Thursday, 30 September 2010

Possible Answer To A Nagging Question

I have often wondered why we seem, nowadays, to be blessed with what may be called robotic political representatives who seem unable to think for themselves; who do what their political leaders tell them; who seem unable to show even a 'flash of genius' where the governance of our country is concerned.

Then I recalled an unattributed saying:
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits!

Just a thought, on a quiet Friday Thursday night....................... 

Update: Thought I had better change the night, before I get any more smart-arsed comments! So I got the day wrong - its an 'age thing'!

The On-Going/Never Ending Battle Mili vs Mili

Politics Home front page - at 18:22 - states:
"............With the battle between the brothers over........"
What is it with the journalistic elite that they cannot see what is in front of their noses? Much wailing and gnashing of teeth has occured amongst our journalistic elite about these two men, with stories of how poor Ed is cut up about having done the dirty on David and how David does not wish to queer the pitch for Ed; coupled with stories about whether David would serve under his brother.

FFS, it is not rocket science and even the journalistic elite - with their shared brain cell - could surely have foreseen trouble ahead the minute the two decided to stand for the Labour leadership. Whether MiliD quits the front bench and becomes a backbencher, or whether he did serve on the front bench is neither here nor there.

Until MiliD quits politics completely the press will continue to write stories about him 'simmering' on the backbenches, what he would have done had he been elected leader etc, etc, ad nauseum - and even then, should he quit, that won't stop the press.

The burning question is just what the hell were these two 'luminaries' of political logic thinking when they decided to set out on the journey to become leader? Did no-one bang their bloody heads together and point out the bleeding obvious?

Both stood believing they had the 'nous' to run the country - unfortunately it is obvious they did not posses the basic ability to run their own brains!

Thursday 30th September 2010

Am in Derby until late afternoon so posting will not occur until then, or early evening.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Referendum Lock - Where? When?

For the two parties who formed the Coalition, agreeing that there should be no more 'transfer of power' to the European Union, one would have thought that this proposed 'Referendum Lock Bill' would be high on the list of priorities. It would seem not, by the absence of any publication of this Bill or any intimation that it is forthcoming.

England Expects has spotted something in a recent speech by Herman Van Rompuy in which he used the phrase "The Reverse Majority Rule" - EE's post can be read here. Gawain Towler (England Expects) in questioning whether there is to be a surreptitious change to voting rules, writes:
"........this is of enormous importance to the balance of power in the European Union and indeed would, under Mr Cameron's Referendum lock precipitate a referendum, as it is a clear transfer of powers to the EU away from the nation states."
Ah, but whilst there is no 'Referendum Lock Bill' and powers continue to leech to the European Union, there can be no opportunity of a referendum being called by the Coalition. Now that, as a ploy by the Coalition, is rather clever - is it not? Hardly surprising though from one (David Cameron) who portrayed himself as a Eurosceptic* the last time he offered himself for election!

* Another nail in that coffin is this post by The Boiling Frog - "Instructions from London"? WTF?

It Takes A Woman.......

In keeping with other members of her gender, when wishing to dissect the root cause of a problem, Helen Szamuely, Your Freedom and Ours, displays that knack of going straight for the jugular.
" cannot have a defence review until you have a serious discussion on foreign policy. What exactly is Britain's foreign policy? Does it have one? Given that we now have a government that, apparently, "doesn't do foreign" and to whom a strategic alliance with China is a perfectly sensible idea because it's a large country in the East, whose economy is growing and, therefore, no different from India.

The real problem is one we all know and understand. Given that membership of the EU means further integration into the institutions of the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) though such a policy in reality cannot exist as there are no common interests, a discussion about British foreign policy has to start with a discussion about the EU and Britain's membership in it. Forget about a referendum. We cannot have one until we have brought out into the open all the implications of our membership and non-membership. And up with that our politicians will not put. So, we might have to do it ourselves, spreading the word as best we can."
 Such is the mentality of our political elite that it is hoping too much for them to cogitate on this problem, so as Helen says, we might as well do it ourselves. 

As I am in 'quotation mode' today, perhaps this one is apt, albeit paraphrasing Mark Twain:
"Suppose your were an idiot and suppose you were an Member of Parliament.... But I repeat myself."

The First Duty Of Government

Is the heading to a post on Conservative Home, in which the author writes:
"We are agreed that the first duty of government is to safeguard our national security and support our troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere – and we will fulfil that duty." - David Cameron and Nick Clegg in their foreword to the Coaltion's programme for government."
It cannot be denied that encapsulated within the matter of a nation's security is included the preservation of that nation to be a self-governing nation and thus able to decide its own destiny. I have never been able to understand this love of membership of the European Union - and the reason is I have a knowledge of history in general and that of my own country in particular. Now history is not a subject which the newer generations have had the opportunity to learn, because if they had they could but agree with a quotation of Margaret Thatcher: 
"........ most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it."
Bearing in mind that quotation and the fact that the UK has, over the centuries, fought various factions from Europe to preserve our independence, I am reminded of another quotation, this one by Jean Jaques Rousseau:
"I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery."

The Creeping Paralysis Of UK Sovereignty

"The European Parliament voted to adopt a new regulation on aviation safety that could lead to the establishment of a Europe-wide counterpart of the U.S. NTSB. While each nation will continue to run its own investigation office for air transport accidents, the new regulation creates a “European network of civil aviation safety investigation authorities.”

The text of the bill came out of an agreement between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers–where governments are represented–under the co-decision process. Formal confirmation by the Council should come next. Then the regulation will appear in the Official Journal of the EU and come into force 20 days later.

At a time of austerity, when all the nation states of the EU are cutting and paring back their budgets, the EU is still spending your tax money like water, creating new layers of bureaucracy and Eurocrats by the dozen.

But as all matters EU are off the coalition agenda, don’t expect your MP to tell you about this, or to even discuss this waste in parliament, in fact because its a ‘Regulation’ it becomes UK law without any reference to national parliaments anyway.

