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Archive for February 18th, 2012|Daily archive page

David Cameron: Scotland and the UK are stronger together – The Union should be viewed as a joint effort, according to David Cameron. – Published on Thursday 16 February 2012 00:00

In Apartheid, critical discourse, criticism, England, Equality, politics, Scotland, sovereignty, subtle insults on February 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

WHEN we unite and help each other we are safer, richer and have a fairer society. We should not undo that, writes David Cameron

The fight is now under way for something really precious: the future of our United Kingdom. I am 100 per cent clear that I will fight with everything I have to keep  our United Kingdom together. To me, this is not some issue of policy or strategy or calculation – it matters head, heart and soul. Our shared home is under threat and everyone who cares about it needs to speak out.

My argument is not that Scotland couldn’t make a go of being on its own, if that’s what Scots decide. Of course Scotland could. They are plenty of small, independent nation states of a similar size or even smaller.

There are arguments that can be made about the volatility of dependence on oil, or the problems of debt and a big banking system. But that’s not the point. The best case for the United Kingdom is entirely positive: We are better off together.

Why? Well, first of all, let’s be practical. Inside the United Kingdom, Scotland – just as much as England, Wales and Northern Ireland – is stronger, safer, richer and fairer.

We’re stronger because together we count for more in the world, with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, real clout in Nato and Europe, and unique influence with allies all over the world. We’re safer, because in an increasingly dangerous world we have the fourth-largest defence budget on the planet, superb armed forces and anti-terrorist and security capabilities that stretch across the globe.

We’re richer, because inside the United Kingdom Scotland’s five million people are part of an economy of 60 million, the seventh-richest economy on the planet and one of the world’s biggest trading powers. Today, Scotland has a currency which takes into account the needs of the Scottish economy as well as the rest of the United Kingdom when setting interest rates and it can borrow at rates that are among the lowest in Europe.

The United Kingdom helps ensure fairness, too. Not just because we all benefit from being part of a properly-funded welfare system, with the resources to fund our pensions and healthcare needs, but because there is real solidarity in our United Kingdom.

When any part of the United Kingdom suffers a setback, the rest of the country stands behind it. Whether it is floods in the West Country, severe weather in the north or the economic dislocation that has hit different parts at different times and in different ways we are there for each other.

So the practical links directly to the emotional. The strength of the United Kingdom is about the heart as well as the head. I am not just proud of the Union because it is useful. I’m proud because it shapes and strengthens us all.

The link between our nations is a precious thing. It’s about our history, our values, our shared identity and our joint place in the world. Just think of what we’ve achieved together. Scotland has contributed to the greatest political, cultural and social success story of the last 300 years: the creation and flourishing of a United Kingdom built on freedom and inclusivity (Yeah right – watch ‘Braveheart’ to see how inclusive ‘Prima Noctis’ is yer gits . . . ).

The Union has never been about shackling different nations: it’s a free partnership, a joint effort, often driven by Scottish ideas and Scottish leadership. Together we have turned a group of islands on the western edge of Europe into one of the most successful countries in the world.

And one of the reasons we are tempted to look backwards is because Scotland as a nation – and as part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years – has achieved so much.

But proud as that past and present are, I am convinced that for both Scotland and the United Kingdom our best days lie ahead of us. Though it may be a great historical achievement, the United Kingdom is even more of an inspiring model for the future.

Look at the key challenges of our times. In an increasingly globalised world, with populations moving, cultures clashing and new connections offering opportunities for prosperity, every state is asking itself how can we build institutions that combine diversity with strength?

Nothing encapsulates the principle of pooling risk, sharing resources and standing with your neighbour better than the United Kingdom.

And it is a United Kingdom which is not monochrome and minimalist but multi-national, multi-cultural and modern in every way. That is what the United Kingdom offers – and what other nations aspire to.

Far from growing apart as separate nations we’re actually growing together. There are now more Scots living in England and English people living in Scotland than ever before. Almost half of Scots now have English relatives (do rape children count as relatives? Give over the sovereignty then talk.).

I don’t believe the people of Scotland – any more than the people of any other part of the United Kingdom – want to turn inward and away from each other.

A Conservative leader joining this debate is accused of everything from interference to irrelevance. I accept my party’s presence in Scotland is small. I know there are some who even argue we would do better politically without Scotland. My response to all these points is the same: I am not interested.

