Archive for March, 2010

Unfortunate names of our time

Do you imagine the journalist writing this story did so through gritted teeth?  After what must have been a lifetime of mickey taking, this kind of assignment was surely written in his stars…

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Another Cameron flip flop

24 hours is a long time in politics.  It is also an age when it comes to David Cameron’s position on a multitude of issues.  24 hours ago Cameron’s senior team at CCHQ advised ConservativeHome that the Trade Union Modernisation Fund would continue to exist, despite Cameron’s pledge to take on vested interests.

Today, after an outpouring of frustration from grassroots Tories, Cameron has said that the Modernisation Fund would be ‘suspended’ but the Unions’ Learning Fund will continue to soak up taxpayers’ money to be spent on trade unionists overseas and at home.  It must be wonderful being a Conservative these days when the party has such a decisive and sure footed leader.

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Cameron comes out for the Trade Unions

Plus ça change… when it comes to David Cameron the more things ‘change’, the more they stay the same.  In an email to supporters over the weekend, Cameron trumpeted his Obama-style mantra of ‘change’ and said the following:

‘Real change is always hard because there will always be people and organisations with vested interests in preserving the status quo – even if that’s not in the national interest. We need to take these vested interests on, and I gave a speech earlier today setting out how the Conservatives will do just that.’

He alluded to taking on the trade unions who have, once again, started to undermine this country by making unrealistic demands and holding employers to ransom.  As Cameron put it:

‘Just look at what’s going on with the British Airways strike. Thousands of jobs and the future of one of Britain’s greatest companies is at threat, yet we have a Prime Minister who won’t come out in support of those who would cross the picket line because the Unite union is bankrolling the Labour Party.’

But this is David Cameron, so nothing is as it seems.  For as we learn from the pages of ConservativeHome, Cameron is perfectly happy to continue spending taxpayers’ money bankrolling the very trade unions, who are threatening the viability of British Airways, via the Union Modernisation Fund – a scheme that can only be described as money laundering.  So where is the change?  Like his hero Obama, Cameron is spouting vacuous nonsense to get a soundbite. Beyond the style there is no substance.

Although Cameron speaks of taking on the ‘people and organisations with vested interests in preserving the status quo’ and complains that the unions are bankrolling the Labour party, he is refusing to do anything about it. He will maintain the status quo at our expense. It is utterly hypocritical of Cameron to pontificate about taking on vested interests when he is committed to pouring our tax pounds into the trade union movement to fund activities the unions should be funding themselves.  Cameron finished off his email thus:

Since becoming leader of the Conservative Party I’ve rolled up my sleeves and argued for what is right, not what is convenient. It’s time we had a Prime Minister that did the same.

Well, if Cameron is elected we will still be waiting for a Prime Minister who will actually do what is right. Cameron is a political coward who only has the guts to take on his own party because he knows they are so desperate to win the election they won’t rock the boat. But when he faces opposition, Cameron is nothing more than a blowhard who crumbles like the very sand he is sticking his head into.  Which explains why it is left to the Taxpayers’ Alliance to speak out when our money is squandered in ways like this. Cameron is incapable of substantive opposition because he is wedded to the notion of  cosy consensus, regardless of how poorly this serves democracy and the interests of the British people.

Update: Just a couple of years ago Cameron was singing a very different tune in a Q&A in the Telegraph, as you can see below. My, how things change. Another u-turn!

So much for all your posturing in your speech on Saturday ‘Dave’, you cheap, unprincipled PR hack.

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Blogging break

With so much going on at work and at home I’ve not had time to devote to blogging in recent days.  That’s the consequence of having a demanding day job. Anyway, blogging will resume in the next couple of days. Hope you visit again soon.

Home repossessions up by 15%

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has revealed that 54,055 people had their properties repossessed during 2009, an increase of more than 15% on the 46,945 properties repossessed in 2008.

This must be a red letter day for Labour’s Housing Minister, John Healey MP.  You remember him.  He was the Minister who in February, during an interview on BBC Five Live, said with breathtaking flippancy that in some cases repossession is the best thing for the people who are struggling with those mortgages.  But let’s stick to the numbers issue for now, which Healey also covered during the interview when he said:

‘The important thing is that people are informed about the help that’s available, able to deal with their lenders, confident that they know that the lenders must only use repossession as a last resort because of the rules we’ve got in place and so that’s part of what we’ve been doing in government… a campaign to make sure that people know there’s help available and can get it.’

