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Sunday, 25 December 2016

Desiderata for People STARTing to STEAM

On Yasmin, they do discuss, if STEM to STEAM, is but hot air, all moist, and probably cloudy too! Thus to this rattling about in non-viscous cyberspace, we now turn, to add a very humble creation of poetic kind. A very delightful title too, we formed, for this strange way of knowing, through performing; a process, you may note this time, is founded in adapting. We call our strange rendition: Desiderata for People STARTing to STEAM.

Desiderata for People STARTing to STEAM

Go placidly amid the hissing noise of STEAM, and remember what peace there may be in silence for it is hard to find in STARTS and STEAM. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons, even those hissing STEAM and those STARTing to talk nonsense.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even those caught up in the ideologies of STARTS and STEAM; they too have their story, even though it is often quite empty. But pick your acronyms carefully, lest poetics be used to expose shallow graves, where lay foul phantoms of inaccuracies, myths and disingenuous claims, ready to lead astray unwary travellers lost in art’s romantic mist.

Avoid loud noisy artists and STEM people STARTing to STEAM; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may find yourself wondering what lesser god STARTers and STEAMers worship.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time, especially now that STARTS and STEAM are in fashion; these are but a passing interest of the grazing herd, so your humble achievements may in the end outshine all that STARTS and STEAMS.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery; especially when STEAM clouds the true nature of STARTS intentions. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Even in STEAM there may be a few – a very few – golden threads.

Be yourself, especially, as others most often are not. Do not feign affection for STEM, especially now its destructive nature is revealed. Neither be totally cynical about art-science and art-technology lovers; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment love is as perennial as the grass, even the na├»ve sort that is most of art-science and art-technology. Neither of these actually exists though, for there is only art, which is always made with whatever is at hand – paint, data, glass, code, stone, electronic junk, toys, cables, books, photographs …

START by learning about DG CONNECT’s former European Commissioner – the one that could be said to be responsible for ICT ART CONNECT – who now finds herself investigated for not declaring the holding, while in office, of a directorship in an offshore company; a clear contravention of conditions laid down in the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. START too by learning of OLAF’s investigation into alleged fraud by the company that led the ICT ART CONNECT project. More revelations will no doubt in time come, when the world learns of the artistic voices that DG CONNECT silenced; so reflect before STARTing to STEAM, that DG CONNECT’s woes might, one day, be yours too.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully accepting that inexperience and the pursuit of fortune and glory means that much that is proclaimed as new by those STARTing to STEAM will be found in old reports, papers and books. Beware of bodies whose job it is to scrutinise public expenditure – they may ask for a refund of public money spent just reinventing what is in these aging publications.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in the sudden misfortune of having to put up with empty-headed people who START talking nonsense. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness, and soon the empty-headed ones will be gone, as no sooner will they START to STEAM, will they run out of STEAM.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself and ignore most of this STEAMing. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here, and pursue a less noisy, more thoughtful course away from the hissing sounds of STEAM.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, for probably God has inflicted STARTS and STEAM on those artists and STEM people who do now so much noise make, as way of punishment for sins committed in the past – poetic justice so to speak!

And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of STEAM, keep peace in your soul. With all the sham, drudgery and broken dreams of STARTS and STEAM, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy, and stay away from those noisy people STARTing to hiss STEAM.



Thanks to Max Ehrmann who wrote the original Desiderata. And what aesthetic in the above Desiderata for People STARTing to STEAM is to be found? Most certainly playfulness is woven into the words, but what else, you may wonder. Is there more? Can you not see? We leave you to wonder and to discover for yourself, for we are not in the business of being totally unambiguous!



Sunday, 21 August 2016

Kima Wheel, Roundhouse, Curtain Call and a Beautiful Heresy

Thus begins the beginning of that which I spoke in time recent past, for it seems now I am ready to begin, and thus do I begin …

I stand in Roundhouse – a kind of Globe – which is, as informing name tells, a circular place, where space is bent into curved form, and lying within there sits for some moments in time, another round construction known by the name of (Ron Arad’s) Curtain Call, creating an inner space and an outer one too, within the curved space that I have just entered into. And what appears is what you want to appear, made so by the projecting power of technology which is a means of displaying creation and seeing sounds, as you will soon, by these revealing words, find.

Kima Wheel is a wave from the imagination that comes forth specifically to fall upon the 360 degrees of canvas called Curtain Call, which unlike a normal curtain is not a barrier to freedom of movement of performers or audience, who move in time and space as this is not a strict classical Ancient Greek separation. The wave this time is a wheel of poetry, and comes by virtue of Anelema Group, which one might say, is a different way of looking at that which passes through our lives daily, often unnoticed, but without which there could be no life at all, which, if you care to see, is more than just science and technology, or art made with such.

Thus now I have set forth the scene in kind of Prologue form, befitting of the theatrical context which now before you will unfold.

It’s about emotions it seems – feelings, all very subjective and quite a contrast to most art-science and art-technology, being as they often are, though few can see, but manifestations of a certain strand of Enlightenment thinking, the stinking corpse of which lies rotting all about. Yet Enlightened minds sense only reek, and do not see that they are the corpse that decays, which is giving off the decomposing smell.

In the world – another Globe – here and there, come glimpses of a new and different age slowly taking form, being illuminated by light from eastern directions originating – some dare to call it the Age of Tao. That’s me, referring to myself. I am inclined to be self-referencing at times.

But there must surely be others as well, who can see that Europe’s time – the age of the West – is done, and to go with it too, must be those Abrahamic secular beliefs – that’s Western Capitalism and Western Science and Technology, if you are wondering. Western Communism is already just about gone, and what goes next, is the rest, and by my hand will their demise be hastened, and thus will strange beliefs be despatched to the past where they do belong. ’Tis about the power of the pen, which becomes even more powerful when combined with other forms of expression as you will see anon!

Now is the beginning of the age of the universality of humankind. So no more cultural colonialism please – are your listening you people in Brussels, Washington DC and all those other cities of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, where you still foolishly pursue those dated dreams of making all the world European? How does the thought of a Taoist Science and Technology make you feel? In the East there is the West, and in the West there is the East. It’s not a binary, or a duality, but a unity – a unity of opposites, which your fragmented minds cannot easily digest. That goes for art-science and art-technology too, which are ever so binary because of the dominance of Western minds that see only such separations. Everything is connected – can’t you see?

Where to look is the empty space so to speak, waiting to be filled by those who dare to pursue a different dream. You will also find that what comes forth will be very Kantian too! That’s another dimension to it. ’Tis a very beautiful heresy built on a different foundation to that which Western minds construct.

Back to the curved space and then comes the moment – it’s the aesthetics of participation – so the audience becomes, for a time, the creating force – let’s not here bother with the rhetoric and the postmodern ideology for this is already history, and I am very much alive. This is the moment to put the world back together again in different form, and so do I raise from the dead, theory too. To see, to know, to understand, to find something new, and in doing so to become different people – these are the goals that I pursue.

Continuing – I am back to the curved space again: hesitantly at first, I begin to speak those words that come from my own shaping hand and with eye I see, images formed, while being immersed in my own sound, and that of others too. This imaging of sound I discovered before appearing is made possible by virtue of technology, of neural networks, produced from research of the type that leads to PhDs. And the emotional moment is then transformed, and cognitive becomes, as I know that once again I am creating from words, visual images, for whatever reason do I in this strange scriptovisual process participate. It’s something to do with morphogenesis rather than morphostasis, if to cybernetic concepts you are inclined.

