Archive for February, 2011

Countries praised Libya’s human rights spin in UN report

Only the United Nations…

From UN Watch we learn that despite having just voted to suspend Libya from its ranks, the UN Human Rights Council (according to the agenda of its current session) is planning to ‘consider and adopt the final outcome of the review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’.  This concerns a lengthy report which hails Libya’s human rights record which is still due to be presented on March 18.

The report features comments from various countries and include the assessments and observations below about human rights in Libya – the same country that is currently machine gunning and hanging democracy protesters who are trying to end the Gaddafi regime.

Iran noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had implemented a number of international human rights instruments and had cooperated with relevant treaty bodies. It noted with appreciation the establishment of the National Human Rights Committee as an independent national human rights institution, and the provision of an enabling environment for non-governmental organizations.

Algeria noted the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote human rights, which reflected the country’s commitment to complying with Human Rights Council resolutions and cooperating with the international community. Algeria welcomed the national institutional framework that had been set up, in particular the National Human Rights Committee. It noted that the country had made some progress in the area of education, as well as social and economic progress since the lifting of economic sanctions.

Qatar praised the legal framework for the protection of human rights and freedoms, including, inter alia, its criminal code and criminal procedure law, which provided legal guarantees for the implementation of those rights. Qatar expressed appreciation for the improvements made in the areas of education and health care, the rights of women, children and the elderly, and the situation of people with special needs.

Sudan noted the country’s positive experience in achieving a high school enrolment rate and improvements in the education of women.

The Syrian Arab Republic praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its serious commitment to and interaction with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms. It commended the country for its democratic regime based on promoting the people’s authority through the holding of public conferences, which enhanced development and respect for human rights, while respecting cultural and religions traditions.

North Korea praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its achievements in the protection of human rights, especially in the field of economic and social rights, including income augmentation, social care, a free education system, increased delivery of health-care services, care for people with disabilities, and efforts to empower women. It noted the functioning of the constitutional and legislative framework and national entities.

Bahrain noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had adopted various policies aimed at improving human rights, in particular the right to education and the rights of persons with disabilities. Bahrain commended the free education system and praised programmes such as electronic examinations and teacher training. It commended the country for its efforts regarding persons with disabilities, particularly all the services and rehabilitation programmes provided.

Palestine commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the consultations held with civil society in the preparation of the national report, which demonstrated its commitment to the improved enjoyment of human rights. Palestine praised the country for the Great Green Document on Human Rights. It noted the establishment of the national independent institution entrusted with promoting and protecting human rights, which had many of the competencies set out in the Paris Principles. It also noted the interaction of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with human rights mechanisms.

Iraq commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being a party to most international and regional human rights instruments, which took precedence over its national legislation. It welcomed the efforts to present a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in the country based on the unity among democracy, development and human rights. It also commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its cooperation with the international community.

Saudi Arabia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in its constitutional, legislative and institutional frameworks, which showed the importance that the country attached to human rights, and for the fact that international treaties took precedence over its national legislation. It noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had become party to many human rights conventions and had equipped itself with a number of institutions, national, governmental and non-governmental, tasked with promoting and protecting human rights.

Tunisia welcomed [Libya’s] national report, as well as the efforts of the National Committee, such as the website created to gather contributions. Tunisia noted progress made by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, such as the adoption of the Great Green Charter, which was very comprehensive and enshrined fundamental freedoms and rights as enshrined in international human rights instruments.

Venezuela acknowledged the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote economic, social and cultural rights, especially those of children. It highlighted progress achieved in ensuring free and compulsory education.

Jordan welcomed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights, including the establishment of institutions, particularly in the judiciary system. Jordan praised progress in the fields of health, education and labour, as well as the increased attention to the rights of women. Jordan noted the participation of women in public life, including decision-making, and emphasized the fact that women held one third of all judicial posts.

Cuba commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the progress made in the achievement of one of the Millennium Development Goals, namely, universal primary education. It noted that the country had also made a firm commitment to providing health care.

Oman commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its diligent efforts in the field of human rights and for making them its priority. It referred to the legal framework for the protection of human rights, and its clear commitment in that regard, which was reflected in the ratification of most human rights instruments, and its cooperation with United Nations mechanisms. The country’s report focused on both achievements and challenges, which demonstrated its sincerity in addressing human rights issues.

Egypt commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for progress in building a comprehensive national human rights framework of institutions and in drafting legislation and supporting its human resources in that area. It commended the separation of the Ministries of Justice and the Interior and the development of a new criminal code, and it praised the cooperation with international organizations in combating human trafficking and corruption, and the improvement made in the conditions related to illegal migration.

Malta fully recognized the difficulties faced by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and welcomed the action taken at the national, bilateral and regional levels to suppress the illegal activities that gave rise to migration. Malta welcomed the cooperation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with the International Organization for Migration.

Bangladesh referred to the progress made in the enjoyment of economic and social rights, including in the areas of education, health care, poverty reduction and social welfare. Bangladesh noted with appreciation the measures taken to promote transparency.

Malaysia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being party to a significant number of international and regional human rights instruments.