This matters too much – to me personally, and to the future of our country. I’m not coming to Scotland today to make a case on behalf of my party, its interests or its approach to office. I am coming as the Prime Minister of the whole United Kingdom to stand up and speak out for what I believe in.

The strengths that have served us within the United Kingdom through the centuries are precisely the ones we most need today. So let’s have this debate, set out the arguments – and settle the question.

• David Cameron is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Taking the Scots for granted? And that does not preclude Scotland FIRST getting sovereignty and a UN seat? What is to stop Scotland and England from ‘being together’ and helping each other out AFTER Scotland gets sovereignty? Why doesn’t England want Scotland to get it’s own seat in the UN? England still wants to control Scotland, and by this, ‘stronger together’ England retains CONTROL of policy, mainstream language, faith (of which the Anglican Xian denomination led King of *England* heads Scotland AGAIN instead of a Druid or Bard council of sorts) and Scotland for England and a lack of sovereignty for Scotland. Sugarcoat a lie . . . where’s that Scottish Monarchists movement btw? King MacAlpin awaits sovereignty and to stand equal to the English King to be William . . . then talk about standing together AS EQUALS not as suzerain of a kingless vassal people denied UN representation.

I’ve not changed my mind: our banks are brutish institutions run by brutes – by Max Hastings – Last updated at 11:41 PM on 16th February 2012

In 1% tricks and traps, 99%, Abuse of Power, banks, Equitable Distribution, equitable wealth distribution, mindless consumerism, Wealth distribution on February 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Renewed assault: Sir Mervyn King has berated Britain’s banks for failing to lend to small businesses

Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, this week renewed his assault on Britain’s banks, for failing to provide the lending to small businesses which is indispensable to their growth, and often survival.

New figures show that last year net lending fell by almost £11?billion. This was in defiance of promises made by the institutions’ bosses under the  so-called Project Merlin deal, to increase funding for companies.

Meanwhile, the Office Of Fair Trading has called on banks to change their working practices, to simplify the jumble of numbers with which they muddle us, so that customers can make a clear calculation about whether they would be better off changing financial services providers.

In addition, though their bonuses have fallen from stupendous to merely disgusting, bankers are still giving themselves rewards for their own services out of all proportion to their usefulness to society or their shareholders.

Abuse

I recently read a pundit’s appeal for an outbreak of truth and reconciliation in the on-going war between the City and the public. The writer argued that, after all the abuse we have heaped on bankers, it is time to call a halt, recognise their importance to the economy and let them get on with their jobs.

My answer to that, and probably yours, would be: time enough for reconciliation when these people stop robbing us blind and mend their ways. As long as they carry on exactly as before, there is not the smallest reason to stop kicking them.

I have sometimes made mention in the Mail about my own tribulations at the hands of the financial services industry. I now have a nice new grievance.

On January 31, an endowment policy matured. Like everybody’s holdings of this kind, mine would deliver only around 60 per cent of the ‘target figure’ that the crooks who sold it to me promised two decades ago. Indeed, I stand to get little more than the paper amount I have paid in since 1992.

I signed all the maturity forms back in December and had them duly witnessed. It turns out that the provider, Barclays Life, has been sold to another firm called

ReAssure.

This week, I telephoned them to ask where my money was. After a few minutes, I was told: ‘We’ve just got the paperwork back from Barclays. We’ll be dealing with ittoday.’

So I would get the cash immediately? ‘No, that will take three to five working days.’
Backwards step: New figures show that last year net lending fell by almost £11¿billion

Unacceptable: Bankers are still giving themselves rewards for their own services which are disproportionate to their usefulness to their shareholders

I hit the roof. This is how the financial services industry gets rich. By the time I receive the miserable wreck of my endowment money, ReAssure will have had use of it for more than a fortnight past the due date.

I warned the company it would be reading about itself in print, which prompted an automated response letter: ‘Your complaint is important to us and will be fully investigated by one of our complaint handlers.’

Now, I will admit that my solvency is not threatened by ReAssure’s tardiness and Barclays Life’s miserable performance. But for lots of people, much less equipped than I am to extract revenge, such payments are of vital importance. These institutions are brutes run by brutes, each one as bad as the other.

My second barrel at the bankers derives from an experience a month ago.

One of the most notorious bank bosses, a man whose remuneration is delivered in an armoured truck, invited me to lunch. Stupidly, I thought he wished to confess the error of his ways. I could not have been more wrong.