And then I am lost in my own world of the mind, afterwards thinking: was that the intention or is this serendipitous action? Interactive art is a place where the unexpected sometimes happens. To be or not to be that is the question, whether it is better to be highly scripted, or very open, or somewhere in between? It is after all, just like a play – Act 1, Scene 1, enters …(but not necessarily linear). It all depends upon what you want to achieve is the answer to the question.

Then I want a pen and desk and to start exploring, but this is not the venue for such things, yet evidently it becomes possible to compose images with words, hence my intuitions are confirmed, for: in the beginning was the image, and from the image came forth the word, and to image doth the word return. That’s what the image called Genesis in Reverse (on the homepage of my web site) is saying. But why is the question? As I said it’s something to do with morphogenesis and the making of something transformational – most art-science and art-technology is not, but I keep looking for something that might be, or have the potential for such. It is a long, long quest. Did I find sight of journey’s end in Kima? Only time will tell, but Kima in its many different manifestations, bringing together at different times, music, performance, immersion, dance, poetry, technology, sound, image and synaesthesia, does make for something very different to the normal explorations of an art space that is now at least six decades old. And being so old it has become a source of much dissatisfaction within me, as indeed has literature which is even older – thus another reason deep within for the quest that I have embarked upon.

Thus then finding that I am not anymore able to compose, I take on a different role, exploring through vicarious interaction that which lies around. Then it is done and I am gone to another place in London, where some conceptual art from the past lies waiting to be explored, and there I do find, more information about the image and the word combined – another serendipitous moment in time.

Intriguing possibilities is the ending phrase that comes forth from of this waltzing encounter with word and image, bound together in ways it seems that still lie unseen.

II.1

Enter Marshall McLuhan and Paul.

PAUL: Were DG CONNECT not listening? No they were not, for it is the funding of art that thou should do, not the development of unconventional and compelling products with under-funded afterthoughts, otherwise known as artists, in tow. And you get what you get, but you can get some interesting things if you know how to create the infrastructure to enable this. It seems I do and DG CONNECT do not, which is one of the reasons I engaged in critiquing DG CONNECT and what they did, and much more as well.

MARSHALL: I see many people do quote me – thus do they say, quite often, that the medium is the message. But it seems that is all they say. Do they not understand media? The point, most important, that I also made, is that our conventional response to all media, namely that it is how they are used that counts, is the numb stance of the technological idiot. Feel free to quote me.

PAUL: And be it true that this thing that we now call STEM, that too is media?

MARSHALL: It be true as any truth be true. Art-science and art-technology too, for these are media as well. Better look therefore and see beyond the numb stance.

PAUL: We do.

Exeunt.
Enter Julia.

JULIA: Forgive us if we seem to be, that which you do not wish us to be, but the world of STEM, and its funding of art, are problems writ large for those who wish to see, for they have their own agenda grounded in morphostasis, and silent narratives too, which we are able to hear, for we walked among them unseen, and in preparation, spent much time while growing up, learning how to see – and what we see are little children playing in the rye, blindly unaware that they dance on the edge of doom. Now they dance with artists too. Better catch them lest they fall. So back to morphogenesis again! Thus we engage in a beautiful heresy and bid welcome to a time that surely must be what humanity will come to see as the inevitable turning, for no age lasts for an eternity.

Exit.



Sunday, 14 August 2016

A change of direction

My first blog was published on 7th July 2013. Since that date I have published a blog every Sunday without missing one entry. This constitutes a lot of writing, but the reasons that lay behind this activity have now become clear to me, and there is nothing further to be gained from this exercise. It is time to move on. Hence I will no longer be publishing a weekly blog. Instead I will only write blog entries when I feel the urge to do so. So now I am in the mode of producing occasional blogs.

This is the end. This is the beginning!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The aftermath of the UK’s EU Referendum: summing up

So to round up this business, what we can learn from our democratic exercise are the following:

  • Many in the political class seem to be out of touch with the people and do not care.
  • People who mislead while accusing other people of being misleading are hypocrites.
  • EU leaders and the European Commission are the makers of their own woes.
  • Many people in the UK do not like the EU including some of those who voted to remain.
  • Some Scottish Nationalists voted to leave the EU, and some people who are not Scottish Nationalists voted to remain in the EU, and oil companies are beginning to close North Sea oil fields, all of which are the most expensive oil fields in the world to operate, so those who think the UK is about to disintegrate have little understanding of the complexities of the Scottish Nationals’ plight.
  • Some people showed themselves to be inclined towards reducing complex situations to simple ones, and then on finding the evidence to support their simplified beliefs, arrived at the conclusion that those who did not agree with them, were wrong. This only happened of course to other people.
  • You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.
  • The age of the expert is dead and gone but some people still have to learn this fact.
  • Loudmouthed politicians who interrupt other speakers on a platform are probably the verbal bullies this sort of behaviour suggests they are.
  • Those politicians that make verbal attacks on others and engage in scaremongering do so because they are unable to convince people through the power of argument.
  • There is no appetite among many British people for any more of the EU’s ideologically-driven political integration nonsense.
  • Most people who express concerns about the effect immigration is having on communities and on the job market are not racist or xenophobic, and it is grossly insulting to such people to brand them as such; the people who should be condemned are those who exploit nationalistic sentiments to pursue their political agendas, whether they be English or Scottish.
  • Most British people are not anti-European but they are against those who act without the consent of the people to construct that which the people do not want.
  • The future is cooperation among all nations, not clubs formed around rich nations only concerned with making themselves even richer.
  • The age of empires is over, but people in Brussels have yet to understand this.
  • The treaty that created the European Economic Community was signed in Rome for a specific reason – it was the wrong reason.
  • Continental Europeans should listen to what the British people are now telling them and change direction.
  • Britain is not an inward looking country and those who say that it is are just bad losers or are seeking to distort the actual situation; the United Kingdom is open to the world and will continue to be so.
  • UKIP is not a political party that we want to grow in popularity in the UK, and now there is an opportunity to ‘see the back of them’; perhaps they will move north to Scotland and form the Scottish Independence Party (SIP)!
  • Unelected Presidents of the European Commission are worthy of being held in the utmost contempt especially when they claim to be elected and make threats to the British people.
  • American Presidents about to leave office should not be telling the British people what a future President of the USA will do.
  • Continental Europeans are so busy looking over their shoulder at their past they do not see that they are walking in a circle.
  • People seem to have very short memories and only see what they want to see, for the young people of Greece would not share the young people of Britain’s disappointment at the idea of leaving the EU, having now little option, thanks to the EU, other than to be unemployed or to emigrate.
  • People who live in glasshouses should not throw stones because Australian wine is as good as French wine, British cheese is as good as French cheese, Japanese cars are as good as German/French/Italian cars, South Korean consumer electronics are as good as Dutch consumer electronics, British bacon is a good as Danish bacon, British butter is as good as Irish butter, and so on; and British people have the right to use their wallets to send powerful messages to those who threaten them! Is that not so Comrade General Secretary Juncker (or perhaps you prefer the title Emperor Jean-Claude – has a nice sound to it!)?

I have 30 years worth of experiences now at my disposal as a result of the time I have spent in Brussels. For a writer it’s like discovering a diamond mine: Letters from an Exile; The Fable of the Chief Advisors; Tales of the Emperor’s Court; Adventures in Resource Efficiency Administration Wonderland; Inside the Union of Subservient State Republics; The War of European Union. Now I know why I went to Brussels!

I also now know that, the thought that came into my mind back in January 2011 while sitting in a meeting room in Brussels, that I should walk away from my involvement with the European Commission was the point when I recognised just how damaging the European Commission is, because they live in a make-believe world determined by their ideology, and not the real world. I will certainly be using the information that continually flows from Brussels for more satirical work about this deluded and ideological-driven organisation.

