As a child I recall reading a fascinating book called This Perfect Day.
Most of you will not have heard of it, fewer still will have read it, although you should be familiar with the author Ira Levin, who penned such classics as Rosemary’s Baby and The Boys from Brasil.
This Perfect Day tells the story of a seemingly utopian society in which employment is guaranteed, disease has been totally eradicated, where there are no wars or violence and everyone lives a happy and contented life. The members of this perfect global society (referred to as simply The Family) all dress the same, eat the same nutritiously complete “total cakes” and don’t have to worry about what clothes to wear as all wear identical coveralls and sandals.
It says much about the culture of this fictitious world that the word “fight” is classed as a profanity, whereas the word “fuck” is not.
In This Perfect Day, men don’t grow facial hair, everyone is of the same genetic makeup and it only rains at night. If ever there was an advert for the perfect model of a paternalistic society then this is surely it.But perfection is a subjective term and impossible to truly attain. This is alluded to in the book as notably the phrase “practice makes perfect” has been replaced by “practice makes less imperfect”.
So how is this ordered and harmonious state of affairs maintained I hear you ask?
Society is orchestrated by Unicomp – an omnipresent computer system with a worldwide remit to decide on every aspect of each member’s life from what type of career each will do, to whether a member will be allowed to have any children. Unicomp (or “Uni” as he/it is referred to informally) even controls where everyone is allowed to go on a minute by minute basis through a network of scanners which each member is obliged to “touch” their bracelet against in order to proceed in a certain direction or enter a building.
Oh yes. The bracelet.
Each member is forced to wear a unique bracelet which is fitted at birth and cannot be removed except by Unicomp on “link days” to allow for the expanding girth of youthful wrists. By a combination of the bracelets and scanners, good old Uni knows exactly where each member is at any given moment (“Uni is always watching over us, protecting us”).
How very reassuring some might say (“Don’t thank us, thank Uni”)
In order to prevent disease and promote general health and well-being, members are subject to compulsory monthly “treatments”. Whilst the aforementioned goals are evidently attained, the treatments also serve to keep each member docile and accepting (“good members”) with any hint of non-conformist thoughts or behaviour buried deep within.
Ultimately the treatments are used to deliver each member’s final dose on reaching 62 years old – the age at which every member dies without fail. There’s nothing quite like efficient population control the Chinese government would no doubt argue.
But despite Unicomp’s ever watching eye, despite the treatments, bracelets and scanners, not every member of the family does conform. Some individuals find ways of sidestepping their treatments which unsurprisingly leads to rapid enlightenment and a desire to break free from Unicomp’s all-pervading control. These individuals are referred to in the book as simply incurables – members who are classed as sick and beyond help. The incurables are permitted to live on remote island communities, under the false belief that they are free when in reality they are merely being placed “out of sight out of mind” by Unicomp .
Hidden away from mainstream society so that they cannot infect others with their ludicrous notions of freedom, choice and self-expression the incurables have a tough existence. Many live past the age of 62, whilst others die younger. Some are extremely poor whilst others are rich however; all share the notion that self-determination and true freedom should be the cornerstone of any civilised society.
It is certainly no coincidence that the island to which the main character, Chip eventually escapes is called Liberty and although the book is clearly a work of fiction, I believe that the central theme is more relevant today than ever before.
Perhaps we already have the makings of our very own Unicomp – millions of members of our own society already chart their own location, actions and choices minute by minute on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
“But that’s voluntary!” I hear you cry. So were treatments in This Perfect Day – originally.
But maybe I have it all wrong. Perhaps it is not the likes of Facebook and Twitter but the EU itself which is the contemporary version of the all-powerful Unicomp.
“Christ, Marx, Wood and Wei, led us to this perfect day” goes the children’s nursery rhyme about the founding fathers of society in the book. “Schuman, Barroso, Van Rompuy and Monnet” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily but, well you get the idea.
In the book, defenders of the status quo make proclamations such as “Members are free! We are free from disease, from war and poverty! Are these not freedoms?” This kind of blatant propaganda reeks of the sort of politically correct rubbish we are fed on a daily basis from such institutions as the BBC or the European Union – institutions which clearly have an agenda and continually try to convince us that the end always justifies the means regardless of how this is achieved and who the casualties might be. Whether through undemocratic institutions such as the European Commission, quasi-communist strategies such as the Common Fisheries Policy or doomed to failure political vanity projects such as the soon to be extinct Euro, the EU is all controlling, faceless and ever present. Sound familiar?
