Posts Tagged 'Useful Idiots'

Following the ‘climatologist’ humiliation in Antarctica, the all too predictable and desperate alarmist response

It was only a matter of time.  With the MV Akademik Schokalskiy stuck fast in the Antarctic sea ice that was supposed to have melted in line with so many computer model predictions, the humiliated laughing stock that comprises the climate alarmist community has predictably rushed out a story to distract attention from the fiasco, in their default propaganda outlet:

Update: Katabasis, in the comments, points out that the source for the distraction effort story is Professor Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales.  As if by sheer coincidence, the ice locked expedition in Antarctica is being led by Professor Chris Turney… one of Sherwood’s team in the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.  Fancy that!

It seems all this warming will not come in time to prevent the spectacle of BBC and Guardian journalists, ‘climatologists’ and an assortment of non climate academics – who believe themselves able to walk on water, and thanks to the cold conditions in the south have been reduced to doing just that to pass the time – being airlifted from the vessel while a stalled rescue operation continues.

The desperation of the Guardian’s environment hacktivist, Damian Carrington, in rushing this scare story to the top of the Graun’s website while playing down the reality of colder than expected conditions in the southern seas and what this means for the alarmist predictions, is just too funny for words.

Europlastics at large

Today’s big political story, the Adam Afriyie inspired vote to bring forward an EU Referendum in this parliament, will be the big story for the wrong reasons.  As the Daily Mail reports:

David Cameron is facing a Tory rebellion of up to 20 MPs today as he tries to head off calls to hold a referendum on Europe next year.

Maverick Tory Adam Afriyie last night indicated he would defy the Prime Minister and force a Commons vote as he tries to make the PM hold a referendum before the 2015 general election.

The media will paint this as Eurosceptics trying to push David Cameron into an early referendum so people can have their say on who runs Britain.  The reality is rather less noble. They are not doing this for us.  This posturing is the political equivalent of the Italian Job with Afriyie in the Michael Caine role, leading a small gang on an enterprise in their own interest.  This is the self preservation society in action, putting their electoral prospects before all else. As the story reminds us:

In a letter to MPs, Mr Afriyie said: ‘This is Conservative MPs’ last chance to try to secure a  referendum. If we don’t take this opportunity we risk sleepwalking to election defeat by driving voters to Ukip.’

We may as well look away.  This is a local issue for local political climbers, there’s nothing for us here.  Whereas in the film we are left guessing as to whether Caine’s gang managed to save the gold they had plundered, the outcome of this little enterprise is nailed on.  It is going nowhere.  But that won’t stop the media hamming it up in an effort to embarrass Cameron.  With most governance being managed from abroad, this is what passes for major political news in Britain these days.

Still, it will serve to deflect attention from something else.  So keep your eyes peeled for something unappetising being sneaked out while the glorious media corps piles into Westminster in an effort to make a big drama with some colouring pencils, old pieces of newspaper and paste.

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.

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.

Negative, negative, negative. Ignore the EuroFUD and seize the positive!

Another day, another steaming pile of fear, uncertainty and doubt bullshit from the pro-EU corporatists.  Roland Rudd’s insipid tentacles have been unfurled again and the media, biased beyond belief and fully paid up members of the pro-EU club, meekly repeat the latest instalment of fearmongering with uncritical fealty.

This time the federalist fanatics at the Guardian play host to the latest dose of dishonesty.  Never mind that less than half of UK exports are actually destined for EU member states, there’s more lies to boot in there.  Martin Barker is the joint-Managing Director of Rowan Precision Ltd.  However, he didn’t just decide out of the blue to submit a piece to Comment is Free; he is an EU enthusiast who plays an important part in advocating the agenda of Rudd’s extreme pro-EU Business for New Europe (BNE) and is one of their signatories.  As such he is also referenced by another Conservative pro-EU front organisation, British Influence, and provides soundbites on demand to keep the Europhile drumbeat going.

What is really interesting is the language being used by the EuroFUDers.  They have clearly been stung by the positive narrative coming from the blogosphere.  As blogs such as EU Referendum have exploded the myth that leaving the EU and its political control does not mean leaving the single market and its economic benefits, the EuroFUDers have adjusted their pitch to what we see in byline (emphasis mine):

Limited or restricted access to the EU’s single market would be an impediment to growth, job creation and innovation.

This shows us they are admitting the game is up for their dishonest sweeping claim that leaving the EU means leaving the single market and all that would entail.  The fear has been removed.  So a new anxiety is required, hence the launch of this revised argument that is designed to suggest that yes, while we could leave the EU and remain part of the single market, that involvement would in some way be limited or restricted.

