to manage the coherence and continuity of the system. Also, for steering toward goals or away from dangers.

This governance is not the same as a government. Government as we know it is a blunt instrument designed to enforce the will of the many over the few (although at this point it enforces the will of few on the many) It is a monolithic bureaucracy. And frankly, it isn’t very good at governance, at least not as defined in the first paragraph.
The Nature of Change

Notice that governance includes both conserving continuity and making progress. All living systems have this tension between being conservative and progressive.

Progressive: Adapt or die — change is required. A system which cannot adapt to changing circumstances, will get steam-rolled by them. Furthermore, we want more than just adapting to survive, but evolving to improve and thrive. We want to move toward goals, and higher quality of life. And we want to be able perceive and avoid dangers, and respond deftly when confronted by them.

Conservative: Maintain integrity or fly apart. What makes a system work is the pattern of self-regulation it has established: feedback loops, dynamic balances, flows which nourish all the parts of whole, so the whole can function. Disruption of the integrity of these patterns brings death even more quickly than a failure to evolve.
False Enemies

Globally, politics polarizes around that tension: conservative vs. progressive. This is a false choice. Both are mandatory. It doesn’t matter whether we like it or not. When the world around you is changing, and that change is accelerating, the question is never whether to change or stay the same.

The questions we must confront are:

What changes are vital? (to survival and goals)
How do we implement those changes in a way that doesn’t destroy the integrity of what works?

Selecting a conservative vs. a progressive candidate is a false choice that we are forced to make because of broken architectures of governments.
The Failure of Representative Democracy

Representative Democracy may have been a breakthrough 2000 years ago. It even made sense 200 years ago when the U.S. Constitution was written. The only way to discuss and deliberate was to go meet someplace, and everyone can’t ride hundreds of miles by horseback or carriage to participate, so you choose representatives to bring your local news and concerns to the table. There are many alternatives in an Internet age.

Fine — except for a few major problems.

One person can’t actually represent many. Maybe if we sit down and you tell me your concerns and commitments about an issue, then I could represent you (and myself) on that issue. But as you add a few more people, that gets increasingly difficult. Now make it millions of people that I don’t talk to directly and make it apply across all issues. What are the chances I’m really representing you? Is it even possible that I could come close to representing that kind of population across the complex range of issues that officials are supposed to make decisions about?
Party Affiliation: A two-party system reduces politics down to voting for a conservative or progressive. Multi-party politics isn’t much better as still reduces the range of discourse down to the ideological platform of the party. Voter choices go from 2 to 3 or 5, which is nowhere near the level of complexity of choice that we need for navigating the world we’re in.
Non-Local Issues: Particularly, at the level of the Federal government, most of the decisions made have little to do with locale. Local decisions are certainly made on neighborhood, municipal, and loosely state levels. (Many states are too big be “local” ) So we are constrained to voting by party and locale. These factors map very poorly to the real world challenges we need to collectively navigate.

A World too Big, Fast, and Complex

The Constitution was written for an Agrarian Republic. The level of complexity that officials were expected to confront absolutely did not include things like Nuclear Power and Weaponry, Electronic Surveillance, Climate Change, Net Neutrality, Air Traffic Control, etc. If you’ve gotten a glimpse of CSPAN, you probably have exposure to how poor a grasp politicians have on even basic workings of some of these issues.

They can’t be experts on everything, especially when their job security is mostly tied to schmoozing influential funders. We have politicians without the right expertise, with inherent conflicts of interest by who they have to please to keep getting campaign funds, who can’t possibly represent the complexity of their constituency, and are elected by association with ideological simplifications … and we pretend there’s a chance of good governance from this setup.

The Constitutional Government fared fairly well for nearly a hundred agrarian years. Yet as the country moved into a more industrial era, the government had no good way to integrate a major shift in economic power. I would assert that the Civil War was a symptom of that failure to integrate the northern industrial and southern agrarian economic needs and patterns except by military force.

After this point, the U.S. Government appeared to continue on smoothly but increasingly became controlled by the banks and corporations of the industrial economy. As the U.S. economy has been transitioning into information age dynamics, it gets harder to even maintain the appearance of relevance.

The bureaucracy simply doesn’t have the throughput to keep up with the increased complexity of issues and the pace that the world is changing.
The End of Old World Order

The government was already dying. The gap between what it had become and what we need it to be was becoming intolerable for too many people. That is part of what enabled Trump to get his foot into the door of the presidency, and if his first week in office is any indication, his team will dismantle much, and quickly.

This is not business as usual. They are not playing by the old rules. There is a good chance that they won’t acknowledge any established means of reclaiming the power they’ve seized. Not by impeachment. Not by the next election. Not by constitutional convention. Spending your energy on those things will likely be energy lost.

We’ll see if I’m right about this, but if I am, that means our only real alternative is to build the next generation of self-governance that reclaims the powers we’ve surrendered to the government.

It will need to be a P2P, fully-distributed, digital democracy that will be so different from how we think of government, that it may better be thought of as a kind of social network. You jump on, scan your feed, participate in conversations you’re interested in, weigh in with “likes” or other similar feedback, etc.
Feasibility

For many, the reality of this will sound far-fetched. Remember, the cells in our body figured out how to do extremely sophisticated self-governance on scales of trillions. Fully P2P governance. No cell is President or Dictator of the system.

If cells can do it, we can too. Unfortunately, we don’t have millions of years to figure it out, we’ve escalated the situation to create the crises we needed to force our own hands.

I’m not saying this kind of transition will be easy for people to accept. No change on this magnitude is easy. However, I don’t see any better alternatives.
Invitation

People are agitated. Energy is emerging to connect for change. People need to be connecting and having new conversations about what to do. I’d like to channel some of that energy into building real alternatives instead of chasing expired political strategies.

This is an invitation to all who have the capacities to contribute to building the world we need.

Community organizers
Social process wonks
Programmers and Crypto geeks
Storytellers who can weave this vision of a future to aid in people’s transition
UX, UI, and Graphic Designers
All people willing to leave old pictures of government behind and experiment with new self-governance

For the technology side of things, please check out Ceptr and how you might be able to participate there. For the reinvention of governance, check out the Art of Governance site I’m building this week.

Art of Governance, and the collaborative tools for sharing ideas and up-voting and such, will initially be on a normal (centralized) web site, but we’ll move it to fully-distributed tools as quickly as we are able.

Come play!

Written by anubis

February 3rd, 2017 at 8:53 am

‘At Your Own Expense’

without comments

originally posted here

For your consideration when you see the annual Council Tax Demand Notice (or other demand from state agencies):

A couple of days ago We received an unsolicited email wherein an unknown someone declared the following:
“…Dear Mike,
I work on behalf of Xxxxxxxxxx and we’re looking to build up positive Google Reviews for his company.
I recognise that you have a Gmail account and I wondered if you could take just ONE MINUTE to complete a Review for us regarding the level of service that you’ve received from Xxxxxxxxxx and his team. [Mike has never heard of Xxxxxxxxxx or used his services].
It really does take less than a minute and we’d really appreciate your support!
Please find below a quick step by step guide as to how to do this:
Click on the link: https://goo.gl/mapsxxxxx…”

Our response was:
“…Thank you, Lxxxx.
Our fee for such engagements (including this response) is £50 per email. Invoice follows.
Kind regards
mike…”

“…Thank you Mike for your reply but this isn’t the arrangement we are looking for. I work with lots of clients and I’ve never paid for Google Review – I think it’s unethical! I could outsource fake reviews to India and could come up with 50 x 5 star reviews for £50!
Thank you for your time anyway!
All the best,
Lxxxx…”

So… Why is this here? It is very simple. Everything is contract and no-one may be compelled to complete any action at his own cost. There are at least two court cases in support of this assertion. However there is one historic piece of legislation and one extant piece of legislation of which We know that declares the opposite:

In the Copyright Act 1911, Publishers were required to deliver copies of books that they had printed to the British Library… At their own expense. That act has since been repealed by the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003. However…

We have also read that:
“…No statute apart from the ‘Copyright Act 1911’
either prevents or compels one to do something “at their own expense”.

Any Act which compels must specifically imply or state EXPRESSLY that you must comply AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE!

If it doesn’t imply or expressly state the removal of that particular right, then one’s private right is not curbed [not that it ever could be] and firmly remains intact!

The burden of proof is on “the authority” to prove conclusively [documented proof] using EXPRESS WORDS that you have to provide private personal information AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. That is what the Law of the land dictates.

Supporting case law:

1. Metropolitan Asylum District Managers v. Hill (1881), 6 App. Cas. 193

Lord Blackburn said, at p. 208: “It is clear that the burden lies on those who seek to establish that the legislature intended to take away the private rights of individuals, to show that by express words, or by necessary implication, such an intention appears.”

2 Regina -v- Dyment (1988) , 45 CCC (3d) 244

1988, CCC, La Forest J, Human Rights.