They say that the pen is far mightier than the sword. I say that the pen and the brush when combined are far mightier than that which is now taking shape in the world. It is surely time to build a different world to one that the European Union and other empires (Russia and the United States) are busy creating. And here is a foretaste of the books to come, which will START to show why the British people are right to reject technocracy, corruption and incompetence: STARTS – Science,Technology and the Arts: The Artistic Voices that DG CONNECT Silenced.

I have a report that I need to complete then …

I am done here. I am gone.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

The aftermath of the UK’s EU Referendum: exploring social media’s imaginary realities #4

Now to the matter of that campaign, in the imaginary world of Facebook, called Keep Britain in the European Union. It has only 40,000 likes! Big data is telling you something, for sure!

This campaign (is that the right word?) says that Remainers must fight on, because, the Leave campaign – not sure which particular Leave campaign they are referring to here because there were several – deliberately misled. So if, (whatever) Leave campaign they are referring to, did mislead, so is Keep Britain in the European Union. For example, they say that the referendum was advisory. It was not advisory. They also say that only 37% of eligible voters voted for Leave, then say that 73% of younger voters supported Remain. Misleading!

Democracy works by counting the number of votes cast – the number of people who abstained is not counted. But let’s work with the opposite for a moment. In the young voter category, in the age range 18-24, only 36% bothered to vote. So 64% in this age group were not in favour of Remain. Thus, it follows that only a very small – a tiny minority in fact – of younger voters supported Remain – not 73%! Am I being misleading?

I could go on, but will restrict my observation to this question: who is deliberately being misleading, the Leave campaign (which ever one they are referring to) or Keep Britain in the European Union?

The matter of our departure is little mentioned now in the traditional media. It seems also to be decaying in social media – half-life approximately two weeks, as with the traditional media. The Twitter/Facebook generation have found something else to chatter about and so have the press. We are leaving and that is the reality and people have already moved on.

And for the third time, the disembodied voice asked: “What are you doing Paul?”

I now know what I am doing. I have been thinking, through writing, about the nature of reality and human beings’ relation to it.

We all do it, even those who engage in the delusion that they think, that they are rational and objective, all of which flies in the face of the evidence that this is not entirely correct.

“What is it that we all do?” asks the disembodied voice.

What do you think we do?

The exact nature of what I am doing, or exploring, will be found in future writings, where ever they may appear.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The aftermath of the UK’s EU Referendum: exploring social media’s imaginary realities #3

That big red bus!

When is a promise not a promise? Several answers are possible. One is that, in a referendum with a simple question put to the people, no-one can make any promises and officially no-one did. Another answer is hermeneutics.

There is a belief, spread through both the real world and the imaginary world of social media, that a promise was made to spend 350 million pounds per week extra on the NHS, this being, the amount we send, some said, to Brussels. Were people not listening?

David Cameron was asked by a member of the public during a TV debate, to guarantee that the so-called reforms to the EU that he negotiated with the European Commission would be implemented if the UK voted to remain. He declined to give such a guarantee. I will leave you to figure out why that was so.

Putting aside the disputed matter of exactly how much is sent to Brussels each week, which probably is something that one can call into question, there was never any promise made to spend 350 million pounds per week extra on the NHS. Apparently, according to the Vote Leave campaign literature, one can build a new hospital every week with this amount. Why anyone would want to believe that we are going to build 52 new hospitals every year, is unclear, which is, if you take the headline statement as a promise, is what someone now has to do to fulfil the promise, which in fact was not a promise, because no-one promised anything, as no-one, other that the government, was in a position to do anything about the referendum result. And they promised (it was the only promise made) that they would implement the result of the referendum, which is what they are now doing. Which is why also, all those people on social media that have been saying that the referendum was only advisory are – lying is too strong a word. But it is not true that it was only advisory. This was made clear at the start. Did people listen?

Back to the big red bus and a few blogs back I mentioned that there were several organisations campaigning, independent of each other, on both sides – Leave and Remain. One of those organisations was the Labour Party, who campaigned on their own for Remain. And this is what they said in the leaflet that was delivered through the letterboxes of every household in Britain: “Working people and their families are protected with paid maternity leave, equal pay, minimum paid holiday.” The implication was that these benefits have been given to us by virtue of our membership of the EU. What they failed to mention is that going all the way back to the early 20th century welfare payments and employment rights have been developing in the UK, largely as a result of Trade Unions, the Labour Party, and earlier, the Liberal Party. Yet no-one wants to criticise the Labour Party for making statements that are not strictly true. They were being economical with the truth, because they are political, and this is what political organisations and people do to advance a rosy picture of their version of the promised land.

There are many examples like this in the referendum literature. And on the big read bus there was the headline slogan: “We send the EU £350 million a week – let’s fund the NHS instead. Vote Leave. Let’s take back control.”

Hermeneutics is about interpretation. Evidently some people interpreted this as a promise, but it could never have been a promise, because, as already pointed out, the referendum was not about promises and manifestos, and the election of a new government, but the people being asked a simple question: do you want the UK to remain in the EU or to leave the EU? And on the web site of the Vote Leave campaign, one finds more beyond the headline:  “If we vote to leave the EU, we will be able to save £350 million a week. We can spend this on our priorities like the NHS, schools, and housing.”

It was also said, which people listening to the TV debates would have heard, that we can also spend the money on things that we are already spending the money on, like payments to farmers, etc. The point was that the UK Government would decide.

If you look at what went on during the referendum through the distorting lens of the media, any media including Facebook, and do not start thinking slowly and looking more deeply into what happened you end up like – many of those people in continental Europe, who, not being on the ground and engaged in the process, are just disconnected from reality, and, needing to construct a reality to explain what has happened, will construct a reality with the information they have, even when it is distorted. Likewise some people in the UK, who are still engaging in constructing a reality that demonises some people on the Vote Leave side, namely Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, but not others, namely Gisela Stuart. Strange behaviour, or not?

To think that one thinks!

To be continued …

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The aftermath of the UK’s EU Referendum: exploring social media’s imaginary realities #2

And it came to pass that there was no second referendum!

There never was going to be one, yet this did not stop people believing that this was a possibility. The idea was peddled in the media and through social networks. Even supposedly educated people, those who go around calling themselves scientists for example, were prepared to talk about a second referendum as though it were a real possibility. They were too busy thinking fast – those who thought slowly would have seen that a second referendum was just nonsense and here is why:

There is no legal basis for a second referendum. The terms and conditions of the EU referendum are laid down in an Act of Parliament. So the specification that the ‘first to pass 50% would win’ is defined by law. The Bill was also passed overwhelmingly and the outcome has not been challenged in the courts. The petition seeking to have the terms of the Act changed, so that a second referendum would be triggered if the vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% cannot be implemented without introducing retrospective legislation. The UK Parliament does not in general implement retrospective legislation. Only in very special circumstances does it do so: information about when it does this is available in the public domain so anyone who was talking about the idea of a second referendum could have consulted this information and seen just how unlikely a piece of retrospective legislation was. Did they consult this information? So you think we live in an information society do you?

What then about a new Act of Parliament, enabling a fresh referendum in the year … It would not be in 2016 that is for sure. It takes time to debate a Bill, and to pass it into law. Windows of opportunity are also limited. Voting in the UK by tradition takes place in May/June, more rarely October, but this month clashes with the Party conference season. Most likely then would be June 2018.

‘Subjective’ common sense would also tell anyone who cared to think about the matter slowly that there was never going to be a second referendum. On the Monday morning after the referendum, the Cabinet met and accepted the result of the referendum, and leaving the EU then became government policy. MPs in the House of Commons demonstrated on the Monday afternoon that the result is accepted by the vast majority of MPs as well, even by those who do not agree with the outcome of the referendum. The British population is also suffering from referendum exhaustion. A second one is unlikely be welcomed and probably would not be engaged with to the extent that was seen in the June 2016 referendum, and a reduced participation would undermine the credibility of a second referendum.