You know the drill, shut up about the EU and just keep paying..

(source: CharterX)"
So is borne the European Transportation Safety Board - and it will not end there! Never mind about Protocols - they are meaningless at the end of the day. What the EU wants, the EU will have, one way or another. Because of that it is undeniable that eventually in the years to come we will have an EU Health 'service', an EU Education 'service', an EU law & order 'service', In fact, within the European Transportation Service Board will be brought shipping and rail - this is already being proposed here.

As the late Frankie Howard used to say: "Titter ye not" - it will happen, just be patient!,

This insidious, obnoxious (and unwanted by the people) system of government has to be brought to a juddering halt immediately - as do the likes of the Lib/Lab/Con. The sooner they get torpedoed, hit the buffers, or better still bombed out of existence, the better!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Three Political Parties Or Is It Just One?

Cross posted from IPJ on Politics:
"So that’s over for another year. The Labour Party conference, which this year was the culmination of 6 months of leadership lacklustre boredom meetings hustings which has seen Ed Miliband, otherwise known as Miliband minor or more accurately Red Ed emerge the victor with the help, guidance and AV voting power of the Unions.

The conference itself has been a multi day blame fest, union after union (for it they who now hold the power), blaming everyone else for all our woes, right back to Thatcher and beyond, but never blaming themselves. For that it took their new leader to admit to some ‘mistakes’, but even that was limited in scope.

What we have seen in technicolour is how AV overrides the wishes of the majority, sidelines and diminishes the ordinary party member, MPs and MEPs who all voted by a large majority for David Miliband to allow the Unions to take not only control of the party through their stooge Red Ed, but for the assistant general secretary of Unite Diana Holland take control of the party finances as the new Treasurer.

In all respects the Labour Party is now dead, it is now without doubt the Union Party. A party that now wants to show that it on the road to Marxism but without the previous Stalinist traits shown by Brown and Blair.

Comrade Miliband went so far as to suggest that should Home Secretary Theresa May wish to overhaul Labour introduced anti terrorist legislation he would go along with it, smooth off the Stalinist rough edges, provided she didn’t do away with CCTV or ANPR, the very tools of a communist state to keep watch on the sheeple, the tools under the control of the unaccountable private company the ACPO.

So Labour become the 3rd major party to adopt the softer Marxist creed of Communitarianism, falling in line with the Red Toryism of Philip Blonde and the Nudge of Thaler & Sunstein and the LibDem Social Democracy in all things EU, the undemocratic, unelected body in Brussels, operated like a mafia by a motley crew of Maoist and Communists over whom the voters of the UK have no say.

And so I can only despair for this land of mine, being led by all our major parties into communism, under the guise of the nice, localised, people centred communitarian state, being followed by the rosette wearing tribal fools who still claim to see a difference between them and supported by the useful idiots who get rich at the expense of taxpayers, who only see wealth making as state grants and subsidies for their businesses and cuckoo organisations, those who have little regard to understand where that ‘state’ money comes from.

The ‘Change’ we are constantly promised by all these parties is not a new beginning, it is the end of all that most people hold dear, and like everyone who has ever been the victim of a con-man, you won’t see it coming, and because our political elite and media won’t discuss it, most won’t know it all comes from Brussels.

It is the end of democracy as we move to the post democratic age which AV will only hasten, it is the end of freedom as ever more enforcement is applied to ensure we are only free to say, think and do what government decide we can, and it is the end of our rights in favour of state approved entitlements.

But, there is another way, if you really want to live as a free and democratic people, rather than just exist in a world shaped, modelled and enforced by others. You just need to look, listen and read beyond what the state approved PR merchants are pumping you with."
And come the Conservative Party Conference you will hear virtually the same themes, but using different words. Nigel Farage famously said that it was not possible to get a cigarette paper between the Lib/Lab/Con and that has never been truer than it is today. The majority of members of all three parties preach equality of opportunity and fairness, yet they have all managed to distance themselves from the world in which 'ordinary people' live by means of property portfolios, subsidised food, alcohol and travel - not to forget their pension scheme - and all at the expense of those 'ordinary people'. The majority of MPs have no real interest in their electorates as their eyes are firmly fixed on their careers, ministerial appointments and the possibility of their climbing aboard the EU 'Gravy Train'. Oh, they are sufficiently 'servile', come the time when they have to seek the continuance of their careers, but 'tween times I don't believe they give a damn - and mores the pity, the sheeple fall for it each and every time!

Well one day - and may God allow it to be soon - the sheeple are going to realise what this scam has been about and the subsequent retribution will be swift and bloody!

Cost Of Parliament

Listening to Ed Miliband this afternoon, the ensuing comments by MPs - and then reflecting on other party conferences, PMQs and reports in the media about Parliament - it crossed my mind just how much do these representatives - and deciders of our destiny - actually cost us.

It would appear, for example, for the years 2005/2006 - according to the the House of Commons and Lords accounts - our masters spent £322.6 million running the House of Commons (although this included an exceptional item of £129.3 million), £155.3 million on members’ pay, expenses, etc and £106.4 million for the House of Lords. (Accounts for later years can be found here).

Do we need 646 MPs (or even only 50 less?) and a similar number of Peers? Just what do they all do? One is reminded of the phrase that the Devil makes work for idle hands and consequently it should also be borne in mind that most of the work is done by Committees who probably number no more than say 200/250 at a rough 'guestimate'.

On top of these Parliamentary costs should, of course, be added the cost of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. The 'work' that these bodies do could, it can be argued, be carried out by local authorities. The creation of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, with a view to devolving power, was nothing but political crap as their main purpose was part of the plan to regionalise the UK in order to facilitate that plan of regionalisation created by the European Union.

