A Good Day

Mr Cameron has done a good thing in fulfilling his promise and offering us a straight answer in-or-out referendum on Europe. While I don't agree with his personal view, I respect him as a man and a politician for having the courage to face down what has been a corrosive issue in British politics for a generation. Some would say it has been corrosive for Britain but then we have the referendum to settle the issue. He at least has done what none of his predecessors had the confidence to do.

Westminster and the media are loving the whole thing. They relish plots, intrigue, alliances, broken loyalties, subterfuge and everything else that goes hand in hand with the self feeding circus they live off. After all, this is why they all did PPE at Oxford and this is their moment. Well, actually... sorry to rain on your parade boys and girls but it isn't. The rest of us have been waiting an awfully long time to make ourselves heard and I suspect the sound is going to rattle and reverberate across the world on June 24th at a level that will spin the needle off the clock. My view, for what it is worth, is that the leave vote will overwhelm those who wish to keep the status quo by a margin which Westminster, and the EU, are simply not prepared for. 

We have already heard many short sound-bite arguments from both sides, usually in less than 140 characters. Much of what is said is simply made up and has no basis in fact. The principle tactic employed by both sides appears to be one of who can scare us the most. Well it won't wash. In the voting booth most citizens will disregard all the hysteria that has been pumped out and will simply apply their own reasonableness test based on their own experience of family and community around them. No nation on earth is better equipped to be reasonable, it is what we are. That gives me confidence.

Nonetheless, in a modest contribution to the discussion allow me to share an illuminating discussion paper on Brexit written by former colleague Dr Savvas Savouri of Toscafund, in which he deconstructs some of the more alarmist claims being banded around the television studios by the Hampstead and Notting Hill crowd. It is worth taking the time to read.

The Empire Strikes Back

It's with some hilarity that we learn this morning, courtesy of analysis from the Insight Consulting Group via Guido, that should Labour be elected some 25.51% of MPs are likely to be Oxbridge graduates. Interestingly, the number drops to 20.86% in a Conservative-led Parliament perhaps suggesting that slightly more Tories have held real jobs than have the policy wonk stuffed Labour party who are mostly cradle-to-grave political Moonies. 

Well, they don't make any bones about what they're about on their website. The time is coming to reclaim the management and leadership of the Kingdom from this cosy union.

I've written previously about the bizarre grip that the Oxford PPE course has on British politics and political reporting, (it's a very long list, read and be amazed). Perhaps its why they are all so grey and mostly follow the same dreary agenda's with just a different lick of paint on their buses. No long term strategic thinking and no imagination with precious little grip on what passes for Planet Reality for the rest of us. They've buggered up just about everything they've touched and done a mind trick on the Public which mostly believes in the sequential Great Con's perpetrated in their name but not for their wider good. We're in a place where a more or less malleable and supine population is governed by the intentions of a few thousand people in marginal seats.  Nothing could suit the PPE lot better; their grip is tightening but it won't last. Bad things never do.

Scottish Independence; Ahmm wee word, Mr Cameron....

The kind of backfire that Mr Cameron is currently experiancing

When I mentioned in my last post that PPE at Balliol hadn't prepared the policy wonks and advisor's in Westminster for the General Custer, "Where the fxck did all those "Yes" votes come from?" moment I had little idea that I would be so quickly validated by the pointy headed clowns.

We discover today that messrs Cameron, Clegg and Milliband are sufficiently in melt down mode that they've binned Prime Minister's questions tomorrow and are all off to the North "to listen." 

“There is a lot that divides us – but there’s one thing on which we agree passionately: the United Kingdom is better together. That’s why all of us are agreed the right place for us to be tomorrow is in Scotland, not at Prime Minister’s Questions in Westminster. We want to be listening and talking to voters about the huge choice they face. Our message to the Scottish people will be simple: ‘We want you to stay.’”

