September 2009

The new semantics and pragmatics.

Vorsprung durch spiegelVorsprung durch spiegel

We are often told that we are in the post-democratic society. This may be characterised by: non-representative elections, no respect for citizen rights by the state or its representatives and the assumption that administrative proceedings control conflicts of interest rather than democratic processes.

You could say that this is what we have in the UK as we are subservient to the EU. In the EU we may vote for a party but that party receives no funding and has no power unless 25 MEPs from at least seven other parties from different EU states form a group. Hence we are not represented by the party we voted for.

Save the Commissioner - sod the tuna.

'Two jags''Two jags'

In an interview with the Independent, the well known environmentalist, gourmand and adulterer, John Prescott, argues that Europe's targets of cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 may not be enough to get developing countries into a worldwide deal at Copenhagen in December, and that 40 and 90 percent targets respectively may be needed. Meanwhile, the European Union is continuing to busily destroy the world's fisheries.

In the European Union the demise of the bluefin tuna rests on political infighting.

And another one!

New dawn?

Sunrise, new dawn, new day,
 new database Sunrise, new dawn, new day, new database

In years to come political scientists,analysts and historians will see this as the age of the database. No problem faced by government was solvable without the creation of a database. No Minister could look their fellows in the eye without being the Minister who introduced another database. No civil servant could claim to serve the public without doing so via a database. In the world of the free market, evolution would give us the databases we need. While others believed that come the revolution everyman would have their own database and all databases would be equal.

This obsession with databases and the attendant technology will mark out the political territory. At the moment the sections of the media still being kind to Gordon Brown are heralding the start of another 'fight back' by him, how many is that now?

Compare and contrast elections

But ours are better than theirs'

Ballot box battlesBallot box battles

Even before the elections in Afghanistan those in the know could see corruption all around. For this was the process by which the present Afghan leaders and political class got their positions, it was also clear they were in no mood to give way.

The election monitors did not have it easy, but the attitude of the EU monitors was very generous. To paraphrase them we could say that there were things wrong but never mind, that's life. Such attitudes really all depend on how you see democracy.

Not all are equal before the law

according to Judge Stobart

out of balance?out of balance?

There would appear to be few sanctions for breaking data protection laws. Civil servants merrily hand out information yet are not prosecuted, unencrypted laptops and memory sticks are lost or mislaid. However, the person who revealed the names and addresses of 12,000 BNP members was fined £200, see here.

District Judge John Stobart made an interesting statement appearing to be giving tacit support to those who criminally intimidated some of the people on the list:

"..... there may be some members in this organisation who do not deserve to be protected by the law ......"