Coming across a quote by an American, Cullen Hightower*, and adapting it slightly it would seem that:
"Talk is cheap - except when the UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly does it"
Adapting another of Hightower's quips:
"Our politicians saying what they think gives them a wider conversational range than saying what they know."
 which is quite pertinent when related to the majority of the present incumbents in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

* It is reported that one of his  most notable quotes is "People seldom become famous for what they say until after they are famous for what they've done." Ironically, Hightower became famous for what he said rather than for what he did.

Blowing In The Wind - When The Wind Blows Of Course!

Today's editions of The Telegraph, Mail, Express and BBC all contain articles about wind turbines - all, with the exception of the BBC (naturally), dealing with the exorbitant cost of these wind turbines.

The Telegraph, Mail and Express all deal with the fact that wind powered electricity costs twice that of coal or gas provision of electricity and all quote a recent report by the UK Energy Research Centre. Not so the BBC (bless!) who concentrate their article purely on the call for a 'home grown wind power industry', with the inevitable quotes from those with a vested interest.

The media in general stand guilty of unprofessional journalism in that they invariably 'cut & paste' press releases and then present that as 'news', without any attempt to question the content of those press releases. In this the BBC stands head and shoulders above its rivals in the media and is to be commended on its lack of embarrassment in so doing.

It is beyond comprehension that our politicians and their PR organisation, the BBC, continue to promote a source of energy that is proven not to be cost efficient and in so doing ignoring all the evidence, both factual and economic, that is before their very noses. This is probably due to the fact our politicians have no choice but to pursue this policy as it is dictated to them by Brussels, who also grant beneficial loans to the BBC, hence the latter's support for what is, in effect, nothing but a tax raising scam.

The Drone Of Surveillance (2)

Following my post yesterday, comes this excellent post by Henry Porter on Our Kingdom. Writing about the installation of 169 ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras, 49 CCTV cameras and 72 "covert" cameras in two predominately Muslim areas in Birmingham, one of which was Sparkbrook, by West Midlands Police, Porter continues:
"But the really significant point is that the spying network was solely authorised by a committee in ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers, which some of you will know is still private company and therefore safe from Freedom of Information requests..........Operation Champion, as it was known, has no statutory authority; there was to be no independent oversight of the system; and of course it was never discussed in Parliament."
It is abhorrent in what is supposed to be a free society, that (i) a private company can install a surveillance system without the permission of Parliament; and, more importantly, (ii) that the government of the day considered it permissible for the forces of law & order to create such an organisation as ACPO within their midst. One might ask "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes" - which translates, loosely, as "Who watches the watchers"; but it must also immediately be asked: what is the point of the original question.

It is perfectly possible for the people to 'watch' the government of the day, yet when that government deliberately hides information from the people, 'watching' becomes extremely difficult. Even when 'malpractice' on the part of government is discovered, it is met with denial, cover-up and a refusal to release whatever information is necessary to enable the people to know the truth. (Kelly? Iraq War? Cost/Benefit Analysis of EU membership?)

We surely are now in an age where we should fear 'government' - and that can only lead to 'democratised tyranny', a state that some would argue we have already entered. It is a state in which we will remain until a time comes whereby we, the people, reinstate that basic principle of any true democracy, which is government by the people.

So, Waddya Do Now, David?

The Mail carries a report detailing the contents of leaked documents from the European Union Commission which reportedly state that ministers have been warned that restrictions on claims by immigrants are against the law and must be scrapped.
"EU law leaves it to member states to determine the details of their social security schemes and social assistance schemes, including the conditions on awarding benefits. However, when making use of this competence, member states have to comply with the fundamental principles of EU law, such as the right to equal treatment on the basis of nationality. Having examined the “right to reside” test... it is not compatible with different legal provisions of EU law."
What this report illustrates is that by insisting that all immigrants are entitled to social welfare payments, regardless of their time in Britain, it is thus making Britain even more of a magnet for all EU migrants - something that would be a total disaster were Turkey to gain EU membership and, needless to say, welfare costs which would increase out of all recognition.

At least the Department of Work & Pensions recognise who the true government of this country is, issuing a statement which said:
"We are in discussions with the Commission as, in our view, the current rules are within the law and are right for the UK, and changing them now would not be in our interest."
Listening to Ed Miliband giving his speech this afternoon at the Labour Conference I was struck by how he - and the Coalition Duo, Cameron/Clegg - continue to give speeches about their vision of government for our country; about how they will produce policies for the betterment of our country; and how only they have the 'right' vision, commitment and zeal to do this. Like me, you have probably noticed an omission, common to all three Leaders - and that is their failure to acknowledge that they are not, in fact, our government as that actually resides in Brussels, something only too apparent by the leak of the documents to the Mail.

There is only one source that can provide the requirements of increased Welfare costs - together with all the other costs incurred by EU membership -- and that is the taxpayer. When taxes reach the point whereby the people are unable to afford the lifestyle they wish to attain, then, with a bit of luck the longed-for revolution will happen!

Monday, 27 September 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different......

Think you have had had a hard day at the office? Think you have a difficult job? Think no-one appreciates what you do? Then consider how these chaps might feel about what you do, to earn a crust!

Decisions, Decisions

Cathy Newman, on Factcheck Blog, posts on the imposition of cuts by local authorities to adult social care and ends by writing that elderly and disabled people will have to dig deeper into their pockets to fund their care.

This subject, as with that of surveillance which was discussed in my previous post, is one of divisiveness that will provoke serious debate when it becomes a 'national issue' - which it is not at present. Not that I do not have a vested interest, being one who might be described as elderly (what is elderly?) rather than how I would prefer to describe myself, namely someone who is 'weathering gradually' - but again, I digress........

Those readers who have a relative residing in a care home and see, as I do, men and women who daily, every day, sit and stare into space, not knowing where they are, or why; who cannot wash, dress themselves or perform any bodily function without assistance. If like me, when you leave your relative, I can understand you saying: 'God, if you exist, please do not let me end my life like that'.