Morocco welcomed the achievements in promoting social protection, especially for women, children and persons with special needs. It welcomed the efforts to protect the rights of children. It welcomed the establishment of a national committee for the protection of persons with special needs. Morocco also praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its promotion of human rights education, particularly for security personnel.

Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for measures taken both in terms of legislation and in practice, noting with appreciation that it was a party to most of the core human rights treaties. Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s commitment to human rights, in particular the right to health, education and food, even when the country had faced sanctions in the 1990s. Pakistan was encouraged by efforts to address the root causes of illegal migration, and noted the good practice of settling political disputes and developing infrastructure in source countries.

Mexico thanked the delegation for the presentation of the national report and the answers that it had provided. It expressed appreciation for the political will of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to address the human rights challenges facing it. Mexico hoped that the universal periodic review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya would make a positive contribution to national efforts to overcome challenges to guaranteeing the full enjoyment of human rights.

Myanmar commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its economic and social progress, and recognized efforts in domestic legislation aimed at guaranteeing equal rights. Myanmar noted that the country had acceded to many international human rights instruments and established a national Human Rights Committee. Myanmar praised efforts to realize basic education for all and a free health-care system.

Viet Nam congratulated the delegation on the quality of the national report. It noted with satisfaction the commitment of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the protection and promotion of the human rights of its people, particularly the country’s accession to the main international human rights conventions. It welcomed achievements made in the exercise of human rights.

Thailand welcomed the national report, which presented both progress and challenges. Thailand highlighted efforts made with regard to education, persons with special needs and vulnerable groups.

Brazil noted the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s economic and social progress and acknowledged the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, the free health care and the high enrolment in primary education. Brazil noted the successful cooperation with international organizations in areas such as migrant rights, judicial reform and the fight against corruption.

Kuwait expressed appreciation for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s initiative to improve per capita income and to ensure social justice and the fair distribution of wealth. It praised the measures taken with regard to low-income families. Kuwait called upon the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to continue its efforts to integrate people with disabilities into society while recognizing their positive role.

Reading these submissions one wonders why anyone would want to foment a revolution in such a utopian paradise… What a misunderstood and benevolent man that Gaddafi is.

Fine words Mr Hague, when will they apply here?

William Hague has been speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today about Libya and the Middle East.  But among his fine words was yet another example of double standards, as he said:

We have a responsibility to encourage governments to meet the legitimate demands of their people…

OK. So while Hague and Co are rushing around delivering fine speeches encouraging foreign governments to meet the legitimate demands of their people, who is going to encourage our government to meet our legitimate demands?

Where is our referendum on EU membership?  Where are the powers the Conservatives promised to repatriate from the EU?  Where is the repeal of the damaging Human Rights Act?  Where is the reduction in swingeing fuel duty?

Before grandstanding on the world stage perhaps it would be appropriate for the politicians to practice what they preach at home.

 

Androulla Vassiliou’s pathetic attempt to wrap The King’s Speech in the EU flag

The excellent England Expects blog today relays the story of European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou’s triumphant comments about the Oscar success of the British made film, The King’s Speech.

An article in Eurasiareview reported that European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou welcomed the major success of EU-backed film ‘The King’s Speech’, which was crowned with four Oscars at last night’s 83rd Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood.  No, really.  Vassiliou, who is the bureaucracy’s lavishly paid placeman in the role of education and culture, went on to say:

“What a great night for the European film industry and the MEDIA programme. Europe loves cinema and the world loves our films! My congratulations to Tom Hooper and Susanne Bier, who showed that you don’t need a massive budget to make world-beating films. This shows that the European film industry can compete with the best.”

The European Film Industry?  The King’s Speech was produced by UK company Bedlam Productions.  Along with the UK Film Council, which put around £1million into the production of the film, the companies listed below – which include Aegis and Molinare, both British companies who also contributed funding – were instrumental in making this British film that competed with the best:

There is a distinct absence of European companies here.  So where is this triumphant European Film Industry?  For this to be claimed as a European success is pure cant.  It is the worst kind of cheap propaganda to make the EU look relevant.  The £500k contributed by EU MEDIA that Vassiliou refers to was post production funds for the purpose of distributing the finished product.  It’s yet more pathetic Eurobullshit.

The march of the EU continues under the Tories

In recent months we have published a drip feed of posts that prove Conservative promises to stop the transfer of any more UK powers to the EU is a cynical lie.

In November last year we shared this and this in our series of ‘In Europe, not run by Europe’ posts.

Then in December we found information in Hansard about the number of EU laws and directives that are now pending to become UK law, following questions tabled by Priti Patel.

Another of those questions tabled by Patel was answered a few days ago by the Treasury, revealing the number of EU Directives that must become law in this country at a cost of least £50m in administration to achieve this – paid for out of our tax pounds.  Slowly but surely the City of London is being taken over by EU laws and regulation.

But don’t worry. Call Me Dave will assume a serious frown for the cameras or get his media team to plant a story like this one with James Forsyth at the Daily Mail expressing his frustration and growing impatience with ‘EU interference’.  Then he will travel to visit his Eurochums at a meeting of our real government, unelected and unaccountable as it is, and it will be handshakes, smiles and agreements for more of the same.

