So what does the name tee2i mean?
Well it's shorthand for the independence index. This blog takes independence seriously. There's no problem, in principle, with a country being part of a confederation or partnership, the UK is part of NATO. But the EU is a failing confederation and our independence is threatened by continued membership. But there's more to politics than the EU. Neither is politics all about leaning left or rightward on any issue, it's far more subtle than that. It's all down to the quality of life so let's aim high. It's our right to do so.
The story began being labelled as the horse meat scandal. But much as part of this problem seems to be the easy way food labels can be changed it's now changed to 'food fraud'. Over at EUReferendum - Richard North is perhaps the best placed person in the UK to deal with this subject. He's not only in general terms politically minded but also an expert on the workings of the EU. This is vital as the scandal happened on the EU's watch. North is technically qualified too, he, unlike many of the journalists now writing about this subject, does not need to rush to Wikipedia to help him understand the science.
The EU spews out an enormous amount of law. Even if you think the EU is the most wonderful political confederation on earth it cannot be overlooked that in this case the amount of law has not prevented a colossal fraud and, despite assurances so far that human health is not at risk, the public have lost a great deal of confidence in the food industry and the regulators. It remains to be seen if their confidence in the political oversight in the UK holds up.
Food adulterated for profit is not a new problem, it was endemic in the Victorian era.
It was one of those ironic moments, on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, John Humphrys interviewed Mike Farrar, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation on the subject of the Mid Staffordshire Hospital Trust. So one failing organisation up against another. The exact death toll stemming from the breakdown in care at Mid Staffs may never be known, it could be over 1000 lives. And on the other side we have the BBC, employer of Jimmy Savile, although a serial hospital botherer and visitor Savile was not, as far as we know, lethal. Even so, this is hardly a platform upon which to build is it?
Humphrys, in Olympian terms gold, silver and bronze, was very much at the latter level. This was the setting used to interview the inept but now very wealthy George Entwhistle, the ex-head of the BBC. Bronze mode is what a boy might expect from the Deputy Headmaster having been caught doing something anti-social in the school library. So with Humphrys on a low setting Farrar had it easy he ran rings around Humphrys, he was brilliant.
And the reason for this? Well Farrar was well trained in the public servant's art of talking but not saying anything. Also Farrar's penny whistle reedy voice blandly cheeped and wailed while Humphrys sounded more like a bassoonist demonstrating his take on a complex musical score.
Some years ago there was a TV show called, Call my Bluff. The format was as per most game shows but the intention was for one team to try and fool the other with false definitions of unusual words. The show ended in 2005 and simply would not work now. Today we have become so used to our politicians simply dishing out lies and bullshit that there's no longer any attempt to bluff. It's just blatant rubbish.
So life imitates art, again. The quality of the debate concerning the UK's continued membership of the EU is dire. Older people may be able to remember the last referendum held on this subject and perhaps the original debate on the merits of entry. Naturally any comparison between then and now is shaped by the many years that have passed. But what is notable now is the substitution of propaganda for debate, it's also very low grade propaganda too.
Over at EU Referendum Richard North has looked at FUD tactics: fear, uncertainty and doubt. The FUD tactic is well established but how good is it? In the link from North two of the cases are from the left wing press but all sections of the press seem to be having a go.
Nick Cohen is normally a sensitive chap. Keen on civil liberties he, like other journalists at the Spectator, wrote in support of Paul Chambers the young man taken through the courts for making a joke on Twitter. This blog also supported Chambers, see HERE. Perhaps we still have a sort-of-reasonable press despite what Leveson, who did seem rather confused, thinks about it. For Cohen's subject, and this is in the Spectator, is the Labour party. I mean would the Guardian ever contemplate giving a regular slot to Richard North to write about the EU? Diversity is what some talk about but others do! Like a lot of his ilk, the Labour loving journalist, Cohen assumes rights for his party that are absurd.
We start with Barack Obama. Kicking the can down the road and the fiscal cliff. It all sounds so dramatic don't you think? Perhaps we have to forgive those who ramp these things up. For dithering and living beyond your means sounds so boring, not the sort of thing you would expect from the USA and their President. Funny how it goes but when Spain began its descent into financial chaos it was Barack Obama who in 2010 rang up Prime Minister Zapatero to offer words of advice and encouragement. Rumour has it Obama handed out a bit of a ticking off too.
Time moves on and Don José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero lost the 2011 Spanish elections but Obama secured a second term as the President of the USA. We don't know if Zapatero or any other leader rang him to reciprocate with words of advice but I think we can imagine the reaction had they done so. For Obama is so typical of his nation at its worst, they like dishing it out but not getting it back. As time moves on Obama is looking ever more Hollywood than White House. Ronald Reagan was a better and more convincing actor too!
The arrogance of Obama was at first a shock but now seems commonplace. Taking people for granted is what he does. Also they say that history will be a harsh judge of Zapatero.