Posts Tagged 'EU'



Why Farage’s call for a flooding public inquiry is senseless

Why won’t anyone look at me?

In the previous post we again questioned what could be achieved through a public inquiry into the extent of flooding.  We contend that such an inquiry would be a whitewash waiting to happen.  It just needs an on-message Chairman appointed to move the roller.

We know this because we don’t have to look back far to see the results of the last flooding inquiry, that concering the floods in the summer of 2007, by Sir Michael Pitt.  In the nearly 500 pages his report covers, EU directives are mentioned a mere 13 times, and not even in respect of causation.

The Water Framework Directive is not mentioned at all and the Habitats Directive gets one mention, in a ‘box out’ that explains dredging – in almost entirely negative terms!

The EU is mentioned a number of times, but almost exclusively in terms of funding and claiming money from the Solidarity Fund – which would have the effect of reducing the amount of rebate the UK would have for its EU contributions in the financial year.

Given that concerns about the impact of EU laws on flood protection were already at the fore in 2007, why on earth does anyone believe another inquiry or review into flooding now would produce a different outcome to Pitt?

What is Farage’s game?  He can’t influence the terms of reference, witnesses or the Chairman of an inquiry, so what does he think will be achieved?  The EU elephant will be in the room but everyone standing around it will continue to avert their eyes and pretend it isn’t there.  The eventual outcome will just be held up as vindication of the existing approach and couched in purely domestic terms.

A Clegg vs Farage debate on EU membership?

Courtesy of Pogle’s Woodsman in the comments we find the Spectator reporting Nick Clegg is to throw down the debate gauntlet to Nigel Farage ahead of May’s European Elections.

What we don’t know is whether such a debate is of sufficient interest to the TV networks for it to be televised on a terrestrial channel.  Such a debate would need to be televised live on national TV for it to have any chance of adding any value, which in itself is not a mortal lock.

In any case, potential viewers may consider the debate to be a Third Division affair as the leaders of the main two parties are not involved.  While EU enthusiasts and members of the Farage cult will be clearing their diaries, getting in the popcorn and wearing their colours for the ‘big match’, for most people this would probably be an event of very little interest or consequence.

It’s easy for many of those on the comment thread of the Spectator’s article to get carried away, as they are, predicting that Farage will bash Clegg.  But the ‘debate’ could – and more than likely will – descend into a turgid ‘my fact vs your fact’ exchange that bogs the whole thing down and doesn’t do anything to inform people or increase their understanding and knowledge about how this country is governed, by whom and what little control they have to shape that governance.

There is also near certainty that Clegg will adopt the economics narrative and frame the debate in such a way that Farage, who famously doesn’t do detail, gets taken down alleyways, trips up on facts and is exposed as not being in command of his brief… and that’s before any possible failure to focus on the essential core political issue of addressing who should run Britain – if he actually even planned to do that in the first place.

This proposed debate has the capacity to undermine the EUsceptic cause if Farage gets it wrong.  Being articulate is no substitute for a lack of strategic vision going into such a debate and will not make up for any deficiency in knowledge.

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

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

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

Cameron at his disingenuous worst with floods pledge

David Cameron today once again successfully failed to bang on about Europe, as he said Britain has ‘to do better as a country’ to protect itself from future floods, the Telegraph tells us.

No doubt those people of the Somerset Levels who had time to listen in on the radio while trying to cope with flooding, evacuation and the turning upside down of their lives, will have been incredulous when Cameron said that officials are working on a plan to protect the Somerset Levels, although, as he put it, it is still not clear what the best solution for the area would be.

Here’s a radical thought, as a starting point, how about a return to the flood prevention activity that was wound down over the years by the Environment Agency to fit a political agenda created through the EU?  If those who managed to listen in to the pontificating buffoon were not already grinding their teeth in anger, then this may well have done the trick:

Dredging has a part to play.

At the end of the 1990s when the Environment Agency was established, there became rather an anti-dredging culture and some of the expert bodies said it shouldn’t be part of the picture. It has to be part of the picture.

Why won't anyone acknowledge me?

Why won’t anyone acknowledge me?

