Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Political (Democratic) Choice For The Gang

This can be retitled as Democratic Dictatorship since once in power, the so-called democratic process that leads to power then becomes a pseudo dictatorship. In recent times there are precedents to support this: Gordon Brown who failed to honour the promise of a referendum on joining Europe: Treaty of Lisbon or Blair deciding to refuse an investigation that may be 'embarrassing'. The accession to power is not the individual, but the position to wield power through influence and obedience by ('legal') enforcement. Dictatorship.

In this system, essentially freely given votes enable virtual unknowns with unknown goals access to countless (theoretical) £bns and the mechanism to introduce legislation that controls (Rule Over Us).



Anarchy In Democracy Or Democratic Anarchy
Blair And EU Presidency
Blair And The 9 Minute Applause
Blair And The American Trident System (bullet-proof ring-fencing)
Blair And The Laser-Guided Bombs
Blair, Bush, Hypocrisy, Iran and Iraq
Blair Displays Contempt And Arrogance - Again
Blair Pontificates About Conscience
Blair Pressure On SFO Saudi Inquiry
Blair To Cameron: The Transfer of A Legacy
Blair Rules Out CIA Flights Probe - More Hypocrisy 
Blair Wants You! 
Blair's Exit Strategy - Well, MaybeBrown,
Gordon: And Dennis Healey
Brown, Gordon: Broadband And State Paranoia
Brown, Gordon: Chancellor to PM
Brown, Gordon: Change
Brown, Gordon: Exit Strategy
Brown, Gordon: IMF And Gold Reserves
Brown, Gordon: Mr Nice Guy
Brown, Gordon: Snubs (2008) Olympic Games
Brown, Gordon: The Doctor
Brown, Gordon: The Future
Brown, Gordon: Toxicity Warning
Brown, Gordon: More Toxic


Examining the backgrounds of Mr George Osborne and Dr Vince Cable some interesting indications of abilities and credentials when it comes to 'lecture' or 'pontificate' about financial matters are revealed. There are many periods in the background of George Osborne that give only a very vague outline to the years after Oxford (Magdalen College) that followed a private education where he received an upper second-class degree in Modern History and edited the university's Isis magazine. He had originally intended to pursue a career as a journalist, but after missing out on a position at a national newspaper, was 'fortunate' to be informed of a vacancy at the Conservative Central Office.

Osborne joined the Conservative Research Department in 1994 and at 23 (dob: 23 May 1971) became head of the Political Section. A meteoric rise for someone very young and with little experience. Within a year (between 1995 and 1997) he 'worked' for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) as special advisor to minister Douglas Hogg (during the BSE crisis) and in the Political Office at 10 Downing Street.


How is the 'special' knowledge to become a 'special' advisor
acquired and what is the definition of 'special'?

Between 1997 and 2001 he worked for then Conservative leader William Hague as a speechwriter and Political Secretary (?)

A speechwriter does not necessarily need to formulate
the content of a speech,just how it should be
worded to convince. Presumably, instruction is given
in the procedure to be a speechwriter as there is no formal course

Professors Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins articulate well and know their subjects intimately. They can write their own 'scripts'. Politicians articulate well when reading from a script, but don't need to understand or believe the content of the script.

Considering the background of the individuals who would 'take' high office:

