Wednesday, 17 January 2018

How Parliament Destroyed Democracy

We know that the past was different but we often don't realise how different because we also assume that the past was pretty much like the present. Didn't I just write two things that are contradictory? Yes I did, because as Conservatives know, man is both rational and irrational, we often believe things that are contradictory. We think that Parliament operated pretty much today as it did a century or two centuries ago, but things have changed and that has changed how our Parliaments works.

The Parliament at Westminster in London is known as the mother of Parliaments, since it has given birth to all of the Parliaments in the English speaking world as well as inspiring many beyond. Parliaments make law and it is from English law that Parliaments get a most peculiar idea. English law is at heart not about showing power or about trying to find the truth, instead it is about setting two adversary's at each other. English law is a contest between competing ideas and it gives the benefit of the doubt not to the most powerful person in the court, which is normally the Government, but instead to the accused. For Parliaments the presumption of innocence is not important, for the courts it is but not for Parliament. What is important for Parliaments is that English law is a contest, it is adversarial, it is intellectual combat.

Before 1881 in Britain, Members of Parliament were not paid. Some form of English Parliament has existed since the middle 1200's, so for 600 years Parliament functioned without members being paid. Most members either did it because they were interested in politics, they were ambitious, for status or sometimes because it was expected of them. But the expense was entirely paid for by them, not by the taxpayer. Which meant that Parliamentary service was a burden, admittedly with benefits, but most members of Parliament ended up poorer, not rich for the experience. However that meant that only men with money could be a member of Parliament. The reason that changed was that the voting franchise was extended to allow all men over the age of 21 to vote. If they could vote then they were able to become members of Parliament. But how could a working man support himself in Parliament? The concern was that it would degrade the prestige of Parliament if poor men were elected, but either, could not attend or were attending in "rags" so to stop that from occurring all Parliamentarians were paid.

Money corrupts, it has certainly corrupted Politicians. Instead of being independent and therefore adversarial, now they are simply paid employees. Before the 1800's political parties as we understand them did not exist, now nearly all members of Parliament are members of political parties. It is so common we are surprised when they are not. But because so much is really decided outside of Parliament that means that the intellectual combat that is supposed to take place, does not. Sadly our members of Parliament are now simply corporate employees and like all employees they need to keep the boss happy and their boss isn't the electorate, it's the party. The Left-Liberal Party, the Right-Liberal Party, you know the Uniparty Party.

I found it surprising that before 1881 only two members of Parliament were paid and one of those was the Prime Minister. All other Ministers worked for free!

Also because members of Parliament are now professional Politicians they need to be kept busy. So they make themselves busy by passing legislation. Every year more laws, more regulations, why? Because they need to be kept busy. Bizarrely much of the work of Parliament today is busy work, not real work. In other words it doesn't need to be done but it does keep people busy. Of course the more laws the less freedom, the more regulations the less freedom. When the members of Parliament were Independents they understood this, now they don't have a clue.

Today in our Parliaments we have instead of intellectual combat, the Uniparty. Politicians who in reality support 85% of the same things as their "opponents" do. That means that instead of real debate occurring we get heated and heavy debate on issues the vast majority of us don't care about or else no debate. That is why no one raises Immigration as an issue, because that would mean real debate and we all know that is not allowed to happen. The lack of intellectual combat breeds contempt for Politicians, which breeds contempt for Parliament, which breeds contempt for Democracy. This is not going to end well.

For one idea of a solution try what form of government should Conservative support?

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Sunday, 14 January 2018

Setting Up a Conservative Group

In this Liberal world a big problem for Conservatives is what should we do?

Well I think the time for doing nothing is over, people have to become active, the question is how active?

The best way to get started is to join or even start a Conservative group in your area. While it can seem quite daunting to do such a thing, once you commit to the idea it's not. Now I'm not saying it will be easy, it can be frustrating. It is also great to know that you are not alone in your beliefs.

When the Melbourne Traditionalists first met, there were only two people and we didn't get a third person for six months. Do not be afraid of starting small, if there are two of you it's enough to start.

Another issue people have is where to meet? If the group is less than 5, I suggest meeting in a public place, a bar or restaurant. As long as everyone can sit together and there aren't too many distracts, such as a big screen TV or it being too noisy to talk. You do not want a presenter, it should be informal and social. Talk over a meal and let people get their frustrations with modern life out.

If there are more than 5, I suggest getting a private room. Now most people are worried about cost which is a reasonable thing to worry about. But most places have quiet days, Sunday and Monday, day or night, are normally quiet. The Melbourne Traditionalists for example, meet in a private room at a hotel for free because we bring in money in drinks and meals that they otherwise would not get. Less than 5 and it probably isn't worth it for the venue to give you the private room.