Clearly that is absolute tripe.  A 15% increase in repossessions is an indictment of the failing big government approach Labour loves.  It is the consequence of the economic devastation brought about by high tax-high borrowing-high spend policies and a needless increase in the size of the public sector at the expense of the private sector.  Under Labour, which repeatedly spins that its policies are helping people (at great expense to the taxpayers), things are getting worse, not better.

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Taxpayers’ Alliance target public sector non jobs

UNISON, the public sector trade union, recently launched an online video which claimed that cutting public spending meant leaving people without 999 operators, bin men or nurses.  It is typical scaremongering propoaganda from Union dinosaurs who believe we should carry on spending money we don’t have and borrowing our way into economic meltdown.

In response the Taxpayers’ Alliance has produced an edited version of the video which reminds us of the variety of non-jobs created in the public sector at taxpayers’ expense, which could easily be abolished, saving huge sums of money without any impact at all on front line services.  (hat tip: Guido).

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UK ‘hidden joblessness’ one of the highest in Europe

Labour’s economic miracle is revealed for all to see thanks to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) analysis of official Eurostat data, which found the UK accounts for one in seven of Europe’s entire hidden jobless population.  This hidden jobless are defined as people of working age who are not active in the jobs market but are willing to work.

According to Eurostat only five EU countries – Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Austria and Poland – registered higher rates of this type of economic inactivity than the UK, which reported a rate of 5.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2009.  Britain’s performance was particularly poor in relation to male unemployment, where only eight member states exceeded the UK’s male jobless rate of 9.1 per cent.  Dr John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economic adviser, said:

“The UK may draw comfort from having lower measured unemployment than the EU average but in truth we are no better than a mid-table performer in the EU jobless league.

“Taking hidden joblessness into account makes the UK’s relative performance look less impressive still, and once again highlights the scale of the macroeconomic and employment policy challenge that awaits us in the next few years.”

This just goes to show Labour can massage the figures and spin statistics all they like, but the truth will out.  Now the real extent of our job market weakness compared to the major European nations is laid bare, added to our declining education standards and increasing reliance of people on welfare – where the cost is increasing by billions each year – we can see the mismanagement of the country by this pathetic and spiteful government is harming our competitiveness and storing up long term problems for us.

Labour’s answer is to keep spending other people’s money and to borrow like mad to ‘stimulate’ growth. That is the socialist way.  But footing the bill for welfare payments and losing out on the tax receipts that would be collected if these people were in work, is unsustainable and ruinous. It failed in the 1970s and Labour is failing again. The only thing that is unknown is the size of the debt Labour will leave for future generations to pay off once Brown and his politburo are finally ejected from office.

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Jihad Janes are new generation of Anne-Marie Murphys

News of the arrest of two American women dubbed ‘Jihad Janes’ show that Islamist terrorists are going back to the 80s in their attempts to carry out terror and murder.  In seeking to use proxies whose profile would not ordinarily raise suspicion among security services, terrorists are going back to a technique used in the UK by Nizar Hindawi.

Hindawi was a Jordanian Arab who started a relationship with an Irish woman named Anne-Marie Murphy.  In 1986, while six-months pregnant carrying Hindawi’s child, Murphy was duped into believing she and Hindawi would be getting married and honeymooning in Israel. Hindawi bought her a ticket for an El-Al Israeli airlines flight to Tel Aviv and said he would meet her there because he had to travel via Jordan.

On instruction by his Syrian handlers, Hindawi gave Murphy a bag to take with her containing a bomb, which she knew nothing about and that was only discovered in security checks minutes before check in closed.  395 people would have died if the attack had been successful.

These Jihad Janes, Colleen LaRose and Jamie Paulin-Ramirez (who it seems may have been released on bail in Ireland), are enhanced versions of Anne-Marie Murphy.  They were bored.  They were lonely.  They were in search of companionship, excitement, a sense of belonging and desperate for validation.  They were susceptible to the charms of men ultimately intent on terror, who it seems actively sought them out on the internet.  They were chosen specifically because they do not stand out as a potential security risk.

Women like LaRose and Paulin-Ramirez make it possible to put distance between the instigators of terror and the intended victims.  But unlike Murphy, they are not unwitting proxies used to transport bombs.  They are acting in the full knowledge of what they are doing.  They have been groomed to be sympathetic to the Islamist cause and radicalised with a fervour to commit acts of terror.

