Posts Tagged 'Big Government'

One of many reasons why the establishment must be taken on

If this story (shown in full below) from Christopher Booker (not an isolated case by any means) doesn’t make every reader of it simmer with anger and righteous indignation then there is more wrong in the world than we already realised.

The lunatics take over the
asylum in ‘caring’ Britain

This story, if accurately and truthfully recited to Booker, demonstrates the state – which is supposed to serve the public and be accountable to it – is now dangerously out of control, having already long since asserted itself as our master and dictator.  It no longer seeks to serve, it seeks to control.  For the state to behave in this way in response to lawful and appropriate challenge to its self-conferred authority and unscrutinised decision making, is an outrage in the proper sense of the word.

The only way the state will relinquish the power it has granted itself is for consent to be withdrawn by the people so as to make it impossible for the state to govern us how it chooses.  Then power can be taken back by the people, as per the strategy of The Harrogate Agenda.  Seeking change through the party political process is a forlorn hope that will not succeed.

Stolen child scandal: Where do you turn when the establishment is out of control?

This is one of the most horrific stories concerning judicial and local authority excess I have ever read, courtesy of Christopher Booker.

  • A pregnant Italian woman visits the UK for a training course being run by her airline employer
  • It is reported the woman suffers from bi-polar disorder and has been neglecting her medication, resulting in a panic attack
  • Having called the police in a distressed state because she can’t find the passports of her other children, the police tell the woman’s mother over the phone they are taking her to hospital to ensure the unborn baby is ok
  • The woman discovers she has been taken to a psychiatric hospital, and when she asks to go back to her hotel she is physically restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act
  • Social services are involved
  • Five weeks later, still detained under section, she is refused breakfast without explanation
  • She protests and is strapped down and sedated
  • When she regains consciousness she discovers she is in hospital – and that the baby has been cut out of her via Caesarian section and taken away by social services
  • Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”
  • Unbelievably, High Court judge, Mr Justice Mostyn, had given the social workers permission for this
  • The woman was deliberately not told what was happening, was not represented properly by the local authority appointed solicitors and had no opportunity to object to what was being done to her and her child
  • The woman is subsequently refused permission to see her child
  • The woman is escorted back to Italy, without her child who, without justification, is kept in British custody
  • The High Court in Rome expresses outrage at what had been done to an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy. But the judge there concluded that, since she had not protested at the time, she had accepted that the British courts had jurisdiction – even though she had not known what was to be done to her, was deemed to have no “capacity” to instruct lawyers because she had been sectioned, and had only been represented by solicitors assigned to her by the local authority
  • The mother returns to the UK to plead for the return of her daughter
  • The judge admits that, since resuming her medication, the mother seemed impressively articulate and a different person from the one he had seen earlier. But, because he could not risk a failure to maintain her medication in the future, he ruled that the child must be placed for adoption
  • No offence had been committed, there had been no abuse of the child, there was no evidence of any risk to the child, but the child had been stolen from a foreign and temporary visitor because of a panic attack
  • Supported by the mother, her American husband – from whom she is amicably separated, and who is the father of her eldest daughter – asked that the baby be sent to Los Angeles to live with his sister, herself a very capable mother
  • Essex social services ruled that this was unacceptable because, even though she was the aunt of the baby’s stepsister, the American woman had no “blood” tie to the baby. So, rather than allow the child to be looked after by her “kin”, she must be sent to live with complete strangers
  • Lawyers for the woman are demanding to know why Essex social services appear not have contacted next of kin in Italy to consult them on the case
  • An Essex county council spokesman said the local authority would not comment on ongoing cases involving vulnerable people and children – the standard response in the textbook effort to avoid being held to account

This is the most extreme example yet of ‘child protection’ services – which routinely ignore actual abuse when it involves the need for visits, investigations and supervision – going after an easy target who had done nothing wrong, over which they have no jurisdiction, where there was no evidence a child was even at risk – cutting the child out of the mother so it can be put it up for adoption.

If this story does not underline the brutal nature of ‘public servants’ and ‘court officers’ whose actions demonstrate they are completely out of control and giving themselves authority that is wholly excessive and unjustified, nothing else will.  It is shocking, disturbing, frightening, and it makes me ashamed of my country and the dictatorship it has become.

This abuse of power must be defeated.  Whatever it takes.

It’s your money, but we want it and are taking it…

Here we go again.  The old chestnut of tax avoidance being equated with tax evasion is back in the papers today.

The paywall-free Mail reports about a number of BBC ‘stars’ who elect to be freelancers and paid as ‘personal service contractors’, rather than work on the BBC payroll.

The benefits are clear.  The BBC doesn’t have to pay tax on the money it pays to the freelancer (other than VAT on the invoiced sum), as the freelancer is a ‘company’ entity and responsible for paying taxes due for the services they provide.  The freelancer can pay a lower effective tax rate than an employee, depending on how they organise their directorships, salary, costs and expenses and dividend arrangements.

But yet again we see the grubbing politicians, who are so preoccupied with hoovering up as much of our money as possible in order to control how money is spent, making moronic statements that demonstrate they are trying to con the public and demonise people who have done nothing wrong.  As the Mail puts it:

There is no suggestion that any of the individuals named have acted improperly but  MPs accused the BBC of having ‘staggeringly inappropriate’ arrangements in place for many employees and said it could be ‘complicit’ in tax avoidance.

Complicit in tax avoidance?  What the hell?  This is the equivalent of criticising drivers for going along a road at 30mph in a 30mph limit by claiming they are complicit in driving within the speed limit.  The argument is completely ludicrous.  The pressure that has been applied to lead to this unnecessary change is an example of excessively powerful government that is out of control.  Personal freedom is being infringed as a result of undue pressure being brought to bear by the over powerful state.

There is nothing wrong with tax avoidance, which is the arranging of your financial affairs so that you legitimately pay less tax.  It is legal and responsible.  Yet some politicians, whose only motivation is wanting more of our money to control and use to service their whims, have even gone as far as coining the expression ‘aggressive tax avoidance’ to describe the active effort to find legitimate ways of a person or company arranging their affairs to ensure they pay as little tax as necessary within the law.  In using this description they are deliberately attempting to mislead people into thinking these individuals and companies are engaging in tax evasion – the illegal and criminal act which is the deliberate failure to provide full and accurate information about income and assets to the tax authorities so tax liability can be correctly assessed and demands applied within the law.

Although it is our money the refrain of the politicians is, ‘but we want it and are taking it’.  We no longer have a Parliament.  We have an elected Court of Robber Barons.

Court of Robber Barons

Court of Robber Barons

And they are doing all they can to bully, threaten and demonise individuals and companies into handing over money they have no legal obligation to pay.  Starbucks being a case in point, having suffered so much reputational damage at the hands of politicians and blinkered campaign groups who believe government should control everything, they voluntarily offered to pay millions of pounds to the Exchequer they were not liable for in order to put an end to the blackmail they were subjected to.  You read that right, Starbucks were blackmailed into handing over money because politicians did all they could to turn people against the company, which was wrongly being painted as abusing tax law.  That should engender fear in everyone.

Taxation has long since ceased to be the process for raising funds to be spent on essential public services and infrastructure.  It is now a form of oppressive control to restrict the ability of individuals to use their money as they see fit.  The funds raised are squandered on whims and discretionary spending to bribe people into voting the politicians back into office, which is not dissimilar to the use of taxes in medieval times to fund the adventurism of monarchs and luxury of lords.

In a classic abuse of language, the politicians hark on about people having to pay their ‘fair share’, even though this invariably means people with larger incomes and who use public services far less than most other citizens, paying the same contribution as many other people combined.  There is no sense of proportion in all this.  They have the money and the government wants it, so it rigs the system to ensure it gets it.  But in their bubble this is supposedly fair.