  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer (British finance minister) is the head of the department of the British government that administers the public revenue, including the receipt and expenditure of money for public services. The Chancellor is the Second Lord of the Treasury, but this name is no longer used. The department today is known as HM Treasury rather than the Exchequer 
  • The Chancellor is a senior member of the Cabinet and a member of the House of Commons since all financial measures must originate there. Control is exercised by the Chancellor over finances, in consultation with the Prime Minister, but under the control of the Cabinet. The Chancellor is given credit or blame for the overall health of the economy. The Chancellor's deputy, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is also a Cabinet minister, reflecting the central role the Treasury plays. Many prominent leaders have been Chancellor and PM Gladstone (1852-1855 and 1859-1866) was himself appointed
  • The Chancellor is responsible for occasional parliamentary business and since there is (currently) no mechanism for MPs to resign from the UK Parliament, to step down they must be given a Crown appointment which automatically disqualifies them from sitting in the House of Commons. Such a position, which carries no salary or responsibilities, is awarded by the Chancellor - some recent recipients being former Prime Minister Tony Blair, the then newly-elected Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis
  • Originally named Gideon, he changed his name to George when he was 13. In an interview in July 2005, Osborne said: "It was my small act of rebellion. I never liked it. When I finally told my mother she (allegedly) said, 'Nor do I'. So I decided to be George."
  •  The Conservative Party have sought to distance themselves from the club as it was considered to be damaging to the new party image
  • Osborne's first job was to provide data entry services to the National Health Service to record the names of people who had died in London and also briefly worked for Selfridges. He had originally intended to pursue a career as a journalist, but after missing out on a position at a national newspaper, was informed of a vacant job at the Conservative Central Office
How is the 'special' knowledge to become a 'special' advisor
acquired and what is the definition of 'special'?
    A speechwriter does not necessarily need to formulate
    the content of a speech,just how it should be
    worded to convince. Presumably, instruction is given
    in the procedure to be a speechwriter as there is no formal course
      • In this role he assisted in the preparation of  Hague for the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions, often playing the role of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Under the leaderships of Michael Howard and now under David Cameron, he has remained on the Prime Minister's Questions team
      • Elected as the Member of Parliament for Tatton, Cheshire, in June 2001, he succeeded the Independent MP Martin Bell, who had famously defeated the controversial former Conservative minister Neil Hamilton at the 1997 election. Osborne won with a majority of 8,611, becoming (at that time) the youngest Conservative MP in the House of Commons. At the 2005 election, he was re-elected with an increased majority of 11,731, 51.8% of the vote.
      • Osborne was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
      • Promoted (following the 2005 general election) to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer at the age of 33 by the then-Conservative Party leader Michael Howard. The appointment to such a senior shadow cabinet post at such a young age surprised many Conservative MPs. Howard had in fact initially offered the post to William Hague, who turned it down and press reports suggest that Howard's second choice for the post was in fact David Cameron, who also rejected the job as he preferred to take on a major public service portfolio (he was made Shadow Education Secretary). Thus Howard turned to Osborne as his third choice for the role. His promotion prompted speculation he would run for leadership of the Conservative Party when Howard stepped down, but he ruled himself out within a week. Osborne serving as his campaign manager for David Cameron's leadership campaign, and kept the Shadow Chancellor's post when, later that year, Cameron became leader
      • Osborne's close friendship with Cameron has led to comparisons with the relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the Labour Party in the mid-1990s. Responding to this comparison at the LSE in February 2006, Osborne said that there had been "no deal" between him and Cameron and he has repeatedly denied ambitions beyond the Chancellorship. Asked whether or not he would be willing to sack a close colleague such as Osborne, Cameron stated, "With George, the answer is yes. He stayed in my shadow cabinet not because he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other's children but because he is the right person to do the job. I know and he knows that if that was not the case he would not be there."
      • Osborne has expressed an interest in the ideas of "tax simplification",(including the idea of flat tax). He set up a "Tax Reform Commission" in October 2005 to investigate ideas for how to create a 'flatter, simpler' tax system. The system then proposed would reduce the income tax rate to a flat 22%, and increase personal allowance from £4,435 to £10,000-£15,500. The idea of a flat tax is not included in the current Conservative party manifesto.

      This illustrates that essentially there are years when 'credentials' are acquired that enable pontification about matters financial.

      UK Public Sector Government Debt
      How To Avoid Paying Tax
      Inheritance Tax
      Poor Judgment

      Each year between 2006 and 2009 Osborne attended the annual Bilderberg Conference, a meeting of influential people in business, finance and politics.

      Those with enormous clout

      The Oleg Deripaska affair with Mandelson is infamous and shows exceptional poor judgment for Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer especially when the historical parallel enters the frame.