Apparently it’s called Euroscepticism.

The Independent censored comment from climate scientist

A letter to the online editor of The Independent exposes a selective censorship of comments that are deemed to be embarrassing for that paper’s staff – in this case the science editor, Steve Connor.

Following publication of the email exchange between Connor and the eminent scientist Professor Freeman Dyson, covered by this blog, a climate scientist, Terri Jackson, submitted a comment that countered several of the assertions made by Connor.  The strength of feeling is clear from the introduction in the letter:

Dear Mr King

As a climate scientist I am writing personally to you as the online editor to strongly object to the blocking of my comments regarding the conversation by your science editor Mr Connor with Professor Dyson. My comments sent last night were phrased in very reasonable and temperature language and highlighted the serious and very misleading mistakes given by Mr Connor.

You can read Terri Jackson’s letter in full on Climate Realists, in which Jackson refutes a number of Connor’s central arguments used in an attempt to coax Dyson into attacking the theory of AGW.  Like Dyson, Jackson has little time for the bias in the Independent’s reporting of climate science matters, and says:

Is the Independent on a political crusade? It is high time that you started to report the facts, that human based carbon dioxide in the atmosphere poses no climate threat and that the majority of graduate scientists do not accept this unproven theory regardless of what certain scientific institutions may say.

It’s pretty uncompromising stuff.  The Independent’s decision to block the original criticism of Connor from wider view by the public demonstrates it’s lack of objectivity and impartiality.  Like all other media, it puts its own agenda above serving the interests of the public. The Independent – you might be, but it isn’t.

The politics of ‘I’

For once we find ourselves in agreement with Daniel Hannan, who comments upon David Cameron’s Al Jazeera interview in which he restates his refusal to give Britain an In/Out referendum on EU membership.

Do you remember all those pledges Cameron keeps making to de-centralise and give power back to the people?  The Al Jazeera interview underlines what a complete load of bollocks that is.  Hannan, in an uncharacteristically short post on his Telegraph blog, hits the nail on the head as he observes:

There is something faintly surreal about holding a referendum which no one asked for on a voting system which neither of the two Coalition parties supported, while refusing to hold one which the country does demand, and which both Coalition parties were recently pledging. What is the point of consulting people on how to elect their MPs, but not on whether those MPs should run the country?

The point, Daniel, is giving the people the illusion they have power while in reality denying them any.  Power rests with Brussels, until the British people decide to take it back, and Cameron will not risk the wrath of his bureaucrats who have power over the next stage of his career once he has been ejected from Downing Street.

On this issue of a referendum we are not hearing anything new, although coverage in the media in the next day or so might give some people that impression.  Cameron, good Europhile that he is, has been consistent on this ever since his coup of the Conservative party.

Hannan invites his readers to ‘stand back and ask yourself whether it is right in principle to consult the country’.  Of course it is, that is what would happen in a representative democracy.  But we do not live in a democracy and Cameron is an unprincipled slimeball.  Hoping for Cameron to act in a principled manner is like hoping the crazed rabid dog snarling at your young child won’t attack.  You’re just asking to be disappointed.  What matters to David Cameron is what David Cameron wants.  No one else’s wishes matter:

‘I don’t believe an In/Out referendum is right, because I don’t believe that leaving the European Union would be in Britain’s interests’

He could easily add to that some other sentiments, but they will all begin with the word ‘I’.  In Cameron’s world only his views matter.  Perhaps this is another reason to call him iDave.  The indisputable fact is that the man who dresses like a tailor’s dummy is only interested in window dressing.  The big issues of state are firmly off the agenda.

Away with the fairies

That is probably the most polite description we can come up with for the Observer’s editorial staff.  Casting its eyes across the Irish Sea, the Observer uses its editorial today to opine:

The Irish people have suffered enough. Europe should back off

The new government in Dublin deserves a supportive EU, not a punitive one

Since when has there ever been in history a centralising, power hungry, unaccountable entity that was benevolent and supportive?  Since when has any entity stuffed to the gills with special interests, and dedicated to furthering the objectives of their barely visible establishment friends in the big corporations, ever undermined those interests?

The sentiments of the Observer demonstrate that its editorial team is either in complete denial of the reality of EU governance and the consequences of an all powerful state, or is deliberately deceiving its tiny readership with naked propaganda. The editorial says:

The Irish have delivered a savage verdict on those who turned their country from the envy of the world into an object of pity. In the process, they have smashed one of Europe’s great political machines, the Fianna Fáil party that enjoyed a near monopoly of power since 1932. This is a striking example of democracy at work.

But does it matter? Voters damned Fianna Fáil’s disastrous decision to underwrite the staggering losses of grotesquely reckless banks. They are, however, stuck with those same policies in the shape of the deal made with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. It ties the new government into ever-more brutal austerity for at least the next four years, while continuing to lavish public money on insolvent banks.

It is all so confused it is difficult to know what on earth the Observer is trying to say. It seems to want to have its cake and eat it. The Observer lauds a ‘striking example of democracy at work’ on Ireland, but it believes totally in government by the anti democratic European Union.  It refers to the ‘disastrous decision to underwrite the staggering losses of grotesquely reckless banks’, yet supported and pressed for the bail out of the banks with public money. It criticises the IMF and EU’s conditions for bailing out Ireland, yet ideologically supports such unaccountable internationalist bodies possessing such political and financial power to the detriment of nation states.  There is more in the same vein.