‘I am becoming extremely concerned, Max — you don’t mind if I call you Max?’ he began with headmasterly gravity, ‘that Britain is turning against capitalism and the payment of appropriate rewards.’

I said: ‘You mean you think people like me are unjust in criticising your remuneration?’ Yes, he answered, saying my denunciations upset his children when they read them.

I told him that a few days earlier I had met an industrialist — one of the really good ones — and told him I was booked to lunch with this particular banker. ‘Ask him,’ responded the industrialist, ‘how he can conceivably justify his obscene display of  personal greed.’

My banker host refused to give up. ‘I ask you this, Max,’ he demanded, ‘do you or do you not believe Britain needs a healthy and vigorous financial services industry? Would Britain be a better place if we take this bank to New York?’

I replied that I was sure that Mervyn King does not think anyone should be frightened by such a threat, which my host has often made before.

Risk

I added: ‘Are you suggesting we have only one choice: to clap prettily as you collect untold millions every year, or watch you take the bank somewhere else in a huff?’

The banker batted stubbornly back: ‘Are you against paying people the going rate for what they do?’

I gave serial answers: first, almost no one criticises entrepreneurs who make fortunes by taking personal risk. Instead, our spleen focuses on privileged employees who play with company money, not their own, and who pay themselves grotesque sums for doing so.

Request: The Office Of Fair Trading has called on banks to change their working practices and to simplify the jumble of numbers which are surely used to muddle us

Second, had he not noticed what is happening in the real world? Everybody else is getting hammered. The European financial system is hanging by a thread. We are entering what looks like a long period of austerity. Unless bankers want the peasants storming their Winter Palaces, is it not prudent to be seen to curb their appetites?

Finally, in addition to screwing their customers, bank bosses have ravaged shareholder value. My friends who understand these things say that the banks’ balance sheets are not worth the paper they are written on, because no one knows the real value of their declared assets. They are scarcely presiding  over success.

My host said portentously that since he signs off his bank’s accounts, he is sure they accurately depict their condition. He travels the country meeting clients and customers, and he claims to find them pretty happy, too.

Regrets

He himself is an entrepreneur: he has built a terrific investment business at the bank and created lots of jobs. He and his team deserve to be properly rewarded.

Unless bankers want the peasants storming their Winter Palaces, is it not prudent to be seen to curb their appetites?

I left our lunch bewildered that my host should have chosen to waste 75 minutes of his valuable time to tell me that he regrets nothing, and give me a dressing-down for casting aspersions on the proper workings of the capitalist system.

‘When I voluntarily waived my bonus for two years, nobody gave me any credit,’ he said crossly. He and his kind — for there are many more like him out there — inhabit a land so remote from the rest of us that no United Nations interpreter could bridge the communications gap.

I see no hope of a reconciliation between bankers and the balance of mankind unless — or until — they suffer a shock, a divine thunderbolt, a revelation of a severity which will make St Paul’s experience in transit to Damascus look like amateur stuff.

These vastly pampered moguls really believe they are worth the money, and cannot comprehend why most of the rest of us so passionately hold them in contempt.

The answer is that we must keep kicking until they get the message, and the Governor of the Bank of England obviously thinks so, too.

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

I deal with one of the UK high street banks in other countries on a fairly regular basis and I have to say that the service they provide is very good. So I guess it comes down to the banking regulation in individual countries that prevents them from running amok elsewhere. So there you have it, if they are allowed to then they will.

– keith, brisbane, 17/2/2012 22:25

“our banks are brutish institutions run by brutes”. Ever thought why? How many new UK banks have started in the last 10 years? Its a very short list for a reason.

Its a hard highly regulated, high risk, high reward and competitive business. Hence brutes are required to run them.