Unsurprisingly, there was not a single word about why it was suddenly decided that dedging shouldn’t be part of the picture, or the concerted effort by the EU to inflate the price of dredging through waste management laws and restrictions on moving river deposits once on land. Far less any mention by the Telegraph’s Peter Dominiczak, who, like UKIP, passed up the opportunity to add value by providing context and sharing established facts.

There was no mention of Making Space for Water.
There was no mention of the Water Framework Directive.
There was no mention of the Floods Directive.
There wasn’t even any mention of the Natura 2000 strategy.

EU law has been changing the British landscape – literally – aided by environmentalist activists like Baroness Young, who Labour parachuted into positions of power to wreak havoc on the approach to flood prevention, because they shared the EU view of wanting to see reclaimed land, such as the levels, refilled with water to become habitat museums – this despite the fact that flooding the long since established farmland in this way kills the animals living there and results in a putrid, stinking swamp that cannot sustain fowl in any case.

Around the areas that have been flooded there will be some very lonely animals.  But there will be none so lonely, or so deliberately ignored, as the great big EU elephant in the room that the useless UK media and politicans from the four main parties are doing their best to pretend they cannot see and does not exist when it comes to the flooding issue, how it has been allowed to happen and acknowledging who was responsible.

It’s breathtaking incompetence right enough

Nor it seems, have the media.

Here we have Sandbrook, writing in the EU supporting Daily Mail, pontificating about ‘the people who run Britain’, yet not mentioning the EU or how its laws have exacerbated this flooding mess.  Not one word.

The EU is the embarrassing ginger-haired stepchild, never referenced, kept in the background, denied eye contact and shut away from everyone so as to pretend it doesn’t really exist.  Would the media approach be any different if Farage had used two huge platforms to share the reality with people, raising public awareness?  That would be speculation, but at least hundreds of thousands if not millions more people would be aware of the EU’s role as the biggest actor in this tragic play.

If Sandbrook wants to witter on about breathtaking incompetence he should pick up his pen and start by describing what he sees in the mirror.  At least for once he would be accurate.

Even the editor of Country Life gets it, Nigel

It really has come to something when the editor at large of Country Life, despite only a limited summary, is more clued in to the EU dimension of the excessive flooding in the Somerset Levels and more vocal about it than the leader of the UK’s EUsceptic political party.

It is a shame that Mr Aslet, upon identifying the key role played by Baroness Young in preparing the way for this debacle, didn’t go further in ramming this home to Telegraph readers.  But he’s certainly gone further than Nigel Farage, much to the detriment of the EUsceptic movement.

The Carswell conversion gathers pace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How the EU, last Labour government and Environment Agency agreed a plan to let the Somerset Levels flood

Allowing the flooding of the Levels was a matter of EU policy, introduced by a 2007 Directive and consciously adopted by the Environment Agency in 2008, which then sought to increase the frequency of flooding in the area.  Read on…

Brought to us courtesy of the EU, Greens, last Labour Gov't and the Environment Agency

Brought to us courtesy of the EU, Greens, last Labour Gov’t and the Environment Agency

As Richard North reveals on EU Referendum:

Unacknowledged by either government, the media or even Chris Smith in his current diatribe, this policy was given legislative force, not by the Westminster parliament but by an EU directive 2007/60/EC of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risks.

There, in recital 14, we saw spelled out the requirement that flood risk management plans should focus on prevention, protection and preparedness. But, “with a view to giving rivers more space, they should consider where possible the maintenance and/or restoration of floodplains, as well as measures to prevent and reduce damage to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity”.

There, writ large, was Defra’s “making space for water” policy and all that was needed for an already Green-dominated Environment Agency to abandon the Somerset Levels.

There’s more besides in the post, including how all this came into being, and the warnings of what was to come.  It really is a must read, particularly for journalists and those who like to comment on threads on the lamestream media’s websites.

The delusion of some UKIPpers undermines their party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a very important reason why Parliament isn’t busy

In the Telegraph today, Tom Harris MP is whining about the lack of legislation going through Parliament.  He says that it means there were no votes in the Commons last Monday, none the previous Monday either, there won’t be any next Monday, and there hasn’t been a whipped vote on a Thursday for months.

