Thursday, 31 March 2011

Why the UK is down the pan (with the chain pulled!)

In order to illustrate why the title of this post is true allow me to take you on a quick trip round the blogosphere (and do please follow all the links in the posts!).

Richard North, EU Referendum, highlights an article in the Mail which reports that the cost of Smart Meters, originally with an estimated 'roll-out' cost of £9billion will now cost £11.3billion. Reason? Ministerial incompetence.

England Expects posts on the fact that Mary Honeyball, MEP, publicly states that the EU has competence over only a limited range of issues – agriculture, fishing, some environment and some justice and home affairs, some trade and some industrial aid policy. This is a downright lie and an attempt to hide the truth as Mary Honeyball only has to read Articles 3-6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) to know that there is damn all areas of law-making that the EU does not have the power to decide!

Calling England believes that there's something nasty going on behind the scenes but the only thing that's clear at the moment is that we're the patsies - and who can blame her? On the question of the agreement to the bail-out (Osborne vs Darling vs Greening) someone is not telling the truth and we the people have a right to know exactly what the facts are.

Dick Puddlecote posts on the problems he has with his children's education and the fact that he has to instill in them the basics. So if the education system is not delivering the core requirements and parents are having to fill that gap, just what the hell are we paying taxes for?

The Boiling Frog posts on a letter received about the 'digital switchover' and on which the back of the envelope only contains two EU languages, the rest being in what looks like Arabic, and other languages written in hieroglyphics.

The Purple Scorpion links to Inspector Gadget who points out that if the 'front line' was a million strong, what would be the point with - in his words - p/poor sentencing.

What that short trip round part of the blogosphere shows us is that we have incompetent politicians; we have lying politicians; we have an education system that we are able to Reid read as 'not fit for purpose'; we have our national broadcaster spending money on a totally unnnecessary piece of equality; we have a serving policeman showing us that our justice system is a joke - and still the Great British Public would appear to not care less, or even have the slightest idea, as to what is happening under their noses!

Point to ponder: At the moment we have a situation where various opposition projects are being planned and which, on their own, will have limited impact. For example we recently had a demonstration planned against the Census (which came to nothing); we have a march planned 'for the cuts'; and word reaches me that VColumn are attempting to organise a demonstration later this year. What we have here is a 'fractured' opposition and it needs to be co-ordinated. 

Any ideas, anyone? Either reply in the comments or alternatively email me through my blog.

Just thinking aloud, you understand..........

ONS reports on EU

Helen, Your Freedom and Ours, reports on the Independent article of this version by the Daily Telegraph and quoting from the Independent, writes:
"Nice to have those official figures, though we know that HMG will not have a cost/benefit analysis of the country's membership of the EU because, as so many Ministers have pointed out over the years, the benefits are too obvious to need enumeration. Or words to that effect.

One of those benefits is supposed to be trade though why we should lose that if we were outside the EU is a mystery nobody has been able to solve. On the other hand, if we were outside it we might decide not to trade with the rest of that shower anyway.
" The ONS also revealed that the UK's trade deficit with the EU ballooned from £14.3bn to £46.6bn last year.

The UK Exchequer is further exposed to rescuing distressed members of the eurozone via a small European Commission fund and Britain's contributions to the IMF, which is also helping fund eurozone bailouts. In all, this could amount to around £10bn in rescue loans."
Well, goodness me, those benefits are all too obvious, are they not?"
Which is exactly why there never will be a government cost/benefit analysis and for the Treasury, in the Daily Telegraph report, to  react with dismay to the increase in payments and say they were working to restrict further rises is totally laughable - just how do they intend to do that? 

Cameron may wish the EU would disappear off the political agenda (much as we wish Cameron would disappear off the political scene, taking MiliE and Clegg with him - but again I digress) however it is doing just the opposite - an increase in public awareness aided and abetted, no less, by the EU Commission.

To mis-quote Churchill:  both at home and within the EU, never have so few brought so much misery to so many.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Unnecessary Flaggelation

With 5th May getting nearer, when our nation will be allowed to express an opinion on a matter on which the the vast majority neither understand nor in which they seem interested (AV), the media are attempting to "whip up a storm" to negate public apathy. The round of "official launches" and opening speeches have been made by both No2AV and Yes2AV - and the obligatory opinion polls have been published, the latter with often contradictory results.

What it seems the numpties in Parliament; in the media; those in the "Westminster Bubble"; and the public cannot understand is that it matters not what system of selecting an MP is chosen whilst the leader of a political party is able to control that party's MPs through the whips; it will not improve the standard of candidate until such time as open primaries are introduced; it will not produce any greater control over whichever candidate emerges as the winner; it will not give any greater opportunity of recalling an errant MP as the final decision on that still remains with MPs; it will not provide smaller parties any greater opportunity for their candidates to get elected.