To those who may not have an elderly relative with, for example, dementia or Alzheimer's; whose elderly relatives may still be 'hale and hearty' and able to still reside in their own homes - I would ask that you stop and think about the care of the elderly and disabled, those suffering with depression or alcohol problems, not necessarily of their own making; those elderly with no family to turn to; those elderly still able to look after themselves and living in retirement homes or sheltered housing - and ask yourself: do not we as a society have a duty to care for them, to make their final years as comfortable as possible whether they are aware of that or not? Should they not be provided with whatever is necessary to make their lives and the final years of their lives as peaceful and trouble free as possible? 

If cuts are to be made, then should not those cuts be made elsewhere - should not those who are able but do not wish to work, should not they be forced to accept 'cuts'? My apologies for introducing a political slant to this post, but when I consider the billions this country hands over to the EU; when I consider the billions we hand to quangocrats; when I consider the billions we hand to other countries in 'overseas aid, my blood boils in anger.

To those politicians who are content to cut aid to the elderly and disabled; who are content to give aid to other countries - should we not help 'our own' first? I would ask any politician one simple question: If they had a family member in need of financial assistance to ease their final years, who would they give that assistance to? Their family member or me, a total stranger? Are not our elderly our nations 'family members' and do we not owe them our help, first?

We all need to remember one important fact - we will all be 'elderly', eventually.We may, heaven forbid, become disabled - we know not what our future holds. Would you want your relative to 'suffer'? Will you want to 'suffer'?

Just another thought from WfW............................

The Drone Of Surveillance

Our Kingdom has an article by Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle University, on the use of surveillance drones by British police forces. In his post he writes:
"Supported by Governments, these [drones] are working extremely hard to ensure that the deployment of aerial drones for policing purposes quickly saturates UK airspace and becomes completely normal and taken for granted."
Graham's article raises many serious ethical questions about the use of methods to control crime and questions whether, were these drones to gain widespread use, there are sufficient transparent regulatory systems in place to prevent law enforcement agencies from abusing radical extensions in their powers.

It is believed that, for example, most people would accept the use of identity cards, were that purely to prove their 'existence' - name, address and date of birth. What caused the opposition to their introduction, amongst the public, was the additional use to which identity cards could be put, coupled with the other agencies who would have access to the data- plus the additional data for that purpose it was proposed to include.

Likewise, it is felt that the public would accept these drones and their method of surveillance, were that use just to track perpetrators of crime in pursuit of their escape. What is not acceptable is the situation whereby these drones could be made airborne purely to watch the public at large in case one of them might commit a crime.

The use of drones or cctv must surely encroach on the basic right of anyone to go freely about their business with no interference from the State. Yet consider the situation whereby most service stations and some shops utilise cctv - which has proved useful in apprehending criminals who have committed robbery with violence. Again, it is believed that as a society we now accept this intrusion into our lives on the basis we can see the positive effects. Does this mean that, as Graham suggests, we would in time accept the continual monitoring of our movements by drones.

It is a very difficult to decide where the 'line' is to be drawn, but one fact does stand out above all others and that is it is not for politicians to make those decisions - it must be one that the people make for themselves, after which the politicians can then enact that decision into law. It is also undeniable that those decisions must be made on a local basis, local authority by local authority, and is yet another reason why law & order - and the type of law & order to be imposed - should also be decided on a 'local' basis.

Just another thought....................(one which, hopefully, James Higham will not find induces involuntary sleep)

What Is In The Pipeline?

Courtesy of The Albion Alliance Presents and its presentation of 'raw' EU data (click on 'go to source') - the speech by Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the ECB, Brussels, 27th September 2010:
"Economic governance – update on the state of play
President Van Rompuy has recently informed you about progress made by the Task Force under his chairmanship. Work has advanced on some issues, notably on the European Semester. On other issues, such as reinforced budgetary surveillance and a new macroeconomic surveillance framework, more ambition is required. Both for the ECB and for euro area governments, the central objective must be to achieve all that is necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of our monetary union.
Once the European Commission has presented its legislative proposals, the European Parliament, as co-legislator, will have the responsibility of designing an effective framework for economic governance. The negotiations over the supervisory package have demonstrated that the Parliament is not willing to accept compromises based on the “lowest common denominator”.
Ideally, a ‘quantum leap’ in strengthening EU and euro area economic governance would require a Treaty change. This means that, short of an immediate or rapid Treaty change, we have to exploit to the maximum all the possibilities for EU secondary legislation under the current Treaty to achieve this ‘quantum leap’. The ECB counts on the support of the Parliament in its belief that the appropriate reform of economic governance – especially of the euro area – needs to exploit to the full the scope offered by the Lisbon Treaty.
ECB Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi has recently presented to you our position on the various aspects of economic governance reform, including a number of important issues related to crisis resolution. He has also outlined the economic rationale underlying our position. Let me today stress what we consider to be indispensable elements of a reformed framework of fiscal and macroeconomic surveillance, which is the centre of ongoing discussions.
The new framework should be well targeted, notably on countries with high debt levels and significant losses of competitiveness. Public debt levels, as well as the evolution of deficits, can be a source of financial instability and contagion across countries sharing a common currency. So, debt should receive a reinforced status in budgetary surveillance, in both the preventive and corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact. I am concerned that substantial progress is still needed to give public debt the prominent role it has in the letter of the Treaty.
Progressive losses of relative competitiveness within the monetary union are another source of severe instability. A new system of surveillance to check and correct macroeconomic imbalances where they are emerging is needed. This idea has garnered support in principle, but concrete measures to make it operative and sufficiently binding are still to be agreed.
Once imbalances and vulnerabilities have been identified, there must be effective follow-up, including dedicated country missions, specific policy recommendations, increased public peer pressure and eventually a set of clear adjustment measures. Since the vulnerabilities of any one member can have direct effects on other members, this surveillance framework must be supported by a graduated system of incentives and sanctions, which can be activated sufficiently early in the process and which should be commensurate with the severity of the infringement.
Indeed, a core, absolutely indispensable, element of an effective surveillance mechanism is a functioning mechanism of incentives and sanctions – both financial and non-financial – in particular for the countries in the monetary union. I am sure that the Parliament will adopt an ambitious stance on this matter.
The relevant procedures should be “quasi-automatic”, based on Commission proposals rather than recommendations. The ECB has proposed a reversal of the voting procedures that lead to the adoption of incentives and sanctions. Such decisions would be considered adopted unless a qualified majority in the Council were to vote down the Commission proposal. The role of the Commission would therefore be significantly strengthened.
Moreover, in order to internalise the requirements of membership in monetary union, the European rules need to be “owned” by the Member States. Strong national fiscal frameworks, including the creation of independent monitoring institutions and the adoption of national fiscal rules that reflect the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact, are essential steps in this regard.
Surveillance cannot be effective unless it can rely on complete and accurate statistics. We call for a strengthening of the duties and powers of the European Statistical System, and a reinforcement of the mandates for data collection, adequacy of resources, accuracy and relevant auditing. Changes must go beyond the recent Council Regulation on Eurostat, which focuses on statistics for the excessive deficit procedure.
Crucially, the independence of analysis, judgement and surveillance should never again be put into question. I expect that the Commission will come forward with concrete proposals for governance reform to address this issue. To reinforce independent fiscal monitoring and assessment further, the ECB is also in favour of an advisory body of “wise men and women” at EU level, who would provide a “second opinion”.
To summarise, the “checklist” for a review of proposals for euro area governance would be affirmative answers to the following five questions:
  • First, does the fiscal surveillance framework effectively address the weaknesses that might give rise to a future crisis?
  • Second, is there a macroeconomic surveillance framework that can trigger effective adjustment of imbalances, of external indebtedness and of losses of competitiveness?
  • Third, are the enforcement mechanisms of fiscal and macroeconomic surveillance quasi-automatic and the enlarged sanctions sufficient to protect other members and the monetary union as a whole?
  • Fourth, does the framework include appropriate independence in surveillance, and impeccable quality checks of analysis and statistics?
  • And finally: are the new principles of economic governance anchored within national frameworks?
We will follow very closely during the next days the responses to those questions given by the Van Rompuy Task Force on the one hqnd, and by the College of the Commission on the other hand. I hope that they will be up to the crucial challenges at stake. If it were not the case, and if the responses were too timid in our opinion, we would make clearly the point and inform your Committee." (my emphasis)
Bearing in mind the preceding post, it must surely reinforce the call:
Come in Number 11, your time is up.

