Archive for May, 2010

Matthew Parris – an example of Britain’s declining values

Matthew Parris was always on the wet side of the Conservative Party.  But as time has gone on and the Tory left has tightened its stranglehold on the rest of the party, Parris has become increasingly hydrated.  The rise of Cameron has seen Parris graduate from walking past a mist spray to ‘bombing’ into the deep end of the pool off the high board.  He is now so sopping wet his previous good sense on many matters of principle have been consigned to the dustbin.

This explains why such an exceptionally talented writer now turns out so much claptrap in his column.  Parris is, in my humble opinion, one of the best columnists in years.  But being a great author does not render the man immune from possessing questionable values and a warped sense of what is right and wrong – something that is very much in evidence in Parris’ missive in The Times about the David Laws affair, in which he tries to shoot the messenger rather than the wrongdoer, as he opens thus:

There’s something sick about this country. We’ve spent a weekend arguing about whether David Laws should go when we should have been trying desperately to persuade him to stay.

There is indeed something sick about this country.  It is the endemic corrosion of values that sees people, like Parris and so many others in the political class, incapable of recognising wrongdoing for what it is.  It is the inability to differentiate right from wrong and subsequent wailing about a supposed unfairness of appropriate consequences being applied to a wrongdoer.  It is the sickness of hypocrisy and double standards that surface from within the political to defend the deceit, cheating and theft by one of their own, after they have spoken gravely of the need for the severest punishment for ordinary mortals who similarly cheat the system for their own ends.  A crass self service where theft is downgraded for political purposes as ‘an error of judgement’.

David Laws’ actions were not a mere cock up as Parris would have his readers believe.  This was a genuine conspiracy.  It was a well thought out and executed plan to hide his personal circumstances.  To pull it off Laws needed to claim money to which his true personal circumstances meant he was not entitled.  He knew it, but he put his self interest before doing what was right and in so doing claimed hard earned taxpayers’ money which he gave to his long time partner – a man who was not his landlord, but his lover.  The public purse was used to further Laws’ ongoing cover up of his realtionship and sexuality.  Neither were our business, until he wrongly took our money.  But, wails Parris, it was within the rules.  How many times will we hear that defence of the indefensible?  Where do the public have any say over those rules?

The problem is that many people follow the line set by those such as Parris, because they consider such commentators to be wisened sages.  But Parris’ views of the matter are anything but wise.  Rarely can I remember a time when so many people who had been wronged had been manipulated into stepping forward to defend the wrongdoer who took from them.  But then, fools and money are easily parted, which perhaps explains why these people seem comfortable with the idea that although David Laws cheated the system, diddled them out of the tax pounds, for nothing more than vested self interest, he should have remained in post without consequence or punishment.

When Parris speaks selectively of ‘foul hypocrisy’ he should take a look in the mirror.  Some vicious morons have tried to make it such, but this matter isn’t about gay or straight, it is about the misuse of public money.  Period.  It is about this sense among many in the political class that because we fork over our tax pounds they are in some way entitled to them to make their oh-so-difficult lives more bearable without dipping into their own pockets.  Despite Parris’ hysterical moral outrage, it is he who is an example of this country’s declining morals and values.  He should learn to recognise the difference between right and wrong before lecturing us.

Zakir Naik: Cameron needs to grow a pair

He talked a great game in opposition but when it comes to walking the walk, David Cameron is to be found sitting with his legs firmly crossed.  And while he is striking that pose his team at the Home Office are sat down with their arms firmly crossed.

Barely two weeks ago the kitten heeled, tough talking, Tory Home Secretary, Theresa May was explaining to a confused nation why two men considered terrorist risks to the United Kingdom, Abid Naseer and Ahmed Faraz Khan, were to be allowed to remain in this country.  It was their human rights you see.  Being sent back to Pakistan apparently risked their well-being, despite other members of Naseer’s gang happily trapsing back to Islamabad without a care in the world.

Theresa May said she was disappointed, but had no plans to appeal the decision of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to halt their deportation.

Fast forward to this week and there is a sense of deja vu in the air.  In opposition, David Cameron and other senior Tories led criticism of the Labour government for allowing radical preachers into Britain to stir up hatred on lecture tours.  Yet one of the worst of the lot, Zakir Naik, is being allowed to enter Britain and do the self same thing by the Home Office.  He is guilty of inciting hatred against the United States and while praising Osama bin Laden said that: ‘if he is terrorising America the terrorist… I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist’.

The response of the Home Office?  It has indicated that it was not planning to ban Naik from entering Britain.

How can it be that the Home Office – albeit under the control of Labour – sought desperately to ban a democratic Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, from entering this country because he intended to show a film that purportedly linked verses from the Qur’an to terrorism; yet seeks to take no action to prevent the arrival of Zakir Naik, a twisted Islamist who lauds terrorism and seeks to whip up hatred against non-Muslims with language designed to incite people?  The Home Office, like the police, is only capable of taking on the soft targets and shies away from the tackling the real troublemakers.  It is pathetic.

Perhaps given this evidence we should take it as given that Cameron is just another mouthpiece politician.  Having strutted around with his chest stuck out like a gooney bird, berating the Labour government for its ludicrous decision making, he is following suit in typically hypocritical fashion.

