Posts Tagged 'Politicians'

Power running amok as voters can only look on

The latest nauseating case of that curious species, the Westminster troughing hog, has seen Maria Miller ordered to repay we taxpayers £5,800 she wrongly claimed.

The story had me primed to write a post demanding that taxpayers must get back the other £38,000 that the Standards Commissioner said Miller should repay.  But then yesterday the Chair of the Standards Committee of MPs, which voted to ensure Miller got to keep the rest of the money, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards who originally said Miller should repay £44,000, issued a joint statement which had the effect of circling the wagons.

But while that was circulating and pouring copious amounts of mud into already murky waters, the former editor of the Telegraph, Tony Gallagher, was telling the BBC that one of Miller’s special advisers had leaned on the journalist writing the story of her claiming money she was not entitled to, effectively threatening that Miller had the ability to exact legislative retribution for the Telegraph running the story.

At the time I thought, if there is anything in this claim – and the wording did seem very specific – the journalist would surely have the comments on tape.  Having given Miller’s aide sufficient time and space to deny the story, the Telegraph has now released a recording showing that Miller’s SpAd did exactly what she was accused of.

In the same way I refuse to believe someone in the UKIP press office made up and issued a policy reversal on gay marriage without it being sanctioned, I refuse to believe Maria Miller’s SpAd acted without Miller’s knowledge or authority.  While Miller might have just about unjustly survived paying back a tiny amount of overclaimed money from our hard earned cash, and for giving an ungracious 32-second apology that was the equivalent of flicking two fingers to MPs (the public of course get no apology, despite being the party offended against), the actions of her adviser should have her clearing her desk by Monday.

No Cabinet Minister has ever made such an apology in the Commons and clung to their job.  She should have resigned this week.  But now we can add what amounts to blackmail in an effort to silence a media that is already shockingly poor, she should be sacked. No ifs, buts or maybes.  This abuse of office cannot be allowed to stand.

But of course, this is the state of our ‘democracy’ today.  The decisions will be made by MPs and men in grey suits.  The voters who have been offended against and who should have the ability to have Miller removed from office for what has happened, can only look on.  In this case it’s just as well the media decided to take an interest, otherwise Miller’s wrongdoing and the corruption in her office would not have come to light.

Just imagine how many more falsehoods, truths and corruptions could be exposed if the media chose to take notice and report them…

Floods: Not one party has been this honest, not even UKIP

It’s heartening to see that even though the politicians and the media are tip-toeing around this issue and dodging mention of the EU as if their lives depended on it, the reality is being shared around outside the establishment.  This below sent in by a valued reader from today’s East Anglian Daily Times.

There’s no need for public inquiries which can be corrupted at inception, we just honesty and recognition of the facts.  Until the media comes clean with the facts that are circulating all around them and the politicians recognise and acknowledge the issue at hand, we are condemned to see repeats of flooding on this scale as the EU laws we are bound by continue to obstruct the work required to manage our land and waterways in a way that preserves life and property in many communities around this country.

The Carswell conversion gathers pace

At this rate Douglas Carswell, Europlastic extraordinare, will soon be fighting for the UK to remain in the EU, such is the pace of his efforts to toady up to Cameron and the Tory leadership.

A piece in the Telegraph reports on a study by Capital Economics (commissioned by Geert Wilders) into the likely impacts of the Netherlands leaving the EU.  It concluded that the Netherlands would be better off out of the EU, explaining:

Over that 21 year period, the benefits of Nexit to Dutch national income would have accumulated to between €1,100 (£913bn) billion and €1,500 billion (£1.3 trillion) in today’s prices.

This is equivalent to between €7,100 (5,893) and €9,800 (£8,134) per household each year. But even if the Netherlands is unable to negotiate a status akin to Switzerland’s, the economy would be better off out of the union than in.

Naturally the Telegraph scampered off to the prestigious Carswell for comment, and he didn’t disappoint Conservative HQ with his contribution (emphasis mine):

This report is significant because it has been produced by a credible City research group. It cannot be easily dismissed.

It shows we are no longer alone. It is not just us Brits who have come to realise that European integration is fundamentally flawed. We’re very like the Dutch, a small country that has prospered by trading globally. Think what countries like ours could be in a different type of Europe.

‘In’ a different type of Europe?  That’s not the same as leaving the EU, it sounds more like Cameron’s Deludophile ‘reform’ agenda at work.

It seems that when it comes to the EU, the Carswell residence is playing host to a huge exhibition of the hokey cokey.  One minute he wants out, then he wants in.  It’s amazing how the prospect of being outside Cameron’s wigwam of trust can focus the mind on career and electoral prospects.

But then, Carswell is a politician and the political class across Europe wants a piece of the EU action to service their own interests, regardless of what the voters think.

While 55% of Dutch voters surveyed say they would vote to leave the EU if the stated benefits could be achieved, the Dutch finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, immediately dismissed the idea as ‘very unwise’.  It seems he will soon be able to count Douglas Carswell as a kindred, pro-EU spirit.

Even more ignorant than we originally thought

Richard has picked up on my previous post about Margaret Hodge’s examination of HMRC leadership at the Public Accounts Committee and, reliable and well informed as ever, has shed more light on matters.  The information he provides serves to show up Hodge’s ignorance as even deeper than we originally believed.

Richard explains how the Inland Revenue has already run a test case of the type Hodge was demanding in such ill tempered, playing to the gallery fashion.  This was the Thin Cap Group Litigation, with a ruling on 13 March 2007 from the European Court of Justice.

In that case, based on the tax arrangements being used, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that EU law “precluded legislation of a Member State” which restricted “the ability of a resident company to deduct, for tax purposes, interest on loan finance granted by a direct or indirect parent company which is resident in another Member State or by a company which is resident in another Member State and is controlled by such a parent company”.  You can read Richard’s post in full and in glorious technicolour over on EU Referendum.  It’s an education in itself.

In summary, Richard explains that to charge tax therefore – in the way Hodge is cajoling HMRC to do – would be contrary to EU law, but with a limited proviso – that this does not apply if it can be proved that the loan is a “purely artificial arrangement, entered into for tax reasons alone”.  Proving that particular point is nigh on impossible as companies can provide a multitude of reasons for establishing their European HQ in a particular location.