Also remember to be courteous and friendly to the staff, it is amazing how much this helps. However if you feel restricted in what you can talk about find another venue.

Recruiting is always an issue, I use my blog and Mark Richardson over at Oz Conservative also puts out notices. There are three main ways of recruiting people:

1. via the internet
You can set up a website that lets people know that you exist, to do this cheaply you can use Blogger or Wordpress. I know of one group that started by going through the comments of a blog to find any reference to their hometown and then contacting those people. Time consuming, but it worked!

2. Leaflets
Write up a short description of your group and print out leaflets, put them on noticeboards and do letterboxing. Putting them into peoples letterboxes. Remember to include some way of contacting you, I suggest either via your website or an email address.

3. In Person
When you meet people in real life find out what concerns them. It really depends upon your personality and the circumstance, if your the kind of person who is a people person then ask people about various issues. See if you can recruit them, but be careful not to be too eager. If your not a people person I wouldn't try this at all.

Another important concern is security, meeting in a bar or restaurant they will either have their own security or they will have experience with unruly customers. But you also need your own internal security.

Be fussy!

It is very important to be fussy, you can have a big group if you let anyone join. However you will soon find that people who have nothing in common with you will want to join. Don't let fussy!

The best way is to meet with any new candidate privately, have a meal together or a coffee. Find out about what they believe, personally if someone I meet likes Ben Shapiro, their out. Have standards and stick to them. If you let in people who are "conservatives" but not Conservatives it will destroy your group, keep it to people who are on your side. People who are "conservatives" are in reality Liberals, you don't need them.

It is also important that you do not give out your personal information, which is why a website and email is good. Do not give out your person address or telephone numbers. I would also only let members know when and where you meet.

95% or so of people interested in politics are men, but when a women does turn up it can complicate matters. Men take notice of women and women like to be noticed, it's no ones fault but it will change the dynamics of your group. I am not saying keep women out, I am, however saying it is not unreasonable to do so. One failed romance can destroy a group, sadly I have seen it happen.

One final point is money, make sure everyone pays their own way, do not allow a situation where you are left to pay the bill.

A Conservative group is a great way to find and connect to like minded people. Too often it can seem like we are all alone and that no one else shares our values or ideas. It's not true and by forming groups we can help to start the process of moving out of cyberspace and into the real world.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Fifty-Eighth Month

I don't know where to start with this update, I don't know whether I should be happy with my numbers or not. In one sense they have been good, but in others not so good. To be honest I wish I could have a month were I reported only good things.

On the good side, I have 7 countries with over 100 visitors each!

I said last month that it's unusual to get over 200 from a country and this month I have 4 countries over 200!

Also December was a good month, as this one has been so far, I had exactly 3,800 visitors in December and over 1000 so far this month. The best month since August, which I was happy about. 

I have also had a number of days were big numbers of visitors arrived from a particular country. I had 20 visitors from the Sudan and 177 from the Netherlands on the 24th December. 176 of the Dutch visitors read one article, The end of any consensus, which was from September. The Spanish and Russians also turned up in big numbers on one day. The British were more spread out but I had big numbers read, Liberalism is a Christian heresy, which was also my most popular article in the last month, it has been visited 595 since it was published.

So way aren't I entirely happy with those numbers? 

Because I'm worried that they aren't regulars, but just people who will visit the blog once and then be off. I'm not growing, or am I? I really don't know. What I do know is that my American and Australian numbers are down again. It is really getting frustrating.

My worst day was the 25th December, Christmas day, when I had only 38 visitors, maybe thats a good thing as it means people have better things to do on Christmas Day then read blogs. My best day was very good, I had 397 visitors on the 3rd January.

United States
United Kingdom

United States
United Kingdom
United Kingdom, Russia, Spain and Ireland were all up by a long way!

The United States, Australia, Canada and France were all down.

The Netherlands and China are back in the top ten.

Brazil and the Ukraine have both left the top 10.

I have also receieved visitors from the following countries: Isle of Man, Belgium, Faroe Islands, Finland, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Estonia, U.A.E., Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand, Guatemala, Peru 

I hope you all visit again soon.
Mark Moncrieff

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Why Didn't Feminists Do It Like This?

A few days ago a visitor came to my site via a site called Masculine by Design, so I went and had a look. Sadly it hasn't had an update since February 2017, but many of it's 33 posts were of interest. The site owner included two graphs that I found particularly interesting.

The first is a timeline of a typical modern womens life. He calls it "Life in Reverse" and when you see the next graph that title makes sense.

Woman who live life in reverse

Here is the second graph, a timeline he called "Have It All"

How Woman can it all

Now here is the question, why didn't Feminists push the second timeline instead of the first?

The second timeline gives women a pathway to achieve everything that Feminists said women should have if they chose such a life. Actually most women do want a husband and children, whether they have a university education or a career. So why didn't they push this pathway?

