Posts Tagged 'Ignorance'

The delusion of some UKIPpers undermines their party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another steaming pile of Europlastic bullshit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ice locked ‘SS Alarmist’ provides reminder of media bias

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 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.

The media’s twisted priorities

Buried away on the BBC News website we find a short story about how on Wednesday a Spanish Guardia Civil patrol boat manoeuvered in a provocative and dangerous manner in the vicinity of Royal Navy vessels, in Gibraltar’s territorial waters.

The incident resulted in an armed stand off between the Spanish vessel, the Rio Tormes, a Gibraltar Defence Police vessel and HMS Scimitar (below) a Royal Navy fast patrol boat of the Gibraltar Squadron, close to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker, RFA Wave Ruler.

It is now Friday and the only UK media report of the incident is a late morning BBC story (11.42am) today – a day later than the Gibraltar Chronicle ran the story and Baroness Hooper told the House of Lords about the incident.

A Google News search shows that, at the time of writing, not a single UK newspaper has picked up this extremely serious diplomatic incident, with implications for the territorial sovereignty of Gibraltar.  In a classic example of the skewed and twisted priorities of the dumbed down media, do you know what story has made the front page, one way or another, of every major UK paper today?

Business, the EU, ‘reform’ and the Age of Ignorance

And the Europlastics are at it again…

A survey of more than 1,000 business leaders, from companies of all sizes and sectors, has found overwhelming backing for plans for an in-out referendum on Britain’s place in Europe, with 66% in favour, reports the pro-EU Daily Mail.

The story goes on to add that a total of 56% of those surveyed feel that ‘meaningful change’ of the UK’s relationship with Brussels requires treaty change and a relationship based simply on trade against 23 per cent who don’t. 

This shows us once again how EU membership (a purely political issue concerning sovereignty and decision making) is being mixed and confused with membership of the Single Market (a purely economic issue concerning trade).  By conflating the two, the Europhiles maintain the lie that we have to swallow the politics in order to benefit from the economics.  Once again there is no discussion or examination of the other opportunities that would available to the UK if it left the EU, which could be far more beneficial.

With UKIP having departed the field where the EU membership battle is being fought – and focusing itself on ignorant immigration pledges, train lines and water usage in urinals and toilets, rather getting the UK out of the EU – the Mail turns for comment to its usual useful idiots, who still push the false option of EU reform and perpetuate the lie that our involvement in the EU (in all its previous guises) was only ever intended to be about trade.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Business for Britain, said:

It will come as a surprise to many that a nationwide and representative poll of business leaders finds a clear majority support EU treaty change and a return to a trading relationship.

The reason is clear – most business leaders think the costs of the Single Market outweigh its benefits. Now that business has spoken, the pressure is on the Government to get a better deal from Brussels and make life easier for Britain’s job creators.

There it is… ‘return to a trading relationship’ says Elliott.  A relationship that never existed.  Yet of course the truth must never be allowed to get in the way of an agenda.  If Elliott was serious about ‘reform’ he would explain that we got to this stage because the European project has only ever been about legal and political union. Economics and trade were used merely as strategic enablers, helping along the political aims while concealed in plain view.

Adding to Elliott’s misinformation, the Mail adds comment from Alan Halsall, co-chairman of Business for Britain and chairman of Silver Cross Prams, who said:

Business has, until now, been poorly represented in the debate on Britain’s EU membership. My own experience is one of overregulation combined with protectionism, even within the  Single Market, and we have therefore focussed on trading with the fast-growing markets in the Pacific region.

I often wonder why there aren’t more business people calling on the Government to make fundamental changes to our EU membership.

This poll demonstrates that I and hundreds of thousands of other UK business people are not alone in wanting to see a much better deal from Brussels.

Horse. Dead. Flogging.  The usual rubbish from the usual suspects.  The aim was always political so what need was there to engage business?

Then comes a classic illustration of the failure of business or the media to connect the dots or acknowledge the reality of how EU membership stops the UK from making international trade agreements, as the EU decides for the UK what the agreements will be and who they will be with:

The poll finds that British business is increasingly looking beyond Europe for new trade and would like the Government to do so too. By 58 per cent to 21 per cent British business leaders want to see the Government focus on the emerging economic powers like Brazil, China and India rather than the EU for future trading links.

