Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding

I'm not going to make much comment about the events of yesterday - there's plenty of coverage elsewhere - except to post this image:

Prince Charles' car is being driven by another future head of state, but there's something wrong with it. Can you guess? (clue, look at the number plate).

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Next President Of The EU?

As we know the democratic legitimacy of the current President of the European Council has often been called into question, however Lib Dem MEP Andrew Duff has put forward proposals that mark the 'first step towards a directly elected EU President'. In the spirit of that, and for some fun for the bank holiday weekend, I thought I would conduct a poll from the following possible Presidential candidates on who's most suitable to take the EU forward (when Rompuy's time is up) into an age of openness and democracy:
  • Ryan Giggs: Known as the 'Welsh Wizard', Giggs is blessed with a rare footballing talent. A football veteran, one of the greatest Premiership players ever and a legend not only with Manchester United fans but with football fans in general. A player who has devoted his life to the game rather than the lifestyle he could get from it - a happily married man. Giggs has all the abilities of hard work and devotion to make the changes needed to give the EU a more respectable image.

  • Hugh Bonneville: A fine English actor, who is currently starring in the exceptional and popular ITV drama Downtown Abbey. Hugh plays the wealthy Robert, Earl of Grantham who not only is devoted to preserving the status quo in early 20th Century Britain but is a devoted family man. A proper English gent who would fit right in with the EU elite but will do what's best for Britain.

  • David Threlfall: An English actor who plays drunk 'Shakespeare quoting' intellectual Frank Gallagher in Channel Four's Shameless. Great for winding up those unelected EU officials.

  • Jeremy Clarkson: The thinking man's loudmouth. Opinionated, right wing and anti-EU. Clarkson will do to the Berlaymont what he does to caravans - my perfect candidate.
Please vote in the right hand column.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Calm Down Dear

A wonderful display of Cameron's disdain towards Parliamentary procedure today during PMQs. In response to a question from Tory MP Brian Binley, Cameron replies (my emphasis):
The honourable gentleman is right... (3:20 mins in)
Gentleman? It's a question from an MP from his own party, surely Cameron should say 'my honourable friend'? Thankfully Hansard tidies up the mistake for him:
The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is right about the figures today and that what is happening in the construction industry is disappointing
Given that Cameron is not a real Tory, one has to wonder if it was a Freudian slip.

One-Nil To The Internet

From the Daily Mail:
Andrew Marr's decision to end the farce of his own super-injunction was welcomed by MPs and critics yesterday who said he had been 'hypocritical' to hide behind a cloak of secrecy while quizzing public figures.
Yet us bloggers already knew this, a fact which upset Marr very much:
"Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all. A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people. OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk. But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night."
Marr's apology is the equivalent of "I'm only sorry because I've been caught out".

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Greece And Portugal Debts Worse Than Expected

The Guardian reports that:
Greece and Portugal are deeper in debt than previously estimated, according to official figures that show attempts to contain their financial woes have so far failed.
I'm not sure who's doing the estimating but I think they need to get another job. It's pretty obvious Greece is essentially bankrupt and is, along with Spain, being less than honest about the depth of its financial situation. A default is on the cards for Greece in particular:
Most economists consider a Greek default a foregone conclusion, with either some debt forgiveness or a radically longer timetable of repayments. They argue only about the timing.
The Euro maybe a train crash in slow motion, but it's still a train crash.

"Microsoft Should Tell The EU To Stuff It!"

This chap writing for PCMag doesn't seem particularly happy with the EU, I can't think why:
Microsoft should just disable the versions of Windows in the EU to teach it to stay out of American business>>>To teach it to stay out of American business, Microsoft should just disable the versions of Windows in the EU.
...the unhappiness continues (my emphasis):
For one thing, the Europeans don't see why they can't do better than these American firms. After all, how hard could it actually be to develop a search engine? It's child's play. Thus, the Google dominance must have to do with onerous business practices. Whatever the case, the EU seems to think "let's find fault and stick them with a big fine if we can."
Yeah, well, welcome to the world endured by the British public. Anyway the article concludes:

Why should the EU be telling Americans how to run their businesses? As it now stands, every merger coming up has to be discussed with the EU in mind. Will the EU let two American companies merge? Will it? Won't it? Fret, fret, fret.

Hey! What does the EU have to do with it?

And yes, this whole situation is a pet peeve of mine. Microsoft should tell the EU to shove it.

