Search Results for 'Norway'

Norway Option finally gets a media airing

From yesterday’s London Evening Standard


The battle facing the UK is over who should run Britain.  The British people and their elected representatives, or unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats overseas over whom we have no control.  It is about sovereignty.

Speaking with our own voice, representing our own interests and shaping the rules that are made in the global committees and forums, would make the UK far more influential than it is today.

Being stuck in the EU means that today we merely implement what has been decided at a global level and handed down to the EU for its member states to follow.  We don’t shape the rules and we don’t get to act in our own interests.  It is high time we took back the power to do so.

The Norway Option

The video of the Norway Option (trailer above) is now on sale. It is available online via Peter Troy’s website, together with his “Voices for True Democracy” film, which introduces The Harrogate Agenda.
The “Norway Option” is a powerful counter to the propaganda efforts of the CBI and others, with some illuminating interviews from a stance that the BBC will never allow you to see, complete with Nigel Farage explaining that Article 50 is the way to go.

The most powerful rebuttal yet to David Cameron’s deceitful ‘Norway Fax Law’ claims

If, dear reader, you read nothing else this week, please click on the image below and take a few minutes to read the most powerful rebuttal yet to David Cameron’s claims – also made by others such as Nick Clegg, Roland Rudd, John Cridland and others – that Norway outside the EU has to accept EU laws without having no say over them.


The rebuttal of Cameron’s falsehoods and description of the reality for Norway comes not from a mere observer, but the State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Anne Beathe K. Tvinnereim.

Tvinnereim not only shoots down Cameron’s claims with factual reality, she also corrects the previously reported pro-EU motivated claims of Norway’s Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide.  While the pro-EU sycophantic UK press – particularly the BBC – uncritically reported Eide’s claims that Norway has no influence over EU laws (most of which originate at global level where Norway represents itself and has direct influence), it transpires they were challenged in Norway itself and were a personal opinion not reflected by the majority of Norwegian people.

For the reality that Cameron, Clegg, Cridland, Rudd and other EUphiles pretend does not exist, so they can keep the UK trapped in the political clutches of the EU, click on the image above to read the whole piece.

Little Norway

The EU pays a visit to Oslo in an effort to hand down some legislation…

Courtesy of Gill

The Norway influence saga – what does it all mean?

Judging by the amount of people visiting this blog, EU Referendum, Witterings from Witney and The Boiling Frog; and those reading the articles and comments left on the Open Europe blog and at the Telegraph, there is a lot of interest in alternatives to EU membership.

David Cameron’s repeated claim – echoed by Tories, Lib Dems, Open Europe and a raft of media commentators – that he doesn’t think it’s right to aim for a status like Norway or Switzerland because you have to obey all the rules of the single market but you don’t have a say over what they are, has been exposed as a lie.

Over the course of several days, a small band of bloggers working independently, along with a larger number of casual commenters, have presented a raft of evidence that utterly refutes the claim and proves Cameron completely wrong. So what does it all mean? Let’s summarise it.

The reality is Norway, as a member of EFTA and part of the EEA has a veto, and has influence in shaping decision relating to the single market that even the UK doesn’t. Whether it chooses to use the veto and how it decides to shape legislative decisions is of course a matter for itself. But the influence demonstrably exists in no small measure.

The evidence is inescapable that Cameron has deliberately attempted to deceive the public, aided by the disgraceful media, as part of an establishment effort to hide workable alternatives to EU membership and pretend that outside the EU we would just have to accept whatever Brussels churns out.

For all their talk of renegotiation and repatriation of powers, the establishment wants to stay firmly inside the EU and therefore leave Brussels in overall control of the UK. They are committed to political union.

That is the issue here. The politicians are being dishonest and they have been caught out, but the media is turning a blind eye, treating the British people with cyncial contempt. The UK can not only survive outside the EU, it can thrive. The politicians, with their vested interests and with their media puppets in tow, just don’t want people to know.

Norway to EU: “Ingen”

David Cameron and his little EUrohelpers at Open Europe were probably, like us, too busy looking forward to Christmas to have spotted this important piece of information published by EFTA regarding EU plans for harmonisation of environmental policy relating to oil and gas energy:

The European Commission has recently proposed legislation aiming at harmonising the environmental procedures and risk management related to offshore oil and gas activities. A proposal for a regulation on the safety of offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities was presented by the Commission on 27 October 2011. Under the rules of the proposed new legislation, offshore oil and gas firms would have to submit major hazard reports and emergency response plans before getting a licence to drill in European Union territory. It is currently being discussed in the EU institutions whether the proposal for a regulation should be changed into a directive.

The Norwegian government has taken the view that the proposed regulation by the European Commission falls outside the geographic and substantive scope of the EEA agreement.

Oh dear, David Cameron and Open Europe caught out lying again. You would think the media would be all over this, unless of course they have vested interests or are getting pressure from their owner barons to exercise bias by omission and ignore this important story…

OK, ‘En svale gjør ingen sommer,’ as they say in Norway. But we are not talking about one swallow, this is yet another example – and there are many more – of Norway having a big say in what legislation is adopted. Conversely, when the EU declares this is the way things will be, the UK will have to accept it lock, stock and anti-democratic barrel.

So can we expect to see Cameron and Open Europe correct their false assertions? Or will their rampant Europhilia and fetish for pleasing their masters in Brussels see them continue peddling blatant lies about Norway and Switzerland supposedly having no say in EU matters yet having to accept everything handed down from the EU bureaucrats?

More evidence that Cameron lied about Norway and Switzerland

The europhile narrative when it comes to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members of the European Economic Area (EEA) -  is that they are obliged to adopt all EU legislation related to the single market.  The stated exceptions are in matters of agriculture and fisheries.

Indeed, as we have seen recently seen David Cameron say of Norway and Switzerland’s position (blindly accepted and repeated by organisations that take their lead from Conservative Central Office):

[...] basically you have to obey all the rules of the single market but you don’t have a say over what they are.

So, poking around various websites, it was very interesting to come across this information published in mid-December on europolitics.info concerning the assessesment of relations between the EU and the EFTA states by the European Council:

The EEA agreement “has proven to be effective and in the interest of all,” state the draft conclusions by the 27, which nevertheless regret that Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland have not yet incorporated into their national laws a “large number” of legal acts adopted in the EU. The homogeneity of the internal market and its “credibility” depend on their doing so, notes the text.

You can read the full report that spawned the article here.  The full text of the article is at the bottom of this post.

It seems the ‘obligation’ to adopt all EU legislation relating to the single market is nothing of the sort and the EFTA countries continue to enjoy autonomy, much to the chagrin of the EU.  It is worth noting that Switzerland comes in for a hammering in the assessment from the Council, for having the temerity to act in its own interests and not adopt evolving EU law and the various mechanisms (surveillance, judicial control and dispute settlement) that the EU says guarantee “homogeneous interpretation and application” of the internal market rules in the EU.

That being the case and the fact the UK was party to the drafting of the Council assessment, it demonstrates ever more clearly the deceitful nature of Cameron’s false assertions.  Perhaps Cameron’s quote would be accurate if he had said; ‘basically the EU wants EFTA countries to obey all the rules of the single market they have had a hand in shaping, but they can and do sometimes refuse to adopt them leaving the 27 reduced to threatening, cajoling and bullying in the hope they finally cave in’.

Full Text of article

Good marks for EEA, bad marks for Berne
By Tanguy Verhoosel | Tuesday 18 December 2012

Liechtenstein: good. Norway and Iceland: average. Switzerland: unsatisfactory.

