THE STATE OF THE STATE

 

amay
I wonder at whom that look of utter loathing was directed.

 

It’s always brought a smile to my face when British Prime Minister after British Prime Minister has trotted around the world in a self-important manner spouting off about democracy.

Surely, Britain is one of the least truly democratic countries in the West, I thought.

After all, we have an unelected head of state whom we were always told was ceremonial and had no powers at all. It turns out that in truth not only does she and her immediate family have immense influence, she and her eldest son, have real powers which they use to have laws changed.

 

aQueen-wearing-the-valuable-crown-562552
Who elected the woman with the expensive hat?

 

They also have the use of the Privy Council, which can make declarations in the name of Her Majesty. These are the law with no scrutiny allowed.

Next, the government can use Statutory Instruments, also known as SIs, a form of legislation which allows the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be subsequently brought into force or altered without Parliament having to pass a new Act. They are also referred to as secondary, delegated or subordinate legislation.

 

aThe-House-of-Lords-Getty
Ruritania.

 

Then there is the House of Lords, the second largest legislative chamber in the world (after the National People’s Congress of China… a country of 1.4 billion people). It comprises firstly of 90 hereditary peers, self-selected by the Earls, Viscounts, Marquesses, and Dukes (which we still have in this bastion of democracy). The rest of us are excluded from voting on who these people should be (and once elected by their peers they can remain there until death). Only other hereditary aristocrats have a vote.

A further two hereditaries sit as of right, because of positions they historically hold in the royal household. (It’s already beginning to sound like something dreamt up for an 18th-century comic opera, isn’t it?)

 

chol
The Marquis and Marchioness Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumly). His marquisness gets to sit as of right in the HoL. (I assume the metal containers are for vomiting in if all the bowing and scraping makes you need to upchuck.)

 

Next in this massive house, are archbishops and bishops of the established church of the state religion. Listen to that: state religion! Finally, there is a rag bag of who knows how many ex-ministers and failed politicians, rich people who have given money to one of the three main parties… and a few oddballs the reason for whose presence can only be wondered at.

 

amoan
The Noble Member for the Isle of Man? Classy!

 

Then there is the supposedly democratic part of governance. The Commons, elected by a ridiculous first past the post system which can give an absolute majority on a vote of around 35%, and in which two-thirds of the seats never change hands. And this all underpinned by a party whipping system designed to keep most MPs very firmly on message.

Under this prime minister, we have seen some rather odd and disturbing developments which further undermine the feeble democracy that we have.

 

boris-johnson-brexit
Boris bringing back control and giving it to the likes of Hunt and Rudd! Sheesh.

 

Ironically they have come about in the wake of Brexit, which was supposed to return power to parliament from supposedly undemocratic EU institutions, like the council of ministers (comprising of elected ministers from the member states) or the European parliament, elected on a proportional representation system.

The first happened when our ridiculously inept prime minister called a general election to prove that she was strong and stable, expecting to win a thumping majority, and in fact lost the small majority she had inherited from David Cameron. Looking more than a little ridiculous she reached out to someone even more ridiculous: the ex-First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the DUP, currently under investigation for the mishandling of a large sum of public money, Arlene Foster.

 

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Arlene cash for ash Foster.

 

The DUP agreed to use its 10 members to back the prime minister in certain matters (because of EVEL, Irish MPs cannot vote on any legislation that is England only) in return for £1.5 billion. Pretty much a bribe, using public money…our money!

Next, May decided to “fix” the committee system so that, despite not having a majority in parliament, the Tories would have a majority of members on every important committee in parliament.  (Somewhat ridiculously they have more members than any other party on the Scottish Affairs Committee)

ahit

Finally, May has brought in and had passed in the Commons, a Bill that will give ministers the right to alter the law without any reference to parliament. The powers have been nick-named Henry VIII powers, after England’s most authoritarian monarch, but many commentators feel that they resemble much more closely The Enabling Act (1933), which allowed Hitler to bypass the Reichstag and rule by ministerial (his) power.

