A Forgetful Man

It would seem as we approach voting day in the EU Referendum to be de rigeur to invoke that great wartime leader Winston Churchill.  Only the other day we had David Cameron make an odd comparison to Churchill due to where he sits on a day to day basis.

Now we have Nicholas Soames also suggesting that his Grandfather would want us to vote in.

For those of us who see the EU for the political project it is we see its intended direction of travel. We see the path we will begin to head down if we vote to remain – a path that will show the voters what a real leap in the dark will look like.

With that in mind one wonders how Soames can quite draw the conclusion he has given the written history of Churchill. Might I suggest Soames visits or revisits Boris Johnson’s book on Churchill and the chapter recalling events when Churchill faced pressure to enter discussions with Hitler’s representatives in order to secure ‘peace’. The one which demonstrates Churchill’s view of Britain subordinate to someone else’s grand vision for european nations.

Having considered that the peace was not as it was presented but a slow creeping capitulation, Churchill dismissed the offer of talks. In order to break the ensuing internal stalemate, Churchill is, according to Hugh Dalton’s diary said to have made the following statement to the Cabinet (from Boris Johnson’s book) :

I have thought carefully in these last days whether it was part of my duty to consider entering into negotiations with that man (Hitler).

But it (is) idle to think that, if we tried to make peace now, we should get better terms than if we fought it out. The Germans would demand our fleet – that would be called disarmament – our naval bases, and much else.

We should become a slave state, though a British Government which would be Hitler’s puppet would be set up – under Mosley or some such person. And where should we be at the end of all that? On the other hand we have immense reserves and advantages.

And I am convinced that every one of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if i were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground

That looks pretty unequivocal to me in its view. Maybe Soames has simply been a little forgetful on this occasion.

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The aftermath

PericlesA quick look around the Flexcit blogs over the last few days reveals a combination of sombre moods and a sense of anger.  All of it directed at the failure of the leave campaign to create a viable strategy and to ignore the presence of a credible plan to leave the EU in favour of winging it with utter drivel  The credible Flexcit plan would have pretty much shot down the remain campaign before all its wheels left the runway.  The result is the view that the leave campaign could well be staring defeat in the face.

Who knows? Maybe it is still winnable, now that certain mainstream media circles are latching on to the fact that there has been a safe plan in circulation for a while.  In an industry that is often an echo chamber of itself, might it be possible that Flexcit has a breakthrough with other media folks picking up on it?

As I say. Maybe but who knows?

Those blogs have got me thinking and they do raise a good point about the need to think about the aftermath.

For one reason I think it does need thinking about in case of a loss for those of us who wish to leave.  Personally I anticipate that in the event of a loss that there will be an effort to drive the stake home by advancing the idea that Euroscepticism because it is simply a failed idea, one with no redeeming features whatsoever.  An idea utterly devoid of any practical use to Britain, its people and the world. Just to be clear, this is not what I think of Euroscepticism, but simply that this is the narrative they will try to establish.

They will promote a version of “the science is settled”. The reason is simple. Those who have argued for remain will attempt to neutralise any future  efforts to raise the debate by cutting it off at the knees with a simplistic idea that can be trotted out by pub bores and everyday public who like their opinions fed to them in bite sized chunks and who don’t wish to examine such facts. Done correctly they’ll even have brexiters walking away thinking Euroscepticism is a duff idea.

That needs countering and it needs countering from day one. The truth of what happened here needs putting into the wider debate to prevent any remain campaign win from peddling myth as truth which has been their MO throughout.

My only concern with this is to what end will we be able to advance this narrative. I hope it will be, to get in place widespread public awareness of a safe plan to exit the EU if there is another referendum. My fear, however is that we may never get another chance at this.  Even if the narrative I mention gains ground, I fear that the powers that be will try to avoid another referendum. One thing I have observed about the remain arguments in this referendum is the price that needs to be paid to advance it- so weak is it in reality.  Its leaders are paying a heavy price in terms of credibility and the work they have had to put in place to subvert supposedly impartial institutions to advance a false partisan message. To advance the message, its leaders are taking heavy hits. I can envisage future professional politicians will look at this deduce that the path of least resistance is to simply avoid any future referendum.

This begins to bring me to my main point about why planning for a response and a narrative post any referendum loss needs to be ready for June 24th. The story of what really happened needs to be told.  It needs to be told because the electorate needs to stand back and look at what happened here.  As well as being played for fools by much of the remain argument, something happened with the leave campaign too.  They took you and I out of the equation.  Both of them fed us drivel dressed up as facts.  They gave us gruel and told us we were eating caviar.  In terms of the leave campaign though,the so called big hitters decided they were the only players that mattered and the only voices that should be heard.  They took our referendum away from us and we simply let them.  They decided that in all ways they were the only thing that mattered.

Many of us have heard the phrase ascribed to Pericles in the image at the top of this post.  To many it is simply an abstract notion.  For those who haven’t yet grasped its importance, I would urge them to look back and ask if the handling of this campaign wasn’t living proof that you haven’t just lived in a perfect example of that phrase.

