"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Up To Our Necks

Take another look at the flag on the left - the Union Jack flying proudly over our seat of representative democracy.  Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?

It's a lie.   There's a blog called "Liars, B*ggers & Thieves", you've probably visited it. It details what some of our elected officials get up to when they're not rubber-stamping diktats from on high or group-thinking around the latte table, dreaming up new ways to tax us in the form of 'fines'.

There must be very few councillors and MPs who aren't liars by omission. Into that mix let's throw the British press and news reporting agencies as well. Not one of them has had the decency to break cover and tell the people the truth about the extent of the reach of the European Union. I suppose they think, "Well, they'll find out soon enough." I suppose they're right but they're not doing themselves any favours. Instead of peaceful protest and amicable withdrawal they're setting us up for confrontation and violence on the streets.

Anyway, the purpose of this is just to draw attention to the co-ordinated efforts of police forces and governments across 'Europe' to build integrated DNA databases. Don't believe Cameron when he tells you he's opposed to the aims of the EU construct - political unity - he isn't going to do anything about it; he isn't able to because he doesn't have the spirit. Besides, after he's been PM where can he go to further his career but to Brussels? All he's doing is laying the foundations for his future prospects - they all do.

I heard a presenter on a radio phone-in last night slap down a caller who said that pro-EU Peers in the House of Lords would be stripped of their EU pensions if they spoke against the Union. The presenter was so taken aback and believed it to be impossible that people wouldn't know about such a terrible ruling; he thought the newspapers would be all over it and he rubbished the claim. But, sadly, it's true and, even more sadly, he's not alone - the country is made up of uninformed people like him.

Many years ago I started off like that, wanting to believe the best of people and that it would all come right in the end if only we persevere, but it ain't gonna happen. For one truth we tell, the pro-EUers throw a bucket of muddy water into the mix. They feed their own myths of bent bananas or cucumbers and exaggerate a tale so they can come back and rebut it. "No, we never said cucumbers had to have a minimum diameter of 2cms, that's rubbish and you're idiots to believe it." What they don't say is that they stipulated a minimum diameter of 3cms. (For the avoidance of doubt, I made that up to illustrate their tactics!)

Bear that in mind when you read through this:

“Network with errors”: Europe’s emerging web of DNA databases. It's just over three pages long with a page and a half of references to check out.
EU Member States have until 26 August 2011 to implement the so-called Prüm Decisions [1] adopted by the Council of the European Union (EU) three years ago. [2] National databases storing DNA profiles, fingerprints and vehicle registration data will be made available for automated cross-border searches by the police and criminal justice agencies of each Member State. The ultimate goal is to overcome lengthy mutual legal assistance bureaucratic procedures by establishing a single national contact point as an electronic interface for automated information exchange. Traditional channels of legal assistance would only be activated when search data matches a stored entry. Such a “hit”would lead to a request for further information. [3]
Our Westminster Assembly can't keep data private as it is, what chance does one pan-EU system have?  Next to none, I'd say.  And that's if you're happy to have the State collect your most personal information of dna and fingerprints - I'm not.  Whoever started the meme of "if you've got nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear," should be shot.
In October 2010, a survey by the Belgian EU Presidency found that only ten Member States were exchanging DNA profiles, seven were exchanging vehicle register data and only five had made their dactyloscopic databases available for cross-border searches. Despite this, the Belgian study optimistically claimed that “most countries are convinced that they will make the deadline for all three data categories“. However, it had to admit that at least six countries would be incapable of connecting both their DNA databases and their fingerprint databases, and that another five countries would miss the deadline for the connection of their vehicle registers. [4]
 "... “Member States concerned should intensify their efforts and that those Member States which are already operational should increase their efforts to
provide technical assistance.” [5]
"...it is no surprise that the previously mentioned Belgian report states: “One M[ember] S[tate] is reluctant to share all of its profiles, since this may result in an excessive number of profiles being sent abroad due to false positives, creating a data protection concern.” [23] It is very likely that the reluctant state is the United Kingdom which stores six million entries in its National DNA Database. [24]
Being reluctant is no defence.  We've been 'reluctant' on many EU-related issues since May 2010 but Cameron & Co have still caved in.  I admit I had to look up "dactyloscopic" - all it means is identification by comparison of fingerprints!

House of Lords debate, 2007
59. The Government, being broadly supportive of the measure, may not wish the United Kingdom to be one of the States—perhaps the only State—preventing its adoption altogether.
"We congratulate the Government on having successfully insisted on the removal from the Prüm Decision of a general provision which would allow designated officers and officials of one Member State to enter the territory of another Member State without prior permission.
"..once the principle of availability is fully implemented, Member States will lose the power to control the flow of information to other States, and so lose the power to impose their own standards. The relevant standard becomes that of the Member State with the weakest legislation, offering the least protection.
It's such a lot of trouble to take over something which was initially, supposedly, meant to catch cross-border errant motorists.

Here's some further reading for those who are interested but, in the meantime, take what they say with a pinch of salt and a high degree of scepticism.  This isn't going to end well.

Sovereignty Bill
The Prum Convention
Planet Biometrics

My old school motto was 'Nunquam Non Paratus' - Never Not Ready (!) and with that in mind I'll continue to keep a weather eye on our own Westminster Assembly and our government in Brussels - I suggest you do the same.

Trouble For Sarkozy

Someone doesn't like his policies! Watch it while you can; there were originally two videos of the incident but the one from Le Figaro has already been taken down. We have to continue believing that all is well in the Land of Sweetness & Light; all is peace and harmony. Nothing, not even the truth, must get in the way.



UPDATE: HERE'S the story in the DM. Note that the man has been arrested and could face up to three years in jail and a £40,000 fine for "assaulting a public figure."

