A very happy new year to you all, best wishes and health for 2014
The Spectator at war: The safety of the realm
27 minutes ago
That such an unnecessary and irrational project as building a European super-state was ever embarked on will seem in future years to be perhaps the greatest folly of the modern era. And that Britain . . . should ever have become part of it will appear a political error of the first magnitude.’ Lady ThatcherSadly among the New Year celebrations, we must note that today is 40th anniversary of one of the biggest mistakes this country has ever made in its history - entry to what was then the EEC (euphemistically called a Common Market).
"If the British cannot support the trend towards more integration in Europe, we can nevertheless remain friends, but on a different basis, I could imagine a form such as a European economic area or a free trade agreement," Delors suggested.20 years ago when I started out actively campaigning against our membership not once did I imagine that Delors would ever utter words such as those. It's a sign of how far we've come and how the sentiment is shifting. For the first time in 40 years, our withdrawal looks to be a realistic prospect.
During those 40 years the British have never been happy members of this club. Too often we have been out of step, and even bitterly at odds, with the rest — as in our refusal to join that single currency.More importantly though the nature of the EU project makes such a clash unavoidable. With idealism that firmly resides in make-believe territory, Monnet's EU vision was by removing the nation state and democracy and instead leaving power in the hands of bureaucrats he could create "an organised world of tomorrow". But the nation state and democracy are so fundamental to human needs that such an artificial system that tried to defy the laws of human nature would be unworkable. I didn't choose to be English, I just am. And nothing will alter that fact, certainly not a system or a government foisted upon me against my will.
L/Bdr Parkinson, 27, lost both his legs and suffered brain damage in a Taliban bomb blast in 2006.
After a gruelling rehabilitation process he has learned to walk on two prosthetic legs and has devoted himself to raising money for military charities.
Conversely:Diane Dernie, his mother, said the honour left her son "absolutely over the moon". She said he was only informed yesterday morning.
Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Miss Phillips will receive a CBE. She said: ‘I am very pleasantly surprised but mostly absolutely thrilled and delighted to receive such a wonderful honour.’
Also receiving a CBE is artist Miss Emin, who made her name with controversial pieces such as a tent decorated with the names of all of her lovers.
The 49-year-old first courted notoriety in 1997 when she appeared on a live TV discussion about the Turner Prize drunk and swearing.
The same year she exhibited ‘Everyone I have Ever Slept With 1963-1995’ a tent appliquéd with names at Charles Saatchi’s Sensation exhibition and then was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999 with her My Bed installation.
It divided critics, but made her one of the most famous, and well-paid, living artists in the UK.In descending order of seniority of honours (my emphasis):