Hodge is chasing her own tail, to no purpose, at the expense of a public that is being misinformed and deceived by her ill informed and pathetic political grandstanding.  If Hodge wants the law pertaining to this area of taxation to change, she needs to push for the UK to withdraw from the EU.  That won’t happen this side of never.  So her continual hectoring is a waste of everybody’s time.

Now, a question.  Why is it the media – with its powerful reputation for accuracy – is incapable of researching this story and explaining this?  Why is it that to understand the facts we have to resort to reading what a hard working blogger has published on his particular piece of electronic pub gossip?  Answers on a postcard to Brian Leveson, courtesy of:

1, Passed Over for Lord Chief Justice
Guardianista Chambers
Establishment Mews
LONDON
WC1 GMG

Want to understand why those energy prices really keep rising?

It’s been documented and explained for years by Richard North and Christopher Booker.  But those who have not seen their many warnings about what was in store for us as a result of policies, that so many people cheered for being ‘green’, might benefit from this very quick summary that Booker puts in his column today.

Two weeks ago, in a column headed “It’s showdown time for our insane green energy policies”, I observed that this is the moment when the roof is finally starting to fall in on a collective flight from reality that I have been reporting here for years.

But what few people yet realise is how far this catastrophic mess we are in was not only predictable, but has also been quite deliberately brought about, through the Government’s own policies.

Their central aim, though never openly explained, has been twofold. One leg has been to build, by 2020, some 30,000 wind turbines, so ludicrously expensive that we must pay double or treble the market rate for the power they so inefficiently produce.

The other leg is that, to make this seem competitive, we should also eventually be made to pay twice the going rate for all other forms of electricity: hence the “carbon tax” on coal and gas, and the colossal price we are to pay for power from Hinkley Point and other new nuclear power stations (four times the cost of nuclear, estimated by a Royal Academy of Engineering study only nine years ago).

That is why our energy companies pathetically try to explain that a third of the increased costs driving their latest price rises are made inevitable by the various levies we must pay directly for those “green” policies, such as the hidden subsidies being showered on the owners of our ever-growing number of wind farms and acres of solar panels.

Another third represents what we must pay for the thousands of miles of cabling needed to connect those “renewables” to the grid (which Ofgem estimated might, by 2020, cost us another £40 billion).

Then there are the other measures needed to counteract the unbalancing of the grid by the intermittency of “renewables”, such as hiring those thousands of diesel generators to provide back-up, which makes a further mockery of the “de-carbonisation” policy mandated by the Climate Change Act that Mr Cameron was so keen on.

The truth is that we are being brought face to face with the utter absurdity of everything this Government’s bizarre ragbag of policies has been trying to achieve.

For Mr Cameron to blame all this on Mr Miliband only shows that the fuses in his brain have at last begun to blow. By mindlessly going along with all this nonsense, it is our entire political class that has created this shambles. It is the rest of us, alas, who must now live with the consequences.

Given all this, does anyone believe a word these pompous hypocrites have to say, and does anyone believe the laughably and ridiculously low amount DECC claims we pay to support this insanity?  Little over £100 per year on energy bills doesn’t come close to covering the cost to energy consumers and taxpayers of all these politically mandated measures.

You might be asking yourself why the political class has done all this.  The answer to that is simple.  ‘Sustainability’.  But it’s essential to understand that the notion of sustainability has been corrupted.  Instead it encompassing the development of low impact sustainable ways of providing sufficient energy, water, shelter and other basic human needs to meet the demands of a growing population – which technology can achieve – it has been twisted into meaning that people must use less of everything.  How can they be sure people will use less?  By restricting supply (e.g. unreliable turbines instead of reliable coal and gas, no new reservoirs combined with water metering) and driving up prices to a level that many people cannot afford.  Simple, and vicious.   But then, these are the very people who continually argue that the world population needs to be reduced because they consider humans to be a virus that is destroying the planet.  But the politicians believed (and some still believe) that aligning with these people mark them as responsible and virtuous, therefore more electorally appealing.

In light of the anger these supply and price measures are provoking and the slowly growing awareness of just what lays behind these measures, I think back to those ‘enlightened’ environmentally aware people who queued up to ridicule North and Booker for their projections of the effects the policies would have.  One wonders where these previously vocal people are now, as the chickens are starting to come home to roost.

The pips are already squeaking and we are not even close to the full impact of this political insanity.  This issue is one that will keep coming back to the fore as the prices continue to be ramped up.  The politicians have created a mess they have no solution to.  Time to get the popcorn, while making sure you do what you must to stay warm this winter…

Nigel Farage – UKIP’s electoral asset or liability?

For those UKIP supporters who hold Nigel Farage in high esteem and hurl brickbats in the general direction of this blog (which supports most of the UKIP policy platform, such as it is) when deference is not forthcoming for the blessed Nigel, a poll by YouGov for The Times will not make happy reading.

The format follows the favourable/unfavourable methodology used in the US in identifying whether voters have a positive or negative view of political leaders.  The question asked was, ‘Generally speaking, do you have a positive or negative opinion of the following people?’  The responses (as displayed on Politicalbetting.com) were:

Positive

Negative

In addition to the personal ratings shown above, 36% or respondents said they would never consider voting for UKIP, which is more than the 33% who would never consider voting Conservative, 32% against the Lib Dems and 23% against Labour.  This means for UKIP that Farage is more unpopular than his party.

The message looks pretty clear.  If UKIP are basing a strategy to build more support on the back of a Farage personality blitz, they are going in the wrong direction.  Farage is not the electoral asset his fans think he is.

Margaret Thatcher RIP

Everyone knew the day would come eventually.  But when the death of Margaret Thatcher was announced it didn’t lessen the impact of the moment.

I wasn’t always a fan.  When I was young, being conditioned by the prevailing attitudes in the solidly socialist Labour area where I was being brought up, to denigrate Maggie Thatcher was not only the norm, it was expected.  ‘Thatcher the milk snatcher’ was a familiar refrain in my school when she took office in 1979.

My mother was a Labour borough and county councillor and my father was an engineer at British Airways and senior trade union official in the TGWU as it then was.  There was little love for Maggie, but my parents were old school and despite their absolute rejection and dislike of Thatcher and the Conservatives they didn’t resort to name calling, abuse or vitriol.