Greece: "Asphyxiating Agents Used Against Protesters"

The on-the-spot reporter makes it clear that they're not talking about tear gas here:



What odds on a military coup?

The EU Budget

The EC announcement has all the subtlety of a bulldozer - you'd have thought the timing of the budget demands could have been better. It seems rather crass to announce such profligate spending and grandiose plans at a time when Greece is rioting and major European cities are also on the streets protesting. It's just a hallmark of their disregard of the people; they seem to have no intuitive feeling for the man in the street. As long as their beloved plan marches on towards deeper integration they think they're doing a good job and the devil take the hindmost.

I've been trying to pull the threads of the budget together into plain facts and figures but not making a very good job of it. The official press releases are all couched in a language foreign to me - Goebbel de Geuk - and the British msm seems all over the place but here are some of the better explanatory articles:

Additional British contribution of £1.5bn per annum
The Commission's proposed "multi-annual financial framework" will take EU spending to £872.5bn over seven years, an increase of £41.3bn, or 5pc, on budgets for 2007 to 2013.

But the real cost to taxpayers of future EU spending emerges at an even higher figure, up another 3.9pc, or £31.8bn, when EU funding for research, reserves, crisis and "globalisation" funds moved "off balance sheet" are also factored in.

One in twenty EU workers to be 'sacked' over the next 7yrs
Senior EU civil servants can trouser over €16,000 a month while paying just over 5 percent in an internal "tax."

But trade unions note that many junior staff earn just €1,400 or less and work on short-term contracts, with EU jobs becoming less and less appealing to top talent in member states.

Three new taxes: sales, transaction & green plus an end to the rebate. Expect a year of posturing from our nominal government.

More figures from EU Observer
EU spending would rise to €971.52 billion over the seven-year period, with €1,025 billion pledged in commitments...The current two-pillar structure of the CAP will be maintained, with €281.8 billion pencilled in for direct payments to EU farmers (pillar 1), and €89.9 billion for rural development projects (pillar 2).
Dan Hannan ties in the figures with the Greek protests and, once again, asks why we aren't out on the streets.

Only the Mail and the Express are so far running with the story about Letwin, Hilton and "other Cabinet Ministers" advocating pulling out of the EU. There are too many unattributed sources these days. We've heard it all before and until someone with clout stands up and says, unequivocally, that this is a position to rally around, it's just so much hot air and waffle. Another puff piece to keep the sceptical troops onside.

EC's own figures
Barroso on the 'Multiannual Financial Framework'

It will be worth checking out Open Europe later for good in-depth analysis. They're a pro-EU think tank but they're not uncritical and have produced objective analysis over the years - something of a rarity in the pro-EU world.

The Greek Parliament is presently debating the detail of the austerity package and setting out where the axe will fall - the result of this second crucial vote is expected shortly. If it fails to pass the troika's bailout package won't go ahead.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The EU Budget

It seems that the European Commission is looking for a budget increase of 8.1% for the years 2014-2020, that's a cool 1.025 trillion euros worth of control, propaganda and wealth distribution in the pipeline.

The first figure they mentioned was 5.1% but some figures were deliberately hidden to cause uncertainty. Bruno Waterfield should have an interesting article about this in the DT later. He tweeted that "#EC official has just said my #EU #Budget calculation of 8.1% is "legitimate but not the way we've done it".

No doubt they think that demanding a 12.5% increase is a fair starting point for negotiation. Cameron has said it should be the rate of inflation (supposedly around 2%?) and I think that if it must rise then it should be by the Bank of England interest rate - 0.5% - and that's still more than they deserve. What I'd really like them to have as a contribution isn't printable.
"...the biggest amount of money, about euro376 billion, would go to boosting the EU's underdeveloped regions. That's followed by around euro372 billion to support the region's farmers.

"We are proposing an ambitious, and at the same time responsible budget," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement. "It is a realistic proposal with which we can make a difference."
It's amazing that this ex-Maoist and his commie colleagues should have climbed so far up the political pole since the 70s.

Amending The Smoking Ban

There's a move afoot to amend the smoking ban and a group of cross-party MPs will be hosting a Reception later on behalf of the Save Our Pubs & Clubs Campaign.
Campaigners say the ban has had a devastating impact on community pubs throughout Britain. Almost three years after the introduction of smoking bans in England, Scotland and Wales, Scotland had lost 7.1 per cent of its pub estate (467 pubs), Wales 7.3 per cent (274), and England 7.6 per cent (4,148).



For smoking-related stories and how the ban has affected people & their livelihoods have a look at Freedom-2-Choose.

Greece: Live Stream

The vote on the austerity package is ongoing - it's close to call at the moment but the 'yes' faction seems to have the edge. (Last count 140 yes, 137 no).

See also vote tracker and live parliament stream HERE.

Here's live streaming from Syntagma Square:


LIVE STREAMING: Γενική Απεργία ενάντια στο... by News247

Latest RT footage:


UPDATE: Final vote: 155 'Yes', 138 'No', 2 abstentions & 5 "present".   151 was needed for the vote to carry.

A short report from EU Observer: "...police deployed an unprecedented level of violence to suppress mass protests."

PMQs: Summary & Videos

Miliband led with bureaucracy in the NHS: There are currently 163 statutory organisations within the NHS; how many will there be after reform? Answered his own question - 500+. Cameron still managed to defend the increase without actually answering the questions. £852m being spent on making NHS staff redundant - how many will be re-hired doing their old jobs at the new quangos? Good questions from Miliband, noticeably poor lack of answers & diversionary tactics from Cameron this week. Speaker intervened quite a few times, as usual, and cut Cameron short.

