Thursday, March 29, 2007

EU fines - MP calls for resignations

Finally the fiasco and fines of DEFRA on which we posted here, here and here are receiving some sparse mainstream media coverage - for example here in an item titled 'Beckett should be sacked' But just why has the MSM been so silent so long? Now this obviously incompetent minister is supposedly in charge of Britain's crisis with Iran over the captured servicemen and woman. A Foreign Secretary serving only as living proof that Tony Blair is totally bereft of ministerial talent as is increasingly obvious in almost every single Department of State1

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Royal Navy surrender

"That noise you hear as you pass the crypt at St. Paul's cathedral in London is Lord Horatio Nelson spinning in his grave." Read the full posting on RealClearPolitics linked here. What a contrast with the response of the Royal Marines and the British Government twenty-five years ago in the Falklands, read the facts here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

EU aims for new constitution this year

The sting in the tail of the Berlin EU summit came at the end. Read the report from Bloomberg linked here. Those who thought we had until 2009, as indicated in the dreadful declaration which insultingly was signed by two non-elected EU officials and the Chancellor of Germany, got it wrong.

Mandelson raises profile

Sunday AM opened with the leader of UKIP reporting from Berlin on the 50th birthday celebrations of the EU on which more later. Britain's EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson made a rare appearence which was most informative on the latest fading prospects of the potential Brown succession to the premiership. The transcript which will normally be available from the BBC tomorrow will be quoted on this blog when it appears.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Writers critical of EU over Darfur

The fine words of the leaked Berlin Declaration, posted below, ring particularly hollow when read in conjunction with the true record of the EU and this letter published in today's Independent, linked here:

Darfur: a letter from Europe's leading writers

On the fiftieth anniversary of the EU, a call to action

Published: 24 March 2007

To the leaders of the 27 nations of the EU,

How dare we Europeans celebrate this weekend while on a continent some few miles south of us the most defenceless, dispossessed and weak are murdered in Sudan?

Has the European Union - born of atrocity to unite against further atrocity - no word to utter, no principle to act on, no action to take, in order to prevent these massacres in Darfur? Is the cowardliness over Srebrenica to be repeated? If so, what do we celebrate?

The thin skin of our political join?

The futile posturings of our political class?

The impotent nullities of our bureaucracies?

The Europe which allowed Auschwitz and failed in Bosnia must not tolerate the murder in Darfur. Europe is more than a network of the political classes, more than a first world economic club and a bureaucratic excrescence. It is an inherited culture which sustains our shared belief in the value and dignity of the human being. In the name of that common culture and those shared values, we call upon the 27 leaders to impose immediately the most stringent sanctions upon the leaders of the Sudanese regime.

Forbid them our shores, our health service and our luxury goods. Freeze their assets in our banks and move immediately to involve other concerned countries.

We must not once again betray our European civilization by watching and waiting while another civilization in Africa is destroyed.

Let this action be our gift to ourselves and our proof of ourselves. And when it is done, then let us celebrate together with pride.

Umberto Eco Dario Fo Günter Grass Jürgen Habermas Václav Havel Seamus Heaney Bernard Henri-Levy Harold Pinter Franca Rame Tom Stoppard

Text of 'The Berlin Declaration'