      Electioneering And Snake Oil

      Vince Cable's background is rather different to Gideon George Osborne. There is greater evidence of actually knowing about what he speaks and as a Chancellor may need to know. Cable was awarded a PhD in economics. The expenses revelations have left Cable clean whereas Osborne has a cloud over the affair.

      George Osborne was forced to deny taking advantage of the expenses system following claims he flipped his designated second home from London to his constituency farm house after taking out a £450,000 mortgage on the rural property. The larger the loan then the greater is the expense allowed on interest repayments. The value of the property will probably appreciate. It seems financially advantageous for an MP to secure the largest loan possible. Separately, he was rebuked by the Commons authorities for using public money to fund his "political" website. He also claimed money for a chauffeur-driven car which he has agreed to repay.

      Thursday, April 22, 2010

      Flight Into Danger

      Flight Into Danger - a story

      It would seem that commercial operations in air travel are ignoring potentially serious air safety consequences and reducing immediate losses are far more important in the short-term (that may also cost a few possible deaths and the occasional airplane wreck) than the longer-term reputation of a relatively safe form of travel (by air) that may become compromised. This has possibly already been assessed and the airline industry would be expected to recover reasonably quickly. It is only necessary to consider politics to understand short-term memory and this exemplifies the cynicism in commercialism and the ethics of filthy lucre as the means to wealth creation. Money and profit will always win in a conflict with safety.

      • Airlines are already demanding compensation from Iceland since it's an Icelandic volcano that has dared to erupt. If this was insurance issue it would be declared an Act of God, so denying any possible payment, but in commercial profit-making businesses, it's Iceland's responsibility.
      But then, of course, any damage caused by an erupting volcano on the land and in the lava flow, perhaps, is not a consequence of the volcanic ash in the air.The volcano spewed out ash and smoke up to a 10km altitude: the cruising height of the typical jet aircraft. As a consequence all flights that operate here were banned for obvious safety reasons. A sensible precaution while further information was being collected. To operate at such a height, an aircraft must pass through the ash clouds, either in an ascent or descent. At speed of around 500kmph, the volcanic cloud would sandblast the aircraft's windscreen and possibly cause severe damage of the engines. The cloud consists of very fine glass-rich particles which could not only clog the ventilation holes, but also melt and fuse onto the moving parts of the turbine. Temperatures inside a jet engine are well in excess of 1000°C.


      When basic 'inconvenience' is the issue, it is not surprising that people 'assertively' question the data, but accept without question 'data' that allegedly supports the notion that human activity is the causation of CO2 generation and the consequential climate change. The irony is that air travel is a BIG contributor to the proposed connection. When it's a convenience issue, this is predictably overlooked by those who stand accused of the problem: the passengers.

      Cynicism
      Hypocrisy

      Eyjafjallajokull, a volcano in Iceland, has erupted. Nothing like Krakatoa, but still an eruption producing lava and vast smoke plumes and the predictable conflict between commerce and safety has started. Airline pressure insists that it's safe to take to the air and that evidence allegedly exists in the air samples claimed to have been analysed. The atmosphere where aircraft operate at above 30,000 ft (10,000m) is a very turbulent place with high wind speeds. Ash clouds move very fast and is why they are already falling everywhere over Europe. Monitoring a particular location may produce a 'safe to fly' result, but a moment later this could be invalidated. Any commercial 'plane on the ground does not 'make' any money for the operator so reasons to justify keeping them in the air are critical. It questions concerns of safety for passengers over the financial consequences for an airline not operating. The passengers are simply the human fodder that is the life-blood of any commercial operation and the possibility of a crash occurring is just a statistical gamble: if a crash occurs and is (much) later linked to volcanic ash (assuming the flight recorder is found and substantiates such a claim). Not all flights are over land and a lost flight recorder in mid-ocean isn't likely to be found. Proof is lost and air travel continues. The stake is only the plane and its passengers. And the flight crews. Many passengers around the world are waiting to be repatriated and have been lobbied to raise the pressure to restart flights. The airlines have a commercial reason to lend support and the losses to airlines have reached an estimate to be in excess of £1bn ($1.7bn) so far (£130m daily). Every £$ is a good reason to restart flights.

