Posts Tagged 'Spin'

BBC covering up for their friends?

Which of the following headlines do you consider to be the more newsworthy and being of greater public interest?

1. 25% of the population have been victims of a violent attack this year, or

2. 38% of the population are concerned about being violently attacked in the coming year

If a news organisation ran a story with headline one, then changed it to headline two later the same day, people could be forgiven for thinking that the organisation was perhaps trying to tone down the story by diverting attention away from the serious impacts that have been experienced by people and on to a statistic dealing in hypothesis rather than actuality.

The BBC has done just this today, not on the subject of violent crime but on the consequences of rising energy prices, particularly on low income and vulnerable households.

We will never know why they have changed the focus of the story, because any request for an explanation of an editorial decision or the process that led to the change is summarily rejected thanks to the BBC’s broad and routinely abused exemption under the Freedom of Information Act.  But there are some things we do know.

We do know, as covered in the previous post, the BBC is firmly on the side of environmental organisations, indeed any departure from the BBC’s ranks of environment reporters is invariably to positions in such eco groups or to become formal campaigners for such groups.  We also know as this earlier post reminds readers, that environmental organisations are the driving force at governmental level behind the insipid approach to energy policy that is pushing up energy prices to force people to use less energy.  And from the BBC’s survey findings we now have a clear picture of the consequences of this energy policy on real people, who are going without heat in their homes.

The effects of the energy policy going to get much worse.  More elderly and vulnerable people are going to perish this winter and in future winters because the cost of heating their homes has been dramatically increased, with much of that increase driven by direct and indirect levies and taxes demanded by the environmental NGOs, who sit alongside government and make the rules, unscrutinised, unaccountable and unmoveable.

If 25% of people surveyed have already suffered cold homes because heating is unaffordable, heaven knows how bad things will get for them in future years, let alone how many more households will be dragged into fuel poverty by this madness.  Who knows, even the BBC might struggle to conceal the impacts of the actions of their fellow travellers.

Asking people to make a decision without giving them all the options to choose from generates meaningless results

But it doesn’t stop the media from portraying the result as a clear expression of people’s wishes.

In recent surveys held by the British Chambers of Commerce, and now by the SME networking business, BNI, business owners have been asked if they want the UK to remain in the EU and continue to import and export with our neighbours, or to leave.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a substantial majority of business owners, given this false choice, will opt to stay in the EU in order to preserve their overseas trade.  Why is it a false choice?  Because in none of these surveys have the business respondants been asked if staying in the EU would matter to them if the UK left the EU but remained part of the single market and trade continued as freely with EU states as it does today.

These surveys are inherently dishonest, therefore their results are completely meaningless.  Reporting the results in the way the Telegraph has today, while making no mention of this fundamental, deliberate and persistent flaw in the questioning, means what we are reading is nothing less than blatant propaganda produced by people who restrict the options to choose from for a reason.

Some Councils are on the verge of collapse, are they?

The FUD is in full flood today with the BBC faithfully reproducing, without any effort to question or challenge the assertions, claims that a number of local authorities are at risk of collapse as a result of cuts in central government funding.

Clearly bored (for the time being) of demonising companies who quite properly seek to minimise the tax they pay, Margaret Hodge has moved the Labour Party agenda on to eeevil reduction of central funding to local councils.

Never mind that councils now derive more income from the charges and fees they impose on residents than they collect in Council Tax.  Never mind that the budgets of local authorities are loaded with spending commitments on non-essential activities that have never been to voters for approval.  Never mind that the funds from central government that local authorities are being to work with are no lower than they were only several years ago.  Never mind that just before the end of each financial year departments are falling over themselves to spend money left in the budgets so they can claim the same amount or more in the next budget round.  No, the councils are apparently on the edge of catastrophe.

This is all about power.  Whoever controls the money wields the power.  The problem is, as I saw all too clearly when a councillor in a mid-sized authority, not only do voters have no say in how the money is spent, elected councillors often have little idea exactly how much and where money is being spent.

The proliferation of ‘cabinet’ run councils and devolved powers to council officers mean the elected members have little to no control over where the money goes.  To molify them, councils now give members a sum of money each year to spend within their ward on a local initiative – subject to approval.  In my local authority the Labour councillors in one ward pooled their money to fund a one-day festival for ethnic minorities.  Me and my fellow ward councillors pooled our money and used it to fund SmartWater being put on residents’  personal property in a burglary hotspot.

Thousands of pounds were spent across the borough each year, but not a penny could be spent on the essential services an authority should be providing.  Regardless of the utility or otherwise of the councillors’ decisions, the fact remains councils and councillors were focussed on discretionary spending.  By way of another anecdotal example, a nearby authority broke its own funding criteria to divert hundreds of thousands of pounds to a maintain a theatre that was failing because it didn’t offer anything that enthused residents to want to use it. At the same time funding for a local care home was reduced.  Another example saw the council stump up thousands of pounds for PCSOs to walk the streets, even though residents had already paid the policing precept to fund officers, meaning residents were paying twice of ‘police presence’ on the streets.  Yet another saw demands to fund NHS staff to help reduce teen pregnancies, even though the primary care trust had decided it wasn’t a sufficient priority for money from its own budget.  And everywhere, the sustainability agenda never goes without cash, as councils – regardless of what councillors or party groups say or want – follow the directives, regulations and whims of supranational entities.