The Times, linked here, claims the following is the final text: Europe was for centuries an Idea, a hope for freedom and understanding. This hope has been fulfilled. European unity has enabled us to live in peace and prosperity. It has created a community and overcome differences. Every member has helped to unite Europe and to strengthen democracy, the rule of law. We have to thank the love of freedom of the people of central and eastern Europe that Europe’s unnatural divisions are today finally overcome. With European unity, we have learned the lessons from our bloody conflicts and painful history. We live today together in a way that was never previously possible. We citizens of the European Union are united in our good fortune. Section 1 In the European Union we realise our common ideals: for us the individual is central. His dignity is inviolable. His rights are inalienable. Women and men have equal rights. We strive for peace and freedom, for democracy and the rule of law, for mutual respect and responsibility, for prosperity and security, for tolerance and participation, justice and solidarity. We live and function together in the European Union in a unique way. This expresses itself in the democratic co-operation of member states and European institutions. The European Union is based on equal rights and solidarity. That is how we make possible a fair balance of interests between the member states. We uphold in the European Union the individuality and the diverse traditions of its members. The open frontiers and the lively diversity of languages, cultures and regions enrich us. Many goals cannot be achieved independently but only through common action. The European Union, the member states and their regions and local communities share these tasks. Section 2 We face great challenges which cannot be confined to national frontiers. The European Union is our answer to them. Only together can we preserve our European social model in the future to the benefit of all citizens in the European Union. This European model unites economic success and social responsibility. The common market and the euro make us strong. That is how we can shape the increasing worldwide interdependency of the economy and ever expanding competition on international markets according to our values. Europe’s wealth lies in the knowledge and abilities of its people; this is the key to growth, employment and social cohesion. We will jointly fight terrorism and organised crime. We will also defend our freedom and civil rights against their enemies. Racism and xenophobia must never again be given their chance. We will act to ensure that conflicts in the world are solved peacefully and that people do not become victims of war, terrorism or violence. The European Union will promote freedom and development in the world. We want to push back poverty, hunger and disease. In doing so, we will continue to play a leading role. In energy policy and protection of the climate we want to go forward together and make our contribution to heading off the global threat of climate change. Section 3 The European Union will continue to live in the future on the basis of its openness and the will of its members to strengthen together the inner development of the European Union. The European Union will continue to promote democracy, stability and prosperity beyond its frontiers. European unity has made reality out of a dream nurtured by earlier generations. Our history warns us that we have to protect this good fortune for future generations. We must continue to renew and update the political shape of Europe. That is why, 50 years after the signing of the Treaties of Rome, we are today united in the goal of achieving a renewed common foundation for the European Union before the elections to the European Parliament in 2009. Because we know: Europe is our common future.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The English Democrats on Gordon Brown

The Last Brown Budget; England deserves better

This has been a devastating week for the New Labour Government and the Chancellor Gordon Brown. On Monday, the former head of the Civil Service, Lord Turnbull, in an interview with a national newspaper laid bare the bullying behaviour and the power mad character of the Chancellor. Lord Turnbull described how Gordon Brown had forced the Treasury to take power from the other great departments of state and that the Treasury refused to allow sensible discussion of priorities for spending by the departments of English Health, English Education and the English Home Office.

This savage attack by Lord Turnbull on the personal character of Gordon Brown was soon endorsed by other senior civil servants and there are now very serious questions whether the Chancellor has the maturity and emotional intelligence, and whether he shows sufficient transparency and honesty in his day-to-day behaviours, to take on the daunting duties of being the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

We turn our attention to Thursday’s budget speech by the Chancellor. It gives the English Democrats no pleasure when we conclude that both the policy decisions on tax announced by the Chancellor and his misleading presentation of them in his Budget speech, show how totally unfitted he is to be our Prime Minster and that New Labour is now betraying the interests of the ordinary people of England.........

Well Said! For more see the party's website linked here.

Brown vs Mandelson to resume?

If the cicil service mandarins attack on Gordon Brown did not fatally wound him. then his budget surely will, watch the Bremner spoof from the Daily Telegraph front page, here. The Independent has an item on a much more interesting potential contender for Blair's job, read it here. Could Blair be persuaded to wait until Mandelson's term in Brussels ends? You bet he would!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

50 reasons to fear the EU

The Independent has today published a list of 50 reasons to love the European Union, I have reproduced it below with my comments in red:

50 reasons to love the European Union

As the EU celebrates its anniversary, The Independent looks at 50 benefits it has brought, and asks: "What has Europe done for us?"

Published: 21 March 2007

1 The end of war between European nations Thanks to NATO and Cruise Missiles

2 Democracy is now flourishing in 27 countries Democracy is being crushed in 27 former nations

3 Once-poor countries, such as Ireland, Greece and Portugal, are prospering Once wealthy nations are falling behind their non-EU competition.