– DD, Basingstoke, Hants, 17/2/2012 21:37
Rating   5

However true your article is seen by most of us, it is patently not so among the denizens of self importance and since they hold the whip hand, regardless of the views of government and its diplomacy by people who can afford to wait until the furore has died down before carrying on where they left off. The banking system is a beast that will not be tamed. Like arms salesmen, they will do whatever it takes, on the grounds that if they don’t someone else will. The big boys don’t exactly seem to be quivering in their boots at the breech loaders – they know that no one will pull the cord – to many entwined vested interests. In any event, when push comes to shove, the old school tie covert conspirators will let their equally avaricious lobbyists, another mob Mr. Cameron ‘U’ turned on, off the leash. Plus cachange…

– r. bowie, neath, s.wales, 17/2/2012 20:12
Rating   12

These Masters of the Universe certainly remind me of ancien regime France before the Revolution. Monarch & aristos closeted in cloud cuckoo Versailles-land, paying no taxes & abusing their power & privilege to create an ever bigger gulf between themselves and the toilers who supported them. Enormous state debt prompts moderate reform proposals to tax nobles. Nobles object .Weak king gives in & sacks reforming ministers. Nobles pay high price as Revolution unfolds. Is Cameron Louis XVI?

Lots of fine-sounding rhetoric about unacceptable bonuses, but when it comes to European proposals to tax the financial sector, he plays the national card. NOT TAXING bankers is in our national interest. NOT TAXING nobles is in Louis XVI’s interest. Who benefits? Answer: bankers and nobles, at least in the short run. With Fred Goodwin have we reached a Marie Antoinette moment – a lightning rod for all our hatred of the bankers? Revolutions are a sign that political elites have failed to reform in time.

– mv, west midlands uk, 17/2/2012 19:45
Rating   14

The Prime Minister vetoed the EU summit in december saying it would badly hit the City of London. Maybe he is looking for a job there whedn he gets kicked out of 10 Downing Street

– Kenneth Keane, Apremont Vendee France, 17/2/2012 19:40
Rating   7

The banks should be supporting the economy not the economy supporting the banks.

– martin, kent, 17/2/2012 18:51
Rating   21

Great article Max. If I ever met your banking chum, I would tell him the following: A Bank manager invites a small businessman into his office. The bank manager

looks the businessman in the eyes & says “Look, you have had a loan with us for years. We know that the current economic climate is dire. We as a bank know that without us granting you this loan your business would not exist. We also know that you have not made a profit for some time…However, to recognise the fact that you are the only person on this planet who can lead your business, & to take into account the untold personal sacrifices that you have had to make as a person managing your business…please pay yourself a bonus equivalent to 150% of your salary each year from now on, Oh & forget the effect that this will have to your balance sheet”. The historic day that this event takes place will be the day that banks have ONE small businessman stop criticising bankers obscene display of personal greed & remuneration.

– Why…?, Oh Why…?, 17/2/2012 18:07
Rating   25

The delay in getting your money reminds me of the 5 working day time still needed, even in this electronic age, to clear cheques. It is a racket and disgrace that when you present a cheque, which is then immediately put through a character reading machine and has the amount keyed in, that it STILL has to take 5 working days to ‘get the money’ from the drawer’s account. What happens to the money during this time? And all this time the bank charges you interest and fees (if applicable) on any overdrawn amount. “Oh it hasn’t been cleared yet” is the response. Oh yeah?

– CDA, Alsager, Cheshire, 17/2/2012 17:17
Rating   25

Yea John Tate,I can just hear it from an insurance salesman,”of course this policy in x years may not be worth the money you have put into it”,it’s rubbish,it was based on the rate being around 8.5,sure there were 50 reams of paper to go through with various rates but I bet nobody did,that’s why they were framed that way. Any salesman telling potential customers that they could quite easily lose their savings would have been out the door within a week,and you know it.

– michael savell, brittany,france, 17/2/2012 17:12
Rating   9

He then made a conscious decision to go ahead with the investment against other types that would have been in the marketplace. Nothing is guaranteed!! – John Tate,

Bristol, 17/2/2012 13:47 ####…and you, as an ‘insider’ totally miss the point, or are being deliberately obtuse. The results, or final pay out if you will, were totally in the hands of those offering the product, not market forces. They are in the position of being able to influence things, by moving money around and paying themselves huge dividends to the extent that the funds in question generate little if any interest, just sufficient to keep on going, then blaming poor market performance for the poor results. Lawyers and bankers are of the same mould – parasites.