Remember how we were implored to vote for change?  Do you see much difference on display?  For all his showbiz style grandstanding Cameron is showing that he has no intention of protecting this country’s interests from people who seek to harm us.  Maybe it’s ideological, but maybe it’s because he needs to grow a pair.

Talent is the new immunity in politics

Never mind that you have taken taxpayers’ money that you’re not entitled to.

Never mind that you have lied for years about your circumstances to Parliamentary authorities.

Never mind that your self serving actions have required you to resign from the government benches in disgrace.

David Laws, as you are considered to be more talented than most others in the shallow pool of talent in the Westminster bubble inhabited by those of us in the political class, not a difficult feat in all honesty, take comfort from the pledge of this country’s leadership that the wrongs you have committed against the public will be set aside shortly and there is every expectation that you will be able to resume your government career before too long.

You’re concerned about public anger?  Pah, forget about that, David.  The public do not matter.  We are the political class and we will do what suits us best, a bit like you did actually.  We make the rules.  Notice how we pointedly diverted attention from what you did and talked you up with lavish messages of support?  We look after our own.  Our political needs are more important than the views of a few uppity voters who still think this is a democracy.  It’s rather quaint actually.  But it’s the order of things, you see?  Once you’re in the club, the committee will take care of you and the members will see you right.  Outsiders are of no relevance here.

If you’ve got talent then you are immune from being banished to the backbenches for the rest of your Parliamentary career.  We’ll just say bringing you back is in the national interest and the minions will fall into line.  Dave will see to it.

Chin up old chap.  See you back at Cabinet soon!

David Laws: Insipid political class circles the wagons

Any ordinary taxpaying voters feeling anger at the response to the David Laws matter by David Cameron and Nick Clegg are completely justified in feeling that way.  The response of the Prime Minister and his Lib Dem deputy to Laws’ resignation has been extraordinary, but unsurprising.

This is the political class at its worst, lauding one of its own who has defrauded the public, maintained a deception and demonstrated appalling judgement.  Consider this part of Cameron’s letter of reply to Laws:

The last 24 hours must have been extraordinarily difficult and painful.

You are a good and honourable man. I am sure that, throughout, you have been motivated by wanting to protect your privacy rather than anything else.

Your decision to resign from the government demonstrates the importance you attach to your integrity.

Cameron is clearly living on another planet.  Yes, that 24 hours must have been difficult and painful for David Laws, having had his sexuality discussed in the media in such lurid terms and seeing his partner turned into an object of media interest.  I sympathise about that.

But it wouldn’t have been an issue if he had not used taxpayers’ money to maintain his cover up, claiming for rent payments that were only made to give the impression he was renting a room, rather than cohabiting with his partner.  That was unacceptable.  How can Cameron describe Laws as good and honourable when the man has admitted misusing public money to serve his own interests?  It is nonsensical doublespeak from Cameron and it dismisses the wrongdoing against hard pressed taxpayers.  If David Laws had acted with integrity he wouldn’t have claimed taxpayers’ money as part of his cover up of his sexuality in the first place.  He wouldn’t have accepted the ministerial position knowing he was fleecing the public.  It is a funny kind of integrity that only surfaces after being caught out doing something wrong.

Cameron’s comments reveal the depth of the contempt his has for ordinary people he considers to be lesser individuals.  Harsh?  Well, you’ve seen the comments yourself.  How else can his comments be read?  But he is not alone in his dismissal of ordinary people who have been wronged.  His clone in the Cabinet, Nick Clegg, is no better, saying as he did in his response to the resignation:

When all is said and done, this has come about because of David’s intense desire to keep his own private life private.

Again, where is there acknowledgement of Laws’s wrongdoing?  In fact, Clegg, like Cameron, is talking about a desire to have Laws return to the government in the future.  He even says his admiration for Laws has increased in the last 24 hours!  These are people who were critical of Peter Mandelson’s in-out in-out shake it all about Cabinet career after his two resignations for wrongdoing.  Yet when it is one of their own, they exhibit a contradictory mindset.  Wrongdoing is black and white.  This is utter hypocrisy.  And let’s devote a moment to that fool David Steel, who said:

His mistake did not cost the taxpayer a penny since he could have been paying to rent a room elsewhere.

Oh give me strength.  This wasn’t a mistake by Laws, it was a calculated action to achieve a particular end.  It did cost the taxpayer money because the property he lived in was owned by his partner where he could live rent-free.  He wasn’t renting a room, he was cohabiting and the rent expenses were abused to maintain the cover up.  Steel is building a strawman by suggesting Laws’ choice was either pay rent to his partner to cover up his sexuality, or he would have had to live elsewhere at cost to the taxpayer.  Laws could have simply been true to himself, lived with his partner and not claimed rent at all.  Why should the public have to foot the bill for such personal decisions?