Financial Failure - Fine Them!

It would seem that EU ministers, meeting shortly, are to discuss new budget rules including possible supervision of member states’ public sector salaries, if the reports in EurActive, EUObserver and EUbusiness are to be believed. 

It is also being reported that countries who run a public debt higher than 60% of GDP would be required to reduce their excess over this figure by a yearly 5% for the following three years, or face a fine.* FT dot com weigh in to report that amongst the countries pressing hard for the fines to come almost automatically if certain benchmarks are breached is the UK.

Well it must now be obvious that besides the UK no longer needing the services of William Hague, we can now dispense with those of George Osborne. Can't be long now before we no longer need those of David Cameron!

In the case of the latter, some might say: RESULT!

* Forgive what may be a dumb question, but if a country is in dire financial straits - where does the money come from to pay a fine?

You WILL believe in Global Climate Change!

Courtesy of my good friend Ian Parker-Joseph, comes news of this suggestion from a Finnish professor who recommends:
"oppressive and brutal government should exert “tireless control of citizens” in shocking insight into threat of eco-fascism movement........openly calls for Nazi-style mass extermination policies to “kill defectives"
Should fit in quite well with the EUSSR's present policies, one would think!

Call the man deranged, but also recall that quite often the ideas of those deranged get to form the basis of government - I believe Hitler and Brown have been called deranged?

Quango Cull (2)

Following my earlier post on this subject it seemed a good idea to return to it - and this time let us consider the abolition of a further group of inter-related quangos: British Waterways; Inland Waterways Advisory Board; Commission for Integrated Transport.

It is only necessary to refer back to my previous post from which it can be seen the Trans-European Network-Transport is already in place and that this will oversee roads, rail and inland waterways. Referral to the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency website will show their 'objectives' for 2010 and clicking on the TEN-T Projects tab on the left hand side brings up a list of projects by country. Click on the UK and one can then see projects that have been/are being completed and which no doubt (although I have not checked) were done as a result of our toy government's initiative and improvement programme. Click on the last project reference, 2009-UK-92708-S to see the improvement work on the Felixstowe-Nuneaton Route. You will note that it has a reference to "Priority Project 26" and by clicking on this it will lead you to a "Project Description". Returning to the waterways quangos, by clicking on project reference 2009-UK-00026-E it can be seen why the British Waterways is no longer required.

It is worth repeating Articles 90 & 91 of the TFEU mentioned in my previous post - this time with my added emphasis:
"Article 90: The objectives of the Treaties shall, in matters governed by this Title, be pursued within the framework of a common transport policy.

Article 91: 1. For the purpose of implementing Article 90, and taking into account the distinctive features of transport, the European Parliament and the Council shall, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, lay down: (a) common rules applicable to international transport to or from the territory of a Member State or passing across the territory of one or more Member States; (b) the conditions under which non-resident carriers may operate transport services within a Member State; (c) measures to improve transport safety; (d) any other appropriate provisions."
When Cameron & Clegg wrote in the foreward to the Coalition Programme For Government document:
"This is an historic document in British politics: the first time in over half a century two parties have come together to put forward a programme for partnership government"
Once again they lied - and lied twice - in that (a) they forgot to mention that it was a partnership twixt the EU and them; and (b) that even that wasn't true because one can hardly call a partnership something in which one half has more power than the other!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Did You Know David Cameron Has His Own Song?

Courtesy of Subrosa, from whom I have shamelessly nicked this (being such a fan of Cameron):

As Subrosa says: Richard Stilgoe 2007.  A master of his art.

