The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

18 July
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Tories Go For PR, UKIP Prefer Principles

We hear from James Kirkup, a resident hack at David Cameron’s fan club newsletter (aka the Telegraph) that the Tory Party machine is now big into “Data Electioneering”. Apparently this is the equivalent of the supermarket loyalty card where you use information gathered at the checkout to decide how you will stock your shelves

 

 It would amass information about voters and seats, information that could be used to ensure that the party knows where the electorate is, what it thinks, what it wants.The result is an extraordinarily extensive – and expensive – programme of opinion polls and focus groups generating huge volumes of data about voters’ views and preferences

 

 In other words the quaintly old fashioned idea of a political party being the coming together of a group of individuals with a common view of political principles and ideas which then seeks to persuade the voters to elect them into government is now so yesterday. Instead you fashion your policies around consumer research, social media reaction and, eventually, product testing. Presumably, after all that, you come up with a to do list which will aim to please mumsnet, greenpeace and the Daily Mail…

Good luck with that.

Of course, it’s all very expensive for the Tories – but when you have the bosses of the big global corporations who do well out of the EU trough and cheap labour via uncontrolled immigration in your pocket then why worry? OK your party membership at local level is collapsing but, like the banks, who needs branches when you can centralise?

Hence the reshuffle, aimed, we are told at

 

women, especially those with young families. Such women, alongside Ukip supporters who used to vote Tory, were a key audience for the reshuffle, both precisely identified by that polling operation for a data-driven reshuffle that is without precedent in British politics.

 

Odd, though, that “UKIP supporters” should be furrowing brows amidst all those data drivers at Tory HQ…..UKIP, a party led by political outsiders, permanently cash strapped with only the bare bones of a professional cadre and with no support from any national media outlet yet which consistently  polls well ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Enough, if it continues, to possibly win a seat or two, certainly enough to undermine the chances of the Tories getting a working majority in 2015.

 

There is little evidence yet of a fall in Ukip support now the European Parliament elections have passed, confounding the expectations of pundits who believed the European election victory was the “peak Ukip moment”. Our estimates have Farage’s party at 14.8 per cent, down just 0.1 per cent on last month. The Liberal Democrats, however, continue to slide to new record lows. This month they register just 8.8 per cent, down 0.5 per cent on last month, and an all-time low under our new methodology.

 

Much ink has been spilt, of course, over a lack of clarity over UKIP’s policies on tax, the NHS etc and, to be fair, some of this criticism has been justified. But then to what extent can people be clear about the policies of the three establishment parties on these issues. However most voters are aware that UKIP wants to withdraw from the EU (not negotiate) and impose stricter controls on immigration – and they say you cannot have one without the other. The three establishment parties claim to be concerned about uncontrolled immigration but don’t really want to leave the EU. They also have hang ups about upsetting the high priests of political correctness in the media. UKIP couldn’t care less about the media, focus groups or pontificating pundits – what you see is what you get and that message has resonated, pitching through all the spin and PR noise of modern politics.

One comment on the Kirkup piece (from Telegraf) encapsulated the vacuity and shallowness of the Tory data obsession “It’s good to know that politics is now simply a marketing campaign involving a brand on an empty box that once used to contain principles.”  But then what can you really expect from a party led by “a onetime PR man for ruthlessly profitable trash TV”

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14 July
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03 July
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Good Men Shed Blood For Our Freedoms In 1644…In 1973 We Spat On Their Sacrifice…

A brave attempt once more by Daniel Hannan to remind us that, at a time when the monarchies of Europe were successfully suffocating their own nascent representative institutions, the attempts by Charles I and his cohorts to do the same to the English Parliament by invoking the divine right of kings was finally broken in Yorkshire in the summer of 1644. The Battle of Marston Moor did not end the English Civil War between King and Parliament but it fatally weakened the Royalist forces.

As Hannan points out, although there were bumps along the way, the sovereignty of Parliament as the source of authority remained unchallenged for well over three hundred years until 1973.

Parliament remained sovereign until 1 January 1973, when Sections 2 and 3 of the 1972 European Communities Act came into effect, giving EU law primacy over British law

For centuries the idea that our freedom was deeply embedded in our past was part of the warp and weft of the upbringing of each English generation

Some of the men who won the day at Marston Moor would have pointed at Henry VIII’s break with Rome, others at Magna Carta. Yet others would have gone back still further, to the folkright of Anglo-Saxon common law that had constrained kings before 1066.

