Archive for the ‘Chairman »s blog’ Category

The Black Lives Matter Movement & Racism

vendredi, juin 12th, 2020

The death of black male George Floyd on May 25th at the hands of a white male police officer, Derek Chauvin, in the United States has led to worldwide protests about police brutality and apparent systemic racism against Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups (BAME) in Western civilization.

This is because, of course, as the Left would tell you, in the US they have ‘White Supremist’ Donald Trump as their president and in Britain the fault lies with ‘Mr Brexit’ and ‘Chief Gammon’ himself, Boris Johnson and his army of little Englanders – the Conservatives who are in power.

All of this despite the fact that Mr Chauvin has been arrested and charged with second and third-degree murder.

Consequently however, it seems that all white people are guilty of unconscious bias against the BAME community; a result of their ingrained ‘white privilege.’

This simplistic narrative has, of course, been dreamt up by an ever delusional Left that still hasn’t learned how to console itself over Brexit, and Donald Trump’s and Boris Johnson’s election victories. It further demonstrates an ever-increasing chasm between their neo-Marxist ideology and the people they purport to represent. In fact the whole #BlackLivesMatter movement is making idiots out of many people.

The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, and his deputy took to their knee in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, tweeting “We kneel with those opposing anti-Black racism.” Why kneel? We used to stand up to injustice and cruelty and stand alongside people in our battles.

We’ve also seen white people being chained up like slaves whilst wearing “So sorry” T-shirts and being marched through the streets by black people on some sort of slave parade. Additionally, graffiti was sprayed on to Winston Churchill’s statue in London, claiming ‘Churchill was a racist’; the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, even tweeted, ‘The sad truth is that much of our wealth was derived from the slave trade…’

All of this completely ignoring the history of the slave trade, and the fact that it was in the Christian West that slavery was first outlawed.

It is fair to say, though, that racism does exist in western civilization. However, it simply is not systemic and it is not always directed from the white majority towards the non-white minority. It is a far more complex issue.

Sadly, we still have antisemitism, and there has been an increase in Sinophobia as a result of Covid-19. There is also very clear anti-white racism.

Yes, in the ever gracious virtue signaling of the Left, they can’t see the irony of their own creed. For it is the Left that promotes the terms ‘white supremacy’ and ‘white privilege’, fundamentally highlighting that it is being white that is the problem.

This is racism, plain and simple.

Furthermore, last year the term ‘gammon’ was used to describe white, middle-aged men. So now not only are the Left racist, they are ageist as well.

If this is inclusion, please allow me to be excused.

On occasion it’s important to try to understand this lunacy; to see if it stands up to scrutiny and logic.

What is ‘white privilege’ one may ask? Is it a privilege to be born in white skin as opposed to non-white? Does being white mean that one can access the labour market more easily? Given the anti-discrimination laws in the UK, these arguments defy logic.

One further argument goes that being white means that one hasn’t had to cope with regular racial harassment or had to overcome additional challenges in society. Therefore, as a white person, one can’t sympathize with these kinds of difficulties a non-white person has had to grapple with and overcome.

However, saying that a white person can’t empathise with the issues of a non-white person is like saying they can’t be human. It’s no different than saying Sadiq Khan couldn’t empathise with Steve Jobs when he was dying of cancer. Or a Prime Minister couldn’t empathise with a school teacher. Or a Human Rights lawyer couldn’t empathise with a drugs dealer.

Coupled with this is the negative effect the rhetoric could have on non-white people, discouraging them from believing that they can achieve great things if they set their mind to it and work hard. Why would they want to try, if they are taught from a young age that the cards are systemically stacked against them? Despite the fact that this ignores the numerous occasions when black people, or people of any race for that matter, have come from a poor background in the western world and made a success of their lives.

No. The ideas of ‘while privilege’ and ‘white supremacy’ are a leftwing mantra slightly adapted from terminology employed by Karl Marx who basically portrayed bourgeois bosses as slave keepers over workers. The new terminology has been deliberately constructed to create the same divisions in society with a supposedly utopian vision of the future as its goal.