Our present system of electing MPs, whether by FPTP or AV, can be likened to choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear; our present politicians talk about freedom and democracy, yet freedom is when the people speak and democracy is when politicians listen; and it should be remembered that tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more rigorously, more vigorously, and more severely, than by one.

H.L. Mencken is reported to have said:
"A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker."
in which case the basic requirements of any democracy need to be re-written so that freedom of thought, word and deed by the individual can be achieved; and that will only occur when the people of any nation have the right to self-determination and self-governance of their country; when those elected can prove they are indeed honourable men and women - and act accordingly.

Democracy vs Tyranny - and the difference is?

"Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves."
Joseph Sobran in The Myth of 'Limited Government'

Helen, over at Your Freedom and Ours, posts on tyranny and while admitting that there is much wrong with our country, considers that those of us who feel we live in an authoritarian or tyrannical state are insulting those who do - citing China as an example. There is very, very little of what Helen writes, in total, with which I can disagree; however on this latest post I have to say that there are different forms of tyranny. Admittedly, as far as we know, people do not "go missing" at the hands of the state - some would argue that one who did "go missing" was eventually found dead on an Oxfordshire hillside, but I digress - but, picking up on the last paragraph of Helen's post, neither can the truth be found in any country where there is no freedom of speech, or access to information relating to ministerial actions and decisions taken whilst in office.

Goodnight Vienna, over at Calling England, posts on Bill Cash's article on Conservative Home - the latter showing how time and again his requests for information get "brushed aside"; that matters which are supposed to be subject to scrutiny are not; that when information is provided it is of such an obfuscatory nature as to be meaningless; and that there most definitely was collusion between the Lib/Lab/Con on the bail-out matter in the period between 6th and 11th May 2010.

An Englishman's Castle links to an article in the Guardian on the introduction of "Smart Meters" - something due to start in 2014 - on which I have posted previously here, here and, showing it is not just electricity that is due to be regulated but also water, here.

Where a Prime Minister can, with apparent ease and no fear of retribution, lie to the House of Commons and thereby to the people; where that same Prime Minister can ignore a popular request for a referendum on this country's membership of the EU; where a government decides not to supply information that should be in the public domain; where a government can interfere with the provision of a service for which an individual is paying; where politicians can decide whether MPs can be recalled by their constituents; where politicians can decide to ignore the result of a referendum if that result is "inconvenient"; is that not "authoritarian" and/or "totalitarian" behaviour?

There are those in this country who believe that the only exit from the mess in which we find ourselves is that of revolution. Did not Abraham Lincoln, in a speech to Congress on January 12, 1848 say:
"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better."
For what it is worth, my prediction is that if the EU and our politicians continue on the path they are presently following, whereby their draconian/authoritarian/totalitarian characteristics become even more obvious - coupled with the awakening of the electorate, those wanting their revolution may well find that in 2015/2016 their dreams come true!

Update: Pop over to DP's place if you want examples of authoritarianism - of which this is a flavour! This lot can join the queue for the lamp posts too!

Surely a reason for a referendum

"Personal liberty without economic liberty is an absolute contradiction; the one cannot exist without the other."
William E. Simon
Likewise a nation's liberty without economic liberty is also a contradiction with the same result.

The Coalition's European Union Bill promises a referendum where any further transfer of power is proposed. When a nation's ability to set its own budget and thereby manage its own financial affairs is removed from a nation then logic dictates that a loss of power has occured.

Sometime this afternoon, or early evening a Motion will be made on a "European Union Document" (without debate) whereby the House of Commons will approve the "start of a new cycle of economic governance in the European Union .... designed to apply to the EU as a whole". This "Document" can be read here and unless I am very, very wrong will mean that the process by which the UK government sets its budget is now part of a wider process overseen by the European Commission. Tax and spend decisions within "all member states", even the non-Eurozone ones, are now subject to EU oversight. 

That this can occur, without any reference to the people of this country; without even a debate and vote in the House of Commons, serves to illustrate that our government, MPs and Parliament is impotent and can no longer justify their existence.

Our apology for a Prime Minister still believes that Britain's future lies in membership of the EU? That decision, bearing in mind the foregoing, confirms the man is a fool who deserves no respect whatsoever!

Is Clarke on "Waccy-Baccy"?

From the BBC yesterday:

Err, were not politicians up in arms about granting prisoners the vote? Words fail me!

Either Clarke is smoking the "funny stuff" or he really does, in common with the majority of politicians, have **** for brains!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

More EU = less political honesty by UK politicians

Andrew Duff MEP (Liberal Democrat) has just been re-elected as President of the Union of European Federalists at their Congress in Brussels at the weekend (25-27 March, 2011). Part of his acceptance speech included the following:
"By 2013 we will be ready for a new revision of the EU treaties which will fill in the gaps left by the Lisbon treaty and repair some of its shortcomings."
So by 2013/2014 there may well be yet another treaty change, coupled with a plethora of directives and regulations which it can be assumed without any doubt will involve yet more 'tightening' of economic governance and yet more integration resulting in yet more loss of powers. Whether any of this will give a reason for a referendum under the Coalition's European Union Bill is debatable, as Cameron and Clegg will do all they can to avoid such a referendum - even to the extent of lying to the British people, something which Cameron showed he can do quite easily - as he illustrated yesterday in the House of Commons.