The turning point for me was when as a teenager my class won a competition at school and the reward was a trip to the Houses of Parliament.  Coming from a political family I relished the trip, which was taking part on a Tuesday – Prime Minister’s Questions day.  The trip around the Palace of Westminster was led by the Conservative MP for the constituency in which my school was.

For me the visit was magical.  The history of the place and the events that had occured there, the sense of power that filled the corridors and meeting rooms, seeing famous faces of senior politicians walking past, entering the House of Commons from behind the Speaker’s Chair (and sneaking a quick sit down on the government’s front bench right in front of the dispatch box, just so I could say I had sat on a seat of power), and seeing just how small the chamber was compared to the impression pictures have constantly given.

But the highlight of my day was when the MP secured several tickets for the public gallery and I was given one.  When Parliament convened and Prayers were being said I raced up the stairwell as fast as I could.  I still remember the frustration as security checks delayed me getting into the gallery.  But eventually I was in and took a seat just as Neil Kinnock rose from his to ask his first supplementary question of the session.  He was on the attack about defence and Thatcher, in characteristic fashion tore him to pieces.  For a young teenager this was exciting, heady stuff in a rarefied atmosphere in a forum that mattered.

Rather than find myself in agreement with Kinnock’s argument, I found myself agreeing with Thatcher’s position.  I could not fault her logic, reasoning or the force of her argument.  That was the day when I learned to evaluate an argument on its merits, not assume a tribalist position just because that’s what my side’s position happened to be.  Mum and Dad were delighted that I started to debate them and challenge their thinking, and respond to their challenges with reasoned thinking of my own.  I’ll never forget that day; Mum said to me that she would respect any viewpoint I held, including and especially those that opposed hers, so long as it was an informed one that had been developed by carefully examining the arguments on both sides.

As years passed my dislike of Margaret Thatcher was replaced with respect and admiration for her.  Some people, those who detest Thatcher, wonder why. So I’ll explain.

My East End family lived on an urban council estate, tenants in a council house.  While honest, loving and hard working, the pay wasn’t great and Mum and Dad sometimes struggled to make ends meet.  As good parents do, Mum and Dad went without to ensure me and my siblings had what we needed.  My earliest memories were of power cuts and the excitement of having candles lighting the house.  Two things in my youth transformed our fortunes.  Council house right to buy and privatisation.

Thanks to her principles and convictions – two things the preening, identikit lightweights that have infested Parliament since do not possess – Margaret Thatcher saw to it my family was able to climb out of reliance on the state and become stakeholders instead of clients.  Mum left the Labour Party, having been sickened by policies that trapped people in dependency.  Dad too left the party, and the union, but went further and switched his vote too.  At last, hard work started to be rewarded in a way it hadn’t been before.  Aspiration was no longer something to be sneered at or viewed with suspicion, it was something shared by many.

I saw and experienced how my family was presented with the opportunity to take personal responsibility and enjoy the freedom to better ourselves.  My parents found they could do so much better with the state off our backs and more of their money in their pockets to spend as they saw fit.  Labour resented it and opposed it at every turn, desperate to re-apply the stranglehold that had kept us down for so long.

Margaret Thatcher’s policies contributed directly to my family’s emancipation from the waste, spitefulness and harm inflicted by socialism.  What she put in place has directly influenced my life and career.  For that I will always be grateful.

It’s no surprise seeing the hatred and bile now being hurled by those whose viewpoint is the opposite of mine.  Maggie did more than any other British leader to liberate this country from the socialist mentality that smashed our economy, saw the population held to ransom by unions, and was characterised by the demand for subsidies by (at that time) inefficient industries still wedded to socialist ideals despite overseas industries embracing efficiency and tackling costs to be more competitive.

Socialism is a vicious ideology, so naturally it follows the behaviour of its supporters can be relied upon to be equally hateful.  The sickening glee with which the death of an aged woman who transformed this country for the better wouldn’t be any surprise to the Iron Lady.  It would simply reinforce and evidence everything she said about socialism.  No doubt she would dismiss their behaviour with the contempt it deserves and simply point out they don’t know any better.

We have lost our last principled conviction politician, a Parliamentarian who had a guiding philosophy and who was motivated by a desire to improve this country rather than service a narrow self interested agenda.  We will never see her like again, much to the detriment of this country.

Thank you, Margaret.  Rest in peace.

UKIP if you want to, the lady is for turning

It speaks volumes of the UK Independence Party’s internal political warfare – when its people should be focussing all their attention on fighting for this country to leave the EU – that another one of its highest profile MEPs and senior party members, Marta Andreasen, has defected to the EUphile Conservatives.  It’s another own goal for Nigel Farage, coming just before the Eastleigh by-election.

Quite how Marta Andreasen thinks she will further the cause of this nation’s independence from the EU from within a political party whose senior members are overwhelmingly wedded to continued EU membership, is a mystery.  But then, one wonders if this was ever really her goal and in any case this is a result of what happens when UKIP’s leader puts more stock in pulling attention seeking  stunts like recruiting and installing a high profile former EU Commission whistleblower to the party’s candidates list , over and above long standing members who genuinely believe in getting the UK out of the EU, rather than leaving the grassroots to shape the party and its direction.  To lose one MEP and senior party member is careless, but to lose two…

The Daily Wail, in its story on this, explains:

Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for those wanting to bring about real change in Europe.

If they were being strictly accurate that would read: ‘Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009 and faced imminent deselection from UKIP’s candidate’s list, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for her to maintain her financially lucrative position as a MEP in the European Parliament and tap into yet more hundreds of thousands of taxpayer pounds and euros.’

The Andreason affair is a problem for which Farage is solely responsible. Yet again his judgement and lack of strategic nous has been exposed in humiliating fashion. It was Farage who parachuted Andreason onto a candidates list that gave her the best possible chance of joining the EU gravy train – by breaking UKIP’s own rules on candidate selection – in the hope her profile developed from her battle with Neil Kinnock’s commission would rub off on UKIP (lots of parallels with the autocratic Cameron you will notice).

Although Andreason managed to secure a Brussels seat and spend her time supping from the never diminishing trough, it is Farage’s autocratic control of UKIP and his allegedly misogynist tendencies that she has found to be not to her taste.  She has spoken out about them in a way that has caused maximum embarrassment for UKIP.