Surely the only conclusion any reasonable person can come to is that like so many in the media, the Observer is in utter denial, it is disconnected from reality, it is away with the fairies.

Fine Gael’s win will change nothing in Ireland

Ireland’s voters have moved the deck chairs around and the faces in the government ministries will now change. But little else.

Fine Gael will be the largest party in the Dail and form yet another coalition, and Enda Kenny is almost certain to be the new taoiseach. But beyond that, what difference will Ireland’s voters see?

There is excited talk of Kenny starting the process of renegotiating the previous government’s 85bn-euro (£72bn) EU/IMF loan package.  It is something that has echoes of David Cameron’s pledge to renegotiate the repatriation of power from Brussels to Westminster and is likely to have the same outcome.

But then, what else do the Irish expect?  Fine Gael actually helped Brian Cowen’s sinking government to put the Finance Bill to a vote in the Dail, supported some of its provisions and failed to stop the ones it opposed from passing. It is unrealistic in the extreme of Fine Gael to give the impression they will be able to change the terms of the expensive loan the EU and IMF put together.

Bar some tinkering around the edges nothing will change.  Ireland’s voters will still be paying higher taxes and experiencing huge cuts in spending on public services.  They voted for change but will not see any, because when all is said and done the government of Ireland is cannot be found in the Dail, it resides in Brussels.  No one was able to vote for or against it.

Those making the decisions for Ireland have not appeared on any ballot paper. Ireland is not mistress in her own house. The democratic process engaged in by 70% of those eligible to vote is meaningless, a charade, an illusion. How can Ireland’s government be on a collision course with the EU, when the EU is Ireland’s government? It is already making this clear:

As Irish voters headed for the polling booths on Friday, the European Commission bluntly declared that the terms of the EU-IMF bailout “must be applied” whatever the will of Ireland’s people or regardless of any change of government.

“It’s an agreement between the EU and the Republic of Ireland, it’s not an agreement between an institution and a particular government,” said a Brussels spokesman.

A European diplomat, from a large eurozone country, told The Sunday Telegraph that “the more the Irish make a big deal about renegotiation in public, the more attitudes will harden”.

“It is not even take it or leave it. It’s done. Ireland’s only role in this now is to implement the programme agreed with the EU, IMF and European Central Bank. Irish voters are not a party in this process, whatever they have been told,” said the diplomat.

It will become apparent to the Irish people in the weeks and months that despite the campaigning, the voting and the time consuming counting they have changed precisely nothing, they are not a party in this process. It has been nothing more than a very expensive piece of theatre.

The question that will then need to be asked is what will the Irish people do about it.  Will they confirm their surrender, or will they again satisfy their hunger for independence?

Prof Freeman Dyson rousts Indy churnalist

Let’s see the Met Office fall over themselves to link to this piece by Steve Connor in the Independent. Or do they only do that when he writes puff pieces for them when they’re under pressure?  They should be pleased because Connor is firmly on message and gives them another mention in this article.

Titled ‘Letters to a heretic: An email conversation with climate change sceptic Professor Freeman Dyson‘, Connor’s piece could just as easily be a piece by Prof Dyson called ‘Responses to a scientific illiterate: An object lesson in biased media and ignorance‘.  For despite being a science editor Connor seems remarkably one dimensional and out of his depth.

The best Connor can summon up is the appeal to authority, and he does so right off the bat in his by-line as he refers to Dyson as one of the few true intellectuals to be so dismissive of the global-warming consensus. From the outset Dyson set out his very high level rationale for AGW scepticism when explained (paragraph bulleted for ease of reading):

  • First, the computer models are very good at solving the equations of fluid dynamics but very bad at describing the real world. The real world is full of things like clouds and vegetation and soil and dust which the models describe very poorly.
  • Second, we do not know whether the recent changes in climate are on balance doing more harm than good. The strongest warming is in cold places like Greenland. More people die from cold in winter than die from heat in summer.
  • Third, there are many other causes of climate change besides human activities, as we know from studying the past.
  • Fourth, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is strongly coupled with other carbon reservoirs in the biosphere, vegetation and top-soil, which are as large or larger. It is misleading to consider only the atmosphere and ocean, as the climate models do, and ignore the other reservoirs.
  • Fifth, the biological effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are beneficial, both to food crops and to natural vegetation. The biological effects are better known and probably more important than the climatic effects.
  • Sixth, summing up the other five reasons, the climate of the earth is an immensely complicated system and nobody is close to understanding it.

But despite this explanation, Connor persists with what Dyson labels as the ‘party line’ focusing on what he sees as narrow technical issues, the premise of which he doesn’t accept.  So Connor, lost for an angle of attack to discredit Dyson, returns to his appeal to authority when he churns out:

So I guess my question would be, what if you are wrong? What if all the other scientists connected with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UK Met Office, NASA, NOAA, the World Meteorological Organisation, and just about every reputable university and institute doing research on climate science, happen to be right? Isn’t it a bit risky for me and the rest of the general public to dismiss this vast canon of climate science as just “fuss” about global warming when all I’ve got to go on is a minority opinion?