Perhaps the rapidly increasing number of those of us who vehemently oppose the EU- perhaps it is we who are the incurables. Dangerous individuals, commonly ridiculed and labelled as fruit cakes and closet racists, because we do not agree with the EU’s obvious distaste for the freedoms of the individual as it continues its march towards ever closer political union, more laws and regulations and less accountability.
And when we are told that it is no longer acceptable to use terms such as “black pudding” (breakfast pudding), or “chairman” (chair – an object) – are we witnessing the contemporary version of This Perfect Day’s politically correct agenda which, in the book, led to silly expressions such as “to catch two birds with one net”?
It strikes me that the United Kingdom with its population of incurables such as myself could represent the island of Liberty – the last bastion of freedom and democracy to where non-conformist trouble makers are to permanently reside, out of sight out of mind.
If this truly is the case and the UK is to become a haven for such twisted individuals like me who believe in ludicrously radical notions of true democracy, pure accountability and freedom of choice, then only one question really remains.
Mr Van Rompuy – can we please have our island back?
Matthew Roach is an active member of UKIP and was the party candidate for Ladywood, Birmingham – May 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @Roachy77
Political blog: www.dangerouspeople.wordpress.com
There is a problem with British politics. For the purposes of this article I will refer to them as “The Cosy Party”.
The Cosy Party have no problem attracting scores of young activists who are ever willing to knock on untold number of doors and make countless canvassing phone calls to potential voters.
These young activists flock to The Cosy Party which uses sound bites such as “social mobility”; “hard working families” and “jobs and growth”. It matters not that they seem unable to achieve any of them in government or otherwise.
“People on the doorsteps don’t care about the EU!” they state arrogantly. They do not of course, probe any further on such points with the man on the doorstep – they already have the desired response.
The Cosy Party know that because they are perceived as “the nice guys” they wont get shouted at or barracked as they go about their canvassing, happily extolling the virtues of more public spending, bigger government, more regulations and of course, ever more debt.
It doesn’t matter – someone else will pay.
Furthermore the Cosy Party are helpful too. You have a postal vote? No problem. We will quite happily send a collection agent to ensure that your vote reaches the polling station in time.
Supporters of The Cosy Party are an extremely loyal bunch. In most cases, regardless of what the Cosy Party do in government or stand for in opposition, they will still put their “x” in the appropriate box.
“I’m not voting for the other lot!” I hear them cry. “They cannot be trusted!”
Much like the loyalty a football supporter has for their club, likewise supporters of the Cosy Party will back their team through thick and thin (although it’s mostly thin).
But this is no good thing – far from it.
You only have to be a viewer of Sky Sports to have witnessed two recent cases of “blind loyalty gone bad”. In a recent Premier League football match, some supporters of Chelsea FC chose to boo Fulham defender Anton Ferdinand – his crime? He was the alleged victim of racial abuse from Chelsea captain John Terry.
How very dare he?
Another example was seen during a game between Liverpool and Manchester United. The match kicked off whereupon some Liverpool fans chose to sing “There’s only one lying bastard” – this time the abuse was directed at United defender Patrice Evra. Evra’s heinous crime? He was the recipient of racist abuse from Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in a previous game.
Pretty unpalatable stuff – but it is blind loyalty which breeds this disgusting behaviour.
Returning to politics, the main problem with blind loyalty is that when a party knows that they have your vote no matter what their accountability to the public on the whole is reduced.
The Cosy Party can do whatever they please and still they will receive a large percentage of the vote meaning the governance of the country always rests on a few key marginal seats in the shires.
That is why I would strongly urge all voters, whatever the usual colour of your rosette, to vote for the party whose current manifesto is closest to your beliefs.
Everyone has a right to vote for whomever they choose – I’m not disputing that.
All I am saying is this – on May 3rd, vote for the party you want to – not simply the one you feel obliged to.
Matthew Roach – UKIP Candidate for Ladywood, Birmingham – 3 May 2012
Follow me @Roachy77
Conservative Future in meltdown as yet another defection to UKIP bites
As I sit here and write this I am witnessing, through the wonderful social media that is Twitter, Ben Howlett, the National Chairman of Conservative Future (CF) self-destruct in the most public and cringe worthy fashion.
Following a spate of recent defections to UKIP from the Leeds branch of CF including several former committee members, Ben Howlett asked of the defecting member in question, quite publically by posting on Twitter “Which Conservative Party Association were you a member of? I have no record of your membership”.
It was quickly pointed out to Mr Howlett by another Twitter user that the defector was actually the Conservative candidate for the Headingly ward in 2011.
Does the Tory party now allow non-members to stand in local elections and attend conference I hear you ask?