– Sick and tired of the lot of ’em, Essex, 17/2/2012 16:29

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Try this using the English debt level as a reason to ‘redistribute’ wealth via ‘requisitions’ of wealth from the wealthiest. ‘Requisition’ ALL that wealth of the riches but 20 million of the top 1% of England’s citizens – that should cover everything. Even 20 million is an unthinkable sum to the 99%, but given that some of these people are worth near billions, you’d imagine how up in arms these 1% types would about having ONLY 20 million. The 99% cannot even imagine having 2 million, so either the Plutocracy Bastille gets torn down with the government alongside them, or the confiscation by the government occurs. Capitalism with socialist limits is the only wy to distribute weakth and prevent extrem sequestration of financial resources. When debt is killing England, the 99% should not have to pay the bills and the 1% who live in extreme luxury with massive sequestered funds not put to any use or to help alleviate interest levels by removal of debt, should have a sense of patriotism to give up that wealth to clear England’s debt instead of selfishly running off with the money to tax havens or keeping silent while the country gets deeper in debt – the citizens make up the country so if the country is going down, it is ubconscionable for the 1% to sit still and then migrate when the country falls apart. In that case the government might as well confiscate those extyreme funds since the citizen has no interest in the country anyway and would watch the country fall like an ENEMY, not helping out.

2 Articles on Nepotism in Malaysia, BN and Pakatan Rakyat – reposted and posted by @AgreeToDisagree – 18 February 2012

In Malaysia, Nepotism, oligarch, oligarchy, political correctness, politics, preventing vested interest, separation of powers on February 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm

ARTICLE 1

Rule of the elite vs rule of the majority: Can Mukhriz “my father’s son” tell the difference – Saturday, 18 February 2012 14:28 – written by  Maclean Patrick, Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Rule of the elite vs rule of the majority: Can Mukhriz “my father’s son” tell the difference

There is no such thing as an ideal democracy, although many – even Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak – aspires for a “world-class democracy”. Firstly, there is certainly debate as to whose benchmark should one follow.

The American model is normally seen as a template for what a modern democracy should be like, yet it does not take into account allocations for monarchies that reside within the said state. The British model for government is the one Malaysia takes after, where the Monarchy plays a rather ceremonious role, rather than governmental.

Essence of democracy

The fundamentals of democracy manifest themselves in the process thatsignifies it. Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law.

Aristotle’s comment on Democracy is telling: “Now a fundamental principle of the democratic form of constitution is liberty—that is what is usually asserted, implying that only under this constitution do men participate in liberty, for they assert this as the aim of every democracy. But one factor of liberty is to govern and be governed in turn; for the popular principle of justice is to have equality according to number, not worth, and if this is the principle of justice prevailing, the multitude must of necessity be sovereign and the decision of the majority must be final and must constitute justice, for they say that each of the citizens ought to have an equal share; so that it results that in democracies the poor are more powerful than the rich, because there are more of them and whatever is decided by the majority is sovereign. This then is one mark of liberty which all democrats set down as a principle of the constitution. And one is for a man to live as he likes; for they say that this is the function of liberty, inasmuch as to live not as one likes is the life of a man that is a slave. This is the second principle of democracy, and from it has come the claim not to be governed, preferably not by anybody, or failing that, to govern and be governed in turns; and this is the way in which the second principle contributes to egalitarian liberty.”

Rule of the elite when it should be rule of the majority

If rule of majority is in place, as often mentioned by those in Barisan Nasional, then the poor in Malaysia will have a bigger say than those who are rich. Thus, it is right that the government looks into the welfare of the poor and to explain to the poor the abuse of public funds that is so rampant in Malaysia.

But this is not the case in reality. And will never be the case as long as UMNO pulls the strings in BN. The reason is because UMNO practices an oligarchy form of government which is nothing near democracy.

This is evident in the statement by deputy Trade minister Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of Mahathir Mohamad, who recently asserted that all UMNO members should be made to sign a letter swearing that they will remain loyal to the party and work hard to ensure its candidates win in the next general election.

Mukhriz, also the Kedah UMNO deputy liaision committee chairman, said he was proposing the idea following the loyalty oath by delegates at Umno’s annual assembly.

“Making the oath verbally is not enough. We need to put it on paper so that it will be legally binding. Action can be taken against them if they break the oath. “The letter will ensure that there’s no backstabbing or sabotage of party candidates,” Mukhriz had expounded to the press.

You just can’t force people

Now, forcing party members to do something to ensure political survival is oligarchy. Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy. Throughout history, most oligarchies have been tyrannical, relying on public servitude to exist.

Having a party member sign a legally binding document contravenes the right of the individual to choose based on their conscience the political party that best serves their interests.

