Saturday, July 31

One for the Doctor

Who said Judges do not have a sence of humour ?

'This is an appeal with a hole in the middle. It is dismissed'

Mr Justice Muumery on Nestles attept to register the Polo mint shape as a trademark.

With thanks to The Times 31July '04

Friday, July 30

The Few Fighting for the Many

Last week it was revealed that two proud and distinguished British institutions, Sandhurst College and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are to be given the axe.
The reason is that the Government has decided to reduce defence spending by £11 billion  over the next 10 years. The reduction in spending will seriously effect the volume and quality of equipment that will be supplied to all three armed forces.

The fact is that Britain's armed forces are to be reduced in size and power to the point that our nation will be striped bare of protection.We can no longer defend our selves from attack or go to war on our own.

Senior Ministry of Defence officials admit that there is nothing that can be done from that terrorist attack from the air.

Clearly we will all have to take comfort  in the fact that the best advice will be available on how to cope  with a terrorist attack in  the free booklet that is being delivered free this week to every household in the country.

Yesterday's News

Twenty five years ago yesterday Labour MP Tom Torney denounced in the House of Commons an  EEC directive to ban the sale of fish and chips in newspapers as ''a load of cods wollop''. He later wrote to the Minister of Agriculture urging him to 'stand firm and ignore the Brussels bureaucrats who seem hell-bent on changing our traditional eating habits'.

The MP commented to the Hartlepool Mail at the time that '' I would kindly advise them to keep their  melding hands off our fish and chips.''

Tom Torney was unaware that there was nothing that the Minister could do to over ride the EEC regulation, the leavers of power had been reconnected to Brussels seven years previously.  As is now well known thanks to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy Brussels 'meddling hands' have wrecked not only the wrappers but also the entire British fishing industry.

Until  Britains off shore fisheries are repatriated we will have to put up with '' a lot of cods wollop'' 

I am grateful  to the Hartlepool Mail of 29 July 1979

Wednesday, July 28

Of Oaths and Solemn Declarations

The Rt. Hon. Peter Mandleson will later this year, upon taking up his post as the UK's EU Commissioner, be making a solemn declaration before the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

That declaration is intended to pledge a Commissioners sole allegiance to the European Union. In the case of the new British commissioner the making of this solemn and symbolic declaration will be in conflict with the oath that Mr Mandleson swore (or possibly affirmed) when he was appointed as a  Privy Counsellor in May 1997.

The substance of the oath sworn by the Hartlepool MP, when he became a Privy Counsellor includes the solemn undertaking:
'to bear faith and allegiance to the Crown and to defend its jurisdiction and powers against all foreign, persons or states'.

In the Autumn the UK's new (and now only) EU Commissioner will be required to declare:
' To perform my duties in complete independence, in the general interests of the communities; in carrying out my duties 'neither to seek or to take instructions from any Government or body; to refrain from any action incompatible with my duties.'

How can The Rt. Hon. Peter Mandleson defend the jurisdiction and powers of the UK and at the same time act in the general interests of the communities?

There is a clear conflict, allegiance may be born to one or other of the oaths but not both.

What then should the UK's new Commissioner do to resolve this conflict of loyalties ? Clearly he should resign as a Privy Counsellor. 

That is  not  likely to happen. No other UK EU commissioner has done so and they have all faced the same dilemma.

Questions should be asked, letters should be written by Her Majesty's subjects to Her Majesty.

UKIP's first MP in Hartlepool ?

On radio Cleveland I will announce the launch of my new blog website - Hartlepool 2004 - The site, which will be available from  07.00  will give updated news, views and comments on the UKIP campaign in the Hartlepool by-election.

Read about the horror of Hartlepool !  

Wednesday, July 21

Bloom's Bloomers

UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom was yesterday at the centre of controversy following his  comments in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.  Mr Bloom a blunt talking Yorkshire academic and businessman was appointed to the European Parliament's Women's Rights Committee.
Mr Bloom's comments to the committee were  that ''No businessman with a brain would employ a lady of child-baring age'' has been widely  reported all day in the news media.
The goodness  is  the negative effect of EU orientated employment law  has on the nations small businesses  hit the head lines. The effect that recent employment law has on the growth of business is often forgotten.
The mass of 'social' legislation which is so very keenly 'goldplated' by our civil servants and accepted without very much debate ( if any) in Parliament  by our politicians is a real barrier to the growth of smaller businesses. What Mr Bloom did bring to the fore is the fact that  recent employment law has had the effect, in practice, of reducing employment opportunities  for many young women. Few employers would openly admit to this since to do so, as Labour MEP Mary Honeyball  reminded Mr Bloom,  would be blatant discrimination.
The Federation of Small Businesses offers its 185,000 members legal advice and representation, over 70 of the  legal help that the FSB gives to its members is on the complex issue of employment law. The  volume of legislation is impossible to keep up todate with and the fear of the consequences of falling foul of the law is a major barrier to the growth of the smaller business.
However, the bad news is,  Mr Blooms other and more colourful and chauvinistic  comments yesterday would have clearly upset a number of British lady subjects. ''I want to deal with women's issues because they just don't think they clean behind the fridge enough''. Later  he added  '' I am representing Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table.'' Godfrey Bloom who is a keen supporter of the Blower Hat would perhaps be well advised to seek a political advisor and soon.
When interviewed today on BBC Radio Scotland I was asked whether Mr Blooms comments were UKIP policy. I was delighted to point out that Mr Bloom was expressing his views in his characteristic way which has revitalised the debate on how EU legislation is both inflexible and counter productive.
Politics is about ideas, controversy and image. UKIP will now be keen   to develop the first, encourage the second and improve the third.
Finally as one  business woman commented to me today, '' men's brains are often located in the wrong place''.
What could she mean ?
The Editor was the lead candidate for the UKIP in Scotland during the EU Parliament elections in June.