      • There appear to be no comments from the flight crews who would be forced to fly these planes
      Even if later eruptions fail to happen, the current one is apparently producing less ash, yet is still producing it. The ash already in the air will drop below the jet aircraft operating height, but planes take off below the ash and land beneath it, whatever the height of the residual ash. Natural dispersion of these particles widens the area implicated and any plane MUST pass through this WHATEVER that altitude. Until a potential crash.

      Alaska Airlines

      • Mount Redoubt was the cause of the original 'incident' with failure of all four engines of a Boeing 747-400 (KLM Flight 867) that brought the problem to stark reality many years ago (15th December 1989)
      Boeing - Volcanic Ash Avoidance

      • The copyright prohibits posting this information, but it can be found at http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/aero_09/volcanic_textonly.html
      • Copyright © The Boeing Company. All rights reserved.
      Why Flying Near Volcanic Ash Is Dangerous
      European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
      Volcanic Ash: Danger to Aircraft
      Dangers To Aircraft
      Fighter Jet Damage

      Sunday, April 18, 2010

      Thanet Council Costs

      Thanet Council is promoting the fact that the increase in council tax is the lowest in [its] history. Rather an intriguing word choice. Since a large proportion of local council tax (72%) makes it way to Kent County Council, those like CEO Peter Gilroy (£207,000 a year) are paid from the collective local council tax 'contributions'. Were it to be lower remuneration then council tax would be even lower. This principle is the same as government, which has no money of its own and simply amasses the collective 'contributions' of the taxpayer and then spends it as if it is their personal (non-taxed) income. The arrogance to then lecture people is always obnoxious.

      To claim that an "increase" in  council tax is the "lowest"
      in [its] history is simple arrogant rubbish and attempts to
      convince the people that they are receiving value
      especially when there has been a refusal to
      publish relevant information

      Gilroy Maximises Take (Conservative-run authority)
      Cllr Alex King, deputy leader of the authority, defended the salary:

      • 
“In recognition of this the council’s personnel committee, which consists of elected members from all the political parties, agreed to renew his contract in November 2006 on a total salary of £207,000 per annum and provision for a performance related bonus

      • “He receives no company car, health insurance, mortgage relief or any other fringe benefit.”
      Notably, there is no mention of pension entitlement or 
      petrol allowance for not running a 
      (non-)company car

      • Labelled a 'disgrace'
      Town Hall Rich List 2010
      Sacking The CEO

      • Refused to release names or breakdown of remuneration. This is despite an ICO judgement in our favour over Kent's refusal for last year's Town Hall Rich List
      Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

      The secrecy is appalling and the obvious conclusion is that there is something that must be hidden from the taxpayers of Kent. Some of the remuneration increases are 0%, but some into treble figures (247.6%) that do not involve any assumption of redundancy payments. These appear to be very generous, though without any indication of length of service cannot be judged excessive or otherwise. (Salary change from previous year in parenthesis)