If we step back a little further we will see what that got us besides marginalised. We will see that it’s not Euroscepticism that is defunct, but the political elite who decide they are in charge of it. They turn up each time and run it like a clown show.  That’s why it’s failing each and every time. That has to change in order for a future effort to stand any chance of success.

The other thing to understand is that it fails because the politicians steal it for themselves when in reality it does not belong to them.  It belongs to the people. A referendum is a question for the people to make a decision on for the politicians to abide by. Ultimately they know this and that’s why they have to come and steal it from us, fairly safe in the knowledge that we will hand it over.  That too has to change.

To do that, each and every one of us has to use the legal and democratic means (that politicians try to dodge) to take back the power that is rightfully ours in order to restore the balance between a democratic population and its public servants.  At the moment it us us being pushed around the board by the bubble dwellers when the dynamic should in fact be reversed. To do that though we must cease to be passive and begin to take an interest in politics and democracy in a way we simply couldn’t be bothered with.  This referendum is a lesson of what happens when you cannot be bothered to live up to the obligations of democratic freedom.

We have to take our legitimate power back into our hands

Without the work that needs to be done, we will for the reasons I mentioned earlier, never get another opportunity at a referendum. I am convinced of it. If they will not give us that right, we have to take that power back.

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Spreading the word

Following on from yesterday’s post in which I mentioned my view that this referendum has been stolen from us and on one level re -purposed for use by the elite, I wnated to shed light on the alternative leave message.

This is an altogether more sensible, stable and realistic path to redefine our future as a global player through a vote to leave the EU. For the most part however, few will have heard of it as no politician will embrace and offer it and few (if any) in the media will bring it into open view. The result is we are left with an abysmal, ill informed leave campaign and narrative.  A leave campaign that sets itself up for easy rebuttal arguments.

Of course there is a way round that. Watch it. Understand it and share it.

Go tell the country there is a real way out.

 

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You’re being hoodwinked

As we head into the latest phase of the referendum, the arguments are flowing back and forth.  I know because despite absence from blogging I’ve been having those discussions with people both offline and online in other spheres.  It’s a somewhat depressing activity in that much of the remain argument I’ve had from what you might call everyday people has been pointing to the never-ending rhetoric from the various official bodies that the remain camp have co-opted into their FUD campaign.  It’s the usual stuff – it’s not safe to leave just look how Mr X and Mrs Y of this august body prove it.

There are many problems but for me one of the key ones is that the everyday folk think they’re taking part in their referendum.  What many are failing to realise is we the people are being used like pawns in a game we’re not even aware we are part of.   We have been reduced to throwing the brickbats the political class have given to us through a docile media who do little but compound the problem.

This is no longer our referendum.  Yes we’re the ones needed to carry it over the line to achieve the outcome, but in effect our referendum has been stolen from us. One only has to look how professional politicians (essentially from the same party) are leading both the official remain and leave campaigns.  This is just one of the boards the game is being played on. We think we see a referendum argument but one of the things we are really watching is the lining up of tanks for leadership of the Conservative Party post Cameron.  The referendum has proven a great vehicle for Boris to pick his battle against the other pretender to the throne, currently sat in No 11.

Once one looks with the right eyes, one will see the evidence of the theft being carried out.  One commentator who I’m pleased to see making her voice heard again is Mary Ellen Synon I haven’t seen Mary’s writings for a while but I think she has summed up perfectly what we’re seeing here in this post.  I would highly recommend you go to read the full post. Several things have been swirling through my head over recent days and much of it was crystalised by this observation from Mary:

“In other words, if you think this referendum battle is between two sides who are mirror images of each other, you don’t understand the fight.

This fight is between the protected – the leaders of which are precisely such people as Obama, Carney and Lagarde – and the unprotected.

Synon goes on to add observations from former Reagan speechwriter and now Wall Street Journal columnist which drives the nail home:

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it

These are important words and we should head them and call them to mind when we see the arguments being played out.  We should also heed them when we have the brickbats handed to us to throw them over the wall.  Although I don’t agree with much of his political viewpoint, I have never forgotten something the late Tony Benn said in a documentary on political spin which went pretty much along the lines of:

When you read something in the press you should ask yourself who benefits from this story being told in that particular way?

These were wise words and they are especially apt now and especially examining what’s coming out the remain camp.  Many are swallowing  the remain rhetoric and using it in arguments against Brexit campaigners for several reasons. There is the obvious failings of the official leave campaign to mount a serious campaign that would undermine virtually all of the doom mongering.  The other thing was something written elsewhere (unfortunately I can no longer find the source) when they said, many everyday people trust and repeat some of the seemingly independent sources due to their perceived prestige as national institutions. Such organisations are as a result perceived to be above the fray and independent and therefore trustworthy.

