Posts Tagged 'Idiocy'

Media hyperbole: Where is this ‘anti-EU’ vote they speak of?

This time it seems it is the turn of Janet Daley, writing in the Barclay Beano, to offer her penetrating analysis into the European Election result and what it means.

But where is this anti-EU vote she is speaking of?  It’s all well and good for Daley to criticise (rather succinctly) the ‘codswallop’ responses of the main parties to their showings in the elections, and ridicule their claims that they have heard the people, or that messages have been received and understood, but the very foundation of her piece – that there was an anti-EU vote last week – is frankly rubbish.  Consider this extract:

I am not one of those delusional commentators who believe (or claim to believe) that nothing much of any significance has happened and that all this excitement is just overblown media froth. On the contrary, my reason for insisting that none of the things that are assumed to be self-evidently true about the post-elections world will actually prove correct, is that the results were too important – so devastating, so cataclysmically mind-altering that they cannot be assimilated. There is no way that the European Union – which is to say, those who run it, think entirely within its conceptual parameters, have their political and personal futures invested in it and can conceive of no reality outside of it – can come to terms with the consequences of these elections.

So the election results were too important? They were devastating? They were so cataclysmically mind-altering they cannot be assimilated?

Across the whole of the UK last week (using the vote tally on this BBC page – all these figures are provisional and subject to final confirmation by the Electoral Commission in the Autumn) there were 16,454,950 votes cast in the European Election, a reported turnout of 34.19% which means the current UK electorate stands at around 48,127,962 (** see end of post).  Therefore some 31,673,000 people who were entitled to vote stayed at home  The total number of votes for parties whose manifesto includes withdrawal from the EU was 4,999,885 – and 12.46% of that vote wasn’t even for UKIP:

But then, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that many UKIP supporters backed the party not because of its anti-EU position, but purely because of its saturation message opposing immigration. That is no surprise when UKIP issued a follow up A5 sized leaflet in many areas that contained no other message than an anti-immigration one.

This actually points to the anti-EU vote itself being ‘soft’ and much of grounded in other issues.  So back the data that has evidently been completely ignored by La Daley. Of those who voted in the European Election, 30.38% voted for anti-EU parties, just 9 in every 30 who turned out.  Of all eligible voters therefore, those who cast a ballot for anti-EU parties was just 10.38%.  While I have not found this kind of breakdown in the media, you can be certain the parties and the EU mandarins will have crunched these numbers in far greater depth than me.  They will be asking the same question as me, where is this anti-EU earthquake, this mass rejection of the political union?

So when Daley, in her hyperbolic fit, declares…

The facts do not compute. They are incomprehensible. Therefore they must be dismissed as some irrational, contemptible spasm to which the masses are occasionally susceptible and which the enlightened institutions of the EU were specifically designed to over-rule.

she may wish to reconsider exactly which facts do not compute or are incomprehensible. The only irrational, contemptible spasm on show is her witless article.  It is laugh-out-loud rubbish written without any attempt to look at what really happened on that Thursday just over a week ago.

Putting things into further context, consider the most recent in the series of polls by YouGov that shows how voters currently divide if asked in a referendum whether the UK should remain in the EU or leave.

With all this in mind, how does Janet Daley’s conclusion bear any relation to reality?

It has become received wisdom that the reason for that massive electoral rebellion against the EU was that the people were throwing a harmless tantrum: they were just letting off steam because they knew that their votes in this election did not matter. And what do people do next when they realise that their votes don’t matter?

I don’t know what world Daley and her ilk inhabit, but it’s certainly not the one the rest of us live in.

There are messages in the data.  The anti-EU side is not getting its message across.  The anti-EU side has not countered the blatant lie regarding 3 million jobs being dependent on EU membership, the crass distortion that 50% of our trade is with the EU (wilfully ignoring that a significant percentage of this goes to final destinations outside the EU), or that our place in the world is enhanced by EU membership – when it actually excludes us from influencing global negotiations and decision making regarding the laws and regulations we must observe in the globalised world.  People have heard these messages time and again and the likes of UKIP have done nothing to challenge and correct them with the truth.

In 12 months time we will know if there is to be an in-out EU Referendum.  But we should not wait until then.  All anti-EU groups, regardless of the career aspirations of their directors and staff, need to agree common lines to take and push them at every opportunity, in the same way the pro-EU groups already do. Otherwise a possible 2017 referendum will just be a re-run of 1975 and we will be stuck in this damaging union for generations to come.

———–

** The 48,127,962 electorate figure is not official – it has been calculated by taking the total number of votes cast in the BBC table and accepting they make up 34.19% of the eligible electorate (for European elections) which we are told voted.  If this figure is accurate it is astonishing. Please note therefore the use of this figure comes with a significant health warning.

In the 2009 European Election the electorate was 45,315,669.  That means the electorate could well have grown by 2.81 million in just five years, or to put it another way, an extra 562,458 voters would have joined the electoral roll each year on average since 2009.

To put that in context, between the 2004 election and 2009 election the official electorate as reported in the BBC elections coverage grew by 1,197,216, or 239,443 per year on average. So if the assumed 2014 electorate figure is correct, the average annual increase of new voters to the roll from 2009-2014 is more than 134% greater than the average annual increase between 2004-2009.

Added to this we keep being told that the number of people absenting themselves from the electoral roll for a variety of reasons, which hints at population growth well in excess of official estimates.  This is very interesting indeed.

There is no other way to say it… Nigel Farage is a disaster for the anti-EU side

Nick Clegg will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning.  Give Nigel Farage a grenade to play with and you can be assured that after a few drinks to get into character, he will manage to blow himself up.

But in doing so, Farage also injures the anti-EU side because of UKIP’s prominent position in the effort to get the UK out of the EU.

