Category Archives: History
Mar 23, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Following a defeat (yet again) of Theresa May’s Brexit plan by the UK parliament, the following may be of interest. They are articles on Brexit provided by the USA (European Union), Al-Jazeera (European Union News), Germany (European Union), and a video (7min) providing a good description of how the EU actually works.
It’s impossible to discuss the European Union¹ (EU) without mentioning Brexit and I have written a lot about the EU — often with a somewhat cynical view about Brexit. It has been my assumption (wrongly as it turns out) that people knew what the EU was, what it had become and where it was heading! Where the EU is heading is a difficult question to answer and one that only provides hypothetical answers, especially when the question is asked in the context, “What is the EU?”. Read more of this post
Mar 16, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Interpretation of the rule of law brought about the English Civil Wars, vexation over it created fertile ground for the American Revolution and it is (probably) the main cause of the present split between the UK and the EU (Brexit). Last week I posted about ‘The Rule of Law‘, and on the Sunday before posted an article from the Oxford Human Rights Hub (OHRH)¹. The OHRH compared the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) support for the ‘Rule by Law’ and its meritocratic abuse with the democratic ‘Rule of Law’ espoused by governments in the West.
To my mind there is a very fine line between the two with personal wealth and influence being the key to justice under both, with the OHRH claiming that the distinction between the two is more than semantics. While both police law’s rules, the OHRH states that the formulation of the rules have quite different intentions. The human rights element is considered intrinsic to the ‘Rule of Law’, however the OHRH states that in China — ‘Rule by Law’ is less about ensuring compliance with the law than about ensuring the top leadership’s control over its bureaucracy in the CCP.
Peter Oborne wrote in his 2008 book that politicians now despise the values of traditional institutions that once acted as restraints on the power of the state — the independence of the judiciary, the neutrality of the Civil Service and the accountability of ministers to the Commons. Decades earlier in 1979 James Anderton stated that from the police point of view, what will be the matter of greatest concern will be the covert and ultimately overt attempts to overthrow democracy, to subvert the authority of the state.
Both point to a desire by politicians to increase the authority of the State and by the police to enforce the laws that do so. Increasingly the State in UK is introducing laws that increases its authority while purporting to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of its citizens. In doing so, the public administration of the UK State moves inexorably closer to that of a supreme authority who ‘Rule by Law’.
Feb 2, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: My own views on Brexit are perhaps summed in a previous blog¹, what follows are yet more videos (no not on any psychosexual innuendos associated with Asparagus à la Brexit). Rather on my innate cynicism over whole Brexit affair that to my mind has more to do with political opportunism than democracy. In yet another previous blog² I claimed that any perceived democratic deficit was not simply Anglo-Saxon angst, the German constitutional court did not recognise the European parliament as a genuine legislature. It did not represent the will of a single European people, but was a representative body of member states³.
Unfortunately the United Kingdom has no written constitution, it is a simple democracy in which the ‘supremacy of parliament‘ prevails. While a democratic deficit may well exist in the form of the EU commission, this parliamentary supremacy represents a far greater democratic deficit for the United Kingdom. Peter
Oct 13, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Most of those who believe in the existence of ‘A Money Tree’ and particularly those who choose to write about it (either from the political left or right), are not so naive as to believe that the State uses its fiscal policy wisely. The term money tree is used for political effect, yet regardless of political leanings most remain mute regarding the money that grows on it and where it comes from.
The issue of affordability never arises when the proposed spending relates to activities like going to war or bailing out the banks. There Is A Magic Money Tree
Countries like the UK that have their own central bank with which to create and borrow its own currency, claiming that deficit financing is part of a fiscal policy and not a problem as it is only incurred as an investment that is part of government economic policy. Those committed to the political left or right claim that their fiscal policy will encourage economic growth and resolve any deficit financing problem. The State has consistently failed to cover the costs for the future in its management of fiscal policy such that deficit financing always increases the national debt and fails in its social responsibilities.
To paraphrase Peter F. Drucker, it could he said that: The first responsibility of government is to cover the costs for the future. If this social responsibility is not met, no other social responsibility can be met. Peter F. Drucker, The Practice of Management
Oct 6, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: In ‘The Coming Dark Ages?’ I criticised all the articles for failing to point out that (in my view) the prevalence of an economic global hegemony by Western Philosophy relied on a reserve currency in a fiat money world. Money at the centre of globalisation, whether it is trade or war that is the dominant driving force for global economic growth. I was especially critical of the article America enters the dark ages concluding that in my opinion money, war and a rising nationalism, are the most likely harbingers in any coming of a new dark age.
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Sep 15, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I thought the term ‘dark age’ to be rather carelessly used recently, especially in the context of Homer and the fall of Troy. The term “Dark Ages” is now rarely used by historians because of the value judgment it implies, although it is sometimes taken to derive its meaning from the dearth of information about the period. The latter being certainly true of the Greek Dark Age (1) between the collapse of the Mycenaean civilisation and the GreekArchaic Period. Perhaps the Greek dark age that occurred between the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age is the only period in Western history deserving to be called a dark age¹. There really is a dearth of information about this period in Western history, something that is not true about what became to be understood in Western Philosophy as The Dark Ages. Read more of this post
Jan 27, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Mainly for the benefit of my children, I should like to point out that German reunification refers to that of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall,which led to Tag der Deutschen Einheit. This is not the same as Bismarck’s German Unification of 1850 to 1871 nor is it the 1938 Anschluss. Read more of this post