4 The creation of the world's largest internal trading market With the world's greatest regulations growing daily without democratic oversight anywhere.

5 Unparalleled rights for European consumers at the cost of being harried and observed

6 Co-operation on continent-wide immigration policy clearly with no success but also bringing unrestricted immigration from within the EU.

7 Co-operation on crime, through Europol the fear of EU arrest at home for activities which may well be not even criminal in your country.

8 Laws that make it easier for British people to buy property in Europe there were few such laws before the EU and those mainly in non-EU Switzerland.

9 Cleaner beaches and rivers throughout Europe So we lack the the abilities to achieve the same on our own?

10 Four weeks statutory paid holiday a year for workers in Europe Bye, bye competitiveness!

11 No death penalty (it is incompatible with EU membership) European Communities Act 1972

16th & 18th of December 1969. The House of Commons and House of Lords respectively confirmed abolition of capital punishment for murder.

  • 1971. Arson in Royal Dockyards ceased to be a capital offence, or in fact any specific offence.

12 Competition from privatised companies means cheaper phone calls Most critically to the US, Canada Australia and New Zealand! Is this paper seriously suggesting such competition would not have existed without the EU?

13 Small EU bureaucracy (24,000 employees, fewer than the BBC) Vast numbers in all the member states enforcing the massive amounts of unnecessary regulation.

14 Making the French eat British beef again Possibly true but is this a benefit to the UK Like much in the EU it can only have been accomplished in an underhand way, your typical Frenchman or woman hardly goes out of their way to find UK beef - Charolais and Limousin are always preferred.

15 Minority languages, such as Irish, Welsh and Catalan recognised and protected Romansch is protected in Switzerland a non-EU state. Welsh was protected before 1972. Should French and German be encouraged at the expense of English? England's taxpayers subsidise the EU to achieve just that.

16 Europe is helping to save the planet with regulatory cuts in CO2 Rubbish - Kyoto is the worldwide governing Treaty of which only 2 EU states are expected to meet their targets.

17 One currency from Bantry to Berlin (but not Britain) One interest rate for widely different economies - end result is likely to be a disaster for some

18 Europe-wide travel bans on tyrants such as Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe Unenforced one of his ministers is presently at an EU meeting in Brussels Did this paper's editors miss the greeting of Mugabe by Chirac in Paris in 2003?

19 The EU gives twice as much aid to developing countries as the United States National Foreign Aid is not yet fully within the EU's competence, it is an individual matter for each country so how can this possibly, even if true, be claimed as an EU benefit?

20 Strict safety standards for cars, buses and aircraft Regulations, regulations and yet more regulations.

21 Free medical help for tourists My nephew broke his arm in Switzerland and received first class free treatment from the mainly Canadian medical staff.

22 EU peacekeepers operate in trouble spots throughout the world Basra, Baghdad?? .... Afghanistan is a NATO operation - how the lies just flow one upon the other!

23 Europe's single market has brought cheap flights to the masses, and new prosperity for forgotten cities Believe that Easyjet and Ryanair would not exist without the EU if you wish, I do not!

24 Introduction of pet passports Wow more regulated paperwork is a benefit?

25 It now takes only 2 hrs 35 mins from London to Paris by Eurostar Technological advances are supposedly only possible within the EU??? What about Japan's much earlier bullet train. America cannot make technolgical breakthroughs outside the EU ?

26 Prospect of EU membership has forced modernisation on Turkey Such membership appears unacceptable in Germany and France, what will be the result in Turkey having been strung along for so many years?

27 Shopping without frontiers gives consumers more power to shape markets and companies more chances of standardisation and elimination of smaller competitors

28 Cheap travel and study programmes means greater mobility for Europe's youth Where do most British gap year students head? Not the EU countries in my experience!

