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 excitement mounts! The Olympics, what can you say, mind you, are we allowed to use that word? It's fair to point out that this blog has been lukewarm from the start. In May 2008 we wrote this and not of word written all that time ago would we alter. The Olympic venues are all so distant from here it takes a London based reporter, and most of them are in London, to bring the story to life. This was done in a very dramatic way by the Spectator . The paper edition of the magazine carried an article by Nick Cohen which Fraser Nelson reviewed online. The basic point to note here is that Parliament passed the legislation making what Cohen calls ‘corporatist dystopia’ possible. Despite all the hog-wash from Tony Blair and Ken Livingstone local people were not only ignored in the negotiations but now find themselves taken for granted as well.
It's a weak excuse, not a reason for the aggressive logo protection moves, that sponsors have put large sums of money into the Olympic games and so deserve some form of protection. However, the UK public had no option, no chance to debate and the amount of public money spent on the games is an even larger sum, but who speaks for them?
If you are looking for 'growth', that something promised by politicians but, so far, yet to appear then you will also be disappointed by the world of business. Recently the Daily Telegraph ran this article. And very interesting too, for a number of reasons. The basic information comes from the accountants Ernst and Young with direct quotes from Alan Hudson and Alan Bloom. The summary of which is -
that the financial crisis had created an environment where it is "too difficult to fail", with businesses being kept afloat to the detriment of the broader economy.
That's the sort of tease remark the man atop the Clapham Omnibus could savour, 'common knowledge', his every day language, has long held that there's something funny about the business world. Could this be it? E & Y go on to add -
so-called "financially undead" companies are clinging on, despite the recession, making markets and the economy inefficient. The expected jump in the number of companies falling into administration has not materialised
Then the article points the finger at the banks suggesting that they are 'under pressure'.
It was not a good time for the police to march through London to protest about 'the cuts'. The same week the revelations following the trial of men in Rochdale for 'grooming' under-age girls for sex included the fact that the police had known of this and other cases for at least ten years. They had, however, not taken any action for fear of being accused of being racist, or at least this is what we are told. The immediate post-trial reactions of many people, not just the police, followed the usual path. Blame shift and denial, outrage and fresh threats of racist accusations were the basis of this phase. But we start with former MP Ann Cryer, for many years seen by her own party, Labour, and the liberal left elite as a bit of a liability for her campaigns on, amongst other things, forced marriage in UK Asian society.
It is said that she passed on information to the police, but nothing was done. Other people researching the darker side of UK Asian culture, female genital mutilation for example, have had a similar tale to tell. Nothing happens, nothing is done, statistics are not known or not admitted to.
In 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll, the Dodo said that "all must have prizes". By the time the result for the Mayor of London was declared and Boris Johnson won again, it was clear that the Dodo was not going to get its way in the local elections. Anyone who cares about democracy must be concerned that the turnout was so low and hope that the politicians have spotted this. The chances are that they have not, yet. First will come the excuses such as - the rain was nearly continuous on the day of polling - but this is clutching at straws. People outside of the London-centric political bubble could tell way in advance that public participation would be down. Had the bubble dwellers spent just a little time in a typical suburb they would have experienced for themselves the feelings of voters. The late Peter Cook, who was far more than just a comedian, gave us the line, "don't vote, it only encourages them". So it was he rather than the Dodo who got it right on the night.
In some cities voters who could be bothered to turn out had two ballot papers, one for local elections as per normal and another to set up an elected mayor system. The latter was generally rejected and represents a set-back for all three parties.
As they say 'fools rush in' but following the 'success' of François Hollande there's a great deal to ponder. Yes it's true there's no real winner yet so to award him the French Presidency now would be wrong but there's no harm in seeing what we have got so far and taking it further. All countries, not least France, have their political traditions and the serving President seeking re-election is, if they are to win, generally doing better than Nicolas Sarkozy is now. There is also the performance of Marine Le Pen. Pretending that her political platform only appeals to a few nutters is not going to work any more. So it's interesting to see the Guardian facing up to this -
A key victory of the night was for the Front National's Le Pen, who came third with around 18% of the vote, beating her father Jean-Marie's record success in 2002, and placing herself firmly at the heart of right-wing politics in France. She said "the battle of France has just begun" and "nothing will be the same again".