Society is not always fair. We are taught this from a young age and all religions teach it in a similar way. But society is not fundamentally cruel even though modern mantras portray it as such. The slogans of ‘white supremacy’ and ‘white privilege’ spread envy and hate. History taught us where this ends at least twice in the last century with the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulags.

If we stopped this identity politics and had real deep and meaningful conversations about the problems our society face we would go a long way towards finding greater harmony in an often difficult world.

The statue of former British prime minister Winston Churchill is seen defaced, with the words (Churchill) « was a racist » written on it’s base in Parliament Square, central London after a demonstration outside the US Embassy, on June 7, 2020, organised to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis. – Taking a knee, banging drums and ignoring social distancing measures, outraged protesters from Sydney to London on Saturday kicked off a weekend of global rallies against racism and police brutality. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP)

Andrew Crawford

The Stationers’ Company – more on the role of tradition and ceremony, plus the ‘wicked bible’ and copyright.

jeudi, juin 11th, 2020

The Cakes and Ale ceremony is an annual event, a luncheon that takes place at the Stationers’ Hall preceded by a Bidding Prayer and Sermon at St Pauls Cathedral every Shrove Tuesday following the bequest made in 1612 of John Norton, Alderman of London, Master of the Stationers’ Company.  Stationers file out of the Hall after coffee at 10.45, the Master, Clerk and  the Court Assistants first, followed by the Liverymen then the Freemen, for the short walk along Ave Maria Lane, across Paternoster Square under the watchful eye  of  a modern (Elizabeth Frink, 1975) bronze statue with the same title of Paternoster, but also known as shepherd with a flock of sheep, and down the steps to the crypt of the Cathedral, past the tombs of the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord ‘Horatio’ Nelson, into the Chapel of St Faith-under St Paul’s. Organ music by William Byrd 1543-1623 welcomes the arriving congregation to commemorate John Norton commencing at 11.15, the Bidding this year given by the Dean of St Paul’s and the Sermon by the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields. At 12.15 the procession emerges from the crypt led by the Court dressed in their livery attracting a crowd of on-lookers and on their return this pious assembly with guests enjoy a buffet lunch with pancakes and cakes for dessert (more wine than ale), preceded as always by  a witty version of grace by the Company’s Clerk, William Alden. The Clerk, rather like a CEO, is responsible for the day to day running of Stationers’ that includes the organising of fundraising including charities, participating in and organising the many committees and renting out the Hall for drinks parties, events, lunches and dinners. Aloft as a central feature of the ceiling is a spread eagle and horn in gold and blue, symbols of St John the Evangelist looking down on the Cakes and Ale party, this symbol often appearing of the Saint as it was the bird which could fly highest therefore closest to heaven. At the southern end of the hall, carved in white and gold on the dark oak of the minstrels gallery, are open tomes of the King James’ Bible, reminding us that it was at Stationers Hall that this sacred work was translated by William Tyndale from Latin and edited and read out loud here by the Translating Committee.

In 1608 the Master of Stationers, Robert Barker who was also the King’s printer and therefore tasked with printing the King James Bible, left out ‘not’ from the seventh commandment, “thou shalt not commit adultery”, was fined £2000 and never recovered his health nor fortune, dying in the debtors prison. Copies of the ‘wicked bible ‘ were seized and burned in the Hall’s courtyard also the former churchyard  of St Martin-within-Ludgate, on the site of which now stands a 200 year old plain tree, renowned for its resilience to London pollution of which there was plenty with the burning of coal fires. It not only survived the decades of smoke from coal burning but also the fire and shrapnel of the Blitz, as did Wren’s St Martin’s church and the Hall. It is said that eleven copies of the wicked bible survived and that the Hoho (Chinese Fenghuang) bird carved out on the fireplace provented the destruction of the Hall.