Now combine that issue with her worries that the Brussels trough she so savours may soon be denied to her, as she suspected that Farage was planning to repeat his mistakes of taking high profile individuals and combining them with his fetish for the cult of (often minor) celebrity to ‘install’ Neil Hamilton, and possibly his wife Christine, to a winnable candidate’s list so they end up sucking the public teat in the European Parliament.  The resulting blow back made it clear Farage’s masterstroke was soon going to become yet another UKIP-harming piece of shortsighted stupidity.

That brings us to today and the sight of yet another unprincipled UKIP rent seeker jumping ship and boarding another vessel, ironically heading in the opposite direction to EU withdrawal, in the hope of securing the patronage of the control freak Cameron and his penchant for top down dictatorial rule.

As usual the losers in all this are the poor bloody grassroots eurosceptics, who again see internal party intrigues, rent seeking, arrogance and the fallout of autocratic foolishness escalate into cause-harming events such as these.  It is the worst possible advert for the campaign to enable the UK to escape from the EU.  Well done Farage. Well done.  Richard’s thinking on the matter appears to be rather similar to mine, as he explains:

Standing back from that, one can only regret that the eurosceptic cause is served so badly by all these shenanigans. We have enough difficulties and hurdles without our own side adding to them.

Exactly right.

Huhne trivia trumps the major issue

So after lying through his teeth for years, Chris ‘Lhuhnatic’ Huhne has admitted his guilt in open court.  Very few people will be surprised that this vile man believed the rules should not apply to him.  Laws and rules are for the little people.

The media is now swarming around Huhne for the crime of perverting the course of justice. Without any sense of perspective it is greedily lapping up details of text messages between Huhne and his son to provide ‘colour’ to the story.

What a shame the media isn’t swarming around Huhne for his role in subverting the course of this country’s energy generation infrastructure and costs.  That is a crime for which he won’t answer, yet is having and will continue to have serious consequences for millions of people who are struggling to afford their energy bills and for this country’s ability to reliably and efficiently produce the energy that is needed.

Of course, our media isn’t interested in that. As always trivia trumps the major issue and the interests of the public make way for the media’s  masturbatory coverage of matters that are in the overall scheme of things are of little consequence.

A pearl of wisdom in the Telegraph

Naturally it’s one of the comments left by a reader rather than an article per se…  The quote below that the commenter (subwus) shared comes from a book, Saturn’s Children – How the State Devours Liberty, Prosperity and Virtue.  The authors were Tory MP Alan Duncan and Dominic Hobson:

“It was in order to avoid the attentions of intrusive, inquisitorial and self-interested bureaucracies such as the modern Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise that voters long insisted that the State fund its activities largely through indirect rather than direct taxes.

Previous generations regarded direct taxation as utterly inconsonant with liberty.From the time of John Locke to the advent of the collectivist age, when Natural Rights were supplanted with the administrative right of the government to levy whatever taxes it judges fit or necessary, most people in Britain regarded their right not to be taxed as rooted in the Natural Law.

History had taught them that it is taxation which enables the State to crush the liberty of the individual – that infinite money is the sinews of all forms of State power, and not just of war – and that well-financed governments are even more capable of pursuing policies which are dangerous, misguided or foolish (the previous Labour administration is a good example I would say) than poorly financed ones.

Throughout history people resisted those taxes – Poll Tax, Hearth Tax, even a universal excise or an accurate wealth tax – which necessitated an unconscionable invasion of personal privacy and freedom. They knew from bitter experience that the essence of any tax is the taking of money, property or a service by the State without paying for it, and that transactions of that kind can only be sustained by a mixture of fear and punitive sanctions.

All taxation was of necessity tyrannical, and a great tax was a great tyranny, but a direct tax was potentially the most tyrannical of all. It was the point of naked confrontation between the individual and the State, where the State had the power to ask how much money each individual had, how he earned it, and how he chose to spend it.”

‘How times have changed,’ subwus goes on to say.  He continues, ‘Now the Tories are trying to justify more expansion of the tax bureaucracy to intrude into the lives of ordinary people. Then again, I gave up on the Tories meaningfully rolling back the State years ago.’

Indeed. The reason why so many people have given up on the Tories is they have sold out their principles.  They no longer believe in anything apart from power for its own sake.  They have realised that embracing the ruinous system rather than reforming it pays for them and the powerbrokers they bow to behind the scenes, regardless of the damage it does to the legion of smaller wealth creators who just need the state to get off their back.

What the extract above does is prove a rule of thumb holds, that we should judge them by their actions, not their fine, soothing words.

Another triumph for the political elite

Monday – George Papandreou, calling a referendum on the terms of the Eurozone bailout of Greece:

“We trust citizens, we believe in their judgement, we believe in their decision.

“In a few weeks the (EU) agreement will be a new loan contract… We must spell out if we are accepting it or if we are rejecting it.”

Thursday – George Papandreou calling off the referendum on the terms of the Eurozone bailout of Greece:

“The referendum was never an end in itself.

“We had a dilemma – either true assent or a referendum. I said yesterday, if the assent were there, we would not need a referendum.”

Papandreou told Sky News the referendum on the Eurozone bailout plan will no longer go ahead – and it was never his intention for it to happen.

After all his rhetoric about democracy and the need for a mandate from the people, Papandreou has demonstrated that no matter what the country, the political elite will lie, treat the people with contempt and put their personal aspirations before all else.

For a few short days the people of Greece thought democracy still lived, their views would be sought and their wishes respected. But the politicians have shown the deceitful reality once again.

Regardless of their stripe, politicians do not change their spots.

The next European war

During my recent days of inactivity we have been treated to/forced to endure* (delete as appropriate) the grand theatrics of the EU elite, supposedly shoring up the Euro by creating a €1 trillion ‘bail out fund’.

Only, this being the deluded EU daydreamers at work, the figure broadcast to the world was unfunded.  It was plucked out of thin air before those who were going to contribute to it had even been asked – or in the case of European taxpayers, told – to hand over money.

But then came the warning that has been held in reserve for years by the integrationist elite. It fell to Germany’s Angela Merkel to deliver it:

Another half century of peace and prosperity in Europe is not to be taken for granted. If the euro fails, Europe fails. We have a historical obligation: to protect by all means Europe’s unification process begun by our forefathers after centuries of hatred and blood spill. None of us can foresee what the consequences would be if we were to fail.