The big worry here is that if this is happening in the United States, you can be sure it is happening in the UK.  We have in this country, by the government’s own admission, a pool of radicalised Islamist young men who want to see acts of terror perpetrated on the streets of Britain.  We have already seen Islamic converts such as shoe bomber Richard Reid and 7/7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay turn to terrorism.

How long before we start seeing British women revealed as Jihad Janes, caught doing the bidding of vicious homocidal maniacs who have sought them out, developed relationships with them and radicalised them to assist in or commit atrocities?

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ASA rejects complaints about alarmist CO2 advert

If you live in the UK you will probably be familiar with the Act on CO2 ‘Bedtime Story’ advertising campaign that featured a father reading his daughter a story in which bunnies were tearful about global warming and mass floods caused puppies and kittens to drown.

Nearly 1000 complaints were received by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and its final adjudication on the matter has been written.  The adjudication can be viewed at The Guardian although it has been hidden on scribd by the person who uploaded it to the internet (hat tip: An Englishman’s Castle).

Only one of the ten different groups of complaints has been upheld, a trivial matter that does nothing to prevent this propaganda continuing to be broadcast.  The ASA has refused to uphold the other complaints because it has accepted as fact everything the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said in the response it submitted.

But the real issue here is that DECC – and by definition the government – has relied squarely on information from the discredited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to justify the alarmist, exaggerated and plain misleading claims made in the advert.  The most important part of the DECC response that is likely to have swung the ASA is this (click to enlarge):

So what we have is an IPCC organisation whose competence has been called into question and that peddles claims unsupported by evidence or peer review, being used as a crutch by the UK government to justify an advert littered with visual deceptions and verbal falsehoods.  The public is ill served by such a mendacious approach and the credibility of the ASA will now be damaged as a result too.  Everything this government touches results in the destruction of something.  This is just the latest example.

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We should not suffer fools such as Dr Maggie Atkinson

When calling for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to 12 years, comments made by Children’s Commissioner, Dr Maggie Atkinson, about the murder of James Bulger by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, defy belief.

In Dr Atkinson, fans of political comedy The Thick of It, may have found a real life subject worthy of Armando Iannucci’s witty and cutting description ‘disconnected to the point of autism’.  How else to explain Dr Atkinson’s assertion that:

“What they did was exceptionally unpleasant and the fact that a little boy ended up dead is not something the nation can easily forget, but they shouldn’t have been tried in an adult court because they were still children.” (emphasis is mine)

Exceptionally unpleasant?  I apologise for the graphic nature of what follows, but the context is essential.  It was a brutal and sadistic killing.  James Bulger did not ‘end up dead’.  It was not an accident.  Thomson and Venables sexually assaulted the toddler and then systematically tortured him to death with kicks, punches, beating with bricks and blows with an iron bar.   They then laid James across a railway track, covering his head with bricks,  so his body was severed by the wheels of a train.

If this is Maggie Atkinson’s mealy mouthed, politically correct interpretation of exceptionally unpleasant then I dread to think what her definition of brutal and sadistic violence could be.  The murder scene was one of unimaginable horror.  It is impossible to comprehend the suffering of that James Bulger, or the agony his family have endured.  She clearly has a problem with facts too, having asserted that Robert Thompson and Jon Venables had been jailed.  For as James Bulger’s mother, Denise Fergus rightly points out:

‘They never spent a day in jail. They were sent to children’s homes where they were given kid glove treatment, computer games and the best of everything. They were rewarded for murder and left thinking they had got away with it.’

Is there some special academy somewhere that churns out insensitive, moronic, politically correct nonentities like Maggie Atkinson for recruitment by authorities, agencies and quangos, or appointment to commissions by politicians?  Where on earth do these people come from?  They clearly struggle to recognise the real world around them that the rest of us inhabit.

At a cost of £138,000 of taxpayers’ money per year, we have had pushed on us in controversial circumstances this woman who was pompously described by her annointer, Ed Balls, as a ‘strong, effective and independent voice for the children and young people of our country’.  But she is nothing more than an out of touch, politically biased, bien-pensant, bureaucrat apologist, pursuing her own agenda of absolving youngsters of responsibility for their actions by playing down the seriousness and gravity of one of the most sickening and shocking murders in our lifetimes.

It’s unlikely Maggie Atkinson will resign over this matter.  So Denise Fergus is right, Atkinson should be sacked from the role she should never have been appointed to.  People in such positions should represent the interests of society, not their own personal aims.