Our trading links are dictated and controlled by the EU.  The government does not have the power or right to do anything.  With this being the case, why are these Europlastics banging on about reforming ‘Europe’ and its political project, when leaving the EU – perhaps adopting the Norway Option – would make the UK an independent nation state with autonomy that can free itself of the inward looking EU focus they say is holding them back?  Such stupidity.

The questions remain.  Why do these Europlastics continue to pursue the failing approach of shackling this country to a ‘middle man’ that only passes down to us for implementation decisions that have been made at a global level without our input and influence? 

How can they talk of being more outward looking, yet argue in favour of a settlement that means the UK still going without a seat at the real top table, and not having a voice on the committees and organisations where global decisions affecting trade across the globe with the very ’emerging economic powers’ British business is increasingly trying to build stronger ties with, are made?

We are clearly living in the Age of Ignorance.

Even more ignorant than we originally thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The incredible ignorance of politicians writ large

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How offering false choices produces meaningless answers

Over on Political Betting yesterday, there was a post about recent polling as reported by You Gov for the Sunday Times.

PB, which has been keeping an eye on Labour’s polling fortunes since Ed Miliband’s junk status promise to enforce a 20 month price freeze for energy,  focused on one question which offered respondents a clearly biased selection of choices…

The Miliband pledge of an energy price freeze for 20 months:

Not only unworkable because it assumes wholesale market prices are static and factors that can increase or reduce price do not exists, but easy to circumvent by companies putting up energy prices before and after the period to recoup the same revenue they would have collected anyway.  It’s a false choice, a bit like the mythical ‘renegotiation’ option as an alternative to leaving the EU.

Excess profits tax on energy companies:

The key word here is ‘excess’.  Who determines what is reasonable and what isn’t?  Add to this the fact that most of the money energy companies make is from generating and selling energy to the wholesale market.  Is that what will be taxed?  They don’t say.  The profit from energy customers is around 5%.  Is that what will be taxed?  If so, is 5% profit ‘excessive’?  In any case, how does a tax help we consumers?  Will it be paid back to us, or just become another sum bundled in with general taxation for the government to fritter away as it sees fit? Anyway, we have to ask, how many companies would happily trot along working for just a 5% mark up on the cost of delivering a good or service?  Another false choice.

Reducing green taxes:

More popular than a windfall tax, but less popular than the Miliband con trick.  The obvious thing here is reducing green taxes and keeping them down will have a longer term effect on prices than a 20 month price hike holiday that only delays the inevitable.  But what this does not do is change the policy that sets a target for the percentage of renewable generated power in the energy mix.  So we still end up paying, whether through our bills or through general taxation, unless the Climate Change Act is repealed.  So this is also a false choice.

All of this shows that the polling was utter garbage.  Heads are being filled with ideas that are unworkable or non existent options that are no antidote to the problem of politically motivated rises in energy costs.

As a result the poll responses are utterly meaningless and does nothing but keep consumers in ignorance of the real reasons for much of the energy price rises.  There was no more value to it than asking people whether a phoenix, a minotaur or a winged horse should be the next 10 Downing Street pet.

Mainstream journalists have “a powerful reputation for accuracy” and bloggers are “no more than electronic versions of pub gossip”

Time and again that deluded tool of special interests, Lord Justice Leveson, will eat those words in return for his rank ignorance and opinionated myopia.

There is nothing that destroys the trust people have in a movement, or its credibility, or indeed undermines its objectives, as comprehensively, as being shown to be wilfully spreading inaccurate or knowingly false information.  But that is exactly what the Daily Express stands accused of today.

As Richard explains on EU Referendum, leading Eurosceptic journalist Christopher Booker, was approached by a newspaper who asked him to write a ‘robust’ commentary on the ‘plan’ by the EU Commission to ban the Union Flag from British meat packs.  Booker, along with Richard who often provides much needed forensic research expertise, soon discovered there is actually no such plan and went back to the newspaper concerned to tell them there was no story – foregoing what likely amounts to a four figure fee in the process.

This was after the Daily Express had contacted the European Commission about this ‘story’ only to be told it was not true.  Rather than dropping the piece, having been unable to deliver the narrative it wanted, the Express had commissioned John Ingham to write an article about this non existent plan the Express published despite the editorial team knowing it to be false.