Global Cooling

Not heard of that much, have you? Devil's Knife has a good post in which he homes in on something that James Delingpole spotted. 
"The 58th Bilderberg Meeting will be held in Sitges, Spain 3 – 6 June 2010. The Conference will deal mainly with Financial Reform, Security, Cyber Technology, Energy, Pakistan, Afghanistan, World Food Problem, Global Cooling, Social Networking, Medical Science, EU-US relations."
Towards the end of DK's post he writes:
"If we allow them to, they’re going to get away with it. Our duty as free citizens over the next few years is to make sure that they don’t."
Oh no they won't DK, 'cause if I have my way they will all be doing 'the dance on air' underneath their own lampposts!

Get A Sense Of Humour, Please!

According to this report in the Telegraph, the London Borough of Barnet have banned mother-in-law jokes. Rather than descending into a rant about political correctness etc etc, I thought it applicable to email the following two jokes to Nick Walkley, Chief Executive, nick.walkely @ and suggest you follow suit with jokes of your own.
A big-game hunter went on safari with his wife and mother-in-law. One evening, while still deep in the jungle, the Mrs. awoke to find her mother gone. Rushing to her husband, she insisted on them both trying to find her mother.

The hunter picked up his rifle, took a swig of whiskey, and started to look for her. In a clearing not far from the camp, they came upon a chilling sight: the mother-in-law was backed up against a thick, impenetrable bush, and a large male lion stood facing her.

The wife said, "What are we going to do?"

"Nothing," said the hunter husband, "The lion got himself into this mess, let him get himself out of it."

"A married couple was in a terrible accident where the woman's face was severely burned. The doctor told the husband that they couldn't graft any skin from her body because she was too skinny. So, the husband offered to donate some of his own skin. However, the only skin on his body that the doctor felt was suitable would have to come from his buttocks. The husband and wife agreed that they would tell no one about where the skin came from, and requested that the doctor also honor their secret. After all, this was a very delicate matter.

After the surgery was completed, everyone was astounded at the woman's new beauty. She looked more beautiful than she ever had before! All her friends and relatives just went on and on about her youthful beauty!

One day, she was alone with her husband, and she was overcome with emotion at his sacrifice. She said, "Dear, I just want to thank you for everything you did for me. There is no way I could ever repay you."

"My darling," he replied, "I get all the thanks I need every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheek."

Hain "The Pain" Truly Is Despicable!

And in so being has shown his 'leftie' credentials with this speech to the Labour conference, in which he proclaims:
"Across Britain, we deprived the Tories of an outright victory when they thought they had it in the bag."
Hain would appear to have a very selective memory, or perhaps he was not aware of this.

But perhaps the biggest piece of disingeniousness is this statement:
"But most outrageous, totally unforgivable and totally unjustifiable, is that the new boundaries will be drawn up on a register excluding more than 3.5 million eligible voters, predominantly the young, poor and black and minority ethnic social groups And at the same time Nick Clegg says he wants to give prisoners the vote. So some of the most vulnerable, law abiding people in society will be deprived of a vote at the same time as the Deputy Prime Minister wants convicted murderers, rapists and paedophiles to get one." (my emphasis)
 Obviously Hain has forgotten all those pages that he termed a 'tidying up exercise' - on more than one occasion (pp 22/23) - and because of which prisoners have gained the right to vote. Whilst on Hain's quotes it is worthwhile reading all the others attributed to him!

This speech by Hain consists of blatant lies and untruths, but is to be expected from someone who, in his younger days, Harold Wilson's government had even considered charging with seditious conspiracy
for threatening to disrupt the proposed cricket tour by South Africa in 1970.

Oh Dear, Ed - You Still Don't Get It

Ed Miliband, newly annointed Leader of the Labour Party, has an article in the Sunday Telegraph - and unfortunately he forgot to hit the re-write button before pressing send.
"A new generation was entrusted with transforming our party and making sure that, once again, we stand up for the interests of families across Britain. We have a lot of ground to make up if we are to rebuild the broad coalition of support that swept us to power in 1997."
Like admitting that you and your colleagues were financially incompetent; that you attempted to rig the voting system with (a) an unparalled level of immigration and (b) increasing the public sector workforce who were then dependent on your largesse for their income;  that you sold out your country by signing the Lisbon Treaty, having previously denied the electorate their referendum; that you decimated the pub industry by the introduction of the smoking ban; that you were not the slightest bit interested in the country's well-being, but more interested in your own power and privileges - examples which will do for starters.
"I am proud of much that we achieved in office, but I am not someone who thinks that we have to defend every step we took. We made mistakes. We have to acknowledge them if we are to move on and address the challenges of the future."
It would probably be a good point at which to start were you to apologise to the country for all the matters raised in the preceding paragraph. And oh yes, you do have to defend every one of the decisions that you and your colleagues took - most definitely.
"They wanted a government that would stand up for Britain, but when it came to Iraq – the defining foreign policy test of our time in office – they lost trust in us."
Unfortunately it was not just Iraq, was it? The last Labour administration was quite content to allow this country to be taken over by Brussels and implement measures dictated by them that will mean we will be faced with crippling payments for an energy system that cannot - and never will - deliver.

Miliband E writes about faulty economics yet does not acknowledge Labour's failure to adhere to what must be the first rule of economics - namely to not spend money that you haven't got. He continues by saying that Labour have to show "they are a government in waiting" and that that is a tough challenge and will be a long journey. Anyone on the electoral role, should not forget MiliE's party and their record in government, which should mean MiliE will be an old man before he gets his hands on the reins of power. Where MiliE and his party gain is that through their efforts History as a subject is not really taught in our schools. Were it, then all would know of Labour's incompetence from their past efforts under Attlee, Wilson, Callaghan, Blair and Brown.