The message was clear, if we don’t back the financial lunacy and the ever closer political and fiscal union being foisted upon us by the bureaucrats, the uber wealthy and their political drones, then the consequence could be another war in Europe.

However, Merkel and her ilk have got it wrong.  A failure of the Euro and the EU does not mean Europe will be plunged into war.  The political class across Europe is broadly united, so who would be declaring war on whom and for what reason?  Besides, the military capability of the European states has been so degraded by politicians jumping on the ‘peace dividend’ bandwagon their war fighting potential has been dramatically reduced.  Not to mention the fluffy bunny political correctness that spread like a sore across the continent and which sought to remove aggression from the fighting men, and turn them into armed humanitarian relief workers and ineffective peacekeepers who baulk at the first sign of conflict.

No, the prospect of war is made more likely by the political elite and their backers continuing along this doomed integrationist path.

It won’t be the military units of the European countries being pitted against one another, the scenario which with Merkel is trying to scare people into passive, obedient consent.  It will be ordinary people turning on the political class for stealing their democracy and pursuing self serving interests that are bringing about the ruination of economies and have already undermined social structures and cohesion.

The next European war will not be a planned and deliberate military action.  It will be the result of civil strife borne of the rejection of anti democratic hegemony as the people take back what has been stolen from them.

But as usual no one inside the bubble, politico or journalist, can see it.  When it happens they will be the only ones not to have seen it coming.

MPs vote on Commons motion about EU referendum

483 voted against representative democracy.  111 voted for it.

Business as usual in the elected dictatorship.  Our public servants masters have spoken.  Nothing to see here.  Move along now.

The Europlastics have been too clever by half

Let us set aside for one moment whether the House of Commons debate scheduled for Monday will actually achieve anything other than confirming MPs are a craven bunch of lying hypocrites, whether or not this is the right time and for an In/Out referendum on the EU, or if the Westminster Parliament has enough competence to resume powers that have been given away.  There is some good news amongst the mess.

The amendment tabled by George EUstice to this Monday’s debate on a Motion relating to the holding of a national referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, and Bernard Jenkin’s subsequent letter to EUstice which was copied to all backbench Conservative MPs (reproduced below) confirms our argument that EUstice is a Europhile stooge.

With poll after poll showing a majority of people in this country want an In/Out referendum, George EUstice is now doing his level best to subvert the wishes of the people and fulfil the wishes of David Cameron.  EUstice claims to be a Eurosceptic, but the reality is EUstice is pro-EU.  He wants to keep Britain in the EU and arrogantly believes it can be reformed, despite this belief being utterly incompatible with the EU’s definitive aims and conditions of membership.  This letter from Jenkin holes EUstice below his Europhile waterline:

Dear George

Firstly, David Nuttall’s motion sums up the EU question which faces the nation: do we carry on with EU integration on present terms of membership; or get out altogether; or renegotiate revised terms of membership? Your amendment seeks to narrow the terms of the debate by removing reference to one option which is clearly available to this country, which is to leave the EU. I personally don’t agree with an in-out referendum, but I recognise that that it is a legitimate option to be debated. The argument that this was not in our manifesto is irrelevant.I think we all appreciate your and others’ efforts to build bridges here, but I feel I must make it clear to colleagues why I (and probably most colleagues) cannot support the amendment as drafted. I am copying this to backbench colleagues.

Second, you advance your amendment on the basis that it is consistent with the coalition agreement, but this is not relevant either. Both the coalition agreement and our manifesto have both been overtaken by events. Support for fiscal union in the Euro area was not in either – and would have never have been entertained if it had been proposed for either document. It is fiscal union which is leading to a fundamental change in the character of the EU, and which has given rise to the demand for this debate.

Third, as a supporter of renegotiation, why am I not tempted by your amendment? Because any remit for renegotiation must set out the objective of establishing a new relationship with our EU partners. For such a new relationship to be meaningful, there must be a fundamental change in that relationship. It must restore the basic democratic principle that the authority to pass laws should be democratically accountable to those who are affected by them. The powers delegated to the EU (or withdrawn) must in future be determined by Parliament, and not by the EU institutions acting autonomously. Without this, nothing much will change. The difficulty we now face is that the EU Treaties are now so all encompassing, and the institutions so assertive, that the exercise of merely nibbling back powers and competences here and there would not reverse the effect of the Lisbon Treaty on the UK, or Nice, or Amsterdam, or Maastricht, or the Single European Act, or address the fundamental problems which actually arise from the Treaty of Rome.

Finally, there is a great danger that Parliament will emerge from this looking very out of touch if the House is not to debate the original motion or at least something which reflects its spirit. The BBBC adopted this motion in response to the e-petitions which demand an in-out EU referendum. Had the authors of the amendment approached the BBBC with their motion, it would not have been entertained by the BBBC, since there are no e-petitions behind it. If this amendment were to be selected, the debate and the vote which followed would be on the amendment, and not on the main motion – hardly an example of e-petitions working as they were intended!

Yours ever

Bernard

Bernard Jenkin MP (Harwich and North Essex)
Chairman, PASC (Public Administration Select Committee)

More people will be asking what kind of Eurosceptic would put forward an amendment which attempts to delay a national referendum on EU membership until after the UK had ‘renegotiated its position’ in the EU?  After all, such a call only serves the interests of the EU and those who are pro-EU.  Questions are being asked and the true face of EUstice is being revealed to more of those who have been taken in by his scam.

EUstice, along with fellow unprincipled climber, Chris Heaton-Harris, thought they were merely doing their master’s bidding – and their careers a favour – by forming the Parliamentary group of Europlastics to act as a pressure valve to ease the demands in some Tory party quarters for a straight In/Out referendum concerning our membership of the EU.

But it seems EUstice and Heaton-Harris have been too clever by half.  Their vanity has compounded their stupidity and led them to court so much media attention for their supposedly Eurosceptic club they have painted themselves into a corner.  It appears to be backfiring spectacularly.  With some in the media completely taken in by the EUstice/Heaton-Harris con trick, and others trying to help them in their attempt to undermine genuine Eurosceptics, copious amounts of oxygen have been pumped onto the story with unintended consequences.