The court referred to “informational privacy” – “This notion of privacy derives from the assumption that all information about a person is in a fundamental way his own, for him to communicate or retain for himself as he sees fit.”

So, the next time that you are stopped by police or receive written demands (electoral rolls anyone?), and are told that you must do either this, that or other, you have a perfect right to charge them for it, unless or until they provide verifiable proof to the contrary that such Acts etc.,expressly states that it must be “AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE”

The phrase “AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE” is an extremely powerful phrase to use against any [alleged] representing authority.

Think about the many different situations whereby one may legitimately charge a fee to any [alleged] authority for you provide private personal information, such as to: Councils for the compilation of the annual Voters Register, Council Tax, Council Parking Tickets, Police allegations of speeding etc., etc., etc.

Written by anubis

January 29th, 2017 at 5:06 am

Fraud

without comments

Lazarus Estates Ltd v Beasley [1956] 1 QB 702, [1956] 1 All ER 341 –
Lord Denning

“No Court in this land will allow a person to keep an advantage he has obtained by fraud. No judgment of a court, no order of a Minister, can be allowed to stand if it has been obtained by fraud. Fraud unravels everything. The court is careful not to find fraud unless it is distinctly pleaded and proved; but once it is proved it vitiates judgments, contracts and all transactions whatsoever”

Written by anubis

January 11th, 2017 at 6:46 am

Freedom of Movement and the Cruelty of the Euro

without comments

originally posted here

Freedom of Movement and the Cruelty of the Euro
Monday, 09 January 2017
Robert Oulds

To escape the damage caused by the euro, and the resulting problems of mass migration, Brexit is essential for the UK
9th January 2017

Summary

1. The euro prevents EU countries with weak economies using currency exchange rates to adjust their competitiveness within and external to the EU. The EU therefore has a policy of ‘rebalancing’, or ‘internal devaluation’. Rebalancing relies on the failure of uncompetitive industries. The result is unemployment, lower wages and lower prices together with austerity justified by high levels of sovereign debt. These pressures on the population are intended to force the creation of competitive trading industries and reduce non-trading activities.

2. Regional EU payments are bureaucratically allocated and managed. They are inadequate, inappropriate and inefficient compared with simple and automatic floating exchange rate adjustments.

3. Freedom of movement theoretically reduces the unemployed population by moving labour to stronger economies that have labour shortages. This is the reason for its importance to the Euro model.

4. Rebalancing involves severe dislocation and widespread hardship. The relief of hardship by EU welfare provision is inadequate and counter to the desired pressures to bring about rebalancing. The EU policy of rebalancing is entirely unethical, repressive and manipulative. It is a cruel policy reminiscent of Stalin’s forced 1930/40s population transfers. Moreover, in practice it does not work and therefore nor does the euro.

5. By contrast, Brexit is ethical and traditional in seeking to develop local economies without dislocation and with whatever support is needed. It incorporates normal exchange rate adjustments and acceptance of skilled persons of any origin through controlled immigration. Many who voted for Brexit voted for jobs and standard of living. The characterization of controlled immigration through Brexit as racist and discriminatory attempts to disguise the cruel nature of EU internal ‘rebalancing’.

* * *

Freedom of Movement and the Cruelty of the Euro

1. It is a false accusation that the UK’s wish to control immigration is racist and discriminatory. That accusation is intended to disguise a vicious and cruel EU policy. Freedom of movement is asserted by the European Union to be a privilege and great benefit. That is not true. Its fundamental purpose and the reason for the EU’s insistence that the UK accepts it as a condition of market access following Brexit is to enforce use of the euro.

2. It is well known that prior to adoption of the Euro the weaker economies of Southern Europe, such as Greece, were able to maintain rough competitiveness with the stronger states such as Germany by currency exchange rate movements. After adoption of the Euro this was no longer possible, either within the EU or in relation to countries outside the EU. The IMF, ECB and European Commission therefore adopted a policy of ‘rebalancing’.

3. The rebalancing or ‘internal devaluation’ model assumes that when competitive trading differences arise between countries, the less competitive industries will fail. There will be unemployment, less demand and a consequent fall in wages and prices. Austerity is a tool to reinforce this process. Where these conditions occur, the countries affected must develop more competitive production methods and move resources from non-trading activities to trading production. Those persons made unemployed by this process or who cannot find work should be able to emigrate to EU countries that are more competitive and where there are labour shortages. This is the reason why freedom of movement is essential to the EU. It reduces the economic pressures that are desirable for rebalancing.

4. Unemployment, euphemistically called ‘labour shedding’ is regarded as essential to rebalancing. The ECB at present purchases company debt to sustain the financial markets since even negative interest rates and money printing have failed to give growth. The EU regional funds that are given to Greece and Spain for social and economic purposes are inadequate, inappropriate and are inefficiently bureaucratically allocated and managed. In practice they do not materially reduce the pressures for rebalancing/internal devaluation. The only large scale assistance offered is more debt, additional to the debt that is a major part of their economic problems in the first instance.

5. The traditional simple and automatic rebalancing of competitiveness by exchange rate movements involves little or no drastic economic reorganization or social disruption. That is not the case within the Eurozone. Eurozone rebalancing is driven by closure of industries, unemployment and migration. The creation of new competitive industries is merely an aspiration. The notion that competitiveness can be equalized between Greece and Germany, for example, by these means is absurd.

6. The simple unemployment rate does not, of course, reflect the quality of employment taken up by employees from failed industries. Their first option will be to take whatever employment is avalable, which will probably be at a lower income and living standard. This is part of the ‘rebalancing’ process.

7. The closure of uncompetitive industries with theoretical development of new competitive industries is euphemistically called ‘structural reform’. In the real world, uncompetitive industries within the Eurozone definitely close; in competition with Germany and other Northern states, competitive industrial development of the southern EU states definitely does not and can not occur. This is the source of the present imbalances within the EU.

8. Apparently, the EU rebalancing policy has developed from a United States model. If so, it is wholly inappropriate. The United States is homogeneous for language and culture. Even so, unacceptable within-country imbalances have occurred as they also have in the UK. It is these that have given rise to the protest votes for Donald Trump and Brexit. The EU is not homogeneous for language, culture and many other factors. For these reasons, Europeans are much more attached to their locality of origin than Americans.

9. In any country, a major rigidity is that the unemployed usually have low skills. They cannot afford to move or are unwilling to leave an uncomfortable but manageable situation where housing, family and familiar support networks exist and move to another country having a different language where there are great uncertainties.

10. Persons who are skilled and have money will regard freedom of movement as beneficial, for holidays, or retirement for example. Many of these would wish to relocate for career reasons in any case. They would be welcomed by receiving countries, as the UK welcomes such persons from any country and would do so following Brexit. Young persons with qualifications and without family will also emigrate readily, although their loss disadvantages their countries of origin. It is evident however, that those often older persons who are displaced from failed industries will be least able or willing to emigrate. This is what can be seen in practice.

11. Adoption of the euro has therefore generated economic imbalances that will not be rectified automatically. Worse, the rebalancing policy based on the euro has created hardship for millions of people in Southern Europe and the Republic of Ireland. It is a cruel policy that ignores human welfare and rather than encouraging prosperity, is indifferent to the pain that it causes.

12. The human cost of the EU’s rebalancing policy, that is driven by industry failure and unemployment, has always been known to the institutions of the EU but they have chosen to ignore it. The UK’s Brexit is based on positive policies to create employment by assisting existing industries and developing new ones with, of course, exchange rate adjustment of external competitiveness. Not only is the EU’s rebalancing policy an ethical disgrace, the attempt to disguise its true nature and purpose by labelling those who do not accept it as racists is despicable.

13. Together with these considerations, many EU states have very large public and private debt that will never be repaid. This requires separate consideration but, briefly, debt permits control by the EU central institutions, particularly the ECB and IMF. Its most obvious outcome is the sale of state assets, further weakening states that are undergoing ‘rebalancing’ stress. It is these destructive debts knowingly given by the banks and underwritten by the ECB and IMF that provide the rationale for austerity. Austerity is intended to reinforce ‘rebalancing’.