The only way this country will ever see responsible taxation and use of our money by the government is when the people have the power to block spending plans that service the interests of the politicians rather than the interests of the population.  This road leads back to The Harrogate Agenda, and the fifth of the six demands:

5. No taxation or spending without consent: no tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express approval the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures

Only with such democratic control can anyone in this country ever talk about tax in terms of fairness.

More media stupidity on energy

With very few notable exceptions, it seems the British media is stuffed with hacks who exhibit no evidence of an enquiring mind, no willingness to question and test the stories they are being fed and no interest in publishing challenging pieces that readers need to be told, no matter how difficult the conclusion is for people to accept.

The Mail on Sunday has one of its increasingly half baked, cor blimey editorials today where is proclaims ‘We must sort out fuel prices… right now’.  It doesn’t perform any real service to its readers because it doesn’t recognise and set out the real problems about energy prices.

At the most simplistic level, prices are rising for four reasons:

  1. Increasing energy prices on the wholesale market are being passed on to customers by the regulated providers
  2. Increasing government-imposed ‘green levies’ imposed to pay subsidies and grossly inflated tariffs to corporates and land owners for building and hosting inefficient and expensive wind turbines that are incapable of replacing the conventional energy generating capacity
  3. Additional government-imposed levies designed to drive up the cost of energy in order to leave many people with no choice but to use less energy than they do now, regardless of how cold it may get in the winter
  4. The regulated providers seeking to maintain a margin, which in the retail market is only around 5% profit, as reward for the good they provide

But you would never understand this from reading the Mail piece.  Instead it adopts the economically illiterate position of the Archbishop of Canterbury – a man with a commercial background who should know better – which effectively calls for the energy providers to absorb the rising cost of energy themselves and provide it to people at cost, or even at a loss.  The Mail barely touches on the significant impact of government policy.

Where is its 4 page spread examining the policy of using pricing as a means for forcing reduced energy use?  Where is its editorial attacking the imposition of vast levies to install turbines at a cost of billions of pounds, which generate on an average less than 25% of their stated capacity – and where the guaranteed price for what little energy they produce offshore will be £155 per megawatt hour (MWh) and onshore is £110/MWh – falling to a still eye watering £135/MWh and £95/MWh respectively in a couple of years?  That compares to a current guaranteed price for nuclear power of £48/MWh.  Even that price is expected to almost double to around £90/MWh for new nuclear build as the government fritters away our money as it desperately tries to make up for outrageous strategic failure on new energy build over the last three decades.

What the Mail also fails to grasp, let alone report, is the disturbing fact that the structure of energy prices and what they are made up of is now so complex, not even the most savvy analyst can break down where the money we pay actually goes to.

There are so many impositions and elements in energy today that working out who the money is going to is virtually impossible.  Which could explain why we see Scottish and Southern Energy declaring that the cost of energy has gone up 4% in the last year, while British Gas say it is 13% in the last year.  The only way to achieve transparency in energy pricing is to start again from scratch and identify exactly what goes where.  Then we could have some confidence in British Gas’ breakdown, shown below:

What is clear is that while there are pressures from government and consumers on energy companies to rein in their costs, no one seems to be connecting the dots about how government and regulation is driving up the wholesale costs to energy companies, how transmission charges are rising unchecked and how direct levies and taxes by government are also not subject to proper scrutiny or downward pressure.

Until a lot of light is cast on this and the government is called to account for its part in this – and forced to explain to people the global and EU dimensions to the vicious policy of forcing down demand through higher prices in the name of ‘sustainability’ – the cost of energy is going to continue to rise.

The lightweight intervention of Dr Justin Welby and the weak arsed commentary of the Mail achieves nothing and helps no one.

Energy prices: Reality bites as the grotesque political deception continues

The Agenda 21-originating strategy for its notion of the ‘sustainable’ use of energy is now out in plain view.  We can see this in the Telegraph today with the headline above.

The story, by the Beano’s fearless dynamic duo Steve Hawkes and Jessica Winch, actually offers readers some value in its opening paragraphs:

Britain’s biggest energy supplier blamed Government costs as it pushed the average annual dual fuel bills up by £120 a year to almost £1,470 – the highest typical tariff ever seen in the UK.

Ian Peters, head of residential energy, said British Gas understood energy bills were a “real worry” but there was little the company could do.

But he faces a fierce backlash after telling customers a price rise didn’t necessarily mean they would have to pay more. He said: “The amount you pay depends not on the price, but on how much gas and electricity you use.”

And this is exactly what we were highlighting the other day in our post about energy.  I explained my personal situation where my only option to avoid paying more for my energy is to use less.   I explained that is exactly what the government’s energy policy is designed to achieve, to force everyone to use less by driving up the prices.  And now British Gas is explicitly telling customers to use less energy.

With that in mind, the sheer contempt and cold hatred I feel for the Axis of Weasel, warming their fat, taxpayer funded arses on the green benches on all sides of the House of Commons, should be understandable.

Instead of pursuing a strategy to devise effective, efficient, affordable and low impact energy generation and distribution systems, to comfortably meet the demand from a growing and, thanks to human progress, an increasingly energy-intensive population in these Isles, the entire political class has glued itself to an environmentalist driven agenda to reverse progress and force us to use less energy.

The moronic hypocrites in the Labour party naturally seek to make political capital of this latest price rise, declaring it was yet another example of why Ed Miliband’s price freeze was needed – as if they bear no responsibility for these measures being enacted when Miliband was the Secretary of State who pushed them through.  Thus we see the putrid Caroline Flint declaring that:

Britain’s energy market isn’t working for ordinary families and businesses.

Yet she and her colleagues are the ones to blame for this, and the execution of the strategy that ensures the market doesn’t work and prices are being forced up by government delusion over cutting CO2 emissions.  But the Tories and Lib Dems bear equal responsibility.   Which is why, when the likes of Michael Fallon spout shite about the energy sector needing more competition and that people can save money if they shop around; and Ed Davey demanding energy companies justify the price increases brought about by the very policies he is actively pursuing and seeking to make even more burdonsome, as the current Minister at DECC, I am left in a simmering rage at the whole shoddy, incompetent, deceitful, sick inducing lot of them.

Getting back to today’s news, Chris Weston, British Gas managing director, is quoted as saying the cost of green subsidies and environmental programmes such as ‘Eco’ – free loft and cavity wall insulation – were to blame for almost half of the increase.  Yet for most properties the amount saved off energy bills from reduced use would take many years to cover the cost of the measures government has forced energy companies to offer.  And there are many properties where the design does not allow for such measures, meaning they are stuck with higher bills in return for nothing.

Did you vote for this?  Did you want this?  I’ll wager the answer is no.  Yet, as a citizen of the EU (whether you want to be or not) you have supposedly been represented in the discussion and decision making that has resulted in our energy prices being driven up.  No, really.

But for that to be true, in the UK, unless you would need to be a paid up, consulted and voting member of:

  • The Wildlife Trusts
  • The Woodland Trust
  • Waste Watch
  • Scottish Environment Link
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Environmental Protection UK
  • Client Earth
  • Compassion in World Farming
  • Wildlife and Countryside Link
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Green Alliance
  • FERN – EU Forest Programme
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England

For it is only these organisations that ‘represent’ UK citizens in the discussion that informs such energy policies.  This is because, under the guise of listening to what ‘citizens’ have to say, these are the campaign groups the EU chooses to recognise as part of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).