Something that was supposed to grow no larger than a small flame to contain those who want Cameron to fulfil his Eurosceptic promises is now burning out of control.  Outside the Westminster bubble ordinary people, campaign groups and some of the useful idiots in the media who were taken in by the EUstice/Heaton-Harris spin and deception have seized the moment and given it a momentum that was never intended.

A debate in the House of Commons the Tory high command never wanted is now going to be held.  MPs who were selected for their supposed Eurosceptic credentials are now being called out by the people who were taken in by them and expect them to deliver on their pre-election pledges.  Cameron and Hague are seething with anger and have, with breathtaking arrogance, moved a backbench debate forward so they can personally attend and rein in those who are might go too far in playing to their constituency audiences and the public in general. It would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

So, on to that good news I referred to.  There are some upsides to all this.

After the debate it is likely that more people will be more aware than ever that all but a single digit number of Tory MPs who profess to be Eurosceptic are anything of the sort.  David Cameron and William Hague’s claims to be Eurosceptic will be finally exposed as utter cant, further eroding their credibility with the less engaged members of the public.  The BBC’s desire to showcase apparent Tory splits in news headlines will awaken resentment of the EU among more people outside the Westminster bubble, making our membership more unpopular and unsustainable.  And the political class will be more marginalised than ever as more people grasp the fact none of the three main parties share our views or interests – and that the idea of representative democracy is an illusion.

Before people can set about fixing something they have to understand exactly what is broken.  At this time not enough people realise what is broken.  This Parliamentary debate and the furore surrounding it will help more people on that journey of understanding.  No matter what the outcome of the debate itself, the charade that brought it about will bring about some positive benefits.

EU Referendum debate signals dawn of a new epoch

We have had many epochs.  We’ve had the Eocene, the Oligocene, the Miocene and even the Holocene.  But the rank disingenuous nature of the political class as they dance around issue of a possible EU referendum shows we have entered a new epoch – the Plasticine.  Yes, the Europlastics are on the march.

As dozens of Tory MPs ludicrously rush forth to profess their Eurosceptic credentials – despite all but half a dozen of all MPs consistently voting in favour of EU integrationist Bills that are put before the House of Commons – the effort to play down the possibility of a ‘No’ vote, and instead talk up the idea of reforming the terms of the UK’s membership of the European Union, has been immense.  As Richard North writing on EU Referendum explains, the Europlastics are plumbing new depths.

The fundamental deception in this whole sham debate is the suggestion that our membership of the EU can be renegotiated.  The very notion is a red herring.  The renegotiation suggestion is nothing more than an idea which spawned from a false hope, that cannot ever progress beyond wishful thinking.  It is a lie.  The EU’s core aim is ever closer union.  It is impossible to be a member without a firm commitment to that aim.

Including the suggestion of a renegotiation of the terms of EU membership in the forthcoming debate as a referendum option is nothing more than an escape exit the political class has provided for itself.  The con is on.

Of the 650 MPs in the UK around 640 have either voted in favour of further EU integration or tacitly supported it by absenting themselves from votes at some time.  MPs overwhelming want to convince the electorate that this supposed half-way house of renegotiation is a genuine option.  By doing so it will enable these Europhiles to give the illusion of action to placate the majority of voters while powers continue to be shipped to Brussels as they are today.  The excuse for the absence of progress is already established: ‘we can’t rush these things, it all takes time’.

Make no mistake, this Government and British MPs in general do not wish to weaken the stranglehold they and their predecessors have granted the EU over the UK. That is why the chief Europlastics, David Cameron and William Hague, will stand before Parliament and go through the charade of imploring, cajoling and threatening MPs to back away from giving the people the opportunity to choose how and by whom this nation is governed.  It is all an act.  They know the MPs won’t do anything that changes the status quo.

They are not interested in the wishes of the voters.  The electorate are the enemy that must be deceived, held at bay, patronised and wherever possible, ignored.  The political class will do everything in its power to prevent the possibility of a ‘No’ vote.  For them the future of this nation is lies embedded within an anti-democratic, corrupt and unsustainable entity.

The EU is the enemy of those who wish to live in a functioning, representative democracy.  And like the EU, this bastardised Conservative led coagulation of a government is our enemy too.  Don’t be fooled by Monday’s overhyped and overblown sleight of hand.  We are now in the Plasticine era where nothing in politics is genuine, it is just stage managed imitation.

On Monday set aside the hot air and judge the MPs by their actions – or what will prove to be a lack of them.

Why ‘we are the 99 percent’ has got it wrong

In the comments to a previous post, Permantexpat asked for my opinion on the burgeoning ‘we are the 99 percent‘ movement in the US.  I say the US because the UK boasts an altogether more positive 99 percent organisation with a different agenda.

In the US, ‘We are the 99 percent’ has emerged from the leftist agitprop of the Occupy Wall Street foolishness.  There are many tragic stories of misfortune among those who are now identifying with the 99 percent movement, but there are also many people who are involved for no more reason than they embody the politics of envy, the politics of entitlement, the politics of something for nothing.

There is a peculiar mindset among many on the left.  It leads them to argue that if someone has wealth the state should take a slice of it and give it to others who are less wealthy. Never mind that many of those people with wealth have earned it through hard work, long hours, risk taking, personal and emotional commitment and a determination to succeed; they have it and the Wall Street occupiers believe that without putting in the same effort they are entitled to some of it.

I am part of the 99 percent whose costs are increasing, income is falling and for whom the economic mess is proving harmful.  But I do not endorse or support the insipid, big state, authoritarian rent seekers who are leading desperate people down a dead end path.

The decent people who are suffering in the current economic situation, and through desperation are climbing aboard the leftist bandwagon, are right to protest.  However they are protesting against the wrong people.  The focus of their anger should not be Wall Street, it should be the White House and Congress. The root cause of what angers them is not those in the financial sector, regardless of the way many of them operated.  No, the root cause is a combination of themselves and the government.

  • Themselves because they allowed the politicians to con them into believing the state has all the answers and could be relied upon to throw a never ending stream of money at various agencies they could milk
  • The government because successive administrations have gradually made millions more people dependent on the state for assistance and handouts, while pursuing policies that have driven up the costs of essentials

What has been lost on too many people is the adage that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.  The consequences of allowing this to happen are now coming back a vengeance.  Now the handout tap has been turned down a large number of people are finding they have been living beyond their means.  No one denies the difficulty this causes for many decent people, but demanding the handouts continue by taking money from those who are more fortunate is not the answer.

