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.

Making amends, more on Nick Cohen

Unsavoury aspects of journalism explained

Isabel Oakeshott Isabel Oakeshott
In this post we took Nick Cohen to task for getting more than a few things wrong. So praise where praise is due for Cohen has looked at the Huhne-Pryce story from a different perspective and what he writes is excellent. Cohen has gone behind what a lot of the MSM saw as the story, the Huhne-Pryce divorce and family feud, to the behaviour of Sunday Times journalist Isabel Oakeshott. Just days before the Cohen post Richard North wrote of the Huhne-Pryce media splash -

There can be no doubt about the number one political story of the moment – as far as the personality-obsessed media goes: the conviction of Vicky Price. We are left with the prospect of her, and her former husband, Chris Huhne going to jail in the near future.

The problem here is that it would be wrong to convey the notion that all of the media is personality-obsessed, certainly that's not true of Cohen. It would also be wrong to overlook the fact that both Huhne and Pryce are very troubled people with personality problems. Certainly Huhne should never have had anything to do with public money and should never have held the position of MP or Minister.

A film about a referendum

Chile the UK and EU: compare and contrast

Chile 1988Chile 1988
In 1988 due to political pressure from world leaders Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, usually referred to as President Augusto Pinochet, was forced to hold a referendum on his leadership. As a General in the Chilean Army but supported by fellow officers in the Navy, Air Force and Police he had taken power in 1973 by force from the elected Socialist President Salvador Allende.The years 1973 - 1988 were a disaster for many Chileans, the armed services and police were brutal there was no free press and massive corruption.

The film by Pablo Larraín, born in Chile in 1973, is about, René, a young advertising executive and short film maker who is working for the NO campaign, the consortium who wish to see an end to the hated Pinochet. Life in Chile in 1988 was never easy or without complications. René as a junior partner in the advertising agency finds his boss works for the YES campaign but this never shows itself as a problem, typical of the many absurdities the Chilean people had to cope with. And quite a mild form of irritant when placed alongside the more brutal and sometimes lethal possibilities that could come their way. The 1988 Chilean referendum was by no means the first political campaign to use advertising techniques.

Frozen meat meets the criminal world

Food fraud in the EU, an ever closer conspiracy?

Deep fill, deep trouble!Deep fill, deep trouble!
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.

The lethal state

How to get away with murder

In whom we trust?In whom we trust?
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.


Pro-EU propaganda

Not as good as a game show!

Call my Bluff, in the 1970sCall my Bluff, in the 1970s
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.

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