      • Chief Executive
        • £245,000 (-3.9%)
      • MD Children, Families & Education (left in 2008-09)
        • £305,000 (56.4%) [Assumed that this remuneration package includes a redundancy payment of up to £110,000]
      • MD Kent Adult Social Services
        • £175,000 (0%)
      • MD Communities
        • £175,000 (12.9%)
      • Director Business Solutions & Policy
        • £165,000 (22.2%)
      • Director Law & Governance
        • £135,000 (0.0%)
      • Director of Finance
        • £155,000 (14.8%)
      • Director of Property
        • £145,000 (16.0%)
      • Director of Operations, Kent Adult Social Services
        • £125,000 (8.7%)
      • Assistant to Chief Executive
        • £115,000
      • Director of Commissioning (Specialist Services), Children & Families
        • £105,000
      • Director of Kent Highways Services
        • £105,000 (0%)
      • Director, ASK
        • £105,000 
      • Director, Strategy, Policy and Performance (left in 2008-09)
        • £145,000 (38.1%) [Assumed that this remuneration package includes a redundancy payment up to £40,000]
      • Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Children and Families
        • £105,000
      • Director of Children's Social Services
        • £105,000 (0.0%)
      • Director of Operations, Children and Families
        • £105,000
      • Director of Resources, Children & Families
        • £105,000 (0.0%)
      • Director of Resources, Kent Adult Social Services
        • £105,000 (0.0%)
      • Director of Policy, Performance & Quality Assurance, Kent Adult Social Service
        • £105,000 (0.0%)
      • Director of Commissioning & Provision, East Kent Adult Social Services
        • £105,000 (0.0%)
      • Director of Commissioning & Provision, West Kent Adult Social Services
        • £115,000 (9.5%)
      • Director, Commercial Services
        • £115,000 (9.5%)
      • Director of Personnel & Development
        • £105,000 (0.0%)
      • Director of Community Safety & Regulatory Services
        • £105,000
      • Head of Financial Services & Acting Director of Finance
        • £105,000
      • Head of Financial Management & Acting Director of Finance
        • £105,000
      • MD Environment & Regeneration (left in 2008-09)
        • £365,000 (247.6%) [Assumed that this remuneration package includes a redundancy payment up to£260,000]
      • Former Co-Director of Regeneration and Economy
        • £194,500
      • Former County Planning Officer
        • £145,000
      • Former Director, Standards and Achievement 
        • £135,000 [Assumed that this remuneration package includes an unknown redundancy payment as the designation of former has no 2007-2008 remuneration]
        • Interim Managing Director, Children, Families and Education
          • £115,000
        • Interim Managing Director, Children, Families and Education
          • £115,000
        • Divisional Director, Regulatory Services
          • £105,000
        • Assistant Chief Executive, Locate in Kent 
          • £105,000

        TaxPayers' Alliance


        Crime In The UQ (aka UK) Ltd

        Events happen very regularly that show conclusively the 'cock a snoop' (no respect for something or someone by doing something that insults them) attitude of types that demand respect are so full of hypocrisy that it actually defies logic and becomes a very sick 'joke'. The twisted meaning of respect amongst these lowest forms of 'life' on the planet means instilling fear in others and so be feared. It's the 'power' that a nothing-to-something' perceives as being 'number one.

        A government's tough on crime approach doesn't 'appear' to work and the UQ (aka UK) Ltd claim to be tough on crime is vacuous anyway. Three years into it's own perception of power (2000), the new Labour government was talking tough on crime. Now, 10 years later this government still fails to grasp the fact that it has no effective power. It's true 'power' is the perverse ability to suffocate the freedom of the majority of law-abiding citizens. It's a government that dictates in a democracy to the majority of people that did not elect it and is the consequence of the UQ (aka UK) Ltd definition of democracy, is (still) ineffective after a total of 13 years and still maintains the arrogance by claiming to be tough on crime. It's done nothing.

        Nothing

        There are hundreds of similar (recent) examples of dreadful violence.

        The police are held in a tight strangle-hold grip, and are so being restrained and ineffective, by the Home Office and a phrase like "working together to protect the public" doesn't attempt to define who is working together with whom and protecting from what. Police strangled by paperwork! Strangled and disillusioned by the courts 'freeing' convicted criminals. This 'freeing' of convicted criminals instantly decriminalises the criminal. The statistics are massaged to show the crime-free UQ (aka UK) Ltd. The courts are also stone-walled when it comes to the issue of proper sentencing. Prisons are filled with 'criminals' while other techically freed 'non-criminals' walk the streets as a result of these courts of 'justice'. All the rhetoric about sentencing cowardly ducks the issue of insufficient prisons justifies not building more and the absolute denial of out-of-control crime in the UQ (aka UK) Ltd. These prisons have serious problems that are not dealt with. Mobile phones are still 'smuggled' in to prisons allowing control of outside criminal activity by those within. A government that is so very keen to impose threats of action against the majority of free citizens of the UQ (aka UK) Ltd cannot control its prisons. This demonstrates the control freak attitude of this government by targeting the law-abiding and not the nasty element of society.