29 Food labelling is much clearer In several languages means smaller print.

30 No tiresome border checks (apart from in the UK) Things in the UK are worse than ever before. Arriving at Stansted this month from France I waited half an hour with a British passport in very long multiple lines while four officials staffed desks for non-existent 'other' ie non-EU passport holders AND for the first time ever had my passport details entered into a computer in my own country... AND this is progress?

31 Compensation for passengers suffering air delays What a ridiculous idea that can only have kept the MEP in Strasbourg occupied while pouring greater costs on the airlines and adding yet more non-productive bureaucrats to the payrolls again increasing taxpayer costs for zero benefit.

32 Strict ban on animal testing for the cosmetic industry Perfectly possible on a country by country basis.

33 Greater protection for Europe's wildlife Perfectly possible on a country by country basis. In France the hunting season is still in full swing but effectively regulated to ensure it can continue to do so!

34 Regional development fund has aided the deprived parts of Britain Mostly by recycling British taxpayers money, which country's regions appear the more prosperous or well funded? Continental founder member countries or Britain's?

35 European driving licences recognised across the EU My pre-EU British Driving Licence, was and still is recognised across the world! Can none of us hire a car in the US or New Zealand for example?

36 Britons now feel a lot less insular How does The Independent know that? Briton's now feel more trapped and their politician's less accountable than ever before. The numbers polled who opposed the Euro but felt it inevitable we would joined clearly proves this point.

37 Europe's bananas remain bent, despite sceptics' fears Of course but this shows the lunacy and control freakery of an organisation that tried to unbend them by regulation.

38 Strong economic growth - greater than the United States last year One year from how many and with what statistical manipulation?

39 Single market has brought the best continental footballers to Britain So without the EU they would have refused the cash?

40 Human rights legislation has protected the rights of the individual and destroyed our common law heritage where all was permitted unless prohibited

41 European Parliament provides democratic checks on all EU laws Rubbish

42 EU gives more, not less, sovereignty to nation states How?

43 Maturing EU is a proper counterweight to the power of US and China Counterweights act in opposition. If the EU lost its fear of the US we would be a far better counterweight to the insurgents of Iraq, the nuclear adherents in Iran and to China

44 European immigration has boosted the British economy When Brown has gone the true costs and damage will emerge

45 Europeans are increasingly multilingual - except Britons, who are less so And this is a benefit to Britain?

46 Europe has set Britain an example how properly to fund a national health service Which is ignored by all political parties and has nothing to do with the EU.

47 British restaurants now much more cosmopolitan Curry has replaced fish and chips as the national dish, an EU positive? Our fisheries stolen and squandered.

48 Total mobility for career professionals in Europe The truth at last and the only real benefit is for the proponents of the new global civil society. True British entrepreneurs will still mainly be found outside the EU where innovation and competition and individual rewards are still attainable.

49 Europe has revolutionized British attitudes to food and cooking Europe has indeed, but not the EU

50 Lists like this drive the Eurosceptics mad Only because, as I have tried to show they are based on complete untruths or at least wild misconceptions.

A democratic trading organisation of European nations progressing as the consent of the people of those nations is obtained is a wonderful aim. The present EU meets few of those ideals and from my analysis of this newspaper's list only getting the French to eat beef again and the pets' passports seem to hold any validity. Small reason to love the costly, over-regulated and non-democratic EU.

Countries on the European Continent cannot ignore or ever rid themselves of their neighbours. A maritime nation such as Britain can choose its main trading partners from across the globe ignoring those next door without any penalty. Tying ourselves to a bureaucratic insular bloc of land-locked countries always was a mistake and is now clearly becoming a disaster.