Why politicians seem unable to be transparent and honest with the British people, especially in matters EU, heaven only knows. The latest example of political 'flannel' comes from Norman Baker, Transport Minister, who dismisses the latest White Paper from the EU Commission, which intends to ban cars from city centres, with the words:
"We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas"
Just how many times have we heard our politicians assuring us that 'this' won't affect us; 'this' is not even being discussed; etc etc, only to find that 'this' does affect us and had been discussed for some time. As Transport Minister, Norman Baker must be aware that transport is a shared competence with the EU (Article 4, TFEU) and as such must also be aware that if the EU says cars will be banned, they will be banned and there is nowt Baker or anyone else can do about it.

Is it asking too much of our politicians to be honest? Do they have no honour? Are they so blind that they are unable to see the distrust and revulsion in the electorate's eyes? Why can they not see what is in front of their noses when they continually bemoan the lack of interest shown by the electorate in politics?

With regard to the last point, on reflection perhaps it is because they are unaware of words attributed to Jay Leno:
"If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates."

Monday, 28 March 2011

For what we are about to receive (may the good Lord get us the hell out!)

Once again, with thanks to The Albion Alliance Presents, notice of an extremely important document published by the European Commission can be read here - one that has untold costs for this country. It relates to what is in store for us in the field of transport covering air, road, rail and waterway travel including the movement of goods. From the EU Commission White Paper, from the Annexe (page 18) it is possible to see just what is planned - a programme to make the mind boggle! Forget the time involved, the entire document is well worth reading!

As to cost, one can but quote from page 14, point 55:
"A well-performing transport network requires substantial resources. The cost of EU infrastructure development to match the demand for transport has been estimated at over € 1.5 trillion for 2010-2030. The completion of the TEN-T network requires about € 550 billion until 2020 out of which some € 215 billion can be referred to the removal of the main bottlenecks. This does not include investment in vehicles, equipment and charging infrastructure which may require an additional trillion to achieve the emission reduction goals for the transport system." (my emphasis)
 This document sets out, for the future, in what, where and how you will be allowed to travel and the additional costs which will have to be borne depending on the mode of travel selected. Just where does this madness end and, more importantly, just how deep are are pockets?

Let no-one be mislead - HS2 is no more a British policy than I'm the Pope! Let no politician ever try to tell me that, when the party of government, they 'govern' this country. Following Cameron's misleading Parliament, let no politician from the Lib/Lab/Con attempt to talk to me because I will quote some well-known words; namely there is nothing that they could say to me now or in the future that I would believe!

Misleading Parliament?

This afternoon David Cameron "reported" to the House of Commons on his attendance at the European Council meeting that took place at the end of last week. His statement to the House on economic matters contained just 604 words (Economy: 79; Eurozone: 256; Growth: 269) and to say it was lacking in detail would be the understatement of the year. Cameron began by stating (provisional Hansard transcript):
"Britain had two goals at this Summit. …first, to support the euro area’s efforts to bring stability to the eurozone, while fully protecting Britain’s sovereignty… …and second, following our Budget for growth last week, to win support for a similarly ambitious pro-growth, pro-market agenda for Europe as a whole."
From John Redwood it is possible to see that what Cameron did not report to the House was that the European Council agreed:
"priorities for fiscal consolidation and structural reform.
priority to restoring sound budgets and fiscal sustainability, reducing unemployment through labour market reforms and making new efforts to enhance growth. All Member States will translate these priorities into concrete measures to be included in their Stability or Convergence Programmes and National Reform Programmes. On this basis, the Commission will present its proposals for country-specific opinions and recommendations in good time for their adoption before the June European Council.
In particular, Member States will present a multi-annual consolidation plan including specific deficit, revenue and expenditure targets, the strategy envisaged to reach these targets and a timeline for its implementation. Fiscal policies for 2012 should aim to restore confidence by bringing debt trends back on a sustainable path and ensuring that deficits are brought back below 3 % of GDP in the timeframe agreed upon by the Council. This requires in most cases an annual structural adjustment well above 0.5% of GDP. Consolidation should be frontloaded in Member States facing very large structural deficits or vey high or rapidly increasing levels of public debt.
Member States will set out the main measures required to move towards the Europe 2020 headline targets as agreed in June 2010. They will also present policy measures to correct harmful and persistent macroeconomic imbalances and improve competitiveness.
The package of six legislative proposals on economic governance is key to ensuring enhanced fiscal discipline and avoiding excessive macroeconomic imbalances. It includes a reform of the Stability and Growth Pact aimed at enhancing the surveillance of fiscal policies and applying enforcement measures more consistently and at an earlier stage, new provisions on national fiscal frameworks and a new surveillance of macroeconomic imbalances."
As Redwood states, in other words, progress towards common economic government was marked. The Euroland states also signed up to a super pact for them. The measures above apply to all member states. In other words, as the title to Redwood's post states, what was agreed amounts to common EU economic governance.