I think he has a point, however, strangely in a war between Microsoft and the EU I'm reminded of Henry Kissinger's dictum on the Iran-Iraq war: "What a shame they can't both lose."

Monday, 25 April 2011

Quiet

Apologies, but posting will be a little slow round these parts for a day or two, in all honesty I don't feel up to it.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Friday, 22 April 2011

David Charlatan

Just when you thought Cameron couldn't get any worse, then never underestimate his capacity to prove you wrong. His latest outburst against AV:

The Prime Minister picked the most recent Conservative-only government to illustrate why the proposed Alternative Vote system should be opposed. He said removing tired governments was vital to democracy.

When the country “desperately needed to get rid of that [Labour] government” in 1979, they were able to elect Margaret Thatcher, he said.

“We also remember 1997 and I think we know in 1997 the country needed change. Again it was a decisive result,” he added. His criticism came as a surprise because Mr Cameron is close to Sir John Major and occasionally uses him to support specific policy ideas.

Essentially a current Tory PM is saying that the Tories deserved to lose in 1997? Now that's a rather courageous argument to put forward considering that he has yet to win a general election himself.

Now, ok I can go along with his 'decisive result' claims but this seems at odds with his arguments against AV in February when he said that:
"AV would exaggerate the inherent biases in the current system"
So what is he saying there? He wants a decisive result but not that decisive? And in making his argument he goes on to show astonishing disloyalty to a former Tory Prime Minister that he worked with - most infamously during "Black Wednesday".

You have to wonder how thick the Tories are not to realise that they have bang-to-rights charlatan in their midst.

Warning, It's Dangerous Outside

There's me, in the garden taking in the sun, a can of nice cold beer yet I learn that the Government wants to ruin my fun:
A smog warning has been issued for the Easter weekend amid fears that a combination of hot weather and pollution could cause health and breathing problems.
Apparently in certain parts of London the smog levels have exceeded acceptable levels under EU laws.

Well it's nice to know something breaks EU laws. Cameron take note.

Raw Deal

From today's Sun:


I'm not sure what's the more ludicrous EU story today, this or Cameron claiming that he'll veto the EU budget.

Please feel free to leave any Arnie / EU based puns in the comments.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Priorities

Five years ago I was burgled, guess how many policemen turned up? None. Two years ago a near neighbour on our street was burgled, guess how many policemen turned up? None. Last November my neighbour across the street was burgled, guess how many policemen turned up? None.

Today after picking my wife up from work I was unable to access the cul-de-sac where I live properly because there were 4 police cars parked in our road - with two in a nearby street - a total of 6 plus copious other cars stopped with the drivers talking to policemen

Not only that, I counted 8 policemen - 2 with a camera and 6 busy booking motorists - there was a queue! The reason? At the end of our road for the first time ever, the Police decided to install a mobile speed trap...

...on the Thursday before an Easter bank holiday, on a road which has a lot of passing traffic thus many motorists may be unfamiliar with the road, and one where the speed limit has recently been reduced from 40mph to 30mph without the usual warning signs.

This is not about road safety but targets.

"We Have Bills To Pay"

So says Patrizio Fiorilli speaking for the EU Commission on last night's BBC's Newsnight regarding their demands for a budget increase, that Cameron will agree to:



This whole interview will help the eurosceptic cause no end, even BBC interviewer, Emily Maitlis, appears to be struggling to maintain her composure

Bright Idea?

This is the front page of Conservative Home this morning:

Next to another pointless Tory "we must stand up to Europe" article is a link to a site promoting; "Innovation and improvement in Local Government" which will among other things "discuss the Coalition's government programme for decentralisation".

This link is accompanied by a diagram showing light bulbs presumably to demonstrate 'bright ideas', however they look suspiciously like the traditional incandescent lightbulbs which are banned by....the EU.

The irony appears to be lost on them.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Oh FFS

According to the Telegraph - prominent on their website:
The issue of the Prime Minister’s attire had become one of the most hotly-debated subjects in the build-up to the big day after Downing Street said he would be wearing a work-style suit.
No it hasn't, is this really how low as a country we've stooped. I despair.

Unintended Consequences

My favourite car I've ever owned - and have driven - is the Mark III Golf VR6 (pictured left).

It was a VW Golf fitted with a 6 cylinder 2.8 litre engine - the engine was specifically designed to fit on a standard Golf chassis with no further modifications needed, and it was the best engine that Volkswagen ever made.