        Wednesday, April 14, 2010

        MP Legal Aid

        MPs applying successfully for legal aid on their salary: £63,291. The origins of the expenses system are revealing:

        • The BIG issues involve the Additional Cost Allowance (ACA), widely regarded as an indirect salary increase (Margaret Thatcher: 1985) and therefore to be had "as of right", although this public money is used to finance private property dealing. This would explain the apparent complicity of the fees office.
          • Margaret Thatcher in 1985 set the precedent by deluding the public into thinking public sector pay was being restrained yet pumping up MP benefits. An indirect 'salary' increase was cynically engineered. Salaries were hailed as being held back, but other tricks were going on. An Additional Cost Allowance change allowed MPs to begin claiming their mortgage costs rather than hotel bills and rent. So was created the property speculation monster. Tony Blair (Labour) extended this Thatcher (Conservative) concept to London-based ministers since they were always whingeing of not being paid enough.
        MP Expenses - Windup And Misdirection
        What can be claimed on expenses
        What are the criterea to have legal aid approved?

        This is demonstrative of the mentallity that enabled the situation that caused the accusations in the first place and illustrates the attitude of exploiting a system (expenses) and allegedly turning into personal advantage. The application for legal aid itself appears to be a self-damning action.

        Wikipedia

        • Legal aid in England and Wales was originally established by the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949.[2][2] Today legal aid in England and Wales costs the taxpayer £2bn a year - higher per capita spend than anywhere else in the world - and is available to around 29% of adults.
        • Today, legal aid in England and Wales is administered by the Legal Services Commission, and is available for most criminal cases, and many types of civil cases with exceptions including libel, most personal injury cases (which are now dealt with under Conditional Fee Agreements, a species of contingency fee) and cases associated with the running of a business. Family cases are also often covered. Depending on the type of case, legal aid may or may not be means tested.
        • In July 2004 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the lack of legal aid in defamation cases (which was the position under the Legal Aid Act 1988, which was the applicable Act at the time of the McLibel case, could violate a defendant's right. The Access to Justice Act 1999 has a provision which allows the Lord Chancellor to authorize legal aid funding in cases which are otherwise out of scope of the legal aid scheme under the exceptional funding provisions. A defendant in a position similar to the McLibel defendants could potentially have legal aid assistance if their application passed the exceptional funding criteria.
        • Criminal legal aid is generally provided through private firms of solicitors and barristers in private practice. There are a limited number of public defenders. Civil legal aid is provided through solicitors and barristers in private practice but also non-lawyers working in law centres and not-for-profit advice agencies.
        • The provision of legal aid is governed by the Access to Justice Act 1999 and supplementary legislation.
        Three MPs + one peer to be charged:

        • David Chaytor 
          • Accused of dishonestly claiming £1,950 for IT services and also £18,000 in rent
            • Elliot Morley
              • Two criminal charges over £30,000 of mortgage interest
              • Former minister Elliot Morley was suspended by the Labour Party after admitting he claimed £16,000 in House of Commons expenses for a mortgage which had been paid off
            • Lord Hanningfield (Baron, Paul White)
              • Six charges of dishonestly submitting expense claims. Has denied the charges and said he would "vigorously" defend himself (though by "himself" means representation by legal aid lawyers)
            The three former Labour MPs and ex Tory
            peer facing expenses fraud allegations
            have lost appeals over a ruling
            that they are not protected from
            prosecution by parliamentary privilege

            Update: 30.07.2010


            The suggested progress of taking their case to the Supreme Court for a further challenge is likely since it's the attitude within the game when it's funded by the public purse of legal aid. There's nothing to lose, but potentially much to gain. Especially time since the national memory of the background to this affair will fade. Naïvely, a new (coalition) government could be expected to sweep clean, hopefully removing the mess and placing nothing beneath the carpet. But don't hold your breath. It's less painful to just forget it. Nothing can ever change for the better when politicians are involved.
                Update: 10.11.2010

                Ministerial Revelations Keep Coming
                MP Expenses Explained
                Expenses Repayments

                And On It Goes. And On...