Much has been written about the period between the general election and the start of the Coalition government, especially in relation to the UK agreeing to bail-outs. From the report:
"Mr Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West) (Lab): Does the Prime Minister accept that when he referred to the discussions that took place last May on the eurozone fund he gave a somewhat incomplete account of my conversation with the now Chancellor? We did indeed agree that we should do everything we could to keep Britain out of the main part of the rescue fund, but in relation to the smaller element to which the Prime Minister refers, what we discussed was not voting against, but abstention, recognising that Britain could have been outvoted—that is exactly the same thing that the Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to when dealing with Ireland. So when the Prime Minister next refers to this issue, perhaps he would give the whole account, not a partial account, of what happened.

The Prime Minister: Fortunately, I have had a full discussion with the Chancellor about that issue and he was absolutely clear that it was something to which Britain should not agree; nor should we. The problem is that we are stuck with this mechanism, which I have managed to get rid of once the new mechanism is introduced. That is the sort of action, frankly, that we have needed in Europe these past few years.
A little later comes this exchange:
"Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): Further to the question asked by the former Chancellor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh South West (Mr Darling), I am sure that there will have been an official note of the conversations between the former Chancellor and the present Chancellor. Will the Prime Minister publish that note so that we can decide for ourselves whether he or the former Chancellor is providing the more accurate report?
The Prime Minister: I will certainly look at the suggestion because I am absolutely clear about what the conversation was and that the current Chancellor did not support the action being taken by the previous Chancellor."
On this subject Douglas Carswell has, on more than one occasion, attempted to solicit information as to what exactly transpired and what briefings were given to George Osborne on the occasion of his being appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. Today, Carswell had another try:
"Mr Douglas Carswell (Clacton) (Con): The Prime Minister has suggested that we are liable for the bail-out mechanism entirely thanks to the former Chancellor. In that case, will he be happy for the current Chancellor to respond to my freedom of information request and publish the advice that he received on this matter on assuming office to demonstrate that we are not liable for the bail-out billions because of any failure to grasp the small print in those first few halcyon days in office?
The Prime Minister: I can go into even more detail if my hon. Friend wants: article 122 was turned into qualified majority voting via the Nice treaty. My right hon. and learned Friend, Michael Howard, who is now in another place, said, as a Back Bencher, “You are making a terrible mistake here: this could be used for future bail-outs,” and the then Europe Minister, the right hon. Member for Neath (Mr Hain), said in reply:
“The use of QMV…does not undermine the no-bail-out rule set out in article 103.”—[Official Report, 4 July 2001; Vol. 371, c. 359.]
What is worrying is that the Nice treaty made the situation worse and the previous Government were warned about it but they did not pay any attention."
It cannot fail to be noticed that Cameron did not answer Carswells question (not that any prime minister ever answers a direct question) - and reverting to the matter of what transpired during the days when the country was 'government-less', courtesy of Calling England and Politics Home, lo and behold it would appear that there was cross-party consensus on signing up to Eurozone bail-outs! If the word "not" has been omitted due to a typing error it might just save the present Economic Secretary to the Treasury from a 'roasting' - 'justine' time!

Further evidence of misleading Parliament comes from Carswell's blog in which he reiterates that Coalition ministers say that they were opposed to the last minute deal outgoing Chancellor, Alistair Darling, did to make Britain liable for the Euro 60 Billion bailout Mechanism. Someone is not telling the truth here! One also has to ask why Carswell's FOI request remains unanswered when there is a statutory time limit imposed on such responses to an FOI request.

As an aside, and as with both Cameron and Clegg, it should be noted that Labour has confirmed that they too are more than happy with economic governance - witness in Ed Miliband's response, he says:
"On economic policy, I welcome the Europe 2020 conclusions, the proposals on economic governance......."
In conclusion, for David Cameron to proclaim:
"The right hon. Gentleman asked that we keep the House up to date and I certainly intend to do that......."
when he has done anything but that really does beggar belief and lends further credence that our politicians are not to be trusted!

Misconduct in public office

The title of a press release by Andrew Withers, the contents of which have been posted by IanPJ on Politics. To understand the background to this matter I would direct you to this page on IPJ's blog.

It is no wonder that more and more people in this country are coming to the opinion that politics and the civil service are no longer the 'honourable' professions that they used to be. Both professions should be acting in the public interest - unfortunately, as IPJ states, the public interest is not served by smears, forgeries, contempt of Court and criminal activity.

Bearing in mind that this matter in effect began back in 2008, it would seem that a number of political figures (of all three 'major' parties) and civil servants are likely to receive some, for them, very unwelcome publicity.