Despite all the words spoken by the political class about cleaning up politics, not misusing public money, reforming Parliament and being demonstrably open, accountable and transparent, we are seeing the top of the political class revert back to their troughing type.  Their interests are not the same as our interests.  We are just expected to fork over the money and shut up.  The political class is every bit as sleazy now as it was before.  Nothing has changed.  They are pretending that no wrongdoing has taken place.  The political class is talking down the fact tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been wrongly claimed by David Laws and instead spinning a line to the public that this man really didn’t do wrong by us.  But the fact is our money was misappropriated and we were wronged.  There is no honesty from the insipid climbers inside their insular, self serving Westminster bubble.

David Laws resigns and panic replacement arrives >>>

David Laws: very sad, very wrong, completely unacceptable >>>

They just don’t get it, or just don’t want to get it >>>

Eurovision glory for United Kingdom

Yes, we finished bottom, just 236 points behind the winner from Germany!  Germany’s win was almost assured, given that is about the only country in Europe with the financial resources to hold next year’s event.  Despite all the effort put into producing a song and choosing an entry, our neighbours on the continent have blown us a resounding raspberry.  The UK entry, Josh Dubovie, could have gone on stage and sung the winning German entry and still not got more than the 10 points awarded to him.  Maybe we take this joke of a competition just a tad too seriously. Stock and Waterman must be wondering why they bothered.  Still, you’ve got to laugh, even if Terry Wogan is no longer on hand to treat Eurovision in his entertainingly dismissive fashion.

David Laws resigns and panic replacement arrives

David Laws didn’t have a leg to stand on regarding his expenses claims and he has done the right thing in the circumstances, resigning as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.  The first episode of Con-Lib coalition sleaze is now on the record, confirming the political class is far from rehabilitated.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

As if to show how disconnected these people are, just consider for a moment these two paragraphs taken from Laws’ resignation letter to David Cameron:

‘Secondly, while my recent problems were caused by my desire to keep my sexuality secret, the public is entitled to expect politicians to act with a sense of responsibility.

‘I cannot now escape the conclusion that what I have done was in some way wrong, even though I did not gain any financial benefit from keeping my relationship secret in this way.’

Was in some way wrong?  Damn right it was wrong.  Describing this man as in denial doesn’t come close to underlining his delusion.  This man used public funds for the sole purpose of trying to cover up the relationship between himself and his partner.  The payment of rent was a scam to hide the fact he was cohabiting with his lover.  Sure, he didn’t make a profit from it, but he was wrongly claiming taxpayers’ money.  How is that in any way right?  It is a pathetic mitigation.  Perhaps someone will be kind enough to send David Laws a moral compass.

It seems as if Danny Alexander, the recently appointed Secretary of State for Scotland, is replacing Laws.  It’s an interesting choice given Alexander’s main qualification, apart from being a good mate of Nick Clegg, is that he was Director of Communications for Britain in Europe (previously the European Movement).  The economy is in safe hands then…

David Laws: very sad, very wrong, completely unacceptable >>>

David Laws: Insipid political class circles the wagons >>>

David Laws: very sad, very wrong, completely unacceptable

It is tragic that in this day and age the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Laws, did not feel comfortable being himself and accepting his sexuality.  He is homosexual.  So what?  It is tragic that he was concerned that his privacy would not be respected, despite this being no one’s business but his and his partner’s.  It is tragic that  he felt compelled to construct a charade in an attempt to hide orientation.  I think it is very, very sad.

However, the fact is £40,000 of taxpayers’ money was wrongly claimed and given to his partner to fund David Laws’ charade.  That was the choice he made and the price we paid.  No matter how uncomfortable Laws might have felt if his sexuality became more widely known, he deliberately broke the rules on expenses and effectively defrauded the public for his own ends.  That is wrong and completely unacceptable.

Regardless of how effective or otherwise David Laws is as a minister, regardless that he is paying the money back, for all the spin about ‘new politics’ and the coalition setting aside many differences in the ‘national interest’, the public purse has been used to underwrite David Laws’ self interest.  This is evidence the political class is still at it at our expense.  We can likely expect more abuses to surface despite the supposed drive to clean up Parliament.

Irrespective of the ‘human’ angle to this story, this was snout in the trough behaviour and a clear abuse commited by an independently wealthy man.  I sympathise with Laws’ desire to have his privacy respected, but not when it comes at a financial cost to me and other taxpayers.  He has a bloody cheek, but no more than many in the political class who possess a similar sense of entitlement to subsidy through our money.  David Laws must resign his government post, or be sacked immediately.

Unsurprisingly, Iain Dale hopes that Laws survives. Having fallen for the sob story statement Laws has made, Dales opines:

I hope David Laws survives this, partly because I do not believe he has a dishonest bone in his body, but also because the Coalition needs him. He has been hugely impressive over the last few weeks. But of course there will be questions about his future. It will be a test for him as to whether he can survive the pressure, but I truly hope he does.

The fact is Laws decided to interpret the rules in a manner that benefited him at public expense.  He was cohabiting with his partner and only using our money to pay rent in order to maintain a deception.  I don’t give a damn if the coalition needs him, or if he has seemed impressive.  His actions are unacceptable and he has acted in a less than honest manner.

Update: Guido thinks Laws will probably survive because he is too important to the coalition.  If that proves to be accurate then we would see the coalition interest being put before public interest.  Not sacking Laws has the capacity to harm the coalition far more than keeping him in post because it is a matter of probity.  If Laws stays then we will have the first entry in the Little Blue and Yellow Book of Coalition Sleaze.  Note to the government: Wrongdoing must never go unpunished.