Today that key aspect of our history is largely ignored. To his credit Hannan has vividly brought it back to life with his book “How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters”

The pity is, however, that he still feels that the shame of 1973 can be resolved by negotiation within the confines of the EU – which is why he stays within the Tory party and remains a loyal follower of David Cameron. Until he realises that the permanent surrender of national sovereignty is the very keystone of the EU edifice and its removal would render the whole enterprise worthless Hannan must be regarded as an interesting but essentially unreliable observer.

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27 March
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That Farage/Clegg Debate – Media Pundits Caught With Their Trousers Down…

Animal - Woodland - Weasels, various

 

Probably the most significant outcome of the Farage/Clegg debate was not so much the verbal fencing of the discussion itself but the final piece of evidence proving, if any further proof were needed that, with regard to UKIP most of the media establishment is as out of touch with the views of the man and woman on the street as the political class which claims to represent them.

I’m not talking about the liberal/left ramparts of The Guardian or Daily Mirror – at least the bias in those quarters is so blatant that one can immediately discount much of their “reporting” or “comment”. But the barrage of sneering anti UKIP bile filling the pages of the Telegraph and Mail, both supposedly rightward leaning and Eurosceptic, has certainly puzzled many of us in UKIP.

Many have suggested that the Telegraph/Mail have merely been pimping Tory HQ propaganda as part of a campaign to buttress Cameron. Yet the Mail is often scathing about Dave so I cannot see the Tory HQ line as being the whole story.

My feeling is that, though “journalists” work for media outlets that have varying political stances, the bulk of them are all part of the London media “village” and intermingle professionally and socially not just with each other but with the political class. All of them see politics as a political game where the terms of the debate are exclusively set by the metropolitan elite and the role of the electorate is to be as passive as a TV audience, maybe cheering or booing on cue, but otherwise happy to leave decisions about the important issues to the “professionals” who know best.

What these people hate about UKIP is that it is a party of political outsiders with no connection to the metropolitan elite. No political “big beast” SDP type defections have brought the party into the dinner party conversations in North London. They hasten to characterise UKIP members, supporters and potential voters as simple minded, racist, ignorant etc but they have made no attempt to get to know UKIP members or treat their views seriously.

The result? They constantly get blindsided…

During and immediately after the debate, Westminster observers appeared to come down on the side of Clegg – or that both men had performed competently. Initially, Lib Dem cheerleaders apparently satisfied with the performance of their leader and several “gaffes” from Farage, who they pointed out appeared to denigrate the European car industry and claimed the EU had “blood on its hands” over Ukraine.

“The truth is it was a score draw,” said Andrew Mitchell, the senior Conservative backbencher and former chief whip.

However, the mood shifted to visible disappointment in the Clegg camp as the first opinion polls showed Farage was ahead by 57% to 36%.

Asked whether the loss mattered, one Lib Dem aide said philosophically: “In a snap poll, populist arguments may well win over. The real win tonight has been that we wanted this debate and talked directly to the voters.”

Let’s face it – the media hacks were all caught with their trousers down

Backstage, Westminster’s hack-pack was necking cheap vino and Pret sandwiches after carrying out a spectacular volte face. Initially ‘the spin room’ had called the duel for Clegg, on both style and substance. But, as news of the Sun/YouGov poll filtered through to the scribblers, headlines were rewritten and awkward tweets deleted. Soon, only the BBC was left flying the Clegg flag, with the help of Danny Alexander and Tim Farron.

The moral of the story? Simples… On every Mail snide anti UKIP piece, or Tim Stanley/Dan Hodges ill informed rant, or snooty dinner party Spectator put down keep on hammering the comments with the phrases that wind them up…..LibLabCon, Tory HQ agitprop, out-of-touch media luvvies….believe me those remarks really get under their collective skin.

The media expects to be courted. Until the age of the internet there was no other option if you wished to be heard. But today is different. Journalists are ranked with estate agents, car salesmen and pimps. They don’t need to be courted – when they lie and distort and misreport they need to be exposed and attacked from every angle.

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14 November
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Famous & Respectable Media Pundit Repeats UKIP Line On Immigration…”Forgets” To Mention UKIP…I Wonder Why?

Regular Daily Telegraph pundit Peter Oborne pens a worrrying piece about the impact on the social fabric of Britain after January 1st when Romanians and Bulgarians, as citizens of the EU, will have unrestricted access to the UK.

The new migrants will be hungry for jobs, and are bound to price some British workers out of the market. They will have the right to use our schools and NHS, which are already creaking. They will need housing, and welfare benefits.