Further thoughts on the Census

And the completion/non-completion of same.

Autonomous Mind has, under self-protest, apparently bitten the bullet - whilst Dick Puddlecote offers an alternative option. Me? Well I still rely on the defence in my previous post.

Not having any funds (at least none that they can access) to pay £1,000 for each question unanswered and coupled with the present government's wish not to overload the prison population, I presume that is me on never-ending community service then!

More from Russia Today

Misanthrope Girl posts on Libya and asking the question of what happens when the no-fly zone ends. Yet again we are reliant on Russia Today who have an in-depth interview with Nigel Farage on the same subject, who whilst answering questions using plain simple English also poses one or two.


Two comments to this youtube video are worthy of repetition:
"UKIP is probably the only legitimate alternative/opposition political party in the UK. However, the current regime/system ensures that the majority of voters will never see anything like this interview."
 "A similar problem of censorship is existent in the States. If citizens don't actively seek out the truth, they'll just be fed shovels full of bullsh*t. (Lord, I love Farage! Wish we could clone him!)"
It can only be hoped that UKIP do 'get their act together' and thereby actually become the legitimate alternative/opposition party. What is needed in their presentation is more emphasis on their policies and less on the EU - but then pointing out that to implement policies which do appeal to the majority of the electorate, immigration, defence, law & order, education, it would be necessary to withdraw from the EU.

So, Nigel, what about it then?

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wishful Thinking?

"The more numerous public instrumentalities become, the more is there generated in citizens the notion that everything is to be done for them and nothing by them. Every generation is made less familiar with the attainment of desired ends by individual actions or private agencies; until, eventually, governmental agencies come to be thought of as the only available agencies."
Herbert Spencer, The Man versus the State (1884)

Last Thursday Ian Parker-Joseph and I attended a Bruges Group meeting at which the speakers were Bill Cash MP and Peter Oborne. The podcasts of both speeches can be accessed here. Bill Cash's speech was informative and quite interesting, however we both considered it a tad too infused with an element of what one might call "self-importance". Peter Oborne's speech basically provided a preview of his op-ed piece in the following days edition of the Daily Telegraph. Our general consensus was that if this was the best that the Eurosceptic movement could provide, then Eurosceptism is in deep trouble.

However, the highlight of the evening was, during the drinks and nibbles afterwards, speaking to a Conservative supporter who, when questioned about our right to self-governance; the illogical stance of the party he supports; the lack of 'backbone'' exhibited by most MPs of his party; the dictatorial attitude of his party Leader; the right to individual self-determination; breaking the 'control' of central government; and why he was still prepared to vote Conservative amounted to, paraphrasing: "Well, I have always voted Conservative and suppose I always will". With regard to this particular individual, therein lie the problems, ones also only too prevalent amongst supporters of both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties: tribalism, blinkered-vision and an inability to think for oneself. Is it any wonder that the Lib/Lab/Con have managed to retain their grip on the political scene for so long, when they have supporters of the intellectual calibre of the fellow IPJ and I met?

I have posted previously about the democratic deficit under which we live, but perhaps the latest example of this occurred last week when Parliament voted overwhelmingly - and retrospectively - in favour of the imposition of a no-fly zone. With such efforts expended obtaining the permission of NATO, the UN - not forgetting of course Brussels - why was the permission of our Parliament not sought prior to military action being undertaken? It is worth mentioning a couple of points: according to Liam Fox the aim is to ensure the Libyan people have their own voice and decide for themselves their own future - in which case why does he not practise at home that which he wishes to instill abroad? Second: courtesy of pixijade, who links to this article by Christopher Booker - from whom we learn that the total cost of the six Storm Shadow missiles 'delivered' to Libya was approximately £7million - we could have saved quite a few libraries, filled a few potholes, we could even have paid the outstanding bill for the Barts and the London NHS Trust project.

Stuart Wheeler, writing his paper "A Question of Trust", states:
"Being a member of parliament is not just a vocation for the man or woman fortunate enough to be called to do it. Electing a person to sit in the Commons is the highest trust the British people can place in someone. Too many MPs have proved unworthy of it. Moreover the party system, by reducing private members to state-funded obedient servants, has severely damaged the House of Commons."
What is to be done in order that this deplorable situation can be reversed? Well, H.L. Mencken reportedly said:
"It doesn't take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause."
As the Lib/Lab/Con have such a grip on our political scene - as mentioned previously - and also basically control what appears in our media, the opportunity of the British people to see through the charade our political elite practise is undoubtedly remote. It is logical therefore to believe that any change will be damn difficult to achieve through the ballot box as whilst it would appear "others" percentage share is rising in opinion polls, albeit it slowly, the danger is that by the time "others" gain any substantial following our society will be even more 'regulated and ordered' than it presently is. Those of us who believe in our country; who believe in self-governance; who believe in individual freedom do have "a sound cause" - what we lack is the leadership, someone with "fire in his belly" who will publicly brand those who have betrayed the trust given them as a collection of vacuous, venal and self-centred cretins.