Did your MP speak?
Karen Lumley, Con, Redditch; Guto Bebb, Con, Aberconwy; Ian Lucas, Lab, Wrexham; Sir Peter Tapsell, Con, Father of the House; Emily Thornberry, Lab, Islington South & Finsbury; Andrew Selous, Con, South West Bedfordshire; Alison McGovern, Lab, Wirral South; Brian Binley, Con, Northampton South; Ian Austin, Lab, Dudley North; Bob Blackman, Con, Harrow East; Nigel Dodds, DUP Westminster Leader; Mark Menzies, Con, Fylde; Natascha Engel, Chair, Backbench Business Committee; Anne Marie Morris, Con, Newton Abbott; Nick Smith, Lab, Blaenau Gwent; Robert Halfon, Con, Harlow; Rev Willie McCrea, DUP, South Antrim; Gary Streeter, Con, South West Devon; Diana Johnson, Lab, Kingston upon Hull North; Julian Huppert, LibDem, Cambridge; Tom Clarke, Lab, Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill; Alok Sharma, Con, Reading West; Clive Efford, Lab, Eltham; Graham Evans, Con, Weaver Vale; Pamela Nash, Lab, Airdrie & Shotts; Claire Perry, Con, Devizes.

Topics raised:
Non-striking teachers; Labour's NHS record in Wales; jobs created/lost by solar Feed-In Tariffs; contingency plans for new EU Treaty change; tax allowances for married couples; illegal workers arrested had NI numbers; tax breaks for private healthcare; helping small businesses; banning Hizb'ut Tahrir; public sector pensions/strikes; the new route for repatriation of our Fallen; housing policy for Armed Forces; Backbench Committee/unblocking legislation; excessive water bills in the South-West; Southern Cross residential homes; price of petrol; levies on air flights/N.Ireland-USA; Olympic Truce for 2012 games; vetting & barring of child abusers; drugs legalisation; North and South Sudan; private/public sector pension schemes; cutting police in London in face of rising crime; remembering 55,000 members of Bomber Command; women pensioners; reforming MPs' pensions (greeted with catcalls from some areas!).

Followed by a Statement on North Africa & the Middle East from William Hague.

VIDEOS TO FOLLOW

Two from the DUP:

Nigel Dodds about RAF Brize Norton & repatriation


Rev William McCrea - Air passenger duty


The Conservatives have had enough of Bercow: "We'll get you." -



Hansard

Greek Parliament: Live Streaming


For anyone interested in the Greek debate and vote on the troika's austerity package Zero Hedge has a clever little gadget:

Live streaming and vote tracker.

PMQs: Reminder

Links to Live Parliament and Guido's live chat, both from twelve o'clock, and  The Daily Politics on BBC iPlayer from 11.30am.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Just Because



The Art Of Dissembling


I think this roughly translates as: "To those who must take responsibility:  more unanimity and unity is better for the Greek people and our future."

The smiling two-faced snake-in-the-grass.

Vote 'no' and you're on your own.
On the eve of perhaps the most significant vote in the Greek parliament since the return of democracy to the country in 1974, the European Commission has warned Greek deputies that if they do not vote the right way, then "everything changes" as to whether "EU solidarity continues". 
It's what we've always known, that unanimity and unity is fine as long as you agree with them.  All is harmony until someone expresses a differing viewpoint, then the gloves come off and it's Goodnight Vienna.

It was only this morning that Plan B contingency plans were being discussed.

I'm finding it harder than usual lately to tell truth from lies so I'll just keep going with my gut instinct.   Part of it, I think, is that the press and msm are beginning to 'report' EU activities and countries' sovereign debt problems so they just add their own unique blend of spin to the mix.  Anyone relying on ITV/BBC/Ch.4 news will be sadly under-informed or actively misled.  Lying by omission is still a lie.

Barroso: "There is no Plan B."


Look at Guy Verhofstadt (roughly 1:30) - isn't that a face you'd love to slap and a stomach you'd like to prod? He's rather porky around the neck area as well.

PNR Secretly Extended Intra-EU


Her Majesty's Government seems to have finally got its way on extending exchanges of air passenger data to all intra-EU flights. It's being reported by Austrian radio (here's the google translation) that the EU Council of Ministers approved the plans in a hushed-up meeting in April and that the implementation goes against their own legal advice!

You won't be surprised to learn that there are plans to further extend the PNR system to rail and sea travel as well (an imposition supported by the Association of European Airlines  on fair competition grounds).  Hmmm - makes you wonder about road-charging and toll booths; how simple it would be for the European Citizen to produce his travel warrant at the same time as he is paying his £10 charge.

The data won't be used only to identify terrorists - only a numbnuts would have faith in that government assertion - it will be used as an adjunct to the European Arrest Warrant.  The authorities just won't be able to resist the function creep.

Time after time we see the UK government leading the way in Europe, and not in a way we would wish:
The UK government's rationale, while claiming to "roll back" the authoritarian state at home, is that:
"Responsible governments must provide security for their citizens and protect their privacy. We do not agree with those who say that we have to choose between being safe and being free. This is a false choice – both are possible."
As noted below the UK has the most comprehensive PNR system covering flights, sea and rail for international, intra-EU and domestic travel which it seeks to encourage across the EU. The "freedom of movement" is one of the four founding principles of the EU and this presumes the right to travel without being placed under surveillance except for very limited and exceptional purposes. The UK proposals go in quite the opposite direction including gathering personal data for "purposes other than those specified in Directive" or "from transportation providers other than those specified in the Directive".
Statewatch
Statewatch June update

Stark Figures

A great deal has been written about the banks, politicians and the economic crisis - who owns what to whom, how much and why - but Dan Hannan has a few very simple paragraphs in the DT this morning which reiterates the bottom line:
"Foreign financial institutions currently own 42% of Greek debts, and foreign governments 26%, the rest being owed domestically. By 2014, those figures will be 12% and 64% respectively. European banks, in other words, will have shuffled off their losses onto European taxpayers."
The interminable shuffling of bailout money between governments and banks is doing nothing to protect the people from the catastrophic fallout of bad policy and regulation. Our Westminster Assembly assures us constantly that it is doing everything it can to resolve the national debt & deficit but you don't have to look too closely to spot the anomalies (£6bn saved, £12bn given to the EU; increased money for wars; increased money for aid; doubling of our 'contribution' to the IMF and so on).