The Independent's list of supposed benefits proves the emptiness of the entire EU project.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Putative PM Brown poleaxed by former Civil Service Chief

An unprecedented and highly personal attack on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, appeared in today's FT, linked here. Brown previously noted mainly for his stealth taxes, robbing pensioners and probably in history for his destruction of Britain's manafacturing industry if not its entire economy, has also achieved a fairly strong reputation, justifiably or not, for standing 'up to' and/or 'out against' the EU. That organisation almost surely did for Margaret Thatcher leaving her party (aided by the IRA) with a succession of non-entities as leader- is the same fate now in store for New Labour? Or, is this perhaps part of a plot to realize my New Year prediction on this blog that B-liar will still be PM as this year ends? Time will tell!!!! The voices raised against Brown are senior and serious enough, including Eddie George, ex-Governor of the Bank of England, to be perfectly aware of the results and consequences of their remarks to the press. This cannot IMO have happened by a series of unintended leaks! I quote the following illustrations: Mr Brown’s tendency to make decisions without consultation was confirmed by Lord George when the former governor of the Bank of England said he had been “very surprised” when Mr Brown proceeded to set up the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, without consulting him..... Lord Turnbull noted that Bank of England independence would have suited Mr Brown by allowing him to disavow responsibility for interest rate rises. “The chancellor has a Macavity quality. He is not there when there is dirty work to be done.”....

In some areas, Lord Turnbull said, the Treasury had become itself the policymaker and guardian over a set of policies such as tax credits. The chancellor, he said, had kept control of those budgets “entirely to himself”.

“That has been impressive, but in a sense reprehensible. There has been an absolute ruthlessness with which Gordon has played the denial of information as an instrument of power.”

Departments learned only just before Budgets “this is what you are getting and here are your public service agreements”.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Follow the EU? Read Ironies Too!

Christopher Booker's column in today's Sunday Telegraph, here, first reports on the slaughter of the herd owned by David Dobbin that we reported on last Thursday, here. Not just the report but also the structure and order of the comment seems very close to the e-mail I then quoted! Those few wishing for regular, not just weekly, updates on developments within the EU should not overlook this blog it would seem.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Global Vision

In this most interesting week in EU political development a new discussion group has been formed in the UK with the website named Global Vision, linked from here. This blog will comment fully on this when the results of the French Presidential election and the final wording of the agreed Berlin Declaration are both known. France yesterday issued its new euro coins and postage stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, a truly historic milestone for the land-bordered nations of the European continent. In light of the crisis now facing two of the EUs principal prestige investment projects, both much in the news this week, namely the unnecessary EU GPS system and Airbus, it would be churlish to comment at length on the future of the entire 'project' except to note that perhaps the greatest error in the scheme's development was admitting Britain whilst simultaneously and sneakily acquiring their fisheries, which for an island nation was an iniquitous act by their own government who lied to their parliamentarians of which facts most citizens are at least generally if only subconsciously made vaguely aware on each sighting of the sea.

Friday, March 16, 2007

EU-wide fingerprinting next year!

Please do not say that we were not warned. Read the report in The Times from here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Britain's bureaucrats use EU regulations to destroy a farmers livestock and livliehood