Public funding from the EU and national governments flows to these groups to lobby back at them and sit alongside ministers and national representatives as equals.  This gives the ability to the senior leaders of these groups to dictate the approach to environment and energy that impacts all of us, and it is they who have driven and are driving many of the decisions that result in the increases in energy costs that are punishing the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.

But ask the members of these organisations how many of them were asked to vote on this approach to energy, or approve their organisation’s position, and I will warrant the vast majority had no say and probably could not articulate the political stance their membership is validating.  But there we are.  Realpolitik in action.  Democracy as interpreted by governments.  And we poor bastards continue to foot the bill – some of us dying for the lack of affordable energy to stay warm in past and coming winters.

The political class needs to be stopped.

Extortion class cashes in after demands for money with menaces

The political class has done its job well.  So brainwashed are the lumpen masses they believe a great victory has been achieved with the news Starbucks has handed over £5m to the Exchequer as a corporation tax payment, with another £5m to follow later in the year – regardless of whether Starbucks makes sufficient profit to incur that liability.

The Daily Wail also does its bit to sow confusion by conflating global earnings with UK tax liability, in a deliberate effort to make Starbucks’ operation here look more profitable than it is so the £5m payment looks much smaller than it should have been.

It is only after eight paragraphs that the detail is shared with readers, some of whom before that had taken to the comment thread to hurl abuse and invective at the coffee chain.  What the detail reveals is that (my emphasis in bold):

This year however the European arm of the company has turned a profit. In its most recent trading update Starbucks said operating profit in Europe was $5.2million (£3.4million) for the three months to 25 April, up $12.2million (£7.9million) on an operating loss of $7million (£4.5million) for the same period a year earlier.

Making a liberal assumption that Starbucks’ European (not UK) sales stay consistent for the remainder of the year, the company would be on course to make a profit across the whole of Europe of £13.6m.  However, the UK Exchequer will be getting £10m from the company following the campaign of demonisation and public opprobrium led by millionaire politicians like Margaret Hodge, who avail themselves of measures to reduce their own taxes without any shame for their hypocritical behaviour.

That means Starbucks in Europe could end up paying 36.7% of all of its European profits in tax to the UK Exchequer alone.

But reading some of the comments that have been elicited by the Wail’s deliberate effort to obfuscate the facts, it seems that isn’t anywhere near enough!  No doubt that is a view held by the extortionists in Westminster, who remain unchallenged about just why they take so much money in tax from this country’s productive sectors.

That there would be consequences was always a given.  So the extortion class and the brainless morons, who see businesses as a cash cow to subsidise government bribes, waste and inefficiency, can now take responsibility for the actions Starbucks is now taking to mitigate some of the financial costs of paying grossly excessive sums of money that are not even owed, in order to end the witch hunt:

We are also undertaking measures to make Starbucks profitable in the UK, such as relocating unprofitable stores to more cost effective locations, closing them where that is not possible and placing greater reliance on franchised and licensed stores.

Take a bow, hypocritical, political class rent seekers.  Demonising Starbucks will now result in people – typically younger people early in their working lives who already struggle to find employment opportunities – losing their jobs as stores are moved or closed to reduce costs to subsidise this state engineered robbery.  Some of those who work directly for the chain with the benefits that go with working for a large employer, will now find themselves working for franchises that typically offer lesser terms and conditions.

These actions could now see tax take from the affected employees reduce and possibly see benefits required to support those who will lose their jobs.  Where the state has grown too large, too overbearing and too powerful, these are the things that happen.

I will savour the squeals of protest from those myopic comment thread outrage mongers over at the Wail, when the beast they have helped feed starts to take more from them in the not too distant future.  We will doubtless see a very different tune being played when they are on the receiving end of the kleptocracy that refuses to just deliver essential services and infrastructure well, and insists on inserting itself into areas where it has no business, using our money to service its own interests rather than ours.

Open letter to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu

Dear Lord Archbishop,

I read with great interest the report of your comments to the BBC on the subject of tax avoidance in the context of morality.

In your interview you said of tax avoidance that, ‘It is sinful, simply because Jesus was very clear; pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’  Perhaps, My Lord, you would care to give consideration to the fact that much of our wealth belongs to us and does not belong to today’s Caesar at all?  To accuse individuals and companies of being sinful for finding ways to ensure they only pay the tax for which they are legally liable, is frankly nonsense.

But there is an additional concern here, which is the notion you raise that by only paying the tax for which individuals and corporations are legally liable, they are  ‘not only robbing the poor of what they could be getting, they are actually robbing God, because God says “bring into my store house all the tithes”‘.

This is a disgraceful and outrageous assertion, My Lord.  Government policy throughout the world is far and away a greater cause of poor people being deprived than any other factor.  Your assertions seeks to position government as an absolute force for good, while ignoring the fact so much poverty in the world is caused by government spending decisions.  To lay the blame for poverty and hunger at the door of those people and businesses that do not wish to see the money they have earned squandered on electoral bribes, gerrymandering, servicing vested interests (including at local government level), and feathering the nests of powerful supporters, rather than directed at essential public services and infrastructure, is an appalling inversion of what should be considered as moral.

Where do you see government being ‘just’ or ‘walking humbly’ as it uses taxation as a tool of coercion and takes more than it needs?  Surely, by coveting their neighbour’s goods and taking what they are not owed, it is the government robbing God, the world and my neighbour.  Government has a duty to take only that which is needed, but it refuses to be bound by that covenant and abuses its power.  Why should taxpayers tolerate such abuses at the expense of them and the well-being of their families for who they have responsibility?

The Anglican Church, more than most other institutions, has good reason to doubt the moral credentials of the government, which increasingly interferes in matters of conscience and spirituality and undermines the practice of one’s faith in the pursuit of secular orthodoxy.  It would serve you well to remember that before presenting government as a moral authority only held back from good works because taxpayers strive to retain what is lawfully theirs.

For an educated and intelligent man, your comments point to a naivety and childish simplicity that while it may be touching for some, is profoundly disturbing and results in an articulated ignorance that does more harm than good.

Yours sincerely,

AM

And they call this ‘government’

As the BBC reports, Iain Duncan Smith has said that wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills or free travel should voluntarily return the money to the authorities.

The Work and Pensions Secretary has told the Sunday Telegraph that he would ‘encourage’ people who do not need such financial support ‘to hand it back’.

Well that should do it!  Thanks very much, Iain.

For decades the political class in this country has served its own interests, with naked bribes to voters in return for being able to enjoy the trappings of power.  The cost of welfare and the other promises that make up many of these bribes is largely responsible for the staggering level of borrowing and the horrific debt this country simply cannot repay.

Once again reality meets political expediency and instead of doing the right thing by British taxpayers Ministers are trying to do the best thing for their own electoral prospects while doing contortions to appease the plethora of bodies constructed by the transnational overlords and follow rules everyone else avoids.

Collectively this is why the government doesn’t get serious about only spending our money on essential services and supporting the vulnerable people in our society.  This is why our money gets spent supporting overseas based families of migrants who have contributed barely anything to the pot in the short time they have been in the UK.  This is why now hear the government enthusiastically ‘plays by the rules’ in forking over hundreds of millions of pounds for healthcare costs for UK nationals treated overseas, while permitting the NHS to fail to keep accurate records of foreign nationals treated here under the services British taxpayers fund, so we only get back a fraction of what we are due for use of our overstretched resources.

The government could slash taxes, but instead it chooses to hoover up our money so it offer some of it back in credits and benefits in return for votes.  Too many voters don’t understand that while they are being given these bribes with one hand, they are crumbs from the table as much more is siphoned off and wasted on administration and diverted for spending on things people do not support.  The government could rejuvinate the economy and reduce borrowing dramatically if it simply let people keep more of their own money and spend it on what they want, rather than fritter it away on boondoggles, wheezes, special interests and these disgraceful, self serving bribes.  But it won’t because if it controls the money it controls everything.  It can  build the insipid client state and increase the size of government to justify the ever worsening kleptocracy that has developed.