The idea of having a second referendum also undermines the credibility of democracy – the UK’s democracy, which stands in sharp contrast to the frame of mind seen in some continental European countries where undermining democracy, it seems, is not seen as a problem. Perhaps this is why there have been so many problems in continental Europe, and why the continentals are heading into more problems and why, in the future, British people will look back and be glad that we were able to get out before those problems manifested themselves (the contempt for a ‘democracy of ordinary people’ that can be seen now in Brussels and continental Europe is alarming, but very Ancient Greek!).

Anyone who cares to look in the real world will see that the result of the referendum has been accepted by Government and Parliament and that the process of leaving is already underway. This has been the case since Monday June 27. It seems to have taken several weeks for this to become apparent to many people. Some people still cannot see this.

Meanwhile the doomsayers will continue with their “woe is us”, disregarding the fact that life is what you make it, and the British people will make a new future outside the EU, for as David Cameron admitted during the referendum campaign, “Britain can survive outside the EU.” It can prosper too by developing the policies that are aligned with this new reality. This too is already happening. All those people on the continent, and some at home too, who are looking forward to the UK’s demise will be disappointed, for they truly do not understand what it is to be British. Just look at our history and you will begin to understand what I mean. And I am the most un-nationalistic of people. Yet there comes a moment when it is appropriate to unite and to act in the country’s interest. National crises that affect everyone tend to unite people, regardless of whether they see themselves as English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish. It seems now that we have a Prime Minister that knows this!

So what is going to happen? The question is hard to answer given the complexities! Legally we are still in the EU, but for practical purposes we are already out. Most likely we will be formally out by the end of 2018, because Article 50 is likely to be invoked before the end of 2016, sometime between the time when Parliament returns from its summer recess, and the start of the Christmas recess. But this does not mean we will be leaving at the end of 2018!

The UK government is very likely now to put in place very quickly, economic stimulus measures to counter the negative effects of the withdrawal decision. The engineering, energy and construction sectors are likely to experience a boom as planned capital (infrastructure) investments are brought forward. An opportunity to announce such measures comes in the autumn with the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Financial Statement to the House of Commons.

At this moment in time, the civil service is most likely busy creating and analysing several exit scenarios. One of these must surely be rapid exit sometime in 2017. Many people have come to assume that it will take two years to leave. The reason for this is that Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon allows 2 years for negotiations. It does not however specify that the negotiations have to take 2 years. Both sides may have an interest in bringing the matter to a speedy conclusion. And one way of doing that is to conclude a transition agreement that allows final agreements to be moved into the future and spread out over many years and thus moved out of the public gaze, thus giving both sides the opportunity to claim that they got exactly what they wanted and that no principles have been compromised. Who knows? I am of course speculating, which is exactly what everyone did during the referendum, for it was not possible to predict, offer exit plans, or even remain plans, for all is outside our control, and in the hands of our Government, who will have to deal with a European Commission and 27 Member States that are unlikely to be able to agree among themselves, and will want different and incompatible things, regardless of all the posturing that is now taking place for public benefit.

And for the second time, the disembodied voice asked: “What are you doing Paul?”

To be continued …

Sunday, 10 July 2016

ICT and Art STARTS Boycott

STARTS

So this is how it goes:

START by deciding what you are going to use artists for. Engage with artists for several years in a disingenuous way, pretending to listen. As you go about doing this, gather around you people who are willing to jump into bed with you, for you have piles of public money to spend in a reckless way. Then do what you intended to do from the START, by issuing a Call for Proposals. Proceed then to evaluate the proposals in a way that will ensure that you get what you want. Select proposals for funding – is selecting the right word? Then, when all is done and finished, and you have what you want, only then consult. Make some ridiculous claim about respecting artistic freedoms and independence, while asking people to do what you want. When is an open consultation not an open consultation? Answer: when it is a DG CONNECT open consultation.

So how does one respond to this appropriation of art by the State for the purposes of the State? You could abandon all principles and jump into bed with DG CONNECT and take a payment for services rendered while in bed. Or, you could protest by boycotting STARTS. You do not have to participate and you do not have to provide any input to the supposed consultation that was recently announced. You could also be subversive and provide an input to the consultation that is a pile of rubbish – the joy of art and DG CONNECT’s creativity nonsense is that, they would never know it is rubbish!

This is artistic freedom and independence! How are you feeling DG CONNECT?

ICT and Art STARTS boycott.

ENDS

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The aftermath of the UK’s EU Referendum: exploring social media’s imaginary realities #1

I am quite interested in social media, in the cyber-world, that place of Twitter and Facebook, where people speak to their followers and imaginary friends. So I thought I would peer into this strange world to see what people are saying in the aftermath of the UK’s EU referendum.

My reasons for doing this, I will not here now tell, but at some future point will reveal. I am, I sometimes think, I writer, and to the making of suspense I like to bend my pen. It is a trait that is associated with that which lies deep within.

What I am about to cover is quite a lot in terms of content, so will take several blogs, before the end I reach and to the making of observations I indulge myself.

So to the business at hand:

In the immediate days following the announcement of the referendum result, there were some terrible racial and xenophobic verbal attacks on people. These are hate crimes – hate-speech. Such verbal acts are crimes and those responsible will be pursued by the police. They are perpetrated by a tiny minority of misguided people who are not representative of the British people. Such people exist in all countries – the UK is not unique. People who do such things have been condemned and their actions will not be tolerated.

 I note that people are using social media to state, often in a venomous way, that those who voted for EU exit are racists and xenophobes. This too is hate-speech. Separate and classify! Two phrases alike in their intention to attack people: “all people who voted for exit are …” and “all Poles are …” What’s the difference?

How can it be true that 17,410,742 people who voted for exit are racists and xenophobes? Why would anyone want to believe such a thing, for their experience of life, of living in the UK, would tell them that most British people are not racists and xenophobes? Don’t you think that it is insulting to the integrity of ordinary decent people in the UK to brand them as such?

Why is it that those who direct verbal venom at ordinary people do not choose instead to condemn those who exploit nationalistic sentiments for their own political ends? And the key names here are Nigel Farage (UKIP) and Nicola Sturgen (Scottish Nationalists).  Now you may be surprised. I will be returning to Sturgen and the Scottish Nationalists in a later blog because she is a very interesting example of something that I do not want at this stage to introduce relating to the UK. Both these politicians are popularists, nationalists and a disgrace, but they have a right to speak, even if they are preaching words that sow the seeds of nationalism, division and hatred.

One of the things the British people can be proud of is that during the course of our democratic exercise, people anguished over the choice. It was not an easy thing to decide whether to stay or to go. One of the things we cannot be proud of though is those who do not respect the result of this democratic process. At the latest count 77,000 names have been removed from the petition to Parliament to hold a second referendum. So you press a button on your computer and the world changes, and just to make sure, people think that the button needs to be pressed by people who are? Actually we do not know at this stage. But does the world change at the press of a button? I will be addressing the matter of a second referendum in a later blog.

We have also been hearing from young people who have started saying that old people have let them down and destroyed their future, what ever that future is, which we do not know. This is because we learn that 75 percent of young people who voted, voted for Remain, while older people tended to vote for Leave. So now we have another phrase: “all old people are …”. We ask now though why young people are not directing their comments towards young people: 64 percent of people in the age range 18-24 and 48 percent of people in the age range 25-34 did not vote (final figures subject to verification). It seems that young people let themselves down! So should we add another phrase? How about : “All young people are …”

Sounds very much like people are looking for scapegoats upon which to pin the blame for something than in truth is just imaginary!