It was on account of the development of printing to publishing that it was considered necessary to protect society against abuses of the press, and this was enforced by ordinances and Acts of Parliament  that also protected authors and publishers against infringement of their rights. The Licensing Act of 1662 was the successor to the Star Chamber decree of 1637 that forbade the publication of books without a licence and these protectionist clauses suited the trade and the Company with a requirement of a copy of every book to be deposited at Stationers’ Hall. The first law relating to copyright was the Copyright Act of Queen Anne of 1710, where infringements could be brought only for titles which had been entered in the Register of the Stationers Company, hence the term ‘entered at Stationers’ Hall’ is synonymous with copyright. It followed that penalties could be incurred by the printer on those books that were deposited, however canny printers only paid to register when they sought copyright protection, so little revenue for the Stationers. One loophole was only to register the first volume of say a series of 12, whilst learned works from universities were not entered because of the procedure and cost. Best sellers were protected and paid for since they would be more likely to attract piratical publication and contributed considerably to the fortunes of the English Stock, a company set up under James 1 that gave the Company a monopoly over certain types of publications in addition to the powerful printing privileges it had acquired through the 1557 Charter granted by Queen Mary. Shakespeare, Marlowe and others appear in the records.

Order and clarity came in 1836 and in 1838 with the international Copyright Act that gave protection to foreign works and British authors published in foreign countries, provided that their works were registered at Stationers’ Hall and one copy sent to the British Museum. The main use of the registry was a means of transferring copyright from author to publisher or publisher to publisher through a simple form of assignment at negligible cost. The proceedings improved after a Commission and the appointment of the Greenhills, London booksellers with a tradition of being Stationers, father George succeeded by son Joseph, a dynasty that lasted from 1797 to 1883. Joseph Greenhill also looked after the purchasing of the wine with an informal team of juniors for ‘blind tastings’ and only he knew which wines were kept and from whom.  His stock last recorded in dozens was, 410 of port, 32 of Madeira, 11 of claret, 15 of Moselle, 110 of sherry and two of champagne. On his demise he was succeeded by a Wine Committee.

In our next edition we shall read about the British tradition for almanacs and astrological predictions that produced annual revenue for the Stationers.

Rafael Pittman

The faux outrage about Sir Keir Starmer’s wealth strikes a new low in British politics.

vendredi, mai 22nd, 2020

The social media fallout and faux outrage this weekend after the revelation in the Mail on Sunday that the leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, owns land valued at around £10million strikes a new low in British politics.

Firstly, it continues to show how low and cheap both the Left and Right in British politics will stoop to score points against each other; but more importantly it demonstrates how the Right, supposedly totally against identity politics, are quite capable of using it when the situation suits them.

The story, in summary, is brief. In 1996 Sir Keir Starmer, whilst working as a human rights lawyer, bought a field behind his parents’ house so that his now late mother could care for rescue donkeys. Once she completely lost her ability to walk she was still able to watch the donkeys from her home. The land is now valued at around £10 million.

The ‘outrage’ generated from this revelation is that supposedly Sir Keir cannot be seen as a man of the people because he has wealth far in excess of the ordinary working person. His London home is also valued at around £1 million.

The British Right have jumped immediately on this bandwagon, trying to show that supposedly the Labour Party has totally lost touch with their original working-class roots; now only standing for the wishes of the middle-class, university educated, Guardian-reading intelligentsia.

All of this, of course, is complete drivel.

It also shows the shortest, most selective memory on record on the Right – that just six short months ago working class people flocked to the ballot boxes in their millions to vote for Eton and Oxford educated, multi-millionaire Boris Johnson.

What this should say to the Right, and Left, is something we have known all along. The British people want to aspire and they want their leaders to harness an environment that will allow them to do that – responsibly, collectively and individually. Margaret Thatcher knew this, as did Tony Blair, as did David Cameron and as does Boris Johnson. Working people do not buy into this grievance led identity politics. It’s distasteful as well as divisive.