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The England conspiracy

Blogosphere exclusive:  John Inverdale, the BBC presenter fronting the Scotland v England Six Nations Rugby today, said a few moments ago on BBC1 that Christine Bleakley successfully managed to water-ski ‘across the whole of the British Channel’ yesterday.

Inverdale is an excellent presenter and I know he was ad-libbing rather than reading from a script, but come on.  He’s at an England rugby match for crying out loud!

Seeing as the comment was made live in Edinburgh, perhaps conspiracy theorists will discover dark Scottish forces at work and learn that this was really a subliminal part of Gordon Brown’s big ‘Britishness’ campaign…

Joking aside, England still suffers from a disgraceful and unacceptable democratic deficit.  Laws that only apply to England are made and voted through by MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The other three countries have their own devolved assemblies and parliaments to legislate on their domestic issues.  It is only right that England should have its own Parliament to determine matters that only concern the English.

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British libel laws isolating UK

Before creating Autonomous Mind I read an article in The Times that reported American newspapers and magazines may stop selling copies in Britain and block access to their websites because of our draconian libel laws.  This was not only disturbing, but annoying on a personal level because having a strong interest in US current affairs and sport, many of the newspapers considering such action are on my reading list, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.

But while those papers still consider their next move, An Englishman’s Castle blog tells us that US magazine, the National Enquirer, has already taken action and blocked online access to web users in the UK in an attempt to prevent possible libel actions being brought in London.  We have now set off down a slippery slope where our laws are damaging our ability to gather news and information from around the world.

It is both ironic and embarrassing that largely because of this country’s archaic much abused libel laws that are in desperate need of reform, other states are being forced to take action to pass their own laws that render claims under foreign libel suits unenforceable.  California recently became the fourth US state to pass such legislation because while American courts allow the press to make mistakes as long as they have exercised due diligence and shown no harmful intent, our system can make the press pay a harsh penalty for even unintentional and corrected errors.

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Paul Martin, Hamas, and the hypocrisy of the media

Paul Martin?  Who he, you might well be asking.  Paul Martin is a British journalist with a great deal of experience reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He recently went on assignment to Gaza to investigate the actions of Hamas.  While there he was arrested and held for four weeks, spending a lot of that time in solitary confinement.  His alleged offence?

As Tom Gross reports on the National Review Online media blog, the Palestinian Maan news agency openly stated that Hamas detained Martin because he:

“sought to distort the image of Palestinians by going to tunnels, trying to prove that Hamas smuggles weapons, that we used children as human shields during the war.”

Despite this outrageous and unjustified behaviour by Hamas, there was barely a mention of Paul Martin’s plight in the media here in the UK.  The reports were sporadic and cursory.  This despite Martin having worked for the BBC and The Times.  The Media Backspin blog covered this and contrasted the absence of coverage about Martin with the wall to wall, 24×7 coverage and media campaign waged by the BBC to secure the release of another BBC man, journalist Alan Johnston.

Finally, after his extended detention, Paul Martin was freed by Hamas.  You missed the media furore over the safe recovery of one of their own?  Well actually no, you didn’t, because there wasn’t one.  A point well made by Melanie Phillips yesterday on her Spectator blog.

So what is special about this case?  It is the sickening hypocrisy of the media corps.  The Paul Martin case demonstrates that the media only selectively shrieks and wails about press freedom and the sacred status of journalists just doing their job when the journalist who has been detained is reporting an angle they all agree with.

The moment a journalist does what Paul Martin did, and decides to break away from the media consensus on Israeli-Palestinian issues and fairly report a side to the story that would expose sycophancy and bias of the worst kind in mainstream coverage, the media corps pays lip service to the welfare of their colleague and turns its back on him.

If you don’t believe that the media treats colleagues unequally if they seek to report facts that perhaps confirm some of what Israel claims Hamas is guilty of, or if you do not accept there is imbalance and bias in the reporting of Israeli-Palestinian issues, then consider the tone of these statements from the Foreign Press Association, the ‘Home on the Web for Middle East Correspondents’.  First:

The FPA strongly protests the imposition of closed military zones in large sections of southern Israel, which is occurring on top of the current ban on international journalists entering Gaza.
Taken together, the Gaza ban and the closed military zones amount to serious violations of press freedom. We note with grave concern today’s detention of a photographer working for an international news agency and the confiscation of his camera, in addition to an incident on Monday in which a photographer’s disk was forcibly erased. With these actions, Israel is seriously hindering the free flow of information on a news story that is of vital interest to readers and viewers around the world.
We note that the Israeli government has failed to honor a ruling from its own Supreme Court ordering access to the Gaza Strip for the international media. No good purpose can be served by these unconscionable infringements of basic democratic principles, and we urge the Israeli government to reconsider its stance immediately.