Business leaders will love that for lowering labour costs. The middle classes will also welcome the prospect of even cheaper servants

But there is a cost to the social fabric, and it is always the poor and powerless who pay the highest price.

Precisely

Oborne talks about how Cameron, Miliband and other leading politicians need to have the courage to stand up to the EU and develop a strategy to make access far more difficult.

The moral case for such drastic action is very strong. Despite tentative signs of recovery, Britain still faces an economic emergency. Nearly one million young people, almost 20 per cent of the labour force under 25, are out of work. Some of their jobs would surely go to the new Eastern European migrants. Mr Cameron should argue that this is a situation no civilised government can tolerate.

“What’s that noise?” I hear you say.

Don’t you know? It’s cultural icon Bonnie Greer crying “Xenophobia”. It’s Tory minister Anna Soubry yelling “scaremonger”

Only Greer called the X word out to Diane James. Soubry used the S word to Nigel Farage. Both did it on BBC Question Time. But not to a highly “respected” media pundit like Oborne but to James and  Farage because they belonged to UKIP.

Oddly enough Oborne doesn’t mention UKIP at all in his piece (quelle surprise) which is strange because there is nothing original in his article….UKIP has been saying exactly the same for several years.

So, Mr Oborne repeat after me……

UKIP HAS BEEN SAYING EXACTLY THE SAME FOR SEVERAL YEARS…..

Oh dear Peter….you’d rather choke than say that wouldn’t you!!!

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15 October
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When Cameron, Miliband & Clegg Say They Want A “Debate” About Immigration They Are Simply Telling Lies

snake-oil-circa-1903

 

“Let’s have a debate about immigration” is politics speak for “I am about to fob you off with meaningless blather and pretend that something can be done.”

Always beware of politicians who call for a “debate” about an issue. What they really mean is a series of carefully orchestrated statements from key figures within the Westminster bubble. The one thing they do not want to hear about is anything from the great unwashed who live outside that bubble.

Which is why  Yvette Cooper deserves some praise for blurting out the truth…

 Labour’s Yvette Cooper surely had a point today when she said that politicians of all sorts should be more candid about how much – and how little – they can really do on immigration.

She said: “It’s also about being honest with people about what impact you can have and what practical measures there can be, rather than getting into a kind of arms race of rhetoric on immigration, which doesn’t help anybody because they just don’t believe it.”

  • You see there is absolutely nothing that any British government can do about immigrants from within the EU because we have unilaterally surrendered control of our own borders to Brussels.
  • There is also nothing we can do about immigrants who arrive here either legally or illegally from outside the EU because we have unilaterally acknowledged the European Court of Human Rights as superior to British courts of law.

So when messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband give us “straight talk” about immigration they are simply telling lies – unless they also advocate leaving the EU…

…..and they would never ever advocate that, would they?

 

 

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04 September
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The Sons Of Labour’s Guilty Men & Women Should Look For Atonement, Not Political Power…

Both Dan Hodges and Guido report that a slither of “Red Princes” are following in their fathers footsteps and offering themselves as Labour candidates for 2015

Dave Prescott is a member of quite an exclusive club, the so called “red princes and princesses”, whose parents are MPs or former MPs, and who will be contesting seats in 2015. Others include Will Straw, recently selected for Rossendale and Darwin; Euan Blair, who is said to be interested in one of the Coventry seats; and Joe Dromey, who was showing an interest in Lewisham.

Joe Dromey’s  mummy, of course, is Harriet Harman.

Have these young men no shame? Each of them has a parent who was at the very centre of the Labour regime that did everything in it’s power to destroy the very fabric of our country.

It burdened us with a mountain of debt and brought us into the longest lasting recession of modern times.

It allowed a foreign court made up of a motley collection of European academics to overrule the very fabric of our ancient common law

It willingly saddled us with an inefficient and expensive energy policy without any serious attempt to question the voodoo “science” upon which it was based

It deliberately allowed a massive influx of immigrants from every corner of the globe by reducing our border controls to a mere token

It led us into wars for the flimsiest of reasons without any notion of strategic overview and with an underfunded army leading to the killing and maiming of hundreds, maybe thousands, of our brave servicemen and women.

Rather than seek to place themselves in power over us once again perhaps these young men should atone for their parents’ shame by devoting themselves to the humility of good works by working as minimum wage care assistants or cleaners in homes for the elderly.