14. There may be said to be four broad groups of people affected by Brexit:

i. People who are aware that they are suffering, or at least are not benefiting, due to EU policies. They tend to support Brexit because their local industries have vanished and they want jobs and a reasonable living standard. They are often not well educated and do not understand the technicalities of the Euro or how the EU functions. Although not articulated in these terms, their views contain implied strategic factors as well as self-interest. They identify uncontrolled immigration as evidence that the UK no longer controls its own economy and their destiny. This enables pro-EU activists to label them as ignorant, racist or espousing ‘the politics of hate’.

ii. Educated and well-informed persons who understand that the EU is undemocratic, administered by a super-rich elite with dependent politicians, a large dependent bureaucracy and a dysfunctional currency. They understand that the BIS, ECB and banks generally control the EU. They might know, for example, that Mario Draghi came from bankers Goldman Sachs, achieved Presidency of the ECB and after his term of office returned to Goldman Sachs. They might know that Goldman Sachs conspired with Greek politicians to hide Greece’s debts in order to obtain EU entry, so laying the foundation for the present economic misery of the Greek people. They may view the EU to be on the path to tyranny, which would not be unusual in some EU countries.

iii. Usually middle class persons who support the EU and believe that it is beneficial because their jobs depend on EU trading, are publicly funded or EU funded. These apparently do not understand how the EU operates or do not care. Their evaluation is based on their immediate interests rather than whether the EU system is democratically legitimate or benefits the UK.

iv. The rich and high level executives in international companies, banks, the ECB and IMF who understand the EU. They will fight to retain the euro because it is they who have designed it in their own interests to make them richer and to give them political control of the EU through its economy. This group believes in ‘realpolitic’ rather than democracy and will support tyranny as it has in the past.

13. Because it is clear that the existing banks are hostile to Brexit, a priority for Brexit planning must be to organize a banking system independent of the ECB and the existing big banks. Ideally local mutual units would be best for SMEs with a large central unit for major development and export finance. The role of the Bank of England needs close examination. The recent actions of the Royal Bank of Scotland in asset-stripping vulnerable SMEs indicates where the interests of all bankers lie. It is noteworthy that Richard Branson who cultivates his image as ‘a man of the people’ has recently publicly opposed Brexit and is financing an opposition group. The EU operates for the very rich.

14. Those who designed the EU’s euro ‘rebalancing’ policy view people as theoretical economic units without human needs, feelings and attachments to family and locality. Theoretically, it is not desirable to give welfare to because this would lessen the economic pressure that is essential to rebalancing. In any case, the levels of welfare assistance would be impossibly large for the EU to accept. This neglect of welfare is to the extent that in Greece large numbers of people are homeless and actually starving and in Spain youth unemployment is 45-50 percent. ‘Rebalancing’ is not based on a democratic, egalitarian view of society. It is a policy of repression and manipulation without any ethical content. For this reason the euro does not work and nor does the EU.

15. The creation of the EU and Euro is a far development from the Common Market that the UK joined. The Common Market has moved from national directly elected parliamentary democracies to a centralized bureaucracy managed by a political and economic elite. This elite, most visible in central banks, the ECB and IMF has little if any connection with or responsiveness to the immediate needs of the population. It is not at all clear that the first priority of the EU is the welfare of its population.

16. Brexit has a democratic and ethical foundation based on centuries of trading, economic development experience and the democratic development of society. It will be traditionally designed to give benefits with the minimum of dislocation possible, to develop local skills and industries and to welcome skilled workers from all other countries.

17. It is the writer’s view that on present trends, full EU integration based on the euro and supremacy of the banks over the public interest can only be achieved by political repression and a police state, that is, tyranny. That is a form of government that often occurs in Europe. The EU and UK parliament have permitted the spying and financial infrastructure of tyranny to be assembled under the guise of fighting terrorism. The democratic Brexit decision is now being labelled ‘tyranny of the majority’ (John Major) and ‘populism’. It is a bad sign.

By Christopher King MSc DipM DMS

Most of the following are discussion papers, not official ECB or IMF papers.

Official IMF report 2015 http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2015/110915.pdf

http://voxeu.org/article/rebalancing-eurozone-internal-adjustments-won-t-be-enough )

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2014/sdn1407.pdf

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2014/wp14130.pdf

http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2013/11/europe-the-failure-of-internal-devaluation/

Written by anubis

January 9th, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Exhalation of Carbon Dioxide

without comments

Exhalation at 40,000 parts per million!
Anthony Bright-Paul

I looked it up – I was curious. How many times does a normal healthy human being breathe in and breathe out in just one minute? Well, Google tells me that we exhale (that means breathe out for the scientifically illiterate friends of mine on Facebook) some fifteen to twenty times in one minute.

Let us take the lower number. What is 15 x 60? It equals 900 exhalations in every hour! Let us now multiply 900 by 24 to get the number of breaths in 24 hours. That comes to 21,600 exhalations of Carbon Dioxide at 40,000 parts per million in one single day by one average person.

The total world population is presently reckoned to be 7.4 billion. And rising! You do the maths for that!

Now, all the animal kingdom and all the bacteria also inhale Oxygen and exhale Carbon Dioxide. And all the green plants and plankton just love this Carbon Dioxide and provide Oxygen for us humans to breathe. I love my Carbon Dioxide since plants love my Carbon Dioxide – the question is ‘Do you?’

Am I a Climate Scientist? Answer: No, I am not. Question: Is Al Gore a Climate Scientist? Answer: No, he is a politician. Is there such an animal as a ‘climate scientist?’ That is a moot question. The three principal sciences are Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Professor Tim Ball has a degree in Geography but is also known as a Climatologist – that is to say, someone who attempts to garner and preserve data about past climates. This is unlike those who will neither reveal their metadata nor how, by all accounts, they unintentionally lose it. For full details please read http://principia-scientific.org/beware-fake-science-news by John O’Sullivan. But we can say is that there are Meteorologists, Marine Geologists and Astrophysicists, but it is only ignoramuses who talk about climate scientists. It does not exist as a discrete field of science!

The Global Warmers, or I should say the man-made Global Warmers, froth and foam about Carbon Dioxide. There is a lot that can be done with Carbon Dioxide. It can be made into dry ice that is colder than water ice. It can be liquefied for ease of transport. It can be used in any number of carbonated drinks like coca-cola or tonic water that goes so well with gin! In common with all molecules it will warm up with infrared and likewise cool by radiation.

If anyone dare suggest that what is said about ‘climate sensitivity’ is just poor science, they get called a ‘denier’. I tell you what – count me in! I deny absolutely that Carbon Dioxide has any warming properties whatsoever. A molecule may be warmed for a nano-second, but it cannot generate heat and it cannot capture or trap heat – that is an impossibility. Even highly intelligent people get caught on that one. One may capture a substance, but it is impossible to trap a transfer of kinetic energy. In fact these transfers of kinetic energy are ongoing, everywhere without cessation. Just everything is seeking an equilibrium that is never attained.

There is only one entity that can warm the Globe with its radiation and that is the Sun. So who are the real deniers? Who are the deceivers? Who are the tricksters and mountebanks who deny the absolute supreme power of the Sun? None other than the Warmists, the Anthropogenic Global Warmers, who imagine that they can control the already fraudulent global temperature, by making laws regulating the amount of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.

We already know that the total amount of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide is only 0.04% of the atmosphere, agreed by both sides of the argument. We also know that the figure for the human contribution from the IPCC is but 2.9%. If we round this up to 3%, then the total human contribution from the burning of fossil fuels amounts to 0.0012%, an amount that is so derisory that it is laughable. Well it would be laughable were it not for the fact that in conference after conference, as COP22, the Warmists attempt to impose upon the nations of the world draconian measures, designed specifically to torpedo Western civilisation and incidentally to impoverish the citizens of the Third World.

How long have we had to put up with their gormless drivel? Not any more – their day of reckoning has come. Even James Hansen admits that the attempts to reduce emissions of Carbon Dioxide are an exercise in futility. Yet he persists. The President-elect of the United States has chosen a team of well known so called Contrarians and Deniers, who regard the doctrine of man-made Global warming as a false science. Or so it appears. I am holding my breath until January 20th. 2017 should be an interesting year!

Anthony Bright-Paul
Friday, 16 December 2016

Postscript: –

Our current scientific understanding of global warming and climate change impacts are not the domain of one, quirky field called ‘climate science’. In fact, it doesn’t even exist as a discrete field of science.

http://principia-scientific.org/beware-fake-science-news

Written by anubis

December 24th, 2016 at 8:19 am

Posted in Climate,Politics

OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER-PRESIDENT SEEHOFER

without comments

OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER-PRESIDENT SEEHOFER
(Sent before the carnage in Berlin’s Christmas market)

posted here

Dear Minister-President Seehofer,

I would like to commend you on your opposition to mass uncontrolled immigration into Europe. One would think that it would be trivial to praise politicians – who are elected to uphold law and order, meaning our culture and values – for doing so, but these are the times we are living in.

In 1973 French author Jean Raspail asked a prophetic question in his best-selling novel, The Camp of Saints. What if France had at its borders millions of people ready to move in, not carrying weapons but complete destitution instead? If you refuse entry they will face a very uncertain future; but if you let them in millions more will follow and your culture and national identity will die. What should be done?

Today we have the answer: an unprecedented population replacement across much of Western Europe, largely funded by those being replaced. Based on current demographic and immigration trends, Austria will become a majority Muslim country by the end of this century, likely followed by France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and even the UK.