The campaign in the UK was not simply two organisations campaigning. There were several working on both sides of the debate. This is an important point to note for future blogs.

The two officially recognised camps in the UK Referendum debate, Remain (known as Britain Stronger in Europe) and Leave (known as Vote Leave) were both what we call cross-party alliances. People put aside their party political differences to work together. This was a good thing. So there were people from the right and left working together in both camps.

One of the other groups running their own campaigns outside of the officially designated campaigns was UKIP, and you already know what they are like. They were an embarrassment to the official Leave camp.

What is not often recognised in the virtual world (and elsewhere), is that the Vote Leave campaign was chaired by a labour MP by the name of Gisela Stuart, who is German by birth. She worked with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, both Conservatives. Also not widely understood was that the Leave Camp, as the outsider, were forced to advance arguments for leaving, the burden of proof being, as it were with them and not the Remain Camp. The Remain Camp misjudged the situation and took the outcome of the Referendum as a given – that people would vote to Remain. This became evident from the debates on television where, arguing from what should have been a position of strength, they just poured scorn on the Leave camp and set about creating a climate of fear. This tactic backfired on the Remain camp!

None of three MPs above mentioned are racists or xenophobes. Suddenly though it has become like Gisela Stuart did not exist and was not part a prominent part of the Leave campaign. Instead there has been much hate-speech directed at Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. During the course of the referendum campaign a labour MP was murdered by a person who, from words of hate to deeds of hate did take the small steps to graduate.

In the cyber-world there is much ado being made about the rise of the right-wing. A cyber myth has developed, reflected also in the physical world, that those who oppose the EU are right-wing extremists. Those who care to look will find that opposition to the EU can be found on the left as well – for the right reasons. See here what I mean:


The story will continue with an examination of the strange cyber-tale of a second referendum and the strange belief that the electorate’s decision would be overturned by Parliament. We will also is due course look at the myth of 350 millon pounds that was to be spent, some claim, on the NHS, which a MEP speaking in the European Parliament, mistakenly thought was related to UKIP’s campaign. So you think you live in an Information Society do you?

“What are you doing Paul?” asked the disembodied voice.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

The UK’s EU Referendum: We the People have chosen …

We the people have chosen; and we have chosen to leave the EU! It is a double victory for democracy, because the British people have not only exercised their democratic rights to determine how they are governed, but have also chosen to reject the European Commission (EC) and its undemocratic and technocratic form of government.

Now the job of creating a different future begins. Our free debate has led to a democratic result. Now is the time for unity and people should be wary about those who will seek to exploit this historic decision for their own ends. Evidently this is already happening which is a timely reminder how easy it is for people to be led astray – not that anyone would admit to being led astray.

And if anyone was hoping that we might see an end to the name calling, the scaremongering, and the end of world predictions, their hopes will be dashed, for already there are people saying all sorts of strange things about what might happen and what they are going to do, which suggests that the concept of democracy is not fully understood and is something that some people are willing to respect only if it delivers the result that they want. They are only ensuring that we the people will not be asked again to decide upon important issues, which just plays into the hands of elites and powerful vested interests.

People should stop being so negative. Unplug yourself from Facebook and calm down. Be constructive. Once the dust has settled and people have had time for more considered reflection, the matter will seem very different.

People who are bitter and negative and want to be doomsayers will not be the ones who will be shaping our new future because the only people who will listen to the doomsayers will be their fellow doomsayers and they will just become an isolated and embittered minority. No-one wants to listen to people using bad language and to insults directed at people who did what they thought best for their country. Show some respect. It you want to participate, use your intellect and develop your arguments and learn to accept that in a democracy not everyone can get their own way. Those who have won the argument on this occasion are aware that there are people who do not agree with the majority decision, but, the reality is that the majority decision is the way we have to go. Not to follow the wishes of the majority will just damage democracy and undermine further the credibility of our system of elected representation. Remember that the alternative to democracy is a dictatorship, an authoritarian style of government, where you will not be allowed to write what you want to write in Facebook.

Our future will be what we decide it will be and not what negative thinking doomsayers would like it to be just to prove that they are right. Let us now, therefore, make a success of the direction in which the country has to go.

We will make some more observations, when the time is right. This is not the right time, so we end by remembering the forgotten youth of Greece whose futures have been destroyed by people, far away, pursuing megalomaniac schemes; people far removed from the consequences of their actions, who in ‘shining towers’ live in the bubble world that is the Emperor’s Court (EC). When will someone tell the emperor that he is wearing no clothes?


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The UK’s EU Referendum: A choice between democracy and technocracy

All the issues of relevance that have been discussed over the past few weeks are largely views on what might happen if the UK decides to break free from the EU. This is the reality of this type of debate for none of us know the future, although the past seems to suggest what the future may be, especially as we are discussing Europe!

So we are left in a position choosing between what looks like the certainty of the status quo, and the uncertainty inherent in leaving. To stay or to go is probably the hardest question than any electorate in the UK has ever been asked to vote upon, made so by the fact that it is a single issue, unlike in a General Election when we vote on just about everything. It is however a single issue that will shape our country for decades to come, and will, potentially, involve our participation in events that British people will not want to be part of – the future may be more certain than people realise given that we are discussing here – Europeans.

I want now to give people an insider’s view, having been involved with Brussels for 30 years. But first a quote:

“In earlier times, anyone who thought of universal history, because of the narrowness of his horizons, constructed a unity at the expense of restriction; amongst ourselves, for instance, he restricted himself to West, in China to the Central Empire. That which lay beyond had no part in it and was regarded as a life of barbarians, primitive peoples, which were certainly an object of ethnological interest, but not of history. Unity consisted in the presupposition of the tendency to cause all the still unknown peoples of the earth to participate, stage by stage, in one – namely one’s own – culture, to bring them into one’s own sphere of order.”

These are the words of the German philosopher Karl Jaspers (in his book The Origin and Goal of History), writing in the aftermath of the National Socialists, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. These words very accurately describe how the European Commission thinks and operates; this organisation is very European in the most negative sense of the meaning of such a phrase.

I first became involved with Brussels, namely the European Commission (EC), in 1986. I did so because I knew that the Commission were not pursuing the right research agenda in relation to manufacturing industry. It is a long story, but now here in 2016, 30 years on, the same issues are still there, which is one of the reasons why I am now starting to break my connections, and to withdraw from all involvement with the EC. In the process I have come to call these people Prometheus and sometimes also Narcissus, along with those that gather around the EC (the Emperor’s Court). Everyday they just reinvent themselves in the same form they were the day before, but have so fallen in love with themselves, they are unable to see this.

As for the other reasons for my withdrawal:

They say that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely – the EC is the case study that demonstrates the first to be true, and may, if we do not do something about this monster, prove also that the second part is also correct. What it will take to prove the latter is the creation and the alignment of the sort of social, political and economic conditions that lead people to look for simplistic ideologically based solutions – the type of conditions that the modern world is now busy bringing about. This simplistic ideologically based thinking is already taking shape in the EC and in the wider EU.

The problems with the EC started at its inception back in the 1950s because it was created around a 19th century bureaucratic model: thus the perception of the EC as a bureaucracy. But the problem with the EC is worse than this, for it was also founded on elitism and dirigisme. Here in 2016 the EC is as bureaucratic, as elitist and as dirigistic as on the day it was born.

The EC is a technocratic organisation. It believes that it can intervene in matters complex, in business, in economy, in research, and so forth, and worse, that it actually knows what those interventions should be, hence they largely work top-down, rather than bottom-up, and most often fail, as is demonstrated by the fact that Europe has the lowest economic growth rate of any continent.

