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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Addendum to previous post (parliamentary democracy)

At the time of the referendum I was a remainer and still am. The difference is that as a serial fence-sitter I was prepared to accept that others thought otherwise and so be it - that is part of democracy- now I think I would have to consider my relationship with much more antipathy towards anybody who supports this alarming dismemberment of democracy because it has gone from an economic debate to something that reeks of dictatorship. chicanery, and threatens the whole well being of our country and the foundations of our system, which while not perfect, is respected as the basis of democratic governments worldwide.


  1. I agree completely Conrad. An utter disgrace. I fear Scotland will go its own way in the next few years, especially since Ruth Davidson will resign as the leader of the Conservatives in Scotland tomorrow by all accounts.

  2. To add to your (and my) horror.... When the issues are big enough the BBC, both nationally and locally here in the West Midlands, takes to the streets with a series of vox pop interviews intended to tap into what the man-in-the-street is thinking. Discounting those with fixed pro- and anti-Brexit opinions, the others usually urge "Get it over with.", implying it has gone on too long and they are getting bored. Note that none of these sturdy yeoman (and yeowomen) make any distinction between Brexit with a deal and a no-deal Brexit. In fact they seem unaware of the difference, their priority being, with Brexit out of the way, they will have more time to concentrate of Mrs Brown's Boys.

    Of course this isn't entirely surprising. The Boris Brigade is careful to downplay the difference, either avoiding the possible results of no-deal entirely or alluding to "bumps in the road" (the PM himself) or "hiccups" (David Davies, remember him?). Mendacity has played a great - and highly visible - part in the Brexit campaign. Watch out for more lies when the results of no-deal Brexit become apparent. Who will get the blame? The EU obviously (for not helping whingeing UK undermine the EU's aims of unity). Thereafter: Alastair Darling (remember him?) for bailing out the banks in 2008 and opening up - for the Tories - vast opportunities for dismantling the welfare state via the delights of austerity which are still being practiced.

    I watched my favourite curmudgeon. Jonathan Meades, talking for ninety minutes nominally about architecture in Franco's Spain, but in reality about Franco's true legacy - the mass graves of lefties still being unearthed in 2019. In fact Franco did what the Brexiteers said the remainers shouldn't do, go against a democratic vote by the people. Did very well out of it, lasting as dictator from 1939 (a great year for dictators) until his death in 1975. A fine and long-lasting example for the mini-Caudillos at present upholding democracy in Westminster. Only 36 years to go!

  3. Hi Conrad, I'm pretty much in agreement with both yourself and Gibson. My own feelings have always been that leaving the EU would inevitably trigger a renewed enthusiasm for IndyRef2; a no-deal crash out will likely make the case even more compelling. I could easily see the outcome being different should there be another independence referendum, although - as somebody who (and this is hardly a secret) loves so much about Scotland - I would be nervous about the short-term consequences. Longer-term I would imagine an independent Scotland seeking to rejoin the EU - probably as a matter of priority.

    Unfortunately the opposition benches in the House of Commons are populated by people who have divergent agendas - often within the same party - so the chances of a coherent strategy from them seems as remote as ever. And Corbyn is hardly a unifying figure, even within his own party.

    What a mess we've sleepwalked into...

  4. Roderick, your unease is understandable and justified. Some of the worst excesses of the 20th century began with manipulation of the very democratic processes which are supposed to act as a failsafe. Not all dictatorships begin like Pinochet's, with a military coup; some get to their destination via a more stealthy route.