The fact that Sir Keir, of humble origins, went to a grammar school; became a Human Rights barrister; the Director of Public Prosecutions; Knighted and now leader of the Labour Party, purchasing land along the way for his disabled mother, is enough to show every person what hard work can achieve in the UK.

What the Right would be better to focus on is what a Sir Keir led Labour Party would do if they were to regain the levers of power. A cursory glance at the pledges he made in the leadership contest show that whilst Sir Keir might identify as ‘soft-left’, the Labour Party clearly is not. As long as this remains the case it would be a catastrophe for the country were they to regain power.

Andrew Crawford.

BCiP Member

“We’ll meet again”: Michael Barker recalls the Victory Parade of 8 June 1946

lundi, mai 11th, 2020

After spending the war with my grandparents in South Wales, we were now based in Sydenham temporarily while my father was building a house in Ashtead in Surrey for his family. He had returned from signals service on the aircraft carrier Indomitable in many oceans around the world. Now resuming his career as a timber broker in the City, he had arranged for my younger brother and me to view the Victory Parade on 8 June 1946 from offices opposite St Paul’s cathedral.

We observed the parade with its cavalcade of the mechanised transport column, smartly marching soldiers and indeed 750 Land Girls.

True, we did not get to join the huge crowds around the Mall, but it was a memorable event nevertheless for a youngster.

Only latterly did I discover that the brave Poles were excluded thanks to a cowardly lefty deference to the Soviets. My RC mother would greet the displaced Poles, unable to return to their homeland, and treat them to tea in John Cobb’s department store.

Also I later discovered, when I led one of my early annual city trips for BCiP to Reims, that it was in Eisenhower’s atmospheric HQ, its walls lined with large scale maps, that he actually received the German surrender on 7 May 1945.

CPF Discussion Brief 2020/3 on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – BCiP Response 10th May, 2020

lundi, mai 11th, 2020

Click on this link to find the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) response on behalf of BCiP reported by Paul Thomson.

Labour’s New Leader: Sir Keir Starmer

jeudi, mai 7th, 2020

In the midst of this global covid-19 pandemic it has perhaps slipped under the radar somewhat that the Labour Party, Her Majesty’s official opposition, has finally rid itself of ‘Magic Grandpa’ Jeremy Corbyn – the man responsible for the Labour Party’s worst election performance since 1935 – and elected a new leader: Sir Keir Starmer.

Whilst from a partisan perspective we Conservatives might have enjoyed having Corbyn and his Marxist cronies McDonnell and Abbott sitting on the front row of the Opposition benches for the duration of this parliament and thus continually ruining the Labour Party’s standing as a respectable and electable force; as democrats we know that for the benefit of democracy and holding Her Majesty’s Government to proper account – this change has been long overdue.

Labour’s new leader comes with a glittering CV behind him.

Born in Southwark, London, 57 year-old Starmer studied at Leeds University and then St Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduated in 1986 as a Bachelor of Civil Law and became a barrister in 1987. In November 2008 he became Head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions, leaving in November 2013.

In December 2014 Sir Keir was selected to be the Labour Party representative for the safe seat of Holborn and St Pancras for the 2015 election, going on to win with a majority of more than 17,000.

After the Conservative’s gaining a surprise outright majority at the same election, leader Ed Milliband resigned as Labour leader. After Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the leadership contest, Starmer was appointed Shadow Minister of State for Immigration. He resigned from this post in 2016 in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party.

Oridinarily that would have ensured a lengthy spell on the back benches, but following Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Leader of the Labour Party and Britain’s decision to vote to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, Sir Keir became the Shadow Brexit Secretary. He was to stay in this post until after the 2019 general election which saw Boris Johnson swept back to power with a majority of 80 seats thus forcing Jeremy Corbyn to finally call it a day, knowing the game was up.