More fear, more negativity, and yes, more dishonesty.  The fact is a country is either part of the single market, or it isn’t.  There is no question of limited or restricted access.  Such a notion has been dreamed up to maintain FUD.  The narrative is as predictable as it is disingenuous and deceitful.  A perfect example can be seen in the comments.

Via their sockpuppets they will argue that the structure of Norway’s economy is more limited than ours, as if they makes any difference to the ability of companies to export to EU member states or UK consumers to import from them, which is the rationale for single market membership.  They will also claim that access needs to be re-negotiated, doggedly avoiding the fact the UK could simply join the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) – an organisation co-founded by the UK – to remain part of the European Economic Area (EEA) aka the single or internal market.  Then there’s the spin and deceit about Switzerland’s relationship with the EU, which in no way restricts their single market access as they are also EFTA members.

All these twists and turns by the EuroFUDers must be happening for a reason.  Their only stated concern is the ability of the UK to maintain access to the single market, because they only cite worries about any loss of business or economic benefits to the UK.  So when a clear solution is presented that enables the UK to retain those benefits, why all the contortions to falsely declare them unworkable, limited, or restricted?  The only possible answer is that their true agenda is political, not economic, and their only aim is to keep the UK firmly part of the EU under the political control of Brussels.

That is the only logical explanation.  Why else would they eschew a continuation of the single market membership they claim to prize above all else, but also coupled with the UK being able to arrange future trade deals solely on the UK’s and third country’s own terms, rather than the consolidated compromise fudge deal scrunched up to suit partial interests of all 28 EU members?

There is a positive future that awaits the UK outside the EU.

A future with the capacity for much better trade deals on much more advantageous terms, offering far greater opportunity for British businesses and consumers.  Not only that, but the UK being able to sit at the global top table on international bodies in its own right, determining and influencing global regulations long before the EU member states have them handed over for implementation by Brussels.  As the quislings at Business for Rule from Europe and Brussels Influence see their strawmen knocked down one at a time, they will be unable to escape having to address this argument.  Who knows, even UKIP might finally find its voice!

Delusions of the Living Dead, aka Europlastic Tories

A Victor Kiam moment here at AM Towers.  This blog post over at EU Referendum hit the nail on the head so accurately and articulated my own thoughts so precisely, I have ripped it off almost entirely, with only a few minor personalisations.

——————


Normally, I ignore Conservative Home. That part of the blogosphere remains the hunting ground for tribal warriors, and I have neither time nor patience for its party-before-principle guest and the attendant petty-mindedness.

Others, with tougher constitutions, still frequent the site, and I have thus had my attention drawn to this from Andrea Leadsom (above), who is still pushing her mantra of “meaningful reform” of the EU. And there is also this from George Freeman, also of the Fresh Start Group.

Actually, having read the pieces, I wonder why I bother – why anyone bothers. Neither are saying anything new, nor anything interesting – there is nothing at all that informs or inspires. We are not getting argument – simply leaden propaganda, repeated again and again, presumably to reinforce the belief systems of the faithful – for no one else will believe it.

Richard North’s answer to this was given in June 2004, repeated many times, but particularly in January of this year. These are Richard’s “barking cats” pieces, to which – in conceptual terms – neither he nor I can add very little. Leadsom and her ilk – including her Open Europe minders, say we must “reform”. I, and many others, say that “meaningful” reform is not possible and will never happen.

And those are the positions – fixed, unchanging. There is no debate, nor any possibility of debate. Disagree, and make the mistake of disagreeing too forcefully or too often, as you get “disappeared”. The other side do not want to know, any more than we want to hear the repetitions of their flawed, evidence-free and indeed ridiculous arguments.

From that, though, does not emerge a counsel of despair – simply a recognition that head-butting gets you nowhere. It seems to Richard – and I wholly agree – that a better strategy is to introduce new facts and ideas, which by-pass the blockage. Leadsom might want to bleat about “over-regulation” and “negotiating over tedious directives”, at EU level. We simply point out that the regulation is at dealt with at a global level and that is where the UK needs to be engaging.

On wind turbines, we can rehearse the arguments for and against until the cows come home and the macerated birds fall from the sky. But sell the idea that, if you buy wind, you get diesel, and pay an additional £1 billion extra for the privilege, and the argument looks very different. Similarly, take the claims of our influence inside the EU, and tell people we can’t even argue for our mackerel quotas and again the terrain looks very different.

But talking about the reality and sharing it with others who are not as well informed is why the opposition wants to control the flow of information. It does so mainly by ignoring new facts – by not discussing them, not debating them, not even recognising them. When, for instance, have you ever heard about Codex on Conservative Home?  Where have they added value or anything worthwhile to the sum of their readers’ knowledge?