He places the blame for this at the door of the government.  However, in the comment thread it is apparent that more and more people have grasped the essential point Harris is too unwitting to realise or unwilling to acknowledge – that Parliament has less to do because the EU is our surpreme government and rubber stamping diktat from Brussels doesn’t take very long.

This has been obvious for years.  The ever lengthening recess breaks are not just MPs wanting to take longer holidays, they are a consequence of less parliamentary business being required because the EU determines almost all the laws the people of this land must live by.  This central fact isn’t convenient for Harris, who instead makes his piece an attack on five-year fixed parliaments and government running out of ideas and having nothing to do.  Rooted in the past, when Parliament and UK courts were supreme, Harris declares:

The difference now is that the traditional remedy – to dissolve parliament and allow the various parties to be reinvigorated by a campaign and the judgment of the electorate – is unavailable.

Sadly for Harris, while an election campaign is an exciting wet dream for politicians and the media that faithfully trots alongside them hoping for some scraps to keep them sustained, the reality it is a sham.  For whichever party wins the next election, the electorate can expect more of the same.

With all the decisions of consequence being made in Brussels, or handed down from there after decisions in global committees and commissions, the UK parties have very little in their gift to manage or change.  There is little between the parties because no ideology is required to deal with the limited number of genuine matters of substance that are still governed by the UK.  So even after going through the motions of moving around and changing the colour of the deck chairs, the ship’s direction of travel will remain unchanged, unless the officers in Brussels sitting on the bridge, decide otherwise.

Harris may be upset that he is being denied involvement in big political fights like those of yesteryear, but as part of the political class he shares the blame for that and supporting the surrender of control of the UK to the EU.

Scottish independence campaign being used as a guinea pig for EU referendum campaign

For some people this may be a statement of the bleeding obvious, but listening to BBC Radio 4 Today this morning, it seems the media is using the Scottish independence campaign to test out which arguments should be made and lines taken in any future EU referendum campaign (whenever that might be).

Professor John Curtice, wearing his ScotCen Social Research hat, has told the BBC that:

Voters want to hear about the economic and financial consequences of the choice that they make, and it is on the outcome of that debate that the result of the referendum is likely to turn.

This is hardly as surprise when the questions asked focus on economic rather than political matters.

A write up of the story on BBC Online also extracts specific questions that focus on voting intentions based on whether Scots will be £500 better or worse off after independence, or whether the Scottish economy will be better or worse. There is no report on the all-important political factors, which is what the independence debate (and the EU debate for that matter) is all about.

It is important to note that the Today piece included comments from four Scots voters – and only one of them said financial considerations were an important factor to him when it comes to voting on independence.  The other three didn’t focus on economics and instead spoke about variations on the theme of who decides how Scotland is run.  Once this segment had been played, the presenter then ignored the voter contributions and turned the discussion straight back to economics, disregarding what the voters had said; and Curtice himself then introduced identity as an issue rather than politics, to move the conversation further away from the central political dimension.

The feeling is of there being a clear agenda to frame the Scottish debate firmly in terms of economics, while doing everything possible to confine the politics to the wilderness.  While this mirrors the current approach taken to the EU debate by the Europhiles at places such as the Centre for European Reform and the Europlastics at places such as Open Europe, what it does is enable the power of the narrative to be tested on a live electorate and see how effectively the electorate can be manipulated into focusing on issues that are irrelevant to the concept of independence – namely who should run Scotland.

No matter whether one feels the Scots should be independent, or whether the union should be preserved as it is, all should be concerned that the crux of the independence issue is being airbrushed from the discourse by the media, which is taking its line from entities with vested interests in keeping all structures as they are – which suits the European Union perfectly.

Another steaming pile of Europlastic bullshit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A dose of EU realism that the BBC seems keen to play down

Very curious.  Tuning in to Radio 4’s Today this morning, a little earlier than usual, I was able to hear a short interview of the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz.

While Richard has published a full transcript of the interview on EU Referendum, the words alone do not come close to conveying the bombastic and intolerant nature of the man.  But even that does not detract from the dose of realism Schultz injected into the confused morass of verbiage that passes for discussion about the fantasy of negotiated reform of the central pillars of the EU itself, or the in-out referendum that could not possibly be delivered with a treaty negotiation almost certainly well in train.