This was written despite earlier references in the email exchange to Alfred Wegener (theory of continental drift) with Dyson having already pointed out that there was even a consensus against Wegener among a small group of experts.  Connor clearly cannot square with the notion of a small number of outstanding scientists disagreeing with the pack. When will Connor ever ask himself and readers, what if the consensus he is so desperate to endorse happen to be wrong?  History is littered with examples of consensus opinion and ‘evidence’ being undermined by actualite.

In Dyson’s response to Connor, he reasonably writes the following:

Of course I am not expecting you to agree with me. The most I expect is that you might listen to what I am saying. I am saying that all predictions concerning climate are highly uncertain. On the other hand, the remedies proposed by the experts are enormously costly and damaging, especially to China and other developing countries. On a smaller scale, we have seen great harm done to poor people around the world by the conversion of maize from a food crop to an energy crop. This harm resulted directly from the political alliance between American farmers and global-warming politicians. Unfortunately the global warming hysteria, as I see it, is driven by politics more than by science. If it happens that I am wrong and the climate experts are right, it is still true that the remedies are far worse than the disease that they claim to cure.

Then follows the equivalent of the punch that Ali never gave Foreman…

I wish that The Independent would live up to its name and present a less one-sided view of the issues.

Connor indulges himself with another lengthy dose of pseudo-intellectual nonsense attacking what he believes to have been the varying arguments of the sceptics, before a clearly bored and unimpressed Dyson extracts himself from the exchange with this telling and penetrating summation that should give those who accept at face value all they read in the media pause for thought:

Your last message just repeats the same old party line that we have many good reasons to distrust. You complain that people who are sceptical about the party line do not agree about other things. Why should we agree? The whole point of science is to encourage disagreement and keep an open mind. That is why I blame The Independent for seriously misleading your readers. You give them the party line and discourage them from disagreeing.

With all due respect, I say good-bye and express the hope that you will one day join the sceptics. Scepticism is as important for a good journalist as it is for a good scientist.

Freeman Dyson has shown that Steve Connor is a case study in the modern media phenomenon that investigative journalist Nick Davies has apparently labelled ‘churnalism’ – which is when journalists are ‘reduced to passive processors of whatever material comes their way’ (referenced earlier by Ockham’s Razor).  In other words we don’t have journalists rather we have churnalists, mere cut and paste merchants who spew out press releases as news without any attempt at critical examination and questioning of the content.

It is another example of why we cannot trust the modern news media and how the public is ill served by these over rated churnos.

The faux Conservative party continues its decline

If you are one of the increasing number of people who are sick to death of the Vichy Conservatives, cheer yourself up by reading this piece on ConservativeHome and many of the comments from ever more disaffected Tories who are waking up to the Cameroon coup of that party.

As more people come to realise Cameron is as much a conservative as Michael Foot ever was, they are severing their links with the party and turning their back on the Tories.

As you would expect, there are the usual cries of those fools who claim not sticking with Cameron’s social democracy will only let Labour back in. But they are among a shrinking band of people who haven’t realised the only difference between this coalition government and Labour are the faces of the people in Ministerial positions.

For the average voter it is now obvious that whether you vote Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem you still get the same political class consensus undermining this country, eroding our democracy and snatching more of our money to serve their own narrow interests rather than ours. Only embarrassment at being conned so well is preventing many conservatives from ditching Cameron’s quisling social democrats. But as the anger builds the ejection of the Cameroon cuckoo from the Conservative nest draws closer.

No, I’m British

Just have a read of this paragraph from an article in European Voice.

It’s about the European Union drawing up a contingency plan for an armed humanitarian intervention in Libya (I know, I laughed too). But stop and think about the language being used:

The ongoing evacuation of EU citizens in Libya is a member state responsibility, with the EU in a supporting role through its Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), which was activated yesterday. The EU has no embassy in Tripoli and relies on the member states for information. The European External Action Service said that the number of EU citizens still in Libya was unknown, while the Commission put the number at 5,000-6,000. According to the Commission, around 5,000 EU nationals have already left Libya.

EU Citizens, EU nationals… it’s all so casual.  Like the EU itself, these are artificial constructs.  Yet this is what has been done to us by Brussels and our Westminster quislings without our permission.

I’m not an EU citizen and I’m not an EU national. The EU is not a state and it is not a nation, despite the pretences of the bureaucrats.  I’m a British Subject (until such time as the Monarchy ends) update… in the comments folk have corrected me vis a vis the 1981 Nationality Act. No one asked me if I agreed to be designated in this way, I wasn’t given a vote and I do not accept it. So take your flag, your little gold stars and your ode to joy and stick them right up your

The EU could make north Africa’s ills worse

A piece in yesterday’s Economist is noteworthy for that magaine’s continuing blinkered assessments of the reach and influence of the European Union.