Sir Keir has a lot of internal party politics to firstly sort out. The Labour Party’s reputation was heavily damaged through the Corbyn years, with multiple claims of antisemitism throughout the party membership and through the extra grass roots support of Momentum. This has left a bitter taste with the electorate more broadly and will take a while for them to build trust up again.

Apart from this, what does Sir Keir stand for?

He describes himself as ‘soft left,’ however given that the grass roots of the Labour Party has fundamentally changed since the days of Tony Blair, he has had to swing further to the left to win the leadership election. Here is a snapshot of his pledges:

  • Increase top rate of income tax by 5%.
  • Reverse the corporation tax cuts introduced by the Conservatives.
  • Abolish Universal Credit.
  • Shift towards preventative healthcare.
  • Abolish student tuition fees.
  • Invest in lifelong learning.
  • Put Green New Deal at heart of all policy.
  • A clean air act and demand international action on climate rights.
  • Introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act.
  • Renationalise: Rail, Mail, Energy and Water.
  • Give full voting rights to EU citizens and defend freedom of movement.
  • Immigration system based on compassion and dignity.
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act.
  • Introduce a federal system to devolve powers.
  • Abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected chamber of regions and nations.

This is quite a substantive list of pledges. It is indeed difficult to see where they differs from those made by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

Nevertheless, Sir Keir is a very polished media performer and may be able to articulate his positions in a more convincing manner than his predecessor was able to. It’s also important to recall that opinion polls do point towards many elements of the Labour Party’s 2017 election manifesto as popular with the wider public. That election, of course, cost previous Prime Minister Theresa May her majority.

However, Sir Keir was also responsible for the Labour Party’s rather incoherent policy on Brexit, as it tried to put a square peg in a round hole by pleasing its Party membership (pro EU and pro 2nd referendum) and its broader electorate (pro Brexit.)

In the end, it’s policy was widely ridiculed. How can a government in waiting promise to deliver on the referendum result by negotiating a withdrawal agreement with the EU, then present that agreement to the public in a referendum of Remain vs Agreement and not be prepared to stand by and support its own agreement in the referendum?

It shows to the wider public a government engaged in a process that they don’t believe in and have perhaps deliberately sabotaged. It shows a lack of leadership and contempt for voters.

This is partly where Labour fell to pieces in the 2019 election and the responsibility for it lies mostly with the architect of that policy – Sir Keir.

It’s also easy to see that the list of pledges will be rather pricy for the tax payer to fulfill. Given that the current government has had to seriously splash cash around to support the wider economy during the covid-19 pandemic, it is hard to foresee at this stage what the wider economic outlook will be in almost 5 years time when the next election is due. Money being available to finance Sir Keir’s projects may not be in existence.

However, his first performances at Prime Minister’s Questions have received ample praise from those that would naturally be sympathetic supporters but who had turned their back on Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. So it looks like the opposition is back!

Still, let’s not underestimate the Prime Minister’s own charm and vision for the future of the United Kingdom. However much elements of the British press try to paint Mr Johnson as a right-wing populist, nothing could be further from the truth.

As a student of Winston Churchill, who in turn was greatly influenced by his father Lord Randolph and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Mr Johnson remains a One Nation Conservative. This does not mean the dismantling of the welfare state, the NHS and enhancing crony capitalism; but indeed believing in the Union of our four nations as one, with social and economic programs that benefit the ordinary person. It was this vision after all, not just Brexit, that won him such a huge majority last Christmas.

The next 4 and a half years are going to be interesting.

Andrew Crawford.

Reflections on housing and house building in the UK

samedi, avril 18th, 2020

Now that the question of Brexit has been settled following the general election victory, it gives us chance to discuss some incredibly pressing domestic issues.

Perhaps the most pressing issue is that of homeownership, and with it, home building.

As Conservatives we fundamentally understand that the best way to build a cohesive society is for the people within a country to own their home, lay some roots and feel part of their community.

Regrettably this aspiration for many people, particularly the youngest, is fast becoming a fantasy.

It is not an issue that has been born out overnight, it’s the result of over 30 years of changing legislation and economics that have created the problem.