Perhaps this explains why even though the audio of the interview is contained deep within the UK pages of BBC online, it is not written up or commented upon anywhere on the BBC’s News page, Politics page, or even the Europe page.  It has to be searched for in the God-awful search engine on the site.  It has become the broadcast equivalent of the embarrassing ginger haired stepchild, being kept firmly out of sight, never to be discussed or mentioned again.  Which as I say is very curious.

Schultz was refreshingly realistic.  From his assertion that governments and heads of states such as David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Nickolas Sarkozy, declare themselves to be the government of Europe, yet it is Schultz’s beloved parliament that comes in for media and public criticism; to the satisfying moment where Today’s pisspoor token asian female presenter, Mishal Husain, was slapped down for talking of the UK’s ‘relationship’ with the EU with Schultz saying…

The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union so to speak about relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union sounds as if the United Kingdom would not be a part of the European Union. It is the United Kingdom Government which is a co-legislator in the Council of Ministers. There are 72 members of the United Kingdom as law makers in the European institution, the UK is part of Europe so this description, our relationship with Europe sounds to me strange.

This is a point made repeatedly on this blog, so it’s nice to see it challenged, albeit by a federalist opponent.  One point Husain made that was useful was that MEPs are very well-paid parliamentarians and voters in the UK generally have absolutely no idea who their MEP is.  Schultz dodged this, choosing instead to compare turnouts here with the higher ones in Germany.  But as Political Betting just happened to point out today, we have a nonsense voting system in Euro elections that is designed in the interest of parties and their whipping systems, not voters.

But Schultz did not duck away from the main message he wanted to get across, his vision for the EU after Barroso.  It was a clear message for David Cameron, Open Europe, the Fresh Start Group and the likes of the self serving Matthew Elliott, who all seem to think the EU can be brought to heel and made to reform to suit their deluded vision of an EU – where the political is replaced by the economic.  Schultz wants:

… to fill the gap between citizens and between member states in the European Union. That some have an enormous profit and others pay. And, because I’m speaking with BBC, the United Kingdom as a full-fledged member of the European Union. That would be my vision, a United Kingdom which is taking part in the development in a common Europe and not speaking about a specific relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

No reform agenda in sight. Economic carrots dangled to maintain political power seeping to Brussels.  There is a disconnect between what Cameron and his front organisations think they can ask for and get, and what the EU mandarins are prepared to give.  At some point, sooner rather than later, reality is going to bite and the UK’s political class is going to realise it is powerless unless it accepts the one option it has always rejected out of hand – leaving the EU.  Small wonder the BBC, having chosen to put Schultz on before the bulk of their Today audience tunes in, has chosen to bury this story as deep as they can.  It doesn’t fit the establishment narrative.

Cameron’s trivial sideshow must not distract us from the real issue

The Daily Mail reports that, ‘millions of pounds in child benefit paid to families living outside the UK will be axed under David Cameron’s plan to claw back powers from Brussels.

Cameron has insisted that it was wrong that the British taxpayer is giving cash to 40,000 children who live elsewhere in the European Union, and went on to reveal that stopping migrant workers in the UK from claiming child benefit for their offspring back home would be a ‘key demand’ of his plans to renegotiate a fresh deal with the EU before staging an in-out referendum by 2017.

This of course underlines the vacuous nature of the supposed renegotiation.  The whole thing is a complete sham.  If the detail above is a key demand, we can see that the essential issue of ‘Who should run Britain?‘ will remain a no-go area.  There is to be no change, the UK will remain firmly under the control of Brussels and parliament will remain a hollow, rubber stamping shell of its former self.

The separation of the political from the economic is the only way to ensure people see the real issue that has to be addressed – yet which the political class is determined to keep off the table.

There are various economic settlements that can be negotiated to mutual EU-British benefit to ensure concerns about access to the single market are mitigated in the event of a Brexit, but political control of the UK is a binary condition… either the British have self determination, or we are ruled by a foreign entity.  That is the only issue and we must not allow it to be kept off limits by focus being diverted to trivial sideshows such as Cameron’s pledge today.

