Britain in a Global World: Rejecting renegotiation, leaving the EU
So far I've attended a few political meetings, from The Campaign For An Independent Britain (CIB) as per How do you become a "eurosceptic"? , Global Britain, and the The Bruges Group (as above). It's interesting to note they're all cross-party or non-affiliated (Global Britain) as well as focused on the full picture of UK/Britain in reference to the EU and to the World. As a voter it's a lot more satisfying proposition to be involved and interested in. The "biff-bam" personality politics of party-politics in Westminster as reported ad naseam, by The Legacy Media isn't productive or interesting in my opinion. Evidently it does serve a function, a high-class version of the Celebrity Stories which reminds me of studies done on Monkeys: Monkeys Pay Per View: Adaptive Valuation of Social Images by Rhesus Macaques :-
Individuals value information that improves decision making. When social interactions complicate the decision process, acquiring information about others should be particularly valuable. In primate societies, kinship, dominance, and reproductive status regulate social interactions and should therefore systematically influence the value of social information, but this has never been demonstrated. Here, we show that monkeys differentially value the opportunity to acquire visual information about particular classes of social images.
I've come to the conclusion that the General Elections in the UK are, for a general voter, a complete waste of time but also emotional energy and attention. Voting for squabbling parties that soon forget their promises before an election doesn't encourage much future trust in the system of politics used. So instead of voting for something I don't believe in (thus having to endure some form of cognitive dissonance or Catch-22 dilemma?)
A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules. An example includes: "To apply for this job, you would have to be insane; but if you are insane, you are unacceptable for the job."
Catch-22s often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over because to fight the rule is to accept it. Another example is a situation in which someone is in need of something that can only be had by not being in need of it. One connotation of the term is that the creators of the "catch-22" have created arbitrary rules in order to justify and conceal their own abuse of power.
The logical extraordinary alternative is to donate a small amount of money directly to a small and specific political cause I do believe in, interact with, contribute actively with and learn from others in such a group; because I've taken some time to try to understand it and think there's a chance it will be a productive function; a positive feedback-loop on decision-making: My own, the groups and hopefully connecting wider and wider until eventually at the national governance level; an example of which is provided by Christopher Booker: Our 'Snatch’ campaign is still saving soldiers’ lives:-
Catch-22: Do Something Different!
It seems like a more honest and direct way of "voting" to me; particularly if you consider that "half our government is in Brussels as well as Westminster", it's diluted democracy even more as per Sir James Goldsmith Euro Moments: Goldsmith on setting up Referendum Party. Who knows perhaps cross-party groups that promote not voting in the General Elections is a good way to arm-wrestle our government into democratic reforms such as The Harrogate Agenda?
I was fortunate in the CIB meeting, because it was very high quality information and presentation, the size of the group was about right no more than 30 (high-end of classroom size to note); the people there were in general "on the same wavelength" with some of the basics to be presented, discussed and developed, there was diversity in the groups broken down into workshops again changing the dynamic and of course the extra-ordinary material or work being presented by Dr. RAE North (see EUReferendum.com blogroll), FLEXCIT: The Definitive EU Exit Plan For Britain:-
Flexcit: The highest quality understanding is online for people to use and debate with...
So there are some meetings despite the above being freely available which very much are worth attending. However this raises possibly a critical question to consider upon which the fabric of success or failure is going to be woven into everyone's effort:-
What is the value of meetings for Brexiteers and how can they be of real value to those who attend them and what shape do they currently take?
No words: The context & body-language tells the story
I also attended a Global Britain meeting, a while ago and although the pedigree of speakers and attendees was extremely high,with almost all "The Usual Suspects", it felt like a lot of "treading water" was being done; a lot of low quality communication exchanges between people: A genteel peace being observed in the room as opposed to exploring and structuring the debate more logically. There was nothing there that anyone serious and committed (in conviction, ideals or finance even) could not have already covered in their own time or even previously up to that point in time with some 3/4 years until a possible referendum out of over 40 years to get to this "home-straight" point in time. From that perspective it was for me, very bizarre ie not very efficient. Why?
Last night I attended The Bruges Group meeting, for two preceding reasons: Robert Oulds , The Bruges Group director is in my opinion from his speeches and his book as per Literature And Science : Everything you wanted to know about the EU - But were afraid to ask very informative (facts for memory recall), structured and referenced, well written and organized around "a guiding principle", above all. Secondly, one of the speakers was Owen Paterson, who again has been raised before. For example:-
Owen Paterson ("in beautiful Shropshire"): The EU is doing the leaving (subject) of the UK (object) = New Relationship
I spoke briefly to Robert Oulds, while in the process of acquiring some extra materials for future use (another reason to attend the meeting), and complimented him on a particular passage in his book. The significance, or qualifier of quality of the above two, to single out, is that due to starting with "a guiding principle" (whatever that may be!!), it follows that their thinking and organization of thoughts is invariably conducive to producing the most essential component of progression between arguments: A Concept Shift. This does not have to be as "disruptive (positively)" as a Paradigm Shift but can be in the most simple details or larger general topic realignments/reconnections between different sub-topics within a subject (tbc in future blog post).
~ Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP
Eg of "a guiding principle": Meta-organization forms content coherence
I took some extensive notes, partly because I was always taught "active learning/listening" is a more productive use of your time but also because I generally have a constitution that requires me to fidget actively to avoid feeling sleepy! Overall I did not learn anything new in this meeting, there were some useful "concept shifts" however from hearing how other people think about things so it definitely useful attending. However the other area that was useful was hearing the type of questions posed and here the flaws were evident. Many of the questions were random. What I mean is that a lot of the people present did not have a "a guiding principle" so many of the questions were of the type: "Basic FAQ", basic preliminary grounding for REAL DISCUSSION. If you're familiar with different forums online, they always encourage new posters (aka noobs/newbies) to read the FAQ because such questions are diverting from productive discussion, evidently. And yet these meetings (Global Britain and Bruges a bit less so fail to apply such conventions in personal groupings? Examples if I refer to my notes were:-
- FUD & Status Quo Effect of Referendums
- Role of The Media eg BBC bias
- Cost of EU Membership
- Priority: Economics of Politics?
- Difference between T. of Rome: Freedom of Movement of Labour and T. of Lisbon: Freedom of Movement of People
- The role of David Cameron and the question of Trust in what he delivers?
- Self-Study, online research to establish the basics for oneself and perhaps more depending on time and inclination.
- Conversation between a few well-acquainted participants who are able to match each other's mental models of understanding more rapidly to then use as a basis for arguing from. Rapid increase in understanding for individuals possible here eg "mentoring".
- Small Group for specific discussion; useful for introducing new ideas to an established idea: Creative, challenging & constructive criticism to refine ideas and test them.
- Classroom Size where differences can be discussed productively atst as progression: Increasing group aggregate understanding is usually the intended result of such group size or depending on the people: Between up and below.
- Large Group/Lecture Size: Generally more 1/Few-Many relationship. The message has to be generalized for a larger variability of understanding and needs.
- Crowd Gathering: Primarily slogans, working the crowd, chanting, singing, much more focus on "group affirmation" what the EU keeps on calling "Solidarity" ie the overhead for "group cohesion" is very high and hence meaningful communication is overwhelmingly reduced.
EU Referendum: biding our time:-
EU Referendum: agreement on a plan:-"When it comes to running the campaign, one of our strongest suits is that we are the only group to have adopted Flexcit, and thus are the only group promoting a comprehensible and credible exit plan."
"But the paper ignores Flexcit, as do most Europhile organs, inventing any number of excuses for doing so, when challenged. But they all amount to the same thing. They dare not acknowledge it because it so comprehensively demolishes their superficial and facile arguments."
Honestly I would be almost persuaded to express some form of demonstrative "cri de coeur!" of unfairness, except there's no reason to when if you think about the behaviour of The Legacy News Media, of our own Government in Westminster and even of some deceptive or self-deceived "eurosceptics" that their collective behaviour is something you'd expect to be reported by the primatologist Frans De Waal, in Chimpanzee Politics:-
"As we watch the chimpanzees of Arnhem behave in ways we recognize from Machiavelli (and from the nightly news), de Waal reminds us again that the roots of politics are older than humanity."
As referred to, The Bruges Group meeting had some useful contributions, group affirmation itself is useful, not least for donations to the group itself or the chance to hear the people "in the trenches in politics" giving their views live to a room aka these days as "Face Time" and meeting some other people and learning what their point of view is. It was useful to provide elements of the above "group compositions" as above too. But the limitations and contradictions of not having an Exit Plan in contention with maintaining "group integration/disintegration" and the ambiguity this casts everything else under this shadow resulted in for example contradictions, repetitions, lack of deduction, circular reasoning etc etc, in my opinion, too much of that "treading water" sensation.
FLEXCIT: A fully integrated, researched argument: A Concept Shift and A Guiding Princple: All-in-One = a fully Scalable National Argument usable for different group sizes
There's a distinct lack of understanding the difference between: "A Guiding Principle" (Integration) and "Diversity of Details" (Differentiation). This is in my opinion the basis for holding meetings for different group sizes, their quality and hence productive "scaling up of arguments" over time to more and more people. Of course different people will be receptive at different group sizes and hence type of message. But you have to have the actual "concept shift" itself first before "scaling up the argument to different group sizes" instead of "scaling down of arguments" to reach more people, aka "Dumbing Down" That's back on The Road To The European Union. And surely this relies on "a guiding principle" already agreed upon?