Golem XIV is still my favourite financial blog for getting to the bottom of what's going on.

In this post from last month he asks something I've often wondered: why don't banks have a 'debt jubilee'. It makes sense that if I owe you £100 but you owe me £60, if we cross-cancel and I pay you £40 we'll be quits.

UPDATE: Like me, you've probably noticed that any discussion of the euro-zone crisis and Greek debt inevitably includes a comparison to the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. Raoul Ruparel, of the Open Europe think-tank, shows why the comparison doesn't stand up:
"...the majority of those peddling this myth have a significant vested interest in avoiding a Greek default or restructuring. It was the European Central Bank that first floated the Lehman analogy. Why? Sheer self-interest. By propping up Greek banks and the Greek state, the ECB has taken on €190bn worth of Greek assets, which would face radical write-downs should Greece default.

Many commercial banks across Europe have joined the chorus of scaremongers ("liquidity will dry up", "contagion will spread", "savings will be wiped out", etc) for much the same reason. The banks' passion for more bailouts is not altruistic, but stems from the desire to ensure that profits remain private, while losses continue to be socialised."
And there's that phrase again: privatised profits, socialised losses.

See also Plan 'B':
"The plan is distinct from a French proposal for private sector involvement in a second Greek bailout program and is being discussed despite European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and other senior EU officials repeatedly saying that "there is no Plan B for Greece."

Monday, 27 June 2011

All In It Together

More footage, and a message, from across Europe - two big days coming up and the vote tomorrow from the Greek Parliament whether to accept the bailout terms or not:



Sunday, 26 June 2011

Sunday Reflection


TheMG63

Sunday Round-up

It's very late this week - I couldn't get my brain in gear this morning!

HS2: Hammond confirms privatisation when project complete. Still no reference to role of the EU.

EU directive expected to rule against Alberta Tar Sands operation - Britain opposes

Booker: where Greece goes we will follow

Brits lose out on Olympic tickets because of EU trade rules

Olympic officials block sea view to stop residents watching 2012 sailing for free

Never before and never again: Redwood & Balls agree

Sunday Times ordered to hand over Huhne tape to police

Repatriation of the Fallen re-routed down back streets & side roads

Morale in the Army hits 20yr low

Row2Recovery fundraiser: 3000 miles across the Atlantic

Govt considers banning taxpayer-funded Union officials & other measures

Bob Crow

Mark Serwotka

France points finger of suspicion at British beansprouts in e-coli blame game

Sir John Scarlett's Iraqi wmd memo

Prisoners received £10m in payouts over 5yrs

Universities to attract more foreign students

Neighbourhood crime maps to name local criminals

Scottish BMA: terminally ill patients should be allowed to die

Worth reading for the 1000+ comments - overwhelmingly angry

Syrian protesters approach Damascus

From Friday: Yet another Obama gaffe over Medal of Honor winner

The Galvin Report.pdf: MEPs' expenses
"The Report’s findings include the following:
Serious and repeated anomalies in payments for office assistance and services.
Dubious large cash payments are made to staff and service providers over and above salaries.
Improper registration and tax compliance of service providers.
Invoicing is lax or non-existent.
Some MEPs are paying set amounts straight into the coffers of their political parties.
Paying Agents’ expense claims are opaque or even unrecorded.

After news of this report broke and they were accused of perpetrating a “massive” fraud, MEPs voted not to publish it and to keep their expenses scams secret."
LATE ADDITION(s)
Hatchet job on Cameron by anonymous Tory MP
Cameron's Constituency Chairman: "There's no reason to join the Tories"
Cameron's Constituency Chairman found dead in Glastonbury toilets

European GP: 1993



Friday, 24 June 2011

When Is Enough Enough?

I've no idea - I think that point has come and gone. Here's another nail: Herman the haiku-writer has put his foot in it at the dinner summit in Brussels to discuss the economic problems in Greece. He passed around a brochure (which apparently cost 100,000 euros to produce) for the new 240m euro office building for the European Council.

Look on my works ye mighty and despair. And I do, I do.




Herman's eyes light up as he examines the blueprints for yet another vanity project



More Like Blair Every Day

Cameron. I'm sure he's a very nice chap to have around at parties - he always has a good stock of one-liners to keep the crowds cheery.

As a PM he doesn't cut it for me - his actions don't back up his rhetoric. He's every bit as poor a PM as Blair and Brown, albeit in a slightly different way, but it's getting to the point where I want to switch off when I hear him speaking because it's back to reading between the lines again. That's only marginally better than I felt with Blair and Brown when I just wanted to vomit. Give it time.

Downing Street enforcers are "like Mother Theresa"

Here's a reminder of two of his previous pronouncements:

"...if we're going to solve the problems we have as a country - poor education, bad public health, poor housing, problems with drug addiction, family breakdown...We all have an individual and social responsibility. And to me, that is at the heart of Jewish teaching."

On the other hand, depending which day of the week it is & whether the sun's shining or not:
"Not for the first time, I found myself thinking that it is mainstream Britain which needs to integrate more with the British Asian way of life, not the other way around."

The man's an impotent weathervane and those people are generally bullies.