Somehow I don’t believe that the millions who died defending Europe over centuries had this outcome in mind. But then again neither did the mighty Byzantines and their Persian archrivals, both of which after reaching the pinnacle of Human civilization at the time ended up being irrevocably absorbed by the Islamic demographic and military onslaughts.

As an immigrant myself (who lived in Munich at one point) I have great empathy for anyone leaving their homelands in search of a better life. I certainly have no ill feelings towards my Muslim brothers and sisters, whose aspirations are as worthy as anyone’s. If you build a nice house, then throw away the “quaint” tools like your values and religion used in its construction, it shouldn’t be a surprise that as the front door is left wide open others will come in and set up their own values and religion in that empty space. Why shouldn’t they? I would too if I had the chance.

Unfortunately, as you well know change at this scale is seldom easy… and peaceful. We only need to look at the Balkans, a beautiful region with wonderful people, to get a glimpse of how fractured our own multicultural societies might become. Actually, we are already feeling its effects, with national armies having to patrol European cities to prevent further atrocities – and no resolution in sight. And it can get much worse, not least in terms of personal freedoms, to the detriment of both natives and immigrants. Even a breakup of Germany at some point is not unthinkable.

Large economic crises have reliably sparked social revolutions over generations. We may not have to wait long for another one to hit Europe, now with the novelty of an imported multiethnic component. It is in times of strife that we can truly judge the resilience of our societies, not the relative prosperity we’ve had until now. And frankly I’m very worried about this particular point.

We can debate whether the SYKES-PICOT agreement in the 1920s is really what led to the current turmoil across much of the Middle East; but it is beyond question that the MERKEL-SARKOZY-BLAIR mass immigration policies have led to this bubbling instability in our societies – very likely for decades. Whether this was incidental or not, our children will probably hate us for it.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Prof. Vaclav Smil, considered to be one of the leading global thinkers alive today, listed the emergence of “Eurabia” as one of the potential catastrophes of the 21st century in his seminal book on the matter. I would very much encourage reading it. It seems even the Dalai Lama agrees.

Yes, low birth rates across Europe are a concern, but as we stand on the verge of a massive automation wave which risks displacing millions more jobs I’m not convinced it is that problematic; it might even help manage serious global environmental problems. What is deeply worrying –and irreversible at some point – is the progressive debasement of our culture (“so not to offend the newcomers”), one which has contributed so much to Human progress over centuries. To be clear it is really *culture* that’s at stake here, much more than race or anything else which have remained fluid across Europe throughout the ages.

There was once a time when we in the West stood proud of the civilization we created – with great cost and sacrifice, and not always with perfect results or intentions – to the point where we exported it all over the world. And despite the prevailing cultural Marxist narrative in today’s mainstream media and academia the recipients are broadly better off as a result (notwithstanding some very notable errors).

Take Germany. Just one of your inventions, the Haber process that allows the industrial production of ammonia (critical for modern agriculture), has enabled the sustenance of innumerable lives all over the world – dare I say far, far more than the unfortunate and unjustifiable deaths caused by the darker days of your recent History. I could name several other German inventions that have greatly helped Humanity. Even your emigrants have made immeasurable contributions to countries like Brazil and especially the US. As such, I am one of many who believe you should feel proud of your German heritage, instead of being beaten down through indoctrination for what happened over seventy years ago.

And now you are on the receiving end of that cultural flow:

Instead of exporting much needed water treatment, cars and farming equipment you export weapons and homegrown jihadists to the Middle East;
Instead of promoting Western education standards and unequivocally standing up for the rights of women across the Middle East you are lost in endless debates of how many burqas and child marriages should be allowed in Germany;
Instead of enforcing international refugee protection laws, especially regarding the first country of safety, you now have to ponder how to accommodate sharia law in your society;
Instead of creating safe zones in the region that will allow people affected by the tragedies of war to live with dignity (at a fraction of the cost of doing so in Europe) and eventually return to rebuild their homes, you completely open your borders creating chaos and resentment – while supporting foreign policies and regimes that, to put it mildly, greatly contribute to destabilizing the Middle East.

Unfortunately, much of the current European political establishment is committed to the dilution of our nation states and cultures so we can all merge into a single, glorious entity. And they figured out that mass immigration is the way to do it. Clearly they learned the wrong lessons from History and there’s just no amount of imported crime, rape, violence, murder and animal torture that will stop them from blindly pursuing their EU-topia. The multicultural car crash known as Sweden is a great example of this. I’m sorry for these harsh words but this is the world we live in.

The fate of EU-topia will be the same as that of all utopias. It is already unraveling, unable to create decent jobs for millions of people – especially young Europeans, with no vigor nor any international aspirations (what exactly does it stand for?), incapable of adequately safeguarding the protection of its citizens (especially women and Jews), greatly susceptible to political interference from all sorts of foreign regimes and standing on the verge of a financial collapse so great that risks destabilizing the entire world economy for years to come.

Freedom of thought and speech is what really has made us Europeans so unique and successful in Modern History. Regrettably, we are increasingly not allowed to criticize or report on any of these unfolding tragedies this time around.

I am told that in the incident of the woman who was viciously thrown down the stairs in Berlin your Police is now looking to punish the source of that video leak. Yet another sad episode on the back of the cover up of the New Year Eve’s events in Cologne, where to add insult to injury women were told to dress up properly to “avoid problems”.

If only that much effort had been put into defending our way of life. Instead, the emperor must keep on walking with no clothes – and no criticism: “since we lost control of reality let’s control the perception of that reality”… “it’s all fake news”… “the Russians did it”… etc. Fin de civilization indeed.

But persevere we must. We rely on brave politicians like yourself to stand up for the rest of us. For that we thank you Sir. And please rest assured that an increasing number of voters all over Europe will respond to it. There is much to hope for, even as the lights are dimming all over our beloved Continent.

May I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy – and Safe – 2017

Sincerely,

Europe Always & Forever

Written by anubis

December 21st, 2016 at 10:51 am

Article 61

without comments

Originally posted here

Good evening rebels…

This is a very (not so) brief explanation of why the remedy we use works.

Thanks to the committee of the barons for invoking article 61 of Magna Carta 1215, we have a lawful, peaceful remedy to tackle the injustices of the state in a peaceful manner, we don’t take to the streets.

We Only deal with evidential facts and nothing more and, ONLY use British constitutional tenets in our arguments.

This is because anyone who opposing our standing will also be opposing the British Constitution which is tantamount to TREASON AT COMMON LAW. By the way…Blair did NOT legally repeal the 1795 treasonable and seditious practices Act when he brought in the Crime and disorder Act in 1998 like the (imposter) government says.

Of course, naturally you will need to check that constitutional law (common law) is a higher jurisdiction in the realm than the corporate rules being flung about by imposters and crooks within the establishment.today to be confident with the law.

Please don’t just believe what we state, check it all out for yourselves but remember, the internet is awash with disinformation, just search for British constitution and see how many posts say that Britain doesn’t have one.

The argument they use is almost laughable, they say that we don’t have a written,codified constitution like the USA (who incidentally took their constitution from ours). When evidently we DO have a written constitution that is not codified because it was created by the people over hundreds of years through revolutions and tyrannical regimes before this one.

The law IS OF THE PEOPLE…which is why we are policed by consent in Britain. We all surely consent to the constitution as it protects the people and ensures justice is seen to be done. Unlike today in their corporate arenas, where deception and unaware peoples is a profitable practice indeed..

So…to the point. The regime works on presumption, they presume that you consent (and indeed you do if you comply with a summons of your own free will, or ignore their notices and letters). They presume that you are the corporate body and that you understand legalese and stand under their presumed (illegal) authority.

We remove all presumptions and provide evidence of article 61’s invocation (Daily Telegraph report) plus other evidence (which can be seen in some of the processes we have succeeded with, in the files). We state that we do not consent as the law FORBIDS us to do so at this time. We conditionally accept all demands on proof that they have the authority to make those demands since article 61’s invocation. The crown has NO authority whatsoever so neither do the so called courts, policy enforcers, councils etc.

Article 61 is a royal command, it is commanded that we distress the crown and the illegal regime by seizing castles, land etc, we all have LAWFUL: EXCUSE to do this and distress the regime in any way we see fit peacefully though, whilst also enjoying the freedom that ‘duress of circumstances’ provides us. Under duress you can comply with the regime if you rely on a car or whatever for example do not de-register the car or tax on it….you are also entitled to all your entitlements, it would be theft and coercion to aid and abet a treasonous regime to deny you them.

So…we go after every individual as a man/woman who makes any demands on us. We must compel them to stand under article 61 too by law…everyone has the duty to do that whilst in lawful rebellion….this is apart of its strategy…..only a united people can defeat treason from within. Unify under the common law which is common sense and just, is all we need to do.