An absence of fact checking is bad enough for the financed and resourced legacy media, but publishing a story for which they have been told there is no evidence and no basis in fact, is reprehensible.  This lack of integrity, this unprincipled behaviour, is damaging to the Eurosceptic cause.  If the Express knowingly published this story having been told it is false, how many other times have they done the same thing?  How much more false material is there waiting to harm the case for withdrawing from the EU?

As if this isn’t bad enough, it seems this false story has elicited outraged commentary from people whose very job necessitates them to sort fact from fiction using vast resources available to them.

Yes, that’s right.  UKIP’s seemingly infinite capacity for failing to do detail and instead shooting from the lip, has seen Paul Nuttall MEP, the party’s Deputy Leader, quoted on the UKIP party website as saying:

The EU is has launched this horrible offensive against national identity and scrapping appearances of the national flag is a way of doing that.

Consumers look for simple symbols like that when they buy meat to know they are buying British. We already have food supply chains that are far too long and British shoppers have lost faith in supermarket stock since the horse meat scandal.

Now I wouldn’t be surprised if shoppers instead are faced with the ring of stars logo instead. Well the general public are losing faith rapidly in the EU and will be seriously offended by these latest moves.

Really it makes more sense to be offended by something real rather than imagined, but hey ho.  With UKIP offering official comment that condemns plans that don’t exist, perhaps the faith the general public will lose will be in what the party has to say on EU matters.  On reflection, despite my regular complaints that UKIP is failing in its role by not using its platform to counter Europhile FUD, it is probably a blessing that its spokesman and MEPs stay silent on such EU related matters.  They should stick to filling vacant parish council seats until they can get their act together.

By knowingly publishing a false story the Daily Express is making fools of its readers and treating them with appalling contempt.  Rather than bolster the Eurosceptic cause they may well have done the opposite. So much for the mainstream media’s ‘powerful reputation for accuracy’.  It was a blogger who flagged up the media’s error and demonstrated integrity by setting the record straight.  Electronic pub gossip, or reliable and accurate guardian of the truth, m’lud?

The only way to defeat the Europhiles and their campaign of FUD is with the truth, with facts and with evidence.  The Express is therefore not an ally of our cause, but a ticking time bomb that could blow it apart.  The paper’s editors and journalists need to shape up or sod off.  We don’t need or want what they’re bringing to the table.

Another Parliamentary man-child exhibits petulant hysteria over Syria fallout

It seems there is no limit to the capacity for self indulgent hysteria among some Parliamentarians as they throw infantile hissy fits about that Syria vote.

Rather than pause and reflect on the shortcomings of their arguments, they revert to petulant jibes at those they believe betrayed them in their effort to project military power without a defined objective to a known or predicted effect.  Leading the tantrums is the pompous former Tory minister, Malcolm Rifkind, who is quoted in the Mail on Sunday.

So distraught is Rifkind about David Cameron’s defeat at the hands of Labour and 30 Tory backbench rebels, he has suggested the refusal to intervene in Syria will result in a perception of British weakness around the world, risking another invasion of the Falkland Islands.  Into the bargain he takes a swipe at Miliband in an effort to paint him as weak on military action, when he said:

This will not affect our determination to defend the Falklands. But that had better be made clear to the Argentinian government – especially by Mr Miliband.

Such a comment is preposterous.  There is no similarity between Syria and any potential Falklands conflict with Argentina.  It evidently does not follow that refusal to use British military power in Syria without a clear objective and required effect, means we would not use military power to known effect to achieve a clear objective in defending the Falklands.

Moronic comments such as Rifkind’s are the consequence and by-product of life inside the Westminster bubble.  As an isolated gene pool that breeds within itself weakens and degrades, so it is that tightly controlled and limited sources of information, along with self reinforcing bias confirmation, narrows minds and results in comparatively uninformed and disconnected political leaders.

All of which explains why moral outrage was the sole driver of the desire to attack Syria and there was no consideration or knowledge about whether such an intervention would have a humanitarian effect or harm those who were supposed to be protected by it.  There are times when intervention and military action to a defined outcome are necessary and appropriate.  This is simply not one of them.

More contradictory clap trap bemoaning Britain not attacking Syria

Some commentary that passes for prestigious, expert analysis is enough to make one exhale, roll the eyes and despair at the author’s sheer ignorance.