The EC has vast powers delegated to it by the various treaties and the money to pursue its technocratic fantasies. It has also become the target of the priestly caste of technocrats called scientists, technologist and engineers, who are now working behind the scenes to gain power and influence. This is in addition to powerful corporations who are increasingly, as the European economy continues to weaken, exerting their influence. The two – science and business – are closely allied with each other, as science is now primarily perceived as an activity to be pursued for economic reasons (which is also why we are now seeing a ethical meltdown in the world of science, technology and engineering). Hence the appeal to the EC, which has been desperately trying, and failing, for 30 years to deal with the economic decline of Europe. The EC is unable to understand that it is part of the problem.

The scientific technocrats are advocating a form of reason that is not grounded in humanity, common sense, instincts, and emotions – there is no room for the subjective and for soft knowledge. Richard Dawkins is one of their high priests, but there are others, who all hold in contempt anything that is not grounded in the scientific method and quantification. They are seeking what I have come to call Scientific Government and in the EC they find a willing partner in this madness. It is a marriage made in Hell. It is also a relationship founded on the elitism of Ancient Greece – free people think, slaves work.

Some years ago, under the reign of the previous President, the man concerned decided to take unto himself a person to be his Chief Scientific Advisor. The appointment was done in secret and there were no independent vetting processes. The advice delivered was given in secret and never subjected to public or parliamentary scrutiny, or that of the wider scientific community. The appointee used (abused) her position to advocate that science was so important that scientists needed to have a seat in government. Many in the world of science support her views. All of them have conflicts of interest and they all, along with their institutions, stand to gain financially from this. The conflicts of interest of the Chief Scientific Advisor were never independently established, nor were any disciplinary actions taken against her, for what in a democratic setting would have been seen as an abuse of a public appointment.

She was condemned by a number of MEPs. She herself, who in her post was just a mere employee of the EC, felt that it was within her power and her right to take these elected representatives to tasks for their views, and she used these people to further the case for her argument which reduces to this statement: in our system of government, politicians are told what to do and how to do it, and any improvement made to the instructions given to them is fatal to success, and if they deviate from what we instruct them to do, they must tell the people that they are doing so. Elsewhere one can also find people saying that policy decisions of a scientific or technical nature, e.g. those relating to the use of GM crops, should be taken out of the hands of politicians! Juncker it seems was not prepared to inherit this troublesome high priestess and she was discarded and not replaced. Instead, an internal person, who is also caught-up in the idea of Scientific Government, was appointed as an innovation advisor. This is just a foretaste of the totalitarianism that could come about in Brussels, as the EU’s economic circumstances deteriorate further.

We are dealing here with scientists and technologists who have become ideologues. They have taken a valuable means of knowing the world (science) and turned it into a perverse ideology that consumes the mind, just as the Soviets did with the works of Karl Marx, right-wing free market extremists have done with the works of Adam Smith, some Christians have done with the Bible, and some Muslims are now doing with the Holy Qur’an. These are, to use Hayek’s words, the “totalitarians in our midst” and this is a one hell of an ideological conflict that you are in the process of creating.

Some may have read Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom. The European Commission has already built The Road to Serfdom, and it uses the money that it takes from us, via our National Governments, to keep the serfs in line. It has created a dependency culture, whereby it decides what it will do, and then it seeks experts, all of whom will benefit from the Commission’s proposals, to support these plans. Then it often uses these experts to confirm that the money has been well spent. Dissenters are not tolerated and are sent into exile – i.e. they are dismissed as suffering from some deficit and never invited back. ICT-ART CONNECT – the STARTS Platform – is a prime example of this form of technocratic corruption, and my forth coming book (STARTS – Science, Technology and the Arts: The Artistic Voices that DG CONNECT Silenced) explores this.

The European Parliament is aware of these problems but is largely powerless to do anything about it. People like Juncker are themselves elitist and dirigistic, so will do nothing to put an end to this madness.

What people do not understand is that the European Commission is, in effect, an unelected government, not a civil service. We have not shared sovereignty, but instead transferred sovereign power to a body over which there is no democratic control. When they fail, as they do, we cannot evict them from office, nor is anyone punished for this failure – no-one resigns in disgrace, no departments are exposed for wasting public money, and no officials are disciplined. The failures are covered-up so that you, the people, never learn about what goes on behind closed doors, in Brussels, at your expense. They, the EC, act with impunity.

As a government, the EC has diplomatic representations all around the globe. The President of the European Commission is treated as a Head of State. The Treaty of Lisbon gave the EC power over foreign policy and the European Commission now has a foreign policy. It is one that is best described as cultural colonialism. So we have an unelected government preaching and lecturing to the world about European values, and seeking in an imperial way to project these values on to the non-European world and to enforce these values through trade and cooperation agreements. So why are you thinking that the China is more likely to prioritise a trade agreement with the EU over one with an independent UK that is not bound by the EU’s colonial dogma?

And the EC seems to be genuinely surprised about the backlash that has come in the form of the non-European world (the barbarians in need of European civilisation) contesting this colonial EU foreign policy, and taking their own steps to project their values and beliefs onto the world. The seeds of conflict are being sown!

It can be said that in this very traditional European policy there is no recognition of the genuinely different and legitimate interests of other societies. This is the fate that awaits Turkey and all from outside Europe who want to join the EU – they will have to become European and this will probably create a violent response against Europe, which will just reconfirm the European view that those in the non-European world are barbarians. Hints of this have already been seen in the aftermath of the Paris and Brussels attacks. People in Belgium actually referred to the Brussels’ terrorist as barbarians. Two days after the Brussels bombs, in The Hague, a man was sentence to 41 years in prison for war crimes and his part in the genocide of 8000 Muslim men in the Srebrenica enclave. No one called Radovan Karadzic a barbarian – he was one of us so he is a war criminal.

Let us be clear – when you start calling people barbarians, you separate, classify and begin to dehumanise them. And in doing so you are preparing people for the eventual outcome, which you will reason your way towards, because the sort of reason that is now becoming dominant in the Europeanised world is one that is devoid of any humanity, compassion and common sense. This is a path that only has one destination – it is a very European destination and you know what it is!

Efforts have been made to reform the EC, but the monster is very adept at finding ways around these reforms. The European Parliament and the Member State politicians seem to be powerless against the EC and its power grows with every new treaty that is signed.

The EC already has a currency, which is in effect the German Deutsche Mark, which is partly why the EU is now dominated by one nation – the Germans. The EC will one day have a fiscal policy under its control. It will one day have a police force under its control. It already has the beginnings of such in the form of its internal security department which investigates leaks of confidential information from EC officials. There also exists a fraud investigation body. It will one day have an army under its control as well. By that time, the National Governments will have been reduced to something similar to what in the UK we call Local Authorities, and will not have the power to resist the final step, which will be a European State, with an unelected government. Once a government with a police force and an army comes into being, that is not subject to democratic control and accountability, and which lacks a democratic ethos, it has the means to do what it wants to do – you cannot resist such a government! What will have been created is a totalitarian system that practices state control of society and economy. It will be a Union of Subservient State Republics run by an elite class of technocrats. Then the means of silencing their opponents will no longer be limited to exile.

Back in the early nineties, there was idealism in Brussels. People talked about integration, working together, about a social Europe. There was also a rejection of the idea of a Europe based upon a melting-pot where many cultures are mixed into one: people spoke about strength in diversity and they celebrated the vast cultural differences across the Member State nations. No-one has any idealist visions any more. Social Europe is dead. The idea of diversity has been abandon in favour of the meting-pot notion of a single culture. Everything now is about money, about the economy. Many people (including academics and artists) go to Brussels to gain power, influence, and to get their hands on public money, and will resort to disingenuous means to do so. The EU now pursues a neo-liberal agenda, and has abandoned the people of Europe to the power of money, just as the US government has done with its people.