Voting for any of the political parties is an endorsement of the continuation of this scandalous behaviour.  Voting for any of the political parties props up the faux democracy that exists in this country.  It does not result in change.  It results in the electorate and taxpayers continuing to be treated with ever more contempt.

What we need is not a reshuffle of the deck chairs, nor a rotation of faces who are all committed to perpetuating the same corrupt system that holds sway in this country.  We need a complete overhaul of the system, to bring about real democracy where control and decision making rests with the people and where the executive serves the people rather than dictates to them.  We need a genuine revolution.  The potential alternatives to this, borne of desperation and anger, are too awful to contemplate.

We need real change.  It will never be realised by playing the political class’ game and using their rules – and that includes the charade of traipsing to polling stations to vote for the least worst option in the certain knowledge that on the major, substantive issues nothing will change.  They will continue to take their steer from unelected, unaccountable, self selecting entities instead of us, the people they are supposed to serve and whose wishes they are supposed to execute.  It is time for people to assert themselves and take the power back.

We have to define the game and set the rules that should be used.  We have an outline of how they should look.  Now we need people to consider how they can be realised.  In the meantime, while that discussion takes place and the approach is refined, we need to withdraw our consent by refusing to play their game and refusing to heed their desperate attempts for validation as they plead for people to use their vote.  Don’t feed the beast.

Danny Alexander wears confiscation of our money like a badge of honour

What kind of world has this become where a government minister, Danny Alexander, tries to out-do his (current) political opponents by declaring the rich have paid more in tax under the coalition than at any time under Labour?

This is just the latest example of the wrongheaded thinking that infests the political bubble, boasting that under this profligate, social democratic coagulation the all-powerful and unrepresentative state is managing to strip from the population more money than the other lot of incompetents, as if it’s something to be proud of.

Taxation would not be an issue if the government took the bare minimum necessary to maintain essential services and infrastructure, ensuring the protection of the population and support of the vulnerable in society.  But that isn’t what happens.  Despite public spending continuing to spiral out of control, fuelled by increased state theft and unaffordable borrowing, the necessary services the British people have paid handsomely for are actually being run down. Yet the lumpen masses who, to use their corruption of language, ‘celebrate’ ever rising taxation as ‘fairness’.

Many actively endorse and demand the kind of tax inequality that see local authorities charge a household of six people in one street the same amount of council tax for services as their single next door neighbour, who, if lucky, might be forgiven a mere 20% of the charge.  In the event that person is paying more for the services than the family next door.  But suggest that the charges should be applied based on the number of people in a household rather than the arbitrarily derived property value banding, and rioters take to the streets.  So much for fairness.  What we have is envy and jealousy where people who don’t earn as much as some others resent that good fortune and want to see those individuals punished for being better off, by government taking more of their wealth from them.  Redistribution sounds great until all the barriers are removed and it happens to you.

Government’s attitude is to take as much as they think they can get away with, then allocate large portions of the money to propping up the organs of our supreme government in the UN and the EU, while squandering billions more on vanity projects and ideologically driven idiocy that benefit special interests rather than ordinary people as a whole.  It is the warped spending priorities of successive governments that have driven this.  It will not change until the day when people are asked to approve the government budgets and ministers are forced to justify their spending priorities.  Until that day people are perfectly justified in doing all they can to legally minimise the amount of money seized from them.

Bankster racket – The Cyprus template that wasn’t a template is now a template

Remember how Cyprus was supposed to be a special case and not a template for similar wealth confiscation elsewhere in the future?  Remember how it transpired the measures taken in Cyprus had already been written into the Banking Act 2009?  Well the Banksters are getting bolder as a piece on ZeroHedge makes clear:

The CEO of Unicredit Federico Ghizzoni said yesterday that it is “acceptable to confiscate savings to save banks.” He said that the savings which are not guaranteed by any protection or insurance could be used in the future to contribute to the rescue of banks who fail and that uninsured deposits could be used in future bank failures provided global policy makers agree on a common approach.

The organised racket is very clear.  Any money we put into bank accounts is a loan to the bank.  Given that governments don’t have the money to bail out banks, which have been run into the ground while using our money to carry out poorly considered lending to borrowers who are defaulting or declaring bankruptcy, they are now treating the money lent to them by depositors as exactly what the rules say it is – theirs.  Caveat creditor.

Note the reference to having a common approach to global policy.  Global governance is the agenda at play.  The wealthy elite makes the rules and is now applying the rules to protect their financial position at the expense of anyone who is willing to risk putting their money in one of their institutions.  If the Banksters don’t get your money, then be assured the global cooperation and harmonisation gradually being developed by governments will see to it that taxation will hoover up your wealth.  No permission sought, no approval given, just the abuse of power by the political class and their establishment cronies.

It has been clear in the way governments are exchanging supposedly confidential account information between each other, under the pretext of tackling tax evasion.  But even where there is no evasion, this exchange provides vital intelligence about the holdings of individuals that can be used to inform governments about who has what, so policy can be created to target them for specific taxes and wealth confiscation – all to satisfy the bribery and spending fetishes that politicians rely on to buy votes of the net consumers at the expense of the net producers.

While politicians like to spout off about democracy and freedom, their actions are designed for a single purpose, to enslave the people who are supposed to be their masters.  Government, both supranational and national, never shrinks.  The parasite continues to expand by feeding on the people they are supposed to serve.

The only thing it doesn’t seem to have planned for is what happens when the incentives to production have been destroyed and the wealth it plunders has run out.  What will the state’s clients do when their free handouts come to an end?  Perhaps by they the planet will be so collectivised we will be scratching the land to produce food and resorting to barter as the medium of exchange.  Progress will have been reversed and the green wet-dream of ‘sustainability’ will be realised.

At what point will the sleepwalking masses wake up and put an end to it?  There is no conspiracy theory here, just conspiracy.

A happy outcome in Cyprus!

For the ‘colleagues’…  The Cyprus Mail reports that:

EU funds co-financing Cyprus-based development and growth projects will be exempt from the deposit haircut, communications minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said yesterday.

Mitsopoulos said that the 37.5 per cent haircut on deposits larger than €100,000 held in the Bank of Cyprus would not impact EU funds.

“This development secures the smooth flow of resources from EU funds to Cyprus, and the continuation of any projects underway,” Mitsopoulos said.  He said that the happy outcome was the result of coordinated efforts by the government of Cyprus.

I’m sure every Cypriot depositor, whether an individual or small business owner, who has seen a large chunk of the money they have worked hard to accumulate stolen by the decree of the Cypriot government, European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, will be delighted to see that government saw to it deposits in the banks belonging to the favoured few were exempt from confiscation.  A happy outcome indeed.

But then, why should the EU not benefit from the same shady deals that have been quietly arranged for political parties, politicians and their families, senior civil servants and corporate businessmen?  One rule for the elite, penury for the rest.

The moment you put your money in a bank it becomes theirs for the taking.  You’re only a creditor.  Now they’ve established the principle of the game, the only question is one of scale. There is nothing to stop them deciding to hoover up the deposits of those with less than €100,000 on deposit if they call it a tax and confiscate the money before a bank goes under.

Arch Tory Timmy and the Conservative fetish for big government

It’s interesting to see that Timmy of The Times has been holding forth over on the ConservativeHome blog.  He is arguing that although David Cameron is not a great leader, he can still win the next General Election and should not be ousted by the party’s MPs.