I'd always wanted one but for obvious insurance reasons I didn't own one until I was 25. It was brilliant; the power output was so smooth I'm sure it ignored the petrol I put in to it and ran on double cream instead. And boy was it quick, without trying to incriminate myself on this blog I can confirm that never once did the engine get out of the; "tapping-its-fingers-impatiently-because-it-was-bored" mode. The engine far outperformed the car built around it.

Sadly, and inevitably, rust took its toll so I needed a replacement. The Golf R32 it was. In many ways the R32 was superior. It was quicker (a 3.2 litre engine), had more bells and whistles like air con, and was far more stable in corners at high(er) speeds. But the thrill was no longer there - the Mark IV Golf chassis had become too bloated and too heavy to have the same impact.

However there was a fundamental problem with the R32. There was a consistent issue that occurred in certain circumstances where, as the throttle was deployed, the car started to stall; in essence the pedal started to work in reverse - the more you pressed it the slower the car would go, and that is very unnerving to say the least. This was especially prevalent at roundabouts where you haven't quite stopped, have checked to the right that all is ok to enter the roundabout and then apply the throttle only to find that the car no longer responds. Effectively the car's problem left me stranded on a roundabout in danger of being 'T-boned' by another car that wasn't there seconds before.

Naturally I took the car back to VW many times, but despite 'expert' diagnosis by laptop the response I got was; "No Sir there's nothing wrong with it". I tried some independent garages too and received the same response. It wasn't until I went to a garage who specialised in sticking superchargers on VW V6 engines that I got a more honest response.

The R32, like many cars, had an engine management system which could constantly control the fuel mixture to prevent it being either too rich or too weak. This is great of course for maximum efficiency of the engine, but the management system had different priorities - EU car emissions legislation. In effect VW cheated. In order to get their larger engined cars to pass EU legislation they set up their management systems to prioritise emissions rather than performance or efficiency. So when the sensors in the tail pipe registered too much carbon monoxide it immediately weakened the mixture - effectively starving the engine of fuel. This is what lead to me 'stalling' at roundabouts causing a potential collision.

'Chipping' the ECU to prioritise performance solved the problem - at the cost of about £90, however as the car was more than 3 years old I had to have it changed back to factory default (i.e. emissions settings) every year to pass the MOT and then remapped again afterwards.

Bizarrely chipping the ECU actually improved the fuel consumption.

Can we leave yet?

To Celebrate The Royal Wedding


Skinner's Brewery have brought out a new beer in celebration of the big day on the 29th.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

That's Ok Then?

A No2AV leaflet popped through my door today:

On the front cover it says:
"None of your taxes have been used to print this leaflet"
I think I'm supposed to feel grateful.

Monday, 18 April 2011

AVing a Laugh



hattip: Muffled Vociferation

138.9

That's the price of the cheapest local garage (Tesco) for me for unleaded petrol. Just before Osborne lowered the duty by 1p on budget day, the price went up 1p then it went back down at 6pm to the same price it was before Osborne's announcement - 133.9p. Since then it's gone up 1p a week relentlessly. Apparently with his budget Osborne wanted to inject:
"fuel into the tank of the British economy"
Well, I'm still waiting.

Greece Has Already Asked To Default

According to the Greek paper Eleftherotypia, Greece has already asked the IMF and EU earlier this month to restructure its loans (via Google Translate):
The Greek government asked the IMF and the EU increasing the total debt. The process is expected to launch a debate in June, to be implemented in 2012.

The Government's request, according to reliable information of Eleftherotypia, submitted by Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou the informal Ecofin meeting held in Hungary and the Troika visit to Athens in early April. All publications saw the light of day in the last 48 hours, for which scenarios are discussed for the forthcoming extension of the debt, received multiple official denial by both the IMF and the EU, because "such moves are not just announced.
And such a move is apparently approved by the US:
In the direction to go in Greece to postpone debt consented and the American Minister of Finance, Timothy Geithner, the meeting was last Saturday with his Greek counterpart: "We need to do (" you have to do it ")», said Mr Papaconstantinou.

Quote (Understatement) Of The Day

From BBC's Gavin Hewitt:
But, politically, Europe is restive, unsettled, anxious and increasingly losing patience with the elites and the parties in power.