Honour is very important in law so we must always provide an opportunity to cure (to make good, if they ignore the conditional acceptance notice)..

By putting someone on Notice of an evidentai fact (treason – article 61) whilst serving the notice by recorded post and retaining a copy and postal receipt, once delivered and signed for it is deemed to have been accepted under the law, therefore if they ignore it they will have tacitly agreed to it. If they reply and do not refer to your claims, then they agree by lack of substance (documented evidence of article 61 not being in effect today) or, they may denounce the constitution which is the crime of sedition if done publicly.

So..we are creating a case file for our defence and educating the unawares also. We conditionally accept a hearing if summonsed but ONLY in a ‘properly convened court de jure’…(court with a jury standing under common law) – (constitutional law). There are NO courts of law in Britain today as they all derive their presumed authority from the crown, which is not in any position of authority since article 61 was invoked, and are all corporate which is not a SERVICE. Britain is supposed to be a system of service to the sovereign people, we are all sovereign because we are all equal. Even the monarch is in service to the people by Oath and contract (Coronation Oath)…

This is a check mate move as we find that nobody will commit high treason against us. Once we serve the misprision of treason Notice on them they cannot deny knowing of the crime, which we all have a duty to report to a justice of the peace. If they do not report the crime of treason then they are guilty of misprision of treason (to know of an act of treason being planned ot committed and not to report the crime then you are also guilty of the crime). I attempted to report treason back in 2010 in Devizes Wiltshire.

TREASON….to hand over the authority of a nation without the expressed consent of the people, or without first being beaten in open battle.

The reason why article 61 was invoked was because QE2 ratified the treasonous treaty of Nice (France)…and NO we are not out of the EU and we cannot escape it by using article 50 of the treasonous Lisbon treaty. That would be granting the illegal imposters in Westminster authority and the EU legislation too, which has no authority over the British nor commonwealth nations.

Finally….the entire English speaking commonwealth nations ALL have a duty to stand under article 61. When we unite we will not only change Britain and the commonwealth back to a just system of service but you can be sure it would go global also. We will be able to bring the untouchable (like BLAIR) to justice as well as the banksters etc and have a constitutional convention of the people to bring the constitution up to scratch.

I hope this provides a little more comprehension to this remedy we use.

Peace.

Written by anubis

December 15th, 2016 at 11:42 pm

Clean Brexit

without comments

Clean Brexit is the practical and democratic way forward

Liam Halligan

10 December 2016 • 7:55pm

There’s a strong case for the Government to make a very clear statement – and then to stick to its political guns.

Theresa May has long refused to give a running commentary on her negotiations with the European Union.

Last week, though, in a moment of high parliamentary drama, the Prime Minister conceded her government will now publish a “Brexit plan” before triggering Article 50 by March next year.

Having backed Brexit, I’ve always recognised it may be unwise for the Government to disclose its desired negotiating outcome.

These two statements aren’t linked. However you voted in June, everyone should acknowledge the potential downsides of the UK showing its hand ahead of what could be some extremely hard bargaining. That hasn’t stopped numerous Remainers from insisting ministers “have no plan” and “are clueless”, as they demand full disclosure.

Many are doing so, of course, to spread Brexit-related alarm – trying to whip up a panic and somehow stymie or even reverse the clear referendum result.

The complexity of any negotiation involving 27 countries, each with their own commercial lobbies and electorates, means any detailed Brexit roadmap would be obsolete before it was written. So the Government, having just secured a Commons majority to invoke Article 50 in return for “a plan”, could justifiably produce something vague.

I’d argue, though, there’s now a strong case for the Government, quite soon, to make a very clear statement with regard to the outcome it wants – and then to stick to its political guns. So long as that desired outcome is “Clean Brexit”.

I’d identify three basic Brexit models. The first is joining the European Economic Area – the “Norwegian option” – involving continued multi-billion pound annual payments to Brussels, while accepting numerous EU rules and regulations – including “freedom of movement”.

This isn’t Brexit and, in my view, would be a betrayal of the referendum result.

The second, and most widely envisaged option, is a bespoke UK deal. We’d invoke Article 50 as the Government has indicated, using the subsequent two-year negotiating period to bend EU rules to our will – trying, in particular, to maximise control over our borders while minimising the constraints placed on our EU trade. This might be possible.

As the world’s fifth-largest economy, with a £60bn trade deficit with the EU, the UK can surely get a better deal than Norway.

A “bespoke UK” option, though, would involve a drawn-out and acrimonious negotiation. The outcome of any deal, almost by definition, wouldn’t be known until the moment before the two-year deal-making window expired – prolonging business uncertainty and hindering both domestic and foreign investment.

It must also be recognised, given the UK would be going head-to-head with the EU, attempting to weaken links between the various “pillars” which hold the entire European project together, that a very real possibility is an extremely bad-tempered “no deal”.

With the UK seeking to dismantle EU rules, and Franco-German EU lifers fighting back, a multi-year UK-EU negotiation could easily end in stalemate. Uncertainty would then become semi-permanent, seriously harming all of Western Europe as a place to do business.

Voters on both sides of the Channel would despair at the rank incompetence of their leaders. The UK, in particular, would be in a terrible state. We’d have torn incurable fissures across the British electorate and wrecked our relationship with the EU, making future cooperation all but impossible – and for what?

So I strongly favour the third option – “Clean Brexit”. Parliament passes the “Great Repeal” Bill that May has already outlined, carrying over relevant EU statute into domestic law. We then send our Article 50 letter and leave – quitting both the single market and the customs union.

Under Clean Brexit, the UK trades with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules, which are in no way a disaster for Britain. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Under Clean Brexit, the UK trades with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules. That won’t be denied – as we’d take the EU to WTO arbitration and win. WTO rules are in no way a disaster for Britain. They currently govern our trade with countries including the US and China that make up the 85pc of the world economy that’s outside the EU.

The non-EU accounts for almost 60pc of our trade and rising. While we have a huge EU deficit, with the non-EU we run a £30bn surplus – under WTO rules, outside the single market. The non-EU, then, generates the bulk of our trade, the part that is growing and where we register a surplus.

The single market – despite its appealing name – is a deeply imperfect set of rules that discriminate against the services in which Britain excels. The maximum EU tariffs we’d face are well within single digits. On manufactured goods, the average is 2.4pc – far less than the recent fall in sterling. And that’s a worse-case scenario.

The importance of the UK to German carmakers, French food producers and the rest of them means we can expect to negotiate tariffs down much further. There’s lots of alarm about preserving the “passporting” of financial services. Such concerns, trumpeted by big City companies that don’t like change, are massively overdone.

Yes, the UK’s financial services industry is important. But the EU accounted for just 33pc of our financial services exports last year, while the country which took most was America – where we have no free trade deal. Passporting would be good, but we can live without it. Many non-EU members anyway trade financial services using EU “equivalence” rules – which would apply to a Brexited UK.

“Leaving the customs union” is also often presented as a mortal sin. Once out, though, many imports – including food – would be cheaper, as shoppers would avoid the related tariff on non-EU goods. And, free of the customs union, we could finally strike trade deals with the populous, fast-growing emerging markets, beyond the EU, which will soon be the most important economies in the world.

The EU accounted for just 33pc of our financial services exports last year – passporting would be good, but we can live without it.

Clean Brexit is democratic. The Great Repeal means that, in the short term, nothing changes. Then, in our own time, over several electoral cycles, UK ministers and our Parliament decide which EU laws and regulations we retain and which we alter. That’s how it should be. Our annual contribution ends and, leaving the single market and customs union, we strike UK trade deals and take control of our borders.

The Government should state all this in March, on invoking Article 50. That’s ahead of upcoming French and German elections, next spring and late-summer respectively – which is vital. We tell the EU we want to trade under WTO rules, we don’t want any kind of drawn-out negotiation over borders or the single market, but we’re happy to consider UK-EU sector-specific trade deals of mutual benefit.

During the upcoming continental elections, then, the French and German carmaking, pharmaceutical and food-processing giants will know the EU needs to cut a deal with Britain to retain tariff-free access to the UK market.

These powerful industrial lobbies will try to extract pro-UK concessions from the various candidates, doing our lobbying for us. Remote politicians, perhaps looking to bash Britain on the election stump, will be reminded by their own people that the EU’s free trade with Britain underpins millions of jobs and billions of euros of profit.

I reject the term “hard Brexit”. It’s often used by those who lost the referendum and want to make leaving the EU seem extreme.

Quitting the single market and customs union voluntarily, avoiding a tortured “single market-free movement” negotiation and using WTO rules isn’t ideological. It’s a practical, transparent position that limits uncertainty while minimising damage to the UK, the EU and our ongoing relationship.

Clean Brexit is the way to go. Forced to disclose her plans, Theresa May should go the whole hog.