Because it's doable, but not equitable. Feminism says that women are equal to men, or that women should be equal to men, it changes depending upon which is useful in any particular context. But giving women a doable timeline means that women are not the same as men. And as Feminism is a branch of Liberalism, Ideology is always more important than reality.

Also the first timeline makes women independent, women do not need to rely on men to support them or their children. Instead women are encouraged to be independent no matter what the cost. The more money a women makes the harder it is for her to find a mate as she still wants a man who is more successful than her. Feminists aren't worried about that, that doesn't matter, what matters is that she is independent. The very thing that will make her life harder is presented as something desirable.

Feminism isn't about improving the lives of women, it's only about improving the lives of Liberal women. Hence why it gives no choice to women except the Liberal one of being an independent women. Why don't they care about the price women have to pay?

Because they don't have to pay, you do!

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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Problem With Compromising

When you look at the history of Conservatism, we come across the word "compromise" quite often. And it is nearly always presented as a good thing, but compromising has a number of problems that need to be pointed out.

When most people think about compromising they think of both sides in a dispute giving up something. Both sides, not just one, but both sides and they hope to achieve a big win by both sides taking a small loss. Compromising is based upon the idea that each side is made up of reasonable people. This point is very important and it colours how we see this idea. Sadly we often get compromises which are nothing of the sort, but which are instead "compromises".

Liberals are like Communists, they are not reasonable people, they are ideological people. Their beliefs are more important than peace, or honour, or civilization. Victory is what they want, not comprises. In fact they never compromise, not really.

Here are three types of "compromises" that we need to watch out for and to reject.

This is a favourite with Governments, another term for it is consultations. You know how it goes "We are in consultations with the local community". Have you ever been to one of these "consultations"? They are always decided before hand and it's obvious. Whoever is chairing the meeting lets people talk as long as they like, particularly if what they are saying is supportive or even mildly sceptical. Make sure the time is chewed up, "Ohhh I'm sorry but your critical comment cannot be addressed as we are short of time". "Thank you all for coming, we have heard your comments and will take them into consideration". And that will be the last you ever hear of it, because it wasn't really there to hear your voice, instead it was there to give the fig leaf of respectability to their actions.

Intellectual or False Compromise
Another form of compromise is to proclaim a joint victory. "After protracted negotiations it is clear that both sides have important contributions to make". The announcement is the most important part of the compromise. Nothing will happen, nothing will change and nothing will be achieved. So why negotiate? Because it seems like things will happen, it seems like change will occur and it seems as if something will be achieved. Appearance is everything and everything is hollow.

Slow Victory, Slow Defeat
The third form of compromise is to bring out a comprehensive agreement between the two parties. It seems like a really difference has been made. However one side will not honour the agreement with anything but words, however the other side will be expected to honour every word. It is victory achieved slowly for one side and defeat occurring slowly for the other.

Unless both sides are really prepared to compromise then negotiations are pointless. It is entirely typical of Liberalism to call for compromise and for negotiations, but to do nothing but talk. They are not interested in compromise, what they are interested in is gaining advantage and negotiations do that. Real negotiations do not take place in the open, they are always secret. If they are known then you are now under pressure to reach an agreement. Even a bad one. It is better not to negotiate then to reach that point.

So does that mean that we should never compromise, no there are times when compromising is healthy. Healthy compromising involves both sides giving things up, and when backsliding occurs that the issues are addressed and not ignored. Once things are agreed upon and those things agreed to are ignored then the agreement is dead. It should be openly rejected and it should be after publicly trying to repair the agreement. But once it is dead it should not be allowed to be a zombie agreement, it must not be allowed to be something that is dead pretending to be alive.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Right is "Protestant", the Left is "Catholic"

First off I should point out that I am using these terms as descriptive ones, not as religious ones. Of course there are both Rightist and Leftists in both the Catholic and Protestant faiths. I hope to make a larger point here. A point about politics, not about religion.

When you look at the history of Protestantism you find that disagreements lead to new churches. Sometimes that meant a new church, at other times a new Denomination. Those on the Right, myself included, are very much like this. We talk about community but we find it hard to get along with others. We have gotten into the habit of criticizing and of being truth seekers. We may not be correct right now but we are on the road to truth and those who try to lead us onto false paths we reject, angrily. Because so much of this truth seeking is done alone, we tend to rely on ourselves more than  maybe we should.

When you look at the history of Catholicism you find that disagreements are dealt with in house. There have been very big divisions within the Catholic Church but they still try to maintain the idea that the church is Catholic, which means Universal. On the Left of politics you tend to see this, they fight and hate each other for often quite small disagreements. But they also unite in the face of opposition. I don't want to put too fine a point on it. This isn't gospel, it is instead trying to show something that is often hidden. The Left appears united but isn't. It is however convinced that it has truth on it's side right now. Mostly because it allows others to do it's thinking for it.