                Alan Duncan, however, showed rather more self-responsibility and fell on his sword quietly (a politically advantageous act). Very unlike the  four who are accused. Perhaps they are innocent, but legal aid is still a major issue. Especially when claiming that this should not be held in a British court and that they 'enjoy' an archaic and mediaeval special form of parliamentary privilege.

                Yet still claim expenses aid

                • The attitude seems to be frozen in the mind set and demonstrates no self-responsibility. They claim to be in politics for the service they provide to the people and not for the money and other self-serving benefits?

                Monday, April 12, 2010

                Electoral Engineering And Snake Oil

                Conservative Manifesto
                Labour Manifesto

                  The launching of the Liberal Democrats manifestos highlights the situation that a leader has yet to be declared? Is it the same manifesto or different ones? I thought Clegg was captain of the ship since all the posturing did suggest this. And still does. But why Clegg AND Huhne AND Kennedy? Now there is absolute confusion. The three launches of (apparently) one party's manifesto does create just a little chaos. Electioneering without a leader (?) demonstrates confusion at the very least. Possibly, it's all mine and presumably, this is a good reason that the recent debate involving Chancellor of the Exchequer (Alistair Darling) with George Osborne (shadow chancellor) and Dr. Vince Cable (Lib Dem Deputy Leader) on matters economic went ahead since this never addressed the issue of who's at the helm of the Lib Dem ship. That appears very cynical, but I am truly confused. The organisation seems to be somewhat muddled, though Kennedy seems to have defeated his demons (10/10). I am confused by this performance and as a result this party cannot enter into consideration.

                  • None of the three parties (Labour, Tory, Lib Dem), not the would-be leaders (Clegg, Huhne, Kennedy) of one party (Lib Dem) does anyway, so this confusion is rather academic
                  Politicians do seem to like keeping such information under wraps (Mr, Dr....). It's no secret (unlike the quasi secret society Bilderberg Group even though lists of participants may get published) so why overlook it? This attitude does engender a lack of trust as though there is some shame in being educated. A PhD does (usually) demonstrate some intelligence. Commentators support this with Dr James Gordon Brown, so what's the problem these people have.

                  This lack of being
                  upfront
                  and the
                  failure
                  to demonstrate
                  honesty

                  Mr. Gordon Brown
                  Dr. James Gordon Brown
                  Mr. Vince Cable
                  Dr. Vince Cable

                  Not a recipe that can engender trust, though anyone who actually feels the need to say "trust me" shouldn't be trusted. Anyone who precedes a statement with "trust me" is about to tell a lie. A dilemma? No, but behaviour, posturing, body language and non-verbal communication do reveal a great deal. Reading from a script is not a good idea and it's peculiar that those with a public relations background like 'call me Dave' Cameron (and potentially the pm's spouse-coach Sarah Brown) don't appreciate this: he's doing it all the time and it's really so irritating and distracting that he's totally unwatchable. Really good and knowledgeable speakers and lecturers usually stand away from behind the lectern and address the audience with roving eye-contact and don't refer to a script. This makes an audience actually feel involved rather than just being lectured to. Cameron: definitely No but Clegg seems to show the a more sincere attitude and Brown? No comment. Otherwise it appears more like a church-person giving a sermon and that's not good unless that's what they intend to portray: preaching to the converted or are actually attempting proselytism.

                  • However, some appear to be well-coached, yet come over as an actor on a stage. Those like Blair may even appear to offer the "trust me, I am a Doctor" attack, but this is glaringly incomplete since they come over as slippery and absolutely insincere. It's nauseating and definitely someone not to be trusted.
                  Honesty and sincerity is NEVER scripted

                  Later this week a live TV debate (Thursday, 15th April, 2010) between the three main political parties is scheduled. I have only a limited inclination to watching (script or no script?) and especially 'listening'. The proviso is effectively to ignore everything. A charlatan selling snake oil? No interest at all.

                  One good reason (the only one) to observe the live TV debate
                  would be to see if a script is necessary as a prompt.
                  Hopefully not or it will be doomed almost before it even gets started.