Blair & The Euro

In an interview with Jon Sopel, Tony Blair has said that Britain could still join the euro. He's right. If the euro-zone splits into two areas of an economically strong northern zone and a weaker southern area it becomes more likely that Britain will ditch Sterling and join with Germany, Scandinavia, France etc. In fact, that could be the carrot that Cameron dangles in front of the EC in order to claim "victory" on some other point of contention within the EU.

The full interview will be shown on the BBC's Politics Show this Sunday at eleven o'clock.



RAF Training Foreign Pilots

RAF trainee pilots were sacked at such short notice that the training courses are still in place and have to be paid for regardless of whether anyone's on the courses. The RAF is therefore touting for and training foreign pilots, despite sacking British trainees who were just a few days away from qualifying. How the hell does this make sense?

Lord Astor, a defence minister, said:
"Supporting the training needs of our partners and allies provides important defence and diplomacy benefits and is also a critical factor in securing contracts for defence export sales, which are worth billions of pounds and thousands of jobs to the UK defence industry."

It seems the wilful paring down of our Armed Forces continues without thought to long-term financial considerations and planning.

One other thought, our Armed Forces swear allegiance to the Crown, not a government, so since the Queen is an EU citizen, does this technically mean that our Armed Forces already belong to the EU and we just didn't notice it happening?

Foreigners replace sacked pilots

UPDATE: The three Service Chiefs are kicked off the MoD's Defence Board
The parlous state of our military

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Gleanings

Here are some interesting bits & pieces that haven't really been covered by our msm:


48 of 65 US nuclear sites leaking radiation
1000+ scientists disagree about AGW
French propose extending internet censorship
Group lobbies for web-blocking in the UK
New phone app - watch the watchers
Why Italy may be downgraded - public debt soars
The most reckless banks are in Germany, France
White House seeks to control rural America's farmland & allotments
Americans banned from trading in gold and silver
New position of EU envoy to "South Mediterranean" created
EU supports erection-boosting condoms
IMF tells EU to push for "faster, deeper integration"
There's no hope for us as a country - Labour ahead in the polls. I truly despair at the voting numbnuts.

Five that made it into the msm:
Balls instructs police re leaked papers
UK Armed Forces must integrate with EU says Labour Opposition
Nine out of ten jobs go to immigrants
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a micro-drone
Man disputes Council 'ownership' of common land

From the blogs:
Through the looking glass - a maelstrom of chaos
Why the crisis is not over and will recur, Part I
Part II
Plane crash: Russia's nuclear expertise annihilated

Finally, I'd like to think this encounter had a happy ending:


Is It Just Me...

...or does anyone else think that Cameron is looking decidedly porky these days?


Condell: Name Your Poison



Lost In Translation?

Here's Merkel, the woman who last year told us that multiculturalism in Germany had failed. She gives one of the reasons why in the video clip:
"We must accept a particularly high crime rate among immigrant youths."



Breaking: Wilders acquitted

More as and when

BBC
Archbishop Cranmer



UPDATE: Text of Wilders' speech after the verdict is delivered

EU: Destroyer Of Nations

I don't think that's too melodramatic a title for this post. The EU is a parasite, sucking the life-blood from independent sovereign nations and appropriating control to itself.

Ex-Maoist Barroso's "communication" to the European Parliament makes it clear that the Commission is pushing ahead with plans for direct taxation, open borders and meddling in North African affairs, although, these days the EU refers to North Africa as the Southern or South Mediterranean). It's that good old Fabian tactic of break down, re-label, re-mould.
The European Neighbourhood includes Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Republic of Moldova, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
That's quite a few countries for the task force of representatives from member states, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development to meddle in. It will keep them busy for a few years as they find ever more ingenious ways to syphon off European taxpayers' money in the form of "aid".

As for the proposed Financial Transaction Tax, I suppose this is a ploy to take advantage of people's antipathy to bankers and their bonuses. I haven't seen anything yet to suggest this proposed tax will be restricted to banks - what about ex-pats abroad who transfer regular monthly sums or holiday-makers who withdraw cash from ATMs abroad. This so-called Robin Hood tax will also directly impact on the City of London which, like it or not, contributes around £14bn pa to the Treasury and swells the public purse. The FTT will be used by the EU to off-set the budgetary contributions currently made by member states and which has been the source of a great deal of animosity lately.
“People are behind it, Parliamentarians are behind it – a Robin Hood Tax would surely be the most popular tax in history. It's time European leaders turned this opportunity into reality,” said David Hillman, a spokesperson from the Robin Hood Tax campaign in the UK.
Barroso has also proposed scrapping the rule that immigrants should claim asylum in the first country they land in or be sent back to the first EU country they entered.  This is an area where QMV applies so Britain, assuming it votes against, will more than likely be out-voted.  I haven't actually noticed the British authorities taking advantage of this rule anyway so we probably won't see much difference.
(It's worth noting that Darling's excuse for signing up to the EFSM last May when we were between governments, was that it was a QMV decision and we would be out-voted anyway, therefore he voted 'for' rather than abstain.  He thus ensured Britain would be party to any bail-outs, potentially including Spain, until 2013).

Many people are suggesting it would be an idea to change the welfare system  to avoid paying benefits to those who haven't contributed to the system but this would be against EU rules in practice and could lead to censure in the European Court.  Cameron has already shown he doesn't have the stomach for a fight.

Barroso's red lines
'Robin Hood' tax
Immigration

Here's that 1976 video again:



And here he is in 2007 talking about "the EU empire";  he's still a mouthy, self-important tw@t:




PS I forgot to add this, which is really just adding insult to injury:  still refusing to publish MEPs expenses

Surgeon On 'Gardening Leave'

David Nunn, the senior Orthopaedic Surgeon who ordered Cameron's PR circus out of his ward last week, has gone missing. Apparently he's on gardening leave.
"I asked the registrar where he was and he said Mr Nunn was on gardening leave and had been reprimanded for what he did last week. So the very best knee and hip man in London has been suspended, in effect, for telling the people with the Prime Minister to roll up their sleeves and remove their ties because they were not hygienic. And now the rest of the NHS is suffering."
The story is that the Ward Sister had exempted journalists and camera crew from the usual hygiene rules but Mr Nunn had been unaware of this. It's unclear whether the decision is Mr Nunn's or the Hospital Trust's.