New Year, but same old hypocritical Labour

Today could not go unmarked following the speculation, hype, scaremongering and bitter argument in the run up to the entitlement of Bulgarians and Romanians to live and work without restriction as ‘EU citizens’ in the UK.

The Guardian, as always, chooses to report on Labour’s words of condemnation – that the government has failed to introduce measures to protect the rights of low-skilled British workers whose jobs may be threatened by the new migrants.

The Daily Mail, however, focuses on Labour actions – as their Chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, waited at Luton airport to welcome migrants landing on the first flight of the morning from Romania, even buying some a coffee and having a chat to ask why they had come… as if that wasn’t patently obvious.

This is Labour at its hypocritical worst.  In one breath extolling the virtues and necessities of EU membership and deeper integration, in the next complaining that British workers are being disadvantaged by cheaper foreign labour afforded the right to come here under EU law.

Similarly, while they want to be seen as standing by the working class they serve so poorly and railing against migration Labour has actively encouraged, they also cynically work to position themselves as the friend of the migrants in the hope of electoral reward in the future.

As always, we should judge these political pygmies not by their words, but by their deeds.  They speak louder than words ever can.

March of the delusional EUseful idiots

Why should the media subject us to what people like Lord Wolfson have to say, when they spout such ignorant rubbish as this?

I think the most important thing is the principal – what is the EU there for. Is it a vehicle for greater freedom in Europe – free movement of capital, free movement of good, free movement of services, free movement of people?

Or is it a government of governments, a government above governments, a government without democratic licence, but the right to interfere in every aspect of our lives?

I think that is what it is becoming. I think over the last thirty years it has slowly changed itself and become ever more hungry for power.

The EU, in all its guises, has never been anything other than a governance construct designed to centralise power by removing it from nation states so that ordinary people cannot pursue ‘populist’ agendas that conflict with the continent’s elite.  It was not created as a free trade area in the way Wolfson and his pro-EU friends at Open Europe keep kidding themselves.

It has not been changing itself; it has merely been executing the centralisation plan that was always as the heart of the European project.  The EU mimics a state and is striving to function as one, and within a state – a single entity – movement of capital, goods, services and people is not constrained.  The four freedoms are just the by-product, not the objective.

A supposedly intelligent man like Wolfson would know this if he bothered to try to understand the entity he is saying should be reformed.  He either doesn’t know, or is simply misleading people for ulterior ends.  What isn’t made clear is what interest the EU could possibly have in reform when its decades-long plan to remove power from nation states has been progressing so effectively?  That’s an issue the ignorant Wolfson and delusional Open Europe never address as they continue in their roles of useful idiots for the benefit of the EU.

The tide of ignorance of EU law laps over the wall of reality

The Mail has bought and run as its own a piece from the Guardian about what its like to work for Amazon.

It focuses on the working conditions, low pay, use of agency labour and number of jobs they estimate the company’s rise has cost elsewhere.  But no such attack piece on a company like Amazon is complete without bringing up taxation:

It is taxes, of course, that pay for the roads on which Amazon’s delivery trucks drive, and the schools in which its employees are educated.

Taxes that all its workers pay, and that, it emerged in 2012, Amazon tends not to pay.

On UK sales of £4.2 billion in 2012, it paid £3.2 million in corporation tax. In 2006, it transferred its UK business to Luxembourg and reclassified its UK operation as simply an ‘order fulfilment’ business.

The Luxembourg office employs 380 people. The UK operation employs 21,000. You do the sums.

One can understand this line.  One can also sympathise with it to a degree because it underlines what is wrong with the corporatist system we have, something that too many people wrongly describe as capitalist.  But that sympathy erodes somewhat when what follows a few paragraphs further on shakes us back to our senses and reveals yet again the sheer ignorance of the people railing against this situation:

MPs like to attack Amazon and Starbucks and Google for not paying their taxes, but they’ve yet to actually create legislation compelling them to do so.

All too often these left leaning campaigning writers are pro-EU, they love the idea of knocking over nation states to create a nationless unions such as the EU.  Yet they are either too stupid to understand the reality, or too dishonest to report it, by not pointing out it is EU law and one of the four freedoms (of movement of capital) that prevent MPs creating legislation to tax profits made in the UK when that company’s UK operation is merely ‘passported’ because its base is in another EU state.