Alistair Campbell gave Farage a grenade to play with by interviewing him for GQ magazine. He then pulled out the pin by asking Farage which world leader he most admired. Farage’s response, however vigorously it is defended by his cult following and however many howls of rage they emanate saying their man is being misrepresented, was the equivalent of releasing the lever to allow detonation.  He has given the Europhiles and his political opponents an entire magazine of ammunition.

Farage could have dodged the obvious trap by saying that if he was being asked who is the most effective world leader in terms of pursuing their agenda then he would say Vladimir Putin. Then it’s a non story.

But no.  He did not refute the idea of him admiring Putin, a politicised thug who has waged war in Chechnya and Georgia and whose government is widely considered responsible for a wave of assassinations of political rivals and journalists, and abuses the legal system to throw into remote prisons those who might be a threat to his position.

In fact, as reported by the Telegraph, he even went so far as to say that he thought Putin’s handling of Syria – where Russian weapons and ‘advisers’ have propped up Bashar Assad – was ‘brilliant’.

In so doing, Farage has completely shattered the wholly appropriate case against the EU for its expansionist actions in eastern Europe – which stirred up violence in Ukraine, followed by a coup and a fragmentation of the civil society on ethnic lines, prompting UDI by Crimea and its vote to join the Russian Federation – all for the sake of Brussels extending its power.

Nigel Farage is a disaster. He is a liability for the anti-EU side. He is incompetent. He revels in his ignorance of EU governance.  He has a reliance on alcohol and women to function. He lacks depth. And as shown by this latest gaffe, he has absolutely no sense of judgement – an essential quality for any leader of any entity.

Nick Clegg is going to spit roast Farage with this.  No matter what Farage and his cult argue, many people are going to turn against Farage and the anti-EU side as a result, and the EU’s provocation of Russia across eastern Europe will be swept off the agenda to be replaced with a narrative that Farage is an ultra nationalist who admires warmongering heads of thugocracies.

UPDATE: Richard is all over this issue too at EU Referendum

The delusion of some UKIPpers undermines their party

Boredom is a terrible thing.  It can lead to doing things one shouldn’t do, such as scanning through the letters page of the Telegraph.

For it is there we find a UKIP Euro election candidate talking unmitigated rubbish (no, really) about trade after a UK exit from the EU.  The claim made is an old canard that seemingly remains a sacred truth among some ‘Kippers, despite it being debunked in several locations over many months.

Should the media choose to put its microscope over this particular claim about free trade under WTO rules, Janice Atkinson will crumble under it just like her leader crumbled under a little cross examination by Andrew Neil.

If a British exit would result in a free trade agreement within days with the EU under WTO rules, how is it that the US and EU are so far unable to cement a free trade agreement?  How come China and the EU are unable to sign a free trade agreement?  How come a free trade agreement with Canada took around five years to complete?

Why is it Janice Atkinson thinks the UK is solely capable of establishing a free trade agreement with the EU in a matter days after a Brexit, when every other country in the world requires years of painstaking negotiation, internal lobbying by industry and special interests, disagreements over the terms and reference backs, to establish such a deal?

Perhaps Ms Atkinson is banking her hopes on a two-year negotiation with the EU initiated under Article 50, which will primarily focus on governance, having satisfactorily concluded everything that needs to be addressed from a trade perspective?  But then, she doesn’t refer to Article 50, so who knows what her vivid imagination visualises a Brexit will look like and how it will take place.

It is ludicrous assertions like that by Atkinson that have anyone who has ever been involved in any kind of business or trade deal, shaking their heads in disbelief at the sheer ignorance and wanton stupidity of her position.

Only on Planet Atkinson, an entity fuelled by the self deception and immature delusion that denotes UKIP, could a trade deal of such complexity and intricacy between the UK and a bloc of 27 other countries with varying interests and demands – across a wide range of industries and sectors – be concluded more quickly than a transfer negotiation between two football clubs for a Premier League footballer.

Another steaming pile of Europlastic bullshit

The Europlastics are at it again today in the Telegraph, again in the shape of Jacob Rees-Mogg – aka Pooh Bear, on account of him being an MP of very little brain.

The response to Pooh’s piece is very simple and I left it in the comment thread.  However it is reproduced below for the benefit of readers who are not minded to venture onto the Barclay Brothers’ online circus…

What part of surrendering political control (sovereignty) to the EU over a number of decades is it that Rees-Mogg doesn’t understand?

Parliament accepted the EU’s plan for ever closer integration without ever asking the people if we agreed. The Tories even championed enlargement so more foreign entities would help determine how Britain will be run. Now they don’t like being powerless and pretend EU control was not part of the plan.

The European project, even since the 1920s and Monnet and Salter’s plans for a United States of Europe, has always been about governance from the centre and outside of democratic control. It has never been a secret. The European Scrutiny Committee’s proposal to give Parliament an emergency brake is therefore ridiculous. It is fantasy politics, signing up to the rules then complaining about their impact.

The fantasy continues as the Tories pretend they can unpick 80 years of European efforts to create a United States of Europe with their unknown ‘reforms’. Britain can’t force a treaty change, it can’t convene an Intergovernmental Conference and it can’t persuade enough EU states to agree to sweeping away the very foundations of what they also signed up to.

There is one choice. In, or out. No mythical reforms, no fake renegotiations. No pathetic ‘Fresh Starts’ or Matthew Elliott wheezes. No more moronic pieces in the Telegraph talking about non-starter plans that can never be realised. Just give us a straight choice where the people decide in a BINDING referendum who should run Britain. Anything else is just game playing.

Ice locked ‘SS Alarmist’ provides reminder of media bias

We can be very certain that the crew and climate alarmist passengers of the MV Akademik Schokalskiy did not expect to get trapped in a thick ice sheet in Antarctica.  They went in search evidence of the world’s melting ice caps, but instead a team of ‘climate scientists’ have been forced to abandon their mission … because the Antarctic ice is thicker than usual at this time of year (code for ‘it’s colder, not warmer’).