  5. As you know, the EU bureaucracy is moving as fast as it can towards a centralising antithesis of a democracy - although I too voted in 2016 to Remain, I am now certain that leaving is the right course, as the EU system has degenerated faster than anyone could have predicted - far from reform, it has ossified, and its finances are close to collapse.
    As for unprincipled manoeuvring, our own dearly beloved Speaker of the Commons is, curiously enough, a prime mover in this art and has done much to stoke the fires of discord in the House as well as in the country.
    The so-called millitant 'Remainers' wish us to remain even more subservient to arrogant, unanswerable, unelected statists whose federalising zeal is destroying and will continue to destroy the very heart and strengths of Europe, and have used every devious stratagem to try to frustrate the actual democratic decision of the people.
    I was reminded of January 1933 when I read of Corbyn's 'Plan' to make him 'caretaker' PM - the shadows behind him plot their own destructive programme, dressed up in coded language.
    To suggest that those who wish to restore real Parliamentary sovereignty should be accused of unconstitutional behaviour by those whose aims will destroy it utterly is a nonsense - a dangerous distortion of reality.

  6. Gimmer: I admire the fact that you changed your mind on the EU, even more that you made this public. I even sympathise with some of your diagnoses of the EU's ills. But I search in vain for an acknowledgement of the risks we are taking with Brexit and the even greater risks associated with a no-deal Brexit. I look no further than the so-called "British" car industry and fear that some of these risks have moved back from the future into the present. Today's headline: Toyota to close in Derbyshire. And how about life in Swindon?

    But my greater concerns are directed towards Ireland. In the fratching about about backstop the Good Friday Agreement is put at risk. With the car industry it's a matter of regional employment, which is bad enough. But in Ireland it could be deaths. Is the British government entitled to take these sort of risks, just because an ill-judged and incomplete question was put to the electorate?

    Speaking of which that was three years ago. In the interim you've changed your mind and I salute you for that. I'm not a fan of intransigence. But might some other Brits (mostly living in disadvantaged parts of the country) also have changed their minds given that the risks of Brexit are now rather clearer?

  7. All - thanks for your comments. My main reason for my two posts was not to weigh up the pros and cons of Leave or Remain.

    Whilst I voted Remain, despite taking a keen interst in current affairs, I still don't think I had sufficient grasp of the vastly complicated implications covering a huge spread of social issues, political idealism, economics, geographical considerations, free movement and immigration, overall morality, and... oops, have I left anything out, I'm sure I have, to make a properly considered decision. And all that is elementary compared with the expertise needed to forecast or make a judgement on a no-deal Brexit which even Johnson flippantly admits will be “bumpy.” I don't think there is a person on the planet who can honestly say that they have sufficient encompassing knowledge of all that to make a decision, never mind the majority of hapless British people who were asked to do so.

    When quizzed an acquaintance told me they had voted to Leave based solely on a hearsay story about a single relatively insignificant EU rule. Unfortunately as RR comments above I believe that a huge number of votes were cast in a similar way and that is not good enough - but what is?

    My vote was hopefully based on believing that the EU has tried as best as any organisation can to proceed for the overall good of its members ON A LONG TERM BASIS and has more or less succeeded over a period of more than sixty years and at the same time preserving the peace in Europe and to some extent having a similar global influence - that is what really matters, not the silly debates about wonky carrots, and dare I say it, Health and Safety gone mad. It is just a shame that the UK have not taken a more active role when our influence could have possibly ironed out some of the policies that leavers are unhappy about - once we are out we will have lost that opportunity.

    There is no system in the world that will please everybody and there always have to be compromises unless one prefers the alternative of dictatorship. If we resign from the EU whatever we replace it with will have disadvantages and perhaps after an undetermined period advantages, but still debatably no better than the present arrangement. and in the meantime the majority opinion is that our country and people will have a rough time.

    Most politicians are not evil as their opposite numbers all too frequently brand them, they mostly believe that their policies are for the general good and massive social benefits have arisen from that over many years from whatever political stance they came. That has been based in this country on a democratic system which has many faults but has managed to survive for hundreds of years.

    My gripe arises from my perceived threat to that nominally democratic system which is happening at the moment. I understand that suspension of Parliament is legal, but when it is based on a blatant falsehood to enable a non-elected PM to pursue his own policy which does not have the backing of half his own party and a majority of elected MPs that is just too dangerous a threat against our system to ignore.

    Although I have outlined some of my own thoughts on my decision to vote remain that was not the main reason for my posts - the pros and cons of Leave or Remain are in my opinion a separate subject.