I think this is back to front: if anyone should be on gardening leave it's the Ward Sister who arbitrarily set aside rules meant to safeguard patients in order to accommodate Cameron & Clegg's Flying Circus.

Watch the incident once again:



Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Farage Video: Addressing Barroso

Nigel Farage tells Barroso he's been 100% wrong on the euro.

"And when you say this package will put Greece on the road to growth, oh no it won't, it will put them on the road to the third bailout which we'll be discussing in a few short months time."

"You've stripped them, not just of money, you've stripped them of their democracy."


He's then asked a question by a Greek MEP (Niki Tzavela) about the UK's debt and what she calls the British isolationist policy! Well worth listening to:




PMQs: Summary & Videos

Tributes were paid this week to Craftsman Andrew Found, Corporal Lloyd Newell and  Private Gareth Bellingham.  Cameron praised their bravery and said they died "for the safety of British people at home".
*************************************


Miliband, flanked by Harman and Dougie Alexander with an unknown chewed-up little gnome further along the Bench, led with Armed Forces Day and Libya.  He quoted the concerns of the RN & RAF chiefs about fulfilling their mission and raised the prospect of reviewing the SDSR again.   Cameron: "We'll be there for as long as it takes." 

Miliband's second three questions were about the police holding DNA of those arrested but not charged with rape.   The revised government policy is to destroy the DNA when no charges are brought but Labour want the Police to hold on to records for longer.

It was like a children's party this week; I'm sure if jelly and custard had been to hand it would have been flung across the Chamber. Anyone listening on the radio would have wondered what was going.  One MP was shouted down (Glindon) and another (Jones) was ordered to sit down by the Speaker and his question (Labour's unfunded tax cuts) went unanswered.

One thing Cameron does seem to do well is in replying to backbenchers' questions;  he often takes the opportunity to tag on a few facts & figures to the end of his answers, reminding Labour MPs of how they've voted in the past, which is usually at odds with their present position now they're in Opposition.

Did your MP speak?
Kerry McCarthy, Lab, Bristol East; Angie Bray, Con, Ealing Central & Acton; John Thurso, LibDem, Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross; Mary Glindon, Lab, North Tyneside (shouted down); Iain Stewart, Con, Milton Keynes South; Jessica Mordern, Lab, Newport East; Oliver Colville, Con, Plymouth Sutton & Devonport; Marcus Jones, Con, Nuneaton (ordered to sit down - question not answered); Valerie Vaz, Lab, Walsall South; Stephen Phillips, Con, Sleaford & North Hykeham; Helen Jones, Lab, Warrington North; Andrew George, LibDem, St Ives; Willie Baines, Lab, Glasgow North East; Greg Mulholland, LibDem, Leeds North West; John Mann, Lab, Bassetlaw; George Eustice, Con, Camborne & Redruth; Catherine McKinnell, Lab, Newcastle-upon-Tyne North; Douglas Carswell, Con, Clacton; Dan Jarvis, Lab, Barnsley Central; Stuart Andrew, Con, Pudsey; Wayne David, Lab, Caerphilly; Aidan Burley, Con, Cannock Chase; Unknown Labour MP, (Rochdale?); Paul Uppal, Con, Wolverhampton South West; Luciana Berger, Lab Co-op, Liverpool Wavertree; Robert Buckland, Con, South Swindon.

Topics raised:
Child poverty; Greek bailout/IMF; passport offices; u-turns & pensions; homophobia in football; runaway fathers/CSA; Captain Scott/Antarctic; Labour's unfunded tax cuts & spending commitments; Epilepsy Council; effect of an unfunded cut in VAT; bankers' bonuses -v- cuts in child disability payments; returning the Elgin Marbles; changes in housing benefit; Whizzkids charity/wheelchairs of choice; mistakes in school exam papers; Hutton Report/public sector pensions; NHS waiting time for a constituent; leaked letter re government's agreement with Darling signing up to the EFM; re-open "the outdated" SDSR; HS2; sacking Minister for Wales (Cheryl Gillan); welfare system; UN Year of the Co-operative; learning about multiculturalism from Indian society; Tory MEPs against 30% cut in emissions; recidivism in prisons/reform.

VIDEOS TO FOLLOW

Angus Robertson, SNP Westminster Leader raised a Point of Order regarding Ian Davidson, the Labour MP who said the SNP were "neo-fascist".

Labour MP Alex Cunningham introduced a draconian Ten Minute Rule Bill to ban smoking in private vehicles where there are children present "and other instances". It was opposed by Philip Davies, Con, Shipley who called it "a ludicrous infringement of our liberties."   Cunningham was given leave to bring in his Bill on a vote - Ayes 78; Noes 66.

McCarthy - Colville incl Cameron -v- Miliband (Libya questions)


Miliband (DNA retention questions) - McKinnell


Carswell - Buckland

Videos courtesy of LiarPoliticians2


Hansard
Parliament tv recording
Sketch from Politics.co.uk

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Census 2011 Hacked


So, despite government assurances that there wasn't the slightest chance of the data being compromised, here we are, barely three months later:

Hackers steal entire 2011 census

If the LulzSec hackers really have got the UK Census... we're in big trouble

We seem to stumble from one grossly incompetent government to another. Red Tory or Blue Labour makes no difference; you can't put a lighted candle between them and their worthless policies.