These are not the actions of ‘Baron Hardup’ stuck in a dusty Chief Executive office, getting by on a frugal stipend.  Rather these are the actions of people who fancy themselves as businessmen, only without competition or risk, where they cut a dash on six figure salaries and half a million pound pension pots as they devise new ways to extract ever larger sums from residents under pain of prosecution.

The fact is councils have expanded their reach into far too many activities where government has no business, let alone being core to their remit of providing essential services.  Try to get a line item breakdown of all the spending and grants made by your authority and you will be made to jump through hoops before being told some of the information is confidential, with items hidden on ‘pink papers’ that are barred from public release, so you can’t even see how your money is spent in your name.

Scare stories from the Public Accounts Committee and the Local Government Association aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.  Local democracy is anything but, accountability is non existant, and to maintain their perceived control the councils are misleading people into thinking working this coming year with budgets that were perfectly fine five or so years ago is completely impossible and requires a raft of essential services that have been provided for decades to be cut.

These ‘cry wolf’ warnings are not financial, they are politically motivated and they have nothing to do with serving the interests of the residents.  It’s time residents woke up and started to challenge the deceptions of these thieves in suits.

Blinkered… bloody-minded… and justified

It is a strategy of such ingenuity, such cunning and such extraordinary brilliance it could only be described as a stunning masterstroke.

There can be no doubt that the development of the strategy took hundreds of hours of painstaking planning, discussion, re-working and collaboration with interested parties to bring to fruition.  One can only stand, applaud and marvel at the sheer élan to which we are bearing witness.

So take a bow Ed Davey, no mere Energy Secretary, but an intellectual colossus making arguments of such unassailable depth and citing empirical evidence of such weight that every sceptic of the orthodoxy of climate change should declare their complete and unconditional surrender and endorse Davey’s factual reality.

What else can we do?  After all, Davey has deployed an argument so substantive as to be beyond contestation by mere mortals.

He has argued in powerful terms that we are guilty of being ‘blinkered’ and bloody minded, that it is we who have been undermining science for political ends, that it is we who have turned the issue of climate change into a political football and that it is we who have an uncritical campaigning platform in the media to be used by individuals and lobby groups.

No, really.

It takes a special kind of thick-skinned arrogance to be able to take the full range of accusations levelled against the government, for refusing to examine or consider scientific findings that challenge the extent to which man and carbon are allegedly influencing the climate, and level those at sceptics instead.

Moreso to attempt to deflect attention from the BBC, Guardian and Independent in particular, which uncritically report every alarmist claim – however ludicrous and unscientific – as fact and truth in support of the warmist agenda while ignoring anything that contradicts them including scientific findings, and denouncing ‘right-wing’ newspapers who very occasionally allow sceptics to point out where predictions made with a high degree of certainty have failed to materialise, and models have failed to reflect actual observations we see around us.

As for citing the sceptics for supposedly using climate change as a political football, it is downright dishonest to pretend that anyone other than the politicans have used climate change in such a way.  The topic has been booted back and forth in a metaphoric arms-race between the parties to impose climate change related taxes on businesses and households (overt and hidden extra costs on energy bills, air passenger duty, petrol prices, recycling rules, closure of power plants etc).  It has been exploited to force expensive ‘solutions’ on us that create far more of an environmental hazard (lightbulbs, wildlife killing and illness inducing windturbines), outlaw ever more things to limit choice (restricting the kind of boilers that can be used).  And it has been used as an excuse to pledge ever more money – with a significant sum heading overseas – to tackling a phenomenon that is barely understood, the source of which is still unproven, and which consistently fails to result in the catastrophic outcomes predicted.

If challenging all this is construed as blinkered and bloody minded by the likes of Davey, it is also without any shadow of a doubt  completely and utterly justified.

Davey is not just lazy, uncritical, dogmatic and ignorant.  With his quasi-religious zeal and immunity to reason, this swivel-eyed climate change loon’s attempt to stifle dissent and keep the bandwagon rolling on in spite of evidence that challenges it, is downright dangerous.

Fag packet found, the EU renegotiation planning begins…

Arch Europlastic, William Hague is reported this morning as having defined the first element of the UK’s renegotiation wishlist – and as expected this ‘concrete’ proposal is a mish mash of tough talk and hollow content.

The former self professed Eurosceptic, who as Foreign Secretary is now Brussels’ cheerleader-in-chief for all things blue with gold stars, will declare in a speech that national parliaments, such as the House of Commons, should be able to overrule legislation proposed by the European Commission if enough legislatures call for it to be thrown out.  This is almost certainly a kneejerk reaction to the European Commission’s prosecution of the UK for applying rules that force EU migrants to pass a ‘right to residency’ test that doesn’t apply to UK citizens, before they can claim various benefits, which is illegal under the EU law the politicians signed us up to because it discriminates against other EU citizens on the basis of nationality.

While this is good pink meat for the Euroweenies who want a ‘reformed’ EU, in reality nothing would change.  The rejection of legislation by the UK would need a number of national parliaments to support the British stance.  So if insufficient parliaments back what Britain wants, then this country would be forced to adopt the legislation regardless.  The sum of the power repatriated to the UK therefore amounts to nil.

So much for reform.

Move over, Cast Iron Dave, because there’s a new Eurosheriff in town!  Concrete Willy is his name, and he has found an old fag packet and angrily scrawled the first empty repatriation of power demand on the back.  Brussels can breathe easy as Britain’s place under the EU jackboot is safe in Hague’s carefully manicured hands.