Thus, we do not speak to the close-minded. It is a waste of time. The likes of Leadsom will go to her grave still arguing for “meaningful reform” of the EU, long after we have left the EU and it has crashed and burned. We can’t deal with that. This is the dialogue of the living dead.  The stake through their heart or axe through their head will be when reality – that thing they desperately ignore as they play party political games for a party political audience – bites hard.

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.

The supposed listening Prime Minister

David Cameron and his Cameroon Tories are very fond of telling voters that the Conservatives are ‘listening’ to them.

One wonders if Cameron will be listening to one of his Witney constituents who has published a robust and uncompromising open letter to Cameron, accusing him of lying to the general public when he stated of the UK’s future:

I don’t think it’s right to aim for a status like Norway or Switzerland where basically you have to obey all the rules of the single market but you don’t have a say over what they are.

Witterings from Witney’s accusation is well founded even if the language is somewhat unparliamentary. But who couldn’t excuse his frustration?

The only way to challenge false assertions is through attention to detail and citing evidence that proves the assertions are untrue. Witterings does this with finesse as he tells Cameron:

Where the rules of the single market are concerned you are fully aware that your statement belies the way most single market legislation is made. It is well known that most proposals, by the time they reach the Council for a vote, are already cast in stone and thus unable to be changed; consequently the voting issue is the last and least important part of the process. Not least, a huge amount of technical legislation is formulated at a global or regional level, in bodies such as UNECE (on which Norway is represented) and then handed down to the EU institutions as “diqules” which cannot, in substance, be changed. Thus Norway, for example, has a considerable say in the nature of regulation, long before it gets anywhere near the EU.

Witterings adds more solid evidence for good measure that you can see by visiting his blog. It would be a delight to sit down with some popcorn and watch Cameron twist and turn, bandy weasel words and obfuscate furiously in an effort to qualify his assertion in a forlorn effort to make it fit with this powerful contradictory evidence. However it is more likely Cameron will not ‘listen’ as he claims and instead remain in the ‘transmit’ mode that seems to infect politicians who play their idiotic games inside the Westminster bubble.

As such this blog (and I hope, you, dear reader) will do its bit to spread the word about these false claims and point to the truth until even the media cannot ignore it any longer and are forced to put Cameron and his ilk on the spot about these falsehoods in front of a large audience.

Establishment arrogance redux

It never gets old, but by God it’s bloody boring. Once again the establishment is indulging itself with a substantial dose of hubris, with Bruce Anderson leading the charge.

His op-ed in the Tory Wet propaganda sheet Barclay Brother Beano says it all, ‘Until David Cameron learns to explain himself, voters will not trust him – Many natural Tories are losing faith in a party that appears to ignore their opinions’.

Apparently the focus is on those people Anderson and CCO label as ‘potential’ Tory voters. By that logic however those people are also potentially voters for every other candidate and party, but that kind of common sense eludes them.

But the real issue here concerns the assessment of Anderson and his puppet masters in Cameron’s office; it’s not that Cameron is wrong, oh no, it’s just people don’t understand what he’s getting at because we’re presumably too thick.

It’s obviously a simple communication problem and nothing to do with the fact many of us don’t agree with Cameron’s viewpoint and direction. After all, how could anyone possibly disagree with the supremely educated, all-knowing and all-wise Cameron? Ungrateful rabble of serfs. By now we should all get that the benevolent political class know what’s best for us. No need to think, just get on with life, work your fingers to the bone, hand over your money for them to spend as they see fit and do what they tell us. It’s all so easy really.

Which is why Anderson writes complete and utter bullshit, such as this:

To think about David Cameron’s premiership is to ponder on paradox. Although he is the dominant figure in British politics, he has only shallow roots in public affection; sometimes, it seems, in his own party’s loyalty. Although he will always rise to a big occasion with a big speech, most voters have only a vague idea as to who he is or what he stands for. Politics, abhorring a vacuum, often fills it with a four-letter word – in this case, Eton. That is the one fact which everyone knows about the Prime Minister: where he went to school. It is not a helpful fact.

Cameron can deliver a big speech, you know… You just don’t know enough about him… Therefore your criticism and dislike of him is just all so jolly unfair… blah blah blah. The problem for Bullshit Brucie’s ludicrous little strawman is that we do know what Cameron is for. We see his direction very clearly. We see our interests are plainly not his interests. We can see power seeking for its own sake for what it is. We get it when we demand to make our own decisions and he refuses because it doesn’t fit with his wishes. It’s just we happen to know best what is good for us and what we want.