David Laws resigns and panic replacement arrives >>>

David Laws: Insipid political class circles the wagons >>>

The rise of the Tory Euronutters

Remember all those siren voices who for the last four years have been telling conservatives not to worry, because David Cameron is really a Eurosceptic?  After all, he took Tory MEPs out of the EPP-ED didn’t he?  For some curious reason they seem to have adopted a low profile in recent weeks, or changed their tune to explain that on the EU, Cameron is being force to play a bad hand dealt to him. Actually it’s not curious really.  Cameron has removed his sceptic mask and therefore their certainty has been smashed against the rocks and their arguments have been holed below the waterline.

Thanks to Cameron’s silence and inaction over the essential core issue of this country’s relationship with the EU, the arch Europhiles are growing in confidence and employing Cameron’s own enthusiasm for ‘nudge’ theory against him to usher him in their preferred direction.  With Cameron’s mask now off, we can expect more of what we saw last night, where a headline in the Guardian boomed that ‘Chris Patten predicts David Cameron return to mainstream European centre right’, following Fat Pang’s interview on BBC’s The Record: Europe. When asked whether it would be a good idea to rejoin the EPP grouping in the European Parliament, Patten said:

Maybe one day. I wouldn’t want to provoke any crisis just at the moment – not that it would be a big issue, slight question of storm in teacup I think. But one day, yes, I’m sure it would be a sensible thing to do, but I wouldn’t give that huge priority just at the moment.

Classic nudge.  The reason for it is not just Patten’s obsession with being totally subservient to the EU, but that now there is quiet certainty that Cameron is really a Europhile.  This has been evinced by his recent comments and actions, such as scrapping his promise to negotiate the repatriation of political powers from Brussels to Westminster.  Sovereignty doesn’t matter to Cameron.  Matters are being left right there.  As a result we about to see the visible rise of the Tory Euronutters.  People in the Patten and Ken Clarke camp will now ramp up their efforts to drag the UK even deeper into the anti democratic EU, centralising real power in Brussels and only devolving trivial matters to local communities.

As people see more of Cameron’s autocratic and controlling manner, they will come to understand his desire to move the Tory MEPs out of the EPP and into a grouping he effectively created, was about increasing his own power and nothing to do with ideology.  Cameron likes to be in charge and what better way than to have his minions sitting in a group where he pulls the strings?  Voters who gave their support to the Conservatives, in the belief that the power of the EU over this country would be eroded, have been conned and in time will come to realise it.  There will be a reckoning.

Tory playground politics over BBC Question Time

Autocracy is alive and well and living comfortably in Downing Street.  Nothing happens in Number 10 without David Cameron’s say so.  Therefore the buck stops with Cameron over the latest example of control freakery that resulted in a decision not to put a government minister up for BBC Question Time tonight, because Alastair Campbell was appearing on the panel.

The start of the show saw David Dimbleby explain in detail what the Conservatives had done.  Perhaps Number 10 is now working on a plausible explanation for not putting up a minister in the week of the Queen’s Speech.  But having tried to get the BBC to drop Campbell, or go without a minister on the panel, the Cameron Conservatives seem to be deep into a power trip where every debate has to be on their terms.  So much for accountability and willingness to debate anyone.  This is Cameron’s Pyongyang politics.  Watch out for our Dear Leader seeking to rename the Thames as the Taedong.

In recent days the Cameroon narrative of the ‘new politics’ seems to have disappeared from the Andy Coulson-controlled lines to take when the Modern Tories speak to the media.  That’s probably just as well because this pettiness was old politics of the worst kind.  Maybe, in order to remain on-message with Coulson’s communications plan, the absence of a minister on the panel will be spun with the latest buzz words as being in the ‘national interest’.  Welcome to Cameron’s post-democratic age.

No excuse for lazy BBC reporting

It might seem a trivial thing given the terrifying debt related economic problems stalking European nations, but what I noticed on Google’s news headlines that had been published by the BBC really got my hackles up.  There is no such thing as a UK marine, or a British marine.  This country has Royal Marines. 

They are outstanding professionals who put themselves through physical and mental trials to earn the coveted green beret and cap badge comprising the Lion and Crown, Gibraltar, the Globe, Laurels, Fouled Anchor and Per Mare Per Terram motto.

Perhaps the cabal of lazy progressives ensconced within BBC News – who don’t give a toss about this country and who sneer at our heritage and undermine our traditions – would like to consider that when a Royal Marine loses his life serving alongside his friends and colleagues, carrying out a mission determined by his country’s government, he deserves rightful recognition of his hard won status – that of a Royal Marine. Our thoughts should be with the family and friends of the young Royal Marine who was killed near Sangin. Another tragic loss in a campaign that has been completely mismanaged and badly thought out.

A moment of self indulgence

Hopefully you will forgive me for capturing here a thought I posted on ConservativeHome a short while ago.  It was a lengthy comment in response to one of the many arrogant, patronising fools who laud David Cameron and all he says and does, while hurling insults around at anyone who dares to exhibit independence of thought or holds on to strongly and rationally held conservative principles and beliefs.  They remind me of footballer Eric Cantona’s quote about seagulls following the trawler.

