In the spirit that "volunteers are happier men than pressed ones" and seeing that I'm temporarily not up to my eyeballs in paying work I said I would be happy to do this months round up of Witangemot items so and my fellow members of the Witangemot have very graciously permitted me to do so. I have decided to break down the topics for November into a few groups. Unforunately I suspect that future Rounder Uppers will be able to use many of the same group headings for some time.
The Scotch and the West Lothian Question
Given the current ZANUlabour Scottish Raj, it seems likely that the Witangemot will be discussing the asymmetry of Anglo-Scotch relations for a while. One thing to be bourne in mind is that the Scotch are lacking in a sense of humour as noted in the tale of Sir Gareth de Toque & the Scotch Parliament WebShite which I covered earlier this week after seeing all the postselsewhere on the Witangemot. If you want to link to the satire then probably my copy is the best thing to link to since I have removed the logo which caused the most offense and replaced it with a different one.
In the "West Lothian Question" debate, attention is drawn, via the England Project and the Cross of St George fora, to a piece by Simon Heffer in the Torygraph where he tries to get the Tory position across and does what I consider to be the usual "Yankee Liberal" trick of explaining the problem well and then completely cocking up the solution. Perhaps a better discussion and possible solution is by new Witangemot member "Tom Paine". Earlier the month "ought to be a Witangemot member" Gary Monro discussed the "DD" viewpoint and is slightly more optimistic about the Tories, unfortunately Wonko found that DD was rather less sound on the Barnett Formula. The CEP also reports some comments by DD and DC about our sheep-shagging neighbours to the west.
Another topic that is going to be a popular repeat is the England vs Britain discussion. This month we got coverage in the Sun thanks to some astoundinglyst00pidstatements by a certainTerryWhite (commented on elsewhere too) which demonstrated the utter contempt our ZANUlabour government has for about 85% of its electorate.
England, as opposed to Britain, has an unfortunate history around the world and within the British Isles and please do not say that it is all past.
It is a fact that the right and extreme right in Britain cloak themselves in the English flag, the cross of St.George and claim to be the true representatives of the English.
Wherever there is hooligan behaviour, usually linked to extreme right-wing political groups e.g. at football matches here and abroad, it is the flag of St.George that is displayed and that, I would imagine, is the reason why the MP referred to this type of 'Englishness' as a threat to democracy.
However in a bid to be slightly balanced WRT the labour party it has to be said that that response was kicked off by a rather more intelligent essay by Labour MP Gisela Stuart, which was mostly about our EU elites, where she said:
Yet it has only been in the last five years or so that I have heard people in my constituency telling me, “I am not British – I am English”. That worries me. British identity is based on and anchored in its political and legal institutions and this enables it to take in new entrants more easily than it would be if being a member of a nation were to be defined by blood. But a democratic polity will only work if citizens’ identification is with the community as a whole, or at least with the shared process, which overrides their loyalty to a segment.
That comment also sparked a debate in the BirminghamPost, including a clarification by Mrs Stuart, all of which was reported at the CEP and the England Project and was far better than the usual discussion. Moving a tad further north we had the new Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, making some sound comments about the English. It ought to be a cause for concern that the only public figures who seem to be able to make intelligent comments and get quoted in the "Establishment Media" seem to be immigrants (from Germany and Uganda respectively and note that intelligent need not imply agreement).
Going back down to the pits of EUrocratic jobsworthness we have Wear Valley District Council desperately trying to fly the EU rag instead of the Cross of St George. If that weren't enough it seems that the EU wants to replace the red ensign with the same blue rag despite a certain amount of questionable legality. The only other slightly good news is that the Eurocrats would still see a lot of red when they head down to the Riviera for their "Vaccances" because most of the yachts docked in Cannes, Antibes, St Tropez etc. are flagged in other parts of the commonwealth such as Bemuda or the Cayman Islands where they still have a nice red flag (must take a picture next time I visit Antibes port).
Cars, Parking Tickets, the Law etc.
Another long running battle with jobsworths and other officious pin-heads is to do with the right to park one's car without being given a massive ticket. Now clearly there are frequently two sides to the argument and the English blogosphere has both with Bill Stickers representing the forces of law'n'order against the scofflaws and Neil Herron and co fighting the good fight to stop us having our constitutional rights taken away. In late breaking news (via Samizdata) it seems that the DVLA has a charming habit of selling vehicle registration data to anyone who wants it without doing any check to see whether the purpose is illegal, immoral, fattening or a cause of cancer in rats.
But the DVLA wouldn’t deal with such people, would it? Yep. It does. It has been forced to hand over its list of the 157 companies registered to buy personal information about drivers — the list includes bailiffs, debt collection agencies and financial services companies. DVLA bleats that it is obliged — under an undebated Statutory Instrument of 2002 — to sell the information to anyone with “reasonable cause”. Well, almost anyone can claim that a car might park in their space. Thus a credit company, which bombards us all with mailshots offering loans, is on the list because it’s got a company car park. Nor does DVLA check that it is not selling the list to people with criminal records: it deals with Aquarius Security — clampers whose management were found guilty of blackmail at Bristol Crown Court and given prison sentences. One of them was already on an ASBO after being accused of driving his truck into a 60-year-old man, breaking his knee. They clamped one young woman’s car in the middle of a three-point turn. But the DVLA saw nothing wrong in selling that company addresses for £2.50 each so that they could find other citizens to harass.
Other people who can get your address just by noting down your registration number include a car park management company, which without issuing tickets or reproofs sends bills for £170 to people it has secretly photographed overstaying the free limit in supermarket car parks, and another which notoriously forced an Olympic athlete to pay £335 to retrieve a clamped car in Swindon.