This plan first surfaced in 2002 courtesy of Gisela Stuart during the constitutional Convention. It has thus already been chewed over many times and completely rejected.  It’s a non starter.  As such this announcement represents mere game playing on the part of Concrete Willy, who is giving little titbits to the lumpen media to distract them from the fact there is no renegotiation plan, much less any exit plan. The Europlastics, carefully steered by the Foreign Office’s europhile quislings, will do all they can to ensure it never gets that far.

EU ‘relationship’ Bullshit Bingo

For those avid players of Bullshit Bingo, we have had a plethora of bovine turd flooding the airwaves and column inches today from a number of Tory tribalists which would have enabled many of you to shout ‘Chateau! at your game cards.  Taking the topics in turn…

Trust in politicians

Gavin Barwell led the way in today’s game with his appearance on BBC Radio 4 Today where he said he would be voting for the amendment to the Queen’s Speech.  His rational was that the vote:

… isn’t an issue about Conservative MPs trusting David Cameron.  It is about using the legislative process to convince the electorate that the clear commitment he gave in his speech in January is going to happen. What we need to do is convince the sceptical electorate that we actually mean it. I think a very effective way of doing that would be bringing forward legislation, so we can go back to our constituents and say look, if you vote Conservative at the next election, here is a guarantee that we will get a referendum.

Presumably little Gavin was out of radio contact when Cast Iron Dave dropped his promise for a referendum on the Lisbon  Treaty, and again in 2010 when Cameron was asked about holding a referendum and opened his response thus:

I do not believe in an in-out referendum for many reasons. I think we are better off in the European Union…

Well Gav, what’s not to trust?

Cameron gets results in ‘Europe’

Tory MEP Martin Callanan, speaking on BBC Radio 4 PM this evening, argued that David Cameron is right to try to renegotiate the UK’s ‘relationship with the EU’ and that Lord Lawson’s claim that any deal Cameron might strike would be ‘inconsequential’ was wrong.  Referring back to the Trust in Politicians line taken by Barwell, he tried to suggest people didn’t trust Labour or the Lib Dems, while pretending Cast Iron Dave had not dropped his own promise to give voters a say on the Lisbon Treaty.

Callanan’s evidence that Cameron could renegotiate a good deal with the EU?  To paraphrase… apparently Cameron has shown he can get results in ‘Europe’ because of his success in reducing the EU budget.  Stop laughing at the back.  Yes, that’s right, this is the same EU Budget coup Cameron supposedly pulled off, that is about to be circumvented as EU finance ministers prepare to vote through extra contributions anyway.  As an EU official succinctly explained last week:

Britain cannot get a blocking minority of countries to stop the first €7.3 billion (£6.2bn) tranche of the €11.2bn the European Commission needs.

There is nothing the British government can do about it as the annual budgets are agreed by majority voting.

Yet despite this being common knowledge, Callanan deceitfully attempted to maintain the budget deal myth to talk up Cameron’s ability to get things done when dealing with the EU as part of the effort to hold the line on the faux renegotiation scam.

Callanan also took the new line rapidly being adopted by Europlastic Tories that if a referendum was being held tomorrow he would likely vote to leave, shamelessly trying to convince us he would vote himself off the gravy train and out of his luxurious Brussels pad! As if.  Clearly the plan of the Eurosceptics is to declare they would leave tomorrow, so in the event of a Cameron-led renegotiation that resulted in nothing of any benefit to the UK, they could all rush to declare a fundamental change and that we should remain firmly in the EU.

‘Breaking off’ the ‘relationship’ with the EU

The UK remaining firmly in the EU is the stated wish of one half of the Axis of Weasel, Barack Obama.  In between Barwell and Callanan’s appearance on BBC Radio, we were treated to the fortune cookie wisdom of the Chicago community organiser.

While graciously acknowledging that it was for the British people to decide the matter of EU membership – which is more than the other half of the Axis of Weasel, aka Cast Iron Dave, has been prepared to accept – he went on to lie that being subsumed into the EU and denied our own voice in international affairs and trade negotiations, is an “expression” of the UK’s global influence!  Doublespeak is alive and kicking in the White House.  Obama observed his view that Cameron’s:

basic point that you probably want to see if you can fix what is broken in a very important relationship before you break it off – that makes some sense to me.

This of course is complete manure.  Nothing is broken.  The EU is functioning exactly as intended, accumulating ever greater control while neutering nation states and dismantling every vestige of democratic accountability and avenues for people to influence and dictate the direction of government.  And of course, ceasing to be ruled from Brussels does not mean the UK and other member states would cease to trade, cooperate and support each other.

The language is purposely designed to give the impression that leaving the EU signals these isles would figuratively move away from the continental land mass and float off into the Atlantic, exiled and isolated.  Independence, it seems, is to be feared and dismissed for our own good…

Throwing in the Towel

With the odor of dung hanging heavy in the air, it was over to Cameron himself to add to the pungent aroma of stage-managed theatrics.

He called the position held on EU withdrawal by former cabinet ministers Lord Lawson and Michael Portillo ‘very, very strange’.  Presumably he feels every Tory should be in lockstep behind his efforts to bribe voters with a stitched up referendum if only they will consent to him remaining in Downing Street for an additional five years of inactivity, inertia, handwringing, excuses, mismanagement, patronage, debt, erosion of liberty and expansion of state power.

Cameron accused Conservatives wanting to leave the European Union of ‘throwing in the towel’ before negotiations had even started.  Only the most ignorant and delusional of people could kid themselves that they alone can reform the EU and reverse its essential core pillar – that of ever closer union, which entails ever more power surrendered by member states to the Brussels bureaucracy.