It is a dangerous road to take, and as I said, all the more ironic because, apart from xenophobia, it seems to me that the biggest cries from the popular press were that British laws should be made exclusively by British representatives in a British fashion in Britain, mindful of Great British values (whatever they are). And of course that we keep being told that we MUST respect the  British people who voted for Brexit.

Ho hum, funny old world.

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OH, ERM THIS IS EMBARRASSING, NURSE

YOU SEE, THERE IS A MAGIC MONEY TREE AFTER ALL… IT’S JUST NOT FOR THE LIKES OF YOU…

 

ammt4
Now, is that enough, Arlene dear? Do let me know if you want any more. You will let me be prime minister, won’t you? Now, don’t worry your pretty little head about the Colonel. We’ll send her off to the front line in Syria if she bothers you.
!£
Yes, your majesty, whatever you want. Please let me know if you want anything else. You will let me be prime minister, won’t you?

 

So the Trogs get a billion or so and they can spend some of it on giving their nurses a bit of a pay rise.

And, just to show that we do care about old people and the safety of their accommodations, this elderly couple will receive an 8% increase in their income, taking them up to £82.2 million a year

Now, how many countries treat their elderly like that? Scotland would have a black hole if they treated their nonagenarians that way.

Doesn’t it make you proud to be British, with these broad shoulders, pooling and sharing all over the shop?

Royal accounts – some key figures

  • £82.2m – Amount the Queen is expected to get from the Sovereign Grant in 2018/2019
  • £4.5m – Cost of the Queen and the Royal Family’s official travel
  • £288,697 – Amount spent on the Royal Train travel for 14 trips
  • £1.2m – Cost of replacing doors on the orangery at Windsor Castle
  • £154,000 – Estimated cost of Prince Charles and Camilla using “Cam Force One” – the official government plane – to visit Italy, Romania and Austria

THE QUEEN’S NEW SPEECH

 

asp
With apologies to Hans Christian Andersen

 

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The Tory Manifesto appears to have, erm, disappeared from their website…

 

am
Thank goodness IT wasn’t written on parchment. Shredding that would have caused problems!

 

aaus
Austerity Britain. We are all in this together. Well, except the crown, which didn’t want to get the underground.

 

NO MORE FREE MEALS FOR ENGLISH KIDS?

afreeafree2afree5afree1

And, of course, this.

Now surely, all of these people aren’t really in need of a free dinner, or in IDS’s case, breakfast. If we are going to bring in austerity means testing, because we are such a broke little country, and about to be even more broke, probably people like Cameron and May should be means tested to see if they earn above the threshold for a free dinner at the expense of taxpayers.

Whit’s guid tae gie’s no ill tae tak, eh Tess?

Grateful thanks to Cllr John Edwards for the idea and some of the pics.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

 

!!!
As ye sew, so shall ye reap.
aa
But, but, but…
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Shona must resign… oh, wait…
abenefits
Never mind, we showed them foreigners a fink or two, guv.
ACG
One of the greatest minds of today. I bet the BBC stop using him.
adam tompkins
Aye, Adam. Let’s get David Davis, Liam Fox, Tessy May and Boris Johnson up to give them some lesson… or maybe not?
aliz
Yep, it was all about hard work. if she’d been a lazy tosser she’d have ended up down the brew working for her ESA in B & M Bargains. Or maybe not…
alan
As usual, Alan’s bang on the nail.
alt jesus
Sounds like a plan!
armada
Who’s got the biggest…? Jings, are you 12 or something?
awar3
Qué, indeed. That fellow took the words out of my mouth!
awar
Yes. People like this actually exist.
brex EDL Britian first
Not entirely sure, though, that this isn’t an artist’s impression!
Boris
Don’t tell me Liz passed on, the monarchy was abolished they we elected that eejit?

 

BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY

Invite this bloke to take tea with the Queen…

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…and refuse entry to this bloke.

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Great Brutish Christian Values, Amber? “Suffer the little children to come unto me”?

You’re a total bloody embarrassment, Rudd. Thank god you are not Scottish.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/dubs-amendment-amber-rudd-kent-council-child-refugees-calais-a7571931.html