Such is the pisspoor calibre of our media, they continue to misinform, mislead and misdirect their slowly dwindling audience, ensuring the sum of knowledge is minimised yet rousing rabbles to attack MPs for inaction where in reality they have no power.

Rather than attack MPs for not applying taxes they are barred from levying, these prestigious know nothings should be attacking them for allowing power to be taken by Brussels, leaving the UK without sovereignty.  But this is what happens when we are flooded by a tide of ignorance so big the walls of reality are breached.

Cameron’s supposed challenge to free movement in the EU is going nowhere

On the day when much of the world lost all sense of perspective and proportionality, to beatify by acclaim the media constructed legend of Nelson Mandela, the outcome of discussions that directly impact on the lives of Britons – and therefore matters rather more – was quietly released.

Home Affairs ministers from around the bloc have taken note of the European Commission’s communication on ‘the free movement of EU citizens’ and responded to it, making clear that.

The overwhelming majority of member states agreed that the free movement of persons is a core principle of the European Union and a fundamental right of all  EU citizens that should be upheld and promoted. They also agreed that individual cases of abuse have to be combated within the existing legal framework and in cooperation with local authorities in the member states.

Moreover, the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) circulated a joint statement on this issue (17395/13), considering that the selective  application of core freedoms by member states leads to an erosion of the single market.

This, coupled with the process of qualified majority voting, means Cameron’s attempt at a putsch to dilute one of the European project’s four fundamental freedoms is dead before it even gets out of the gate.

As if to reinforce the point – and provide a timely reminder that many of the worst impacts of mass migration here are the result of the UK government failing to use powers at its disposal – the ministers, whose UK representatives were Chris Grayling and Theresa May, generously suggested actions that should be carried out instead:

In order to help national and local authorities to effectively apply EU free movement rules, the document presents five concrete actions to be implemented together with member states:

– helping member states to fight marriages of convenience (handbook);
– helping authorities to apply EU social security coordination rules (practical guide);
– helping authorities to meet social inclusion challenges (funding);
– exchange of best practices between local authorities;
– training and support of local authorities in applying the EU free movement rules.

From a democracy perspective this is valuable and instructive, as another example of how the EU circumvents national governments and talks directly to local authorities to ensures they deliver what the EU wants at a local level.  This sees to it there is no need to overcome potential resistance from Parliaments.  Westminster will therefore once again be by bypassed as our supreme government talks to the lowest levels of government and hands them their orders – which are enthusiastically followed by pro-EU council officers.

Of course, voters in local elections are never asked if they agree with what their local authorities plan to do on their behalf in respect of dealing with immigration.  They are not even told what measures will be taken or how many tax pounds will be allocated for this work, let alone have any say in what actually happens, or any veto over it.  Despite this people still witter on about this country being a ‘democracy’.

The media will not report this.  The Cameroon sycophants will ignore it, as they ignore everything that challenges their inaccurate beliefs and delusional shibboleths.  Most people will know nothing about it.  Rather than focus on how we are ruled and decisions are made without our consent, time and money is devoted to lauding a man who used violence to help achieve his ends – with one increasingly unhinged commentator even drawing comparisons between Mandela and Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the solution is for people to use social media to start sharing information like this that the media deliberately withholds from the public, and stop simply being used by the media to link to stories it has chosen to cover in pursuit of an agenda that serves interests other than ours.

‘… just an old European country’ Britain’s self inflicted mediocrity ridiculed

So how is this EU membership lark working out for the UK?  Remember how we keep being told that being part of the EU increases Britsh influence in the world?

Sky News reports how the Chinese state media, the directed mouthpiece of the government in Beijing, has certainly not held back in giving its dismissive opinion of Britain:

The Cameron administration should acknowledge that the UK is not a big power in the eyes of the Chinese. It is just an old European country apt for travel and study. This has gradually become the habitual thought of the Chinese people.

This is utterly humiliating.

While Cameron is in China, desperately trying to raise money for investment in projects that we British should be developing for ourselves and our strategic interests, and lending support to British businesses looking to make deals to sell to the Chinese, he is shilling for a Sino-EU free trade deal like an obedient little servant of Brussels.  This is what Britain has become.