One would have thought that on the eve of the extent of Cameron’s impotence being revealed to all, when the EU finance ministers torpedo his supposed victory over the EU budget, he would show a bit more humility and re-engage with reality.  But the great con must go on.  The act must be played out to its conclusion and events in the real world must not be allowed to shatter the illusion that he has carefully created within the political bubble.

Media collusion

We can’t cover these steaming piles of bullshit without a special mention for the other enemy within, our fearless media.

Not once has any journalist pointed out the yawning chasm of difference between the EU and the single market, which are conflated by the europhiles as being one and the same – despite the fact leaving the political union does not automatically mean the UK cannot be part of the single market.

Not once has any journalist asked for an explanation about why it is necessary for national sovereignty and political power to be given up in return for ‘benefits’ that can be enjoyed just as easily through simple treaties.

Not once has any journalist mentioned Article 50 or explained its significance, much less asked for Cameron to explain why he won’t invoke it and makes no mention of it.

Not once has any journalist challenged Cameron to justify his tag of being an ‘instinctive Eurosceptic’ when he is desperately opposing every eurosceptic move being made to bring forward a referendum.

Anyone would think they are being careful not to challenge the politicians too hard in case ordinary people start to, you know, think there is an alternative to being ruled with no good reason by the BBC’s Brussels-based benefactor.

Farage attempts to snatch defeat before getting anywhere close to victory

Within hours of the party he has forged in his own image record its best ever results in local elections, if reports are to be believed, Nigel Farage has demonstrated yet again his complete lack of strategic thinking – which may arrest UKIP’s momentum and cost him essential votes from wavering Labour and Lib Dem supporters.

Having spent the election campaign delivering the message that UKIP offers something to Labour and Lib Dem voters who are unhappy with EU membership and the ongoing net influx of migrants, Farage has perhaps supped a few too many pints while posing for the media and, according to the Daily Wail, informally offered entertained the idea of [edited to reflect observations in comments] an electoral pact and coalition with the Conservatives as long as they drop David Cameron.

In many ways it’s not news because he’s said it before.  But in doing so now, just after making a comparatively major advance, Farage has blinked figuratively and shown weakness when he should be portraying strength and confidence.  Compounding this political illieracy Farage has also undermined UKIP’s apparent appeal as an entity that stands apart from the discredited three main parties; for instead of occupying the high ground above the political class in the eyes of jaded voters he has instead signalled his desperation to join with them.

What was supposed to be an insurgency designed to break the mould in British politics is now being revealed to those less schooled in the ways of Farage to have an altogether different aim.  UKIP candidates who enjoin voters to reject the Lib-Lab-Con will now have to explain why given UKIP’s plan is to cosy up to the Conservatives. As Richard eloquently explained yesterday to the Campaign for an Independent Britain, we are no further forward.

In the final analysis what this means for voters, desperate for a change to the political system and for this country to become democratic, is that real change is not on the agenda.  Farage’s objective is to be part of the political equivalent of the Royston Vasey community, which will result in the Lib-Lab-UKIP-Con.  Clearly the message to voters is that this league of gentlemen is a local bubble for local politicians and there’s nothing for us ordinary people here.

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.

What a load of old pony

Some may not know that ‘pony and trap’ is Cockney rhyming slang for excrement. But if they have the misfortune to read the increasingly detached Peter Oborne writing in the Barclay Brother Beano, they will no doubt reflect on the piece as just that.

Here we are just days after the funeral of the last radical political leader this country had, with the eulogies and the reflections on the transformation she brought about to the competitiveness and standing of the UK, still fresh in our minds.  Yet Oborne, in the style so beloved by the vacuous cabal of media sycophants, presents a ‘nothing new under the sun’ review of Nigel Farage which leads him to a typically brown-nosing conclusion in support of David Cameron and counsel not to ‘lurch to the right’ that stretches the bounds of credibility well beyond breaking point, which includes this:

I think Mr Cameron’s best bet is to stay where he is, and to fight on his record as a brave, competent and radical prime minister. Adopting such an attitude will take nerves of steel, and could lead to his premature exit if the parliamentary Tory party – that increasingly tremulous body – panics, as it probably will.

Brave, competent and radical? Cameron?

Only a shameless sycophant could describe Cameron in such a way.  What Oborne labels bravery is what most people recognise as insufferable ignorance, a refusal of Cameron to be swayed from the destructive path laid out by his masters in the EU and a plethora of international governance bodies.

Competence? A man who declared his war on deficit and debt has barely scratched the surface of the first, while presiding over a terrifying explosion of the second.

And radical?  There is nothing radical in being a lapdog for a self selecting global bureaucracy that has snuffed out anything resembling democracy and perpetuated the slow burn decline this country has experienced since the neo-social democrats wets removed Margaret Thatcher, and who along with their ideological soulmates but rivals for the illusion of power in the Labour party, commenced the reversal of this country’s recovery and the state’s coup over individual liberty, personal freedom and privacy.

But that’s the dumbed down poodle media for you.

Conservatives cost you less, do they?

From Richard at EU Referendum we have a story about the growing power of the European Parliament, relative to that of the European Commission.  But what the story also does is give lie to the often made claim by Conservatives that they cost you less.

The story is about the European Parliament rejecting a Commission plan to force up the price of so-called carbon credits, by delaying the auction of a variety of credit denominations until the end of the 2013-20 period, known as ‘backloading’.  The cost of carbon credits are passed on to consumers, driving up the cost of energy and goods.

