Skip to main content

Democracy could die here this year..

In fact it may already be dead.

Let us not fool ourselves that we still live in a democracy as we did even twenty years ago.

After last year's election the Conservatives had a bigger majority than they, or in fact any of us, expected. However, the brutal way in which they have gone about implementing their agenda (as opposed to their manifesto), can leave us in no doubt that democracy as we have known it is over.


Perhaps, but upwards of half a million (primarily young) people will lose their right to vote under new government registration laws. These have been brought in through the pernicious use of Statutory Instruments, designed in the 1940’s to free up parliamentary time in the post war rebuild. They are now being written into Parliamentary Bills to allow the detail to worked out in obscurity. Thus fracking, maintenance grants, and the already mentioned electoral changes have been foisted upon us.

In this year- when the BBC is fighting for its charter renewal- the primary source of unbiased media is under attack.

In this year- the Independent has gone off print. Our print media is overwhelmingly dominated by the right. They are rarely held to account for the untruths they tell on page one and apologise for on page 27.

In this year- The TTIP agreement may slip in under the radar. By attacking how the EU legislators take our rights, the anti Europe edge are creating a vacuum in which TTIP may become part of our world unfettered by democratic process.

TTIP, for the uninitiated, is a set of trade negotiations which aim to lower the barriers for trade between the US and Europe. Its an attempt to create a large trading block that might break the tyranny of China in the global market. But it also means that things like the NHS will be opened up to US companies, that food safety rules might e relaxed to suit US laws. Effectively it suggests that what businesses want should trump what governments have decided.

It will play well for those who think that European bureaucrats should stop telling us what size our bananas should be. But those people also stop GM food from slipping into our world with no notice. They make sure that food is properly labelled so that nut allergy sufferers, coeliacs and others can live a tolerable life. All of that is under threat. 10 people in Britain died last year from nut allergies (with non labelled items the biggest culprit), 5 were killed by bees (which TTIP also may wipe out) and no-one was killed by terrorism.

In David Cameron’s bold renegotiation of Europe, TTIP hasn’t been touched. This single piece of trade negotiation will take vast amounts of sovereignty from every nation who signs up and place it in the hands of people whose job is to make money.

We live in dangerous and difficult times. The dangers and difficulties are not what the papers will tell us or what David Cameron will colour up and splutter about. The dangers are that a very small group of very privileged people are making decisions based on a view of the world that most of us simply do not share.

So what do we do? There will be a further post after I’ve had a coffee.


Popular posts from this blog

Don't Be Fooled: Boris and the Great Distraction

We are now into day five of the nonsense about whatever Boris has or hasn’t said about women wearing burkas. Older white man makes derogatory, ill informed comments about what women wear. That’s not news. That’s every day. 
I am not belittling the impact- but there is some mischief going on here. 
I just finished reading Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened”. It’s not for the feint hearted- analysing loss is an ugly business. But in the midst of the pain she makes a really wise comment about the way the media covered the more outlandish things that Donald Trump said during the campaign. Her view is that it did no further damage to Trump as everyone knew he was a buffoon (my word), but it dominated the news cycle and stopped people talking about real issues for days at a time. 
Over the weekend senior economic types (like the head of the Bank of England) talked about the danger of a no deal Brexit. The pound continues to tank. And the media is dominated- not even by a serious piece about …

International Women's Day: where are we?

I popped into school this morning, with the aim of getting some soundbites (well markerboardbites) about gratitude in preparation for Sunday’s service (more of that later, or never.. )
It was snowing and so I ended up being a spare pair of hands with a year five class for an hour. It was a lot of fun- I really enjoy being around that age range.
As the remnants of the class appeared from bus and abortive car journeys there were various activities going on in the room; games, a new dance (called the Floss, which I have already consigned to the pile of co-ordinated movements that I will never get the hang of), word searches and some drawing.
It was the drawing that caught my attention. Three girls, all focused and ready to go were setting themselves a fifteen minute time limit. “What for?” I asked. “For our princess drawing competition”, came the reply.
Now those of you who know me, will know that a) that made my soul a little bit sad, and b) how much hard work it was to poker face it…

Life Audit: 2018 Results

As some of you will know- I take a month each year to note down what I do every minute (ish) of every day that I work. I do this partly to satisfy my own geekiness, but also to look at the balance of my life in a number of different ways. It helps me to note where I am spending most time- and over the course of the years it has helped me to identify my better working patterns. 
This year I chose October (if you are clergy never do this in August, December or Easterish). 
So the headlines: I had at least one day off every week.I still work 54 hours a week (54.3 this year). Its been the same for four years now (over two different jobs)That is still spread over about 5 and a half days a week (5.6)That equates to a full working day of 9 hours and 42 minutes.My average full working day span (from first bit of work to last) is 12 hours and 17 minutes. Be gentle with me if these maths don’t work. I am not a great statistician.

Within that gap between actual work and length of working day there i…