Tag Archives: UK
Sep 29, 2019Posted by on
Next week on Facebook: I am going to add articles on the UK and nuclear energy as a response to my post in 2016 with title Points about Hinkley. UK Government policy is to have a wide mix of energy supplies, so we use nuclear alongside other energy sources, such as gas and solar. Today, nuclear energy generates around one fifth of the country’s electricity, and under current government proposals that include Hinkley Point C, some of our power will come from nuclear sources in the future. Read more of this post
Sep 22, 2019Posted by on
On looking at some of my ‘drafts posts’ I came across one that included the case for HS2 and decided to post it this week. I am reminded of an article that I read some time ago when an Englishman was bemoaning the fact it took so long (with the appeals procedures) to get things ‘done’ in England. He was engaged in a conversation with a Frenchwoman on train journey through France, in which the Frenchwoman said, “Monsieur, in France, when we want to drain a swamp, we don’t tell the frogs what we intend to do.” I’m not sure if the remark was true, or the Frenchwoman was simply poking fun at the Englishman. Either way, I thought the Frenchwoman’s remark quite funny and recounted it to my colleague when we met for our monthly ‘pie and a pint’.
The subject came up when I asked him about HS2. He is a model rail enthusiast and knows far more about trains than I do, so I assumed that he would know about the HS2. It apparently is not a subject that appears great deal in model railway magazines and my colleague knew less about the HS2 than me. We did however end up discussing high speed rail in the word today (which he knew a lot about), and specifically in relation to the notion of comparative advantage (which I knew a lot about). Incidentally, I did remember an article that I had read on Japanese Bullet Train — probably attracted to it by its reference to the kingfisher.
On Friday morning I sat at my computer (unable to sleep) and searched for articles that may support the case for HS2. Clearly I am influenced by my own views, an Independent newspaper article appealed to me claiming that HS2 won’t improve Government’s poor record on infrastructure. Although I’m not quite sure if this is not simply a left wing newspaper popping at an austere right wing government, or if it is seriously intended to address the lack of rail infrastructure in the UK.
The Independent article fails to mention that in practice that any UK government always spends more money than it receives as revenue and mentioned a report that predicted and expected economic growth in 2025. Economic growth? I live in a State dependent on deficit financing in which the public administration must raise the necessary finance. I have to wonder just how much I am influenced by what I choose to read on social-media.
Sep 14, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I never paid a great deal of attention to the issue of forbidden drugs and legislation but age has not only enfeebled my body but also my brain. Some time ago my attention was caught by an article linking cannabis and ageing (the original can be seen here) and it was curiosity that drew me to read the article rather than any desire to smoke pot.
This week I had a conversation with an artisan who does some work for me, and he was making the case against the legalisation of cannabis. This started me thinking about the subject for another post. Is there a connivance by the government to make Aldous Huxley’s 1962 prediction a reality?
It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. Aldous Huxley
Sep 1, 2019Posted by on
In 2013 I came across The New Economics Foundation (nef) publication guide to the UK monetary and banking system with the title ‘Where Does Money Come From?’ contending that there is widespread misunderstanding of how new money is created. The original can be read here, implying that the only widespread understanding of ‘money’ lying in its purchasing power seems a reasonable conclusion and may compliment the monetarist viewpoint. Read more of this post
Aug 31, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I have to think very hard about whether I am a monetarist or not, the answer seems to depend on how strongly I believe that the State guides its political economy by changes to the monetary supply and other forms of fiat money creation. It was an article or remark of Mervyn King in which he displayed misconceptions about money velocity, particularly with regard to quantitative easing, that first brought the Irving Fisher equation of exchange (MV=PT) to my attention. Economist vacillate over measuring Instruments in economics¹ and while I would hardly call myself an economist — I share in their vacillations. Read more of this post
May 4, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: When the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA) was introduced in 2011, the coalition government argued that fixed-term parliaments would have a positive effect on our country’s political system: providing stability, discouraging short-termism, and preventing the manipulation of election dates for political advantage. Yet the ease with which Theresa May was able to trigger the early election in light of her 21-point opinion poll lead over Labour over Easter (2017) appeared to cast doubt on its ability to deliver these aims. Read more of this post
Apr 20, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I live in a liberal democracy and wonder why others who do support the undemocratic relentless advance of a meritocracy to govern them, or at least a soi-disant version of it. Even in the unlikely event of an electorate choosing to vote for the most meritorious representative, they are still not a privy to their elected representative’s selection by any political system as a representative of any public administration. Both meritocracy and democracy are used as abstractions in political philosophy, it is clear that both words depend on the political system of the State. Whether it is modelled on a Chinese meritocracy, a liberal democracy, the emerging European Union as a political unit, or some other form of political system, they all claim to be democratic.
The world today is divided territorially into more than 190 countries, in each of which a national government claims to exercise sovereignty—or the power of final authority—and seeks to compel obedience to its will by its citizens. Britannica: Political Systems
Mar 30, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Last weeks post prompted me to research secession¹, whereupon I was surprised by the increase in the desire of various factions within States to secede (although living with the vestiges of the British Empire, I shouldn’t have been). There are as many and varied reasons for secession as there are methods of seceding, equally there are many are arguments for and against secession. Secessionist sentiments are in all of the major and minor political ideologies, with some having successfully seceded in the past 250 years or so and some failing to do so.
Read more of this post
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’.