The assertion that having party members be legally wrong for acting against the wises of the party is absurd and goes against the very idea of democracy and the Federal Constitution of Malaysia . Under Article 5 (1), it is stated  ‘No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law’.

My father’s son

What wrong has an UMNO member done if he or she feels that they should not support the stand of the party? By allowing room for a different point of view, yes – even dissension, it is not like giving members room to leave, revolt or act against party. UMNO leaders should have more confidence in their members.

This is something that Mukhriz has failed to understand. The youngest son of former UMNO strongman Mahathir Mohamad, who was regarded as despot by many quarters for his ham fisted rule, Mukhriz said in a recent and rare interview that he was not bothered about being compared to his much reviled dad. Instead, he considered it an honour to be “my father’s son”.

“I am proud of my fathers’ achievements. It’s not for me to deny all that he has done. And I won’t say that I want to get out of my father’s shadow. After all, my name carries the bin (son of) Mahathir…this I cannot change. I’m not bothered if people want to link me with him. It’s a positive link. But if people want to compare me with him, it’s a long shot. I’m still very new compared to my father,” Mukhriz told Bernama.

Following blindly, failing to understand the basics

Now while filial love is to be respected, admired even, to follow blindly is not. At 46, Mukhriz should be young enough to be cognizant of how the world is developing. If he were to deny the growth of Gen Y, and their progressive values, then he is just politicizing in the same mold as his dad.

Whether that means Mukhriz will become a successful and inspiring leader or a feared and corrupt despot is something for his countrymen to decide, but from his recent comments, one has certainly obtained a glimpse of which side he will likely end up on.

One of the most fundamental base of democracy is the liberty of the person, yet this is not what is being practiced within UMNO nor within the governmental structure of Malaysia. It is time that citizens of Malaysia turn the existing and decadent system upside down and practice true democracy – one great factor of liberty is to govern and be governed in turn.

Mahathir never understood it. Neither did UMNO and it looks like Mukhriz won’t either.

Malaysia Chronicle

ARTICLE 2

Rule of the elite vs rule of the majority: Can Lim Guan Eng “my father’s son” tell the difference – Saturday, 18 February 2012 14:28 – edited by @AgreeToDisagree, Malaysian Democracy site

There is no such thing as an ideal democracy, although many – even Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak – aspires for a “world-class democracy”. Firstly, there is certainly debate as to whose benchmark should one follow.

The American model is normally seen as a template for what a modern democracy should be like, yet it does not take into account allocations for monarchies that reside within the said state. The British model for government is the one Malaysia takes after, where the Monarchy plays a rather ceremonious role, rather than governmental.

Essence of democracy

The fundamentals of democracy manifest themselves in the process thatsignifies it. Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law.

Aristotle’s comment on Democracy is telling: “Now a fundamental principle of the democratic form of constitution is liberty—that is what is usually asserted, implying that only under this constitution do men participate in liberty, for they assert this as the aim of every democracy. But one factor of liberty is to govern and be governed in turn; for the popular principle of justice is to have equality according to number, not worth, and if this is the principle of justice prevailing, the multitude must of necessity be sovereign and the decision of the majority must be final and must constitute justice, for they say that each of the citizens ought to have an equal share; so that it results that in democracies the poor are more powerful than the rich, because there are more of them and whatever is decided by the majority is sovereign. This then is one mark of liberty which all democrats set down as a principle of the constitution. And one is for a man to live as he likes; for they say that this is the function of liberty, inasmuch as to live not as one likes is the life of a man that is a slave. This is the second principle of democracy, and from it has come the claim not to be governed, preferably not by anybody, or failing that, to govern and be governed in turns; and this is the way in which the second principle contributes to egalitarian liberty.”

Rule of the elite when it should be rule of the majority

If rule of majority is in place, as often mentioned by those in Barisan Nasional, then the poor in Malaysia will have a bigger say than those who are rich. Thus, it is right that the government looks into the welfare of the poor and to explain to the poor the abuse of public funds that is so rampant in Malaysia.

But this is not the case in reality. And will never be the case as long as DAP pulls the strings in BN. The reason is because DAP practices an oligarchy form of government which is nothing near democracy.

This is evident in the statement by DAP Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng Lim Kit Siang, the son of term limitless Lim Kit Siang, who recently asserted that all DAP members should be made to sign a letter (in the fashion to destroy democracy within the DAP party) swearing that they will remain loyal to the party (in which the central committe is almost entirely held by Lim family clan members) and work hard to ensure its candidates win in the next general election.