No doubt my reply will be treated with derision by some of those who like to label anyone who dares to dissent from mindless sycophancy as headbangers or loonies.  But why should I care when I am comfortable with my convictions?  I just wonder what comfort some them feel, shifting as they do from position to position in order to satisfy the tribal demand for complete loyalty from a leader who professes to be one thing yet demonstrates the character of something completely different. Even when their leader gets things badly wrong, there they are blindly fighting tooth and nail to defend him and attack his critics.  So here is that reply to the commenter who calls himself ‘George Howell’ and others like him:

————————-

It seems people like you forget the Conservative Party has a loony left element that represents no one but itself. They are not classical liberals like the ordinary conservative or the so called right-wing Tories, they call themselves ‘progressive’ or modern liberals. Read Jonah Goldberg’s ‘Liberal Fascism’ to understand where these progressives come from.

If they were true to themselves they would have joined the old Liberal Party or the Lib Dems or even Labour, but the done thing in their environ was becoming a Conservative. So they did, not out of any ideological compunction, but just to follow on the tradition. As such they are conservative in name only. Cameron and his clique are the leading lights of this CINO group and they have hoodwinked the Conservative Party and are now executing their vision for a ‘progressive’ nation. A nation tightly bound within the EU, with a ruling political class that gives the impression of small state politics while gathering ever more control to itself.

For them no supposed principle, ideal, or commitment is too precious to discard in the interests of expediency and attaining power. They have conned a party and a nation that they will work in the nation’s interest. But as they demonstrated in the election campaign, where so many people said they needed to focus on core issues, they ignore what matters to ordinary people and exclude from consideration the major issues that matter.

Anyone not in the clique is derided as a headbanger, member of the awkward squad, out of touch, stuck in the past, reactionary, right-winger, loony, etc. Despite the clique being well monied and privileged, they talk of Tufton Buftons as if to give the impression they are just ordinary chaps like you and me.

Well, call me names as much as you like. I was brought up on a council estate, worked hard at school, established a career and I see on a daily basis the side to this country and its people that isn’t visible from within the political bubble. It was Thatcher’s classical liberalism and consideration of ordinary people that enabled my family to do better and go further. I want that for more people. So at least you know my conservatism is genuine.

It’s rooted in a genuine desire to make this country a better and more democratic place for ordinary people. Unlike those for whom conservatism is just a convenient jacket to wear in order to further political ambition. So when you talk about genuine conservatives holding Cameron and his ministers hostage, and describe them as loonies, set aside your patronising arrogance and consider for a moment that they have more interest in helping ordinary people than Cameron and his ilk.

Met Office volcano ash computer model proved wrong

Imagine the shock!  Last month there was a growing chorus of criticism about the Met Office’s computer models that are being used to plot the spread and density of volcanic ash clouds from the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland.  Here on this blog, readers were reminded that criticism has previously been aimed at the Met Office’s for its determination to push a global warming narrative based on computer modelling and flawed temperature records and data sets – irrespective of all-important evidence and observation.

Now, with the passage of time and the exhaustive collation of evidence and observation, the Met Office models for the volcanic ash clouds we have been repeatedly warned about have been shown to be so inaccurate as to be worthless (hat tip: EU Referendum).  Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of British Airways, which forced the re-opening of UK airspace when it sent a number of long haul flights towards the UK and stated they were landing come what may, has said in an interview (seemingly not picked up in the UK media) that:

‘Not only have we not found any damage from ash, we have not found any ash,’

8,000 inspections of BA aircraft engines and their filters have been carried out by BA engineers and engine plant has even been sent to laboratories for closer analysis.  Yet despite the sporadic closures of airports and UK airspace because of volcanic ash clouds, often described as ‘dense’, the observation and evidence has shown there to be no ash in the engines.

When cooler heads who refused to be whipped up into panic by the scare story said that the Met Office’s approach and reliance on modelling-derived probability, rather than observed findings, had resulted in the unnecessary closure of British and European airspace, they were right.  This caps another inauspicious week for the bonus-hungry Met Office team, which has suffered the indignity of seeing the seaside town of Bournemouth launch its own weather site because Met Office forecasts have proved so unreliable they have caused visitors to stay away despite balmy conditions.

Perhaps it’s time the Met Office put more stall in evidence and observation than virtualisation and computer models.  The permanent failing of computer models is that if you put rubbish in you get rubbish out.  This has proven true for volcanic ash clouds and will without doubt prove true for global warming hysteria.

EU: Dave the liar lets matters rest there, completely

You would have to have a heart of stone not to feel some pity for those Conservatives who clung hopefully to the belief that once in office David Cameron would suddenly reveal a cunningly hidden Euroscepticism.  Having promised the British people the final say on the Lisbon Treaty with his ‘cast-iron’ pledge, he backed down when it was ratified saying that it was now law and it was too late to stop Lisbon taking effect.