Despite it being the Antarctic summer, when the most ice melt would invariably take place, the vessel and an ice breaker sent to cut her free are both stuck firm.  It’s not the first time conditions have failed to reinforce the narrative.  From this we can at least deduce the warming that is supposedly hidden deep in the ocean is not hiding in that part of the world…

It is rather satisfying to see the alarmists experiencing first hand the reality of conditions that differ wildly from their computer modelled predictions and consistently worrying warnings, that are parrotted obediently and without challenge or question by their fellow travellers in the world’s biased and agenda riddled media.

Had the crew and passengers managed to observe and record dramatic images of ice melt cascading off ice flows, we can be sure the media would currently be packed with ‘we told you’ so climate change/global warming reports prophesising impending thermogeddon and demanding even more ‘action’ and public money to tackle man’s warming of the planet – furthering the green agenda of reversing progress and industrialisation to force mankind back into the middle ages.

Instead, as they have experienced unexpectedly cold and contradictory conditions, they and their media lackeys only make passing reference to the vessel being trapped and package it up as a human interest story.  The bias is glaringly obvious.  Their embarrassment and frustration is palpable.  So clearly there is no mileage in global warming alarmists telling the world it is actually colder, despite all their ‘evidence’ to the contrary.

Therefore, sadly for the alarmists, the latest round of doom laden climate reporting grounded in biased computer models has been cancelled due to the inconvenient truth of observed reality.  The absence of a raft of climate change stories from these ideologues sends a clear message, move along… there’s nothing to see here (unless it fits our agenda).  Science and the media working in concert.  Ain’t it grand?

The incredible ignorance of politicians writ large

After the John Major government tied the UK to the Maastricht Treaty, Douglas Hurd was reported as saying:

I suppose we had now better go away and read what we have signed up to.

It’s a lesson that successive intakes of politicians have failed to learn.  Most recently this has been demonstrated by the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge.  The Mail reports on today’s session of the PAC where the HMRC Annual Report and Accounts 2012-13 was being examined.  The witnesses were Edward Troup, Tax Assurance Commissioner at HMRC, Jim Harra, Director-General Business Tax at HMRC and Jennie Granger, HMRC’s Director General Enforcement and Compliance.  Some of Hodge’s reported comments include the following:

The tax gap is really the tip of the iceberg in the gap between the money that you collect and the many if everyone paid their fair share.

It looks to me that you should be litigating. Why have you not chosen to litigate and test your powers?  Why have you not litigated against one single internet company?

Make a few cases, a few show cases. It’s so bloody obvious.

According to the Mail, Hodge named Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks as companies whose tax affairs had sparked public anger and doubts about whether they were paying their fair share in Britain.  However, if Hodge had the first bloody clue about what she was bloody well talking about, she would bloody well know that she was spouting a load of bloody nonsense.  What Hodge is encouraging HMRC to do is spend public money pursuing cases that would be lost.

Why would HMRC lose?  Posting about a separate issue over on EU Referendum, Richard makes clear that companies moving money between EU countries in the way Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks are being demonised for doing, is one of the most fundamental provisions of the European treaties, the “free movement of capital” which was one of the “four freedoms” in the original 1957 Treaty of Rome.

Chapter 4 of the Treaty of the European Union (the Lisbon Treaty) , Article 63 declares that “all restrictions on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited”. Furthermore, the article states that: “all restrictions on payments between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited”.

Hodge, as a well remunerated Committee Chairman of one of the most muscular select committees in Parliament, with significant research resources available to her, should know this.  The fact she doesn’t demonstrates the incredible ignorance of our politicians.  Despite the supposedly powerful position she occupies, she doesn’t understand that what Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks are doing is what the EU’s rules permit them to do.

Any show case would simply show up the stupidity of the UK authorities and result in a win for the demonised firms.  But it seems no case will be forthcoming because, unlike Hodge and the expenses troughers in Westminster, HMRC understands the rules – and that seems to be why Edward Troup told the committee:

We make sure we collect the tax due under the law.

It is because of corporate friendly rules such as the free movement of capital that company bosses like Richard Branson and CBI stooges like John Cridland are desperate to keep the UK in the EU.  it suits big business to engage in tax tourism and it suits them to hire in the cheapest labour from around the union.

Politicians like Margaret Hodge can grandstand, rant, rave, stamp their feet and pretend to be the conscience of the population, but it is she and her ilk who signed the UK up to EU rules they clearly don’t understand, and who want to keep the UK firmly inside the EU.  It is at times like this, when they are constantly telling us why the UK’s future has to be within the EU, that the consequences of EU membership – the loss of tax sovereignty – become apparent.

But rather than acknowledge the reality and the self imposed limitations under the structures they are constantly trying to convince us we should remain part of, they depart into the realm of fantasy like today’s performance in Room 15 of the Palace of Westminster, where they resort to bluster and blather and playing to the audience, but ultimately will change nothing.

You would need a heart of stone not to laugh…

Think back to the end of August, as the rush to bomb Syria further back into the stone age was reaching its height.

As the UK was held back from participating in a US-led – and William Hague cheer-led – attack on the Al-Assad regime thanks to a Parliamentary cock up, the Americans decided to fawn over the only nation, with insufficient democratic checks and balances but sufficient stupidity and political blood lust, to stand shoulder to shoulder with Washington.  I refer of course to France.

While that had Hague and Cameron skulking around Downing Street in a jealousy fuelled fury, the French quite enjoyed their renewed love-in with the Yanks, as this part of a puff piece on France24 made clear…

But of course, there are few beasts as fickle as the politician.  And that is brought into stark relief today as howls of protest emanate from the fragrant corridors of power of America’s oldest ally.  Guess where they are directed…

Thus it seems the American love-in-of-convenience with the French has already hit the buffers.  Bless.  But then, who would ever have believed the self centred septics and the self serving snail munchers would remain faithful?