Anarchy In Greece


Following on the heels of Finland's vote last night, the Guardian is reporting that not only is a default in Greece ever more likely but that the country is becoming ungovernable:
Amid speculation over the country's ability to avoid default, a wave of civil disobedience is causing many to wonder if Greece is becoming ungovernable.

"There is clearly a breakdown of the rule of law, and without the rule of law there can be no economic development," said political analyst Takis Michas. "It is organised lawlessness spearheaded by the hard left."

"In any other country people would have been arrested but here the lack of arrests has contributed to the feeling that anything goes," said Michas.
And Moody's have now downgraded Ireland's banks to junk status:
This means all Government-backed banks are now classified as junk.
No wonder the Euro is falling this morning.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Anti-EU Party Comes Joint Second in Finland

Finland's election result has come in, the True Finns party has made huge advances since 2007 up from 4% to 19.1%, campaigning on an anti-immigration, anti-EU platform specifically against the Portuguese bailout. The final results are:
  • National Coalition Party 20.3% (44 seats)
  • Social Democrats 19.1% (42 seats)
  • True Finns 19.1% (39 seats)
  • Center Party 15.8% (35 seats)
  • Left Alliance 8.1% (14 seats)
  • Greens 7.2% (10 seats)
Both True Finns and the Social Democrats are both against the bailout and its likely that one or both will enter a government with the Nation Coalition Party. Finnish voters have dealt a blow Europe's plans to rescue Portugal, as Finland has an effective veto on the plans as Parliament has the right to vote on EU requests for bailout funds. Chances of the bailout passing Parliament has taken a huge step backwards - the bailout of Portugal requires unanimity of euroland states.

Past Its Sell-By Date

I've often argued that the 'success' of the EU lays in large part in the unwillingness of our media to report the true extent of how much the EU interferes.

Another fine example shows itself today, when the Telegraph reports:
[That it] has learned that the coalition wants an end to the confusing proliferation of instructions on food labelling which have greatly expanded over the past decade.
Of course it is complete nonsense, as EUReferendum and Autonomous Mind excellently point out. Food labeling is exclusively an EU competence there's nothing that the coalition can do about it without permission from Brussels:
The point is, of course, that the "best before" dates are not going to be scrapped. This is because food labelling is an exclusive EU competence and the provisions are set out in Directive 2000/13/EC of 20 March 2000 on "the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs" (pictured).

The Directive is transposed into British law by the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 as amended (several times), and there are absolutely no plans to amend the Directive, or change the Regulations.
It comes to something that blogs written by volunteers provide more accurate coverage of news than paid journalists. Richard North then links to a similar article written in July last year:
Interestingly, the Baby Failygraph did a story on this on 12 July 2010, with the heading "Best-before' is well past its sell-by date". It was written by Philip Johnston who suggested that: "A 'use-by' date would stop billions of pounds of food being thrown away".
In that article are even the following words:
Although the sell-by date was introduced by Marks and Spencer in the 1950s as a stock-control guide for store-room staff, it was not until 1973 that it appeared on the shelves in M&S food stores as "a guarantee of freshness".
Now I wonder what happened in 1973? Don't expect the Telegraph to tell you.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Move Along, Nothing To See Here

The Boiling Frog's favourite EU Commissioner has decided that everything in the Euro garden is rosy, here's a selection of his latest quotes:

"While I cannot yet say ‘Mission accomplished', I am increasingly confident that we are entering into the endgame of the crisis management phase."

And:

"Preventing a European Lehman has not been a simple task, with 27 fiscal authorities and 11 central banks - we never had the genius of Alexander Hamilton to draw on, like you did, unless you count Jacques Delors for this too - but the task has nevertheless been accomplished."
And:
"The euro's critics are wrong to claim that [the crisis] will lead to its failure or break-up. The euro will not only survive but is coming out of the crisis stronger than before."

With Greece about to default, and Ireland and Portugal in the same boat plus Spain not being out of the woods yet, not to mention significant worries about Italy and Belgium (who currently hold the world record for not having a government - with implications on its credit rating), one might be tempted to beg to differ.

Although in fairness Mr Rehn wasn't wrong when he said the following:

He concluded by repeating the mantra EU leaders have chanted from the very beginning of the area's crisis that the bloc will do "whatever it takes" to save the single currency.

"The euro is not just a technical monetary arrangement, but rather the core political project of the European Union."

I suspect EU Commissioner Olli Rehn will come to regret his words, and I look forward to that day very much.