However, Cameron did say that he ‘would not let matters rest there’.  People had hope.  He was still the man with a plan.  Would he go to the people and ask them if they were content to remain bound by the measures wrapped up in the Lisbon Treaty?  Er, no.  Instead he would bravely ‘negotiate’ with the EU for the repatriation of ‘some powers’ that should, by any measure, reside with our elected representatives in Parliament.

‘Don’t worry, wait until after the election. Dave will show what he’s made of and get our powers back’ was the paraphrased sentiment uttered by some of the regulars on ConservativeHome.  ‘He’s just playing the EU down until after the election’ claimed a number of commentators.  ‘He is very Eurosceptic really’ opined others.  All clutched at straws and prayed for a Cameron victory so the UK could assert its primacy again and take back – with EU consent, natch – some of the key powers that a sovereign nation should possess for itself.

Today, however, David Cameron completed his multi-stage retreat from his crowd pleasing comments to his personally favoured position – keeping Britain firmly under the control of the EU bureaucracy in Brussels.

The publication of the full coalition agreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, aka ‘power at any cost’, has revealed that the manifesto promise to negotiate the repatriation of powers from the EU – the very measure designed to make up for conceding defeat over the Lisbon Treaty – has been abandoned.  Completely.  It is dead.  Despite multiple promises, each less robust than the previous one, David Cameron has completed his journey from supposed Eurosceptic to paid-up Europhile, thus cementing his position as just another lying politician.  The promise to negotiate the repatriation of powers from the EU has been replaced with this meaningless pledge :

‘We will examine the balance of the EU’s existing competences.’

A substantial number of people – opposed to the provisions of Lisbon but prepared to suspend their disbelief and give Cameron the benefit of the doubt because of the pledge to negotiate the repatriation of powers from the EU – voted Conservative in good faith.  They are just about to discover they have been conned, tricked, lied to, by a self serving and sleazy control freak who will abandon any principle or promise as long as it results in power or personal gain.

Believe me, because of the impact of this deception on the governance of this country, it is without any sense of triumphalism that I say, ‘I told you so’.  Now everyone can see for themselves the true nature of David Cameron.  But it is too late now because Cameron, having hijacked the Conservative Party to bring about his Social Democrat agenda, has achieved what he wanted for himself and taken control of Downing Street.  Now he will stick two fingers up at the country and do exactly as he pleases, aided and abetted by his fellow travellers from the rampantly Europhile Liberal Democrats.

Welcome to the new politics, where people supposedly hold the power over the state.  Where despite Conservative promise after promise, Europe has been confirmed as your country not just your continent.  Welcome to the Age of Deceitful Dave and Sidekick Nick.

British Airways strike sanctioned by Court of Appeal

Commiserations to British Airways passengers, pilots, engineers, ground staff and management.  The airline will now be held to ransom by cabin crew members of the Unite union after three Court of Appeal judges voted 2-1 to interpret the legal requirements for communicating ballot results more loosely.  That’s the way things go in a country where the law is made up by judges as they go along, despite statute being Parliament’s responsibility.

The future of BA is now in the balance.  It needs to reduce costs and is trying to restructure the business to enable it to compete in a challenging sector.  But a number of the airline’s cabin crew are being manipulated by Unite for political reasons.  What this means is that instead of reducing its excessive cost base, British Airways will now be hit with greatly reduced revenues and loss of customer confidence.  One wonders, if Unite continues its nonsensical action and harms BA sufficiently, who will they blame when the airline is forced into a more severe downsizing, or even into bankruptcy? 

While employees in other industries accept with a heavy heart reductions in pay, benefits and headcount because of the current economic conditions, Unite’s band of cabin crew comrades continue to hark back to a bygone age where the airline could still operate while paying an excess number of people some of the highest wages in the industry.  Those days are long gone.  But Unite would rather kill the goose that lays the eggs, rather than accept fewer eggs from it.  What the flag waving dinosaurs above seem not to grasp is that their actions could eventually result in them spending all their time standing around doing nothing.

Democratic Dave strikes again

In yet another benevolent example of his willingness to devolve power from the centre, promote openness and accountability, and encourage robust debate, the leader of the People’s Democratic Fiefdom of Millbankia; the Supreme Leader, Cam Jong-Il, has told Parliamentary members of the Party that members of the Politburo should be allowed to join the 1922 Committee.

This bold and democratic course follows the truly democratic measures carried out in the name of the people – such as democratically selecting candidates for constituencies and ensuring that female comrades would be given exclusive democratic empowerment to stand for selection without having to compete against male comrades.

Mr Cam, with his selfless devotion to the people, is currently engaged in constructing a programme of governance that would only fail to satisfy the subversive, decadent and treacherous Davisite-Cashians, the enemies of our glorious Big Society.  He intends to face down these anti-revolutionary elements and torpedo their nihilist tendencies.