The Board of The Foreign Press Association
13th January 2009.

Notice the words used when addressing Israel, a democratic nation under constant attack from its neighbours… ‘We note with grave concern today’s detention of a photographer working for an international news agency and the confiscation of his camera, in addition to an incident on Monday in which a photographer’s disk was forcibly erased.’

Heavy stuff.  Now compare and contrast the FPA Board’s comments above with their statement about Paul Martin, addressed to the terrorist organisation Hamas (above right), which engages is suicide bombings, rocket attacks and other atrocities and it committed to the destruction of Israel and driving its citizens into the sea:

The Foreign Press Association is deeply concerned with the arrest of British filmmaker and journalist Paul Martin, in Gaza by Hamas authorities.
We expect the Hamas as we do all parties, to respect the rights of every journalist on assignment, to work without fear of being arrested.
The Foreign Press Association hereby requests the Palestinian Authorities in Gaza to immediatly release Paul Martin.

The Board of The Foreign Press Association
15th February 2010

How come a photographer being detained briefly in a war zone and his camera taken by the Israelis warrants ‘grave concern’ and is considered an ‘unconscionable infringement of basic democratic principles’, but a more serious detention of a journalist in supposed peace time by Hamas elicits only ‘deep concern’ and a ‘request’ that he be released immediately?

This is not just a whiff of media double standards.  This is the stench of rank hypocrisy.  It is one of the clearest examples of why we must always question the motives and veracity of what the media reports when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian matters.  The media cannot be trusted to report fairly, it does not serve us properly with impartial facts because it has an agenda and is utterly biased.

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David Cameron our own French poodle

All credit to you, David Cameron.  You are really coming of age as just another machine politician.  You’ve got this European lark down to a fine art now.  It’s not that hard really, as you demonstrated when you met with President Nicolas Sarkozy today.

All you need to do is talk tough about the EU to your domestic audience, but fall over yourself to promise one of your senior partners in the bloc that you will be an “active and energetic” participant in the European Union if you win the general election.

Having pledged to the French that you will be a good, energetic little boy, you then go back to fight your election campaign telling voters that you ‘would never allow Britain to slide into a federal Europe’ of the type the French are working tirelessly to complete and you are pledged to be active in.

And on the subject of the Lisbon Treaty, having promised voters that if ratification was achieved before you came to power you would ‘not let matters rest there’, you quietly publish on that same party web page that you:

[…]would change the law so that never again would a government be able to agree to a Treaty that hands over areas of power from Britain to the EU without a referendum

even though the Lisbon Treaty negates the need for any future treaties.  It speaks volumes of your priorities, Dave, that you put more effort into seeking to reassure France over Britain’s EU ties than you do seeking to reassure the British people that you will repatriate political power from Brussels.  It’s just empty rhetoric, isn’t it Dave.  Ted Heath would be so proud.

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Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling – journalism gold

Pretty much off topic for this blog, but this made me laugh so much I had to share it.

The Press Assocation is among media outlets reporting on the cancellation of the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event this year due to health and safety concerns.  Setting aside the rights and wrongs of the decision, this paragraph had me laughing out loud:

While there has not been a recorded fatality, bruises, dislocations and admissions to hospital on spinal boards are common. Last year saw 58 casualties – 19 of whom were spectators. Six people fainted just watching the event and one man fell out of a tree.

The journo who penned that is wasted at PA.  He or she needs to be on the writing team of a sit com.  It was journalism gold and the perfect end to a hard day at work.

As far as the cancellation itself goes, is it really beyond the wit of man to make the event ticket only to keep spectator numbers at a managable level?

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MPs’ Parliamentary privilege defence underlines need for written constitution

It’s no surprise to see that Labour MPs Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley, along with Conservative Peer Lord Hanningfield, are running scared and seeking to evade due process within the criminal justice system by claiming that Parliamentary privilege removes the Court’s jurisdiction over them.  It is spurious nonsense.  It is a desperate and cowardly effort to avoid being brought to trial for offences they are alleged to have committed.