That being the case, it couldn’t happen to two more unpleasant and repugnant administrations.  But no doubt Cast Iron Dave and Concrete Willy are today filled with fresh hope that their unrequited love for Obama and the Beltway Boys will again result in America going through the motions of being the UK’s true love and best friend forever.

Until, that is, the next time Britain doesn’t satisfy America and Washington goes roaming for a new partner to romp with.

Getting energised about energy

Barely a day goes by without the media (particularly the BBC with its desire to air Labour’s current favourite topics) focusing attention on something we are all very acutely aware of, namely energy prices.

In recent days we have had Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) lead off the regular cycle of price rise announcements with an 8.2% hike on gas and electricity bills.  The political response was all too predictable.  Labour – the party which, with Ed Miliband as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, wilfully took ‘green’ measures in the 2008 Climate Change Act it knew and admitted would drive prices upwards and increase the cost of living – described the rise as scandalous.

As an example of rank hypocrisy, this is head and shoulders beyond anything we’ve seen in a long time.

Meanwhile the Tories maintained their mind-numbingly stupid refrain that the energy sector needs more competition and that people can save money if they shop around.  This is patent bollocks.  I have used every available price comparison website and I’ve checked for every available deal based on the energy my household uses.  I am on a tariff that expires in 2014, but which is cheaper than any tariff or fixed deal currently available on the market from any energy provider.

When my current deal expires I will have to pay more for my energy.   All I can do is limit the increase to the smallest amount possible, which will be well over an additional £100 per year.   And my provider is yet to increase prices this winter, so the amount will be even more.

My only option to avoid paying more for my energy is to use less.  And that is exactly what the government’s energy policy is designed to achieve, to force everyone to use less by driving up the prices.  This goes to the heart of the sustainability mantra.  This is based in the enviro-belief that humans are a plague on the planet and must use fewer resources.  They resent the idea of technology being used to provide abundant energy that is affordable for most people.  They want people to have a difficult existence.  Richard explained this on EU Referendum this week when he wrote:

Never properly explained, though, is that the price increases are the result of deliberate government polity, using the price mechanism to reduce demand and thereby enable successive governments to meet self-imposed targets for “decarbonisation”.

Where the politicians have been caught out is in listening to Green propaganda, offering the fools’ paradise of increased energy efficiency, though more efficient appliances and insulation, without realising that low-income families are quite unable to offset increased costs in this manner, making fuel poverty the problem of our times – and again one which was entirely predictable.

What was interesting to note last week was SSE echoing what is becoming an industry-wide mantra that government ‘green’ levies are responsible for a substantial proportion of the price increases people have been and will continue to experience and struggle with.  They have made clear that while wholesale energy costs have gone up by about 4% in the past year, the cost of government-imposed levies on energy bills has increased by three times as much – 13%, and will continue to rise due to the cost of connecting useless wind farms to the energy grid, where they can provide a fraction of their potential and far less than the equivalent of nuclear or conventional installed capacity.

Today, Christopher Booker reminds us of more mind numbing Tory stupidity from the fool Michael Fallon:

While SSE called for a curb on these green levies – such as the crazy “carbon tax”, designed eventually to double the cost of electricity from fossil fuels, which still supply 70 per cent of our needs – the only official response was a fatuous call from our energy minister, Michael Fallon, for consumers to boycott SSE. Mr Fallon was oblivious to the fact that his Government’s policies will soon force all other energy companies to follow suit.

Just as the government and the media  twist themselves into contortions to hide the fact the Royal Mail privatisation has only happened because the EU said it must, the government and the media are twisting themselves into contortions to attack the power companies and conceal from the public the fact that rising energy bills are largely due to government policy; which is taking our money to pour into unjustified subsidies for wind turbines and lavish payments for wealthy landowners to have them on their land.  And all this despite the evident inefficiencies and failings of turbines as a source of energy generation.

People can be forgiven for being sick and tired of energy price rises, but they need to be aware of where the upward price pressures are coming from – and the majority of it is from the hypocritical, deceitful and delusional morons that infest the corridors of Whitehall, taking their orders from Little Europe, which has taken its orders from the global power brokers most of us have never heard of.

Reversing the CO2 madness on energy – it can be done

It can be done, oh yes.

On Friday, Sean Carney writing on the Emerging Europe blog in the Wall Street Journal, explained that:

Support for the European Union’s climate and energy policy eroded further Friday as the Czech Republic became the latest member to denounce subsidies for clean but costly renewable energy and pledged to double down on its use of fossil fuels.

It followed Poland’s declaration that it would use its abundant domestic coal supplies for power generation rather than invest in costly renewable energy facilities. Spain abolished subsidies for photovoltaic power generation in July and the U.K.’s power markets regulator last month froze solar power subsidies for the rest of the year.

If renewables gave value for money and provided a reliable source of energy, this would not be happening.  But the reality is these subsidy sinkholes are good for nothing but making landowners and renewables companies a huge amount of money, robbed from taxpayers and ever rising costs passed on to energy customers.  But as Carney’s piece explains, there are other consequences to this ludicrous largesse:

The Czech Republic has seen a surge in renewable power production over the last four years due to rich cash payouts for investors in the sector. Since then public outrage over fast-rising power prices has forced politicians to put the brakes on subsidies. The payouts have been a drag on the economy, creating uncertainty on energy markets and preventing utilities from investing.

So Germany continues to build more coal fired power stations, the Czech Republic and Poland are reverting back to coal and economic reality bites in Spain.  Yet the UK has in Ed Davey a minister for Energy and Climate Change who bitterly opposed the UK’s freeze in power subsidies and is demanding we go further down the road to the renewables abyss by ramping up the amount of underperforming wind turbines for the sake of ideology.