To suggest anything other is exhibit unbelievable self delusion and an incredible kind of arrogance – two qualities that exist with staggering abundance among members of the establishment. It all makes for thousands of column inches of wind, noise and bluster. Increasingly is it that which is being ignored. Far from not knowing or understanding, it is because more and more people know and understand far better than ever before that the bubbleista find they are communicating with themselves.

They are now totally irrelevant. Soon they will be wholly illegitimate too. Then things will start to get interesting.

European gun buyback hype vs American Mainstreet reality

The gun buyback scheme in Los Angeles has received international attention in the wake of the Newtown shootings.

While one can identify with the sentiment and the ideal, particularly following the massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut, the organisers are howling at the moon if they think the criminal fraternity who use guns and cause law abiding people to own them for self protections, is going to hand over its weapons in return for a few hundred dollars.

The queues of largely hard up gun owners seeking a quick handout of Ralph’s vouchers have already demonstrated the exercise is futile. As a snippet in the LA Times makes clear:

“That young guy shot up all the kids and they blamed the mama because the mama had the weapons in the house,” Valerie Butler said, in explaining why she was waiting in line two hours in South Los Angeles to get rid of an old handgun.

Yet Butler, 50, said she was not getting rid of both of her guns.

“Just one,” she said, and laughed. “There’s a bunch of nuts out here, and they’re coming in when you’re sleeping. You got to protect yourself.”

For all the hype little will change. And as Ms Butler’s comments prove, it’s mainly the law abiding and financially struggling desperate for sme vouchers who are reducing the number of weapons they hold, not those who most frequently use weapons as part of gang and drug activity and are responsible for the vast majority of homicides and gun related crimes. There is no seachange here. These amnesties and buybacks have happened before and shootings have still happened.

The enfeebling and spiteful condition of learned or shared helplessness that permeates much of Europe, which for ideological reasons is the desired state among a number of people in the US, is being rejected by a majority of Americans outside the virtuous circle of metropolitan do-gooders whose default position is to demand a ban for anything that falls outside their approved list of acceptable items.

While anti gun sentiment is being whipped up by the usual ‘liberal’ statist authoritarian bansturbators at The Independent, on Mainstreet USA the sentiment, driven by reality, is very different. As that paper itself added – typically hidden right at the very end of its article – more in frustration and disdain than surprise:

A Gallup poll published yesterday found a record 74 per cent now support the right to own a handgun. Even in liberal LA, the amnesty met opposition. According to the press agency AFP, a poster displayed near a second buy-back location in Van Nuys read: “Get $$ for your gun… We buy your gun to donate it to a woman in danger. An armed woman will not be a victim.”

It’s a message that resonates in mainstream America. Without effective forms of self defence a woman, or anyone else for that matter, is forced to depend on state provided protection – a protection that is all too often far too little delivered far too late and which increasingly seeks to excuse rather than punish offenders.

The shared helplessness concept is not just an evil method employed by the state to guarantee it has the sole ability to use force and thus control its supposed masters, it is failing to appeal to the self reliant majority of the US population. It seems, for now, set to remain the preserve of decaying socialist entities, such as European states caught in the anti-democratic EU web.

Real Economics blog – technologically literate, historically informed, politically progressive…

That is how the Real Economics blog describes itself on its title banner.  It goes on to explain to those who stumble across the blog that it ‘is about the economic and technological facts every Progressive needs to know–the neglected stories of the real economy’.

Like most immodest and self-regarding progressive sites in actual fact it is a complete pile of utter bollocks.

Being ‘progressive’ the author, Jonathan Larson, gravitates today to the German publication Spiegel as an authorative source for ‘news’ and impartial ‘commentary’ about energy and environment.  There Larson discovered a lead story: Poland wages war on efforts to save the climate and has unquestioningly used it as the basis of a blog post he titles Polish coal-aholics. Very witty, no?  His lengthy cut and paste job is preceded by his incisive observation and commentary thus:

It is abundantly clear that the Poles have ample historical reasons to hate all things German.  But just because the Germans believe burning coal is a disaster for the environment does not make it untrue—no matter what you believe about about German thought processes.

One more time.  The reason that Peak Oil and climate change are not being meaningfully addressed is because they are problems of applied science—Producer Class problems.  It doesn’t matter IF Al Gore is fat or is a mega energy hypocrite, climate change is still a fact beyond rational debate.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the Germans who want you to phase out coal-fired plants, it’s still a good idea.  There is nothing quite so strange as hearing political arguments being used to try to discredit hard science—it’s like children debating adults.

We really must work on this problem.