But it is the background to the story which should be more interesting to British voters, as it demonstrates that the publicly stated concern of David Cameron and his crew of neo-Social Democrats about the energy prices people in this country pay, is a deceitful sham.

It transpires that David Cameron instructed Conservative MEPs to vote for the Commission’s proposal, in favour of forcing up carbon credit prices.  No, you did not misread that.  The official British position was to support the Commission’s attempts to ramp up the carbon price.   Some of the Tory MEPs rebelled and voted against, contributing to the rejection of the proposal by a mere 19 votes.  Think back to Cameron’s very public concern about energy prices for the hard pressed consumers and threats to legislate against the energy companies to force them to put customers on their lowest tariffs, then consider what happened in Brussels, and we have (more) hard evidence that Cameron is a duplicitous fraud and the claim that Conservatives cost you less is a blatant lie.

Following the vote the price of credits dropped to an all-time record low and the carbon market finds itself in a fair bit of trouble.  You might think this is good news and the end of the matter.  But there’s more.  Because to compound Cameron’s cynical actions we are reminded of something rather important by Richard :

Sadly, though, Britain does not get the benefit of this market collapse, Mr Osborne having already decided to add to the cost of the carbon credits, with an additional £4.94 in carbon tax. This, while continental industry and electricity consumers will be paying something like £2 per ton of carbon dioxide produced, the British equivalents will be paying about £7.

With the UK government committed to driving the carbon price up to £18 in 2018, to £30 in 2020 and to £70 in 2030, using the carbon tax mechanism, we now face the spectre of the EU’s carbon market collapsing completely, leaving the UK as the only country in the EU handicapped in this way.

As this blog always encourages people, ignore the spin and the weasel words and judge politicians by their actions.  We have the high borrowing, high taxing, wasteful spending antics of Labour and Liberal Democrat incompetents and, with this story, yet more evidence should any be needed that the Conservatives are absolutely no different.

Assuming in your area the Conservatives still have sufficient members to go door-to-door canvassing ahead of the County Council elections, if you want to have a little fun, share this story with them and ask them to explain how Conservatives cost you less.

Another Patriots Day, another murderous attack

It was unsurprising to see the BBC news team on Radio 4 executing the usual contortions this morning in their efforts to play up the possibility of ‘home grown’ domestic terrorism that stems from hatred of the US Federal government being behind the twin bomb attack at the Boston Marathon.

Memories of Waco and the Oklahoma bombing were dragged up as part of the BBC effort to enjoin people to not jump to an immediate conclusion that the bombing was the work of foreign or religiously inspired terrorists.

Even more curious was the attempt to conflate the timing of the attack with shooting massacres carried out by gunmen who were clearly insane or plain evil, and had no motivation or cause, save murderous destruction of human life.

If the BBC’s disciples of apologism had stopped to think for a moment, they would have realised that Waco stemmed from a desire by David Koresh, a religious fanatic, to resist the state’s efforts to interfere in his affairs – albeit many of them being criminal in nature.  Further, the Oklahoma City bombing was a direct attack on government structures, with Timothy McVeigh’s target being a Federal government building in the city.

There is no evidence to support the BBC’s desperate attempt to play down the possibility of an Islamist or Middle Eastern dimension to what happened by linking the attack in Boston to domestic terrorism directed against the US Federal government.

The signature has all the hallmarks of a planned and coordinated attack on a soft target, designed to kill and injure people and sow terror, in the manner so ruthlessly employed by Al Qaeda and their affiliates.  That doesn’t mean it can’t be an individual or group copying Islamist methods, but the effort to make people think this twin bombing is somehow comparable to Waco and Oklahoma City is a red herring and a disservice to the public.

The thoughts and prayers of this blogger are with the innocent victims and their families.

Why did YouGov change its EU opinion poll question format?

In the previous post this blog referenced a big change in voter views captured by YouGov if there was an in-out referendum on EU membership.

The Better Off Out campaign has an invaluable post on its blog that highlights the findings of a poll watcher, Leo Barasi, who spotted that YouGov had changed the question structure of its polls and then claimed an “opinion change“. You can read Leo’s post and follow up on the Noise of the Crowd blog.

When writing my previous post, Peter Kellner’s political leanings were a consideration, but these were pushed aside as it felt unlikely that a seemingly reputable pollster like YouGov would be so unprincipled as to lead respondents in a particular direction. Now I’m not so sure. YouGov needs to explain why it changed the format and explain the poll sample is therefore not like for like.

What this underlines is the EUphile side is active and vocal vocal and trying to defeat the EUsceptics before they effectively counter the scare stories about withdrawal. We have seen this in the media in recent weeks with a flood of op-eds all pushing the ‘in’ line, and now we have interesting changes to the poll format by the company run by the husband of the EU’s unelected Foreign Affairs representative, Catherine Ashton.

The EUsceptics need to get in the game right now and challenge the spin and distortion that is worrying some voters who previously wanted the UK to withdraw. Then even if YouGov walks poll respondents down a path they can still say no because they are informed about how the UK can leave and protect its economic interests.

Prestige failure – another badly informed business expert looks stupid

The ‘Next’ up on the conveyor belt of ‘business experts’ to offer their prestigious insight in the pages of the media claque is Baron Wolfson of Aspley Guise.