EU elephant stalks the new Great Reform Act room

Nick Clegg has just made a speech where he has outlined how the Government intends to reduce the power of the state over the individual by ‘tearing through the statute book’.  He is pledging that people will be asked what laws they want to be repealed.  He is saying that the Con-Lib coalition will:

- Restore the hard won liberties
– Reduce the power of political elites
– Redistribution of power away from the centre

It sounds wonderful.  David Cameron and Nick Clegg are telling us they are going to deliver radical reform and empowerment.  But there is a fundamental dishonesty in this rousing rhetoric because there is a complete absence of any reference to our real government, the EU.  We are likely to be offered a referendum about having a new voting system, but there is no referendum on offer asking the British people to decide if we wish to remain governed by the unelected and unaccountable European Union.  No one is offering us the opportunity to say we want to be goverened exclusively by our Parliament and want our Courts to enforce only laws that originate in this country, enacted by elected representatives we can vote democratically to keep in the Commons or remove as we see fit.  In his speech, Clegg let slip the reason for this when he said:

‘When people have power they use it’

Clegg followed that line by saying; ‘And when they are denied it, there is anger and disappointment’.  Well, that is what we should expect in due course then, because the fact is the political class is still resolved to carefully controlling the limited power we are being granted.  It is distancing the electorate from any decision making on the major issues, such as how we are governed and who makes the overwhelming majority of our laws.  We are being left with a tiny, peripheral role in reforming trivial matters while enjoying only a very limited sliver of empowerment.

We will not have any say over essential issues, such as how we produce the energy needed to power this country, the number of fish our fleets can catch and how, the rules concerning extradition of British citizens, how we dispose of our domestic waste, the costs to business of adhering to unnecessary regulations, how our financial services industry operates, whether or not we can exclude people from these shores whose presence is not in the national interest, and a host of other core matters.  So when Clegg says; ‘We will ask you which laws you think should go’ his is being misleading in the extreme, because there will be thick red lines that ordinary people will not be allowed to cross.  EU laws and regulations are off limits to people who are not part of the political class.  And still the political class maintains the pretence that we are sovereign and in control of our own affairs.  It is a sham.

While many people will cheer the news that the database state is being rolled back, ensuring we have will have some personal freedoms and civil liberties returned to us, many do not realise we are still being denied any say in the nature of our democracy.  This is a gaping hole in the proposals that the Cleggerons have no intention of filling.  We are required to know our place – and for Cameron and Clegg, that means fealty to the European Union and subservience to the political class.  We are being promised a feast when all we are going to get are some carefully selected crusts from the table.  We are being treated with contempt.  We are being conned.  New politics?  Don’t be daft.

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Abid Naseer case highlights broken Tory pledge on Bill of Rights

The Abid Naseer case, where an al-Qaeda member who came to Britain posing as a student but intent on blowing up British citizens, was notable for one important reaction to the ruling of the special immigration tribunal.  That was the reaction of the new Home Secretary, Theresa May.  She quite incredibly said the government would not be appealing against the ruling, handed down by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission:

“We are disappointed that the court has ruled that Abid Naseer and Ahmad Faraz Khan should not be deported to Pakistan, which we were seeking on national security grounds.

“As the court agreed, they are a security risk to the UK. We are now taking all possible measures to ensure they do not engage in terrorist activity.”

Many people were extremely critical of this decision, rightly so because it again made crystal clear that the interests of people considered to be engaged in serious wrongdoing have been promoted above those of the law abiding majority.  The pathetic response from Theresa May doesn’t tell us what the government intends to do about it.  The reason for that pathetic response is that the Con-Lib government isn’t going to do a thing about it.  Despite the fine words and pledges of action, this is another of those areas where David Cameron has executed one of his now infamous U-turns – over five months ago, barely noticed by the media.

It was in January that this blog highlighted a story demonstrating a shift in Conservative thinking, a shift that would see it kick into the long grass its plan to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA) and create a British Bill of Rights.  The UK Human Rights Act, uniquely among EU member states, incorporates all the case law not just of this country, but of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.  With a significant number of contradictory and perverse judgments coming from that Court, the Act is a confusing dog’s breakfast that does more to protect the interests of people seeking to avoid the consequences for their actions than the law abiding majority.  But in any case, Cameron’s Bill of Rights, wouldn’t make any real difference because the Tories want to remain within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

Theresa May’s running up of the white flag is evidence of the Conservative sham when it comes to dealing with the HRA.  There was nothing else she could say because the Tories have run away from their own commitment.  There was no information about what she intends to do about this idiocy because the Tories are now resolved to ‘letting matters rest there’.  Does that sound familiar?  It should because that those where the words used by David Cameron when promising to deal with the Lisbon Treaty if he came to power after it was ratified.  Lo and behold, the U-turn on the HRA is another climb down designed to suit the interests of European harmonisation.

What is so profoundly dishonest is that it now seems the Conservatives are giving the impression that their backing away from the replacement of the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights is the fault of the Liberal Democrats.  The Telegraph, five months behind the curve on things that matter, plays the Conservatives’ useful idiot yet again as it furthers the Tory spin operation. Deputy Political Editor, Robert Winnett, chunters on about the Tory manifesto pledge on a Bill of Rights and Cameron’s quote that the protection the law (HRA) offered to criminals was a “glaring example of what is going wrong in our country”, before spinning the line that the plans may have been delayed following the coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats.  He goes on to say that:

There was confusion yesterday over the introduction of the new Bill of Rights after a senior Cabinet minister indicated that plans to repatriate powers from Brussels had been abandoned. Asked on the BBC Radio Four World at One programme if the Government would consider repealing relevant “major European law”, Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said: “I can’t comment on that, we’re not planning that.”