Then, in the evening of their lives, they might be able to regain a small measure of family dignity by going Profumo rather than Kim Jong Un

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11 June
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Telegraph Claims UK Small Firms ‘Want to stay in EU’ On Basis Of Dodgy Survey By Questionable Group

The Telegraph goes all BBC and pimps up a “survey” about small businesses opposing a UK exit from the EU without saying much about the source

“Almost two thirds of the 1,600 companies surveyed by SME networking business BNI said staying in the EU would be better for business”

Fortunately, if you look at the comments you will see that readers expended a little more shoeleather on BNI than the DT

BNI is a networking company (http://www.bni.eu) with just under 6300 members.  The survey had 1600 responses, almost two thirds of whom believed Britain would be better off in the EU.  So, under 1100 (less than a fifth of BNI’s UK membership) people thought that Britain should stay in the EU.   It’s not exactly representative, is it?

This…

would like to know, before giving any credence whatsoever to this ‘survey’:
1) Were any of the sample actual exporters to the EU, if so what percentage
2) What EXACTLY was the question
3) How was the data treated in coming to the ‘results’
4) What do the surveyed firms think the situation will be, as far as exporting and trade is concerned, AFTER a negotiated EU exit.

 

And This..

I always thought that SMEs in this country were represented by the BCC, whose attitude to the EU and its reams of regulation is markedly less enthusiastic.  And of course, there are far more SMEs in the UK (like mine) which do not belong to any trade organisation at all because we consider them to be a waste of money and representative of vested interests that run entirely counter to our own business interests
That this ‘survey’ has beenn presented without reference to such essential background information about the participants makes one conclude that standards at The Telegraph have really slipped, particularly with regard to the misleading headline, since it cannot possibly claim to speak for a majority of UK SMEs

 

Standards slipping at the Telegraph? Surely not….

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31 May
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Believe Cameron On Europe? Clegg Assures Polish Minister UK Won’t Leave EU

Do you still believe David Cameron – or do you, like me, suspect a con?

Maybe this Polish politician has let the cat out of the bag and the European political elite has been given the inside story.

They really think we are stupid. They believe their own agitprop that the the surge of support for UKIP is just a nine day wonder, a brief blip of protest that will disappear as the spin merchants and their media pimps attempt to switch the narrative. Tory Chairman Grant Shapps, we are told, has written a letter to local activists. William Hague might soon be wheeled out to assure the doubtful that all is well. Samantha Cameron should make herself available to secure the female vote.

They hold us in contempt – but they are rattled. Keep up the pressure and we can beat  them.

 

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27 March
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China & The EU – “Making The World A Safer Place For Bureaucracy”

BELGIUM EU CHINA

 

Pictured above are (from l to r), former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Herman Van Rompuy (President of the EU Council) and Jose Manuel Barroso (President of the EU Commission) at a China/EU summit held a few months ago.

What does each of them have in common? They represent the leadership of two powerful global economic blocs that wield power over millions of people.

What else? They reached their positions of power, not through election by millions of their fellow citizens but via a secretive cabal of a select few – the higher echelon of the Communist Party in Wen’s case and  the Heads of State in the EU for the other two.

In other words none of them were mandated by their people via the ballot box. They were essentially selected by their own fellow oligarchs who regard themselves as the elite who deserve to rule rather than submit themselves to whims of the great unwashed.

Indeed Barroso (a Maoist revolutionary in his Portuguese student days) has been quoted as fully supportive of that elite notion.

Governments are not always right. If governments were always right we would not have the situation that we have today. Decisions taken by the most democratic institutions in the world are very often wrong.

Ah, the government of the experts or, as Thomas Sowell called them, The Anointed, so much cleverer than the voting masses who do not have the brains to understand the complexities of thw world’s problems…

Really?

Voters, being human, can make mistakes. But it doesn’t follow that a class of experts would have made a better decision. Just think about some of the positions that “the experts” have taken down the ages. In the 1920s, they were for returning to gold at the pre-war rate. In the 1930s, they were for appeasement. In the 1940s, they were for nationalisation. In the 1950s they were for state planning. In the 1960s, they were for mixed-ability, child-centred teaching. In the 1970s, they were for price controls. In the 1980s, they were for the ERM. In the 1990s they were for the euro. In our own decade, they were for the bail-outs and stimulus packages.

Or, as William Buckley once put it

 

“I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.”

Well, Mr Buckley – China and the EU would certainly not agree with you on that point..

China and the EU – “Making the world a safer place for bureaucracy”

Why is it that Franz Kafka is never around when you need him…

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