Stacked head and shoulders above the claque today is a steaming pile of dung produced Andrew Roberts titled, ‘Hideously amoral Little England has stepped through the looking glass’, which the Mail on Sunday publishes and promotes as ‘A top historian’s deeply personal – and inflammatory – critique of where Britain now stands on the world stage’.  Let’s have a flavour of it before we evidence Roberts’ sheer stupidity:

Britain has stepped through the looking glass into a weird and distorting new world, and one from which I fear she will never step back. By refusing to punish a foreign dictator for his despicable use of poison gas on unarmed civilians, we have deliberately relinquished our once-cherished role as one of the world’s foremost moral policemen, and joined the ranks of global spectators, merely tut-tutting from the sidelines rather than taking an active part in defending decency.

A huge cultural shift has taken place in our country and historians of the future will focus on Thursday night, in the House of Commons, as the time that the new Britain emerged in all its hideous, amoral selfishness.

There is more nonsense where that came from.  What is weird and distorting is Roberts’ failure to reference anywhere in his rant what the proposed military attack on Syria is supposed to achieve and evidence of consideration of the effects of the attack on the people we would be supposedly looking to protect.  Surely such a heavyweight historian would have learned and would now understand that when looking to use military force there has to be a clear objective.  Doling out punishment is not a clear objective where success can be measured and it is certainly not a responsible use of force.

But it is when one looks back at Roberts’ previously published opinions that we see just how much of a shallow fool Roberts really is.  Consider this extract from his 2007 essay ‘At stake in the Iraq war: survival of a way of life’:

In Iraq and Afghanistan, meanwhile, English-speaking forces ignore such pusillanimity and get on with the vital job of fighting those who would turn the Middle East into a maelstrom of jihadist anarchy and terror.

We know that Al Qaeda cannot be appeased, because if they could, the French would have appeased them by now. Al Qaeda is utterly remorseless, even setting bombs (detected by authorities in time) on the Madrid-to-Seville railway line in April 2004, after Spain decided to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Fortunately, however, the English have been here before. Thrice. Their history provides a number of apposite lessons about how to defeat this latest fascist threat.

Since 1900, the English-speaking peoples have been subjected to four great assaults: first from Prussian militarism, then by Axis aggression, then from Soviet communism. The present assault from totalitarian Islamic terrorism is simply our generation’s equivalent of our forefathers’ successful struggles against the three earlier fascist threats. But in this fourth and latest contest, victory is not yet in sight.

In researching my book, “A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900” – a coda to Winston Churchill’s classic – I visited the papers of 200 individuals in 30 archives on three continents. While there, I could not help concluding that this struggle against Islamofascism is the fourth world war. And I was repeatedly struck by how often common themes from the four struggles emerged.

So here we have a man who views us as being in a righteous ‘fourth world war’ struggle against Islamofascism, a battle being waged against an enemy that cannot be appeased – namely Al Qaeda.  Yet he has been hammering on his keyboard in foam flecked fury for the Mail on Sunday, because the handbrake was put on a military attack, the aim of which would be to punish a brutal dictator who is fighting against… Al Qaeda.  You could not make this up.

Roberts not only has no concept of the effects of military action per se, he is incapable of recognising that the Al Qaeda Islamic fascist threat he says we have to fight could only be aided by the British attacking the very forces that are actually fighting them.  And yet this buffoon is given copious column inches in the Mail on Sunday as a supposed expert.

This is yet another example of the shallow, superficial and uninformed substitute for reason and critical thinking that underpins the government’s emotionally driven rush to violence.  They are long on indignation, short on wisdom.  And as Roberts shows, their partisan and politically motivated cheerleaders are no better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cameron’s arrogance and idiocy shine through yet again

David Cameron has long been UKIP’s biggest and most insulting critic, famously employing his most smartarse comment when describing the party as made up of:

…fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly.

Today, having seen UKIP figuratively tear his party a new orifice, Cameron laughably attempted to portray himself as being above the very fray he personally stoked, by declaring:

It is no good insulting a political party that people have chosen to vote for.

One of the many things people in this country are sick and tired of is politicians attempting to dispense lessons to them that only the politicians didn’t understand in the first place.  It is utterly pathetic and it only serves to make Cameron look even more stupid.  He may as well have delivered his little monologue to a mirror, because that way his message would have been targeted at the correct audience.

The David Cameron speech – reality, delusion and ignorance

It was the kind of speech one should expect from a privileged individual, who has been brought up with a sense of entitlement to rule.

Cameron has a misplaced belief that in spite of all evidence he alone can change a decades-old destination; while leaving intact the structures built to enable its eventual arrival, ignoring reality and insisting that political union is desireable can be made to be democratic and be achieved while leaving nations states in charge of their own affairs.

