Northernheckler's Blog

A Yorkshireman's adventures in the big Smoke

Brexit means blogs it

2016-09-25 11.21.59-1

 

 

I’ve decided to re-launch my blog. I’m going to try to make my posts shorter and to the point, and perhaps not so much about politics. Well maybe.

What’s prompted me ? Well the world of politics has changed in the UK. There are no certainties – we have two party politics again – but both parties are seemingly in utter chaos, both parties have large numbers of members and MPs who on the face of it are totally opposed to leaving the EU, but seem utterly powerless to even voice their opposition to it, never mind stop it. So UK politics is depressing.

Meanwhile across the water we have President Trump to remind us that as leaders go, the usual candidates for criticism are all fairly level headed – so Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Robert Mugabe – you’re doing fine. Ok I may have lied about E ba gum Trebor – who’s resignation as president of Zimbabwe is the best political news we’ve had for some time. A man who has done a few good things and a great many bad – perhaps even evil – ones; it’s a relief that he’s gone without any apparent violence.

So I’ve become a cynic. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I’ve become more cynical. And that will, I hope, be the future flavour of my blog.

But first – in this resurrection special edition I’d just like to give a hint at some of the reasons I stopped blogging in the first place. A few years ago it was relatively easy to find a blog or an online article and spot fairly quickly that it wasn’t quite telling the whole truth – whether through deliberate deception or erroneous assumptions. Often these were published by Tories, or other opponents of the Labour Party to which I belonged (and still do).  Errors could be fact checked by doing a bit of googling around, and weasel words easily uncovered and exposed. It was fun, and relatively easy.

As time went by this became more difficult. Increasingly the inaccurate stories were not merely from Tories – they were apparently from all quarters of the political community – maybe some of them were from Russia – who knows ? What I do know is that people that I know and respect, many of them within the Labour Party as I was, were sharing Facebook posts, and twitter links, that clearly couldn’t hold up to close scrutiny – but using them in support of our own party. I think this is wrong – we should always try and embrace the truth.

I tried to carry on ‘Fisking” the articles for all I was worth (when was the last time you heard the word fisking ?) – but it was a lot harder. For a start posts were not easy to fact check any more – Previously reliable mainstream media sources were now recycling information that was originally found on blogs as source materials – there was little verification. Also we’ve had a rising tide of ‘angry mob’ readers, tweeting like the sheep in animal farm, or the dwarfs in the Narnia books, every time something didn’t quite chime with their view of the world (a world which is becoming increasingly ill informed due to the increase in what I called ‘false news’ but was soon labelled by Donald Trump as ‘fake news’ )

Take this one as an example :

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/mps-just-voted-that-animals-cannot-feel-pain-or-emotions-a3696641.html

This little story has set Facebook and internet alight. It’s clearly an anti-tory post – so my previous observations about most dodgy posts being from Tory’s is wrong. It’s in the Evening Standard, but also the Independent and most of the other mainstream media, and is claiming that the Tories have voted in parliament that animals are not sentient beings capable of feeling pain or emotions.

What bastards those Tories most be eh ?

There’s even a petition been set up to reverse the decision :

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/repeal-the-decision-to-exclude-animal-sentience-from-the-eu-withdrawal-bill?bucket=email-blast-21_11_2017_animals_seg&source=facebook-share-button&time=1511290951

So what has really happened ?

Well the Government (it’s a Tory Government – but it’s taken it all through parliament) are currently in the process of passing a huge act of parliament which will quickly turn all European Law that has relevance to the UK, into UK – this will go a long way towards ensuring that we don’t end up living without any rule of law the day after we leave the EU.

There’s loads of work to do – and it doesn’t do to overthink it – quickest and best onto the statute book – repeal it or keep it at your leisure in the great big beautiful tomorrow.

Of course some bits of legislation contained in the EU legislation  don’t need transferring into UK law – why ? because they already duplicate previosuly existing UK law. So part of the process of taking this through parliament is sifting out these bits of legislation, in order to avoid wasting time and money on them, and with this in mind not putting them in the Mega Act of Parliament.

One such piece of legislation has been that Animal Rights legislation made in the EU in 2009 is already covered adequately by the pre-existing UK legislation the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.

Now it can be debated as to which of these acts is the better piece of legislation – but they do cover much of the same ground. The 2006 act doesn’t specifically mention sentience  – but neither does make any mention of lack of it. Legislation can not anyway determine whether a scientific thesis holds true. Nor more than it could help King Cnut to hold back the sea. So the Tories have certainly not voted to deny the sentience of animals. What they have done is to say that we don’t need to incorporate the EU legislation into UK law, becasuse it’s considered that the 2006 Act is sufficient. For now.

Bearing in mind that the act is no where near getting through the commons, and will take some considerable time to reach Royal Assent, any petition to ‘reverse it’ is somewhat premature (and pointless).

But it’s so hard to challenge – you’re not just challenging a blog now, you’re challegning several mainstream news outlets, your challenging several hundreds of thousands of social media users who are convinced that the Conservative Party have just decided to get up one morning and say “Hey Tartquin – why don’t we pass a law saying that animals cant’ feel pain ? Then we can go and shoot the blighters without any problem. What ho !”

But however many people believe it – that’s not what happened. They didn’t do that. It’s fake news. It really is. But that’s one of the more trivial examples, and is one that I spotted. However clever we are we don’t spot them all. And there are so many misleading stories around now that it’s hard to keep up. There’s more dodgy information than reliable. Truth is not in abundance these days.

That’s why I stopped blogging. Now to re-start !

 

 

The picture at the top of the page is our cat Freyja – she will decide whether she feels pain, irresepective of any petions or acts of parliament. She has been known to decide whether other people will feel pain as well – so think on !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 21, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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