I have received the following by e-mail, and as I have yet to see it reported in the press or on the broadcast media, quote the contents in full in spite of so far having been unable to verify the facts, although a 16th February report of the threat to destroy the herd may be read from here. Until last month David Dobbin,43, of Backford near Chester was the owner ofa 567 strong dairy herd which represented his entire livelihood. Several of his cows had won prizes and the herd's value was well over half a million pounds. In 2005 DEFRA officials inspected the voluminous documentation required for his cattle under EEC rules, including "passports" and numbered ear tags foreach animal, and found what they claimed to be a number of unspecified irregularities. Instead of discussing how these could be sorted out, DEFRA last November asked Cheshire Trading Standards officials to seize all his passports, making it illegal for him to remove any animal off his farm and virtually wiping out his income. Last month the officials removed his entire herd to another farm elsewhere in Cheshire, stating that it was their intention to destroy all 567 animals. Their authority, they claimed, was an EC Regulation 494/98, issued at the height of the BSE panic. This lays down that "if the keeper ofan animal cannot prove its identification within two working days, it shall be destroyed without delay under the supervision of the veterinary authorities, and without compensation from the competent authorities". Although these powers given to ministry officials were quite unprecedented, the regulation only permitted them to destroy animals which could not be identified. DEFRA has never claimed that the paperwork for most of Mr Dobbin's cows was not in order. Thanks to his Liverpool lawyers, Kirwans, Mr Dobbin managed to get a High Court injunction , giving his cows a stay of execution less than an hour before the slaughter was due to begin. He also won leave from Mr Justice Goldring for a judicial review on the grounds that DEFRA was acting way beyond its legal powers. But at the beginning of this month DEFRA insisted that, unless Mr Dobbin could prove the identification of every single one of his cows, they must still all be destroyed. Since all his cattle passports - the most obvious means of identification - had been confiscated, this was impossible. The officials said he he would instead have to provide DNA identification for each animal within two days, which would have been physically impossible - not least because the cows had all been moved to another location which Mr Dobbin was not allowed access. On 6 March therefore, the High Court had no choice but to give DEFRA's officials permission to proceed with the slaughter. The need for this was particularly urgent, they said, because they did not have the resources to look after or milk the cattle properly, and this was causing severe "animal welfare" problems. When informed of the judge's decision over the phone, Mr Dobbin burst into tears and on 7 March the destruction of his cattle began. All that he can hope for now is that the judicial review, set for nine months' time, might at least confirm that DEFRA acted beyond its powers. But, in the meantime, this is scant consolation for the sight of his entire life and livelihood going up in smoke just because DEFRA's officials have been so zealous in exercising for the first time powers greater than that given to any British officials before them. For the pleasure of ruining a man's life and killing nearly 600 healthy animals, it must be a small price to pay

Follow the French elections

There will be few more important political events for the EU over the next few weeks than the French Presidential elections. If you wish to follow developments on an English blog prepared in France put this link on your favourites . The most complete coverage online in French in my view may be found from here. The fact that Jean-Marie Le Pen and Phillipe de Villiers yesterday both gained the necessary nominations of 500 elected officials means that the full form of the first round is finally taking shape. The recent surge in the polls of Francois Bayrou today appears to have been halted with support falling to 21 pct against the front runners Royal and Sarkozy on 26 and 27 pct respectively. The more significant poll in my view was one earlier this week that showed 60 per cent of respondents stating they had yet to decide between candidates.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Britain to monitor babies

The following unbelievable but apparently true report is in today's The Guardian, linked here: Is your baby playing with its toes yet? If not the government wants to know why · Children to be monitored from birth to age five · New curriculum sets 69 'early learning goals' Lucy Ward, social affairs correspondent Wednesday March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Treasures from the threads - No 3 Is Cameron Conservative?

The Telegraph's "Speakers Corner" , linked here, today discusses the British Conservative Party where the widespread disgust is a gratifying wonder to behold. I have selected this comment which puts its finger on a deeper problem than just that of the party's leader, the simpleton, old-Etonian, David Cameron :- Decade after decade and government after government goes by, and the same basic policies do the same basic damage. 1. An egalitarian rather than meritocratic education system, which naturally produces dross. This hands on mediocrity to the next generation, and so on. 2. An egalitarian, redistributive tax regime which dehumanises people, taking away their opportunity to exercise decisions according to their own principles and ideals. Want to look after your aged parents? Well you can't, because we've taken the money in tax to do it ourselves. Want to send your child to America for a decent university education? Well you can't, because we've taken the money to finance our own mediocre education system. Want to work hard and improve yourself? Well you can't, because we tax you so much you'll hardly benefit. Want to build up unencumbered income-producing assets? Well you can't, because we'll tax savings so that you don't even keep pace with inflation. 3. The criminal justice system looks after the criminal. Insultingly slight penalties and contempt for the victim continue to fail those with decent impulses and good will. 4. The whole system is dynamic. It actually changes the nature of the British person, who is now much more likely to be fat, vulgar and feckless. Make war on the better features of humanity, decency and courage, and you eventually destroy them. Posted by Mike Evans on March 13, 2007 6:56 AM

Monday, March 12, 2007

Reviving the EU Constitution

Listen to MEP Roger Helmer, on the topic from here. Read the implications from this link, which begins as follows: The German government in Berlin is prevailing over the resistance that had been raised by several EU governments and is imposing central elements of a European-wide "constitution". The Czech Republic has followed Great Britain and the Netherlands in declaring its willingness to relent. The conservative candidate for the French presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy, has announced the parliamentary ratification of a "simplified contract". The only condition is that the German government renounce on the use of the designation "constitution," otherwise the necessary circumvention of a renewed referendum would only be possible in the Netherlands under a breach of national law. According to the German Chancellor's Office's internal schedule, the final negotiations should begin April 23 and be terminated around June 1......