In his assessment, Timmy references a story hidden behind the same Times paywall where he will be shrinking to greatness, talks about the way Cameron has allowed the so-called centre right vote to be split:

Most of all, I hold Cameron responsible for the splitting of the centre right vote. Successful leaders spend 50% of their time looking after their existing voters and 50% reaching out to new voters. In recent months Cameron has scrambled back to a more balanced approach but the damage is already done. UKIP is booming in the polls and today’s FT reports (£) that they are about to broaden further – adding a low tax message (which seems completely unaffordable to me) to their existing core messages on Europe and immigration. UKIP, remember, don’t need to win a single seat in order to still deny Tory candidates victory in key marginals.

As you can see from the piece I have emphasised in bold, Timmy has his eye on the fusion between electoral appeal and economics.  The piece in the Times that he refers to is summarised on ConHome’s main page as follows:

“The UK Independence party is to broaden its electoral message beyond its usual campaigns against Europe and immigration with a new tax strategy aimed squarely at swing voters in middle Britain. Godfrey Bloom, the party’s economics spokesman, wants to create a flat rate of income tax at 25 per cent with a personal allowance of £13,000, a policy which he accepts will bring particular benefits to middle earners. Meanwhile, in another attempt to chisel support away from the Conservatives, Mr Bloom also wants to allow non-working parents to transfer their tax allowance to a working spouse.”

Timmy’s big problem here is the same one that infests the Cameron Conservatives; the belief that the plans UKIP are putting forward are unaffordable because government has to spend so much money.  It is this kind of lazy thinking, and the authoritarian bent that accompanies it, which is causing so much financial misery to ordinary people.

UKIP’s economic plan is entirely affordable – as long as the government stops spending money on non-essential services and provisions.  But politicians of every stripe are in an arms race to make promises to voters that cannot be delivered without stealing ever greater sums of our money.

And when the consequences of a government’s irresponsible spending, unaffordable borrowing, increasing taxation and syphoning of our wealth to service its own ends become so serious they can no longer be hidden, we are presented with the ‘false choice’.  Brandon Smith, writing on this from an American perspective on Zero Hedge, defines it superbly when he writes:

Large and corrupt governments love to use the magic of the false choice.  For instance, “…it is better to sacrifice some of your money and your principles to the establishment than it is to live through total collapse of the nation…”  This false choice process, though, never ends.  The offending government will demand more property and more freedom from the citizenry everyday while constantly warning that if we do not submit, the alternative will be “far worse”.

The truth is, Cyprus is not the issue.  What the disaster in Cyprus reflects, however, concerns us all.  It is a moment of precedence; an action which sets the stage for the final destruction of the idea of private property.  It dissolves one of the final barriers to total government control.  Governments and elitists have always stolen from the public through misspent taxation and rampant inflation, but with Cyprus, we see a renewed feudalistic paradigm.  The EU and the banking hierarchy are sending a message to the Western world:  You are now their personal emergency fund, and nothing you own is actually yours anymore.

When an institution confiscates property and capital at will from a subdued and frightened populace without consent, they are essentially exploiting the labor of that populace.  In any culture or language, this is called “slavery”.

The Tories, for all their pontificating about personal freedom and responsibility, are following this exact path, just as Labour and the Lib Dems would if they held ‘power’ exclusively.  This is the disease that has infested the political class and will harm us all.

Where Timmy should be shouting from the rooftops that government should not be continuously expanding and over reaching and does not need to be so big or spend so much, he merely whimpers that leaving people to decide for themselves how their money is spent and how they use their resources, is unaffordable – for the government!  How is that viewpoint reconcilable with someone who professes to want limited government and individual freedom?  He clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue.

If Cyprus was a one-off, special case then why…

… does the UK Banking Act (2009) contain the same provisions to confiscate the wealth of depositors in banks, in the way the EU, ECB and IMF ‘Troika’ did, if UK banks get into trouble?

The screenshot below is from a joint paper published in December last year by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (US) and the Bank of England called ‘Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions‘.  It can be found on the Bank of England website.  This section is on page ii.

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It couldn’t happen anywhere else, the Eurocrats keep saying.  So why are the provisions necessary?

The reality that too many people do not understand is that putting your money in a bank makes you a creditor.  You are lending money to the bank so the bank can use that money to lend it out at a profit to others.  You get some of the profit back as interest. If the bank gets into trouble like Laiki Bank in Cyprus, you are just one of many creditors who stands to lose your money.

Cyprus did not have to restrict its confiscation of people’s deposits to those over €100,000.  The ‘insurance’ policy is worthless if the money is taken as a tax or as part of a restructuring plan.  The promises that underpin fiat currency and the treatment of your money by the state and the bankers are as worthless as the paper promisory notes people are queuing for hours in Cyprus to obtain.

The best option is to put some of your wealth out of the reach of the government, the banks and their crooked financial system.  I’ve removed a proportion of my savings and bought physical gold, and physical silver which is stored in a private, independently audited vault in Switzerland.  If you want to preserve some of your wealth I refer you to sign up and buy gold and silver securely by clicking on the BullionVault banner below:

I am publishing a short e-book on Amazon in the next few weeks for people who are interested in investing in gold and silver.  If you are interested in buying a copy from me directly in PDF format just email me at autonomousmind@hotmail.co.uk.

Whose money is it exactly?

Hope you’ve all been keeping well while I’ve been taking a blog break. With the madness that surrounds us it’s always good (and sometimes necessary) to shut out the noise and clear one’s head of the idiocy and wrongheaded nonsense that defies reason and logic.

So, the horsing around continues. This essay isn’t about the horsemeat farce – Richard has been at his blistering best showing up the ignorance and incompetence of most politicians and journalists about food regulation and the EU’s competence control of it, and there’s really nothing I can add of value. Suffice to say if you have not read his post about the involvement of Nestlé in the scandal then you really should.

No, this is about the political arrogance and media’s hysteria and misrepresentation surrounding the subject of taxation.  According to a typically statist article in the Independent, tax avoidance schemes:

are costing the Treasury £5bn a year by exploiting loopholes in a complex system designed to help businesses, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

Apparently the committee was scathing about the performance of HMRC, which, it says, is losing a game of cat and mouse with companies that promote aggressive tax avoidance.

That assessment sums it up. Costing the Treasury money?  How very dare some people and firms try to keep what actually belongs to them.  While there is nothing new under the sun here, it is deserving of focus because of what it reminds us about what is wrong with governments of every stripe,  namely that they believe they are entitled to the money we earn – our money – and that it is theirs to do with whatsoever they wish.

Tax avoidance is perfectly legal and responsible, yet HMRC is being criticised by MPs for not collecting more money from businesses and individuals for whom there is no legal necessity to pay it.  Despite the actions of tax advisers, and the businesses and individuals who rightfully want to hold on to as much as possible of what they earned, MPs and HMRC are engaging in a game of setting traps to seize more money and demonising those people and businesses who manage to retain their money legally. Look at Starbucks, accused of not paying its fair share and disgracefully maligned by MPs and the media, it actually does make a loss in the UK even before its supposedly controversial (yet under EU law perfectly legal) transfer pricing to its European headquarters. Yet as a result it has been pressured into voluntarily paying over money to HMRC, worsening its UK losses and most likely resulting in cost cutting that could affect jobs.

This is an outrageous inversion of the way things are supposed to be. The state has assumed for itself the position of master, rather than servant. And when it doesn’t get what it wants it bullies, threatens, slanders and character assassinates those who justly stand up for themselves.  And now MPs are calling for this so called informal ‘naming and shaming‘ to be made into a formal approach.

