Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hampton Court's Summit has the wrong agenda

One Queen once resident at Hampton Court literally lost her head from the intrigues at this palace. Anne Boleyn's ghost is still said to haunt the building. So far only the French and Dutch have had their say on the present EU; it is clear they want less of this inefficient and undemocratic institution. Instead, led by the British Prime Minister, the leaders of the EU member states will meet in special session today at Hampton Court to discuss further integration, as may be read from this item in this mornings Daily Telegraph, linked here.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Had Nelson lost ? We'd be where we are - EUnuched

On the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalger, Tom Utley makes some striking points in his column in this morning's Daily Telegraph, highly recommended and readable by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Power politics vs Powderpuff politics!

Contrast the coverage and reports from the UK media on the EU Foreign Ministers turning their attentions from 'dry' trade matters to avian bird flu and the nonsensical coverage of the latest Conservative Party leadership votes with this report in The Guardian linked here Powderpuff prattling unfit for reporting in a Parish Council pamphlet is all the BBC now deem fit for their impoverished paying public. Are Peter Mandelson and his type really offering the best way ahead?????? Maybe the policy-challenged David Cameron is the best way forward - as incredibly enough - 56 of his colleagues seemed to believe in this afternoon's poll.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Excellent letter from the Yorkshire Post 7-10-05

Country's life outside the EU From: Douglas Hartley, Irving Terrace, Clayton, Bradford. John Murray (Yorkshire Post, September 24) writes: "If we were to get out (of the EU) – somehow we would still, like Norway and Switzerland, have to abide by EU regulations if we wished to do business with the other more sensible states." I make no comment on the words "more sensible", but offer some data on Norway's position. Norway, not an EU member, participates in the EU Internal Market via a Free Trade Agreement (European Economic Area Agreement, 1984). Unlike EU members, Norway retains full sovereignty over its trade policy inside and outside the EU. It sits and votes at World Trade Organisation meetings in its own right. At the Seattle WTO 1989 Conference, Commonwealth countries were individually represented. The UK delegation, however, had no independent voice or vote in the forum, having to accept as its representative the EU Commissioner Pascal Lamy. Permanent joint committees with the EU enable Norway to participate in EU trade-related legislation, and in its subsequent supervision. Norway retains a veto in these joint committees. Norway remains outside the Common Fisheries Policy, controlling its non-coastal waters – its fishing grounds – unlike Britain. It is not constrained by the Common Agricultural Policy, Economic and Monetary Union, EU Justice and Home Affairs Policies, or the EU Customs Union. Norway's per capita GDP is 82 per cent higher than that of the eurozone.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Wake up England! This means censorship.

Read this or not - sleepy heads...... it must surely be becoming clear what is going on! Daily Telegraph 7th October 2005, quoted in full:

BBC boss denies trying to fire Humphrys By Tom Leonard (Filed: 07/10/2005)

The BBC director-general became embroiled in a public row with one of the corporation's former senior correspondents yesterday over claims that he and his chairman, Michael Grade, had wanted to sack John Humphrys for making unflattering remarks about Labour leaders in an after-dinner speech.

Mark Thompson took the rare step of issuing a statement to all BBC staff in which he dismissed as "preposterous" a report in the New Statesman magazine that depicted the episode as one of several examples of the corporation's management kowtowing to Downing Street in the wake of the Hutton Report.

The article, written by the magazine's editor, John Kampfner, a former BBC journalist, claimed that Mr Grade had put pressure on the director-general and several other executives to fire Humphrys.

He had been angered, added Kampfner, when Mr Thompson had decided merely to issue the Today presenter with a mild rebuke.

Mr Grade has not responded to the claims. However, John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport committee said it was "likely" that both BBC bosses will be questioned about the affair next Tuesday when they are due to give evidence to MPs.

In an e-mail to staff, Mr Thompson said that the claims were a "malicious attempt to undermine" the BBC's journalism. He said Mr Grade had never ordered him to sack or punish Humphrys, as they had still been awaiting a full transcript of the presenter's speech to communications experts.

Mr Thompson said that suggestions that the BBC was muzzling its journalism in an effort to keep the government happy was "completely false and, indeed, utter nonsense".

He rejected claims that the BBC board had decided it should "go soft" on politicians in the run-up to the renewal of its Royal Charter.

"The whole idea that I or any other senior figures of the BBC could phone up giving instructions to people to go soft on the government is preposterous," he said.

But Kampfner stood by his story, telling Radio 4's World at One that he had a number of senior sources and was not pursuing a vendetta.

Personally, having listened to JH over the years, I have little sympathy for his position, Jack DeManio was the last unbiased presenter of the Today programme in my view, and rumour has it he was fired because he was doubtful about our joining the Common Market, plus ca change!

Monday, October 03, 2005

ID Card fines approach 50,000 in Holland

The report from Bloomberg may be read from here. The following is a brief quote: The law obliges everyone to show ID to police on demand, the first time since World War II Dutch citizens have been forced to do so. Some 46,500 people have been fined this year. A comment by a Dutch journalist, Henk Ruyssenaars, titled ID cards: a story I thought I'd never write - may be read from this link. Meantime others more seriously flirting the fringes of the law freely go about their business as this report from the EU on a meeting in the Cotswolds last month makes clear. There is no EU Common Foreign and Security Policy as such a concept fell with the now legally unenforcable EU Constitutional Treaty. If Ministers meet at the expense of their nation states that of course is perfectly acceptable - but if back-up (such as the linked Press Release) is supplied by the EU then that is a quite different matter altogether.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cornerstone Conservatives face critical contradiction

An interesting development took place in the leadership race for the Conservative Party in Britain when a group of Tory MPs published a pamphlet of policy proposals, click on the title to read the document in full in PDF format: Being Conservative: A cornerstone of new policies to revive Britain There is an ironic and longstanding contradiction that rarely receives publicity or discussion in eurosceptic and eurorealist circles, that contradiction is well illustrated in these quotes from two of the pamphlets from the above presentation: From Europe 'A Conservative rethink' by Roger Helmer MEP comes this conclusion: The detail will be complicated, but the principle is simple. We want a relationship with Europe based solely on free trade and voluntary, inter-governmental cooperation. While from 'Rediscovering Conservatism for the British nation' by Bill Cash MP we have this: As Churchill said, "The greatest fact of the twentieth century is that Britain and America marched together". So in peace and against terrorism, as in war, we must march in the twenty-first. The great problem and clear complication in this is that it has clearly been a basic tenet of US foreign policy for all recent administrations that Britain continues as a full EU member. It would seem unlikely this will be changed. Iain Duncan Smith a supporter of the Cornerstone Group (visit their blog by clicking here) was an early visitor to the White House following the re-election of George W Bush, perhaps he has some views on reconciling this major policy problem area for those troubled by our now almost complete loss of sovereignty and national independence.