I get the feeling that the people of Europe are sleepwalking once more into yet another one of those very European nightmares.

It may be that the only hope left is that China and India will find a way to balance economy and science with humanity and nature and that they will be the ones providing the future model for civilisation. I have come to the conclusion that the days of the West are drawing to an end, and that the future lies in convincing the Chinese and the Indians to walk a different path to the European world by looking to their cultural heritage as a source of new inspiration. And this is what I will now be dedicating my efforts towards, because what Europe offers is just the past masquerading as the future.

The European Commission is an affront to democracy. It is becoming a threat to democracy, liberty and the right of people to choose. The only way we can remove the European Commission (meaning Juncker and his College of Commissions and all the bureaucrats that work for them) from our lives is by voting to leave the EU. This is the circumstance that people such as Schuman and Monnet have bequeathed to us. The irony is that by seeking to avoid the past, they may have laid the foundations for the past once again to become the future, which is Europe’s history in a nutshell.

We cannot predict the future, but history does provide us with powerful lessons that we seem not to want to pay attention to. Back in 1933 if anyone had predicted what was about to happen in Europe they would have been dismissed as a lunatic. Yet knowing how Europeans have behaved since the time of the Roman Empire, and all the worst aspects of Ancient Greek beliefs that are still deeply embedded in European culture, what happened between 1933 and 1945 can be seen as the past reinvented, but on a far more destructive scale.

“Probably it is true that the very magnitude of the outrages committed by the totalitarian governments, instead of increasing the fear that such a system might one day arise in this country, has rather strengthened the assurance that it cannot happen here. When we look at Nazi Germany the gulf which separates us seems so immense that nothing that happens there can possess relevance for any possible developments in this country. And the fact that the difference has steadily become greater seems to refute any suggestion that we may be moving in similar directions. But let us not forget that fifteen years ago the possibility of such a thing happening in Germany would have appeared just as fantastic, not only to nine-tenths of the Germans themselves, but also to the most hostile foreign observers however wise they may now pretend to have been.”

The words are Hayek’s, written in 1944, and taken from the book that I have already mentioned.

Already it seems we have forgotten this recent past and are now willing to trust our future to a dictatorship of technocrats in the belief that this will not happen again. It will, but in a different form.

Now is the time to take steps to prevent this.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

The UK’s EU Referendum: We the People will choose …

On Thursday, we the People will choose …

Thursday, June 23rd, will be a day that will live forever in British history, for it will be the day when the British people voted for democracy (leave the EU) or for technocracy (remain in the EU). This is the nature of the choice that is now before the British people and here are some notes and observations about this most important event.

We the people are being asked to decide. This is an excellent thing, for what is democracy, if we the people are never asked to decide, especially on matters so profound and which are constitutional in nature? People who believe in democracy should be celebrating this commitment to listening to the people and then acting on their decision. But what I note is that there are many people who do not celebrate this, and all of them as far as it is possible to tell, have vested (economic/financial) interests for the UK to remain within the EU. And I include within this group Juncker and his elitist political class whose commitment to democracy is limited to fine words and images. I cannot imagine Juncker and the leaders of the major European powers celebrating the power of democracy if the result is not what they want. In fact, all the signs are of an elite class that is willing to make threats to the British people and to use fear as their weapon. This is most certainly counter-productive. And the true nature of the elite that runs the European Union became all too clear with the treatment of the Greek people during the euro crisis. Do you really want to be part of a club that operates in such a way? Is it not time to take a stand against these people?

It has been an extraordinary time the past few weeks. We have been told that the world will come to an end on Friday June 24th, whatever the outcome! There is misinformation coming from both sides. And when the opinion polls started to show a shift towards the Leave camp, the Remain camp began to engage in personal attacks on leading figures in the Leave camp, and to engage in scaremongering. The Remain camp has been playing the fear card, with their predictions of economic Armageddon taking place as a result of a leave decision. All sorts of claims have been made, yet the truth is that no-body knows what will happen if we should decide to leave. It will create uncertainty, but not the economic meltdown that the Remain camp is implying.

Most of what has come out of the Remain camp has been highly negative. Putting aside the matter of UKIP and their right-wing extremism which is also negative, the people who are starting to emerge from the debate with the most credibility or those leading the Leave camp. They have something positive to say and to offer, and have become more convincing that the Remain camp.

The most negative of the comments made during the past week came from the Chancellor of the Exchequer who promised an emergency budget that would cut public spending and raise taxes as a way of punishing the British people if we decide to leave. His credibility has been destroyed by this and it looks as though his days are numbered in this post. In saying this he seems to have forgotten that the matter of an emergency budget lies with the Cabinet, and its implementation lies in approval from Parliament, and many MPs from across the political spectrum have now declared that they will oppose such a budget. Perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer should head off to Brussels and become a European Commissioner, because there he would be able to implement such a move without the consent of elected representatives of the people.

What will happen on Friday June 24 if we decide to leave is that the Government will do what a Government is supposed to do and that is to start taking the responsible actions that will be needed to ensure that all the predictions of doom do not come about, and they will be able to start doing this, freed from the restrictions imposed on it by unelected politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats in Brussels.

If we do decide to leave, then on Friday June 24th some people think that we will have isolated ourselves from Europe. Some have even said we will not have access to the Single Market. But how are the bureaucrats in Brussels going to stop European people and companies buying goods and services from the UK? Will they be policing the internet and knocking on doors in the early hours of the morning? They certainly know how to do such a thing, having much experience of operating police states!

This access issue is an example of the misinformation that we have been subjected to. The question is not one of access, for people from outside the EU, e.g. the Americans, have access to the Single Market. The question is instead, one of terms and conditions for access, and the worst case scenario is that we will have access on the same terms as, for example, the Americans – WTO rules!

Of course they, the EU might want to play difficult. Or it may be that common sense will prevail. One factor not much considered in all the scaremongering and threats from foreign politicians, is whether Juncker and the others would be willing to put at risk their jobs and growth agenda and to potentially destabilise the euro, just to be vindictive towards the UK. Are they really going to start a mini-trade war with the UK? It would seem that it is in the interests of both parties to have an amicable divorce.

Perhaps therefore what we will see in public are temper tantrums, but behind the scenes, desperate attempts to save the EU and to ensure that nothing is done to damage what they see as the European economy.

The British, it is said, do best when their backs are to the wall. History tends to support this view.  It is also a truth not sufficiently understood that there would be no democracy in Europe if Britain had not acted in the past to counter and oppose the tyranny and oppression that has so often been part of the continental way. At the moment we see, yet again, this time in the form of the EU, another threat to democracy coming this time from unelected politicians, bureaucrats and that insidious thing called technocracy. The College of Commissioners is what the body of European Commissioners collectively call themselves. It is however more like something one would have found in the Soviet Union, a kind of Central Committee, with bureaucrats making plans for the economy. It is most definitely the Road to Serfdom. ICT ART CONNECT (STARTS) is an example of this, which also reveals the corrupt nature of the relationships that can exist between the European Commission and its experts – it’s all about getting your hands on public money and the EC uses this as a way of implementing what its wants to do! And then they wonder why the European economy is failing!

Surely it is now time deal with the unelected Juncker and his technocrats? The European Union is a failing institution. The European Commission is a failing institution. They are the past not the future. Surely it is time to abandon these failures and reach out to a future that is not controlled by unelected politicians and bureaucrats operating a Soviet style system of running a country and an economy?