In the meantime, I would like someone to explain to me how the people of NW Denmark just went ahead and built a remarkably sustainable infrastructure while less than 500 miles away, a country actually chooses to invest in the most dirty lifestyle imaginable with no “reason” for doing it except to make a statement about an historical outrage.

If Larson – writer, inventor, builder and history buff that he is – had an ounce of the technological literacy or informed historic knowledge he claims, he would have spared himself the humiliation he deserves to have heaped on him for relying on Spiegel to provide balanced material about energy policy and environmentalism, upon which he based his anti-Polish rant.

I would like Larson to explain to me how he can write an ad hominem attack on the Poles for their desire to continue using coal, citing their apparent hatred of the Germans as their rationale, yet completely ignore the fact Germany is leading the dash for coal in Europe.  The chronically deluded and ill-informed Larson doesn’t mention it because Spiegel makes no reference to Germany’s coal rush in the article, let alone any explanation about why Germany is doing so as its renewables revolution collapses into costly abject failure.

So here’s some technological literacy and historic information for Larson to take onboard before someone sues him for misrepresentation in his blog title… As of the end of 2012 Germany has plans to build more than two dozen (that’s more than 24 if you didn’t know, Larson) coal fired power stations.  These are in addition to the eight stations that were fired up in the last couple of years that we have referenced previously.

So where is the formidably-informed Larson’s criticism of the Germans?  Is Germany’s dash for coal without reason?  Perhaps they are only doing it to make a statement about historical outrages they committed?  More likely though they are doing it to address their economic reality, a topic something Larson clearly remains in stunning ignorance of.

One of the labels applied to Larson’s blog post is ‘Abject Stupidity’.  With no sense of the delicious irony he served up, how right he is.

Boris’ fairytales: Chapter 317

So Boris Johnson wants the UK to form an “outer-tier” of the EU with countries like Norway and Switzerland.  He has called for a “pared down” relationship with the EU.

And I want the end of every rainbow to land in my garden so I can collect all the pots of gold from the leprechauns. And peanut M&Ms to be free in every retail outlet.

The problem is neither is possible.  The acquis communautaire dictates you are either in the EU or you’re not.  There is no EU-lite choice.  It is not an option.  To suggest there could be such an option, in clear violation of the EU’s very construct and agenda is as much a myth as the rainbow’s leprechauns and free M&M’s I am calling for.

Having damaged our economy the politicians ramp up their cash grab extortion racket

First we had that doyenne of rank hypocrisy, Margaret Hodge, given a free ride on BBC Radio 4 Today to label companies looking to minimise their tax liabilities as ‘immoral’. She’s a fine one to talk.

Now we have Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, signalling the government’s plan to demand more than their legal share of tax money with menaces. The Lib Dem minister, who says he has been boycotting Starbucks over its low tax bill, is now promising to “get under the skin” of those who do not pay their fair share.  The  Cosa Nostra are positively benign in comparison to this lot.

Alexander said on the Today programme that “public pressure” is an important tool in getting companies to change their behaviour.  He went on to say there is evidence people are already taking their custom away from companies that do pay little or no UK tax, such as Starbucks, Amazon and Google.  That is exactly what the government’s money with menaces campaign has been striving to achieve and it’s having the desired effect.

We are witnessing an extortion racket in action aided and abetted by the media, where the envy and resentment of less well off people who are trapped in PAYE is a well being tapped to help bring about what the government wants, despite the fact the government is not legally entitled to any extra money.   The consequences of not sacrificing exemptions and deductions and handing over additional money is that the state, and its establishment lackies, will do what Hodge and Alexander are already doing and work to destroy the reputation of those businesses by encouraging consumers through example to boycott them.  And this from a government that describes itself as pro-business, in a c0untry it describes as open for business.

‘We know no spectacle so ridiculous,’ wrote Thomas Macaulay some 175 years ago, ‘as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.’  The government and parts of the media have successfully whipped up one such huge scale fit and are running a racket to pressure companies to voluntarily pay more in tax than they are legally obligated to.  It’s an outrageous campaign that too many people are too blind to see for what it is.

The result that all too few people are considering is that prices will rise to offset the increased cost of doing business in this country.  Many of the very people who are clamouring loudest for ‘fairness’ and more taxation will unwittingly be disproportionately affected by this because the higher costs will ultimately be footed by the consumer.  Who will they demonise then?

The government won’t care for it will have more money to squander on non essential spending like the hundreds of billions that have been pissed up the wall for no public benefit before it.  Perhaps people would do well to remember that a government big enough to give you what you want is a government big enough to take from you all you have.

Richard Corbett and his trivial 5% figure

During the media’s scratch at the surface of the EU’s budget discussions former Labour MEP Richard Corbett, who was rejected by voters in 2009 yet nonetheless continues to suck at the teats of the taxpayers in Brussels, has been keen to push the narrative that the EU’s bureaucracy and administration ‘is only 5% of the total budget’.