Ed Davey is doing this irrespective of the possible harm to our energy security, the ever rising cost to taxpayers and consumers, and the fact our European neighbours are calling time on a shocking financial waste that has delivered nothing close to what was promised in return.  The EU is hamstrung, member states are rushing back for reliable and affordable energy sources, evidence that reversing the CO2 madness on energy can be done.

Yet despite this the British are being dragged into penury by a delusional idiot who is happy to squander other people’s money to satisfy his vanity and desperation to be seen as virtuous.  And while Davey picks our pockets to push his policy agenda and describes realist opponents in the Conservative Party as its stone age wing, without any sense of irony his Lib Dem socialist mate Vince Cable has the nerve to describe the Tories as the nasty party.  Satire is truly dead.

Meanwhile, on planet Hague…


Concrete Willy has also been playing a part in the coordinated whingefest about that lost vote over Syria.

Continuing on the same theme as Hammond and Rifkind, by focusing exclusively on the process story and exhibiting an unseemly and desperate fetish for being side by side with the Americans and wanting to take military action, Hague failed to even mention the Syrian people or the humanitarian drivers that supposedly necessitate military action against one side in the civil war.  But the partisan party politicking agenda was serviced in full in comments reported by the Telegraph as the assault on Miliband and Labour was upped a notch.

It wasn’t the alleged international perception of the UK being weak and the Falklands now being in dire peril as a result of us not showing we can lob missiles at Syria from afar.  No, this time it was that the defeat of the motion and Labour’s role in it has caused ‘serious concerns’ in the US and various European capitals!  Servicing Tory party interests, Concrete Willy, without batting an eyelid, told Dermot Murhaghan in respect of that Commons vote that, ‘On such occasions everyone should be able to rise above any party interests’. He also said about Labour:

There’s some serious concerns in other capitals – not just across the Atlantic but in European capitals as well – about the position they have taken in voting down a Government motion which actually had in it pretty much everything that they asked for.

So all this concern in these ‘European capitals’ is not for the Syrian people, but what it all means for the political elite.  That figures.  There’s nothing like a bit of self interest to exercise the servants of the public is there?  Perhaps that explains why none bar the French are sending their armed forces to bomb Syria.  It is a coalition of the unwilling.

Hague’s comments reek of so much bullshit.  They have most likely been provoked because after all his efforts to whip up international support for intervention on the side of the rebels, he has lost as much face as Cameron after being told by Parliament to put his guns back in their holster.

Showing up this party political, self serving crap for what it is, is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.  Nothing said since the vote has offered any reasonable justification for intervening in Syria.  The hollow arguments we heard in Parliament were the sum total on offer.  Seeking to launch an undefined, purpose-free military attack on the basis of nothing more than emotion, and the subsequent self justifying bleating that has followed, is frankly disgraceful.

Squandering taxpayers’ money – let me count the ways… NI special

In 2010, a man by the name of Kieran Doherty was found shot dead in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, naked and bound and dumped by a roadside.  It was a heinous crime.

After following the process that exists in such circumstances, Doherty’s mother and grandmother have now been awarded an undisclosed sum by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel, described by Doherty’s uncle as a ‘substantial’ amount.

It all sounds quite reasonable, until you realise that Doherty was a member of the terrorist Real IRA and the killing was carried out by his own terrorists-in-arms. He was also a convict who had served time in prison.

So what we have is a man who opposes Northern Ireland being part of the UK, who resents the British and views them as an occupying force and therefore joins a terrorist organisation to take up arms in support of Irish unification, because at this time the majority of people in the country want to remain part of the United Kingdom.  He falls foul of his fellow men of violence and is ‘executed’.

Not only has the British taxpayer funded the murder investigation by the PSNI and an additional investigation and report into unfounded allegations of MI5 collusion in the killing, but we are now also having our pockets picked pay the family of this worthless terrorist scumbag compensation for his murder – which was brought about because of his fetish for the bomb and bullet and his desire for violence over democracy.

Our money should not be squandered in this way.  Doherty bit off more than he could chew and deserved to pay the price.  We should be pleased there is one less gun toting bomber to contend with in Northern Ireland, not handing out compensation for his killing.  His family almost certainly knew of his involvement in the Real IRA, yet they will now benefit financially from the consequences of that membership at our expense?

Their compensation claim was an insult and should have been thrown straight into the nearest bin.  Clearly it is we taxpayers who really end up paying the price, of the stupidity of officials who fall over themselves to make nice with terrorists and their families by wasting our money to reward their criminality and hatred of this country, and treating us as a bottomless pit to do it.

Godfrey Bloom MEP, a class apart in ignorance, idiocy and inaccuracy

When UKIP says the pathetic and stunningly inaccurate comments of MEP Godfrey Bloom are being ‘discussed right at the very highest level of the party’, we can be absolutely certain this is true. But there won’t be any sanction for Bloom.

For while Paul Nuttall may be Nigel Farage’s deputy leader, Bloom occupies a special and very senior place in the Farage hierarchy, not just as a party ally on the Brussels gravy train, but as one of Farage’s closest confidantes and advisers. He is very much first among Farage’s right hand men.  He is also too stupid to represent a threat to Farage’s position as leader, so he fits the criteria for senior status in the party.  As such, Bloom is teflon and regardless of the harm he may do to UKIP, Farage adores him.  It will all be laughed off internally over a pint or six.

So what of the comments themselves?  Racist?  No.  Pathetic, boorish, arrogant, demeaning, antagonistic, needless and stupid? Absolutely.  But then this story is not unexpected because Bloom has demonstrated these same character flaws, among others,  many times before and he does it because he revels in courting controversy and thinks it plays well to UKIP’s core constituency.  Making such comments also allow him to indulge his fetish for acting like an uneducated juvenile delinquent.