Lim Guan Eng, also the Penang Chief Minister (installed as CM by Lim Kit Siang against DAP Penang members resulting in a spate of sackings and quitting members), said he was proposing the idea following the loyalty oath by delegates at DAP’s annual assembly.

“Making the oath verbally is not enough. We need to put it on paper so that it will be legally binding. Action can be taken against them if they break the oath. “The letter will ensure that there’s no backstabbing or sabotage of party candidates,” Lim Guan Eng had expounded to the press. This is ridiculous and UNCONSTITUIONAL, prejudicial to democratic principles and IDIOTIC to suggest at all, but hey when you deal with a 3rd world outfit like DAP, expect the worst.

You just can’t force people

Now, forcing party members to do something to ensure political survival is oligarchy. Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy. Throughout history, most oligarchies have been tyrannical, relying on public servitude to exist.

Having a party member sign a legally binding document contravenes the right of the individual to choose based on their conscience the political party that best serves their interests.

The assertion that having party members be legally wrong for acting against the wises of the party is absurd and goes against the very idea of democracy and the Federal Constitution of Malaysia . Under Article 5 (1), it is stated  ‘No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law’.

My father’s son

What wrong has an DAP member done if he or she feels that they should not support the stand of the party? By allowing room for a different point of view, yes – even dissension, it is not like giving members room to leave, revolt or act against party. DAP leaders should have more confidence in their members.

This is something that Lim Guan Eng has failed to understand. The youngest son of former DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang, who was regarded as despot by many quarters for his ham fisted rule, Lim Guan Eng said in a recent and rare interview that he was not bothered about being compared to his much reviled dad. Instead, he considered it an honour to be “my father’s son”.

“I am proud of my fathers’ achievements. It’s not for me to deny all that he has done. And I won’t say that I want to get out of my father’s shadow. After all, my name carries the Lim  surname … this I cannot change. I’m not bothered if people want to link me with him. It’s a positive link. But if people want to compare me with him, it’s a long shot. I’m still very new compared to my father,” Lim Guan Eng told the media.

Following blindly, failing to understand the basics

Now while filial love is to be respected, admired even, to follow blindly is not. At 50, Lim Guan Eng should be young enough to be cognizant of how the world is developing. If he were to deny the growth of Gen Y, and their progressive values, then he is just politicizing in the same mold as his dad Lim Kit Siang.

Whether that means Lim Guan Eng will become a successful and inspiring leader or a hated (not particularly fearful, just the way the racists want – where are those 7 foot tall rippling muscled leaders with lantern jaws – LGE doesn’t inspire anything but general red-tapeness . . . ) and corrupt despot is something for his countrymen to decide, but from his recent comments, one has certainly obtained a glimpse of which side he will likely end up on.

One of the most fundamental base of democracy is the liberty of the person, yet this is not what is being practiced within DAP nor within the governmental structure of Malaysia. It is time that citizens of Malaysia turn the existing and decadent system upside down and practice true democracy – one great factor of liberty is to govern and be governed in turn.

Lim Kit Siang never understood it. Neither did DAP and it looks like Lim Guan Eng won’t either.

Malaysian Democracy

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Not a word yet on one-man one vote Steven?

If there were one-man one-vote elections (one-man one-vote is NOT representative democracy of the ELITE Dewanites, but TRUE democracy of the 99%) I bet that BOTH Lim Guan Eng and Guan ENg’s father Lim Kit Siang wouldn’t even make it into the central committee much less get the Penang CM’s post. Even in the lies about the EXCO Local Elections were too obvious. Try the below link on a massive failure to properly use the people’s mandate :

DAP’s democracy in Penang. – Tuesday, November 16, 2010
http://apanama2020.blogspot.com/2010/11/daps-democracy-in-penang.html

Bribery though with taxpayer funds given to supposedly poor and old, DAP can do. We did not vote DAP for bribes, we voted them to ensure that EXCO elections quorums were met and sufficient time was given for the Rakyat to vote by. Instead we got a false election and now taxpayers are paying for 0.002% quorum sanctioned DAP quangocrats and cronies the taxpayer did not vote for. DAP is a potential trouble maker much like UMNO, voet for 3rd Force instead wherever DAP nepotists stand . . .