Crumble's interpretation of that statement is, "oh bloody fxck, fxck, fxck bloody fxck. I'm not going down as the one with his name above this fxcking fiasco.......... book the fxcking tickets - I do humble better than anyone else, I'll go and beg."

Wee word Mr Cameron, and even I down here can figure this out. The 'word on the streets' is why only offer 'extra powers' now?

The Yes campaign are being very quick to point out that that was one of Salmond's original requests for the ballot paper.  He wanted 2 questions on it - 

1. Should Scotland have more devolved powers? - The 'Devo-Max' option.
2. Should Scotland be an independent country?

Cameron was emphatic that there would only be one question - a straightforward IN/OUT - YES/NO question and no more powers would be devolved whatsoever!

It's backfired a wee bitty hasn't it?

We love our neighbours

From a friend in the Highlands,

"It's still close - but I'd put the Yes voters in front of the No's for now. The people just don't seem to trust (with reason in many cases) anything Westminster says anymore which is why there has been such a big swing in the polls..... To be perfectly honest, even I am wavering a bit now too! ..... I don't believe what Westminster are saying anymore either, so it's going to be interesting to see what this 'package' of new powers consists of. All 3 Westminster parties have their OWN agendas and ideas on what they should be and leaving it to the last minute to cobble 'something' together that they ALL agree on, certainly doesn't fill me with confidence....."

New Powers to Scotland

I remain of the view that the last thing Salmond wants is full independence; the Devo Max thing will do just fine. In fact, no one is probably flapping more than he is at present at the prospect of actually having to get a spreadsheet to add up that can't and won't ever do so and it wouldn't surprise me if he was paying for Cam's tickets. Whilst though, we are all hoping for restoration of level headedness when Scots voters peer over the abyss in a Quebec moment, the Westminster team may well be playing this wrong at the crucial moment. Fighting Celtic emotion and passion with repressed English emotion and passion will not help. The loss will just be bigger. I understand they have to take action and be seen to be taking action but they must rely on presenting mature arguments and logic and leave the Scots to make their own minds up on that basis.

A reflection of the level of panic, and stupidity of 13 year old advisor's, is the decision to fly the saltire over Downing Street from today until the referendum. However well intentioned, it's just a very visible sign of the wheels coming off and won't go down to well elsewhere in the Kingdom where people feel they're just rubbing along as best they can. 

Aye Pods

Aye Pods

David Cameron has been on holiday every three months since he became Prime Minister and only on one of those has he been to Scotland, (Jura). Not withstanding my own views about that kind of idleness perhaps the time to show an interest was in August or perhaps at Easter. He and his parliamentary colleagues are in fact in danger of making a bad thing worse. That's it, if in doubt throw more kerosene on the fire Mr Cameron, pass the bucket.

The Chosen Ones

PPE3.jpg

We see a lot of cheap political point scoring over where and who with individuals in politics went to school. The specific suggestion being that Etonians are all members of some sort of mystical Masonic like, Knights Templar of the Golden Arch secret society. 

I'm not an OE so I wouldn't know but in my experience, OE's comprise many sorts of characters from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some have razor sharp intellects, some you could hammer six inch nails into their foreheads and it would make no difference. Many are completely affable and clubbable while you wouldn't trust others to walk your dog without the two of them falling out. The only thing they have in common are parents who are prepared to stump up thirty two grand a year for the pleasure of sending them there. 

Meanwhile, if we look for the source of these criticisms then we far too often find ourselves tracking back to the list of those who did PPE at Oxford and what a grand collection they are.

The problem however, is that far, far too many of the Westminster cabal come as a job lot from one place, have been educated in the same way by the same people. That includes politicians, advisors, lobbyists, policy wonks and most worrying of all, journalists who are never shy of telling us they are the unofficial guardians of freedom.

How any of this is supposed to create an environment of free thinking creative solutions to problems is beyond me. It's just all too cosy.

My, how I would love to see the list of Oxford PPE grads who now run Qango's. 

Eton isn't the problem; the PPE course at Oxford is.