MiliE and his party should take heed of the following quotation, the two subjects of which they are totally guilty.
"Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
US Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark - Mapp vs Ohio

Thought For The Day - Just For Labour

"Tolerance is a better guarantee of freedom than brotherly love; for a man may love his brother so much that he feels himself thereby appointed his brother's keeper"
Everett Dean Martin (1880-1941) Liberty, 1930

The MiliBros Affair & Politicians

The Sunday papers provide 'wall-to-wall' coverage of the 'Miliband of Brothers' and the words of the new Leader of the Labour Party - and it is on the latter I wish to concentrate.

In today's Telegraph Andrew Gimson has a piece which is well worth a read and raises a few points which seem to have escaped most commentators. If Ed had so much love for his brother David, just why did he stand against him? If the words of Diane Abbott were 'distinct truths' that needed to be said, then why did Ed not say them?

There can be no doubt that MiliD must be - and no doubt is - extremely disappointed to have lost the opportunity of becoming leader of his party. There is also no doubt that the brothers have differing views on policy, yet Ed expects and would like David to serve under him and it would appear that David, from what he is reported to have said, would seem to be willing to do just that.

This raises the question once again of principles - if a campaign is fought for leadership and is lost, how can the loser then agree to serve under and follow the principles of the victor? Does that not demonstrate one of the reasons for which our present form of democracy fails? Is it not logical to expect the loser to politely say 'Thanks but no thanks', retain his/her dignity - encapsulated in which would be the respect of the electorate - and continue to fight for that in which they believe?

The Purple Scorpion has a post in which he writes:
"Is it beyond the imagination of journalists that Ed may have said what he had to say in order to get himself elected leader, and will now say what he has to say in order to get himself elected Prime Minister?"
On that comment, one is reminded of a quotation by Walter Karp (1934-1989), an American journalist and political theorist, who said:
"The most esteemed journalists are precisely the most servile. For it is by making themselves useful to the powerful that they gain access to the 'best' sources"
 which stands as an endictment to the standard of journalism today.

The entire MiliBros Affair just demonstrates for the nth time that politics is not about principle and honour, but about position and power - mores the pity. If our politicians had principles and honour and adhered to those qualities, perhaps the country would be better served?

Just a Sunday thought................... 

Update: Helen Szamuely on Your Freedom and Ours also has a piece worth reading.

Where Is The Difference?

Matthew d'Ancona, writing in the Sunday Telegraph:
"On Saturday, David Cameron won the next general election."'
Whilst d'Ancona believes (unlike some) he has many talents, it is not thought that prophesy is one of them. Who can foretell the state of the country in five years time? Not, it would seem, d'Ancona - who evidence shows cannot manage three years or even a few days. In September 2007 d'Ancona was writing that the Tory conference in Blackpool was probably the last one prior to an election and that the following year, in Birmingham, they would either be in government or be facing a fourth term in opposition. Even as late as 2nd May 2010, just four days before polling, d'Ancona was writing that Cameron would probably be Prime Minister. Possibly one of d'Ancona's friends will have a quiet word and suggest his gives up his prophetic attempts?

In his latest article d'Ancona attempts to analyse MiliE's political beliefs - yet he could also be writing about Cameron. Both believe in membership of the European Union; both are environmentalists; both believe in state control (albeit with differences about the level of that control); both believe in 'change'; and having met Cameron, yes "Indeed, his brow furrows.........when he confronts disagreement".

d'Ancona's article bears out a long held belief that not only do the Telegraph staffers nowadays write utter rubbish, they publish it when written by others too.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes and Sucklings......

Once again, courtesy of The Albion Alliance Presents, comes notice of this (click on Go to source) from Ashton, the High Representative Foreign Secretary of the European Union.
"Small Island Developing States (SIDS), not being a homogenous group, still face significant and quite diverse challenges"
You mean Cathy, like the United Kingdom and their efforts to escape the clutches of your insidious regime?
"Let me conclude, by assuring once again, the EU's full engagement in this process. We are in this with you for the long-haul."
And don't we know it, you apology of a politician who has never held a proper job in her bloody life!

After thought: And by heavens, is she not one of the 'sucklings'

Labour Leadership Contest

So the long awaited news breaks this afternoon, although as Richard North says: Does anyone care?

Tad surprised, in this day and age of the 'soundbite', why not one of MiliE's opponents came up with a twist on the old adage for a campaign slogan: "No Ed is better than one".

On the other hand, does the country deserve MiliD, Burham, Abbott or Balls - failed politicians every one, four of whom had their hands on the levers of power and contributed to the financial and social mess in which the country finds itself.

An Inflated Opinion Of Their Own Importance

The Scotsman reports that the head of a teaching union has stated that a disproportionate weight was already given to parents' views, that parents with a personal gripe can already have too much influence.

Only two questions: Who pays their wages and to whom do the children belong?

H/T: An Englishman's Castle

Friday, 24 September 2010

And In The Years To Come.........

Courtesy of The Albion Alliance Presents and their 'raw' news service of matters EU, we learn that a study is to be instigated into vocational education and training (VET). Click on "Go to source" and we find that:
"The study will elaborate a set of conclusions to inform European and national policy and research."
And in the years to come will be another bloody Directive or Regulation. Like the river Thames, these damn things never stop flowing!

UKIP Go To War?

The Talking Clock posts that Gerard Batten has formed an electoral pact with Tim Congdon, the latter who is standing for Leader - and that as part of this 'pact' Gerard Batten has withdrawn his candidacy for that position.
"In a brief form of the statement, Tim Congdon tells potential supporters: "Tim Congdon and Gerard Batten have announced that they will be working together in a joint bid for the leadership of the UK Independence Party. Gerard Batten has decided to stand down and to support the candidature of Tim Congdon. If Tim Congdon is elected Leader of the UK Independence Party, he will appoint Gerard Batten as Deputy Leader and Head of Policy Development."
Follow the links in TTC's post to read the statements by Batten and Congdon.

So now we will have the Farage/Nuttall camps in open warfare with the Batten/Congdon camps.