If this is true there's no telling how much damage can be done. I'd like to feel sorry for all those who obeyed the government and trusted the state with their private information but, really, I can't ...

UPDATE: Well, I did say if the story was true - Lulz has issued a denial. Truth/lies; black/white; war/peace - who knows?

Urgent Question: Greek Bail-out

Videos of yesterday's Urgent Question debate on the Greek bail-out and any British contribution.  Mark Hoban, the Financial Secretry at the Treasury, conveniently sidestepped giving straight answers to straight questions and at times looked very uncomfortable, giving rise to the thought that the Treasury doesn't know its @rse from its elbow.

Despite later Treasury assurances that Britain does indeed have a contingency plan if the Greeks should default they haven't inspired confidence and we could be in for a rockier ride than necessary.  This is particularly true if the government has the interests of banks at heart, and is looking to lessen their pain, rather than the interests of the nation and protecting the people as much as possible from the inevitable fall-out.






LiarPoliticians2

HERE'S an interesting little graphic showing that in 2005 Britain had 42% debt as a percentage of GDP; by 2010 this had risen to 80%.  Greek debt to GDP ratio stood at 100% in 2004 and in 2010 was 143%.  We also have a deficit to GDP ratio of 10.4%, only 0.1% different to Greece, yet our interest rate spread is 0.3% compared to 15.0% for Greece.

And here's that graphic again - I've posted it about five times now but I think it's important.  It shows the scale of inter-debtedness (if there is such a word!) between countries.  I'm no economist but until someone puts me straight I can't see why debts can't be offset against each other.

(Click to enlarge)

Two new ones:



The IMF's answer to this financial turmoil is for deeper & faster integration of the EU - just what they wanted.  Acting Director John Lipsky: "The euro area needs to strengthen economic governance and may need to be more intrusive in terms of national structures."

Related news: American self-immolates in protest against America's decline
The next day, life went on in America. There was no shocking front-page cover story or award-winning photograph to spark a national debate… let alone propel droves of fed-up citizens to flood the streets demanding change.
Rather, the New Hampshire courthouse cleaned up his charred remains and meticulously scrubbed the floors to eliminate all trace of the event. 24-hour news networks ran a quick blurb in their scrolling tickers amid more important coverage of the Miss USA beauty pageant and President Obama’s Father’s Day plans.
In other words, business as usual… suggesting that if there is, in fact, going to be a fight for the soul of the country, it’s a long way off, and many more degrees for the boiling frogs who are stuck in the pot.

The Longest Day


A lovely morn! The summer night is gone;
How hushed and still is all the world
In wonder at the dawn.
Haiku - anon

Monday, 20 June 2011

Never You Tell 'em A Lie



On 1st November 2014 the following areas of competence will switch  from requiring unanimous approval of all member states to qualified majority voting:

Initiatives of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Administrative co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Asylum – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
Border controls – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Citizens' initiative regulations – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Civil protection – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Committee of the Regions – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Common defence policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Crime prevention incentives – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Criminal judicial co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Criminal law – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Culture – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Diplomatic & Consular protection – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
Economic & Social Committee – Nice: QMV Lisbon: QMV
Emergency international aid – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
Energy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
EU budget – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Eurojust – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
European Central Bank – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
European Court of Justice – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Europol – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Eurozone external representation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Foreign Affairs High Representative election – Lisbon: QMV
Freedom of movement for workers – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Freedom to establish a business – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon QMV
Freedom, security, justice, co-operation & evaluation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Funding the Common Foreign & Security Policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
General economic interest services – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Humanitarian aid – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Immigration – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
Intellectual property – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Organisation of the Council of the EU – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Police co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
President of the European Council election  – Lisbon: QMV
Response to natural disasters & terrorism  – Lisbon: QMV
Rules concerning the Armaments Agency – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Self-employment access rights – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Social Security Unanimity – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
Space – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Sport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Structural & Cohension Funds – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Tourism – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Transport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Withdrawal of a member state  – Lisbon: QMV

Not only that, but tptb have come up with a great wheeze to make it more difficult to vote down any proposal; there now has to be a "blocking minority" which represents "at least three quarters of EU citizens" or "at least three quarters of member states". Even then, the Council undertakes only to "discuss the issue".

Let Cameron tell us again how we are "in Europe but not ruled by Europe". He's a lying weasel - and he knows it.

We're an island race and with physical separation naturally comes a mental separation. Churchill summed it up in 1930: "We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed." He later reiterated this in 1948 when he said: "We are with you, but not of you." How unlike today's traitorous milksops who are too frightened to tell people the truth of what they've done and conspire with the media to delude us.

Churchill spoke in a time before mass immigration had overtaken the country as part of the plan to subvert any lingering nationalist or patriotic feelings.  He also asked: "Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?" Certainly it seems that our current crop of political leaders with their PPEs learn nothing and know nothing; the people seem to know more of our history than they do.  There's a long line of tradition and bonding going back thousands of years that runs through the blood of a Briton; it's a feeling and a sense of place as much as a dry timeline.  If there ever came a time when one Briton remained alone, that man would know he was a Briton with a rich, historical past.  They can re-write books and censor our speech but they can't re-wire our collective national conscience. That's why it will be tears before bed-time for our politicians and the hideous, over-bearing, anti-democratic concept that is the EU.

Never you tell 'em a lie!
"We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations."  Churchill's Zurich speech in 1946, misappropriated by the EU.

'Don't Be Surprised, Don't Be Sad'

So said one middle-aged Greek protester in Syntagma Square at the weekend. The troika-imposed austerity measures have brought together a wide variety of people, from the young to the old, the workers to the workless, with only two things in common: they're Greek and they're angry.