Discrimination Is Discrimination

Campaigning today I encountered a voter who was rather angry - to say the least - about primarily immigration (no surprise there).

However what had specifically provoked her ire was the latest Unison National Executive Council Election ballot paper which she had received because she works as a civilian in the Police force. With her permission I scan the document here, here's the covering letter:


and here's the ballot paper:



So far so good, a ballot paper enclosed to democratically elect the Unison NEC. Nowt wrong with that you may think. So the source of her ire? Page four:


A special page to elect members based on their skin colour. This from the same union who have a dedicated section here to the Equality Act and still did not think that it went far enough:
The Equality Act passed in April 2010 brings together previous discrimination and equality law into one harmonised Act. UNISON welcomed this new law, although we remain concerned that in some areas it does not go far enough.
I've been a member of UKIP long enough to participate in electing 2 leaders and members of the UKIP NEC and everytime it has been a vote based on merit and rightly so.

As the owner of a small business if I came anywhere near the antics of Unison (which I never would) I would be locked up and then hung, drawn and quartered before you could scream 'racist'.

Why is Unison different (i.e. above the law)?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Greece Default?

With Portugal not having even completed their bailout terms yet, there's a growing, yet entirely inevitable, view that Greece is about to default.
The cost of insuring Greek debt has hit a record high on renewed fears the country will default on its borrowings. But support came from the head of the IMF, who insisted the embattled country would "make it".
And:
Investors' flight from Greek government debt left 10-year bond yields at a new euro lifetime high of over 13pc and yields on two-year bonds at over 18pc, after Wolfgang Schaeuble said "additional steps" could be necessary if the European Central Bank concludes that the country's burden is unsustainable. l
Ireland is also in this 'default' territory too - there's no way they can repay under the terms imposed on them either. The Euro crisis therefore appears to be gathering pace.

The EU taxpayer will be footing the bill for this as German government economic advisor Lars Feld has warned; the European Central Bank has abandoned all pretence at being the guardian of sound monetary policy, along the lines of the original Bundesbank, as per the Maastricht Treaty. Instead the ECB has been buying up Greek and other government debt even when it is rated as junk - breaking every EU law going. The ECB is becoming, if not already, a bad bank and a Greek default is inevitable.

The EU elite is clinging onto their precious currency for as long as it takes, regardless of the economic consequences but the end is coming - "He will knock four times".

Pilot Guilty Of Making Death Threats

From the BBC:
A pilot has been convicted of threatening to kill UKIP leader Nigel Farage following a plane crash.

A jury found Justin Adams guilty of making five threats relating to Mr Farage and crash investigator Martin James after the accident in May 2010.

Oxford Crown Court heard a telephone call between a police handler and a man calling himself Justin Adams who claimed to have a 9mm pistol.

Mr Farage said after the verdict: "From beginning to end, this is a very, very sad case indeed.

"It's been my belief all the way through that what Mr Adams needs is help and I don't really believe from our mental health services that he's received that."

Cameron And Immigration

The papers this morning have clearly been briefed that Cameron is set to give his first speech on by far and away the number one topic at the last election - immigration. He's been in office for nearly a year now so why now? (A slight tangent here I do hope all my readers have now received their polling cards for next month's local elections).

Apparently the speech will be robust and I have been fortunate to see a preview of it. I reproduce it here in full, word for word so you can make your own minds up:
Immigration has imposed strains on some communities... blah blah blah....I recognise this and understand their concerns....blah blah blah...too high, so will introduce measures to reduce the levels....blah blah blah....these measures will apply for non-EU citizens.
Of course UK has no control over immigration from EU citizens and he knows it. He's hoping that the rest of us don't - that's the problem with stupid people they often assume others are as stupid as they are. People will know that Cameron's words are dishonest; they can see it for themselves all around them when the levels of immigration continues to be a problem.

And it looks like both the Mail and the Telegraph have also been briefed to hardly mention the EU aspect of it, if at all. It comes to something when it's left up to the BBC to mention the unmentionable which they did this morning on BBC Breakfast, so many times I lost count.

Update: I've just spotted that Nigel Farage gets the final word on the BBC site. Blimey I think I'm in shock:

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said it was a "good thing" Mr Cameron was recognising the impact immigration had had on communities across the country.