These are the very contrasting marks the 27 will be giving to the four European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) countries, on 20 December (1). Every two years, the Council assesses relations between the EU and the EFTA states. The three – Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland – that are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) earn the highest marks.

The EEA agreement “has proven to be effective and in the interest of all,” state the draft conclusions by the 27, which nevertheless regret that Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland have not yet incorporated into their national laws a “large number” of legal acts adopted in the EU. The homogeneity of the internal market and its “credibility” depend on their doing so, notes the text.

Individually, the Union praises Liechtenstein, whose “political determination” and “significant administrative efforts” are seen as exemplary. The principality can be considered a “reference” for other countries of small territorial size – Andorra, San Marino and Monaco – with which the Union wishes to intensify its relations.

CRITICISMS OF ICELAND
The 27 particularly applaud the steps taken by Vaduz to step up the fight against tax fraud and evasion. The spirit of “solidarity” shown by the people of Liechtenstein through their financial support for new EU member states to 2014 is also appreciated.

The compliment is also valid for Norway and Iceland, which nonetheless receive lower marks than Liechtenstein.
Norway and the EU have developed successful cooperation in recent years in a number of sectors – Norway’s contribution of more than €7 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the context of the economic crisis, police and judicial cooperation, foreign and security policy, fisheries and energy – note the EU conclusions.

On trade, however, the Council “regrets” that Norway has decided to make use of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement proceedings against EU measures on trade in seal products and that it has raised customs duties on certain agricultural products.

Certain criticisms are also addressed to Iceland, held at least partially responsible for the failed negotiations with the EU on joint management of mackerel stocks.

The Council applauds Reykjavik’s measures to stabilise its economy following the bank sector crash in 2008. However, it notes “remaining weaknesses” in the financial services sector and adds that certain economic issues, including capital controls, still need to be addressed.

SWITZERLAND: STALEMATE
The biggest problem for the EU is Switzerland (see Europolitics 4534 and 4548).
The 27 reiterate their determination to develop their relations with Switzerland. However, the negotiations launched by the two partners on further Swiss participation in the internal market “have been marked by a stalemate” for years and are not likely to advance until the institutional issues highlighted by the Union since 2008 have been “solved”. These concern adaptation of agreements with Switzerland to evolving EU law and the introduction of various mechanisms (surveillance, judicial control and dispute settlement) to guarantee “homogeneous interpretation and application” of the internal market rules in the EU.

Switzerland presented proposals in this respect in June, but Berne needs to take “further steps” to achieve this objective, from which the EU will not turn away. Switzerland is not engaging solely in a bilateral relationship with the Union; it has become a “participant in a multilateral project”.

For the 27, this justifies the creation of a “legally binding mechanism” on incorporation of the acquisand “international mechanisms” for surveillance and judicial control, similar to what exists in the EEA.

“Exploratory discussions” in this context will continue – Swiss State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Yves Rossier is expected in Brussels on 29 January 2013 – before the possible opening of formal negotiations.

The 27 also denounce certain Swiss measures “that are not compatible with the provisions and the spirit” of the agreement on the free movement of persons. They urge Switzerland, among other things, to reconsider its decision to limit access to its labour market for nationals of Central and Eastern European EU member states.

On business taxation, the Union remains “deeply concerned” about certain canton-level tax regimes (favourable to holding companies, domiciliary companies and joint enterprises) that create “an unacceptable distortion of competition” in Europe. The Council calls for their “abolition”.

Although “progress” has been made in the ongoing “dialogue” between the Commission and Berne, the conclusions state that Switzerland remains reluctant to take all the EU’s concerns, which also relate to certain federal tax regimes, into account.

Foreign policy represents another point of friction.

The 27 welcome Switzerland’s participation in several EU missions, but regret that it has not “fully aligned itself” with EU sanctions against Iran. Reading between the lines, the Council suggest that its refusal to impose an embargo on Iranian oil products dictated first and foremost by its determination to protect the many trading companies based in Geneva.

The 27 also highlight the need for an additional Swiss financial contribution to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the Union. This is only fair since Switzerland has been granted access to this “enlarged internal market”.
To date, Berne has contributed around €1 billion to the ten Cental and Eastern countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. The Council “reaffirms” its expectation that “this expression of solidarity, which underpins the relations between the EU and Switzerland, will be extended” to Croatia, as a start. The Commission has been given negotiating directives in this framework.

The Union remains “deeply concerned” about certain canton-level tax regimes in Switzerland

(1) The draft conclusions are available at http://www.europolitics.info > Search = 327164

Proof that Norway has influence in the regulatory process from outside the EU

By now readers will be familiar with the scare tactics being employed by various political and institutional figures.  The current line of attack is the false claim that unless the UK remains in the EU it will have no influence over trade and commerce issues in the single market and would be subject to ‘fax democracy’.  Some of the recent quotes include:

I don’t think it’s right to aim for a status like Norway or Switzerland where basically you have to obey all the rules of the single market but you don’t have a say over what they are.
-  David Cameron, Prime Minister

———-

The EU Federalists have already written the script for the UK’s new relationship as an “associate member”.  We will be subject to all the regulations and costs of EU membership without any influence or voting rights.  That is roughly the deal Norway currently has.
-  Tim Ambler, Adam Smith Institute

———-

Either way the idea is for the UK to effectively be given access to the single market but with little say – like Norway but with some twists and without the EEA-wrapping.
-  Open Europe Blog, Tory front organisation

Setting aside the fact Norway and Switzerland’s situation has only been held up as an example of what the UK could achieve outside the EU and that no one has argued it is the only option, the fact is the assertions of Cameron, Ambler, et al are false.  Norway does have influence in the regulatory process.

More than that, at times it actually shapes regulatory frameworks that the EU later finds itself adopting.  Evidence of this has already been provided on EU Referendum.  But to further reinforce the point Richard has provided details of yet another example that explodes the lies and deceptions contained in the quotes above that the media is all too quick to publicise in an effort to scare eurosceptic voters away from supporting the idea of withdrawing from the EU.

The lies of Cameron and co are designed to one end, to keep the EU in control of the UK.  We are bound into a developing political union which is not required to achieve free trade or access the single market.  But the vested interests of the political class demand that the EU becomes the government of the member states against the wishes of voters, so the lies are told and repeated without challenge by the craven media which is desperate to keep ‘access’ to the politicians.  That’s how the game works.

What the Norway massacre is telling us

The car bombing in Oslo and depraved mass murder on Utoya carried out by Anders Behring Breivik represents the most shocking act of political violence seen for many years.  It was an act of terrorism and it was an outrage.  Particularly the murder of children which was especially heinous.

The media, in its own inimitable style, has dug up any number of angles to explain these joint incidents.  But the hacks have alighted on the ‘far right’ angle of an attack by a ‘Christian fundamentalist’ pursuing an agenda of ‘anti immigration bigotry’.

That the musings of Breivik – being taken down from Twitter, Facebook and websites as quickly as the authorities can – display his intolerance for Muslims, ‘cultural Marxists’ and the left wing Labour government in Norway amongst others is indisputable.  Breivik’s apparent claims of advising groups such as the English Defence League remain as yet unproven.  But what is notable is that the hatred and intolerance visited upon the people of Oslo was not directed against immigrants or people of the Islamic faith, as one would expect given the picture of Breivik that has been painted.

The murderous violence was directed against the government and its activist supporters.

Many commentators are describing this as the act of a madman.  That may or may not be the case.  But to commit the atrocity Breivik did certainly required him to be at the very least a person devoid of sympathy and any sense of compassion for his victims, and consumed by hatred, rage and frustration. Many of those same commentators argue that in a democracy, where people enjoy freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully, there is no need to engage in violence.