Click to enlarge

The former Simon Wolfson, this man is Chief Executive of Next, a Conservative Life Peer since 2010 and was a financial backer to David Cameron’s leadership campaign in 2005 – exactly the sort of man the Telegraph would run to for comment.

But despite an expensive education and even more expensive remuneration package, Wolfson demonstrates a frightening lack of knowledge about a subject that has enormous impact on the business he runs. He joins a long line of establishment and business figures who unwittingly or deliberately conflate EU membership with being part of the single market, despite them being separate as shown by .  But his comment goes unchallenged as the media refuses to do anything that will remind viewers and readers of the reality of the European project, because the media supports the project.

Anyone who has taken even a rudimentary look at the history of the European movement will know Britain joined the EEC, and remained an enthusiastic member its all its subsequent guises, knowing the destination was political union.  While voters were lied to and spun a tale of only joining a common market, reams of evidence in the years that have followed have been presented to show the political class and civil service knew, approved of and actively pursued full British integration into political union.  Britain exactly signed up to the inexorable march to a federal Europe.

For Wolfson to state otherwise proves one of two things:

  1. He is a badly informed and poorly read individual whose lack of knowledge should require him to stay quiet, or
  2. He knows the reality and is just another Tory Wet stooge knowingly repeating a lie for partisan political ends

Either way, his intervention in the debate adds no value and leaves him looking stupid.

But there is a wider issue here.  The media is being flooded with these inaccurate and misleading editorials and op-eds, part of an effort to rewrite history and make ordinary people accept the distorted record as fact.  While comment threads online are loaded with rebuttal and corrections, that is not a feature of the dead-tree press bought from news stands.  An evidence-based campaign will be needed soon to correct the record in local and national media so people can see how the establishment has lied to them, again.

David Cameron’s ‘fax democracy’ lie nailed by the facts

If you read about this

Then please do take a few moments to read this by Witterings from Witney, followed by this from Richard at EU Referendum.

It might not please some of the Cameroon true blue Tory partisan party animals but the truth, rather than Cameron’s shameful lies, should be told.  When you see the scale of the deception you have to ask what other lies are being told.

Similarly it might not please some of the Farage fan club in UKIP but the content of those two blog posts, rather than tweets such as the one below a day after the lies were told, is how you tackle and defeat Europhile untruths.  It makes one wonder whose side he’s on.

The wind energy subsidy farmers are looking to boost their harvest of our cash

A couple of weeks ago after John Hayes made his comments about enough being enough when it comes to onshore wind turbines, I listened with incredulity to the radio as the bandwagon jumping opportunist, Dale Vince (founder of Ecotricity) claimed that in 2011 support for onshore wind turbines cost consumers only £5 per year on their energy bill.

While I should have written about it at the time I was busy with other things and let the moment pass.  However now is an ideal moment to bring this deception back to the fore.  Firstly to correct the falsehood promulgated by Dale Vince, a man with tens of millions of pounds worth of vested interest reasons to spin a lie.  One commentator on the Bishop Hill blog puts it nicely in context:

Looking at ROC’s [Renewable Obligations Certificates for the UK] rather than any other costs, that’s £1.3 billion, which, if we assume 24 million households gives us £54.17 per household p.a. or around 15p a day. Further into the report they [Ofgem] state that out of the 24.9 million ROCs issued, 7.7M were for onshore wind, so applying that factor to our figures would still leave us somewhere north of 4.5p per day per household just for ROCs and only for Onshore wind.

Colour me sceptical, but I call bullshit on the 2p figure, unless someone wants to point out where I’ve gone wrong in the above maths and can also explain how, other than ROCs, wind power costs absolutely nothing.

And of course, wind power does cost the taxpayer a lot more than that because ROCs are not the whole cost of renewables.  Not even close.  Vince and the various lie machines at the heart of Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are deliberately leaving out other costs to the taxpayer to make their subsidy farming seem almost inconsequential for the hard pressed taxpaying consumer.

The reality is that the amount paid in wind power subsidy during the coming year is expected to be over £1 billion, with just 10 companies between them set to get £800million of our tax pounds through subsidies over the next 12 months.  That figure is not included with the ROC direct charge on our energy bills.  Nor is the cost of paying over the odds for energy produced via Feed-in Tariffs.

A look at DECC’s own figures (pg 64) show they admit the cost of renewables policies alone has already added 15% to the retail price of electricity (£/kWh) and this will rise to 27% by 2020 – and wind subsidy is a signifcant part of that. £5 per year?  Give over.

So why is this background timely now?  Because in the media we are seeing comments from the likes of John Selwyn-Gummer (aka Lord Deben) hinting at a change in focus to offshore wind power.  Earlier this year the cost of offshore wind was £150–£169 per MWh and the most optimistic projections don’t see offshore wind close to £100 per MWh until at least the 2020s.  How does that compare to other energy generation?  Well, why not let the Secretary of State at DECC tell us

Reports by ARUP and Parsons Brinckerhoff [External link] commissioned by DECC in 2011, found that the cheapest onshore wind has a cost of £75/MWh, which is around the cost of nuclear at £74/MWh.

Given these costs you can be certain that if the amount of subsidy doled out for onshore wind is staggering, the billions of pounds of subsidy that offshore wind will attract will be mind blowing.  Which is why the wind subsidy farmers are content to dial down onshore wind and position their behaviour as conceding to people pressure to stop scarring our landscape.

There is an evident financial vested interest in doing so and the taxpayer is going to see the amount of money diverted to offshore wind dramatically increase, both in visible ROC charges on bills and government spending that uses more of our tax pounds to make the proliferation of offshore turbines attractive for private business that will make huge sums as a result.