"But sadly there is not much he can do about it because the elephant in the room is the European Union and we have a total open border with all of them," he said.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

AV

I made my feelings on the upcoming AV referendum clear before on this blog, I take no interest in it, and my experience so far is that the vast majority of people don't give a toss either - only those cosseted away in the coalition.

It does amuse me though the lack of intellectual discussion scaremongering being employed, take this latest video against AV featuring the fictional MP Alan B'stard:



It's key points? AV means apparently:
  • Politicians don't keep their promises

  • An excuse to blame the other lot

  • Say unpopular measures are in the national interest

  • Not ever saying sorry

  • ...the great thing about a fudged coalition is...
And the difference with FPTP is? Truly desperate stuff.

Let 'Em Eat Cake

From the Cyprus Mail we have a story that industrial action is being taken over a dispute regarding outsourcing jobs abroad:

Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO), Cyprus Workers’ Union (SEK) and EDEK’s DEOK are striking “because (J&P, Athena and Cybarco) companies’ outsourcing of the marina works violates the collective agreement (resulting) in unfair personal contracts for workers”, PEO’s district construction secretary Andreas Neophytou said yesterday.

And the response?

Employer’s Federation OEV has condemned the action, with assistant director general Michalis Antoniou yesterday pointing out that: “EU workers have every right to work here just as Cypriots also have full rights to work anywhere in the other 26 EU member states.”

Hmm, now that dismissive attitude sounds familiar:

Lord Mandelson enraged unions and Labour MPs last night by accusing wildcat strikers of "protectionism" and claiming they could turn the recession into a full-blown depression.

The Business Secretary inflamed the dispute over foreign workers by suggesting that protesters could go and work elsewhere in Europe if they were unhappy.

Prisoners Votes Part 346

To the surprise of no-one the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has refused to even consider the Government's appeal. As Grand Chamber rulings can't be appealed against one can only assume that this was merely a tactic by the Government to buy time.

This case has been a prime example of what happens when unaccountable institutions have power. The ECHR not only is not listening to the wishes of a democratically elected Parliament but is telling that Parliament in effect what laws it should pass and in what time frame:

The court also demanded the right to fix the Parliamentary timetable for introducing the legislation.

If the Government does not bring forward new laws within six months, European judges will begin ordering the payment of an estimated £150million in compensation to killers, rapists and other prisoners.

Tory MP Dominic Raab called it shocking arrogance:
‘It is shocking arrogance for the Strasbourg Court to dismiss the legitimate concerns of Britain’s elected law-makers without even listening to the arguments.
It's hard to disagree. If seeing our elected Parliament bossed around like this by an unaccountable body is not a reason for a revolution then I'm not sure what is.

It'll be interesting to see what Cameron does. I do actually believe Cameron when he says wants to resist this measure. Not because he doesn't want prisoners to have the right to vote - he probably doesn't give two hoots about that - nor does he want to stand up to Europe, however on this deeply unpopular issue he knows, as well as we do, that capitulation will ironically hasten our exit. It's no coincidence that since this subject cropped up last year that UKIP national membership has experienced a very significant increase.

What really makes Cameron 'physically sick' is thought that he may be the one that helps our exit from his beloved EU project.

Monday, 11 April 2011

I Hope The Tories Are Proud

He really is a bit rubbish isn't he? Not content with calling us the junior partner during WWII or telling Pakistan that the "UK is responsible for many of the world’s historic problems", then complaining that journalists reported it, he leaps feet first into another row:
Oxford University has demanded that No 10 issues a correction after David Cameron quoted "highly misleading" figures in an attack on the institution's admissions policies.
Mr Cameron described the university as ''disgraceful'' over statistics indicating that only one black British undergraduate won a place in 2009.

But Oxford University immediately hit back at Mr Cameron for quoting what it dismissed as "incorrect" figures.

The spokeswoman said: "The figure quoted by the Prime Minister is incorrect and highly misleading – it only refers to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin for a single year of entry, when in fact that year Oxford admitted 41 UK undergraduates with black backgrounds.
The Prime Minster is 'incorrect and highly misleading'. That'll be another cast iron promise then. What did we ever do to deserve this man? He's not even been PM for a year yet.

Confused Census Gestapo

The firm I'm currently contracted to had a visit from Census Gestapo today. This firm own land with park homes on it, and they are in the process of building 12 more - of which only 6 have been completed so far. However all 12 addresses have been registered.

