Thursday, 13 September 2007

The Origin of Laws

Interesting 5 Live debate on the Eu Constitution/Treaty today, the usual Eu-philes calling everyone else "bigoted/xenophobes/little Englanders" and Mark Mardell intervening only to make pro-EU points, but what interested me was this. One caller pointed out that EU law is framed by the Commission,after secret or hidden negotiations and reviewed by the parliament, but ultimate authority rests with the commission, unelected. Recently of course an EU commissioner graciously decided to allow Britain to continue to use imperial units without threat of crminial prosecution. I'm not commenting on the truth of all this, by the way.

Victoria Derbyshire challenged the caller by saying: "If it's a good law, does it matter where it comes from?" and the caller did answer her, but it struck me that for the first time to my knowledge someone openly questioned whether or not law makers should be elected, accountable, removable, and their laws open to repeal. Her argument rested on the philosophy of a given law - is it right? Do I agree with it? Does it satisfy my sense of justice or ethics - and the concept of a lawmaker deriving their legitimacy from the consent of the governed was not mentioned.

It's seemed clear to me for a while that we're moving towards a kind of technocracy, where "experts" really do know better than everyone else because the modern world is so complex; but it's rare for someone so openly to challenge the basic tenet of democracy and then to replace it with something resembling this: If the modern world really is unfathomably complex, and if some people really do understand it better than us, then they do have a greater right to frame it than we do. Our view, or vote, is largely irrelevant. Moreover, if a principle is right, or "good", then it should be enacted, regardless of the wishes of the people.

Am I then an old reactionary in thinking that laws which affect my day to day life: which measurements I am to use; how long I can work; what I should think about certain events or people; should be enacted, if at all, by a government elected by the people with a mandate for that, and that they should be able to be repealed when they fall out of favour or outlive their usefulness and the lawmakers removed?

I'm not saying that our current system does this well, but it is at least supposed to, and we can scrutinise it and hold it to account. I don't see the EU commission held to account much at all, and it depresses me that intelligent people want less public involvement in law-making rather than more.

Then again, everything depresses me so that's largely irrelevant.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Animals are Panicking

I can't readily explain what it was that brought me back to blogging, unless it were boredom: it certainly was not a desire to explain or expand upon my political obsessions, though I intend to do that too. My assumptions are of a simple class, obtained through Freudian simplicities and back pedalled reasoning.

Did I ever discuss my favourite types of pornography?

Well, time and place my friends, time and place.

My political views are easy and reactionary: I don't see why government deigns to give me rights and why I should be grateful. I _do_ see why there is no other source of rights, though we've transmuted a post-holocaust set of aspirations via Ernest Bevin into a Platonic reality of some faintly sinister kind.

Nathelees, blogging is no reason for expounding on these ignorances, nor are ignorances reasons for blogging. No. The bloghaters, whisper if you dare, are right. We blog because we are frustrated and because we want to hear what we want to hear. Yes, alright, sometimes I read the Intelligent Person's Guardian (Matt, Stumbling &c) but mostly I read the nearest equivalents to the Mail, the Torygraph and the Times (though it's dispiritingly socially liberal these days, even unto its tv reviews helpfully pointing out which tv shows show homophobia and which don't, as if anyone reads a tv review to be told what to think about human sexuality).

By the way can I just take this opportunity to tell ALL tv reviewers the following:

I don't give a fuck for your views on abortion, Mrs Thatcher, Eisenhower, President Reagan, gay rights, religion, atheism, stem cell research, the internet, blogging, corruption, sex or murder.

You are hired to discuss whether x programme is good or not. Kindly stick to this remit or fuck off. We are not so utterly ignorant that we need political point scoring in the middle of so-called professional media criticism. So fuck off. Or give me your job.

Then again, if they did, you'd get stuff like this:

Castrovalva is a pointed satire on Thatcher's Britain (c all newspapers): the characters (who, interestingly, barely seem to know who they are in this nightmarescape) stumble over invented traditions, which appear to give a conservative gloss to reality but which in fact expose the hollow and false nature of conservative fantasies...., actually, hang on. More like this:

Logopolis suggests that technology and "progress" (c Greenpeace) is but a fig leaf for universe threatening desires. It is wholly ironic that Logopolis, the mental maths paradise, resorts to flawed and, if you observe closely, cobwebbed technology to save the universe. The implication is clear. Only the natural mind is acceptable. Technology (ie carbon footprinted wasteage) is harmful. that's still not right. Wait a

Um. Anyway.

By the way, academic twats, research does not "show" anything. It might "suggest" conclusions, but it does not "show" them. I learned that in GCSE History. Shame that graduate teachers are bedazzled by self interested twats waving bits of paper and telling them that x study of 4 children in Luton "shows" that y obtains when it might well do, but we just don't, actually, know for certain.

Huh. So much for blogging as a way of expanding the mind.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Another Industrial Ugly Morning

...but on the other hand, as Matt has recently revealed, Doctor Who's short term future is safe after a fair amount of speculation about RTD and David Tennant.

We get series 4 in Spring 08, 3 feature length specials during 09 (IMO to allow David Tennant to mourn Yorick) and series 5 in spring 10. Over at Outpost Gallifrey a lot of people do seem to think that DT will return for series 5 having committed to the 3 specials.

However, RTD is apparently quoted in The Sun as saying series 3 was "too dark" - whereas I thought its tone was mostly perfect.

Hooray for Doctor Who and its infinite variety and adaptability.