Since the mid 2000s, Labour and Conservative governments have tried to help younger buyers get on to the housing ladder. Labour reduced stamp duty land tax to 0% for first time buyers. The Conservatives, under David Cameron, introduced amongst other things the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.

Sadly, all the measures seem to have done is to stoke the demand side of the market without addressing the other issue on the probable lack of supply. As a result, house prices keep continuing to rise, and vastly faster than increases in wages.

As a result, in 1998 the average house price was 4 times the average annual salary. Today it is 8 times the average annual salary.

When discussing homeownership amongst the youngest, in 1991 67% of 25 to 34 year olds owned their own home. Today that figure has fallen to just 38% and given birth to the term, ‘generation Rent.’

Whilst the reasons for this phenomenon are complex, part of the issue is the lack of homebuilding. Changes in legislation and market forces often mean that large developers find it more profitable to sit on land rather than build.

Based on 2016 prices, the average price of residential land in the mid 1950s was £150k per hectare. In the mid 1990s it had increased to £1.3m and by 2007 £5m.

In England, land without planning permission is worth £20k per hectare. The same land with planning permission is worth £2m per hectare.

Coupled with these issues has been the extreme lack of new housing that has been delivered. France, a country with a comparable population and population growth to the UK, has completed 16.7 million new homes since 1970. In the same period, the UK has completed just 8.9 million.

It is good to see that our manifesto has pledged to close this housing gap by firstly pledging to complete 300,000 new homes a year. Additionally there is a pledge to provide support for builders using modern methods of construction and by making it easier for people to self build should they chose to.

It is still worth noting, however, that some analysts and commentators are very skeptical as to whether these measures go far enough. Further analysis, legislation and support will be required to the construction industry in the years to come.

The risk for the Conservative party politically is stark. As Labour elects a new leader the threat of socialism is still close at hand, whoever replaces Jeremy Corbyn.

Given that scores of 18-24 year olds flock to the left wing cause, and are very anti-Brexit, unless we are able to deal with issue and show that only a Conservative government can really help people achieve the simplest of aspirations, we may find ourselves out of power again for a duration similar to that from 1997 to 2010.

Andrew Crawford,

Secretary,

British Conservatives in Paris (BCiP)

Feedback from British Conservatives in Paris to Conservative Policy Forum (15 February, 2020) concerning the Queen’s speech

samedi, avril 18th, 2020

1.

·         General: the overall balance between the international role of the UK on the one hand and the emphasis on a One Nation approach to “healing” the nation & the body politic is commendable

·         Particular points we were happy to see included

o   The points-based immigration system

o   The “NHS Long Term Plan”

o   The proposal to increase funding per pupil “to ensure all children can access a high quality education”

§  Cf we have recommended elsewhere that the cost of higher education puts an unconscionable burden on young people and invited policy makers to consider how things are done in certain countries on the Continent such as France or Germany (not to suggest that those countries have perfect systems:  it is noteworthy however that in them there is a very broad consensus in favour of distinctly modest/virtually nominal tuition fees)

o   The “Renters’ Reform Bill”

§  Again reference to what actually happens in France and Germany (legal regime, market conditions) would be instructive

·         In France the renters may be over-protected:  the system does however prevent much or most egregious abuses by landlords – of particular importance given the unaffordability of housing for own home purchase for a very large share of the (especially younger) part of the population

·         In Germany there is a massive private rental housing sector which provides quality housing in attractive locations with protections for renters designed to allow them to make a choice in favour of longterm rentals

o   Germans’ appetite for such rentals is sometimes blamed for the surprisingly low net worth of German private households

§  However again the point for the UK situation is the inaccessibility of housing on the buy/sell market and thus the need for remedial measures elsewhere

o   The “Counter Terrorism (Sentencing and Release) Bill”

o   Policy to invest in public services and infrastructure

§  Cf budget/national debt policies

·         One might infer from the speech that tax increases somewhere will be necessary to maintain the financial equilibrium called for therein

o   Clarification in this area will be needed – politically and practically – in the near future

o   Levelling up across regions

§  Same comment as in preceding point re public finances

·         NB:  this is not intended to convey the message that we are lukewarm on this “Northern Strategy” policy – on the contrary!

o   Reform business rates

o   Consider constitutional issues raised by the Brexit “saga”

§  The role of the courts is a major question:  does the UK wish to go the way of the US with “government by the judges” across the board?