The plot thickens.
Mr Howlett, undeterred by much consternation displayed by other users then went further by revealing that allegedly, he had received no membership payment from the defecting member. It was at this point that several other users reminded Mr Howlett that it may be unwise to share such personal information on a public website, particularly one so prominent as Twitter.
Now whether Mr Howlett has breached any rules relating to this public divulgence of personal data is unclear. What is clear is that this petulant response to yet another of CF’s brightest and best defecting to UKIP is becoming an increasingly common trait from within the Tory party ranks, be it at a local or national level.
As a lifelong Tory voter, I joined UKIP last year. Like many other former Tory voters, I had become increasingly disillusioned with the present bunch. As with many UKIP members, the anti-EU stance was the initial attraction for me, but I soon came to realise that this is a party on the up with a broad spread of progressive and libertarian policies – policies that struck a chord with me and which had once led me to vote Conservative, now lead me to both vote, and stand for UKIP.
Ben Howlett’s response to the latest defection only goes to further cement my belief that the Conservatives are running scared. If they could not achieve a majority in 2010 with a UKIP share of the vote of only 3.1% then what chance have they if, by the time the next general election comes around UKIP are polling closer to the 10% that some opinion polls indicate at present?
Make no mistake UKIP are a party on the up, a party of which I am immensely proud to be standing for and who, come May 3rd might just cause an upset or two in the forthcoming local elections.
Prepare for further childish reactions and attempts to smear from the old parties – UKIP are here to stay and I’m afraid this wasn’t part of the script for the old guard.
Apparently UKIP are now relevant.
In the last twelve months, the United Kingdom Independence Party has not got the slightest coverage in the mainstream media. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting the increasingly appalling BBC to give the new kids on the block much press, but the Daily Telegraph? Surely not.
Of course if UKIP were a left wing party on 11% in national polls, the BBC would be all over it like a rash. We all know the agenda.
But back to UKIP.
During the past few weeks, not a day has gone by without the Tory propaganda machine that is the Telegraph, managing to churn out yet another article or blog from some ex-Tory MP with an axe to grind telling us in no uncertain terms that UKIP is a party full of “swivel eyed Euro-sceptics” or “closet racists” and that “a vote for UKIP is a wasted vote“.
This really couldn’t be further from the truth.
But perhaps this is simply desperate manoeuvres from a party who’s leader is lacking approval and flailing in the polls?
The fact that UKIP is now being talked about so fervently by the Conservative Party says one thing and one thing only.
UKIP is now a relevant force in British politics.
As mentioned earlier, recent opinion polls put UKIP on 11% of the popular vote – that’s level with the Liberal Democrats nationally. Couple this with the recent rumours that at least two, if not more, Tory back benchers are seriously considering defecting to UKIP, this can only be good news for the libertarian party.
Odds on those crossing the floor, doing so just before the local elections on May 3rd for maximum effect? Short I would say.
Bring on the revolution.
Like the novice chess player who, quite accidentally, finds himself two moves from victory, one gets the impression that having vetoed the proposed new EU treaty in the early hours of Friday morning, the Prime Minister, David Cameron is beginning to see a clear path leading to what he believes should be the true role of the European Union.
The accidental move of course, was the veto itself. Only the PM himself truly knows whether he really expected the EU to decline his modest requests for some simple protections for the United Kingdom’s burgeoning financial sector, which accounts for some 10% of GDP and supports some 1.5 million private sector jobs. However it would appear that by saying “no”, the sequence of moves required has become apparent.
The end game is in sight.
But what of his opponent and their next move? Chancellor Merkel and the increasingly petulant French President, Nicolas Sarkozy (often referred to by the press as simply “Merkozy”) will no doubt forge ahead with their grand plans for what will effectively amount to a European Superstate, only with 26 provinces rather than 27 (excluding the soon to be acceded Croatia). If Britain wants no part in this new “Euroland” then so what? A new treaty of greater fiscal and political integration can be agreed by the remaining 26 nations and the necessary rules and sanctions can be enforced by the relevant EU institutions.
Furthermore, if Euroland wishes to enforce draconian policies such as a financial transactions tax on the City of London then, by the process of qualified majority voting (a system weighted to the populations of each member state) such a tax could be implemented, to the great detriment of the UK.
The eurozone would be rescued, a federal Euroland created and the UK would pick up the tab – Poetic justice perhaps?
Merkozy makes her move.
But there’s a fundamental problem.