But what about when those rights are perceived to be hollow?  What can one do when the established political parties with their secure positions and consensus views on major issues of concern actually deny a true democratic choice to the electorate?  What can one do when the apparent freedom of speech is shut down by shrill accusations of racism, xenophobia or narrow mindedness, which causes people to shy away from setting up a new political opposition, as we have seen across Europe for years?  What can one do when all forms of peaceful protest are ignored by the political class because there is no swift consequence for ignoring the people they are supposed to represent? Indeed, what can one do when the accepted media outlets choose to omit stories or ignore valid arguments in order to hold the line for the establishment?

What the mass murder in Norway is telling us is that some people have a breaking point beyond which, in the absence of any other form of recourse against the people who rule over them, they resort to extremism and violence.  This argument has been used to justify political (and religious inspired) violence in places as diverse as Gaza, Kashmir, Thailand, Libya and Syria, among others.

Calls for reform in those places swiftly follow – usually led by the political left in Europe which sees any such action as revolutionary and therefore justified – and are sometimes supported by the libertarians who see such uprisings as cries for self determination and freedom.  But when such revolutionary type violence breaks out in enlightened western Europe, where the left holds political sway, the acts are immediately labelled as right wing extremism or the actions of madmen, because the left cannot believe that anyone could disagree with their worldview – and if they do they must be inherently selfish and evil.  The contradiction is clear. The ignorance is startling.

Where security experts are stating this week that there is a rise of the ‘far right’ in Europe, perhaps they do not realise we might be looking at nothing more than the an increasingly extreme form of rejection of socialist political control and the creeping internationalism that sees the political class seeking to transform European nations while doing everything possible to avoid asking the electorates for their permission to do so.

The antidote to political violence in Europe is simple… the restoration of genuine democracy where the people, not the political class, have the power.  In many ways what happened in Norway is made all the more curious because Norway still enjoys self determination outside the EU.  But a more forensic examination of domestic politics there might throw up faultlines that could explain what Breivik felt could only be be tackled by killing the current leaders of the Norwegian Labour Party and its next generation of leaders. In other words resorting to the extreme.

There are many issues where the political class across Europe defy the wishes of the people who elect them.  Anger and frustration is growing as people realise nothing they can do within the law can sway the politicians from their chosen direction.  Protest marches, letter writing, distribution of campaign material… all can be and are routinely ignored by the politicians.  There is a sense of detachment from the people that gives the political class a false sense of security from consequences for their actions.

What happened in Norway may now shake the politicians out of their complacency.  Sadly it doesn’t appear to be in the way we would hope.

As William Hague’s comments to Andrew Marr today demonstrate the politicians remain wilfully blind to the causes of such extremism and instead they will only focus on looking at ‘the lessons to be learned’ from a security perspective – in other words they will continue as they have done and just seek to learn better techniques in self preservation.

As such they have learned nothing of value.  Without a change in approach by the politicians and a willingness to finally do what they are paid to do and listen to the people, at some point another angry person or persons will snap and go on the rampage.  These people will direct their ire against the political class, but only hurt others because of the ring of steel, bullet proof glass and bomb resistant vehicles that insulate the politicians from the people they are supposed to serve.

Breivik is not the first, and as we can see from the political class’ response, tragically he won’t be the last.  It is all so avoidable.

The truth that Mats Persson and Open Europe don’t want you to know

The claim that Norway has to put up with EU regulation without representation, and has no influence over what it must implement to be part of the single market (so called ‘fax democracy’) is a lie.  There is no other way to put it.

The fact is Norway has more influence over EU regulation than every EU member state.  Norway also has a veto over EU law so it does not have to follow the EU line.  Norway also pays substantially less to the EU for single market access than it would pay to the EU for being a member state.  Facts such as these are not just drawn from documentary evidence, they have also been established by speaking to ministerial level politicians in Norway who are best placed to understand exactly how access to the single market, without being an EU member state, impacts Norway.

These facts have been repeatedly shared indirectly and directly to Mats Persson of Open Europe – a ‘think tank’ that claims to be Eurosceptic, but which doggedly works to keep the UK firmly stuck in the EU – in order that he may correct his inaccurate claims.  Despite this, Persson continues to repeat the lie time and again, using his platforms on the Open Europe site and the Telegraph’s Blogs section.  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Mats Persson is determined to deceive people in order to further his agenda of keeping the UK in the EU.

But knowingly repeating a falsifiable lie in the media in such a manner, to deliberately deceive readers, surely cannot be acceptable.  Therefore, my friend The Boiling Frog has submitted a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, outlining the truths that Mats Persson deliberately seeks to conceal from people as part of his deceitful campaign.  The text of the complaint is shown below – and all readers are invited to share it and its contents widely in the media and on other blogs.  Please also feel free to reproduce the information below to submit your own complaint about Persson’s falsehoods, so that the PCC takes notice.

———————

Dear Sirs

I’m writing to you wishing to draw your attention to an article on the Daily Telegraph website by Mats Persson Director of the think tank Open Europe. He writes about the important issue of the UK’s membership of the European Union – more specifically in this case the possible method of leaving. The website URL in question is below:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/matspersson/100026967/leaving-the-eu-how-article-50-could-make-the-divorce-very-tricky-for-britain/

My reason for contacting the Press Complaints Commission is that I have deep concerns that much of the article is incorrect and factually wrong. In particular I wish to highlight this paragraph regarding the debate about the UK’s role in the EU:

“If only it was that simple. There’s no good off-the-peg model that the UK can simply adopt should it leave the EU. The Norwegian (“regulation without representation)…”

Persson’s dismissal of the Norway option (“regulation without representation”) has been repeated before despite being corrected personally to Persson himself and in the comments (url below)

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/matspersson/100022087/brixit-why-the-norwegian-model-simply-wouldnt-work-for-the-uk/

Mats Persson’s argument relies heavily on the false doctrine that Norway has “no influence” in making EU law. However this is simply factually untrue, Norway has more influence than the UK regarding Single Market rules as illustrated below:

A) Many of Single Market laws are made at an international level for example the WTO – Norway gets to represent itself while the UK has only 8% influence with the EU which represents us on our behalf.

B) Norway is also on over 200 EEA (Single Market) committees which influence EU law from the outset –Anne Tvinnereim, former State Secretary for the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development in Norway for example said this: “we do get to influence the position”.

C) Norway can then contest that laws don’t apply to their EEA agreement – currently they have over 1,200 in dispute.

D) Ultimately Norway can veto any EU legislation, as they did with the 3rd EU Postal Directive while the UK had no choice but to implement it by the 2011 Postal Services Act.

Another inaccurate assertion by Mats Persson in the same article is:

“Under Article 50 [of the Lisbon Treaty] and in continuity deals, France, the European Parliament and others could consistently block market access for the UK’s exporters of IT, insurance, banking and other services.”

The Lisbon Treaty and Article 50 is covered by international law, notably by Article 54 of the Vienna Convention on the Law on Treaties, for the EU – an international organisation – to block market access would be in fundamental breach of international law. The EU would be obliged to adhere by its international Treaty agreements.

The UK’s membership of the EU is clearly a very important topic of debate and regardless of various views of our membership rigorous but accurate debate in our media is essential. The Press Complaints Commission confirms on its website it considers that accuracy of the press is of utmost importance:

1 Accuracy

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance.

iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.