·         Hopefully not

§  Fixed-term Parliaments Act:  has proved problematical in practice and therefore deserves to be fundamentally called into question

o   “Integrated Defence, Security and Foreign Policy Review”

§  The state of the world as it is today calls for such a review:  fundamental shifts are occurring on many fronts and on many levels

2.

·         General:  the thrust and most of the particular items in the speech were well received

o   A handful of items encountered minority questioning

·         Particular items with majority reserves

o   Increase local powers to tackle air pollution

§  Problems

·         Is the nature of such problems not inherently national (or wider) in scope (even if there may be local sources of pollution:  these should be addressed in the larger context)?

·         Even ignoring the first point:  local authorities may lack the technical competence and/or political will and/or clout to effectively deal with such issues

o   “animals as sentient beings”

§  In agreement with the principle of avoiding cruelty to animals

§  Cave:  avoiding providing succour to animal rights extremists

3.

·         General comment:  there were some omissions we deemed regrettable

·         Particulars

o   Some indications were given as to areas of infrastructure spending (eg wrt transport) however a bit more here would have been helpful

o   Withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights?:  or meaningful threats at least to do the same (or suspend membership) to resist the politicisation of that instrument and of the ECHR, and their surreptitious partial capture/being subjected to influence by unrepresentative groups (cf recent serious of articles in Valeurs Actuelles on the subject; and the general evolution of ECHR decisions in recent times)

o   On foreign policy major issues:  perhaps at least some general indication of the direction of travel on specific subjects might have been helpful, eg

§  The recently presented US peace plan for Israel and Palestine

§  Libya

§  China

§  Etc

§  – taking care of course not to unduly tie the hands of the government for dealing with future circumstances

o   “votes for life”

o   Re financial services:  what is the aim wrt the future relationship with UE/27 in this area?

o   Addressing the housing shortage:  a “mega issue” in our view

§  Cf

·         Problems of social justice

o   A major share of the population has “lucked into” vast housing wealth they never contemplated

o   While another major share has “un-lucked into” a prospect of a lifelong housing poverty (at least in relative terms) – regardless of hard work etc

·         Imbalances created by new trends in financial flows worldwide “distorting” or at least mightily impacting housing markets:  why should the government consider it appropriate to sit by passively and “let the market do its work/worst”?  ↘ Government has a responsibility to address big issues arising out of such massive disruption of economic flows and (im)balances

o   Policy on GAFA et al

§  Including taxation

o   Productivity levels in the UK – how to address the relatively poor performance of the UK in recent decades as against eg France, Germany & many other countries

Paul Thomson

Vice Chairman/CPF Secretary

BCiP

Political Promises & Responsibilities

mardi, octobre 29th, 2019

Boris Johnson’s failure to follow through on his wonderful-sounding promises for Brexit , blaming his failures instead on Jeremy Corbyn, an unruly Parliament, the EU…. etc. , reveals himself as neither de Gaulle, nor Churchill, nor Thatcher, nor Reagan, nor Trump, according to BCiP member Evelyne Joslain, comparing e.g. President Trump’s seemingly successful manoeuvring with respect to Syria and the surrounding region in her article below.

Promesses et Responsabilités

International Socialism – the Pest of our Times.

mercredi, octobre 16th, 2019

BCiP member Evelyne Joslain takes issue with international socialism as the pest of our times:

La peste de notre temps_EJoslain_5.X.2019

La Peste de notre temps__2e partie_17.X.2019