We, the British people, are a strange breed. We have done some bad things in the world and are far from being perfect, but when it counts, we have made a stand, which has usually involved putting aside short term interests and sacrificing the economic in favour of what is right. Now is the time to make such a stand.

The EU as it is now constituted is a result of changes that have been made without the consent of the people. Not once were we, the people of the UK, asked if what was being created by the political class is what we wanted. Now, we the people have a chance to have our say. It is time to send an unambiguous message to all politicians who dream of gaining power and acting without the consent of the people.

We have also been watching with interest the opinion polls, but we are not sure if they are telling an accurate story. They suggest that the nation is divided. Over the past two weeks the picture emerging is one of a swing towards the Leave camp. As of today it does look as though we are heading for the exit door, but, as the day to vote approaches, people may decide to opt for what they think is the safe option. And there are still a few days to go, so the pressure on both sides to convince the voters will continue!

Although there is much scaremongering about the economy, the issues for a large number of people is the free movement of people across the EU which is resulting in, many people feel, the destruction of British culture. This however seems to be the unspoken policy objective – to blend the many cultures found in Europe into one, because with a Single Market, goes a single currency, and a single culture, from which comes a single nation with, they think, an economy to rival that of China. Fantasies – for what will come from this is right wing extremism and civil strife, which the far right will use to strengthen their position.

Many people feel that they are wrongly being branded as racist and xenophobic for expressing concern about loss of identity. It is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed by the politicians, but they have no power to deal with the matter because their hands are tied by Brussels, and there this is seen an ideological issue over which there will be no compromise.

Most importantly however, the core issue is one of democratic control and accountability which has been denied the people. There is a simple fact: the EU is not democratic and is beyond reform. It needs to be sent into the pages of the history books where it will eventually be seen for what it is – the past becoming the future as once again, those with power, attempt, without the agreement of the people, to create a European Empire. We do not want such an Empire for it will eventually bring into being all those things that people fear from Europe’s past. You are most certainly not done yet with your wars and your camps and the EU, when the political, economic and social conditions are right, will one day become those things once again, for you have not understood that these things are deeply embedded in your culture, and only when you stop being European will you stop these terrible things.

Economies wax and wane as they are subject to the vagaries of markets, decision-makers and consumers. Democracy though is different, being easily broken, and difficult to recover once lost. Democracy needs to endure for it is the only means we have of protecting ourselves from people like Juncker, from the Brussels bureaucrats, and from the technocrats. Without democracy our only resort to freedom becomes revolution, and you know what that leads to.

Sadly, the week ended on a tragic note with the murder of a MP in her constituency. Campaigning was suspended for a few days as a mark of respect. Meanwhile, a shift became noticeable: foreign politicians stopped making threats and began pleading for the UK to remain so that we could work together to reform the EU.

But politicians who say such things have not got the message – we no longer trust politicians, and we know all too well what will happen. If we vote to remain, they make some minor adjustments, and then proceed on their way doing what they want to do, without our consent, heading to a place where we do not want to go, which will just fuel more right-wing extremism.

We have only one way to remove Juncker and the Brussels bureaucrats, and that way is to vote to leave, which will also allow us to diffuse the problems that are fuelling the rise of the extreme right. Ironically, by voting to leave we will be able to rid ourselves of UKIP, who will only grow in popularity and power if we stay. And the economic price, if there is one (which is very uncertain) is worth paying.

I would love the UK to remain in the EU, but I now know we must leave if we are to avoid being part of the sad story of events that is unfolding in continental Europe. Whatever the outcome I will not be having any further involvement with the European Commission once my present contract is finished. It is time to leave Europe and to help build a different world to the one that the imperial Europeans are trying to create.

Thus, on Thursday, we the People will choose …

And because this is so important, on Tuesday I will be publishing a special blog based on inside knowledge. For 30 years I have been involved with the European Commission and I now know that it is time to speak out and to condemn them for what they are, what they represent and what they are doing.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

UK’s EU Referendum: President Barack Obama decrees the transformation of the US into an EU style technocracy!

“My fellow Americans, I speak to you today as the bringer of good news!

“As you may know, the British people are being asked to decide on whether they wish the United Kingdom to be part of the European Union. Recently on a trip to the United Kingdom, I urged the British people to vote to remain in the European Union, as membership is, self-evidently I believe, in their economic interests.

“Having now reflected long on the matter, and following the principle that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, I have today signed a Presidential Order, abolishing the United States of America, its constitution, Congress, the Supreme Court, the US Civil Service and the Office of President of the United States of America. This will take effect on January 1st 2017.

“On this date a new form of government, modelled on that of Ancient Greece will come into effect, whereby the political elite, the free people who think, will run the country, while you, the American people, the slaves, will work. You will no longer need to worry about thinking – just get on with the job of making and spending money, while we think and take decisions on your behalf. You will of course have no say in any of this and no right, through the ballot box, to call us to account.

“On January 1st 2017, the United States of America will become the American Union. Congress will be replaced by an American Parliament, consisting of elected Members. This body will have very limited powers and will be largely symbolic because its main purpose is to create an impression of democracy.

“A new body called the Council of State Governors will be formed. This body will meet from time to time in Washington DC. One of its roles will be to appoint, every five years, on an arbitrary basis, someone to be President of the American Commission, along with a group of people who will be called American Commissioners, who collectively will be called the College of Commissioners, or alternatively, the Central Committee of the American Union.

“To ensure the arbitrariness of the appointments, every five years the decision who will be President will be taken according to the direction the wind is blowing from in Washington DC on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. If the wind is coming from a Northerly direction a Democratic President and Commission will be appointed which will bring some warmth to the American Union. If the wind is blowing from a Southerly direction, a Republican President and Commission will be appointed to bring a chill to the Union.

The Supreme Court will be replaced by the American Courts of Justice, which will have precedence over all State Legislatives and Courts.

The American civil service will be replaced by the body called the American Commission who will be a collection of bureaucrats and technocrats, to whom vast powers will be delegated, which will enable them to pursue their own agendas within the terms defined by a wide-ranging treaty. You, the people, will have no control over this new body. They will, as they think fit, exert control over your life, and you will just have to live with that!

“There will be no written constitution. This flexible arrangement is convenient – for us!

“I think that you will agree that this system suits everyone. In particular it suits the politicians who will serve on the Central Committee, for they will obtain power without any need to stand for election, and they will not ever have to explain themselves to you, the people, or to suffer the humiliation of being rejected by you, when, as will be the case, they do the wrong things. Think of this in a positive way – the enduring, unchanging nature of your government will help to ensure economic stability; admittedly at the price of freedom and democracy, but think of the self-evident economic benefits!

“I have now a few words of advice for the new appointee to President. First, how to deal with State Governors who complain and criticise and advocate more power being transferred to State level? All you need to do is to brand them as popularists who are far too concerned with responding to the wishes of the electorate than with the pursuit of the American Union Project. I refer you to the role model that is Jean-Claude Juncker, the current appointed President of the European Commission, who demonstrates breath-taking arrogance, and admirable contempt for the views of the electorate – the people. Second, how to deal with the circumstances that will eventually develop, when all your technocratic ideas start to fail and the Union begins to disintegrate. Again I refer you again to Juncker – create a bubble and disconnect yourself from reality, and push for even more technocratic notions of a unity without the consent of the people. This of course brings me to my final words of advice – always undertake your far reaching constitutional changes without the consent of the people, for you are a technocrat, a member of a political elite, and the views of ordinary people and what they want must never be allowed to stand in the way of your delusions of achieving a rebirth of the Roman Empire.

“It has been a great honour serving you as your last democratically elected President. Don’t worry! Everything will be fine. Trust me on this, for I am a Politician.

“God bless the American Union.”