However if we revisit Mary Ellen Synon’s piece and Noonan’s perspective within, we can often see with clearer eyes and it is with these people should look.  To have done so for example would have shed light on the recent press dribble about Mark Carney’s view of Brexit leading to recession and all the other nasty things.  To have done so would have seen how the compliant media took the path of least resistance to not go beyond the official Monetary Policy Committee press release and Carney’s comments. To have done so would have seen how the word “could” became “would” and how conjecture became hard fact. To have done so would might have led people to read the actual minutes and compare them with the previous committee minutes and to have done so would have revealed some inconsistencies between theoretical outcomes on consumer activity which the previous months meetings suggested wasn’t present.

In that moment, people would start to see more evidence of the game being played and more evidence of the thrust in Synon’s piece . As I mentioned before, I believe our referendum has been stolen from us.  Yes we are involved because we are the ones needed to take it over the line , but few of us understand the we are playing by the rules and parameters set for the benefit of the protected.

There is a glimmer of hope though in that tale of misery and manipulation but it requires us to step back and look at it with fresher eyes and new perspective.  It requires of us to wake up to something captured well in the movie of Malcolm X which sums it up perfectly:

You’ve been had. You’ve been took. You’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Led astray. Run amok.

It lies in your hands to change that – the question is will you?

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The deal that probably isn’t

Loo roll

Well he’s either back or heading back.  Our Dave has done his dealing and is returning to spin a yarn of some description.

I will leave it to more intelligent and serious commentators such as EUReferendum to enlighten readers as to what Cameron really has achieved. I suspect it won’t be too long before others contribute either. Early indications are that had I walked out of my local supermarket with the contents of the picture above, I would have come away with something of much more tangible benefit and value.

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Freedom isn’t free

magna carta

A quick trip around the blogs reveals amongst other things a palpable sense of frustration by David over at Scribblings from Seaham at the democratic deficit that exists in this nation, especially given where we are with Cameron’s faux victory and the absence of excoriating analysis by those in the mainstream press. For those unfamiliar with his time as host of Witterings from Witney, I recall the work he did go undertake serious examination not only of our deficit but what other models lay out in there in the wider world.  If you’re not familiar I recommend a visit to his archives as it will shed a lot of light on his commentary (take provisions though – it isn’t lightweight stuff).

For those lacking the time, suffice it to say we have a severe gap in what our elite offer under the banner they call democracy.  There are a myriad of problems, too numerous to list in their entirety but amongst those I should make you aware of is that those in power often simply bypass without consequence the rules enshrined in the core documents of this nations democratic process. In short we don’t have a democracy in which we the people are in charge.

Of course there are lots of reasons for that.  As I mentioned previously, part of that is because of the games played by those who see themselves as above us.  Those who got into the games for their own benefit as opposed to serving as a steward in one of the greatest legacies to the western civilisation.

But there is another reason and although I would not wish to put words in David’s mouth, I sense he may have been at least in part alluding to in the linked to post.  That other reason is us – the people.

You see whilst our elites appear to have taken something from us, they have only succeeded because we have let them.  Our power has gone because we have ceded it to them.  To adapt Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote no one can make us inferior without us letting them.  They have helped themselves to what they have seen us simply leave on the ground, untendered, unloved and uncared for.  Each of us have to accept some responsibility for what has happened and not just point the finger and acting blameless.

Do not misunderstand me, I am aware of their duplicitous nature and their approach in achieving their aims.  Until, however we look at the part we have played in this by failing to tend the gift and pay the price demanded of this gift we will continue to lose because we will see the solution as “out there” when it isn’t.  There is only one thing I give the current US President any credit for.  That is when he told the American people “you are the miracle you’ve been waiting for”. That’s almost it in a nutshell. The answer doesn’t lie out there in a body of a mythical cavalry riding to save us.  The answer stares at us in the mirror each day. It is us.  It is us deciding to get off our knees and taking the decision to stand on our feet and speak up. In an effort to make some serious comment the other day, The Daily Mail asked “who will speak for England” (and meaning Britain).  I can tell you – that task falls to us. It is us who have to speak for it because what is clear is that too many of the so called elite who are claiming to speak for this nation and its future do so with a forked tongue.

We cannot want to do it all we like, but we are the generations that are here now.  Each generation must nurture its freedoms and civilisation.  We are as much stewards as our politicians and civil servants.  It is not our gift to simply burn through.  We have a responsibility to tender it and pass it on to our children and grandchildren in as good, if not better condition.

Now I know this might seem insurmountable, but it is far from it.  The first thing we have to do is decide somehow we will make our own contribution and there is something we can all do.  Firstly we have to decide we will begin to pay the price democracy requires.  Secondly we have to begin to step away from the excess of bread and circuses that we have allowed to infiltrate our priorities.  From there we can start to move forward and do as we can and need to, because it is vital to understand inertia is a luxury we can no longer afford.

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Our problem explained

This explains a lot – look at the things you can’t believe the world cannot see and then examine them in the context of this.

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