It is my belief that such leadership should forget that they are British and that the British 'play fair according to the rules'; that they should forgo being 'nice' as being 'nice' gains nothing; that they should forget the long words and employ a little good old 'Anglo-Saxon' (omitting, naturally, the necessity of having those words translated into heaven knows how many other languages). For far too long the Lib/Lab/Con have been allowed to debate amongst themselves - witness the Leaders "debate" at the last general election and where that got us! Why do not the leaders of other parties - UKIP, LPUK, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru begin a programme of daily demands for a public debate with the leaders of the Lib/Lab/Con on governance, per se, of the UK? Why, for example, do not those parties that wish for the UK to withdraw from the EU not begin a programme of daily demands for a cost/benefit analysis of that membership? Were such campaigns to be started, the longer the Lib/Lab/Con prevaricate, the more they would be held to ridicule for not accepting the challenge and I wager, the more the public would "get on board" - wondering why the challenge was being avoided and increasingly demanding that the various debates did take place. 

All avenues open in a democracy must surely be tried first because the alternative is revolution and that will not be pretty, will be bloody and should not need to take place in what I believe is still a civilised country. Whichever path is eventually followed, we the people need a leader - the question is: Do we have one?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Census Day 2011 - Sunday 27th March

The big day dawns and exactly how many, I wonder, will refuse to complete the Census Form? The Daily Telegraph informs us that "an army of enforcers has been given police powers to gather criminal evidence against householders who fail to complete tomorrow’s national survey. It continues:
"For the first time in the 210-year ­history of the census, a unit of “non-compliance” officers authorised to conduct interviews under caution will visit homes across the country.......or those who repeatedly refused to take part, a unit of 100 “non-compliance” staff had been recruited to gather evidence for potential prosecution. “It’s a last resort but we expect to have to take action against some who are persistently refusing,” Mr Watson said. “Ultimately, it is a fine and a criminal record."
Glen Watson, the census director, first has to get his "non-compliance" officers admitted to some one's home - and I am intrigued by the phrase "persistently refusing". What is the legal definition of "persistently refusing"? As Viki Woods writing in the same newspaper shows, if the ONS are prepared to accept incorrect responses just what is the point of the damn thing anyway? A further point worth noting is that, if the Telegraph figures are correct, only 38 people were prosecuted out of over one million who did not return a census form - that is not justice for all, more selective justice and something that should not exist in a democracy. 

The days following 6th April sure are going to be "interesting" - aren't they? My form was placed in the appropriate receptacle on the day it arrived and I can but refer those that have not seen it to this post. I now sit back and await further events - especially as I don't have £1,000 and at my age a criminal conviction matters not one iota!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Now I've started............

on the "romantic" theme, this has to be one of the most beautiful love songs that any man could compose for the love of his life.

"The story of my live beings and ends with you...."

"You're the story of my life and every word is true, each chapter sings your name, each page begins with you...."

Just beautiful!

Love Songs

Possibly being a man, I have never 'taken' to female singers, however as with all 'rules' there has to be an exception and in this case it is Shirley Bassey (love or hate her!). The reason for my admiration of her is that she has the ability to put 'feeling' into her singing. Witness the way she puts 'emotion' into the words "Hate" and "Mad" in the following:

When considering the song "No Regrets", automatically one thinks of Edith Piaf and "Je ne regrette rien", yet there is another song of the same title, one written by Tom Rush. I have no idea who arranged the orchestration of this version, which I think adds to the recording, but it is impossible to disagree that this, as a song exemplifying a longing that can never be recaptured, is hard to beat.

Apologies, but I am a tad of a romantic at heart!

The reason for all our race relation problems in England

The "answer" comes in the following from Flanders and Swann.

"... its not that your bad, it knowing your foreign thats driving you mad"
If the "Establisment" consider that racist - tough!

Bad Moon Rising

Or, to be more precise, Bad Cameroon Rising!

Yes, we can see troubles on the way; yes we can see earthquakes and lightening on the horizon; yes, we can see the bad times today; yes it probably will take our life; yes there are hurricanes approaching; yes, the end is coming soon; yes, the rivers of public discontent are overflowing; yes, we do feel the voice of rage and ruin; yes, we are getting our things together and yes, some of us are prepared to die for that which the politicial class so obviously do not believe in; yes, we are in for nasty weather; and most certainly yes, we do see that an eye for an eye is a good form of justice.