But lacking judgement of a soundness even a 10-year-old can boast, Bloom is the poster boy for much of what is wrong with UKIP and Farage himself.  He was talking to an audience of activists who would likely benefit from reassurance that UKIP’s leaders, of which Bloom is one, have serious messages to convey which have the capacity to resonate with respectable voters who are sick of the mainstream political stitch up and want a viable alternative at the ballot box.  Instead they got the hackneyed old misogynist and cultural supremacist staggering along his usual path, the bottom of the sewer.

Bloom could have made a serious point, using powerful oratory to burn into people’s minds the injustice of sending billions of our tax pounds overseas, where so many of them are squandered and snaffled by corrupt agencies and politicians, while vulnerable people at home are in desperate need of a hand up and get less help than they need or deserve.  A serious message delivered in a compelling manner by a person of substance can have irresistible appeal.  But no.  UKIP has Bloom.

That covers the pathetic, so what of the stunningly inaccurate?  Bloom, lacking the intelligence God gifted to an amoeba, decided to venture onto the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to force the state to review whole life tariff prison sentences that are handed down to the very worst murderers.  In what he probably considers to be a very witty little rant, he said:

You can torture people to death but you jolly well can’t give them a full life sentence because that’s against their human rights.

He went on to berate the lack of a death penalty.  The wannabe hangman, as per usual, was wrong about life sentences.  As much as I despise the activism of, and our submission to, the ECHR that was not what the ruling did.  There is nothing preventing a whole life tariff being handed down.  There is nothing preventing the state keeping the most dangerous criminals behind bars until they die.  What the ECHR did was require that from time to time the sentence is reviewed to ensure it remains appropriate.

I resent that the ECHR required this.  It should have been a British court making such a ruling.  But there is nothing wrong with the ideal of reviewing sentences, at which point the state can say ‘yes, the sentence remains appropriate in this case and remains applicable to this convict’.

But when we are dealing with someone as superficial and disconnected as Bloom, facts and reality are repelled by the sheer life force of ignorance that denotes the man.

UKIP should be ashamed of the shocking embarrassment that is Godfrey Bloom.  But behind closed doors today they are probably lauding him.

UPDATE: Well, well, well.  As I expected UKIP’s course of action on this is to effectively do nothing.  The official response is in.  Steve Crowther, the Ukip chairman, said:

We are asking Godfrey not to use this phrase again, as it might be considered disparaging by members from other countries. However, foreign aid is an extremely important debate that needs wider discussion.

Yeah, that should do it.  Heads being stuck firmly in the sand as Nigel’s pet must not be chastised.

Also par for the course is that UKIP clearly has no issue with Bloom’s misrepresentation of the ECHR ruling on whole life tariff sentencing.  Perhaps their lack of ‘doing detail’ means they don’t understand exactly what was said.  Far more important to them is getting the Blessed Nigel a photo call in a pub, or trying to keep up with him as he is pursued from venue to venue in Scotland.

Beware! Children at play

No, we are not not talking about the millions of youngsters who are now enjoying their summer holiday.   We are talking about the juvenile delinquents who inhabit Westminster and play their idiotic, copycat, yah-boo games in a crass attempt to appear superior to their opponents; and the childlike fools in the media who publish stupid stories laced with faux shock and concern for the nation’s well-being.

The answer to the question hasn’t changed in years – and certainly not since the last time this pathetic question was asked by the Mail’s space filling dimwits in a roundabout way.  The answer is still our supreme government in Brussels, the EU, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyone would think the reason this fact is ignored has something to do with the supposedly anti-EU Daily Mail trying to play down its pro-EU position because its readers are mainly Eurosceptic.  By way of a reminder…

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is why, addressing Richard’s commentary over on EU Referendum, the Daily Mail – despite its evident distate for Roland Rudd of pro-EU propaganda merchant ‘Business for New Europe’ – the Mail as a newspaper seems quite happy to take stories sourced by him and to spread them uncritically.

As we reminded readers recently, we cannot trust the media because it is ‘in the tank’ for the EU and we should therefore view all stories through a prism of scepticism, where we question whose agenda is being serviced.

UKIP, party of the people?

In 2011 the Public Prosecutor of Bielefeld in Germany asked the European Parliament to waive immunity from prosecution for Elmar Brok MEP.  The authorities in Bielefeld wanted to bring a criminal action against Brok for failure to report to the tax authorities a €5,000 (£4,300) fee paid to him for giving a speech by HypoVereinsbank Group, a large Munich-based bank owned by Italy’s Unicredit.

The committee on legal affairs at the European Parliament refused point blank, instead deciding that politicians such as the left wing EU fanatic Brok must have immunity from prosecution for crimes such as tax evasion.  It’s one of the many perks the ‘elite’ treats itself to – considering themselves to be above the law, the rules only applying to the little people.

So it was with interest that in recent days another immunity case concerning a sitting MEP has come to the fore.  It so happens that the Chief Prosecutor of Lyon in France opened a case, also in 2011, and asked the European Parliament to waive immunity from prosecution for Marine Le Pen MEP.  The authorities in Lyon want to bring a criminal action against Le Pen for comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

The committee on legal affairs at the European Parliament has agreed with the request, recommending that the right wing Le Pen be stripped of immunity forthwith.  The perk, it seems, only extends to the favoured sons of the EU who travel the world at our expense – including Downing Street – preaching the EU gospel and challenging any opponents to the vision of a a single political entity for the whole of Europe.

But there is another interesting angle to this story concerning our very own UKIP.  It transpires that UKIP voted in favour of Le Pen keeping immunity from prosecution.  This was gleefully seized upon by Labour MEPs, one of whom – the fragrant Arlene McCarthy MEP – took to the Public Service Europe website to ‘expose’ UKIP’s hypocrisy.