The Charlemagne column offers us what its author probably thinks is an insightful article titled ‘No time for doubters’, which argues that Europe must do more to support Arab democracy, out of self-respect and self-interest.  As always, whenever there is a crisis the Euroweenies always emerge and declare that ‘Europe’ must do something.  We are told that:

WHEN people took to the streets of Tunis, France offered to help President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s security forces. When they filled the squares of Cairo, Italy praised Hosni Mubarak as the wisest of men. And when they were slaughtered in Tripoli, the Czech Republic said catastrophe would follow the fall of Muammar Qaddafi, Malta defended Libya’s sovereignty and Italy predicted that the protests would lead to an Islamic emirate.

With every new Arab uprising, some European country has placed itself on the wrong side of history. So it is no surprise that the European Union has been slow to tell regimes to listen to demands for democracy and to condemn violent suppression.

Well, what do you expect?  The European Union has as much place lecturing others on democracy as the Taliban has lecturing others on the wonders of Hinduism.

When are people like the author of the Charlemagne column going to get it through their thick heads that the EU is not democratic?  If anything the EU acts in much the same way as Ben Ali, Mubarak and Gaddafi, selecting its own leaders and imposing laws and regulations on the people of member states through entities that are unelected and unaccountable.  Too many EU leaders have respected the autocrats of north Africa and have coveted the kind of power they have wielded until now.

So when Charlemagne’s author pens comments such as the one below, it is clear he either doesn’t ‘get it’ or is simply helping to hold the EU’s anti democratic line:

Yet it is hard to avoid the suspicion that too many European countries are still more worried about stability in the Middle East than about democracy.

For sure EU leaders love globe trotting and telling the world about the wonder of democracy. But they sure as hell don’t practice what they preach. Out of all the member states only Ireland held a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty’s package of measures to dramatically increase the power of the EU at the expense of national sovereignty. That’s democratic?  The cosy stitch up by the political class serves no one’s interest but theirs, but they believe their own bullshit and think they are some kind of model democratic structure.

In truth the EU is only a model for a modernised version of the totalitarian autocracy being thrown off by the people in north Africa.  The only difference being the illusion of democracy where in truth none exists.  Which is why comments such as the one below are worthy of such contempt:

A better test of European diplomacy will be whether, in the longer term, the EU can help north African countries establish lasting democracies. Europe has a wealth of experience in helping to reform former totalitarian states.

Reform them into what, precisely?  There is a risk here that if north Africans listen to such garbage they will soon be engaging in yet more violent actions.  The erosion of democracy across the EU member states has been a gradual process, where each night a few extra bricks have quietly been laid on a steadily growing wall separating us from self determination. If the north Africans implemented an EU model as it currently stands, people would soon realise they have been conned. Charlemagne almost gets it right when he writes:

So far the revolts of 2011 have been strikingly free of Islamist, anti-imperial and even anti-Israeli ideology. Such sentiments could yet be stirred if Europe appears to be colluding with hated rulers.

Or if the people realise that the European method simply replaces one set of hated rulers with another outside the reach of democratic accountability.  What then? From the tender shoots of a desire for democracy we will see grow a thorny bush of Islamist fervour as the corruption of democracy becomes all too apparent – and the only available outlet for rebellion is offered by the Islamists, who will say only embracing their godly ways can satisfy the wishes of those who risked their lives to throw off dictatorship.

Indirectly, Europe’s slow burn coup d’etat could in the future have the effect of driving people into the arms of the extremists. Which is a pity, not least because it should be having the effect of making people in the member states rise up and take control back from those who have stolen it.

Britain’s humiliation

The pathetic David Cameron on the Libyan evacuation farce:

“I’m incredibly sorry that people have had a difficult time. This is not an easy situation”

And it isn’t made any easier by the arrogance and incompetence of people who are paid to do jobs they are singularly incapable of carrying out effectively or properly.  Sorry, it seems, is now the easiest word.  Sorry is what is offered up readily in place of properly carrying out the basic functions of a government.

This is now a nation on its knees.  We have been dragged here by successive governments, staffed by over rated managerialist incompetents, that have intentionally allowed the proper functions of a nation state to decay into uselessness because they don’t believe this country should punch above its weight.  They have the ‘small island’ mentality. The one that recites the narrative that it isn’t our place to be important on the world stage. Never mind the globally significant achievements of this country and its people over the centuries, they believe we must not be a world power and they sneer at anyone who disagrees.  Instead they say we must scale down our capability and our influence to match the small geographical area of these islands because anything else constitutes some kind of arrogance.

Theirs is an artifical construct.  Only a fool would argue that a nation’s influence should be constrained because of its physical size.  What matters is not the amount of land a nation covers, but what the people of that nation can do, what challenges they can overcome, what great strides they can take for the betterment of everyone and what great examples they can set.  Britain earned its place at the world’s top table because of the entrepreneurial and daring mindset of many of its people.

The rush for mediocrity and the guilt complex of the self loathing has seen us replace our can-do attitude and sense of self worth with incompetence and failure.  And the self loathing celebrate this.  That is where we are today and that is, in a nutshell, how we were led here.  It is why our self reliance has been supplanted by reliance on the state. It is why every measure of this country’s capability has declined, from the standard of our education to the quality of our goods and services, from the strength of our armed forces to the ability of our public servants.

It is a nauseating disgrace. It is a national humiliation.