The inversion looks set to be extended by something even more dangerous – as evidenced by a discussion on BBC Radio 4 this morning – where a recommendation was being made to follow the approach taken by the Australian tax authorities.  This is where schemes designed to be tax efficient are not permitted until they have been examined and then approved by the authorities. Such a change would represent a move away from a position where an action is lawful unless proscribed by law, to one where the action is considered illegal until permission for it is granted. This is not the definition of freedom within a society. It is defacto enslavement.

Lets not forget it is the state, in the guise of grubbing politicians continually making unsustainable and unfunded spending pledges, that has caused and is deepening the financial mess this country is in.  The same state thinks it can arrest the decades-old slow burn implosion of our economy by seizing more of our money. It is as desperate as it is futile.

The fact is successive governments have, over a period of decades, been buying votes with our money by inflating and extending the welfare state. The emergency safety net originally envisaged for the welfare state has been gradually replaced by unfunded gerrymandering to buy off voters, creating an unaffordable client state.

The notion of living within one’s means has been abandoned by many Britons and by the government itself.  Instead of government recognising it cannot keep doling out an ever increasing number of billions of pounds to people to subsidise their lives – even when they are actually working – and cutting welfare spending to all but the most needy and vulnerable, governments have embedded a handout culture that has been funded by ever increasing borrowing.  This has been exacerbated by the adoption of increasingly delusional and unaffordable European approaches to welfare combined with a rapid increase in eligibility for benefits for foreigners who come to these shores.

The system is broken and the UK is bankrupt in all but name, owing a total of 900% of what the whole economy generates. The irresponsible politicians and feckless fools who believe in something for nothing are to blame.  It is only low interest rates that are keeping the country clinging on by its fingertips as it tries to service ever rising debt repayments.  Yet incredibly this Cameron-led coagulation government which promised to tackle and reduce debt is actually borrowing even more money than the feckless Blair and Brown government before it.

If the UK economy was a business, the organs of the state would immediately close it down and ban its directors from ever running a company again. But instead we have desperate politicians engineering the state sanctioned theft by HMRC in a desperate last gasp effort to undo the folly that has built up over many years.  It is an utter waste of time because the government’s own policies add more to the debt burden than can ever be replaced by even 100% taxation.

So back to the original question in the title of this essay.  Whose money is it exactly?  The answer is simple and unsurprising.  The money we earn through our endeavours is ours. The tax system is being abused, but it is the irresponsible and profligate previous and current governments that have been abusing it and continue to abuse it for its own self serving ends.  In such circumstances it is not only understandable that people and businesses are aggressively looking to be as tax efficient as possible, moreso than ever they are completely justified in doing so.

Footnote:

It’s interesting that George Osborne has been finding that despite record levels of people in employment, the UK’s tax receipts have actually been falling.  It’s common sense really and not just because more people have part time rather than full time work.  Many more productive people have started working for themselves due to redundancy or uncertainty with existing employers, forming small limited companies, they are discovering they can set their tax arrangements to ensure they pay no income tax or national insurance.  In fact they can pay corporation tax only on company profits after allowable expenses, and as long as they keep dividend payments below the higher rate tax threshold they pay no tax on that either – with some doubling the tax free dividend amount in their household if their spouse is a shareholder in the company too. If their spouse is also a director of the company an extra £7,488 of tax and NI free income can be taken in by the household.

I know this because it’s what I am now doing and it means for taking a small risk by being self employed I can keep more of what I earn.  It’s worth any fight with HMRC for the reward and the sheer bloody satisfaction of not having as much of my hare earned money pissed up the wall on moronic pet projects like wind turbines and imported benefits claimants by the useless idiots in Whitehall. Forget the claims that the Thatcher era made people selfish. It’s this supposed compassionate era since that is making people say enough is enough and look to themselves. The money I earn is being used to clear all my household’s debt and to purchase gold which will hold its value far better than our steadily devaluing paper currency, so I can leave something with intrinsic value for my children in what is likely to be a harsher economic climate that even that we have today.

If EUphile delusion is a disease, this man could be the unwitting cure

If there is one thing we can all respect about fanatical EU federalists, it’s that they invariably tell the truth about the EU project even if to further its aims they slip in the odfd misdirection to keep the less informed on side.  Contrast that with the UK political class, which spends all its time attempting – clearly with some success – to deceive the British public into believing the EU is only about the single market, rather than the decades-old objective of political union.

Reading the piss-poor Huffington Post ranks lower on my list of enjoyable activities than having teeth pulled without anaesthetic or undergoing a vasectomy with garden shears. But every so often that paean of quasi-Marxist groin-centric spherical objects, does manage to extract a valuable contribution from one its fellow travellers that underline the scale of the task facing we democratically-minded, classically-liberal freedom lovers.  On Friday that digital equivalent of used toilet roll delivered one such soul-destroying jumble of bovine colonic detritus.

The former prime minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt, replete with those thick framed spectacles that are the essential fashion eyewear of socialist authoritarians the world over, for the benefit of the UK audience briefly used the tired but seemingly effective trick of conflating the EU and it destination of political union with the single market. Cue yawns, or in Nile Gardiner’s worthy case a short rebuttal in the Telegraph. But thereafter the true EUphile colours streamed through. Following the typical EU federalist falsehood came some welcome honesty:

Cameron will not succeed if he attempts to hold his European partners to ransom, exchanging acquiescence to EU treaty change over the eurozone for a unilateral repatriation of powers. Moreover, the rest of the EU knows that stability and economic recovery in the eurozone is vital to the UK’s own economic interests. Some have said Cameron is not going to get his way by pointing a gun at everyone else’s head. I believe a more apt metaphor would be that of a madman, threatening to blow himself up unless he gets his own way.

One issue on which Cameron has been deliberately vague is what powers he seeks to repatriate. Social and employment law which sets minimum standards for annual leave, maternity, working hours or health and safety practices? Police and judicial cooperation which leading law enforcement figures have said are vital to the UK’s national security? The Common Fisheries Policy, which is already currently undergoing major reform? Do the fish even know wherei (sic) international borders are anyway? The only thing Cameron will achieve by seeking to renegotiate terms of membership is that Britain will be left ostracised, resented and alone. And the failure to meet expectations back home for a repatriation of powers would risk sending the UK hurtling towards the exit.

We can but hope.  But this honesty, even though it has been spilled out in a curious effort to make Britons want more of this rather than less, once again exposes Cameron’s empty rhetoric and the bleating of supposed business geniuses for what it is.  What it also does is provide ‘outers’ with yet more valuable ‘horse’s mouth’ material to show the renegotiation meme so beloved of Cameron, the leaden Tories and their partisan cheerleaders, is a fantasy option.

People are being lured in to supporting a non-existant ‘renegotiation’ option or reluctantly accepting continued EU membership because of establishment scare tactics and the concealment of the benefits of independence; which is why Mr Catherine Ashton’s recent YouGov poll (for the EUphile Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the socialist authoritarian Fabian Society) saw a fall in the number of people aged 18-34 wanting to leave the EU with more in that group wanting to stay put. Across the whole electorate the split for leaving the EU/staying in the EU is 55% / 43%.

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People desiring a major renegotiation of the terms of EU subordination is perfectly fine in itself; but its prospects are even less likely than me fulfilling my desire of engaging in an extended passionate, Monte Carlo based extra-marital liaison with Bar Refaeli, Kate Beckinsale, Doutzen Kroes and Blake Lively.  However many people polled say they support the idea, it’s just not going to happen.