Consider: the Budget with the petrol price cut/increase; the breaking of a pledge about winter fuel allowances; the potential bail-out for which we will be liable for Portugal; that MPs are being allowed to reinstate their expenses scam; the denial of the political class that the people are their masters; Cameron's insistence (along with MillibandE and Clegg) that we must remain within the EU; the manner in which this country has been committed to what will amount to a war in Libya; the Coalition's insistence that we pour yet more money down the environmental toilet; that our future generations are being 'dumbed down' by a p/p education curricula; that our present crop of political elite haven't the faintest idea of what they are actually doing; that according to Nigel Farage, he was informed by Van Rompuy "those countries would not, indeed could not, go to war in Libya without the EU council's approval", something which beggars belief (and of course, we are a self-governing nation?); and - oh hell, need I continue?

The is only one way out of this mess and that is that Cameron, MilibandE and Clegg (plus 647 approximately) need to be "killed". It matters not to me whether that is accomplished metaphorically or physically!

An example of state news censorship

Why can we not see an in depth interview like this on a British television channel? Just why do we have to rely on a foreign news service, in this case Russia Today?

Is there something "they" don't want us to know?

Nigel Farage doing what he does best

On 22nd March Nigel Farage spoke to students at the University of Ghent - 59 minutes of plain speaking.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Thursday 24th March 2011

Due to diary commitments posting will be intermittent until late afternoon Sunday, at the earliest. Any posts that can be done will appear late evening.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Yet more EU-Creep

Two reports from EurActiv and EUobserver should ring alarm bells, the second reporting:
"Europe must invest €1.5 trillion in transport infrastructure over the next two decades and a further €1 trillion in vehicles and equipment, the European Commission is set to say."
The EUobserver report continues that the EU Commission white paper states transport charges and taxes must be restructured in the direction of wider application of the 'polluter-pays' and 'user-pays' principle;  and that an annex to the white paper provides an action list for governments in this area. "Revise motor fuel taxation with clear identification of the energy and CO2 component," and "Phase in a mandatory infrastructure charge for heavy-duty vehicles," are among the proposals, to be implemented before 2016. Another includes an extra charge when purchasing road vehicles, factoring in the "social costs of congestion, CO2 - if not included in fuel tax - local pollution, noise and accidents.

EurActiv continues the green transport theme with:
"The Commission is therefore proposing an ambitious plan which eyes significant reductions of emissions especially in road transport, while it intends to increase rail traffic, on the grounds that is by far cleaner and more environment-friendly. The Commission plan targets mainly urban and road freight transport. The objective of car-free cities by mid-century is to be pursued through fiscal measures, promotion of alternative transport systems, and building of the necessary infrastructure to move to a widespread use of electric and clean cars." (my emphasis)
 Just how the hell does one "factor in social costs of congestion, noise and accidents" into the charge of any item? Digressing, one wonders what the extra charge should be were it to be levied on politicians of whom there are far too many thus causing congestion; who make an awful lot of noise to no effect; and who are, in most cases, accidents of birth.

Yet another worrying report comes from England Expects who writes on a a one day public hearing on the subject of The Future of EU Intelligence & Internal Security, in particular the views of Ferenc Banfi, the boss of the European Police College, located at Bramshill, Hampshire, who trained and served as a Communist era policemen, who has an extremely bizarre website, and is committed to the creation of an EU FBI, seem to be pointing a different direction. 

As Gawain Towler points out the phrase "symbolic authorities of national sovereignty" is rather 'chilling', is it not? Not surprising though when it is already apparent that Westminster has virtually become a symbolic seat of government where this country is concerned.

The Albion Alliance Presents reports on the fact that the European Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment board (STOA) held a hearing on on the pros and cons of e-voting on 17 March; in which it considering the falling participation rate in EP elections, efforts to increase it and get Europeans involved in European policy being considered crucial . One way forward the hearing suggested may be e-voting, especially among young voters who can do it between watching YouTube videos and checking Facebook.

If anything further demonstrates the dire depths to which politics has sunk it must be the belief that it is something one can do at the press of a button in between watching youtube and checking Facebook. On top of that is the thought that if the authorities can intercept telephone calls, monitor emails and our activities on the internet, it is but an easy step to 'monitor' 'intercept' votes in order to get the desired result.

As far as I am concerned - and I believe I speak for many - I believe it is time to say to Brussels: We're off, byeeee!

Two songs used to create a third

As we are going to have nothing but politics today, what with Prime Minister's Questions and George Osborne's Budget, I thought something different was called for.

Written in 1984, Dancing in the Dark became, probably, Bruce Springsteen's biggest hit.

Twenty three years previously, 1961, Pat Boone had a hit with a record called Moody River.

In 1985 a little known group, Big Daddy, who specialised in 'mash-ups' (overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another) produced their version of Dancing in the Dark.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bones, Muscle (lack of) and Hot Air - Finally, Happy Days

Courtesy of The Albion Alliance Presents we learn that experts, nominated by the respective European Society,  are due to meet in London to discuss gastroenterology and rheumatology, which would seem to be another waste of money, to say the least.

From Wikipedia we learn that gastroenterology concerns the study of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract which includes the organs from mouth to anus. From the same source it is known that rheumatology relates to diseases affecting the joints, muscles, and bones.