The first consideration of any government is the protection and security of the people it serves.  The government failed spectacularly to do that in Libya. While the governments of other countries were busy providing a means of exit in the absence of commercial travel, arranging transit to ports and airports in convoys, generating lists of people to be extracted, and putting on the ground a visible organising presence by embassy staff to manage the operation at the airport, the oh-so-grand United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office was telling Britons to stay put if they wished or leave on commercial flights.

Listening to the accounts of Britons who had made it out of the country yesterday – before the FCO had shaken itself from its laser like focus on surrendering this country’s interests to the European Union – we heard the humiliating tales of Portuguese and Argentine embassy staff providing assistance to Britons while our embassy staff were nowhere to be seen.

A nation that once governed effectively and ran competently a global Empire in the challenging days of ships and horse mounted couriers, has found itself incapable in the digital age of communicating clearly and mounting a cohesive evacuation operation for several hundred of its citizens stuck in a country only a few hours flying time from London.

That the first aircraft chartered by the FCO to fly people out of Tripoli developed a technical fault and sat on the ground for 10 hours, without anyone having the wit to source another without delay, was truly symbolic.  It was a working example of this nation’s decline and the extent to which our character has been eroded by handwringing wimps.

So it was no surprise that the Foreign Office’s failure should provoke a typically pathetic response from David Cameron that the government must ‘learn the lessons’ from it. What utter bullshit.  This isn’t the first time.  It is code for doing nothing and trying to dodge the deserved contempt of the yet again let down public.

Where are the lessons that have been learned from previous failures?  Anyone can learn from their own mistakes, but wise people learn from the mistakes of others. But not in this country.  With our useless stuffed suits wandering aimlessly around Whitehall we continue to make them and are condemned to continue making them.  These are the kind of people who have transformed Britain into third rate country deserving of scorn.  They did not want us to have a nation of which we can be proud and even now actively play down moments in our history of which we should be proud and that should be inspiring the next generation.

The people of this country have been lulled into a virtual coma by those who want to undermine it. The political parties, the establishment, the media, all of them have conspired actively or through silence in this evisceration of our nation.  It will continue until some people have the courage to take this country back from the quisling, defeatist bastards and make it something we can be proud of again.

Piers Corbyn shreds Met Office evidence to Transport Committee

Following on from the post about the written evidence submitted to the Transport Select Committee about the preparedness (or otherwise) for the early winter weather in December, Piers Corbyn has a post on his WeatherAction site that is required reading.

In addition to providing some useful documents for readers to download, Piers lambasts the Met Office’s written evidence, declaring:

THE MET OFFICE’s submission is, I would say: a Mubarak-style, bunkerish, self-serving, denial of reality

It’s hard to disagree. Read it all here.

That Egyptian secular uprising Rageh Omaar told us about

Three weeks ago viewers of Andrew Neil’s ‘This Week’ show were treated to the ‘expert analysis’ of former BBC journalist Rageh Omaar.  He forcefully argued that the Egypt revolution is not an Islamic uprising.

He refused to accept he was being naive in believing the Muslim Brotherhood would have little if any influence in Egypt, claimed that El Baradei was the only real opposition and even said:

‘In all of these demonstrations, have you seen any Israeli flags being burnt? Have you seen any American flags being burnt?’

Hmmm. Clearly the expert Omaar was saying ‘nothing to see here, it’s just a democratic outpouring with no aggressive intent’.  What Omaar obviously did not foresee in his somewhat arrogant dismissal of concerns about what will happen next, were significant development such as Al Qaradawi’s ascendancy or the scenes in Tahrir Square where around a million celebrating Egyptians chanted ‘Jerusalem we are coming for you’ as shown in the video below:

But worry not, this probably is nothing to do with the Muslim imperative taught in the mosques about killing the Jews wherever you find them. Oh no.

Such a high salary but a finger so far off the pulse it makes one wonder what value he actually is. No wonder he was the darling of the BBC before clearing off to Al Jazeera.

Gaddafi Jr and the London School of Economics

It’s as if the raft of state sponsored terrorist attacks, the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie  never happened:

The London School of Economics, one of the top-ranking universities in Europe, on Monday (21 February) acknowledged it had received a gift of €1.78 million from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, chaired by Saif al Islam, one of the Libyan dictator’s seven sons and a former graduate.

The university also admitted it had “delivered executive education programmes to Libyan officials”, but said it had now decided to sever all those links “in view of the highly distressing news” about hundreds of protesters killed by armed forces.

“The school intends to continue its work on democratisation in north Africa funded from other sources unrelated to the Libyan authorities,” it said in a statement published on its website.

Only now is the LSE severing links with the Libyan regime, as if the actions of the Gaddafi regime over the last 40 years haven’t given enough clues about its violent and repressive nature.

But then, what else could we expect from such a bastion of left wing radicalism that embraces climate alarmism’s chief media attack poodle Bob Ward as part of its extended team?  No doubt as more people trawl over this obnoxiously pungent relationship between the Gaddafis and the LSE, the college will employ the same kind of diversionary tactics as Ward does when trying to smear someone who tells the inconvenient truth.  Birds of a feather…

Met Office undermined by evidence to Transport Committee

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee inquiry into the impact on transport of recent adverse weather conditions has published the ‘uncorrected’ written evidence that has been submitted. It includes a submission from the Met Office.