Parliamentary privilege in this country pertains to the freedom of speech on the floor of both Houses in the Palace of Westminster.  It no longer protects MPs and Peers from civil actions and therefore it most certainly does not protect them from criminal proceedings.  The four Parliamentarians are hoping that an intepretation of privilege dating back to the 1685 Bill of Rights will enable them to dodge charges of false accounting under the Theft Act of 1968.

Julian Knowles, the barrister representing the MPs, said a trial in a criminal court would breach the constitutional separation of the legislature and judiciary.

“My clients should not be understood as saying they are above the law. That would be quite wrong.

“Parliamentary privilege is part of the law, and it is for Parliament to apply the law in their cases. The argument which they will present concerns the process by which the allegations should be determined; not whether they should be determined.”

That is utter rubbish.  Where a crime has been committed a trial in a criminal court must take place.  All citizens of this country must be equal before the law.  These men are saying they are a special case because they are MPs and that the charges relate to accounting matters that only came about because of their status.  It is a claim deserving of the same kind of contempt they themselves are demonstrating through their craven behaviour.

Every other citizen of this country would have to face a Court if such charges were brought against them, so these men must also be subject to criminal proceedings and trial by jury.  Anything less would position them as unequal in society and undermine the rule of law.  But we would not be experiencing this ‘make it up as we go along’ nonsense if this country had a clear written constitution setting out the rights and responsibilities of every citizen of the United Kingdom.  It is ridiculous that in this modern era our politicians are allowed to get away with applying arbitrary and self serving interpretations of rights and responsibilities by preventing them being cemented in writing and enshrined in law.

The fact we are now seeing the people who make the law trying to use their status as our elected representatives to avoid being subject to it, makes the need for a written constitution all the more urgent.  As citizens – or subjects if you will – of the United Kingdom we see our democracy being undermined, our national sovereignty being subverted and our political class positioning itself as beyond the law it imposes on the rest of us.  This state of affairs cannot and must not continue.  We must have a written constitution to protect our rights and prevent abuses of power.

European Parliament, Goldstone report and rank hypocrisy

Yesterday the European Parliament engaged in some more Israel-bashing as it endorsed the flawed Goldstone report, the UN’s official investigation into the Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip in January 2009.  The report accuses Israel of war crimes and calls for the prosecution of Israeli officials in the Hague.

As EUObserver reported, the Parliament vote was split 335-287 as MEPs backed a joint resolution from the centre left, far left, Greens and Liberals calling on the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and the bloc’s member states to:

“publicly demand the implementation of [the report’s] recommendations and accountability for all violations of international law, including alleged war crimes.”

Goldstone is notable for its complete lack of balance, practically ignoring systematic acts of terrorist aggression against Israel by the Hamas group running Gaza.  Instead, this disgraceful sham of a report condemned a nation state for taking action to defend its citizens, in the face of overwhelming provocation in the form of sustained rocket attacks by a terrorist organisation masquerading as a political administration.

It is no surprise the leftists in the European Parliament have seized upon the Goldstone report and sought to get behind their Islamist terrorist friends from Hamas by eagerly seeking implement the unfounded recommendations in order to demonise Israel and affix the label of war criminal to its political leaders.

Yet today, just hours after that vote, these same European Parliamentarian apologists for Islamic terror demonstrated hypocrisy of the most astonishing kind as they commemorated a European day for victims of terrorism in Europe.  European Parliament vice-president Gianni Pittella said:

“No terrorist or terrorist action will ever be able to diminish or destroy our faith in core values such as human rights and democracy.”

At least not unless it’s Israelis in the terrorists’ sights, it seems.  Pittella added further insult as he went on to explain that ‘Terrorism is an attack on us all. Terrorism is an attack on the very fabric of our democratic society’.

Strangely there was no mention that any democracy society that seeks to protect itself by fighting back against terrorism will be judged by MEPs, accused of committing war crimes and subjected to demands to surrender themselves for trial at the Hague.

There is no sense to this as the origin of the terror both in Europe and Israel is the same intolerant Islamist mindset.

The only possible conclusion is that many MEPs regard the life of a European as worth more than the life of an Israeli.  European states can act as they see fit, while they expect Israelis to stand in the firing line and just take it, rocket and suicide bomb at a time, year after year.

‘Terrorism can never be justified’ Pittella told his audience today, but in the case of Israel it seems it can readily be excused in the European Parliament.