Occupying Wall Street will change nothing.  Sleeping outside St Paul’s Cathedral will change nothing.  The first thing to do is focus a campaign on the politicians – because it is they who have encouraged and embedded this situation – and demand a change in the scandalous government spending priorities and regressive policies which are driving up the cost of food and energy, hitting the poorest hardest.

What is required is an end to the corporatism that masquerades as democratic government. It won’t happen by protesting outside the offices of bankers and financiers.  It won’t happen via movements which are steered by those who want to replace the damaging corporatist system with a damaging socialist system.

But when the decent majority wake up, stop being manipulated by the Marxists and leftists and demand action on their terms and focus on the political class, it will create the conditions for government in the people’s interest – where policies do not impoverish and the power games of the politicians are pushed out to the margins.  We might at last get proper representative democracy.

Tory MP tries to turn Corby into Belfast

Wannabe high profile Tory MP for Corby, Louise Mensch, has sparked yet another row. This time in the town itself by raising concerns about the Corby Loyalist Flute Band leading the Remembrance Day parade.

Mensch has co-signed a letter with Corby’s Mayor Gail McDaid to the Royal British Legion asking for all sectarian elements of the day to be removed in future and for all sectarian symbols to be removed this year. Suffice to say the Legion and a surprised local community have not taken this needless bit of interference well.

The chairman of the Corby branch of the Royal British Legion, Mick Evans, told the local Evening Telegraph:

Corby people have always supported the Legion and they are behind us 150%. The MP has lit a powder keg for no reason.

Some of those leaving comments on the newspaper’s website are speculating that Mensch has made an issue of the band because of her family’s Catholicism. Regardless, an otherwise unremarkable and uncontroversial local tradition has been needlessly turned into a political issue, because of her desire to be seen to be doing something in a town she is alien to, while wanting to be seen cooperating with a local Labour Mayor.

Rather than the solution to a problem, the ruthlessly ambitious Louise Mensch is once again the cause of yet another one.

Revolution time

If you take a couple of minutes to read this op-ed in the Irish Independent by Eamon Keane, one can quickly identify a number of parallels with our own Westminster Parliament and self serving politicians.

Some of the sentiments that stand out include: ‘Power no longer rests with our impotent national parliament’… ‘Truth be told, it’s been finished for a long time, made redundant by the actions of our politicians’…  and ”Our Dail is also doomed because it is based on a political system where getting re-elected takes precedence over the national interest’.  Keane may be writing about Ireland, but it all has a very familiar ring to it.

But the greatest resonance can be found in the most thought provoking part of the piece:

We are in the worst crisis in our history and our parliament is impotent.

Is there any hope for democracy? Yes. While the Dail may be dead a new parliament is emerging. It is to be found in ordinary people, community and support groups who come together to discuss a way forward. A second wave is already there though social networks.

Bullseye.

Roger Helmer should oppose new ‘Eurosceptic movement’ or resign from The Freedom Assocation

In a comment left in reply to a recent blog post by Conservative MEP, Roger Helmer, AM pointed out the contradictory nature of Helmer’s position.

On the one hand, Helmer is convinced that Britain would be Better Off Out of the EU and says he wants an In / Out referendum.  On the other, Helmer is convinced the new ‘Eurosceptic movement’ set up by George Eustice, Chris Heaton-Harris and Andrea Leadsom does not support Britain remaining in the EU and that AM is wrong in claiming otherwise.

The problem for Helmer is trying to balance being true to his stated principles with maintaining a tribal loyalty to his Tory colleagues.  He can’t have it both ways.  The fact is, Helmer has got it badly wrong.

You don’t have to take my word for it, why not take the word of Anthony Browne, who attended the meeting in the Thatcher Room in Portcullis House and wrote about it on ConservativeHome – content partner of The Guardian:

Under the chairmanship of George Eustice, there was a calm determination to take advantage of what everyone agreed was a “golden opportunity” presented by the euro crisis to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU – with the aim of repatriating some powers. Contrary to media reports, the aim of the meeting was not to pressure the government into holding a referendum on pulling out of the EU – indeed, that was explicitly and repeatedly ruled out as a purpose of the new group. The government has very good reasons not to want to hold such a referendum – it would pull the coalition apart, it would stop the government doing any other policies, and the outcome would be very unpredictable.

Hmmm.  We continue to see the deliberate misrepresentation of the EU as only have a relationship with Britain, rather than governing it.  But crucially we have confirmation that this group of Europlastics is (unsurprisingly) holding the line against a referendum on being governed by the EU.  Two weeks ago Patrick O’Flynn of the Daily Express reported the comments of a Tory backbench MP who said of the group:

This is a cynical distraction to try to stall the momentum among grass-roots Conservatives for having a referendum on leaving the EU. They are offering a fake alternative to try to take the wind out of our sails.

When nothing substantial gets renegotiated they will then just blame Nick Clegg and promise to do better when there is a Tory majority. If that occurs then they will find another excuse for effectively doing nothing.

When you consider Browne’s account of what was discussed in the meeting that backbench source had got it bang on the money…  Open resistance to a referendum. Only partial repatriation of powers from Brussels. The use of the Lib Dems as cover for not trying to achieve what voters want.  And the usual rhetoric about making the EU work better.  If that is not evidence enough all we need to do is take a look at the voting records on key EU integrationist Bills of the two Europlastic co-founders of the group, George Eustice (who when he turns up to vote goes pro-EU) and Chris Heaton-Harris who never misses a chance to please the Whips and vote for as much EU as he can.

So what is the response of the supposedly withdrawalist Helmer?  Read it for yourself:

There is a campaign in Westminster right enough.  But it isn’t for a referendum and it isn’t to extract Britain from the EU. Once again we are led to ask, how Helmer can support two viewpoints that are mutually exclusive?  Is it a stunning failure of comprehension? Or is it a deliberate ploy to trick those opposed to EU membership into thinking that he is their flag bearer, when he is giving support and encouragement to those MPs who are actively undermining his stated position?