If the Right is to move forward we need to take a page out of the Catholic Church and keep our disagreements in house. And that our enemies are outside, not inside. To put it another way don't shoot right.

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

From Tradition to Liberalism

Once the Western world was traditional, now it is Liberal, how did it change? That is obviously a big question, but I think there were two periods that created big changes. Changes that were not obvious at the time but which grew into the Liberalism that we know today. The first was the Reformation, which allowed the idea of secularism to creep in, and secondly the Industrial Revolution. It is the second change that I am going to concentrate on here.

It wasn't until the 1820's that people started talking about the changes that had been going on for a century or more in England. Before that time the changes had been small and local, by the 1820's neither of those things were true. The wars against France from 1792-1815 had hidden much of the change as people thought they were things that were more to do with the war. When the wars ended people started to notice that these things were no longer temporary, instead they were becoming a permanent fixture of life in England.

During the wars men had moved great distances to serve in the army, navy or merchant navy. Often their families moved with them. For a short time these things wouldn't have had much impact, but the wars lasted for nearly 25 years. In Britain the wars were a time of great prosperity, ironically aided by Napoleon trying to cut the European markets off to British trade. What it instead did was to create two economies, a European economy controlled by France and a world economy controlled by Britain. The Royal Navy and Britains merchant fleet controlled world trade, so anything that Europe wanted from outside of Europe had to be supplied by Britain. A Britain that Napoleon had banned from trading with Europe, so all those goods had to be smuggled into Europe. And because everything was so scarce, it was all at top prices.

In Britain it was the exact opposite, it was the only market in Europe open to trade from the rest of the world. So it meant that prices were good and goods plentiful. Trade from Europe was of course affected, so Britain tried to build as much as it could of it's own goods. Things that once came from Europe were now build in Britain, which lead to a rise in the size and numbers of factories. It also meant that when the wars ended Britain was in an excellent position to take advantage of it's newfound economic power.

It also accelerated the importance of trade over landownership. Owning land was always the traditional way to create wealth, but land has a great disadvantage, there is only so much of it. It self controls how many people can become rich. Trade however has no such limit, certainly it is not unlimited, but at least in theory it can be portrayed as such. The wars from 1792-1815 put trade front and centre in British life. It wasn't some fringe activity as it had once been, now it was of prime importance to national survival. After 1815 the lessons learnt were not forgotten. Britain was a trading nation and any limits put upon trade were bad. Trade needed to be unrestricted. Therefore Britain became the first free trade nation. It also became the first nation to support the free movement of people, within Britain at least.

The factory owners needed workers and they resented anything that restricted their access to those workers. At that time Guilds still existed and so did Feudal restrictions. People were not free as we would understand it, they often had obligations that restricted how they could use their labour. The reason for this was that if a mans labour was used in one place he could not use it in another, in other words he could not be in two place at once. So a farm labourer working in a factory was not doing farm labour. But if crops aren't sowed at the correct time or they are not harvested at the correct time then the food that people need to eat doesn't exist. This created a conflict between the often middle class factory owners and the often Aristocratic landowners.

There was also a conflict with the guilds, men were bonded to their profession. It protected all of those who worked in that profession as it restricted the amount of people in that profession. The factory owners hated the guilds for two reasons, firstly it restricted the amount of workers they could employ and secondly it created competition. Over time they sort to destroy both of these restrictions and they did destroy them.

But while these conflicts were going on there was also an increase in population. So the conflicts were rarely a case of life and death to either people or businesses, instead they became ideological conflicts. More workers meant more competition for jobs, so people moved to get those jobs and this thing that most people thought was temporary became permanent. It removed people from their traditional life and forced them to adapt to a new way of life. A life controlled not by nature but by the clock.

The factory owners wanted the power of the feudal Lords, but most did not want the responding responsibilities that came with that. Some were very good bosses, providing housing and good wages. Others were not go good and all they cared about was profit. Sadly the people who worked in their factories were only important as workers and not as people. Most of these people came from the countryside and in those places, often very poor places, they had a social structure that they existed within. In the cities or towns they now worked in those social structures and the support network that existed had to be recreated. But it was in reality not reconstructed, instead it was a new creation. Indeed in time the factory worker and the farm labourer became rivals, with seemingly little in common.

Tradition which existed in the countryside was made an enemy of the city. Land was replaced with trade. Men controlled their own labour, they had no loyalty to anyone but themselves. Money replaced loyalty. They lost contact with the land and with the cycle of nature. Guilds that once protected workers were dissolved. Liberalism wanted no restrictions put upon trade and no restrictions put upon who it could hire. Liberalism won.

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