So CG turns up to speak to the boss, who's in the same office that I'm working in, because apparently some residents haven't filled in their census forms. The conversation goes something like this:

CG: "Nos 2, 3, 4, 8, 12 & 14 have not completed their census form."

Boss: "That's right, the buildings don't exist yet."

CG: "But they have to complete a census form, it's the law".

Boss: " Who has to? No-one lives there, there are no properties"

CG: "But the addresses appear on my register so they've had a form delivered"

Boss: " Delivered where? There's no letterbox, no front door nor even a wall or a building".

CG: "Well someone must have received the form".

At this point they both go out and argue the point on the concrete foundations where the park homes will exist in the future. Eventually CG goes away to consult further because the option; "house does not exist" doesn't appear on his form.

Contagion

Dr North highlighted the problems between Italy and France on unwelcome immigration and France's illegal actions which contravene EU law. Now it looks like the issue has moved to Germany as well:
"Germany has threatened to reinstate border checks "against the interests" of the EU's free movement zone in an escalating row with Italy over Tunisian refugees...during bad-tempered European talks on Monday, Germany warned Italy that it will not accept the migrants and that Berlin will tear up the EU's border-free travel arrangements to stop them."
Cameron take note, if you don't like EU law you can just ignore it - the fact you don't says everything. Naturally Italy are not impressed with Germany's stance:
Roberto Maroni, the Italian interior minister, said Italy had to “consider if it is still worth being part of the EU” after the hostile reaction to its plan. ”It's fine when Italy contributes to euro bail-outs, to wars, but on this very specific issue of helping us out, EU states are absolutely not willing to show solidarity,” he said.
Selfish national interest (or in other words trying to pacify your own electorate) has turned out to be more important than the EU ideal. Hardly a surprise. Let's face it, the project to eliminate the nation state in Europe is just not working and will never work. It is a very expensive flawed and failing project of the 2oth century and is never going to succeed. Can we leave yet?

The whole EU project reminds me of the children's toy - Spirograph. It looks new and exciting on the box, they claim that you can create complex drawings easily and the principle on paper appears to be based on indisputable logic but when confronted with the real world it just doesn't bloody work.

Default Option: If In Doubt, We Can't Do It

Yet again a news item dominates the day's news and yet again there's always a problem that is treated as if it's He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named - We mustn't mention it.

Today's news; retail banks should be ring-fenced, however some of the detail contained in the proposals breach EU law.

Reading stuff like this I often want to hold my head in my hands but I fear that doing so is probably in breach of EU law also.

I truly despair - if I'm allowed to as an EU citizen.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Another Day, Another Bailout


As widely expected, Portugal is in talks with the EU regarding a bail-out, so widely expected in fact that the markets this morning appear to have taken the news in their stride.

This was soon followed by an announcement that Spain is not seeking a similar bailout:
'Spain is not at risk at all after Portugal has asked for a rescue,' Finance Minister Elena Salgado told Spanish National Radio.
So Spain has now passed; 'nothing is true until officially denied' test. The UK will naturally be contributing to the bailout of Portugal, to the tune of around £6bn. Thankfully we're not in debt ourselves and have lots of cash to spare to help out our EU neighbours. Oh wait...

Friday, 1 April 2011

April Fool

Lots of the usual April foolery today in the MSM and on the blogs. One odd one though is this from The Sun:
COPS quizzed a boy of 13 over an "assault" on another lad - with a MARSHMALLOW.

Officers swooped on Nathan Watch's school in Torpoint, Cornwall, after a sweet thrown by larking kids hit the lad.

Nathan's dad Nigel called the probe "pathetic".

He told how he was called by the school to tell him his son was being accused of "common assault" - and would be quizzed as it had become a "police matter".
It must be a wind-up I thought, then doubts crept into my mind. No I could imagine that this would be true especially when other papers run with it, including the Daily Mail:

But they have now pulled their copy. Whoops have the Daily Mail been caught out? No apparently it still might be true.

Update: Sun says the story is true:
Our TRUE Page One story yesterday about a boy of 13 quizzed over an alleged assault with a marshmallow was listed in the Top Ten April Fools on America's Fox News.
Ridiculous

Local UKIP Candidate

As of today, I'm now officially standing as a local candidate for UKIP in my ward. A UKIP candidate has never stood here before, so it'll be interesting to see what response I'll get. So far the local issues seem to be litter, anti-social behaviour and, slightly oddly, Libya