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Treasures from the threads - No 2 The EU and your mail

Our second selection for this new series comes from Jerry on the Conservative Home site, linked here, today commenting on the so-called new EU Embassy for London - no doubt eventually planned to replace all the previous functions of government by fax from Brussels:

The spineless Pro-EU Tory party is probably wholly in favour of an EU embassy in London. They are wedded to the EU completely. Perhaps Justins "more positive approach to Europe" will consider the hardship caused by the EU closure of thousands of rural post offices. Perhaps all is not lost? Recently unelected Dutch EU commissioner for competition, Neelie Kroes has apparently graciously allowed the British government to carry on subsidising rural post offices for a further short period of time. She is to be applauded for making such a difficult technical decision in our favour bearing in mind the dire threat a sub-post office in (say) Chipping Sodbury in the Cotswolds presents to the EU economy in general and the German economy in particular.

It must be remembered that the German post office, the Bundespost was allowed under EU competition rules to move into the UK postal market and cherry pick millions of pounds worth of profitable business mail from Royal Mail. The Bundespost has no obligation to provide a social service like the Royal Mail. So every letter which Royal Mail has to deliver for the Bundespost is subsidised by the British taxpayer by 6p a letter. But that is “fair” competition, EU style for you.

The reality is that the Great British government, voted in by you into the Mother of Parliaments in Westminster has to beg an unelected, obscure Dutch woman for permission to give some of our own money to a sub-post office in Chipping Sodbury. How humiliating can it get? Well this is the reality of voting for the Labour, Lib Dem or Conservative parties in the last election. If you vote Labour, Lib Dem or Conservative in the next general election it will be another vote to stay in the EU. So rest assured the humiliation can get a whole lot worse by the end of the next term of government. Added to which the equivalent cost of EU contributions and the cost of EU over-regulation alone will soar to well over £2000 billion. What fantastic value for money the Labour Lib Dem and Conservative parties have in mind for the unsuspecting voter, as none of these parties will even discuss the real costs of EU membership, let alone the ever increasing stranglehold the unelected EU commissioners have over our everyday way of life.

Friday, March 09, 2007

PM quizzed on 300 million EU fine and corruption

The following is from Hansard: Mr. Michael Jack (Fylde) (Con): The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faces a £300 million fine from Brussels, 25,000 single farm payment claims remain unresolved, the policy on bovine TB is, as yet, unresolved, and the Department’s 7 Mar 2007 : Column 1517 budget has been cut by £200 million. May I therefore ask the Prime Minister why the House has not been given the opportunity to debate those matters, bearing in mind that the last agriculture debate was in December 2002? The Prime Minister: I am sure that there will be opportunities for people to raise and debate those issues. We are well aware of the problems that have arisen over payments to farmers, however, and we have said on many occasions that we are doing all that we can to speed up that system. We are not in a position of difficulty with the European Commission. It is also correct that there will be enormous budget pressures on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other Departments. Pressure on the budget of DEFRA cannot be helped by having to bear such a huge fine levied as a direct result of the Government's own inefficiencies. Why is such incompetence receiving no media coverage? Like the scandals regarding party funding raised in an earlier question to the PM: 7 Mar 2007 : Column 1515

Q5. [125433] Richard Ottaway (Croydon, South) (Con): Does the Prime Minister agree that voting in a £10,000 communication allowance for incumbent MPs out of taxpayers’ money, without the support of the Opposition, while at the same time lobbying Sir Hayden Phillips to limit the private funding of candidates in those incumbent seats, is nothing short of an abuse of power bordering on corruption?