In order to enforce their new European treaty, Euroland would require the use of powerful EU institutions such as the European Court of Justice, the Parliament and the Commission. Setting up brand new institutions at a time of such painful austerity would not only be far too costly and time consuming but also unnecessary in Merkozy’s view – why not simply use the existing ones?
For Euroland to use these institutions a treaty change would be required at EU level and any treaty change requires ratification by all 27 members of the EU – including the United Kingdom. Far from being marginalized and with no influence, the UK would find herself in the enviable position of holding the trump card if the eurozone countries are to be saved and Euroland created.
Merkozy has a choice. She can either give the Prime Minister whatever repatriation of powers he wishes for in return for his permission for the newly formed Euroland to utilise the institutions required to police the new political and fiscal union. Alternatively she can forge ahead and create costly new institutions to serve Euroland.
Whichever piece she chooses to move however, plays right into the PM’s hands and the end result will be the same.
The EU will become a shell of its former self, retaining none of the bureaucracy and waste engendered by the current model, simply existing for the purposes of free trade and cooperation – the very purpose that it was created to serve when the Treaties of Rome were signed way back in 1957.
No bad thing really
Could David Cameron be the luckiest Prime Minister in recent British history?
On Thursday next week, the PM will attend yet another European Union summit in Brussels. Yet another “make or break” meeting that, we are told, could either save the single currency or potentially consign the euro and with it possibly, the entire EU itself to the dustbin of history.
But if one outcome is the break up of the EU itself, another is the more likely scenario whereby the eurozone nations will form a tighter bond, both fiscally and politically, pushing countries such as the UK, that are not members of the single currency to the outer circle of a “two speed Europe”.
Cameron could, rather fortuitously, be handed the chance of removing the UK from the EU altogether whilst painting it as some kind of grand conspiracy against the island nation.
“But we would have no influence!” I hear the liberals cry.
“Do you want us to be like Lichtenstein?” quip the Labour front bench.
Well wait just one minute. Putting aside the extremely unlikely outcome that Thursday’s meeting will signal the death knell for the EU in its entirity, lets consider what is more likely to happen.
I would like to imagine a scenario. Please, humour me.
The PM attends Thursday’s summit with hopes of repatriating certain powers, in return for backing the reforms necessary to save the eurozone. Cameron sees this as a golden opportunity to claw back some of the much needed sovereignty that has been gradually eroded by successive Tory and Labour governments over the past three decades.
But there’s a problem. Cameron doesn’t want Britain to become a second class citizen in Europe, a nation without a voice sitting on the sidelines and not having the clout of say, a Germany or a France.
Equally, he doesn’t want the bureaucrats of Brussels telling him what shaped bananas he can eat, that he must drink his favourite real ale by the litre or burning his sheep, so to speak.
Negotiations are swift, with both Germany and France pushing forward with grand plans for a “European Premier League of nations”, those that are members of the single currency and wish to move towards ever closer union and the eventual creation of a federal European super state. The poorer states of the south have no choice but to back their northern paymasters.
Cameron, feeling undermined and having increasingly less influence in any of the ongoing negotiations, threatens dramatically to remove Britain from the European Union.
But how could such an exit take place in practise?
Lawyers might tell you that it would involve the simple repeal of an important piece of legislation, the European Communities Act 1972. This is the act which in effect, makes European law supreme to that of parliament.
I truly wish it were that simple.
Any country wishing to leave the EU legally, must inform all other member states immediately of their intention and cannot leave until a majority vote agreeing to the same has taken place. It is likely that in order to agree to allow such a country leave the EU, all costs incurred would be passed onto the exiting member state and crucially, the exiting member could have no say in the negotiations.
Finally, agreement of the European Parliament would also be required and the exiting country would be bound by EU rules for two years after leaving.
“Leaving must hurt. It must never be the lesser of two evils” said one EU legal source.
The UK could of course leave illegally, refuse to be bound by any rules or penalties imposed by the EU and simply go her own way. The EU would likely implement all manner of sanctions in order to force the UK to comply with what it sees as her obligations.
But what when the UK refuses to pay the financial penalties imposed on her which the EU see as being due, in order to repair the damage caused by the UK’s tumultuous exit?
These reparations would likely be extremely high, in order to act as deterrent for any other countries with designs of a similar nature.
And when political and financial sanctions no longer have any effect, what then?
What when the UK no longer wishes to allow Spanish fishing boats to operate in her waters as the Common Fisheries Policy no longer applies? What then?
Then my friends, we are left only with violence.
I sincerely hope that Europe’s leaders can agree to a mature and amicable exit, should such a situation ever arise.
The alternative is quite frankly unthinkable.