This is a deliberate line being taken by a fanatical EUphile career bureaucrat to avoid stating the embarrassingly huge monetary cash amount the EU spends on itself.  It’s so much less painful to hear ‘it’s only 5%’ rather than hear the actual figure.  So for the sake of transparency let’s assume Corbett’s 5% figure is accurate and put the monetary value on it that he avoids stating at any cost.

The EU’s Financial Framework 2007-2013 set the global level of commitment appropriations, namely the budget, at €864.3 billion.  That equates roughly to £700 billion over the period. The 5% Richard Corbett is so fond of referring to was therefore a bill of around £35 billion over the last period that was picked up by taxpayers across the EU.

If we consider Herman Van Rompuy’s proposed budget for the next period of €973 billion (around £787.3 billion) Corbett’s beloved 5% becomes £39.4 billion.  Not such a trivial figure when put into proper context, is it Rich? It makes all those £120 bottles of wine possible.

As for our useless establishment fawning media, when will a single journalist listening dumbly to Corbett trotting out this 5% figure do their job, put him on the spot, and ask him to tell viewers and listeners the actual monetary amount?

Panic!

It’s as if there was never a world before the Euro.  It’s as if countries inside the Eurozone never had currency of their own, never had the ability to value and manage their currency as they saw fit, and had political structures where decision making was domestic rather than outsourced to Brussels.

But anyone reading Failygraph and the dire warnings of Robert Chote, head of the Office of Budget Responsibility, could be forgiven for thinking anything prior to the creation of the single currency is pre-history.  The Fail’s interpretation of Chote is designed to further the sense of panic and requirement to fill column inches:

Britain’s economy may suffer “permanent” damage and “never quite get back up” if the euro collapses in a chaotic way, the Government’s chief economic forecaster has said.

Reality is being replaced by theatrics.  It never ceases to amaze me how this country manages to survive with so many defeatist idiots in positions of responsibility.  A break up of the Euro would result in pain, probably for some years.  There are banks that would fail and debts that would not be repaid.  But the planet will continue to spin on its axis and orbit the sun.  Countries would revert to currencies they can control, which would be more beneficial for them than the restrictive and skewed one-size-fits-none political tool that is the Euro.

Economic activity will continue as before.  People will still need to buy food, goods and services and companies will continue to trade to provide those – paying taxes and employing people.  Some economies may look and feel different, but to suggest ‘permanent’ damage could result is nothing short of ridiculous. There will still be the same markets in Europe that we will sell to today.  Remember, if it were not for the same political motives behind the creation of the Euro we would be working in our own national interest to access markets elsewhere around the world and trade freely on our own terms without being constrained by the interests and wishes of other EU member states.  If the Euro goes, so to might the bureaucracy that hamstrings us.

No doubt when the Great Depression took hold there were fearmongers like Chote saying economies would suffer ‘permanent’ damage.  Yet we have seen huge growth and economic transformation since then.  People adapt, people are entrepreneurial and opportunities are created and seized.  The fearmongers are those who have an agenda and see it crumbling before their eyes.  They are the ones who can only see their own vested interests in the intermediate, rather than the big picture in the long term.

‘I am just a loyal Conservative.’

That sentence sums up all that is wrong with politics today.

It was the reported response of Conservative MP, Douglas Carswell, when we was told that fellow Tory MP, Claire Perry, had directed a foul mouthed comment at him in the House of Commons – namely ‘Why don’t you f*** off and join UKIP?’

Carswell is putting tribal party loyalty before all else.  He claims to believe the United Kingdom should not be part of the European Union.  Nevertheless he doggedly remains a member of a political party whose leadership and policy is to remain part of the EU at any cost, to deny the electorate a referendum and to conceal the extent to which the EU is the true government of this country.

How can a man who holds the view he claims remain a loyal Conservative when that party behaves in the way it does?  The party’s position is sewn up tight.  The leadership sets the policy, regardless of the wishes of the membership.  Behind the scenes and out of the public gaze there is a powerful group of people with vested interests who bankroll and control the direction of the party.  They determine who will lead it and what agenda will be followed, to suit their interests irrespective of the impact on the rest of the country.  The Conservative agenda will not be changed.

It is not dissimilar to Labour taking its direction from Union barons and the uber rich champagne socialists who want to pull up the ladder behind them after acquiring wealth and influence.