Regardless of McCarthy’s opportunism there is a real issue here for UKIP.  How can UKIP declare in all good conscience that is opposes the mainstream political stitch up here and across the EU, yet vote in favour of keeping a group of citizens above the law and out of the reach of prosecutors when accused of criminality?

It is not only hypocrisy, as charged by McCarthy, it is outrageous and plain wrong.  For those who think UKIP represents a challenge to the political class, this should act as a wake up call that under Nigel Farage the party simply aspires to break into the political class for its own ends.  If UKIP doesn’t believe in equality under the law then it cannot claim to be working in the interests of ordinary people.

Thanks for that, ‘Dave’

The loss-making editorial department of the BBC, otherwise known as the Guardian, has spent some money sending Nicholas Watt to Kazakhstan to cover David Cameron’s trip there.

Clearly the visit the trip is essential for British interests, which is why Cameron had plenty of time to chillax and massage his ego by holding a question and answer session with some of Astana’s youth.

Addressing the most pressing issues of the day, Cameron was asked which character from the Harry Potter series of books and films he would like to be.  His reply was very helpful for putting some genuine issues into context:

My daughter is nine years old, she’s just started to read all the Harry Potter books so I’m sort of rediscovering them all over again.

I can think of all sorts of characters you don’t want to be and I suppose in the end you know if you’ve got any sense you want to be Harry Potter. That must be the correct answer.

I suspect people in Britain might want to paint me in a different role but I’ll let them do that, I won’t make the work easier for them.

According to Watt of the Graun, this was a clever reference to ‘he who must not be named’, the evil protagonist character who Harry must overcome, known as Lord Valdemort.

It was kind of ‘Call me Dave’ to allow we serfs to paint him in a different role, as it is not as difficult as he may think.  However, far from being the powerful and cunning Valdemort, Cameron more readily fits to a tee the role of another Potter character, Lucius Malfoy, father of Harry’s arch-rival at Hogwarts school, Draco Malfoy.

After all, Malfoy Snr has delusions of grandeur coming from his wealth and breeding.  He has married into another well-connected family.  He likes to strut about throwing his weight around and trying to intimidate others.  He has the finer things in life and looks down on others as somehow inferior.  But he is shown in the Potter series to be a weak quisling who meekly takes his orders from Valdemort without question, is unable to do anything without express permission or instruction, aspires to a seat at the top table but has no influence whatsoever in the decisions Valdermort makes, and ultimately runs away like a coward when the going gets tough and his boss looks set for defeat.

This neatly mirrors the relationship between the EU and the UK and the relationship between the Barroso/Van Rompuy/Schulz axis and Cameron himself.  For David Cameron to imagine the reality is anything other than that is a greater fantasy than the Harry Potter series itself.  For that perfect and illustrative analogy about this country and its leader’s position in the EU we offer Cast Iron Dave our thanks.

Wind power? What wind power?

It has fallen below freezing outside Mind Towers, ice is covering the car windscreens and the central heating has been turned up. No doubt families up and down the country are having to use more energy to offset the cold.

So now is a good time to take a look at how much power wind turbines are contributing to the UK energy supply after the billions of pounds lavished on them…

1.2% of all the energy being generated!  Money well spent, eh.

But don’t worry.  Our brilliant political class has declared there are many more of them to be installed at crippling cost to consumers, to stand virtually idle just when we need power the most, on freezing nights like tonight.  Sheer bloody genius.

Thank God we still have some coal fired generating capacity to shoulder the burden of our power needs.  In years to come though…

Tony Hall appointment at BBC demonstrates Tory corporate stupidity

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the utter stupidity of senior members of the Conservative Party.  When it was announced that Tony Hall was being appointed BBC Director General after the sopping wet Lord (Chris) Patten foolishly rushed in to fill the post without carefully examining other potential candidates for the vacancy, the Labour Party speedily showered Hall and the decision with praise and plaudits.

You would have thought Labour’s delight would have started ringing alarm bells in Tory HQ, but no.  Perhaps the problem is threefold.  Firstly you have the legendary idiocy of the Tory elite, which treats its members and the public with contempt while making all manner of balls-ups.  Secondly, perhaps Tories just possess incredibly short memories and therefore have forgotten about Tony Hall and what went on at the BBC while he was in cheif executive of BBC News and Current Affairs?  Let’s take a couple of moments to remind them.

Under his Tony Hall’s management, the BBC had an incestuous relationship with the Labour Party.  BBC staffers assisted Labour’s ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ by tipping them off every time a Conservative said anything that challenged Labour in the run up to the 1997 general election.  Former BBC journalists ran as Labour candidates (remember Ben Bradshaw who remained on the BBC Radio 4 payroll despite not working and instead campaigning to win the Exeter seat?) while Labour people went the other way into the BBC (remember Joy Johnson, ex-BBC PR professional who became Labour’s director of communications, then lost her job and was immediately re-hired by the BBC?)  What about the champagne strewn corridors of the BBC after Blair’s election victory and the BBC bias against the Conservatives that had Brian Mawhinney and Charles Lewington in red faced fury as the Patten-loving Major government was pulled to pieces?  It was under Tony Hall that the BBC effectively campaigned for Martin Bell in Tatton, without once challenging him on his motivation for standing or probing his behind the scenes relationship with the Labour Party.

Small wonder Labour has welcomed his appointment, and the corporate stupidity of the Tories sees them also welcome a man into a post far more powerful than the one he used to help to see the Tories ejected from office in 1997.  But what of the third possible problem?  Maybe the long stroll leftwards of the Conservatives, which has accelerated under David Cameron, has made the Tory leadership so indistinguishable from Labour they now share the same mindset enabling them to convince themselves Tony Hall is someone they can do business with.