The issue of the UK’s membership of the EU has clearly taken a more prominent role in UK politics, signified by David Cameron’s promise of a referendum in 2017 (if he were to win the 2015 election) and the current debates between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg. Thus it’s imperative that the public are accurately informed. In this spirit we note the Press Complaint Commission’s conclusion with an untrue story about EU rules on eggs in 2010:

http://www.pcc.org.uk/case/resolved.html?article=NjU5OQ==

With this in mind I wish to formally complain that Mats Persson’s article breaches the code of conduct of accuracy – it is misleading and is an attempt to severely distract readers of a very popular newspaper from forming a proper and considered opinion.

Yours faithfully

Cowardice

David Cameron has today marked himself down as a coward yet again.

Following the CBI’s ludicrous assertions about UK membership of the EU being worth £3000 for each household in the country, Cameron has gone to the organisation’s annual conference to praise as ‘very positive’ their report which called for the UK to stay in the EU.  The Telegraph is reporting his comments.

Anyone can bandy figures around in the way the CBI is doing.  But when one scratches below the surface of what the figures include, it is easy to see this was a desperate attempt to service the vested interests of the CBI’s corporate membership.  Perhaps EU membership is valuable to corporates for the way it enables them to choose where they pay tax so they maximise profits. But these profits do not filter down to UK households.  They leave the UK economy and are sent overseas to the overseas bases of uber-investors.

Anyone Europhile can do a Cridland and go on radio and TV and say that alternatives to membership, such as Switzerland and Norway, aren’t as beneficial as membership, so long as they don’t have to back up their assertion with evidence.  Switzerland is not a good model because although they are independent they have to negotiate every deal they have with the EU.  And the problem with that is?  Norway is not a good model according to Cridland because, well, the only rationale he can come up with is the ‘influence’ lie that has already been comprehensively debunked, but is ignored by our biased media.

And as for that tired old canard that we export half our output to the EU, that too is a deliberate distortion.  That 50% figure includes goods destined for non-EU countries that only transit through other member states.  The lie has long since been exposed, but it continues to be retailed by the likes of the CBI and the BBC, as part of their political motives for keeping the UK in the EU.

But back to Cameron.  He has spent all his time as Conservative Party leader telling the UK what he wants.  That included saying he doesn’t want a referendum on EU membership because he feels membership of the EU is the right thing.  But having been painted into a corner he has had no option but to promise a referendum – so long as the Conservatives are elected into office in 2015.  Only now he talks of seeking ‘consent’ for the UK to stay shackled to Little Europe – a consent he previously said wasn’t required.  How times change.

The bullshit that emanates from Cameron’s mouth is the most putrid kind.  He told the CBI:

Be in no doubt that in the end you cannot stay in these organisations, give up quite a bit of your national sovereignty, unless you take the British people with you.

The British people were told about a Common market, about an economic area, so much has changed about this organisation and so little consent has been granted.

It is time to make those arguments, seek that consent and as Prime Minister of this country that is exactly what I am going to do.

It is an accepted fact that the British people were lied to.  The project is and always has been political union.  The economic argument, the supposed free trade area, was a seemingly acceptable by product which has fraudulently been advanced as the end in itself.  The ‘organisation’ as Cameron puts it has changed, but only in the way it was always intended to do so.  It has simply continued its objective of ever closer union on a path to becoming a single political entity.

Cameron doesn’t even have the guts to admit the truth, in much the same way he doesn’t have the guts to admit that in effect the UK no longer has sovereignty.  We no longer control our laws and we no longer control taxation of entities on these islands.  Without control of these essential pillars of governance, this country cannot consider itself in any sovereign.  We have not given up quite a bit of national sovereignty.  We have ceded control of that without which we cannot claim to be an independent nation state.

Cameron is deluded at best, an appalling liar at worst, if he honestly thinks he can reform how the EU works in advance of a referendum where the changes will be put to the British people.  He has more chance of pulling a living dodo out of his arse.  The whole premise is based on a lie.  No matter what happens, Cameron is going to declare that he has achieved reform and the likes of the CBI will be right there agreeing with him and spewing more lies – without any challenge from the sick-inducing media which is utterly biased in favour of the EU.

It’s not just Cameron and the CBI that are deserving of white feathers.  The BBC deserves one for its prominent coverage on all its radio and TV news of the CBI’s laughable findings that my household and yours are each better off by £3000 every year as a result of EU membership and that CBI members believe the benefits outweigh the costs.  Compare that to the almost zero coverage of the contrary view from Business for Britain that more business leaders now say the costs of EU membership outweigh the benefits – and that despite Business for Britain wanting to remain in the EU!

Ed Balls also deserves – among other things – a white feather.  This supposed economic genius tells us that there is ‘no future for Britain to walk away from our biggest market’ when the EU is not a market, it is a political construct.  He knows the difference, but is part of the agenda and hasn’t the balls to tell the truth.

We are surrounded by lies and deception and spin.  And we are nowhere even close to a referendum fight yet.  We have been sold out by cowards who do not have the guts or honesty to admit that the only question that matters and needs to be addressed is this…

Who should run Britain?

Nothing else matters.  Everything else can be dealt with.  The fight we are in is only about this single, essential matter.

Should the British people run Britain, or should we do what suits the narrow interests of the political climbers and the money grubbing corporatists, and leave the EU to run Britain?  It is all about sovereignty.  Do we rule ourselves or submit to rule from abroad by people whose interests undermine ours?  It is the honest question that Cameron, the CBI, the BBC and Labour dare not ask.  They are cowards.

Why UKIP will hit the buffers

UKIP claims to be a party that wants to break the mould.  The reality is that the party is nothing like that.

In a recent post this blog made a passing reference to UKIP, where we highlighted that UKIP has departed the field where the EU membership battle is being fought.  We outlined briefly that the party is instead focusing itself on ignorant immigration pledges, train lines and water usage in urinals and toilets, rather getting the UK out of the EU.  No doubt there are UKIP supporters who would reject this observation, but the evidence is clear.

A piece published yesterday by the Guardian, whose editorial meeting recently played host to Nigel Farage, goes some way to explaining why UKIP is leaving EU membership behind:

Facile explanations about the surge of Ukip support being exclusively about Europe have been comprehensively dismissed in extensive research commissioned by Lord Ashcroft. It showed that Britain’s relationship with Europe was the top issue for only, roughly, a quarter of the people considering Ukip. And yet the surge in support is a phenomenon that remains, to paraphrase Churchill, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside the enigma that is Nigel Farage.

Firstly, let us get this ridiculous talk of a surge in support out of the way.  Looking at an average of the 16 polls (accounting for weighting) carried out in October by YouGov, Populus, Opinium, Ipsos-Mori, TNS, ICM and Survation, UKIP’s support is sitting at 11%, just about neck and neck with the detested Liberal Democrats.  Electoral Calculus in September had UKIP’s polling average at 13%.  In May it was hard to find a poll where UKIP wasn’t sitting on around 16%.  So where is this surge?  UKIP’s support trend since the 2013 local elections is downward.  It is falling away as the people who flirted with the party have discovered the political equivalent of the Emperor’s new clothes.

Back then to UKIP’s quiet departure from their previous core objective of getting out of the EU.  What the Ashcroft polls, referenced above, have shown simply reinforces what Farage has already grasped.  It is possible to appeal to some voters if you talk to their issues, even if they are not particularly exercised about yours.  So Farage, in an attempt to make UKIP an electoral fixture as a fourth mainstream national party, is trying to be all things to all men.

Sure we still get the odd bit of poorly understood and even more poorly researched nonsense about the latest guff they think they’ve uncovered coming out of Brussels.  Just look at this story, written in a manner so appalling it makes the Daily Sport look highbrow in comparison.  Let’s not forget also UKIP’s capacity for ‘cor blimey’ write ups of stories they’ve jumped on that aren’t even true, such as the supposed banning of the UK flag on meat packaging.