It is perhaps ironic that this meeting of experts should be held in London, the capital of a nation whose politicians possess neither muscle nor backbone and therefore have no stomach for a fight with Brussels; whose ability for joint-up thinking is non-existent - coupled with the knowledge that which ever end of their bodies you consider the output is nothing but hot-air.

Now if we could just get rid of the EU and our useless politicians, we might all be singing Oh Happy Days!

MPs - 'Q' Ships

Pixijade posts on Hannan and Carswell, linking to another post - that of Muffled Vociferation - in relation to the 'Peoples Pledge'. It was that thought from MV which resulted in my comment on Pixijade's post, namely are Hannan and Carswell all that they appear? Are they the equivalent of 'Q-ships' which were used during World War I & II?

It is a sign of the dire straits to which politics has descended in our country that it becomes necessary to question the motives, especially in respect of Carswell, of one who is considered "Honourable" - a suspicion that then, unfortunately by association, has to be directed to Hannan. Are they in fact working to secure a referendum in this country knowing that it would be lost - especially with the recent news that the EU intends to 'interfere' in any referendum held - and thereby accomplishing Cameron's stated dream that we remain in the EU?

Why else would they both urge that the Better Off Out (BOO) campaign be wound up? Why would they wish to create a new 'movement' comprising MPs other than to keep that new 'movement' 'in-house' and thereby controllable? It would appear they are attempting to split Eurosceptic support in their own party (what there is of it), which leads one to ask: Why?

As with other MPs, the question has to be enquire of both men why are they members of the Conservative Party and why do they take the Conservative Whip? Surely if their publicly stated views are correct, should they not resign the Conservative Whip and declare their support for another party? Should they not take a leaf out of David Davis' book - who resigned his seat in order to promote debate on civil liberties - and stand for re-election? If they believe so much in self-government, would it not be logical to do likewise and thus promote debate on EU membership? 

All things considered, there is nothing like putting one's beliefs and principles to the test - is there chaps?

Update: You might like this.

Here we go again - ceding powers

From Hansard (Lords):

Lord Lamont of Lerwick (Col 533):
".... was something called the competitiveness pact, which covered a whole range of policies including: the indexation of wages as applied to countries such as Belgium; the retirement age; and having a uniform system of corporate tax."

Lord Howell of Guildford (Col 544):
"My noble friend Lord Lamont also asked about the competitiveness pact. I can tell him that the latest draft of the pact makes it clear that: "  The Pact will fully respect the integrity of the Single Market".  I am then advised that non-eurozone countries-such as us, among others-have been invited to join the pact and that we are assessing whether we should do so." (my emphasis)
Open Europe press summary adds:
"Non-eurozone countries, such as the UK, must decide at this week’s summit whether or not they will take part in the wide ranging proposals for economic governance – which include tax coordination, labour market reforms and EU supervision of national budgets."
Is not setting the indexation of wages, the retirement age, supervision of national budgets and corporate tax not presently a power of nation states? If a nation is being told that to join the competitiveness pact means that power over these matters will be ceded to the EU - is that not a loss of powers? Should we, the people, not be asked whether we agree to this?

Just asking............

Libya & Democracy

Yesterday a debate took place in the House of Commons on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 and the Hansard record of the debate can be read here, commencing at Column 700.

The hypocrisy and general tone of the debate takes one's breath away as will be seen if the entire Hansard Record of the debate is read. David Cameron in his opening remarks stated that the Libyans must choose their own future and about the need to cease attacks on civilians. Ed Miliband spoke about Colonel Gaddafi's threat to hundreds of thousands of people in Benghazi and elsewhere puts him in a particular category and that, in the face of democratic protest and the demand for change, it is simply not acceptable to turn to methods of repression and violence. Menzies Campbell mentioned the fact that deceit, deception and defiance have kept Gaddafi in power for many, many years.

In summation there were many speeches (well, in some cases words read from sheets of paper - where are our great speakers, those who can just rise to their feet and leave us spell-bound with their oratory?) praising Cameron for his leadership, speaking about the need to avoid suppression of the Libyan people and that they and they alone must decide their future.

To pick-up on the few points made above, if it is essential that the Libyan people must choose their own future then why can't we in the UK? If there is a need to cease military attacks on the population, why differentiate between military attacks and those of a democratic nature - where principle is concerned, are not both illegal in a democracy? If, in the demand of change it is not acceptable to turn to methods of repression, why are we not allowed a referendum on EU membership? Is not denial of that by one man, any different to any denial of due democratic process of which Gaddafi stands accused? Finally, what pray is the difference between the deceit, deception and defiance that has kept Gaddafi in power and those same actions that have kept our politicians in power?

One final question: when those great numbers of us in this country decide to protest and demonstrate for what is our right, will the rest of the world implement a no-fly zone over the UK and target those installations that may be used to supress our protests?