The protests show no sign of dissipating and the people understand that a change of government will not mean a change of policy. Voting has become truly worthless so the Greeks are doing what disenfranchised people have done for centuries; making their voices heard on the streets.

It doesn't take much thought to describe an entire country of people as tax-avoiders and siesta-takers. It's almost as easy to label an entire country as being full of fat, beer-swilling, couch-sitting, benefit-scrounging work avoiders with loose morals!

Echoing  Cameron & Osborne's mantra, the  Deputy PM, Theodoros Pangalos, said:"My friends, we all ate together." And the crowd's response? "You lying bastard! You're so fat you ate the entire supermarket."


Debtocracy International Version by BitsnBytes

Spain is also reeling from nation-wide protests:  MadridValencia,
Barcelona.

The only way to save the euro-zone (and the EU construct) could well be to split it into two tiers with northern countries retaining the euro and others reverting to their own currencies. No deal on the terms for a second Greek bailout was reached at the weekend.

Italy isn't immune - Moodys put the country on a credit ratings warning last week; Portugal & Ireland still have big problems and you can smell the fear of contagion. The UK won't be protected from the consequences of any breakdown in the euro; we're heavily exposed to debt but not quite as exposed as France and Germany. It will be painful when it comes but it will be a price worth paying if we can begin to rebuild on more solid and democratic foundations. Our political system has been shown to be a sham - wasn't it snake-in-the-grass Mandelson who called this the 'post-democratic age'? How right he was. It won't last.

The full quote from the Greek protester mentioned above is, "Don't be surprised if Athens goes up in flames. And don't be sad, either." Substitute any city.



Whether the demonstrators in the videos know it or not, they're demonstrating against the EU. Our government is in Brussels, not in Madrid, Athens, Dublin, Lisbon or London.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Post Of The Week

I'm ending the week as I started - indecisive - so here are four blog posts that all have good points to make:

Sarah, as excellent as ever, on how & why we lose the things we value.

Raedwald has something to say about Osborne and his suitability for high office.

RN on Steve Hilton, his lack of brains & our political predicament ("And yes, we are talking revolution").

Has this story by Vlad Tepes been reported? 9/11-style attack on Reichstag foiled. What year is this? It's getting more 1930's by the day.

Sunday Reflection



Sunday Round-up

Another mish-mash of what passes for news in the Sundays these days, beginning with five from yesterday from the sleepy Sunday Telegraph:

UK banks dumping the euro. Main banks reduce their exposure to potential collapse.
Defence chiefs taken aback by enthusiasm for voluntary redundancy. Number of 'the brightest & best' personnel applying is double the expected.
'Muslims integrate better than Christians'. Trevor Phillips on religion and equality laws.
The bias of the IPCC and the expensive folly of wind farms.
The Guardian & Observer in trouble - charging for online content could be on the cards.
*********************
EU directive seeks to weaken British animal welfare laws. UK given two years to comply with legislation permitting experimentation on wider range of animals. Cats, dogs, horses at risk. This one will have people on the streets.
Half of all antibiotics in the UK used on animals and 60% of those are for pigs. The rise of intensive factory farming.
NHS negligence bill tops £1bn pa. Health Trusts needlessly prolong cases and Ken Clarke proposes axing Legal Aid for victims of negligence.
Scotland is reminded it's not an independent country, yet.  Dispute over wording and number of any referendum questions.
Poet leaves £1m to SNP as membership rises by 1,000+ since last month's elections.
Build your own hydropower station. Landowners with streams/rivers urged to install turbines and water wheels as planning regulations are relaxed.
FCO dislikes Cathy Ashton's EEAS but only because it wants it to be a 'stronger, more effective & more credible' body.
Another way to demoralise the Armed Forces - Special Forces Corporal leaves in disgust as he's court-martialled for punching Taliban member.
Merchant ships could be armed for the first time since WWII in bid to tackle piracy; shares in pea-shooters to rocket.
England's green & pleasant land. Proposals to build giant anaerobic digesters across the country divide opinion. With windfarms, new housing estates & mega-factory farms will there be anything left? Blake is turning in his grave and Wordsworth is lost for words.
'Bad' British diet MPs to devise healthy eating advice for unhealthy Brits. Lack of Vit.D, the sunshine vitamin, leading to osteoporosis. Either ban the niqab or leave us alone.
British street food on the move with poshified recipes. Get your daily dose of Vit.D by walking to the van (without your niqab).
Cameron: Absent fathers 'as bad as drink-drivers'. Shurely not! Perhaps he meant 'are worse than'. Stupid, superficial man going for the sound tough headlines.
Ministers call for review of human rights legislation. Art.8, the right to private family life, under attack.
Idiot MP invokes HRA and his right to 'private family life' to take his dog to work.
RBS to close three care homes and not before time; they're a taxpayer-owned bank, not a charity.
Putting a positive spin on 'refugees'. Refugee Week exhibition highlights British inventions that weren't. I thought the new terminology was 'asylum seekers' but that doesn't quite have the same ring.
Balls: don't fall into Osborne's trap. Govt are deliberately goading strikers says Balls who also advocates cutting the 20% VAT rate ignoring the fact that permission must be sought from the EU first. (Permission not required to raise it but essential to lower it).
More, unseen pics of the Obamas, just before the US signed the OAS declaration supporting Argentina's claim on the Falklands.
Police spend £2.1m on bottled water.
Ban on Chinese Lanterns sought.
It's ballet, Ken, but not as we know it.
Pretty pictures.

LATE ADDITION(s)
Council remove banners advertising Armed Forces Day after "glorifying war" complaints.
Brian Haw has died.
Waste incinerator planned for 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury site
Countries most exposed to Greek debt - France, Germany then UK.
The europrat Peers who held on to their EU pensions by blocking the EU Bill





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