But the party (Farage) has decided to focus much more on domestic matters.  In this way Farage hopes to hoover up the protest vote that previously went to the Lib Dems – before they got their feet into Whitehall and showed they are every bit as establishment as the Tories and champagne socialists.  That is why UKIP is reverting to dog whistle politics by banging on about HS2 and sentencing in courts across Britain.  It’s part of Farage’s desire for a chip in the Westminster game to help him achieve personal ambitions he is trying to realise through UKIP.

The problem is that far from breaking the mould, UKIP is trying to squeeze itself firmly into it.  It is trying to compete in a relatively crowded space by talking about the same issues the mainstream parties are, albeit by taking a opposing view to capture protest votes.  This approach has been taken in order to service party electoral interests, rather than push the core objective of leaving the EU.

While UKIP is taking this approach and slipping backwards, the debate about EU membership and business inspired nonsense about the single market is ramping up and UKIP is nowhere to be seen.  By intent.  The proxies of the mainstream parties are pushing the narratives and trying to convince voters of the need to stay in the EU, confining the arguments to the degree of imaginary reform that is required; and UKIP is somewhere else, playing to narrow issues which are largely rooted in EU regulations and directives in any case, but themselves refusing to point at the EU elephant in the room.

Why will UKIP hit the buffers?  Because the UK electorate is becoming so polarised the next general election will see the classic two party squeeze.  The debate will be channelled onto the economy, energy, NHS, defence and other core areas where UKIP has no profile.  UKIP with its sensationalist, badly thought through and BNP-like focus on immigration in the south east and East Anglia, and small voice on HS2 around London and the south midlands, won’t get a look in.

UKIP’s core vote may help to undermine Tory candidates in a number of marginals, but that will be the extent of the UKIP impact.  Having given up its place in the fight on EU withdrawal, the party has structured itself as a dustbin for the disaffected with no positive message to offer.  Farage, far from increasing UKIP’s appeal, has found a way of restricting it.  With impetus lost after an expected good performance in the most meaningless of elections (European elections in 2014) and no succession plan to replace the vain and money motivated Farage, UKIP will slowly contract back into terminal irrelevance.

Dr Eric Edmond, a man a greatly admire for his principle and abilities, gets it when it comes to Farage and his harmful priorities.  Regrettably he remains convinced that a political party is the vehicle to use to secure an electoral mandate for EU withdrawal. But what UKIP – and every other party –  teaches us is that good intentions at the beginning inevitably give way to servicing party interests, internal squabbles, vote chasing by talking to other issues and diluting the objective.  Alan Sked’s New Deal, if it actually fully gets of the ground, will end up with internal squabbles and like UKIP will, over time, lose track of its original aims and become opportunist.  It has already tried to position itself on the political spectrum, playing immediately into the hands of the mainstream parties.

Norway’s non-party political anti EU campaign offers us a model to follow.  It was a success because rather than fighting within the party political electoral arena and taking on the incumbents, it made itself relevant with an unswerving and well informed message, and had the politicians seeking its endorsement at election time.  Getting out of the EU is not something the kind of campaign that a political party can win, because no party can succeed as a single issue entity in the way a non party political movement can.  History shows us no party ever has and the UKIP experience has simply reinforced it.

Business, the EU, ‘reform’ and the Age of Ignorance

And the Europlastics are at it again…

A survey of more than 1,000 business leaders, from companies of all sizes and sectors, has found overwhelming backing for plans for an in-out referendum on Britain’s place in Europe, with 66% in favour, reports the pro-EU Daily Mail.

The story goes on to add that a total of 56% of those surveyed feel that ‘meaningful change’ of the UK’s relationship with Brussels requires treaty change and a relationship based simply on trade against 23 per cent who don’t. 

This shows us once again how EU membership (a purely political issue concerning sovereignty and decision making) is being mixed and confused with membership of the Single Market (a purely economic issue concerning trade).  By conflating the two, the Europhiles maintain the lie that we have to swallow the politics in order to benefit from the economics.  Once again there is no discussion or examination of the other opportunities that would available to the UK if it left the EU, which could be far more beneficial.

With UKIP having departed the field where the EU membership battle is being fought – and focusing itself on ignorant immigration pledges, train lines and water usage in urinals and toilets, rather getting the UK out of the EU – the Mail turns for comment to its usual useful idiots, who still push the false option of EU reform and perpetuate the lie that our involvement in the EU (in all its previous guises) was only ever intended to be about trade.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Business for Britain, said:

It will come as a surprise to many that a nationwide and representative poll of business leaders finds a clear majority support EU treaty change and a return to a trading relationship.

The reason is clear – most business leaders think the costs of the Single Market outweigh its benefits. Now that business has spoken, the pressure is on the Government to get a better deal from Brussels and make life easier for Britain’s job creators.

There it is… ‘return to a trading relationship’ says Elliott.  A relationship that never existed.  Yet of course the truth must never be allowed to get in the way of an agenda.  If Elliott was serious about ‘reform’ he would explain that we got to this stage because the European project has only ever been about legal and political union. Economics and trade were used merely as strategic enablers, helping along the political aims while concealed in plain view.

Adding to Elliott’s misinformation, the Mail adds comment from Alan Halsall, co-chairman of Business for Britain and chairman of Silver Cross Prams, who said:

Business has, until now, been poorly represented in the debate on Britain’s EU membership. My own experience is one of overregulation combined with protectionism, even within the  Single Market, and we have therefore focussed on trading with the fast-growing markets in the Pacific region.

I often wonder why there aren’t more business people calling on the Government to make fundamental changes to our EU membership.

This poll demonstrates that I and hundreds of thousands of other UK business people are not alone in wanting to see a much better deal from Brussels.

Horse. Dead. Flogging.  The usual rubbish from the usual suspects.  The aim was always political so what need was there to engage business?

Then comes a classic illustration of the failure of business or the media to connect the dots or acknowledge the reality of how EU membership stops the UK from making international trade agreements, as the EU decides for the UK what the agreements will be and who they will be with:

The poll finds that British business is increasingly looking beyond Europe for new trade and would like the Government to do so too. By 58 per cent to 21 per cent British business leaders want to see the Government focus on the emerging economic powers like Brazil, China and India rather than the EU for future trading links.

Our trading links are dictated and controlled by the EU.  The government does not have the power or right to do anything.  With this being the case, why are these Europlastics banging on about reforming ‘Europe’ and its political project, when leaving the EU – perhaps adopting the Norway Option – would make the UK an independent nation state with autonomy that can free itself of the inward looking EU focus they say is holding them back?  Such stupidity.

The questions remain.  Why do these Europlastics continue to pursue the failing approach of shackling this country to a ‘middle man’ that only passes down to us for implementation decisions that have been made at a global level without our input and influence? 

How can they talk of being more outward looking, yet argue in favour of a settlement that means the UK still going without a seat at the real top table, and not having a voice on the committees and organisations where global decisions affecting trade across the globe with the very ‘emerging economic powers’ British business is increasingly trying to build stronger ties with, are made?

We are clearly living in the Age of Ignorance.

Harrogate Agenda takes another step forward

The Harrogate Agenda returned to its North Yorkshire spa town home today, to build upon the outputs from the last meeting in Leamington Spa.