Written by anubis

December 12th, 2016 at 6:19 am

An agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right and freedom

without comments

We will be clear about only one thing after the EU referendum on 23rd June. Either we will be living in a more democratic society, or we will not. This is just as it should be, given that this is a constitutional referendum focused not on particular economic or social policies or outcomes but on process, the process by which we organise and relate to democratic government. The EU is not just a trade group, single market or debating society, it is an important part of our government.

There will be economic and social outcomes. There are risks and there will be consequences – either way – as to trade, GDP, immigration, unemployment, house prices and so on, but not only are these almost impossible to assess or predict, they are also beside the main point. The main point is that we are voting about democracy, and democracy is about freedom, and democracy and freedom matter.

Emphasising democracy does not imply that the people will have taken control if the vote is for ‘Leave’. Sovereignty, national or popular, will not have landed on Dover beach. Indeed, given the parlous state of our actually existing democracy it is not unlikely that the government would manage (the mot juste) to keep the UK in the EU despite a vote to the contrary. It should be noted too that the EU is not the only challenge to our democracy and our freedom; the malaise is wide and deep.

Nevertheless, a vote to leave is the democratic thing to do, and will be of great significance. The demos can strike a blow against the collusion and entanglement of the UK with a very undemocratic institution, and can land a blow on those ‘mind forg’d manacles’ too. Settling for a good king rather than a bad parliament should, now we have been asked, be turned down.

We also need to keep our eye on the ball. It is a symptom of the deeply apprehensive mood of our times that tragic events such as the killing of Jo Cox MP can so easily plunge society into the sort of understandably emotional responses that we have seen in the last week. Now indeed is the time for cool heads, and reason to be strong.

Few bother to dispute that the EU is undemocratic. For example, the Times editorial on 18th June set out its case for Remain, but simply concedes the democratic point, ‘The institutions that run the world’s biggest trading bloc foster democracy in new member states but are themselves undemocratic, meddling and short-sighted’. This is admirably frank, but it simply underlines how little importance is attached to the democratic dimension. Such has been obvious too from the referendum debate, and it bespeaks a great danger – that democracy is considered no longer worth fighting for.

To mention democracy is to provoke frowns of exasperation, winces of guilt, and ever more elaborate redefinitions of ‘what we really mean by democracy in a complex global economy in which nations are past their sell-by date’. It is sometimes added with neither conviction nor credibility that the EU, well, can perhaps be ‘reformed from within’. Most often though we are told that things are just too complicated now for an old-fashioned idea like democracy.

Democracy, in fact, is a pretty straightforward thing. It is based on an understanding of the equal worth of every human being, and it is above all about freedom. Freedom is about the ability of an individual to act without unnecessary constraint, and about a people being able to live under a government of its own choosing. It is also more than that. Freedom is an attitude. The very concept recognises that we are indeed unduly constrained not just by nature and necessity but also by the structures and frameworks that we have created for ourselves, and it expresses a yearning, and also the confidence that we have it in ourselves, to overcome these limitations and do so much better. If we give up on this, we will have given up.

That parliamentary democracy was about freedom was obvious to those who fought for it in the first place. In 1647, one of the simple demands that the Levellers proposed to the General Council of the Army at Putney was ‘That the people do of course choose themselves a parliament once in two years’. Their magnificent manifesto was entitled ‘An agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right and freedom’. In 1776, the American revolutionaries who had been denied representation in the British parliament published their Declaration and they listed liberty, after life, as the second of their inalienable rights. In 1840, the young Chartist, Samuel Holberry, was arrested in his bedroom with a dagger in his hand. He admitted that he would indeed use it ‘in defence of the Charter and to obtain liberty’. He died in prison two years later, and it is said that up to 50,000 people followed his funeral procession to Sheffield General Cemetery. In 1863 at Gettysburg, where there had been about 23,000 casualties on each side, Abraham Lincoln defended ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’, and said that victory in that cause would herald ‘the new birth of freedom’.

As the examples above illustrate, democracy and freedom grew with and within nation states. This was the historical form and vehicle for the expression of the individual and collective freedom of the people. The understanding followed that people in other states were also entitled, in theory at least, to the same. Woodrow Wilson put the matter succinctly in a speech to Congress in 1918, ‘National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self-determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril.’ True internationalism implies such an approach. The workers of the world must indeed unite, but this will not be achieved at the behest and service of Jean-Claude Juncker.

In order to be free, people need to form a political unit, a demos. It can come in many shapes and sizes. It can be as large as India or the United States of America or as small as Luxemburg or San Marino, but demos there must be if the people are to be able freely to participate in, and determine themselves through, their own government. There is, patently, no European demos. It may be desirable to build one, but as should be clear not least from many referendums the EU is certainly not the institution to do so.

The EU has never been designed to operate on a democratic basis. The Council of Ministers, composed of one minister from each of the 28 member states, is firmly in the driving seat, and with double majority voting now the norm, the wishes of any given national electorate may simply be overridden. The only body that can initiate legislation within the EU is the Commission, which is composed of one Commissioner appointed by each national government, plus 33,000 staff. There is much talk of the power of Parliament to censure the Commission (it has never actually done so) and of its increased powers to revise, amend and agree legislation. The key issue is the power of Council. The simple truth is that even with the ‘co-decision’ powers given to Parliament alongside Council in the legislative process, the Council can simply veto any legislative proposal. The Court of Justice of the European Union, with one judge appointed by each of the member states, interprets and applies EU law in all member states, and can overrule national law where EU law applies. There it is.

In considering the respect this institution has for democratic process, its treatment of Greece, Italy and Cyprus should give the stoutest EU loyalist pause for thought. In 2011, the Greek prime minister George Papandreou proposed to put the EU’s austerity proposals of Greece to the people of Greece in a referendum. Under pressure from the EU, which was furious at his idea of consulting the people on such an important issue, he was bundled out of office. A coalition was installed, headed by an unelected prime minister, Lucas Papademos, an economist and former Vice-President of the European Central Bank.

When, four years later, the Greek people, courtesy of a Syriza-led coalition, did get the opportunity to vote in a referendum on the terms of an EU-arranged bailout, they rejected the terms by 61% to 39%. The EU, which had taken Greece into the Eurozone in 2001 despite the fact that it could not possibly meet the ‘euro convergence criteria’, then rejected the Greek people – our terms or nothing – and a week later the Greek government caved in and sided with the EU. In fact, the government had to accept a deal containing even larger pension cuts and tax increases, which was presumably intended to teach the Greek people a lesson for having the cheek to express their view about how their debt crisis might be resolved. Even the IMF disapproved. George Osborne, however, appears to have been impressed. He has now promised a punishment budget of £15bn in tax rises and £15bn of spending cuts for British voters if the Leave campaign wins the referendum.

In Italy, on the day after Papademos took power in Athens, Mario Monti, another economist and a former EU Commissioner for nine years, was installed in Rome. He served as prime minister for two years despite being unelected. This was considered especially acceptable because it got rid of the horrible Silvio Berlusconi, who was hated by everyone, well, apart from the voters who kept returning him to office. In Cyprus in 2013, the EU Commission, ECB and IMF insisted amongst other things that in return for a bailout, a levy of 47.5% be taken on all deposits of more than €100,000 in the two largest Cypriot banks. The people were not consulted. They were just relieved of their money. The Economist called the bailout ‘Unfair, short-sighted and self-defeating’.

The important point that these events establish is that democracy will not be trusted by the EU to deal with such crises, or rather to deal with them in any way other than by making the people pay, and keeping the system that caused the crisis intact. Bring in the technocrats they say, take emergency powers, pass emergency measures, tear up private property rights, suspend elected government, whatever it takes.

Worse, it is not just the EU and its apologists who say this. Democracy is now widely discounted as a satisfactory form of government. Rule by the experts, say the chattering classes, is better than chaos, autocracy or military rule. They seek to insulate national governments from popular pressure and accountability. They describe those who call for democracy ‘populists’. They tell us to be very afraid, and to do what you are told. It is a recipe for disaster. Nothing, let alone the crises of failing systems, can be solved in the long term without the consent of the people involved, and that consent can only be obtained through democratic structures and practices, and that in the end is because people still want to be free.

We should never accept that the answer to a financial crisis is to give a supranational institution, with undemocratic structures and a figleaf parliament, the authority to evict a democratic government so that it can dictate terms directly to the people that government is supposed to serve. We can do better than that.

‘National aspirations must be respected’ said Wilson. Not by the EU. When the Irish people voted in a referendum on the Nice Treaty in 2001 and rejected it, they were asked to revisit their decision. Among other things people had been worried by the proposed extension of majority voting in the Council, on the basis that it put smaller states at a greater disadvantage. The EU would normally not even notice a low turnout (34%), but on this occasion the Irish were asked to vote again, and the following year they were persuaded by their government to approve the Treaty.