Being an MP is a good gig, with its good pay and expenses and the illusion of power and influence that comes with it.  Carswell, for all his bluster and verbiage, is just another Europlastic happily sacrificing supposed principles to cling to tribal party loyalty in service of his own interest – namely remaining an MP.  When a person sees it for what it is they quickly realise Carswell couldn’t be a more loyal Conservative if he tried.

Voters who oppose EU membership yet continue to vote Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem only have themselves to blame for this country’s ever deeper integration into the EU and ever greater control by Brussels.  Until they stop being taken in by the likes of Douglas Carswell nothing will change.

Broadcaster political bias – not just a BBC phenomenon

Regular readers will be familiar with the often noted examples of BBC bias when it comes to political coverage and promoting activism.

But a piece in the Irish Independent today shows the problem of state broadcaster employees exhibiting political bias is not confined to the BBC.

It seems monitoring of Ireland’s RTE news and current affairs coverage by Fianna Fail has thrown up some interesting statistics showing a similar phenomenon on the other side of the Irish Sea, particularly with the flagship Prime Time programme.  Fianna Fail have submitted a dossier to RTE outlining their accusation of bias by the broadcaster:

The submission, which contained statistical evidence, states: “Prime Time appears to have taken a radically different approach to covering opposition voice. Before the election, share of voice was clearly biased in favour of the opposition. Since the election, that bias has been dramatically reversed.”

It goes on to say that despite identical Dail representation, Labour enjoyed 21.6 per cent share of voice before the election (when in opposition), compared to Fianna Fail’s 10.1 per cent after the election (having lost the election and become the main opposition). Fianna Fail is now getting more than 100 per cent less access to Prime Time than the Labour Party in the same position.  It certainly suggests a very uneven approach to coverage that amounts to bias by omission.

Of course it won’t come as a shock that the more avowedly socialist a political party is, the more favoured it is by media corps stuffed to the gills with ‘progressive’ hacks keen to push their ideology on the public.  But in Ireland this bunfight is somewhat interesting as the political spectrum ranges from broadly socialist to extreme socialist with nothing approaching a small ‘c’ conservative alternative.  Perhaps ideological purity is the name of the game?

It’s Groundhog Day at the Daily Mail… again

From the Daily Mail yesterday came this story, one that will undoubtedly have had patriotic Britons opposed to EU membership and governance up in arms.

However, if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘this sounds rather familiar’ don’t worry, you’re not imagining things.  It must have been a quiet day on Planet Dacre yesterday, because the Daily Mail ran a version of this ‘story’ back in November last year.  It was even written by one of the journalists who produced yesterday’s copy.  Here’s the headline from back then…

To find out just how much of a rehash the story is, we ran it through the Churnalism engine.  Lo and behold, we discover Friday’s article gets over half its content, lifted word for word, from the story in November.  The Churnalism output can be seen below – click to enlarge.

Actually, if you subject yourself to the additional pain of reading the Daily Telegraph, the story will be even less of a surprise to you, given that paper ran its own version of this ‘EU contentious plans’ story back in July last year…

But even then, as now, the story wasn’t news.  The origins of these proposals date back to 1984 (how apt) as part of a wider plan to build the public’s sense of European identity that had been developed by a working party led by a former Italian MEP, Pietro Adonnino.

This was explained on the EU Referendum blog by Richard North in July last year in response to the Telegaph’s sudden realisation of something that was set in train a great many years earlier.  Of course, North could have shared the details of this plan to use sport to further the European identity earlier…  Oh, silly me, he did!

On EU Referendum back in September 2006, he explained in detail how this European plan had already been partly realised by way of golf’s Ryder Cup competition, which had become a Europe v US event, having formerly been a Great Britain v US one.  Adonnino, North informed us, had reported back at the Milan Council in 1985, suggesting a Euro lottery, an EU driving license (agreed in 2005 and again covered by North), the adoption of the blue flag with gold stars… and the creation of European sports teams.  This is just a step change en route to that destination.  It may not happen for decades, but the patient salami slice approach is still in use.

Despite all this information being presented and evidenced for everyone to see and understand, the Daily Mail demonstrates it is still incapable to putting their story into proper context – even when they run it twice in the space of three months.  Perhaps they feel that because the information has been presented on a mere blog it does not possess the required prestige for these grand, highly paid cut and paste merchants to learn from it and refer to it.

When it comes to our media, nothing seems to change.  It truly was Groundhog Day, in more ways than one.

Aidan Burley – censorship, censure and cynical agendas

A look at the ‘news’ on any given day sums up the self destructive idiocy of those who try to hold sway over the rest of us.

Life in this country is now nothing more than a mission to censor and censure anything and everything that falls outside the narrow and bigoted worldview of a small number of spiteful morons, aided and abetted by the useful idiots who are terrified of getting on the wrong side of the thought police.  Even those who are supposed to be well meaning end up doing the dirty work for the control freaks.