Do not be fooled into thinking the gradual shift in focus from onshore to offshore wind that is underway and will become more prominent in weeks and months to come is any form of victory for taxpayers and residents.  A bigger and more lucrative opportunity has been identified.  The wind energy subsidy farmers are not backing off, they are actively looking to boost their harvest – and their crop of choice is our cash.

How the Nobel Peace Prize was stolen by EU’s colleague

For a construct that has stolen power from 27 countries, a mere matter of stealing a Nobel Peace Prize is a very minor affair.

So writes friend of this blog, Richard North on EU Referendum.  For in looking closer at the events surrounding the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU, it is now coming to light that underhand methods were used by the prize committee chairman, Thorbjørn Jagland, to force through the EU as the recipient of the award.  Jagland, as we explained previously, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe – and a fully committed and paid member of the cabal whose aim is to ensure EU governance over Europe.

The totally impartial and completely agenda-free Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee who decided the EU should win the 2012 prize

Jagland, it transpires, called the committee to vote on the award only when one of its members who was firmly against such an idea – Ågot Valle, former deputy leader of the “No to EU” campaign – was on sick leave.  The rationale being the committee is supposed to make every effort to achieve unanimity so as to avoid controversy.

Previous attempts to deliver this award to the EU have failed despite repeated nominations by the EUphiles, who were desperate to have some form of endorsement of their uttlery misleading rewrite of historical fact that the EU was responsible for peace and democracy across Europe since World War II.  There is no irony in the fact the EU could only have the award delivered by their ‘colleague’ by way of the kind of anti-democratic and underhand manoeuverings which characterises the construct.  North goes on to put further context around the background to this award:

Thus in a country where 80 percent of ordinary people are against the EU, we find a committee where everybody is in favour of the EU.

If ever there was anything that typified the chasm of a disconnect between the establishment and the people, and the depth of the contempt shown for the people, this is it.  Unsurprising therefore that the overwhelming reaction to this self-given award has been scorn, mockery and anger.  This has resulted in a ‘shitstorm’ that has EU cheerleaders desperately lashing out and in pathetic pre-pubescent rage describing the EU as ‘Europe’ to suggest opposition to the stateless supreme government is opposition to a whole continent.

Media lead story: No change on referendum about EU membership

Yawn.  Once again we are subjected to spectacle of the media getting moist about what it perceives as a major political story.  The Sunday Failygraph gives space to the Vacuous Unprincipled Cameron (Vuc) to waffle inanely with meaningless verbiage, leading to the BBC and others diving in to paint this as Vuc the Europlastic paving the way for a referendum on EU membership.

But as always you have to ignore the sub editor’s hype and instead read the words on the page.  When one does so, one will find nothing has changed.

Cameron clings to his narrative about ‘getting what is best for Britain’.  Read Vuc’s quotes dating back several years on this subject and he has made clear time and again that he believes EU membership is what is best for Britain.  No change.  Vuc will fight tooth and nail to keep Britain firmly inside the EU.  Cameron goes on to say:

I am not against referendums in our parliamentary democracy. Parliament is elected to make decisions and be accountable, but when powers are transferred it is right to ask the people.

It is enough to make one lose the will to live.  From the moment Vuc the Europlastic slithered into Downing Street the government he leads has transferred a raft of powers to the EU – even quicker than the Europhile Labour administration – and the people have not been asked once if they approve.  We have a Prime Minister who resides in a realm of fantasy where he waxes lyrical about power transfer and referendum locks, in spite of the evidence.

Having openly declared his firm Europhile position, our ‘practical Eurosceptic’ / ‘instinctive Eurosceptic’ / arch Europlastic continues his voyage of delusion with talk of our supposed ‘relationship’ with the EU.  We do not have a relationship with the EU.  It would be nice if we did for that would signal that we are not part of it.  It is not possible to have a relationship with something of which you are constituent part.  But his ludicrous assertion continues to be treated by the media as an uncontestable truth and Vuc is allowed to get away with this blatant deception.

After yet more Vuc babble that just isn’t worth your while reading, we get to the Vuc quote that has prompted orgasms at Failygraph Towers:

Nevertheless I will continue to work for a different, more flexible and less onerous position for Britain within the EU.

How do we take the British people with us on this difficult and complicated journey? How do we avoid the wrong paths of either accepting the status quo meekly or giving up altogether and preparing to leave? It will undoubtedly be hard, but taking the right path in politics often is.

As we get closer to the end point, we will need to consider how best to get the full-hearted support of the British people whether it is in a general election or in a referendum.

As I have said, for me the two words “Europe” and “referendum” can go together, particularly if we really are proposing a change in how our country is governed, but let us get the people a real choice first.

Richard North over at EU Referendum has on more than one occasion patiently dissected and deconstructed the notion of Britain being able to engineer for itself a different position within the EU to other member states in the way Vuc puts forward.  That Vuc continues to spout such idiotic nonsense confirms that he is either a determined liar, or an incompetent with no understanding of how the EU and its mechanisms work.  Either way, he is deceiving the British people.

But while he may be deceitful he is surrounded by advisers and influencers who are capable and cunning.  Hence the deliberately vague language about how people might be given an opportunity to signal their wishes in respect of the EU.  But note, he has already made clear an in/out referendum is not to be put to the people.