This was less David William Donald Cameron, more Hans Christian Andersen. But no one who has paid any attention to this man’s approach and behaviour will have been surprised.

We cannot do justice to the response needed to David Cameron’s speech and tackle points that need to be rebutted with an immediate blog post. So a considered and detailed response will be forthcoming in the coming days – drawing upon evidence Cameron simply refuses to acknowledge.

The die has been cast and it is what we expected. Everything is being put together in a way that maintains the status quo. We now have the time to counter Cameron’s assertions and whimscal ideas with hard fact, and time to share it with people acriss the UK who perhaps feel there is more to all this than meets the eye. They are right. The clarity they are seeking will be published soon.

Sausages and laws, the media doesn’t understand how either are made

Witterings from Witney picks up on an article in the press about proposals for more 20mph speed limits and enforcement cameras, one in which the well-paid hack has failed to ‘dig beneath the surface’ of the story where the origin of legislation is concerned.  It indirectly provides more evidence of the fallacy of the ‘fax democracy’ the EU supposedly dictates to non-EU members of the European Economic Area (EEA).

It is a valuable piece that all readers would benefit from taking on board, as it shows that much of the legislation being introduced by national governments – and the European Union – is not ‘home grown’ and does not even originate in the European Commission, but rather is formulated by sovereign nations and handed down by UN bodies to which they have acceded.

The EU’s ‘common position’ as representative of its 28 member states therefore mean each member state has less of a voice in shaping these decisions than independent nations such as Switzerland and Norway – who engage directly with the UN bodies to shape legislation with their own voice.

As WfW wryly observes:

As mentioned on twitter by @WhiteWednesday, no doubt – and hopefully – the Swiss “faxed” Brussels to give them advanced warning of legislation they would shortly have to introduce – but I digress again.


What a waste

The Daily Wail has a piece today titled ‘Binmen take a battering‘ which reports how frustration among residents at ever more rules and regulations on household waste disposal – combined officiousness and high handed behaviour by councils and rubbish collectors – is boiling over into instances of violence.

What has happened has being typically overblown by the Wail, but where it’s happening it is an unsurprising reaction to public servants imposing constraints on the people they are supposed to serve, without any consultation or permission.  In short it is a reaction to everyday, overbearing, anti-democratic behaviour by the establishment.

As is usual with the British media the article stops where it does and makes no attempt to explore possible solutions or explain where and how the regulations originated.  So being a considerate chap, I have just left the following comment for consideration:

There is a simple solution to disposing of rubbish that would go into landfill – PLASMA GASIFICATION. It is a safe form or incineration that doesn’t put dioxins in the air and leaves only a small amount of residue which is inert and can be used as hard core for roads and developments.  Plasma gasification units, which have a 35-45 year life and would pay for themselves within 10 years, can also work in the same way as combined heat and power units.  Instead of putting waste into landfill, incurring huge costs thanks to the EU, landfill can actually be emptied and sent for gasification thereby generating power and solving the waste problem.  Ask your local and county councils and councillors why they are not installing this technology instead of burying rubbish or using incinerators.

To be clear, I have painted the positive side of plasma gasification and not referenced some of the cost and maintenance issues.  But the cost and maintenance issues could be quickly reduced if the technology was taken up more widely because there would be commercial value in improving the offering and increasing the longevity of systems within the plant.  The technology has opponents who play up the downsides, from anecdotal experience these tend to be people with interests in building and running incinerators, which is why the Wikipedia page puts concerns before the advantages.

In the county where I live I raised this issue with the county council ‘cabinet’ member with responsibility in this area.  He pledged to look at gasification but did nothing of the sort, and is now involved in a local fight over his decision to sanction a new incinerator.  Lazy, backward thinking and ignorance of the opportunities that exist.  Yet another example of how the public interest comes a distant also-ran to vested interests and narrow minded views.

Reality of wind folly dawns on the National Trust

According to the Chairman of the National Trust, Sir Simon Jenkins, ‘not a week goes by’ without the charity having to fight plans for wind farms that threaten the more than 700 miles of coastline, 28,500 acres of countryside and more than 500 properties owned by the Trust. He is quoted in the Barclay Brother Beano, saying:

Broadly speaking the National Trust is deeply sceptical of this form of renewable energy.