Just look at the furore over Aidan Burley MP.  He’s a Tory MP so he’s bound to be an idiot by default.  He attended a stag do where one guest dressed as a Nazi SS officer and another gave a ‘toast’ to the Third Reich.  This lampooning has apparently has been portrayed as grievously offensive glorification of the Nazis.

Aidan Burley, spineless in the face of the politically motivated onslaught against him and the feartie over reaction of his own party leader, lest he lose a single vote by appearing to stand firm against the thought police, issues a grovelling apology.  Clinging on to a job seems to take priority over having principles these days.  But that’s the political class for you.

Since when has lampooning Nazis by playing dress up and throwing mock salutes been cause for such craven behaviour?  Stupid, yes.  But do these thought police seriously think for a moment the party goers were dwelling on the past and longing for the vicious Nazi oppression so many died to put down?  Come off it.  Yet there they are in the media, wetting their pants in their spittle flecked fervour to hound a man into submission and out of a job so a rival they approve of can take over from him.

No doubt some will try to paint me as an apologist, but nothing is further from the truth.  I write this as someone who fights against real anti semitism and hatred.  Someone who rails against the spite filled animosity directed against Jewish people and Israel every week in the pages of the Guardian – which curiously remains free from the ire of those who are demanding the demise of Aidan Burley.  I am proud of the distinction winning roles that members of my family played in the RAF and Army in fighting against Nazi Germany and the battles against extremism carried on by their sons and daughters in the years since.

Did these people at the stag do go to a far right rally?  Did they assemble to lament the defeat of Hitler?  Have they called for the eradication of Jews, gypsies or other minorities?  Do they endorse militaristic domination by an oppressive regime?  Are their political beliefs aligned with those of Goebbels, Himmler and Speer?  No, their ‘crime’ was nothing more than playing dress up and being immature and boorish.  But in a free society that is supposed to be allowed.

So do we see the offence seekers picketing fancy dress shops demanding the removal of Nazi uniforms?  Do they call for re-runs of ‘Allo ‘Allo to be banned because of the uniforms and salutes on show?  Do they rally outside the Guardian’s offices in London demanding the removal of anti semitic rants from the pages of Comment is Free?  Or do they only selectively take offence when someone – a friend of a political rival – puts on a mock uniform and lampoons in juvenile manner the behaviour of a hated and defeated foe that sought totalitarian control of a type some of these offence seekers are exhibiting?

We seem unable to move in this country without someone seeking to take offence at something or other and demanding other people modify their behaviour to suit the wishes of others.  What will it take for people to stand up against these miserable opportunist control freaks and tell them to bugger off?

I don’t care a toss about Aidan Burley or his friends.  But I do care about this accelerating slide towards defacto criminalisation of people, who have done nothing wrong, by a self selecting tribal group of agenda-driven witch finders who are determined to bend everyone to their will and authoritarian groupthink through such cynical means.

Peter Hitchens and the Europlastics

These days one never can tell how much of what is published in a newspaper comprises the complete original thoughts of the columnist.  In the last few weeks I have seen the original drafts of a renowned Telegraph columnist and a Daily Express columnist, and on both occasions the published piece has been edited down to remove some of the most salient elements of the respective pieces.

So when reading the Peter Hitchens column in the Mail online today I cannot be sure that everything ‘Hitch’ wrote was published.  Nevertheless, what is attributed to him suggests he too has been taken in by the Europlastics.  Consider this passage and in particular the sentence directly above the photograph, the footnote beneath it and the last sentence shown in the image:

How is it that someone like Peter Hitchens, who is supposed to be a genuine Eurosceptic, can sit at his keyboard and write something this misleading?  How can the likes of Bill Cash be described as a man of principle when the European Scrutiny Committee, which he chairs, waved through the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy which will remove British control over our own waters?

How also can Hitchens allow people to take the impression that all the 79 Tory MPs who voted in favour of a Bill to hold a referendum are actually Eurosceptic?  How could any Eurosceptic Tory vote in favour of establishing the European External Action Service (EU’s version of the Foreign Office)?  Based on what Hitchens is saying then surely around 79 Tories will have voted against the EEAS measure.  How many actually did?  See for yourself.

Looking at the vote information above, where are all these ‘Eurosceptics’ that Hitchens refers to?

It seems even those who profess to stand outside the bubble still manage to sow the official misinformation that positions Tory MPs who wish to remain firmly inside the EU as sceptics.  One cannot be Eurosceptic and vote for increased integration, something that someone like Hitchens should know all to well but fails to make clear to his readers.


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