£ 3.70 per gallon - 82p per litre

The British motorist pays more  for vehicle fuel than any motorist in the Western World. A staggering 76 per cent of the price of both petrol and diesel is Tax, in the form of Fuel Duty and VAT. If the great British driver were to be reminded of the staggering amout of tax that is levied every time they fill up at the pumps there would be an  massive out cry. The combination of the 'road fund license' and fuel tax contributes  over 16%towards the governments income.  In our typically British way we  pay up, without asking to many questions,   and meekly  go on our way.

The Chancellor yesterday announced that  the planned increase of an extra 1.42p per litre of  fuel tax in September would be delayed.  For this decision we are told we must be grateful. The loss of revenue  to the government  will be about £ 63 million  per month, we should I suppose spare a thought for the extra administrators that will not now be employed in our beloved NHS.

Monday, July 19


Thank you for logging onto this new blog.
'A very British Subject' will
examine and encourage discussion
of a variety of British political issues.
 This Blog aims to project a vision of Britain
 in the future with a sense of our nations past
blended with  an understanding of the present. 
'A very British Subject'  guarantees to be
 controversial, entertaining and informative.
All contributions and comments will be valued.
The Editor, Peter Troy is a very British Subject.
6  6  6

The Great Danger.

The great issue facing the UK is our continued membership of The European Union.   The euro elections on 10 June gave an excellent result of the NO to the EU party, UKIP.
The result of over 2.6 million votes and 12 MEPs has given credibility to the out of the EU argument which clearly has now become 'respectable'.
The issue now is within 18 months the people will be asked to vote in a referendum on whether or not to adopt the EU constitution. This is the big issue that our Prime Minister is so keen to sell to us.
The concern is that most of Her Majesty's subjects will be turned off and will not want to think about the implications  because most people, understandably,  will consider rhe subject  boring and complicated.  This attitude which  will lead to mental  lethargy and ballot box apathy is the great danger. 
If the EU constitution is ratified and the UK remains a member state of the European Union, the UK will cease to be a nation in the true sense of that word. It is that simple really.
This is blog will aim to extract from the debate the salient points and express them in terms that are relevant to peoples every day lives.
Recently on a Television 'show' the well known comedian Bernard Manning said that what is needed is a ''ladybird book on all this (EU) constitution business''.

Small is Big in the North East of England

I was recently asked by The Northern Echo write a piece as Chairman of the Darlington Branch of The Federation of  Small Busisnesses on the issue of the elected regional assemblies.
This Blog will return to the subject of regionalisation in future postings. As well as the hidden agenda of Government busisness support agencies.
I wrote:
Small businesses in the North East of England represents a big element in the economic life in the 'region'. Politicians these days are well aware that without the contribution small businesses make to the economy, quite simply there would not be any economic growth. This is particulary the case in the North of England.
In the last decade, eight giant  companies  have  left the North East  or reduced their operations, resulting in a loss of 5,000 jobs'. Small businesses in the North East on the other hand  are providing the meaningful growth in the financial well being of the North East. Over 60 per cent of small businesses in the North East who responded to a recent  detailed survey expected to expand their business operation in the next twelve months.
A prosperous North East in which business can grow is vital.  There is, though most people are unaware of it, a Regional Assembly in existence now, so how, if at all, would the creation of an Elected Regional Assembly give  smaller businesses in the North East additional benefits. 
Almost unnoticed whilst  small business people have been focused on growing or indeed  surviving in there business the North East has become 'regionalised'.
Briefly,  the recent history to regionalisation is that  in May of 2002, the government published a White Paper on the regions. It proposed introducing Elected Assemblies for the eight English Regions - subject to the agreement of the British people in local referendums – delegating  functions to them from central government authorities, and giving them some powers. What those powers are has yet to be fully explained by the government.

According to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, the main sponsor of this White Paper, the idea of English regionalism has been his personal dream for more than 30 years and from the general thrust of his White Paper, it would indeed seem that his dream originated from a well-founded  desire to "bring decision-making closer to the people".
A line that Mr Prescott  has been very  keen to promote in person on his frequent visits to the North this year.

At the Annual Conference of the Federation of Small Businesses, in March, delegates representing the 185,000 members debated in detail the effects of regionalisation and concluded by a majority of some 80% that there was no benefit for business people in the governments plans. Decision making, it was concluded would not be more business friendly as a result of Mr Prescotts so called '' home rule'' plans. 

The key issue is, will the creation of new politicians create new resources from which businesses can grow ? By converting the existing Regional Assembly to an elected one sounds as though the people of the North East are getting a better democratic deal. But how will  all  these new politicians in the new elected assembly  in their new purpose built debating chamber together with their doubtless new large support staff actually provide the tools vital for economic growth. Will the consequential loss of Durham County Council and other major changes to local authorities  actually make any difference. Only when the Government has published to details of the powers that will be given to Regional Elected Assemblies will any assesment of the the effects on the business community be possible.

The fact is that regionalisation in the North East is occurring any way, the unelected regional assembly will continue to act as the body through which the European Union will funnel 'Structural Funds'. So what difference will an elected Regional Assembly make to the process of business in the North East. Probably none, but the North East RDA One North East will doubtless convince us otherwise.
As always I am greatful to the writings of Dr Richard North, in this case 'Regionalisation a Democracy By-Pass' was most helpfull. Dr North is also a prolific blogger  is particularly recomended.