From the archives

I thought this piece from 20 months ago looks interesting today in the light of EU meltdown and banking pleas coming miles above citizen needs today……

February 2, 2011 · 1:52 pm

Why the House of Commons is as out of touch as ever.

Government and its influencers have the public on a plate.


Last night, Peter Bone’s attempted amendment to the Europe Bill (which would’ve made in-out EU referendums more directly related to Brussels power-grabs) was rejected by 295 votes to 26. Yet in the UK as a whole, a majority of the electorate is avowedly secessionist, referendum or not.

Over the last decade, this has been a standard feature of Commons behaviour. Now of course, the role of any legislature at times should be to lead opinion when it thinks – on the basis of calm consideration – that popular opinion is ignorant of the important facts of the matter….capital punishment being the classic example.

But that isn’t what’s been happening in recent years. On immigration, for example, MPs took it as a racial issue for years after the populace stopped seeing it in that light; and MPs ignored the blindingly obvious statistics about immigrant numbers, services overload and housing problems.

Monday’s poll showed 80% of British voters expecting the economic situation to reach a disastrous level. This too is not reflected by the general level of complacency at Westminster….but observe the data and realities of fiscal and economic issues in Europe, the US and China, and the People’s instincts look very sound.

Week in week out, the Financial press, quality press and Coalition Government come out in favour of an end to banker-bashing…culminating in Downing Street’s (both numbers 10 and 11) truly grovelling announcement about zero bonus interference the week before last. This view is shared by the vast majority of anti-Coalition Conservatives. As a whole, however, it is the antithesis of how ordinary people and non-quoted business feels about banks. Here too, one’s gut feel and extrapolation from the figures (a cost of £1,3 trillion in bailout whatever the pathetic attempts at justification might say) are on the side of the public.

We are not being ‘led’ by a legislature and Executive which knows better: we are being ignored by a political class whose instinct is to avoid accountability.

Most people in this country would dearly love to get back to accountable leadership. Bu they think the ironic truth is that our MPs are so incompetent, although inclined to simply do some focus groups and then carry out the wishes of everyday bigots and loudmouths, they can’t even get their act together to do that.

The real problem is a much more serious one. What our legislators and leaders do is listen to what the powerful interest groups want to happen – and then facilitate that.

In 2005, that was the Muslim Council and the not entirely nice Iqbal Sacranie wanting a law to stop any criticism of Islam. In 2006, it was the senior mandarins who wanted to vote themselves fatter pensions. In 2007 it was social services opposition to abolishing Secret Family Courts. In 2008 it was the banks demanding taxpayer bailout and the Security Services an end to habeus corpus. In 2009, the EU wanting us to bend the knee to its illiberal demands. In 2010, the GPs and the BMA, the EU wanting bailout money, Rupert Murdoch wanting the rest of BSkyB, and the Turks wanting a free pass into the EU. Now in 2011, we’re back to the bankers again,  powerful quangos like OfSted demanding to carry on being idiots – and surprise surprise, the troughers themselves….MPs who don’t like the new expenses regime.

So when the next lot of out-of-step power brokers come into view – Unite, the Teachers, the Civil Service Unons, Brussels again, wobbly State-owned banks and needy US Presidents – don’t be surprised when the Downing Street line favours the pressure groups rather than the under-pressure voters.

10 thoughts on “From the archives

  1. I suspect the reason why immigration was supported by most MPs had nothing to do with its ‘racial’ overtones, but because the received wisdom amongst the ‘enlightened’ political class was that it is needed to avoid economic catastrophe brought about by demographics and the declining indigenous birth rate. That and the need for Western economies to continually ‘grow’ in order to keep their ponzi monetary schemes propped up. It was a straight trade-off between keeping the show on the road and hoping that we didn’t end up like the Balcans some time down the line.


  2. I had the misfortune of losing my wallet last weekend. Friday was the specific date. I cancelled my cards instantly and the lovely lady on the phone expressed to me no one’s taken any money out of my 2 accounts from when I last did so.
    Fair enough, 5 working days will elapse though before I recieve my new plastic. No credit cards by the way, 2 debit accounts.
    The Lady on the phone said you can get cash over the counter at your local branch as long as you have your account details( paper statements) and photo identification (passport). Fair enough.
    Went to the bank Monday explained the situation and offered prescribed documents, Needed 100 quid to tie me over to this friday which included money I owe to friends(thank hell for them) because it was my birthday weekend and to get food as I do a weekly shop. This was Monday and explained.
    To my amazement the young gun behind the counter tells me he can only give me £50. This is policy. Halifax plc.
    So, is this because of the situation that I have no cards with pin numbers to withdrawal cash or because of security even though I provided photo ID, bank statements with passport signiture verification which I verfied on the spot, or something else? How do you take all your money out of your account if you wish. In cash. I know my pin numbers, they know my account numbers. Is this too difficult?
    Would a bank need you to stand there with your card and type in your pin number into the counter front chip n pin machine to withdrawal you entire fund. I’m talking hundreds, not thousands.


  3. He is a representative, not a delegate. Feel free to vote him out if you want someone who will empower the state to execute people. Abortion and the death penalty are (or at least should be) serious moral issues left to the individual’s consciences and it isn’t reasonable to expect someone to act against their own conscience.


  4. Sweet. The key missing ingredient of the banker / politico problems that are
    bankrupting the public. Accountability. There is none. Its gone AWOL. How and when did that happen ?


  5. On government accountibility its where the Greeks have got it right and us in UK are at a distinct disadvantage …….if the Greeks are convinced their government is failing them at least they can with hold tax payment… UK no chance thanks to PAYE.


  6. @Seb Weetabix. Then we need people whose consciences will allow them to feel more pity for the victims & their families, rather than the cold-blooded murderers, dontcha think?


  7. Indeed. So vote for someone else if you don’t like him; or stand for office yourself on a hanging platformn(so to speak) then we can see how popular your enthusiasm for state killing really is.


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