                  It is common today for product manufacturers to play the charlatan with diet plans and cosmetics targeting mostly women and the psychology suggests this is a good reason for involving the leaders' wives. Thankfully, and to her credit, Nick Clegg's wife is busy with more important activities. The innuendo that the Liberal Democrats are unworthy of the peoples' vote is a standing of absolute arrogance. This statement does not infer support for the Liberal Democrats, but the objection to such offensive and indirectly derogatory remarks. Smearing does not raise the standing of anyone, just the opposite and shows what we will all get with a positive vote. The attitude is appalling.

                  • Don't waste your vote by voting with your conscience, but cast a tactical vote: vote Tory and keep out Labour or vice versa. It's typical and illustrates clear desperation. It may, in fact, be statistically a valid argument. But it's specious since to vote Tory or Labour to swing the odds in favour of a disfavoured (or totally rejected) choice is abhorrent. Vote for something against your conscience. I have no personal axe to grind against Brown, Cameron or Clegg as I personally know none of them. I just don't like or trust any of them and it's all about trust. And they all appear to want to make it personal.
                  On a scale of 0 to 10, the trust
                  score is a resounding zero

                  The statements "we would like to..." or "we want to..." should be enshrined in a legal framework so if promises are made and not fulfilled within a reasonable period (1 year?), this would be a breach of contract for any future PM and constitutes sufficient terms for impeachment. Broken 'promises' are effectively lies and to take control of a government and rule over us (the people) under such circumstances could be construed as an intent to deceive. This is a criminal act. The very high stakes of electing 'a party', based on the game of words alone, make the pre-election debate so critical for those electioneering.

                  • I have better and more interesting things to do than listen and watch snake oil charlatans attempting to 'convince' by peddling their wares.
                  Brown, Gordon: And Dennis Healey
                  Brown, Gordon: Broadband And State Paranoia
                  Brown, Gordon: Chancellor to PM
                  Brown, Gordon: Change
                  Brown, Gordon: Exit Strategy
                  Brown, Gordon: IMF And Gold Reserves
                  Brown, Gordon: Mr Nice Guy
                  Brown, Gordon: Snubs (2008) Olympic Games
                  Brown, Gordon: The Doctor
                  Brown, Gordon: The Future

                  Brown, Gordon: Toxicity Warning
                  Brown, Gordon: More Toxic


                  Cameron, David: A Profile
                  Cameron, David: Background
                  Cameron, David: In A Spin
                  Cameron, David: Loves ‘Hoodies'


                  In the UQ (aka UK) Ltd there is no such device as a "None of the above" vote if no party represents any form of confidence. MP reforms mostly as the result of expense claim manipulation is just one example of (alleged) abuse. The so-called "it's all in the rules" bleating that clearly isn't true (The Green Book). The defensive arguments may, however, be twisted and attempts made to re-interpret these very clear rules. It's really quite nauseating to witness these upstanding and honourable individuals collectively reading from the same hymn sheet with the "it's all in the rules" mantra. Spoiling a paper is the only way to demonstrate protest, but such a vote is not valid and even with the number of papers returned it is unclear if the eligibility to vote is 'counted' as an essentially returned 'no-vote' and reduces the overall result %ages. The people are there to serve the government and are basically assumed as being unable to make decisions and elect a government to represent the people.

                  • Once a government has been elected by the people, the people are no longer necessary as the parasite is in charge and does what it likes. There is no mechanism to impeach a government in the UQ (aka UK) Ltd.

                  It's usually how wars start. The people are never asked, but the 'elected' (tactical voting ensures 'by default') government of the day acts not in the in interest of the people, but the benefit of the government and, so it appears, by definition those elected MPs from which it is filled. It's usually based somehow on finance and the advantages that are to be had. For someone and it's certainly not the people.

                  It's in the public interest!!

                  Some countries have (or certainly would like) a mandatory voting system that makes it a criminal offence to NOT vote. Claims that it is an obligation of citizenship is intrinsically nasty, and would force the people to 'freely' vote for something with which they possibly disagree. On pain of... it's a medieval attitude. But then politics is very backward thinking and politicians imagine themselves to be so proactive!

                  Mephedrone