While Verhofstadt then deviates back into the realms of lies and gross distortion by repeating the agreed line on EFTA and the ‘fax law’ fallacy, misleading people by describing the more than 50% of UK exports that travel through the EU as being exports to the EU, (the UK Treasury Pink Book, the OECD and the European Commission all put the figure at below 50 per cent, with the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics showing the Eurozone accounts for just 47.1 per cent of our exports of goods) and desperately trying to convince people that having your voice and interests diluted and weakened by combining it with 26 other competing and conflicting voices and interests is more effective than using your own voice to articulate your own position, he has nonetheless offered some service.  If little Guy reads the HuffPo comments in response to his rant he may also be rather disheartened to see how many people reject his premise and see the need and value to be an independent country again.

But before heading back to his seat on the gravy train and some back-slapping from the ‘colleagues’ who are desperate to keep the whole stinking ediface intact, Verhofstadt leaves us with a fisking opportunity:

In fields as diverse as the single market, foreign policy, trade and enlargement, the UK has shown that it can play a leading role. Crucially, Britain’s liberal instincts have helped ensure that the EU remains competitive, outward looking, and a force for peace and trade liberalisation throughout the world. It has achieved this not through blackmail, but by building alliances and pushing for EU-wide reform.

If put accurately and truthfully that would read: In fields as diverse as the single market, foreign policy, trade and enlargement, the UK has tried to play a leading role but has been ignored. Crucially, Britain’s liberal instints have been abused to keep it firmly inside an EU that is anti-competitive, insular, and a force for empty rhetoric and corporatism throughout the world. It has achieved this not through blackmail, but by being lied to and blackmailed by EU federalists who determine the UK’s alliances for her and reject every call for EU-wide reform.

Thanks for your help, Guy!

No, not bullshit…

But another product generated by bulls that furthers the continuation of the species…  Yes, even bull semen is regulated, as you can see in the list below.

It’s always interesting to see a snapshot of just one small element of the EU’s control over this country – in this case regulations imposed on DEFRA as a direct result of EU legislation. There is no reason why the UK could not draft essential regulations itself rather than wait for Brussels to hand down the diktats for implementation, but our EU membership means we have to adopt whatever our supreme government overseas decides is best for all 27 member states, regardless of their differing needs and situations.

Tory MP, Priti Patel, likes asking questions like these to elicit a written answer in the House of Commons.  While she doesn’t seem to do much with the information, eurosceptics can benefit from it.  The range and scope of EU legislation and regulation that will need to be reviewed and unpicked will take many years to deal with to suit this country’s needs.  There will need to be a period of transition from EU member state to independent country so we can take control of our own affairs once again.  A unilateral withdrawal without attention to the consequences would be a disaster – something Nigel Farage needs to learn pretty bloody fast.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which regulations his Department introduced as a result of EU legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which regulations his Department expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such regulation to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector.

Richard Benyon: DEFRA introduced the following regulations in 2011 as a result of EU legislation:

Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011

Energy Information Regulations 2011

The Seed Marketing (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Marketing of Fresh Horticultural Produce (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations 2011(1)

The Environmental Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) Regulations 2011

The Reporting of Prices of Milk Products (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Wine Regulations 2011(1)

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Designation of Directives) (England and Wales) Order 2011(1)

The Animal By-Products (Enforcement) and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2011

The Seeds (National Lists of Varieties) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Fruit Juices and Fruit Nectars (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Incidental Flooding and Coastal Erosion (England) Order 2011

The Agricultural Holdings (Units of Production) (England) Order 2011(1)

The Bovine Semen (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Poultrymeat (England) Regulations 2011

The Alien and Locally Absent Species in Aquaculture (England and Wales) Regulations 2011

The Non-Commercial Movements of Pet Animals Order 2011

The Rural Development Programme (Transfer and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2011(1)

The Plant Protection Products Regulations 2011

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2011

The Aquatic Animal Health (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011

The Plant Protection Products (Fees and Charges) Regulations 2011

The Poultry Health Scheme (Fees) Regulations 2011(1)

The Charges for Residues Surveillance (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Eels (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Landfill (Maximum Landfill Amount) Regulations 2011(1)

The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011(1)

The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Commencement No.5, Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Order 2011(1)

The Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order 2011

The Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003 (Amendment) Regulations 2011

DEFRA introduced the following regulations in 2012 as a result of EU legislation:

The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Amendment) Regulations 2012(1)

The Agriculture, Animals, Environment and Food etc. (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2012(1)

The INSPIRE (Amendment) Regulations 2012(1)

The Veterinary Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2012(1)

The Common Agricultural Policy Single Payment and Support Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2012(1)

The Uplands Transitional Payment Regulations 2012(1)

The Zootechnical Standards (England) Regulations 2012

The Bluetongue (Amendment) Regulations 2012(1)

The Plant Health (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2012(1)

The Seed Marketing (Amendment) Regulations 2012(1)

The Volatile Organic Compounds in Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products Regulations 2012

The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2012(1)

The Plant Health (Fees) (England) Regulations 2012

The Quality Standards for Green Bananas (England and Wales) Regulations 2012(1)

The Agricultural Holdings (Units of Production) (England) Regulations 2012(1)

The Plant Health (Import Inspection Fees) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012(1)

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Transitional Provisions) 2012(1)

The Fishing Boats (Satellite-Tracking Devices and Electronic Reporting) (England) Scheme 2012(1)

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Regulations 2012

The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012

The Scallop Fishing (England) Order 2012

The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012

The Plant Health (Forestry) (Amendment) Order 2012(1)

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2012

The Contaminated Land (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

The Plant Health (England) (Amendment) Order 2012(1)

The Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

The Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) Regulations 2012

DEFRA does not capture estimated costs to the public purse of new regulations but does capture estimated costs to business. These are set out in individual impact assessments which can be found on the Better Regulation Executive’s Impact Assessment Library:

http://www.ialibrary.bis.gov.uk/links/

Details of forthcoming Government regulations on business are published every six months in Statements of New Regulation. The most recent statement was published on 17 December and details new regulations expected over the period 1 January to 30 June 2013, including those to be introduced as a result of EU legislation. This Fifth Statement can be found on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bis-fifth-statement-of-new-regulation-regulations-covering-january-to-june-2013

(1) There are no associated impact assessments for this legislation because the legislation was not expected to have an impact on business or civil society.

And there’s plenty more where this lot came from…

European gun buyback hype vs American Mainstreet reality

The gun buyback scheme in Los Angeles has received international attention in the wake of the Newtown shootings.

While one can identify with the sentiment and the ideal, particularly following the massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut, the organisers are howling at the moon if they think the criminal fraternity who use guns and cause law abiding people to own them for self protections, is going to hand over its weapons in return for a few hundred dollars.

The queues of largely hard up gun owners seeking a quick handout of Ralph’s vouchers have already demonstrated the exercise is futile. As a snippet in the LA Times makes clear:

“That young guy shot up all the kids and they blamed the mama because the mama had the weapons in the house,” Valerie Butler said, in explaining why she was waiting in line two hours in South Los Angeles to get rid of an old handgun.

Yet Butler, 50, said she was not getting rid of both of her guns.

“Just one,” she said, and laughed. “There’s a bunch of nuts out here, and they’re coming in when you’re sleeping. You got to protect yourself.”

For all the hype little will change. And as Ms Butler’s comments prove, it’s mainly the law abiding and financially struggling desperate for sme vouchers who are reducing the number of weapons they hold, not those who most frequently use weapons as part of gang and drug activity and are responsible for the vast majority of homicides and gun related crimes. There is no seachange here. These amnesties and buybacks have happened before and shootings have still happened.

The enfeebling and spiteful condition of learned or shared helplessness that permeates much of Europe, which for ideological reasons is the desired state among a number of people in the US, is being rejected by a majority of Americans outside the virtuous circle of metropolitan do-gooders whose default position is to demand a ban for anything that falls outside their approved list of acceptable items.