As there were some new faces it was an ideal opportunity to explain what the Agenda is and what it is not.  With new readers to this blog all the time, this is an ideal opportunity to explain the same here:

  • It’s a movement, not a party
  • It seeks supporters, it is not a membership organisation
  • It is not issue based, save the implementation of truly democratic structures
  • It seeks to bring about change from outside the ‘system’, not get entangled within the system and its diversionary intrigues
  • It has revolutionary ambition, but in the classical sense of bringing about significant change from status quo
  • It is non-violent, its campaigning may necessitate civil disobedience at times but that’s all.
  • And finally it is uncompromising, it will hold true to the 6 Demands and not dilute them or be taken off at a tangent.

There we have it.  The Harrogate Agenda is not about remedying specific current issues, such as wind turbines, planning matters or taxation.  But what Agenda seeks to do is bring about structural change that empowers people, so issues such as those can be resolved or prevented from ever becoming an irritant in the first place.  The focus of the movement is empowerment, through a new and truly democratic framework, where nothing can come about or stand without the consent of the people.

As a concept it will be difficult for some people to come to terms with, as they are used to expressing their dissent through tightly targeted protest, which almost always burns out having failed to achieve its objectives after a comparatively few fleeting moments of media attention.

But experience shows that the ruling class, with its top-down approach to decision making and its laughably dictatorial system of ‘guided democracy’ can easily brush aside such complaint because the people don’t have structures that empower them and ensure bottom-up decision making.

It’s helpful to think, therefore, of the 6 Demands as ‘enablers’.  While some of the points may appear narrow in themselves because they do not tackle specific issues people rail against today, the scope of empowerment the demands would deliver would bring about the conditions that allow for wider and more complex issues to be tackled and overcome.  The people would decide how they wish to be governed and the executive would carry out instructions rather than give them.

Moving on, the attendees saw the premieres of two short films.  The first deals with the anti-democratic nature of governance in this country and underlines the need for the type of change The Harrogate Agenda is seeking, including the devolution of power to the local level.  The second examines how Norway thrives outside the European Union, underlining the global nature of rules and directives and demonstrating the UK’s membership of the EU, which while incompatible with the concept of democracy and civil empowerment in any case, prevents this country from being at the top table, wielding influence and formulating decisions.

Both films will soon be available to buy (to cover the costs of making them, which was significant), with trailers soon appearing on YouTube.

The next workshops will focus on each of the demands in more detail, helping supporters to understand the concepts and be able to articulate them to new people effectively, something that is essential if the movement is to grow and the message is to take hold.  This is a vital ‘level set’ to ensure supporters all have the same depth of knowledge and can engage with people in a confident manner.

The movements of the past that have been most effective in advancing their revolutionary thinking have all taken time to develop.  They have ensured they have an intellectual base and forms of revenue that fund further development and campaigning.  That is why the ‘placard protest’ model is unsuitable.  That is why Harrogate may seem to be taking time to make a difference.  But once the ducks are in a row and there is an informed and engaged supporter base carrying the message to more and more people, Harrogate will show itself to be a movement that has longevity and the capacity to drive a real transformation in the way the British people are governed, and most crucially, by whom.

Global Governance has turned the EU into ‘Little Europe’

We do not have ‘global government’.  There is no such thing.

We do however have ‘global governance’.  This is all too real.

Most people in the UK and across Europe do not see or even realise the existence of global governance, because of its remote and distributed nature.  All that is seen is the face of governance that advertises and promotes itself – such as the EU and national governments in capital cities.  Increasingly, people are becoming familiar with the raft of diktats, regulations and laws that apparently spawn from the very visible EU and are implemented by national governments.

What is not understood is that most of what is handed down from the EU does not originate in Brussels and is not shaped in Brussels – it is handed down from global bodies that make up the system of global governance.  The EU is only a proxy, a delivery mechanism if you will.  While it governs a regional bloc of nation states, the EU takes its direction and instructions from global bodies, where the true power and influence truly rests.  The development of this network of bodies, on which most individual countries are able to represent themselves and their interests, has trumped the EU to become this country’s real supreme governor.

Global governance has neutered the power of the supposedly mighty EU to such a degree, a truer description of it today is ‘Little Europe’.

As a consequence, and in direct contradiction of the mantra so often uttered by the Europhiles, the influence of EU member states has been sharply reduced on the world stage. The 28 EU member states do not have their own voice on the global bodies.  The EU has one seat and speaks for all 28 at once, the EU negotiation position being a messy compromise of watered down competing EU member state interests.

This is in sharp contrast to countries such as Norway and Switzerland, which have their own seats on the global bodies and can advance their own national interests, undiluted and directly.   So as regulations and laws are formulated by these bodies in their power centres, such as Geneva, Montreal and Basle among others, Norway and Switzerland have as much influence in shaping the regulations as the EU representatives, and substantially more than every EU member state, including the United Kingdom.  All of which underlines the lie propagated by the Europhiles that countries like Norway have to implement what the EU tells it, without any say in what is handed down.

What does this mean for the UK?

In short, this country’s political class, which is trying to shackle this country to the EU middle man for political reasons, is waiving the opportunity to influence and direct input into the regulations and laws that are formulated at a level above the EU, and implemented by just about all of our trading partners.

Too much of what is decided does not suit British interests, but the UK’s capacity to shape these global regulations is hamstrung because instead of being at the top table and having influence, our politicians have given up our seat to the EU.  So the UK instead sits on the floor, knowing what it wants from the menu, but letting someone else order for us what it thinks we should have and throwing us what has been cooked up, cold and part eaten.

The EU model of government is past its ‘use by’ date.  The politicians are trying to tie us in to a system more than half a century old, that is now obsolete and detrimental to the interests and prospects of a nation such as the UK, with an economy and trading base that is among the biggest in the world.  It’s a big world out there and the UK can play a big part in how it works.  Instead, our blinkered politicians and their big business proxies want to keep us locked into Little Europe and its shrinking sphere of influence.

For political – and as this post shows, economic reasons – getting out of the European Union is an imperative.  But it is not an end in itself.  Freeing ourselves from the Brussels bureaucracy is only an enabler.  It merely provides this country with an opportunity to have real influence, a direct role in governance and a big part in shaping the rules of trade and the standards for products and services.

If we want the UK, our country, to be more successful, if we aspire to realise more of our potential, then we need to leave Little Europe and its passe vision and structures behind.  We need to rediscover our confidence and regain or independence.  Only then can we stake our place in the world and develop trade and partnership agreements on our own terms.

Leaving the EU is the starting point for determining our future and improving our prospects.  We have a choice, be part of Little Europe, or become Big Britain.

The EU in/out debate and the reality… spread the word

EU membership is about politics, not economics.  But the debate is being grossly distorted by the Europhiled to scare people into maintaining the status quo while distracting people and businesses from understanding the facts.  If we are to help the UK escape from this political prison while protecting its economic interests, understanding how this false debate has been framed, is essential:

In recent days, Tony Blair, the Lord Mayor of London, big business represented by the CBI and numerous others have all been repeating the same plaintively concerted cry. But what is almost wholly absent from all this one-sidedly lacklustre debate is any reference to the fact that, if Britain were to leave the EU, we could still enjoy full access to that single market by joining the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), allowing us to continue trading with the EU just as we do now.

It is not surprising that the cheerleaders for continued membership so consistently fail to explain this to us, because it completely removes from them almost the only argument they offer for why we must stay in, as part of Mr Barroso’s drive for political union.

If they do occasionally mention it, this is only so that they can scornfully dismiss it by claiming that, although EFTA members such as Norway have full access to the single market, they must obey all its rules without playing any part in shaping them.