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Our former friends the Americans

Writing on his Telegraph blog today, Alex Singleton had this to say:

The special relationship is over. We gave America years of unwavering support after September 11. And now we see how Barack Obama’s administration repays us.

First, Obama declared that America was “neutral” over the sovereignty of the Falklands, ignoring the clear wishes of the islands’ population. And, second, his Assistant Secretary of State, Philip Crowley, snubbed Britain by failing to use their proper name and instead calling them the “Malvinas”.

I don’t know where Obama learned about diplomacy, but his stinks. I’m normally pro-American, but Mr Obama’s seeming support for Argentinian aggressors, who have no legitimate claim over the Falklands, is gratuitously offensive. So from today, I’m boycotting America as a tourist destination. This summer, I’ll be going to France, not California.

Let me be clear: I’m not normally in favour of boycotts, and I love the American people.  I holiday in their country regularly, and hate the tedious snobby sneers against the United States. But the American people chose to elect an idiot who seems hell bent on insulting their allies, and something must be done to stop Obama’s reckless foreign policy, before he does the dirty on his allies on every issue.

If our American friends want to stop Obama shredding the respect the rest of the planet has towards America, they need to stop Obama’s destructive policies – and fast.

With the exception of believing in the ‘special relationship’ and holidaying in France, ditto.  The election of Barack Obama as President was the most astonishing example of gesture politics in history. His election was the end in itself and the hysteria and unquestioning fealty evident among many voters and across the media deserves all the ridicule that can be mustered.  Rarely has so much power been secured by someone who campaigned not on policy, but on the meaningless and undefined idea of ‘change’.  What that change actually means is now becoming clear around the world and as Obama’s administration shows its banal vacuousness his popularity and credibility is rightly going into freefall.

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We surely owe Jeffrey Sachs our thanks

Last month we had Professor George Irvin holding forth on EUObserver as he pressed for a Tobin Tax.  Of course as we explained here when it comes to left wing economics it is ordinary people who feel the pain in order to make the state more powerful and the elites richer than before.  This is true of the Tobin tax, which will make ordinary people poorer and is an inadequate substitute for effective banking regulation.

This month we have the delight of being treated to the multi-talented leftist economist Jeffrey Sachs taking a break from being a climate change expert and adding his voice those calling for a Tobin Tax in the EU.

What would we do without these esteemed experts, telling us what we should do?  Surely we owe them our thanks.  After all, how would we cope without them, as they demand that we make ourselves poorer in order to underpin a Tobin Tax, in the childlike belief it will help the public good?  Until their craving for an all powerful state that makes our decisions for us is met we can expect to be subjected to more of the same socialist bilge.

Regardless of how often the likes of Irvin and Sachs tell us that a Tobin Tax is the only way, and that we have a moral responsibility to tax the very institutions we rely on to provide finance to help businesses and consumers, their argument is fundamentally flawed.  Repeating it time and again will not make it right.  It is coloured by their political leanings and worldview, not based in sound economic principles that befit a free market economy – or for that matter even a mixed economy. (Title of this post may contain traces of sarcasm).

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What does the EU have in store for Britain?

What does the European Union have in store for us next?  Let’s take a quick look…

In a story about further delays to defendants in criminal trials having effective translation services available, we get confirmation of the bigger picture of the EU’s ambitions:

“Today we are taking a first important step towards a Europe where justice knows no borders,”
– EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding

Elsewhere in the Brussels nest occupied by the cuckoo chick, greater tax and budgetary co-ordination is the order of the day as next month will see a communication designed to start a debate to:

“correct the imbalance of what was not agreed at Maastricht.”
– anonymous EU Official

When the Euro currency was being planned there were warnings that ‘imperfect labour mobility and the lack of a European political union could pose problems’ for the new currency.  It seems the EU wants to address this ‘imbalance’ by increasing labour mobility and driving forward ever closer political union.  That means completely open borders and more power shipped off to Brussels from Westminster.

With Peter Mandelson promising it’s a matter of when not if Labour scraps the pound sterling and adopts the Euro, and Labour’s EU sycophants signing up enthusiastically to every sovereignty sacrificing treaty or agreement stuck under their nose by the Brussels bureaucrats, we have a clear view of what will be forced on us next.

David Cameron’s slow self destuction is only making it increasingly likely that Labour will get another five years to make this nightmare a reality.  Ruled Britannia it is then.

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