Roger Helmer is either a fool, or he is playing many well meaning people for fools.  As the Honorary Chairman of The Freedom Association, the pressure group which runs the Better Off Out campaign, it seems incredible that Helmer can endorse the Eustice / Heaton-Harris initiative.  Members of The Freedom Association should ask Roger Helmer to do one of two things:

  1. Publicly oppose the new faux ‘Eurosceptic movement’ which is actively heading off a referendum and wishes to keep Britain in the EU, or
  2. Resign from The Freedom Assocation for holding views contrary to those of the group

Let us see if Helmer has the moral fibre to do either.  As long as he continues to shill for those Europlastics who wish to deny us our say on how this country is governed and who want to keep us firmly in the EU, Helmer confirms himself as the ultimate Judas goat, leading the unwitting who have faith in him deeper into that which they think they are being led away from.

Want the UK to leave the EU? It’s time to tackle the faux Eurosceptics

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

Not many readers would have thought the musings of Noam Chomsky would have found a place on this blog, but this blueprint for limiting and tightly controlling people perfectly describes what is taking place inside the Conservative Party today.

The subject on which MPs are being pacified and herded into a controllable pen in the manner Chomsky describes is the European Union.

The Conservative Party is limiting the spectrum of acceptable opinion among its MPs by encouraging some of the new intake to form a group to promote ‘moderate Euroscepticism’.  Irrespective of the construction of the word ‘Eurosceptic’ it has commonly been accepted as a description of those who wish to see the UK withdraw from the European Union.  But as we have seen in history, from time to time words are hijacked by people with an agenda who change the meanings and understandings associated with them.  The term Eurosceptic is currently being hijacked in this way by people who wish the UK to remain firmly inside the EU while giving voters the impression they support the majority’s wish to leave.

The members of this group, led by George Eustice (a former press secretary to David Cameron who laughably describes Cameron as a ‘genuinely Eurosceptic Prime Minister’) believe the EU can be reformed and the UK  must remain within it, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and the entity being fundamentally anti democratic.  Therefore, although the members of this group describe themselves as ‘moderate Eurosceptics’, they are not Eurosceptics of any type.

They are better described as Europlastics, cheap and nasty imitations of the genuine product.

As one might expect the group has started to attract some attention with some journalists attempting to define it.  Patrick O’Flynn of the Daily Express recently wrote:

So, what to make of a new group of Conservative MPs who do not wish to leave the jungle altogether but simply to gravitate further out towards its edge? The group of 70 or so younger Tory MPs is proposing that Britain renegotiates the terms of its EU membership with a view to repatriating substantial powers from Brussels.

These MPs, such as Chris Heaton-Harris and George Eustice, have solid Eurosceptic credentials. Their new group has been heralded as a radical innovation.

O’Flynn has unwittingly assisted in the effort to redefine the word Eurosceptic with his assertion, underlining the subtle corruption of the real meaning in order to undermine the term and make it meaningless to all intents and purposes.  However, O’Flynn adds some valuable background insight into this group that may help open the eyes of those who have been blinkered by the idea these people are anything other than Europhile:

But one very senior source from the Better Off Out part of the political spectrum puts his scepticism in striking terms: “This is just a Tory Whips Office stunt. It is full of people who want to be Cabinet ministers. They haven’t said what powers they want repatriated, when or how it is to be achieved.

“This is a cynical distraction to try to stall the momentum among grass-roots Conservatives for having a referendum on leaving the EU. They are offering a fake alternative to try to take the wind out of our sails.

“When nothing substantial gets renegotiated they will then just blame Nick Clegg and promise to do better when there is a Tory majority. If that occurs then they will find another excuse for effectively doing nothing.

“They are attempting to kick Britain’s subjugation by the EU into the long grass alongside human rights reform, immigration control and an inheritance tax cut.”

The story has more than a ring of truth about it.  George Eustice’s wing man in this little project is none other than Chris Heaton-Harris, a man who has developed a cosy relationship with the very Tory whips behind this Licensed Dissenters club.

It was Heaton-Harris who, at the behest of the whips, torpedoed a motion concerning the European Financial Stability Mechanism to bail out eurozone countries.  The motion would have required the Government to place the EFSM on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and effectively mandated British ministers to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement relieving the UK of liability had been agreed.  In so doing, Heaton-Harris put the interests of the EU ahead of UK taxpayers.

Unsurprisingly, it was also Heaton-Harris who led a group of 14 Tory MPs who sent a letter to the Financial Times arguing that the financial crisis sweeping Europe was an opportunity for the UK to shape Europe’s post-crisis order.  Without any sense of irony, having scuppered the motion to ensure the UK would not be subject to any financial liability for European bailouts, Heaton-Harris argued that the solutions to the crisis proposed by eurozone countries amount to no more than “throwing good money after bad” and will further expose the British taxpayer to any future economic meltdown!

If you are one of the majority of people who want the UK to leave the EU, it is time to ‘call out’ people like Chris Heaton-Harris and George Eustice, and those who support their efforts to stall momentum for an In/Out referendum, such as Roger Helmer.  Genuine Eurosceptics are being led up the garden path by these tricksters who professes to be Eurosceptic but in reality are Judas goats in Cameron’s petting zoo.

Some Eurosceptics have been stunned to see Helmer and friends being challenged in the last week by Autonomous Mind and other blogs such as EU Referendum, Witterings From Witney and Ironies Too as he has stated he wants an In/Out referendum.  Our exposure of the doyen of the Conservative Eurosceptic movement – an oxymoron if there ever was one – looking both ways on the EU has caused rumblings and is forcing people to look beneath the words at the all important actions.  That is as it should be, after all, how can Helmer’s position be squared with his endorsement of Heaton-Harris and Eustice, who are working hard to keep Britain in the EU and whose efforts to create a ‘moderate Eurosceptic’ grouping are seen as undermining the prospects of a referendum being held?

Helmer cannot continue to have it both ways and he needs to pick a side.  His ‘having it both ways’ position cuts the legs from underneath those who want a referendum.  By staying firmly inside a Conservative Party that is determined to remain firmly inside the EU, and giving support to those who want to keep Britain in the EU Helmer gives false hope to Tory members and supporters who would leave the charlatans behind if they realised there was never any prospect of their wishes being realised.

It is time to stop people being taken in by the Eurosceptics-in-name-only and time to show them up for what they are.


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