TTC ends his post:
"This is a race that just got a darn sight more interesting..."
And, I would venture, 'bloody'.............. FFS UKIP!

Quango Cull

Following the earlier post on the above topic the Telegraph has published a list of those being culled,; those being merged; those being saved and those over whom the Sword of Damocles still hangs. Douglas Carswell has weighed into the fray with this post in which he takes his usual 'accountability' line - not that that is wrong of course. However it is disappointing to see our leading Eurosceptic omitting the point made in the earlier post on this blog - that the EU bodies for most of them already exist. Tsk, Tsk, Douglas - shame on you.

As an example, consider one of those to be culled - the UK Film Council, who put out this statement:
"Abolishing the most successful film support organisation the UK has ever had is a bad decision, imposed without any consultation or evaluation. People will rightly look back on today's announcement and say it was a big mistake, driven by short-term thinking and political expediency." (my emphasis)
But then of course we have the European Regional Development Fund and EU MEDIA programme which initially posts on the assistance to be offered to European cinemas to 'go digital', but ends with this:

"The MEDIA programme will contribute €755 million to support Europe's film industry from 2007-2013. The funding helps improve the distribution and promotion of European films and strengthen the competitiveness of the sector.The new MEDIA Production Guarantee Fund will provide €8 million in loan guarantees in 2010-13 to support and facilitate access to finance for European film companies......"
so who needs the UK Film Council?

Political Expediency indeed!

Suffolk County Council

Much is made on Conservative Home about the decision of Suffolk County Council to 'outsource' its services (pity not one of the links works!) At the time of writing all that seems available on the Suffolk County Council website is this page in 'News'.

No doubt Suffolk County Council will do as they say and 'consult' with all those who may be affected by their decision:
"Councillor Jeremy Pembroke, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “This decision was made with consideration to the financial deficit in the public sector and the Coalition Government’s priority to reduce the deficit and the size of the state.  The Coalition requires lesser government and a bigger society, and Suffolk County Council has responded to this change.” Councillor Pembroke continued: “Now that Full Council has debated the issue and agreed with the future model for the county council, we can begin to talk with the people of Suffolk so they can be involved in the shaping of services for the future.” Today’s decision now enables the leadership within the council to further explore different options for the future delivery of services, along with beginning discussions with those people in the county who will be affected."
Conservative Home writes:
"Services planned for outsourcing in the first wave are:
•    Transactional property
•    Registrars
•    Suffolk traded services
•    Employment enterprises, learning and careers advice
•    Libraries
•    Home First
•    A record office
•    Independent Living Centres
•    Highway Services
•    Country Parks
•    Economic Development
•    Youth clubs, and Integrated Youth Support and Outdoor Education
•    Early Years & Childcare, including Children’s Centres
•    Home Shield Plus
•    Hate Crime Service
Some Council services will be discontinued or will only be continued without subsidy. But  the main story will be of the Council continuing to ensure services are provided but not providing them itself. Outsourcing is well known but applying the policy in such a rigorrous systematic and flexible approach makes the Suffolk apporach of wider interest."
and then continues to list all the services that Suffolk County Council, in association with District Councils, that they provide.

But - I cannot seem to find any mention (unless I have missed it) that Suffolk County Council recognise their legal obligation to carry out an Impact Assessment with every group of society who may be affected by every service they wish to outsource.

It may be that mention is made of this in the links which do not work - but logic dictates that if the Conservatives cannot 'cakewalk' a general election - and gain a majority - that was handed to them on a plate, it is hardly likely that they can make a few links work!

Cull Of Quangos Or Transfer Of Power To EU? - Guess!

Cross-posted from IanPJ on Politics:
"A HIT list of 177 taxpayer-funded bodies to be abolished in a “bonfire of quangos” has been drawn up, it emerged yesterday.

This story is running with most of the press this morning, so there must have been a briefing..
but before I start saying thank god, I want a copy of the detailed list, so that I can check it against contacts in the EU bodies that will inevitably take over responsibility for the remits that these quangos had, to see whether it is a genuine cull, or simply a movement of responsibility to the EU institutions; i.e. Health Protection Agency, there are equivalent EU bodies that do the same work, the European Medicines Agency & European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and there is an Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) although that equates to the Dept of Health in the UK.

I imagine the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will also fit into the list above as will the 30 health bodies that will be cut or have their functions transferred to the Department of Health.

If we are looking at killing off UK institutions in favour of EU agency control over their remits, then the EU bodies for most of them are already there. The British Council (probably a genuine cull), Environment Agency (European Environment Agency (EEA), Competition Commission (DG Competition), Design Council (not sure), Energy Savings Trust (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators), Equality and Human Rights Commission (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Forestry Commission (European Environment Agency (EEA)) and the Office for Fair Trading (Consumer Affairs) are among the 94 publicly funded bodies whose fate has yet to be decided would all fit into that target group.

How would the power be transferred? Each EU agency assuming the UK remits would liaise via the Committee of the Regions to feed their instructions and decisions back to local authorities in the UK who would then manage the implementation.

So expect the UK political announcements to be along the lines of… we are giving responsibility to local authorities etc, to bring decision making closer to the people… Smoke and bloody mirrors.

And its not just about the money although god knows it needs cutting, its about saving what is left of this country of mine, but it looks like our Euro-sceptic Tories are in the final phase of the 40 year programme of power transfers to the EU right now…

As I kept telling people, all those arrogant quislings who thought they were on to a winner, money money money, non jobs for life… well, now their work is done, now they have broken the back of England, they are and always were expendable, no longer needed and will be thrown on the scrap heap with those who have gone before them…

Industry by Industry they have taken the quislings for suckers…. now its the public sector and the quangos."
One has to wonder how many of our Coalition ministers have ever attended a Common Purpose seminar? No doubt an FOI would get thrown out! If all this comes to pass it must surely trigger a referendum?

Update: Just noticed Richard North has also latched onto this story - the rat is indeed beginning to smell!