The timing is incredibly ironic.  Here we are, mid-term of a somewhat unpopular coagulation government, where the Lib Dems are electoral dead ducks struggling to remain the third mainstream political party as UKIP catches and overtakes them in the polls; and the Conservatives are being painted as evil for supposedly trying to repair (badly it has to be said) the economic scorched earth of Labour’s insane tax, borrow, spend and borrow some more policies while continuing to fawn over the EU.  Labour is on top of the polls for simply not being Tories or Fib Dims, despite being led by an incompetent champagne socialist career politician who has never done a proper job in his life and who lives in comfort with a couple of million in the bank.  And now the man who gave Labour a free ride on BBC’s news output to help them win the election in 1997 is placed into an even more powerful role as head of the BBC, enabling him to ensure the BBC helps Labour to victory again in 2015.

Describing the Tories as lemmings doesn’t seem to go far enough.

Without the slightest trace of irony

Is this one of the finest examples of a stunning lack of self awareness?  Here we have a man, writing for pay in the mainstream media, criticising the mainstream media for failing to uncover and report information that was apparently very simple to find.  The irony of course is this man is an ‘expert’, a self professed ‘historian of the United States’.

Now forgive me, but I thought the mark of a historian was the ability to uncover and interpret information.  So what is Dr Tim Stanley’s excuse for not finding this material himself?  Some historian.  Where in the name of all things holy do these people come from?

Panic!

It’s as if there was never a world before the Euro.  It’s as if countries inside the Eurozone never had currency of their own, never had the ability to value and manage their currency as they saw fit, and had political structures where decision making was domestic rather than outsourced to Brussels.

But anyone reading Failygraph and the dire warnings of Robert Chote, head of the Office of Budget Responsibility, could be forgiven for thinking anything prior to the creation of the single currency is pre-history.  The Fail’s interpretation of Chote is designed to further the sense of panic and requirement to fill column inches:

Britain’s economy may suffer “permanent” damage and “never quite get back up” if the euro collapses in a chaotic way, the Government’s chief economic forecaster has said.

Reality is being replaced by theatrics.  It never ceases to amaze me how this country manages to survive with so many defeatist idiots in positions of responsibility.  A break up of the Euro would result in pain, probably for some years.  There are banks that would fail and debts that would not be repaid.  But the planet will continue to spin on its axis and orbit the sun.  Countries would revert to currencies they can control, which would be more beneficial for them than the restrictive and skewed one-size-fits-none political tool that is the Euro.

Economic activity will continue as before.  People will still need to buy food, goods and services and companies will continue to trade to provide those – paying taxes and employing people.  Some economies may look and feel different, but to suggest ‘permanent’ damage could result is nothing short of ridiculous. There will still be the same markets in Europe that we will sell to today.  Remember, if it were not for the same political motives behind the creation of the Euro we would be working in our own national interest to access markets elsewhere around the world and trade freely on our own terms without being constrained by the interests and wishes of other EU member states.  If the Euro goes, so to might the bureaucracy that hamstrings us.

No doubt when the Great Depression took hold there were fearmongers like Chote saying economies would suffer ‘permanent’ damage.  Yet we have seen huge growth and economic transformation since then.  People adapt, people are entrepreneurial and opportunities are created and seized.  The fearmongers are those who have an agenda and see it crumbling before their eyes.  They are the ones who can only see their own vested interests in the intermediate, rather than the big picture in the long term.

All too predictable

Gordon Brown was renowned for his rehashing and re-release of announcements to make existing commitments or actions already underway appear as new initiatives.  It seems David Cameron is taking a leaf out of Brown’s book.

In an all-too-predictable piece in the Barclay Brother Beano today by Patrick Hennessy, readers are told that Cameron:

… will produce a series of measures that he hopes will give “red meat” to Conservative backbenchers, who are calling for action to appeal to their core voters after poor local election results.

One of the few mentioned is this:

* clamp down on crime with a new “British FBI”, tougher anti-social behaviour measures and community sentences;

A new British FBI?  Apparently Cameron:

… hopes that other items in the Queen’s speech – including the creation of the new National Crime Agency, which is seen as a British FBI; more “intensive” community punishments and moves to seize credit cards, passports and driving licences from criminals – will satisfy critics.

The inclusion in the Queen’s Speech of the creation of the National Crime Agency is a mere formality and is not the signal of a change in direction to appease pissed off Tories.  Its creation is old news.  It was offically announced in June 2011 by Theresa May, who hailed its creation as:

… a landmark moment in British law enforcement.

We were told nearly fully one year ago that the NCA will come fully into being in 2013, with some key elements becoming operational sooner. Its new head was announced in October 2011.  The timetable for it to be formally brought into being was included in the Home Office publication from which May’s comment was taken:

And as per the timetable, the work of putting the pieces into place has already happened.

So given all this, how is it that the Tories are being allowed to spin the widely trailed creation of the National Crime Agency as one of a series of measures that Cameron hopes will give “red meat” to Conservative backbenchers, who are calling for action to appeal to their core voters after poor local election results?  Why is the lamentable Telegraph conning its readers by pushing this matter as a reaction to poor local election results?  If this is what the battle plan to avert a Tory civil war looks like, they are probably be using Wellington’s plan at Waterloo as a template for the defence of the Falkland Islands.

If the NCA is something that is supposed to appeal to core Conservative voters – circa 9.3% of the electorate on Thursday – one wonders how many of them will be pleased when they discover down the line that this is a big enabling step on the patient journey to a cross-border EU policing agency, which carefully maintains the promise not to integrate existing police forces while achieving what Brussels wants.

Update: A subsequent tour of my blogroll shows that the always excellent The Boiling Frog was on to this last night when the Failygraph article was published.  It is well worth reading.  TBF shows that several other Queen’s Speech inclusions mentioned in the Fail are also rehashes.  This is not so much ‘red meat’ for Tories as undercooked Groundhog for the rest of us.


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