It’s only confusing if you’ve not been paying attention to the signals coming out of Millbank over the last five months.  The decision has nothing to do with the useless Lib Dims, they are just being made a convenient patsy for a decision taken months ago.  We can expect the Lib Dims to be used to provide Cameron with the cover he has long sought to indulge his personal Europhile desires by backing away from promised negotiations to repatriate other powers from the EU.

We have been spun a tale of a new politics being created, one that serves the people rather than the political class.  The reality is we are seeing the political class perpetrate a fraud against the public, using the challenges of working in coalition as an excuse for following an agenda that abandons pledges offered to appease the public, while tightening the politicians’ grip on the levers of power.

Update: EU Referendum doesn’t beat around the bush, fearlessly telling it the way it is.

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Democracy breaking out all over Parliament

MPs have sensationally voted out the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.  A vote was called when a number of MPs challenged Bercow’s re-election as Speaker.  Rather than pressing on with other business, the new Father of the House, Sir Peter Tapsell, set in motion a division enabling members to decide democratically to remove Bercow and set in train the election of a new Speaker.  Sir Malcolm Rifkind hailed the vote as a triumph of the new politics, signalling and new openness and transparency in the Mother of Parliaments.

Yeah, right.

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Abid Naseer deportation case is utter insanity

Are you an Islamist terrorist?  Do you want to wage violent jihad against the decadent infidel in the west?  Would you like the security of knowing that if you’re from a country that has the death penalty – and you are caught by the security services of your target nation – they will allow you to stay, at the cost of and under the protection of the people you had set out to murder and maim?  If your answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ then you should be trying to attack the United Kingdom!

A special immigration court, hearing an appeal against deportation, has ruled that Abid Naseer was an al-Qaeda operative – but could not be deported because he faced torture or death back home in Pakistan.  This is the man identified as the leader of an al-Qaeda cell that, MI5 and the police say, intended to bomb shoppers in Manchester.  Despite his intentions, this Pakistani national is being allowed to stay in this country.

Only a country run by craven bureaucrats could construct a process that enables a foreign national accused of planning terrorist atrocities against civilians to remain in that country for his own protection, at the cost of the people he was planning to kill.  Not only is our judicial system incapable of dealing with fanatics who wish to murder us, it is determined to put their ‘rights’ before our ‘interests’ and force us to cohabit with them on these islands. It is a perversion of common sense and an example of the warped moral relativism that is undermining this country.

I wonder how many Britons like the idea of a special immigration court blocking the deportation of a member of a terrorist organisation who allegedly sought to bring death and destruction to these shores. Why should the political class and their judicial activist friends be allowed to undermine the interests of the United Kingdom because a sovereign country has the death penalty and the terrorist who is a citizen of that country might lawfully be subjected to it as a consequence for his actions?

Does anyone believe the new politics address this insanity?  Don’t count on it, the politicians don’t care what we think.  A point made all to clear by our new Home Secretary, Theresa May, who while ‘disappointed’ is stating she doesn’t intend to appeal the decision.  Don’t like it, ordinary citizen?  Tough.  Our political class has spoken.  Enjoy the new politics – it’s not much different to the old.

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Unite is trying to pass the buck for its failings

Unite’s joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, is going to great lengths to create a smokescreen around his union’s failings in the communication of the strike ballot of British Airways cabin crew.  Unite believes the court’s decision to block the British Airways strike on a technicality is ‘an absolute disgrace’ and is appealing the ruling. But Unite only has itself to blame and Tony Woodley’s whinging in the media shouldn’t cut any ice with anyone.

Describing Unite’s error as a technicality is an attempt to downplay the union’s lack of attention to observing the legal requirements after the ballot.  The fact is the union failed to follow the requirements about communication of the result to the letter of the law.  Woodley is complaining that only 11 ballot papers had been spoilt.  But that is immaterial.  Unite’s legal obligations were clear and it failed to observe them.  That is why it is fatuous of Woodley to say the Court’s decision:

‘brings into question whether we have the right to strike in this country, which is a fundamental human right’

Utter nonsense.  What the Court’s decision does it old the unions to observing the requirements of the ballot process.  It doesn’t prevent people who feel their employer is behaving unreasonably from withdrawing their labour in a lawful manner.  If Unite had followed the process correctly, the British Airways strike by cabin crew would be happening today, legally.

Unite is also trying to play the underdog card in trying to excuse its error, describing itself as a mere voluntary organisation.  Yet this is a trade union that has the resources to plough millions of pounds into Labour Party coffers each year, fund lavish salary and benefits packages for its top tier of officials and employ lawyers to look after the interests of the union and its members.  If this is an underdog it is the size of a mastiff and has the ferocity of a rabid rottweiler.

The Court of Appeal should throw out Unite’s appeal on this matter and make them ballot its members again, observing all the legal requirements of such a course of action.  If Unite does its job properly, they will give no reason to British Airways to go to Court again to seek an injunction.  In the meantime, Woodley and his comrades should put an end to their hysterical overreaction and make they fulfil their responsibilities correctly.

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