So a binding democratic decision by the electorate about EU membership is a non starter and in the unlikely event there is any form of referendum, it will be based on a fallacy and will ask the people if they want to have a different relationship with the EU – which is virtual impossibility.  Nevertheless, we will hear for days fevered speculation from the talking heads in the Westminster bubble about the shape and timing of a referendum that still has not been commited to and even if it did come to pass is even less likely to ask the question people want to answer.

Yet more ‘media plurality’ hypocrisy from the Guardian

The ever dwindling band of Guardian readers were subjected to one of editor Alan Rusbridger’s reality-warping, self indulgent rants of vested self interest on Sunday.

In his piece ‘The overwhelming case for plurality’, Rubbisher ludicrously says that his media plurality meme:

‘is not just about Rupert Murdoch – allowing media power to be concentrated in the hands of a few multibillionaires will impoverish society.’

So how do the Guardian’s lavishly paid mandarins, who continue to churn out excuse after excuse to set aside the BBC’s domination of the media landscape, walk their talk?  In a classic piece of ‘do as we say, not as we do’ the Guardian Media Group sold its GMG Radio enterprise, which includes the stations Smooth Radio and Real Radio, for around £70m to Global Radio.

The outcome is that Global Radio now controls over 50 per cent of the UK commercial radio market.  How very plural.

One can’t help but wonder what the Guardian’s reaction would be if Rupert Murdoch controlled over 50% of UK commercial radio.  Clearly plurality remains the hollow excuse for the assault on News Corp and the left wing media’s continuing efforts to neuter BSkyB as a rival to the BBC while chipping away at News International’s newspaper business.

Amnesia afflicts Wiltshire Police

October 2011

As reported by the BBC:

… Chief Constable Brian Moore urged the public not to call with things “clearly not matters for us to deal with”.

Mr Moore said cutting down on the number of irrelevant calls from members of the public was also essential.

“Don’t waste my time,” he said.

“Don’t call us for things that are clearly not matters for us to deal with.

“We don’t have the time to do that – we never have had but we particularly don’t have now.”

… The chairman of Wiltshire Police Authority, Christopher Hoare, said they were working “to ensure that the public only call the police when they need them for policing work”.

… Kate Pain, from the Wiltshire Police Federation, said officers want to get back to “core policing” and “can’t do everything for everybody”. […] “So as a result of the cuts and our restructuring we are going to have to be quite clear in our message about what is and is not a police matter.”

The message seems pretty clear. Cuts are reducing the ability of the police to perform their role.  OK.

June 2012

Now fast forward now to a piece in the Daily Wail:

School truants are being hauled out of bed by police and escorted to classes in a patrol car.

Officers are clamping down on truants by calling at the homes of any pupils who fail to turn up to school without a reason.

If they are still in bed, police get the parents to wake them up before driving them to lessons.

Clearly those deep, far reaching, unprecendented cuts are having a major impact on front line policing. That or Wiltshire Police have forgotten all those things they were saying last year before telling the public how officers are being deployed to round up children and masquerade as school bus drivers.

All too predictable

Gordon Brown was renowned for his rehashing and re-release of announcements to make existing commitments or actions already underway appear as new initiatives.  It seems David Cameron is taking a leaf out of Brown’s book.

In an all-too-predictable piece in the Barclay Brother Beano today by Patrick Hennessy, readers are told that Cameron:

… will produce a series of measures that he hopes will give “red meat” to Conservative backbenchers, who are calling for action to appeal to their core voters after poor local election results.

One of the few mentioned is this:

* clamp down on crime with a new “British FBI”, tougher anti-social behaviour measures and community sentences;

A new British FBI?  Apparently Cameron:

… hopes that other items in the Queen’s speech – including the creation of the new National Crime Agency, which is seen as a British FBI; more “intensive” community punishments and moves to seize credit cards, passports and driving licences from criminals – will satisfy critics.

The inclusion in the Queen’s Speech of the creation of the National Crime Agency is a mere formality and is not the signal of a change in direction to appease pissed off Tories.  Its creation is old news.  It was offically announced in June 2011 by Theresa May, who hailed its creation as:

… a landmark moment in British law enforcement.

We were told nearly fully one year ago that the NCA will come fully into being in 2013, with some key elements becoming operational sooner. Its new head was announced in October 2011.  The timetable for it to be formally brought into being was included in the Home Office publication from which May’s comment was taken:

And as per the timetable, the work of putting the pieces into place has already happened.

So given all this, how is it that the Tories are being allowed to spin the widely trailed creation of the National Crime Agency as one of a series of measures that Cameron hopes will give “red meat” to Conservative backbenchers, who are calling for action to appeal to their core voters after poor local election results?  Why is the lamentable Telegraph conning its readers by pushing this matter as a reaction to poor local election results?  If this is what the battle plan to avert a Tory civil war looks like, they are probably be using Wellington’s plan at Waterloo as a template for the defence of the Falkland Islands.

If the NCA is something that is supposed to appeal to core Conservative voters – circa 9.3% of the electorate on Thursday – one wonders how many of them will be pleased when they discover down the line that this is a big enabling step on the patient journey to a cross-border EU policing agency, which carefully maintains the promise not to integrate existing police forces while achieving what Brussels wants.

Update: A subsequent tour of my blogroll shows that the always excellent The Boiling Frog was on to this last night when the Failygraph article was published.  It is well worth reading.  TBF shows that several other Queen’s Speech inclusions mentioned in the Fail are also rehashes.  This is not so much ‘red meat’ for Tories as undercooked Groundhog for the rest of us.

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