But this merely betrays an astonishing ignorance of how the system works. Not only do Norway and other EFTA members play a very active part in consulting on single market laws before they are finalised. Ever more rules these days in fact originate in global bodies above the EU, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) or the Aarhus Convention on environmental issues, on which Norway is represented in its own right as an independent country, exercising more influence than Britain, which is represented only by the EU.

This is the kind of hard, factual evidence which should be right at the centre of any proper, grown-up debate on Britain’s future relations with the EU. Yet it is ruthlessly swept under the carpet because, to the scaremongers who want to pretend that, outside the EU, Britain would have no influence, it is the very last thing they want the British people to know about.

The media won’t tell the truth.  The Conservative Party’s proxy organisations won’t tell the truth.  So the only way more people will understand this is spreading the word through the grassroots.  Please do your bit to spread the word.

UKIP: Fighting the battles of yesterday

Our model should be the Liberal Democrats. Not in policy terms but on how they focused on areas where they are strong, focusing on district councillors and parish and city councils. They trebled the number of seats in Westminster that way. We need a volunteer army. We need people to stand up and put their heads above the parapet.

So said Nigel Farage at the UKIP rally in Telford.

What sounds like a step change in progress is, in reality, Farage seeking to fight the battles of yesterday.  When UKIP was formed it was for a clear purpose, to secure withdrawal from the EU.  Using the party political model was the right approach for the time because the only way to force withdrawal was via taking Westminster by storm, securing a parliamentary majority and voting to repeal the European Communities Act. The focus, however ambitious, was on going after the politicians by defeating them in elections and taking power.

It was the wisdom of its time.  There was no Lisbon Treaty back then, therefore no other route to an orderly exit.  There was also no suggestion of a referendum either.  But that is not true today.   Now we have Article 50 and a defined route to an orderly exit from the EU that didn’t exist before.  We also have talk of a referendum.  Yet in Telford, Farage spoke of the need for a volunteer army,  for people to stand up and put their heads above the parapet.  To what end?

It’s a puzzler because UKIP has no clear policy message for this army to carry to the public.  Farage won’t let a defined policy be articulated for two reasons:

1) because it allows him to remain all things to all members by not coming off the fence to explicitly chart the course the party will take, therefore avoiding a split with the half of the party that wants a different approach to be taken, and
2) because Farage fears having his policy pulled apart by political opponents, resulting in a loss of confidence among potential UKIP voters when the detail-free policies collapse under scrutiny.

As a result, there is nothing for UKIP to teach its members and activists in the proposed training, therefore they will get chewed up on doorsteps and in hustings as soon as detail is sought and the responses are on-the-fly, off-the-cuff answers that may easily contradict what other UKIP candidates assert elsewhere.

Setting these considerations aside, what can this volunteer army realistically achieve?  Most of them will be supporting the party because they oppose EU membership, but having arrived they will be encountering a party whose leader is now dramatically reducing any discussion of EU matters.  Ironically, of those things which Farage does deign to talk about many have come about or become an issue precisely because they come under EU competence and have been imposed on the UK.  But even Farage is refusing or failing to connect those dots to help voters understand just how relevant and how much impact the EU has on their day to day lives.

This volunteer army would be part of a force in a party that was created in a time when seizing political control was the only way to realise its aim of exiting the EU.  But today the world is rather different.  There isn’t the need to directly tackle the political class on its own terms in its own domain to move the UK towards the exit door.   The battle that needs to be fought is to win the hearts, minds and confidence of the general public to get them on side to vote in a referendum for an independent Britain.  How does UKIP having its army and getting Farage and others into Parliament achieve that aim?  Norway has already shown the way, winning its referendum to remain independent without having a UKIP type party leading the campaign.

But when it comes to winning the hearts, minds and confidence of voters, many vocal UKIP supporters argue that it is sufficient just to say ‘UKIP wants the UK to leave the EU’ to get them onside, and that giving voters detail will put them off.  But unless voters have confidence that the solely political aim of leaving (to achieve self determination) can be achieved without damaging the country’s economic and commercial interests, they aren’t going to get onside.  They will stick with the status quo out of fear.  This partly explains why UKIP is stubbonly rooted on around 12% in the polls, unable to increase its support because it is mute on the EU issue and is leaving the field to the Europhile voices who are happily sowing misinformation and outright lies without challenge.

Then there is the issue of business involvement in the campaign.  Even though it isn’t the place of business to decide how this country should be governed, there’s benefit to the business community also having confidence that an orderly exit can preserve what they want to hold on to and there’s nothing to fear from a Brexit.  Leaving the EU is about politics and democracy, it is not an economic matter and must not be allowed to be positioned as such by the Europhiles, using economic concerns to corrupt the debate and scare people into accepting the wishes of the political class.

We do need UKIP as a membership organisation to be onside with a Brexit campaign, articulating the right arguments to win people over to the merits of independence.   But UKIP has gone awol just as the Europhiles have started spreading false arguments, which unchallenged are therefore presumed by voters to be accurate and true.

UKIP is working back to front, adopting an approach they should have used years ago just after it has become obsolete.  The party is dancing to Farage’s tune, but he is way off key.   So what is UKIP good for if it’s so far behind the times and won’t show leadership in the independence campaign because it wants to win the protest votes of fed up people to realise Farage’s ambitions?

The sad fact is, in fighting the battles of yesterday UKIP is not helping us win the bigger battle that is coming tomorrow.  The party needs to change and that isn’t going to happen under the Blessed Nigel.

This should be of concern to every person who wants the UK to leave the EU

On 5th September, UKIP held what it described as its biggest ever rally as 900 people gathered to listen to Nigel Farage and others speak.

The event received a write up in the Shropshire Star, which covered the key points made by the speakers.  Those people who have looked or will look at the report in the expectation of seeing some red meat on the subject of withdrawal from the EU and plans for how such an exit can be delivered, can be forgiven for feeling some disappointment.  The report shows the EU barely warranted a mention, and when it did it wasn’t Farage talking about it.

Being a curious sort, this prompted me to have a discussion about it with a highly placed source in the party.  They confirmed that EU matters were only mentioned in passing, but more revealingly explained that after the event Farage was delighted that the focus on the biggest political issue affecting the UK – membership of the EU and its consequences – was minimal.  It wasn’t an accident, it was by design.

While David Cameron talked the talk in imploring his Conservative members to stop ‘banging on about Europe’, Farage is walking the walk by doing just that.

Previous insights provided to me by well placed UKIP sources, one of whom has just landed on the party’s MEP candidate list for next year’s elections, asserted that Farage is more interested in building a rival to the Conservatives in the hope of splitting that party and capturing a segment of it, than pushing for an exit from the EU.  The new focus on emulating the targeted campaign approach used by the Liberal Democrats, in order to win a few seats rather than putting resources into all constituencies, confirms their assessments.

But what should cause even more concern for withdrawal realists – who understand leaving the EU while preserving the UK’s commercial interests requires a structured approach where Article 50 is invoked and agreement is reached on the relationship the UK will have with the EU after departure, before the European Communities Act (ECA) is repealed – is my source’s confirmation that Farage sees such a negotation as time consuming and an opportunity for EU meddling.  Farage, who has carefully straddled the fence in public by not siding for or against the Article 50 route despite a clear split in his party on the matter, in private advocated the scorched earth approach of leaving first and trying to negotiate something after, which would leave UK commercial interests at serious risk of damage.

This represents a serious threat to an ‘out’ campaign in any future referendum on EU membership.  The withdrawalists would come under incessant attack from the business community which would only look kindly on withdrawal if they could be assured their interests would be protected after the UK leaves the EU.  The Farage approach does not and cannot give that assurance.  In the meantime, Farage will not let UKIP announce its policy and approach for fear it will alienate a substantial number of UKIP members and will see the party exposed to (justified) attack from the Europhiles who will seize on such naive stupidity with alacrity.

