Category Archives: Political
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’.
Mar 9, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Last week the case of Shamima Begum caused me to consider the Rule of Law, this led me to the rule of law as being a modern concept, despite the connection with Aristotle (1). The rule of law is regarded as being fundamental to the governance of the UK and is taken by some to be included in the Magna Carta, or implied by it (2). What Magna Carta (the document) actually proscribes is entirely different from that which it is generally proscribed to it (3).
The significance of Magna Carta lay not only in what it actually said but, perhaps to an even greater extent, in what later generations claimed and believed it had said. Sometimes the myth is more important than the actuality. (Lord) Tom Bingham — The Rule of Law (p19)
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
Jan 26, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: In France tax inspectors claimed that the EU pensions of a married couple (Michel Bourges-Maunoury and Marie-Louise Heinz) should be taken into account in calculating their tax liability. The couple took their case to the Court of Justice, which ruled that income paid by the EU and subject to EU tax could not be taxed “either directly or indirectly by a member state”. It also ruled that recipients were exempt from declaring the amount to national tax authorities. Read more of this post
Jan 19, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Politicians in the UK (and elsewhere) apparently assume that economic recovery is achievable through austerity and a reduction in public debt. However, a self-serving governing elite ensure that deficit financing ensnares us all while they remain immune to the austerity measures imposed. This is particularly true of pension inequality when UK members of parliament have their pensions determined by a notionally¹ Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Read more of this post
Dec 25, 2018Posted by on
Dec 23, 2018Posted by on