While anti gun sentiment is being whipped up by the usual ‘liberal’ statist authoritarian bansturbators at The Independent, on Mainstreet USA the sentiment, driven by reality, is very different. As that paper itself added – typically hidden right at the very end of its article – more in frustration and disdain than surprise:

A Gallup poll published yesterday found a record 74 per cent now support the right to own a handgun. Even in liberal LA, the amnesty met opposition. According to the press agency AFP, a poster displayed near a second buy-back location in Van Nuys read: “Get $$ for your gun… We buy your gun to donate it to a woman in danger. An armed woman will not be a victim.”

It’s a message that resonates in mainstream America. Without effective forms of self defence a woman, or anyone else for that matter, is forced to depend on state provided protection – a protection that is all too often far too little delivered far too late and which increasingly seeks to excuse rather than punish offenders.

The shared helplessness concept is not just an evil method employed by the state to guarantee it has the sole ability to use force and thus control its supposed masters, it is failing to appeal to the self reliant majority of the US population. It seems, for now, set to remain the preserve of decaying socialist entities, such as European states caught in the anti-democratic EU web.

Shameless opportunists are seizing upon the murder of innocents to advance their ideological objectives

Following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the loudest voices have, predictably, belonged to those with a gun control agenda.

In all the column inches that have been written, only a tiny percentage have tried to focus on what prompted Adam Lanza to murder his mother, then go to the school where she had taught and murder as many of her colleagues and pupils as he could, before killing himself.  Much more of what has been written has been about gun control.

Surely it is more important and valuable to explore the significant mental health problems experienced by Lanza and how these were being dealt with.

It is essential to understand what exactly happened prior to the mass murder, where reports have suggested there had been an altercation at the school involving Lanza.  That incident and what either happened after it, or what interventions should have happened, are far more pertinent to this tragedy than the availability of guns.  But instead of focussing on an analysis of the risks caused by Lanza in his prevailing mental state and how these could and should have been mitigated, the anti-gun lobby is focussing attention purely on the risks of the availability of guns and how these risks must be removed by taking away the guns.  And the media is providing them with acres of copy to do that without any balancing argument.

So it was pleasing to see a more level headed analysis of the politics of risk is provided by Charles Crawford today at The Commentator.  While the focus is on one narrow element of the whole terrible incident in Newtown, Crawford reminds us about other issues this raises, and references comments about the morally corrupt encouragement of learned helplessness, which were made by Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic.  Crawford’s piece prompted the following comment from me:

Worse than the kneejerk reaction we are seeing from some in the US – cheerled from parts of the commentariat on this side of the Atlantic – are the opportunist efforts of those whose political ideology esposes learned helplessness in order to restrict self reliance and individual responsibility and press for conformity to the structures they and their ilk have put in place. We need the kind of reasoned responses you have written to try and hold back the statist tide.

The usual argument in response to such challenges is for the anti-gun lobby to declare that without the guns he used Lanza could not have killed as many people as he did.  Their argument therefore boils down to nothing more than a simple matter of scale, while doggedly avoiding any focus on what led to the attack and how that could or should have been tackled.

The difficult point that needs to be accepted is that Lanza could have still killed many people with knives or other weapons.  Being as fiercely intelligent as he reportedly was he could have even chosen to rig an explosive device.  Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and injured over 800 and didn’t use a firearm.  But there is little in legislating against those things beyond what has already been done that extends the government-preferred condition of learned helplessness – something that has infested western Europe – and which increases the power of the state over the people as they are forcibly made dependent on the often ineffective state sanctioned provision for their protection.

Having a disarmed population suits the establishment and ensures they have their desired monopoly on use of force.  But it doesn’t tend to work out well for ordinary people who try to tackle criminals and assailants but are denied the right to participate in their own defence.

Nevertheless there is a shameless opportunism at play, where the use of guns in the murder of innocents is being used as a reason to advance an ideological objective that is alien to the American cultural norm of self reliance and personal freedom; and used as a reason to maintain the learned helplessness in the UK we should be throwing off.  When will there be a focus on that story?

Afterthought: Think back to 1994 and the genocide in Rwanda where around 800,000 civilians died at the hands of government-backed militias.  The vast majority of the killings were carried out with machetes, not guns.  The international community stood by.  Some allege some international actors assisted the slaugher.  The UN troops in the country witnessed the slaughter at first hand, but were barred from intervening and preserving life.

This was one of the most graphic and extreme examples of learned helplessness in action, shaped by the rules handed down by the political class.  The fact is the slaughter only ended when a rebel force, armed with guns, fought their way across the country and forced the militias to flee.  One can’t help but think things would have been very different if the Tutsi population had been able to protect themselves.

Important question – If this is such a problem for Cameron, why isn’t this a problem too?

On Friday night the Telegraph ran a story about David Cameron’s comments to a group of factory workers in Wales, about food prices being increased to subsidise cheaper alcohol, explaining:

The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with a reasonable drinking habit” was “actually subsidising the binge drinker” because supermarkets were increasing the price of food to fund cuts in the cost of wine, beer and cider.

Tim Worstall challenges this by asking, ‘Even if it’s true, so what?‘  But there is a much more important question that should be asked.  If that increase in cost, to subsidise a real terms benefit to a minority of people who don’t need it at the expense of the majority, is such a problem for Cameron then why aren’t we reading something like the following in the papers…?

The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with reasonable energy consumption” was “actually subsidising super wealthy landowners and profitable renewables companies” because energy providers were increasing the price of electricity and gas to fund excessive tariffs that are paid for energy which is generated by wind and solar power.

If it is so outrageous and unacceptable for binge drinkers to benefit from food price subsidies footed by responsible ordinary consumers, why isn’t it equally outrageous and unacceptable that a small cabal of opportunist subdidy farmers benefit from artificially high tariffs for energy, also footed by responsible ordinary consumers?  If he feels so minded to have a cause, then why isn’t Cameron focussing on something almost identical that costs families significantly more money each year?

Perhaps the problem is that Cameron is a stinking hypocrite who not only exhibits the worst kind of moral equivalence but is also in thrall to environmental lobbyists; not to mention a band of influential wealthy people who play host to lucrative wind turbines while gifting money to fund his rapidly shrinking party.

The dead hand of the State intruding on freedom of religious belief

Where on earth (for it’s not from heaven) does this government get its inspiration for this kind of policy making on the hoof?

The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages, the government has announced.

What next? Regulating the size and ingredients of communion wafers? Setting a maximum alcohol by volume percentage for altar wine? How about the pews? Will there be legislation to ban churches from having kneeling cushion padding thinner than an inch?

The State has no business interfering in matters of religious conscience in this way. Being somewhat libertarian I go with the concept of people and organisations being allowed to do as they see fit, providing it does not cause harm to the well-being of others. If a church wishes to sanction same sex marriage, that is a matter for them. If a church opposes same sex marriage, that too is a matter for them.

A potential can of worms involving EU law, which the government is hoping to avoid by specifically banning the CofE from conducting same sex marriages, is only looming on the horizon because government would not leave alone something it had no business involving itself with in the first place.

When a government starts legislating in matters such as this in such a way, regardless if they think they have people’s best interests at heart, it is demonstrating it is far over reaching itself and has too much power. That should be a concern for us all.

Freedom is not something that can be granted to us from an office, it is ours by right. When a government confers freedoms and rights on us, it is showing we are not free at all because it can just as easily take away anything it has given. The CofE may be the established church in this country, but nevertheless it should be free of political interference and diktat. Cameron & Co are showing it is not.


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