Cameron postures like a statesman yet his hosts correctly mark him down as the pygmy that he is.  He and his ilk have turned the UK into a proxy for the interests of a supreme government on the continent.  Britain is not even in the room when the rules of the game are agreed.  Negative sentiments such as those in China’s Global Times, from increasingly confident nations that are sovereign and run their own affairs, are a consequence of our being subsumed into a homogenised, over regulated, backward looking political union that has in reality dramatically reduced British influence in the world and lessened us as a country.

The Chinese, like most other independent nations, respect strength.  And they don’t see strength in a country whose ‘leaders’ do not have  confidence in their nation’s ability to chart its own path, willingness to ensure its population is educated and competitive, to work in its own interest, to represent itself with pride on the world stage and to trade on its own terms.  Britain in the EU cannot ever be a trade partner with China, the partnership belongs to the EU.  That is why our Prime Minister is now a mere salesman, complete with a fake smile, sharp suit and a patter in rhetoric, but ultimately powerless and unworthy of respect.

Who can blame the Chinese for disrespecting our declining country when a shallow, lightweight hypocrite like Cameron talks a great game, but instead of leading and representing the British people, whores on behalf of the EU and begs for money like a Dickensian street urchin, attempting to strike deals while operating only with the permission of others in Brussels?

What makes this all the more disgraceful is that it is highly likely the UK is deliberately being positioned by our political class as weak; a position engineered in order to justify the continued EU membership they desire, under the pretext of it being the antidote to our malaise and diminishing stock. It is beyond treachery and is absolutely sickening.

When will these hacks open their eyes to the reality of party politics?

The Tories’ obsession with their ‘brand’ patronises voters by treating them as shoppers, so writes Brendan O’Neill in the Telegraph today.

It’s another of those commentary pieces that again goes around the houses to articulate and bemoan the hollowed out shell that now passes for party politics in this country, but consistently fails to seek and explain why this is the case.

In his own way, O’Neill tells us what we already know and have heard from numerous other talking heads in a variety of slants on the same core theme, when he says:

That everyone now seems to think it’s normal to talk about the Tories as a “brand” shows how shallow, how surface-driven, modern politics has become. A brand, of course, is an outer mark, a stamp either burnt on to one’s skin or, in modern parlance, stamped on to a product or service for sale. That the Tories, especially their modernisers, have become myopically obsessed with this outer mark, with the lick of paint on the outside of their party and the question of whether a new, more youth-friendly lick of paint is required, shows how bereft of serious thinking they are. Embarrassed by the historical and political substance of the existing Tory Party, and lacking any newer substantial political ideas for taking the Tory Party forward, they obsess instead over garb, over prettification strategies, over imagery, like those annoying hip graphic designers who think style is everything and substance is so 20th-century.

As always the cause and the answer are clear; we do not have democracy.  All that is left of the political parties is shallow, branded, tribal trivialities that are devoid of substance or ideas.  This is for the simple reason that all the major issues concerning goverance of this country are decided by the EU.  The UK is not a sovereign nation.  Our politicians have some relatively meaningless shreds of control left in areas the EU has not yet taken or cannot bother itself with owning.

The days of weighty and ideological battles, of matters of substance being argued over in Parliament, through the media and on the doorsteps, are gone.  This is what the EU – in all its guises – set out to do, to remove power from where ‘populist’ sentiment, i.e. voters, could influence it, because people vote for things in their ‘narrow national interest’ rather than the interest of the political class and their corporate sponsors.  I left the following comment in response to the piece:

The only philosophy is the desire to hold office, no matter how powerless or meaningless it is.  Of course there is the added incentive of pay and perks and the personal profile and future spin offs that come with such a position.  But anyone who makes the argument that they want to enter party politics to ‘change things from the inside’ is clearly too ignorant of reality to be worthy of election in the first place.

One wonders how long it will take for this to dawn on people, particularly the talking heads, who remain incapable of joining together a few dots or reading about what our surpreme government was created to do and recognising what it has so far done.  Bar a few notable exceptions, it seems the massed ranks of the lamestream media are either in denial or must have been subjected to a collective lobotomy.


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