In 2005, four countries held referendums on a new constitution for the EU – France and the Netherlands voted against, and Spain and Luxembourg voted for. The EU paused, rewrote the proposal and presented it in 2008 as the Lisbon Treaty in more or less exactly the same terms. A whole continent just looked the other way. This time only Ireland held a referendum, and the vote went against the new treaty 53.4% to 46.6% on a turn out of 53.1%.

The EU’s Irish Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, later commented ‘all of the political leaders know quite well that if a similar question was put to their electorate by a referendum, the answer in 95 per cent of the countries would probably have been ‘No’ as well.’ At the time, quite unperturbed by the fact that no other country had held a referendum or that most people took the McCreevy view, an editorial in the pro-EU Guardian newspaper described the Irish people who had dared to vote against the treaty as ‘a horde of Goths at the gates of Rome’. A second referendum was duly held in 2009. It was after the financial crisis had broken, and this time the treaty was easily approved.

So, the EU is not itself a democratic institution and it does not respect democratic societies. Yet for all that, the real democratic problem with the EU is not the structures or behaviours in themselves. The problem is that an institution of this sort is a useful mechanism by which national governments are empowered to make major decisions of law and policy without proper discussion in their own democracies. It is popular sovereignty more than national sovereignty that is denied at the heart of the EU. It was no coincidence that the governments of all the member states, save constitution-bound Ireland, decided not to hold referendums on the Lisbon Treaty. They were not going to allow their electorates to prevent them from proceeding in the manner to which they had become accustomed.

The governments of member states appoint their ministers, commissioners and judges to the EU. They can uphold their national interests as they see them, but they are sheltered from discussing and justifying back home the actions and decisions they take in Brussels. In the UK, all of the various domestic procedures for approval and scrutiny of EU law are of little weight against the Council and its Commission, and they certainly cannot make up for the fact that the public is so distanced from the decision-making process that it cannot begin even to understand it. It is unsurprising that the turnout for the EU parliament election in the UK was 35.6% in 2014, and the EU average was 42.6% (and that includes Belgium 89.6% and Luxembourg 85.5%).

A couple of recent cases are also instructive. In the negotiations over the Lisbon Treaty the UK and Polish governments negotiated Protocol 30, a so-called ‘opt-out’ from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In the run up to treaty signature in December 2007 Foreign Secretary David Miliband reported ‘The Government sought to ensure that nothing in the Charter of Fundamental Rights would give national or European courts any new powers to strike down or reinterpret UK law, including labour and social legislation. This has been achieved.’

Well, in 2011, in the case of NS v Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Court of Justice of the European Union at Luxembourg, the British government did not even bother to argue (and had already abandoned the effort before the UK Court of Appeal) that Protocol 30 exempted the United Kingdom from its obligations to comply with the requirements of the Charter relating to its treatment of asylum seekers. The provisions of the Charter offer somewhat greater protection to asylum seekers than national law in the UK or that provided by the European Convention on Human Rights and its Court at Strasbourg.

In 2015, the case of Benkharbouche v Embassy of the Republic of Sudan a cook who had been sacked by the Sudanese embassy was unable to claim for a breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (which implement an EU Council Directive) at an Employment Tribunal. The State Immunity Act 1978, a primary act of the UK parliament, barred such proceedings on grounds of diplomatic immunity. The Court of Appeal found that the Act did not need to extend immunity to a cook, and thus offended Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights which protects access to a court. There was again no mention of Protocol 30 and no dispute that the Charter is directly effective in the UK so far as claims based on EU law are concerned (eg the ‘working time’ claim), and the court simply ‘disapplied’ or struck down the relevant sections of the Act so they were no longer law for the purposes of this case, and the cook’s claim could proceed.

The importance of the decision lies in the fact that the Human Rights Act 1998 made it a point of constitutional principle that a court could declare a primary act of parliament to be incompatible with a right protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, but such a declaration would not affect the continuing enforcement of that act. It was only a ‘signal’ to parliament that it should consider amending or repealing the act. This was the much-vaunted compromise whereby the sovereignty of parliament vis-à-vis the judiciary was to be maintained. Good-bye to all that compromise now, across a new swathe of human rights law. In Benkharbouche the Court of Appeal, using the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, simply amended the primary act of the sovereign parliament for the purposes of the case.

Many people, especially those who work in defence of the interests of asylum seekers and employees, will welcome these decisions, and understandably so. They do not, however, have also to welcome the means by which they were achieved. It matters greatly in democratic terms that these decisions were made by courts using powers that the government had specifically told the people these courts did not possess. Those who do not recognise that should perhaps check their democratic compass.

The cases also show the cynicism of the Labour government in promoting the notion of an opt-out that manifestly never was, and show too the growing confidence of the European and domestic courts in extending their jurisdictions using the Charter and other EU law.

The cases also point up a wider democratic issue with regard to the role of the judiciary, which is deeply intertwined with both the waning belief in democracy and the role of the EU. Despite its ‘ingenious’ sovereignty compromise, the Human Rights Act 1998 in fact gave the judiciary unprecedented scope to make law, and to do so on the basis of general principles rather than tightly defined provisions and precedents. And now, EU law has extended that scope, and given the courts an undebated and mostly unremarked extension of their power to strike down primary acts of parliament.

The judicial branch of government plays an important role, not least in defending the rule of law. It has, however, been pushed into deciding matters that properly belong in the sphere of democratic politics, not law. The rule of law is important, but representative democratic procedures are the most progressive aspects of the legal-constitutional package, because they give much fuller expression to the principle of equality and the practice of freedom. When we talk about the rule of law, it is democracy that should decide which laws should rule. It is important to insist upon this because the importance of democracy has been significantly diminished in recent decades. ‘Majoritarian’ has become a pejorative usage. It refers in fact to a procedure that is based on the idea that people are equal and that majority voting is the only way yet devised to give effect to that principle.

There are those who argue that enhanced judicial power does not infringe democratic principle, because the aim of democracy is to accord all individuals equal status and respect. They argue that while this imperative will usually be satisfied by the use of majoritarian procedures, such as parliamentary democracy, there is also a legitimate place for non-majoritarian procedures, such as rule by the judiciary in respect of important policy matters, so long as the procedures themselves conform to the underlying aim.

This is wrong. Even though such procedures may be sanctioned by our elected representatives, and operate in the context of the rule of law, this argument is nothing less than a denial of the principle that all citizens are equal, and that a true expression of that equality will involve their meaningful participation in important policy decisions. Democracy is fundamentally about process not outcomes, and it is about the participation of the people in that process. It is not about what is done for them, or to them. It is about what they do. That is what freedom too is about.

It is said that democracy works at many levels – indeed it does, it can be local, national and international; legislative, executive and judicial. A great deal of delegation and outsourcing is inevitably involved. The key level, however, is the level where participation and control by the people occurs, and there has been a consistent shift from this level, away from the people to the experts and technocrats. This is what the shift of power to the judiciary in London, Strasbourg and Luxembourg entails, and also what the shift of decision-making to the EU entails.

Others argue that, given the weakness of our democratic institutions, not to mention the cynicism and contempt in which they are held, we have no choice but to rely upon a judicial elite – or an EU. That is an argument for improving and strengthening those institutions rather than with dispensing with them. We should also reject the idea that even if parliament is being sidelined at least the rule of law is being strengthened. On the contrary, the rule of law is itself degraded by the recourse to general principles and the vesting of wider discretionary powers in the judiciary, let alone the functionaries of the EU.

As for the people, they are finding it hard to get a look in. They are being kept a long way away from the decision making process. Take the case of Hirst v United Kingdom. In 2015 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg decided that the UK statute denying convicted prisoners the right to vote in domestic elections was in breach of their democratic rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, and should be amended. Interestingly, in October 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of Thierry Delvigne v Commune de Lesparre-Médoc, Préfet de la Gironde accepted jurisdiction of ‘prisoner voting’ case in France, on the basis of the application of Articles 39 and 49 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The main point here of the unresolved Hirst case is that a political issue has been reposed as a legal one, so as to suggest that there is in fact a right answer which the expert alone, the judge, is able to discover. There is no right answer. There is a difference of opinion about whether prisoners should be allowed to vote. In a democratic society an important issue like this should be decided by majoritarian democratic procedures, in which people are involved – with public discussion, investigation, researching, discussing, lobbying, and then voting.

The fair point has been made that the UK government has consistently approached the EU in a grudging, hostile and instrumental way. It does not follow that this is a behavioural glitch in the workings of the EU which some remedial therapy might remove. No doubt the UK is graceless about its refusal to entertain ‘ever greater union’ or embrace the ‘social’ dimensions of the Union or the opportunities for ‘solidarity’. The fact is that the EU today is primarily a market bloc not a mutual or co-operative society. It is true that there were and are ambitions for a different trajectory, and it is true of course that the countries were originally brought together to prevent further warfare. It is also true, that for years the European peace has long been kept by Nato and the military might of the United States of America.