As one would expect from the unreconstructed propaganda the Met Office likes to spread about itself, the submission they have made can be summarised as claiming to have got all their forecasts right, that the public and Met Office customers agree and everything is just peachy, with only some minor lessons learned with respect to further developing the National Severe Weather Warning Service. Some highlights from the Met Office’s written evidence include:

This prolonged period of finely balanced weather conditions provided a real challenge for the Met Office’s forecasting capability. Overall, we performed well not only in forecasting the key hazards but in providing consistent, timely and useful advice to Government, customers, the emergency response community and the public.

What this actually refers to is the Met Office’s self congratulatory boast that it managed to forecast the bad weather 1-2 days before it hit as shown in their evidence’s Annex A below:

But what of the seasonal forecast and advice to government? Like the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) the Met Office is engaged in some outrageous revisionism. The two departments clearly have spent time getting their ducks in a row.

As Freedom of Information requests have shown, the Met Office advice somewhat different to what they now claim.  Where is the mention of there being ‘no clear signals for the winter’? Where is the admission that while the chance of an average or colder winter was 70%, they believed the chance of an average or warmer winter was 60%?  What about their agreement with the Cabinet Office that there was only ‘a slightly increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season’? Clearly they have forgotten their own advice below:

Small wonder the Met Office submitted its evidence in writing.  Whom would have had the gall to give oral evidence and risk cross examination by any member of the Transport Committee in possession of this information?  But perhaps the questions will be asked anyway in light of other written evidence that has been supplied to the committee.

Firstly we have the evidence from the Automobile Association (AA).  Uniquely among organisations submitting written evidence, they refer to this having been the third successive bad winter and the fact early seasonal forecasts appeared to be in conflict.  They also mention the great Roger Harrabin fiction of the Met Office privately forecasting ‘an exceptionally cold start to winter’ that ‘had not been made public because of potential embarrassment caused by the unreliability of long range forecasting’. A claim destroyed by the document above.

More pertinent, and certainly more damaging for the Met Office, was the written evidence from the Royal Automobile Association (RAC). Their reference to the inability of the Met Office for forecast major weather incidents two or more weeks ahead makes clear how the public and a great number of organisations were let badly by the Met Office, regardless of the spin emanating from propaganda central in Exeter.

It is this submission, more than any other, that gets to the heart of the matter. It is that that undermines the Met Office’s spin and attempts to rewrite history.  Bloggers can be ignored, but evidence from one of the nation’s biggest motoring organisations is a great deal harder to dismiss.  It is this evidence that should that offers valuable insight to the Transport Committee and that should shape the nature of the committee’s further investigation into adequate preparation for major weather incidents such as that in December 2010.

The only written evidence that brings home the human impact of the failure to forecast weather more than a couple of days in advance, was that provided by Dr Philip Bratby – an occasional commenter on this blog.  It is best read in its entirety.

Alan Rusbridger – Hypocrite and a coward

It seems people at The Guardian like asking tough questions, but they don’t like answering them.  After using this blog to share details of the sheer hypocrisy of The Guardian for its assault on Barclays – while using exactly the same tax avoidance measures itself to keep money rolling in despite the pisspoor newspaper continuing to make a loss and see its sales fall 7% in the last year – I tweeted this message:

Needless to say, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has not replied, via Twitter or any other medium.  In fact, in trying to see what Rusbridger has to say about Guido’s revelations I noticed I was no longer following his tweets on Twitter.  This was curious as I had not ‘unfollowed him’.  I soon found out why he had dropped off my list… (click to enlarge)

The man is truly fearless.

Guardian campaigns against hedge funds but uses them to make money

On his blog Guido explains how earlier this month the Guardian front paged a story revealing that the City of London accounted for £11.4 million of the Conservative Party’s funding in 2009–10.  The Guardian told in lurid terms that millions passed to Tory coffers by rich hedge fund managers.

Guido now reveals that during that same period the Guardian Media Group – owners of The Guardian and The Observer – gained £39.3 million from investments… in hedge funds. And Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger sat on the board which approved the hedge fund investment plan.

Read the story in full.

Guardian’s tax hypocrisy, continued

Following on from Saturday’s post about The Guardian’s rank hypocrisy on tax avoidance, Guido Fawkes, FCABlog and Tim Worstall have kept up the pressure.

Today Guido has gone further than the Tweets carried on this blog and catalogued the facts about The Guardian’s tax avoidance which in 2008 saw Guardian Media Group pay 0% (zero percent) in corporation taxes on their £302 million profits.  Kerrching!!  Despite this The Guardian has been running a concerted campaign against Barclays for using the same tax avoidance measures employed (more successfully it seems) by Guardian Media Group.

The protesters of UKUncut have been occupying Barclays branches in protest demanding they pay more tax in the UK, despite the bank paying a huge sum in other taxes to the Exchequer.  This leads us to ask the obvious question:

When are tax loving UKUncut travellers going to occupy the offices of The Guardian in protest at their tax avoidance?


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