What this demonstrates is that, once again, a political party created to achieve a particular end has compromised itself to service internal party maintenance and management.  As Norway showed during its referendum campaign on EU membership, a non party political campaign is the only way of ensuring the objectives are not watered down or jettisoned in favour of a party’s interests.

By way of a closing thought, if you think it is ridiculous that an anti EU party such as UKIP could be pulled off to focus on other things at the whim of its leader in this way, then consider for yourself the evidence that Farage is reversing from EU matters as part of his dream of being a British MP and leading a party in Parliament.  In the Evening Standard we see Tony Blair getting substantial space to set out yet another FUD-laden argument against withdrawing from the EU.  You would think the UKIP leader and by definition the supposed leader of the Eurosceptic movement would be all over this, exposing the misrepresentation, falsehoods and errors in Blair’s and numerous others that have been published in recent weeks and months.

You would think Farage would be demanding a right of reply to set the record straight – or at the very least shotuing loudly that he is being denied a platform.  There is still no counter to this prolonged Europhile line of attack in the media, and certainly nothing rebutting it on the UKIP website.  But Farage did somehow find time to be quoted at length in the Daily Express on High Speed Rail 2… he didn’t even mention the EU origins of the project in order to create a high speed rail network across the union.  I’ll leave it to Farage’s vocal band of supporters to explain how this focus does anything to develop public support for withdrawal from the EU or move us foward on the journey to successfully leaving the union at a time the Europhiles are working the public and winning them over to supporting continued membership.

The implications of this are clear.  The Eurosceptic movement is not being helped by UKIP because Farage’s agenda means he has other fish to fry.  The campaign is weaker as a result.  UKIP should be a standard bearer, it should be the flag ship of the ‘out’ campaign.  But under Farage it has relegated itself to the position of day-tripping passenger on a support vessel.  Do UKIP’s members realise what’s happening, or do they even care?

Cameron’s ‘independent Britain’

An interesting, if unsurprising, finding over the weekend was the result of a YouGov that revealed privatisation of the Royal Mail is just as unpopular with voters as launching a military attack on Syria.

Only 20% of voters questioned support the Royal Mail privatisation (page 10 of the survey).  But one wonders how many of the 70% who oppose the privatisation plan (and the rest who don’t know what they think) realise it is only happening because the EU said it should.  A safe assumption is that it is a very small number.

Once again we see the all-too-living hand of the EU making full use of the power given away to it by the politicians in Westminster.  Despite the party political bitching on the subject and David Cameron’s verbal drivel about an independent Britain, just try finding a politician who openly concedes the origin of the privatisation plan is Brussels and the plan is a direct consequence of the UK being a member of the EU.

While the parties get their little helpers, hangers on, proxies and useful idiots to loudly spread industrial scale quantities of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) by falsely claiming the UK will be adversely impacted economically just by leaving the EU (by conflating that with access to the single market) they are resolutely silent on the real world adverse impacts politically of continued membership, such as Royal Mail privatisation.  And that is the issue.  The urgent need to get out of the EU is a political imperative, which is entirely separate from the economic issues constantly thrown up as a fear-stoking smokescreen by those who see Britain’s place as being ruled forever from Brussels.

The reality is that unlike Norway, a non-EU country but member of the single market, which vetoed the EU’s 3rd Postal Directive (2008/6/EC) the UK cannot opt out of the Directive.  So no matter how many strikes there are by postal workers, how much disruption is experienced by households and businesses, or even which political party a Briton votes for, the UK is stuck with having to obey the EU’s demands.  The Royal Mail will be privatised because the EU has told the UK to do it.  Discussion over.  End of subject.  Case closed.

It is essential that people are not conned into thinking that leaving the EU means the UK has to give up economic benefits of trading within the customs union.  By exercising Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the only guaranteed way of initiating a negotiation with EU bodies, the UK could secure an agreement that maintains the existing trade rules while putting an end to rule from Brussels.  The political and the economic would thus shown as distinctly separate.

The ‘out’ campaign today, and in the future in the event of any referendum on EU membership, needs to focus all attention on the political issue at hand.  Leaving the EU is all about ensuring political decisions affecting the UK are made within the UK by people that only Britons vote for.  At this time there is little benefit to that because the British people have no democratic control over elected representatives.  But the principle is clear.

The EU in its present and former guises always has had and always will have but one destination – ever closer political union.  It was not created for the purpose of free trade, it was not created as a customs union.  It is a simply a political entity.  Nothing else.  That is what we need to leave and that is what we must focus attention on.  The Royal Mail privatisation issue should be used to help people understand what any future In-Out referendum is really about.

Don’t be surprised, this is exactly what is supposed to happen

And so, after publishing a festering pile of distorted and deliberately misleading rubbish that deceives people about the power and influence Norway enjoys by being outside of the EU, but having access to the single market (read how the journalist who did the piece was forced to concede his distortions by The Boiling Frog), the public suffers some more as the BBC rides again … this time with another festering pile of distorted and deliberately misleading rubbish that deliberately conceals the root cause of the suffering being experienced by households across the UK that cannot afford to heat their homes.

This is exactly what was supposed to happen.  The policy imposed on the UK by the EU is designed to reduce energy demand by driving up prices and limiting supply.  It is the same with forcing down demand for water by driving up prices and preventing an increase in supply.  ‘They’ have decided energy use is driving the planet to global warming thermogeddon so something must be done.  So we have to suffer the consequences.

‘They’ are the environmentalist  and sustainability NGOs at work, sitting by invitation at the EU top table as the supposed citizen body representatives.  Given equal weight to that carried by the national representatives they sit alongside, they are unelected, unaccountable and lavishly funded by the political class to lobby and inform or even direct the policies the political class impose upon us.

This is what passes for democracy in the EU.  Self professed ‘experts’ in the field of ‘sustainability’, reversing the positive progress mankind has made over decades to provide affordable energy to heat and light homes in even the poorest households in our society, because they believe the source of that energy is dirty and harmful to the planet and they demand we use less energy in order to accommodate the useless renewable solutions also forced on us as a partial replacement at enormous cost.

These are people who have been given huge power to determine how we should live our lives, without the inconvenience of having to seek our approval via the ballot box for their agenda and the implementation of their deluded and damaging worldview.

So it is that while:

Sixty-seven percent of people said they would support more coal, oil and gas stations being built in the UK if it brought energy prices down.

the prospect of it happening does not exist.  We are in thrall to the eco warriors who would have us living our lives in a de-industrialised society akin to the world portrayed on the US TV drama ‘Revolution’.  But where is the BBC’s analysis about why this is happening?

Heaven forbid that the environmentalists’ biggest and loudest cheerleader, the BBC, should shine a light on how we have been brought here and where we are being taken. Such coverage is not permitted in the echo chamber.

Heaven forbid we should be told how we are governed, who makes these policies, why they make them and that without a fundamental change to our ‘democratic’ structures that we cannot get rid of them.

UPDATE: The BBC has updated its story and the headline, in a typically slippery way.  Instead of focusing on 25% of the population ‘enduring cold homes’, which is a hard hitting fact based upon the survey results, they have changed headline to ‘Heating bills concern 38% of population’, which plays down the consequences of the legislation’s impact.

Next Page »


Enter your email address below

The Harrogate Agenda Explained

Email AM

Bloggers for an Independent UK

AM on Twitter

STOR Scandal

Autonomous Mind Supports