The Prime Minister: As I understand it from my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, the matter is discussed in the House of Commons Commission and it will come before the House at the end of the month. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will put forward proposals that are just and fair.

Treasures from the Threads - No. 1 Tax

I propose posting, under the above general heading, selected comments from various newspaper and other comment threads as they catch my eye. The following gem on taxation came this week in response to Simon Heffer's mid-week column in the Daily Telegraph, linked here: Dear Sirs, Taxation of the individual has become such a nightmare that one needs professional help that once was only sought at a much higher level of income. Inheritance tax is one example of state robbery that can only truthfully be avoided by converting all one's assets to gold and doing a runner from the country, something that should be causing alarm as the grey drain moves at increasing speed across the water to nore welcoming shores. And then they will return to the prohibition of monetary transfers out of the UK, remember that! Squeeze them until the pips squeak was the mantra. Well the pips are beginning to squeak and the price that the market will bear has reached the limit of public patience. Those who cannot and will not move from their own country, and why should they even have to contemplate such a radical move, are now openly challenging this Chancellor, the Scottish control freak who has his fingers in every bank account in, and out of the country. We are rapidly returning to the climate of hiding money, preventing the greed of the taxman imposing secondary taxation of 40% on hard earned money. He has created an increasing industry in tax collection, tax avoidance and wealth protection. The greatest danger to our country is that the smart money will move long before it is realised that footballers and rock stars are not the only visible groups who have left these shores in disgust. What incentive is there to remain when fifty years of toil and the gathering of family wealth cannot be descended to one's own because the tax man wants nearly fifty percent of its value up front. His cosy figures are concealing a national trend of suspicion and a growing social dislike for the politicians who pander to the tax collectors. Enough has been done to alienate the public. Be warned that that this alienation can explode in any civiisation, and our own history is littered with such examples of political greed. Mr. Brown, come off your pedestal and use your undoubted talents to revise the taxation of this country to a more equitable solution before it is too late. I for one, will defend my property from the invasion of my privacy and once started, as George Woodcock once sagely commented, 'you may start with me, but you cannot put the working population in jail'. If I have to go to jail to protect me and mine from legal robbery, then so be it. Posted by Vivian J Phillips on March 7, 2007 5:32 AM

Thursday, March 08, 2007

France could save European Democracy

The centrist French Presidential candidate, Francois Bayrou , continues to surge ahead in the opinion polls, today standing at 24 pct against 25 pct for the socialist Segolene Royal and 26 pct for Nicolas Sarkozy . This latest leap comes after the following statement made on 28th February, linked here, as follows:

François Bayrou: calls for new text which can be put to referendum

François Bayrou said citizens felt they had “a Europe, that they did not choose, imposed on them” with “opaque” and “impenetrable” rules, he said, before considering the “true nature of the European project”. In order to avoid further widening the divide between Europe and the people, the French would, whatever happened, be called on to vote on the new text, in 2009 perhaps, but not necessarily at the same time as other countries of the EU, he said. He wanted to get down to seven major pieces of work for Europe: an economic policy, particularly for the eurozone, with “budgetary and tax harmonisation”; joint diplomatic action; defence; climate issues; energy policy; immigration policy; and European research policy. These were areas where there was “no response without Europe”, while others, such as social policy, could be set in each country, Mr Bayrou said. “I believe that when this question is put, it is out of the question that it be dealt with other than through a referendum.”

Significantly Bayrou today confirmed in Brussels that he would grant the French people another referendum on any revised or repeated EU Constitution - something the other two leading candidates have steadfastly refused to do. Even if the Bayrou surge cannot be maintained until polling day we could now nevertheless see a similar pledge being extracted from the two main candidates - thus killing the constitution for the foreseeable future, whatever further anti-democratic treachery PM Blair presently has planned! An earlier report on the candidate's Brussels visit may be read in English from here. TF1 lunchtime TV news headlined the actual referendum pledge.