Jenkins has correctly identified wind power as the least efficient form of power generation.  Despite having previously supported all forms of renewables, the National Trust’s official position now caveats this heavily. The official position now is to support renewable energy, including wind, although only in places where the turbine will produce the maximum amount of energy and ‘with regard to the full range of environmental considerations’. Jenkins said:

We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside and the National Trust is about preserving the countryside.

Only the stuffed suits inside the Westminster bubble and those in the wind industry who stand to make a fortune from installing turbines, whether the wind blows or not and whether the energy contribution to the grid is negligible or not, remain doggedly in favour of this unreliable form of renewable power.  But that is all that’s required to push ahead with spending many more billions of pounds of our money on this folly.

As if to underline the level of reality disconnect among the political class, the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, has already stated his position when he claimed wind power will ensure energy security as fossil fuels run out, cut carbon emissions and provide jobs.  Very much a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Wind power cannot provide energy security. Wind fluctuates, therefore the power generated from it fluctuates. That is not reliable and therefore it cannot help us secure our energy needs. Until the dogmatic lunatics in orbit around the Cameron Presidency base policy on fact instead of the spin emanating from the rent seeking wind power companies, this subversion of common sense will continue.

Our lazy press and its appeals to authority

Scenario.  You’re a highly paid journalist working for what is considered by many as a heavyweight broadsheet with an international reputation.

The world economy is convulsing and an entire currency is sliding towards collapse, barely being held together by political interventions and actions that increasingly bind nations using that currency into fiscal and political union.

You secure an interview with one of the chief architects of that currency to talk about how this currency crisis came to be and whether he got it the design wrong.  It is time to prepare.

Do you:

a) Revise by looking back in detail as far as the interviewee’s report in the 1990s which formed the plan for the currency

b) Go back to the origins of the bigger project of which the single currency was merely a milestone, and the method of implementing change without stirring the people into revolt

c) Rock up to the interview with pad and tape recorder, ask if he got it wrong and accept whatever answer he gives as truthful fact and report it accordingly

If you answered ‘c’ then the Barclay Brothers might be interested in hiring you to work on their comic. It would explain the uncritical acceptance of the comments made by Jacques Delors in this piece by very grand Charles Moore (whose bio states he covers politics with wisdom and insight!), which is notable for the lack of any challenge of the points Delors makes.

There is a reason this blog describes the Telegraph as the Barclay Brother Beano, and Richard North’s tour de force on EU Referendum brings it into sharp relief.

While Moore faithfully relays the answers Delors provided to his lightweight questions – demonstrating a classic appeal to authority and lack of journalistic rigour – North does the job Moore should have done and gets into the history, the detail and the methodology to put into proper context what is happening now and why.

It puts a very different hue on Delors’ deceptive attempt to rewrite history and keep the masses in ignorance of the nature of the beast he loves and cherishes.

Update:  The BBC News is leading with the Delors interview furthering the ‘faulty execution’ line.  This is the derivative, unthinking media at its worst.

But what really stands out is how UKIP’s Nigel Farage has jumped into the story – spectacularly missing the point of the strategy behind the plan – to use Delors’ interview comments as evidence that the Euro was always destined to fail.  When Farage blows it this badly it vindicates my decision not to support his party.

The EU reality ignored by politicians and media

This week’s announcement by Sir Max Hastings that was supposed to reverberate around the media bubble with the force of a volcanic eruption – namely that he has changed his unimpeachable view and now thinks his precious EU has been a disaster – landed with all the impact of a downy feather gliding slowly down on to a paving slab.

Despite his 1800+ words of grandiose moral superiority, Hastings still didn’t ‘get it’, a point illustrated superbly by EU Referendum.  Now, following on the heels of that clinical assessment of Hastings’ waffle, Christopher Booker uses column in the Sunday Telegraph to point out the vacuous nature of Hastings and the Tory Europlastics and remind readers of the reality of the EU that is either ignored or disregarded by our craven politicians and useless media:

Until the points Booker makes are understood and accepted there is little point listening to anything the politicians and hacks have to say about the EU issue.

Talking to the political class’ non-issues will help expose their ignorance and duplicity but it will not move us forward very far.  Perhaps we are finally approaching the time when we should switch our focus from attacking the failing EU to presenting a positive vision for Britain’s future as the independent nation it would be if it threw off governance by Brussels.  Events are changing the terms of the debate.

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