This not to say that there are no reasonable and good grounds to be concerned about leaving the EU. There are. It is sensible to worry about shocks to prosperity and how they can be handled. It is admirable to feel genuine internationalist concern about the impact of such a decision on those people who would appreciate the assistance of the UK within the EU, and may feel that ‘Europe is the less’ if the UK ‘clod be washed away’.

There are many other grounds that are very much less convincing. If we leave the EU, it is said, the UK as a nation will become isolated, inward-looking, culturally impoverished. Is it seriously supposed that we depend upon our MEPs (hardly anybody can even name one) and the Council of Ministers to entice us to visit other European countries, to enjoy their art and architecture, to listen to their music, to keep in touch with family and friends there, to attend academic conferences and organise exchange programmes, to drink and think with them all? I fear that even the influence in the UK of Monsieur Foucault will comfortably survive a Brexit. I am sure that we will still be permitted alongside Turkey and Switzerland, to field a team in the UEFA champions league, if we qualify. Would we really trade a better grip on our democratic liberties for the convenience of shorter airport visa queues, an Erasmus programme or the whole mess of pottage in Brussels?

If we leave the EU, it said, it will be the occasion of a more right wing government at home. This argument represents perhaps the nadir of the whole sorry history of lesser-evilism. The role of the the left is now reduced to arguing that it should prefer David and George to Boris and Michael. Comrade, which side of the Tory cabinet are you on? In truth, there is not even the proverbial cigarette paper between them, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has, predictably, fallen into line behind. The sorry state of contemporary democracy can only be energised by a modest improvement to its relationship with the people who actually vote in it. There will be no move to the right, if we argue and organise against a move to the right. Are we to leave the task to Jean-Claude Juncker?

If we leave the EU, it is said, we will lose the benefit of progressive laws especially with regard to workers’ rights. It should first be noted that EU labour law is by no means as progressive as some people seem to assume. That much is evident from the rulings of the European Court of Justice in December 2007 in International Transport Workers’ Federation v Viking Line APB and Laval un Partneri Ltd v Svenska Byggnadsarbetareförbundet which held that the right of trade unions to take industrial action could be subjected to certain restrictions in accordance with the principle of proportionality, and specifically decided that industrial action in a member state to obtain pay increases exceeding the level of protection guaranteed by the EU Posted Workers Directive, where there are no clearly defined national law requirements in that member state for such an increase, could not be justified. That is a serious blow to free trade unionism.

Moreover, the assumption that there will be a bonfire of workers’ rights if Brexit occurs is ill founded. A senior UK barrister produced a 66 page briefing on the issue, and concludes with the scary observation that post–Brexit ‘most fundamentally, a future Government could simply reverse rulings it did not like’. It is telling that the author suggests that it is the government as opposed to parliament that reverses rulings. Government is used as short-hand, because parliament is assumed to be the plaything of government. That rests upon another assumption, that there is nothing that parliament or the public or the trade unions or the workers could do about it. We should remember that in 1972 the trade unions successfully defied the National Industrial Relations Court, and in 1974 they brought down the government.

The careless comment concluding that briefing says a great deal not just about the attitude of a lawyer to social change, but about the loss of morale and confidence in society about our ability to have any impact upon our government. This is why democracy and the attitude of freedom matter so much in this referendum. We should recall that some progress was actually made in this country before 1973. Under pressure from the people, and only under that pressure, it was parliament that brought forth factory acts, social insurance legislation, a national health service, free education for all, laws against discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or sex – and all before the UK joined the EEC. How did we manage? We might add that it was parliament that in 1998 brought in the national minimum wage, the envy of workers in the rest of Europe today.

It is said that Brexit will bring racists and fascism to our streets, and create a harsher, nastier culture. It won’t if we don’t allow it to happen. The fortunate truth is that there is no sign at present of a resurgence of neo-fascism. There is however loose and dangerous talk about people being racists and fascists. People who favour Brexit are being branded racists for no good reason at all.

A poll prepared by ICM Limited for the period 10th – 13th June 2016 found that of persons categorised as C1 class, 48% were for Remain, and 39% for leave. Of those categorised as C2 class, 27% were for Remain, and 61% for Leave. The class divide revealed here in voting intentions reflects the judgement of the relatively worse off that they have little stake in the EU, and that is true in both economic and political terms. The EU has contributed to the stagnation of wages, austerity in public services and the transformation of communities without consultation. The attempt to silence these people by demonising them has been the most unattractive aspect of the referendum campaign, and it has deep roots.

Actually, with a bit of luck Brexit will bring a more tolerant, liberal and enlightened society. People may be able to express their real concerns about the impact of immigration on the jobs and pay that they would like to obtain, without being derided as racists, xenophobes and neo-fascists. People may even be able to disagree with the EU and the Guardian without being described as a ‘horde of Goths’.

It is shameful that all the major parties were opposed to holding a referendum on important changes in the way we are governed. That approach expressed the contempt they felt for the worth and the intelligence of ordinary people. For the major parties those people weren’t good enough to understand, they couldn’t be trusted, they would come to the ‘wrong’ conclusions. Democracy was not for them. It is a sobering thought that without the steady rise of UKIP David Cameron would never have promised a referendum in January 2103.

Nevertheless, against expectations and despite scare-mongering by the leadership of both main camps, the debate has actually turned into a real, lively, healthy engagement with the issues. We should keep that up. We should vote Leave. There will be risks, but that is the radical option. We will not fully restore respect for democracy or the spirit of freedom overnight, but we will have made a new start, and we will not prevail without them.

John Fitzpatrick
Professor of Law
Director of the Kent Law Clinic

Written by anubis

June 23rd, 2016 at 11:35 am

Vote Leave

without comments

I’ve already voted to Leave.

These are the factors that I think are significant and form the reason for my vote.

1. The Euro. The Euro is an unmitigated disaster for the people of Europe. It has caused grave economic distortions which have impoverished the south (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal) and those countries will never recover while they are in the Euro since their economies will not become German, and they will never be able to effect the internal deflation required by their levels of debt. Unable to inflate the debt away, and due to the mercantilist effects of having an overvalued currency they will never start growing again through exports so they will eventually collapse. The main beneficiary of this policy has been Germany, who have effectively been running a mercantilist foreign trade policy with a massively undervalued currency. That the Euro has been instigated by the elites in pursuit of all the trappings of statehood, while having these empirically determinable negative effects on vast part of their population, is evidence of the total failure of governance. This failure is a direct result of the undemocratic procedure by which laws are formulated and enacted.

2. The EU is Anti-Democratic. Terms like “anti-democratic” and “sovereignty” are dismissed as abstract by the Remainers. However, what sovereignty actually is, in its albeit imperfect way, is feedback to the decision making process within the government. Feedback is an essential component of intelligence. Sticking your hand in a flame when you can’t feel pain will lead to destruction of the tissue. A government with no feedback will have no way of correcting its errors, leading to destruction of the society it is tasked with administering. We long ago established individual property rights. This has been eroded by, for example, income tax (which is actually theft) but the general principle exists within our legal system that taxation is payment for something and contractual and therefore cannot be arbitrary and therefore cannot be levied without due process and representation within the parliament of the levying agency. These concepts have had strong economic benefits and are a major contributing factor to the economic success of the Anglo bloc (UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Evidence that lack of accountability is damaging is provided by …. The €uro. See above. Thus the argument that the EU is undemocratic is not based on little Englander national sovereignty but is intrinsically linked to accountability of the decision making for society and the resulting societal wellbeing, which is a direct result of such accountability.

3. Clearly the political aims of the EU take precedence over the economic. Economic benefit has always been the carrot, but the real aim is control of the resources of the member states by those who would dominate. That means Germany. Actually it means a rag tag of euro “ex” Marxist, statist lunatics (Merkel, Barroso etc..). Since democratic accountability would prevent that, the method used to aggregate this power must by definition be undemocratic in order to secure its aim. Since lack of accountability is damaging to the economic wellbeing of the subject, i.e. the member states that the dominators wish to dominate, the entire project has unobtainable aims since the necessary method (unaccountability) is actually antithetical to the stated aims (economic wellbeing). That those who are most enthusiastic about this do not understand this is most certainly true, but the fact that they don’t understand it, is exactly reason for not allowing them to try. If they truly are unaware that their actions can only have a negative outcome and they clearly deny or are happy to ignore the real empirical negative impacts of their choices, then based on this evidence, expecting any good to come of the EU is lunacy. Furthermore, based on this evidence, it is completely unrealistic to expect any other pattern from those in control since they don’t know they are doing anything wrong.

Hope is a fine thing. But hope in the face of considerable evidence of the futility of that hope is pathetic. I have voted Leave for the benefit of the people of Europe, and the benefit of the people of the UK.

Written by anubis

June 16th, 2016 at 9:47 am