Sunday, January 27

The Sunday Quote

Those whose who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.


Note: Plato (424BC-347BC) was a Clasical Greek philosoper. Together with his teacher, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the philosophical foundations of what is now refered to a Western Culture. Plato was also a mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world.Plato's brilliance as a writer and thinker can be witnessed by reading his Socratic dialogues. The dialogues have since Plato's time been used to teach a range of subjects, mostly including philosophy, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, and other subjects about which he wrote.

More Cost of EU Membership

Given the huge costs imposed on this nation from the raft of EU environmental laws, it is utterly bizarre that so many people should applaud the EU's intervention in this field. But, if anyone was in any doubt about the malign influence of the EU, all they need to do is read today's Booker column, headed "EU plans to see our economy blown away".

Tuesday, January 22

Moggie Applauded

Over on EU Referendum William Rees-Mogg is applauded for stating the referendum issue has been and undemocratic betrayal, which indeed it is. Shame on the Prime Minister and all those that support his non-referendum stance!

Sunday, January 20

The Sunday Quote

"Okay, you've convinced me. Now go out there and bring pressure on me."

US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (In response to a business delegation).

Bribed by the Myth of ''European Money''

Back in May 2002 I delivered a speech at a packed rally in the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, in the wake of a successful motion (proposed by myself and Colin Stratton) at the Federation of Small Business (FSB) annual conference calling on the organisation to demand a withdrawal from the European Union (EU). I thundered to the enthusiastic UKIP and other eurosceptic supporters that the Business community was waking up to the immense negative effect of the EU as more and more regulation and unaccountable ''governance'' impacts upon UK businesses.
Clearly I was somewhat over optimistic (to use a very British understatement) in my claims - despite the situation becoming much worse since - that business people are awake to the realities of the EU, principally I firmly believe this is because small businesses remain bribed by the myth of so called ''European Money''.

This week, almost unnoticed to either the business community or for that matter anyone else, the House of Commons voted to hugely increase the amount Britain pays to the EU - not that MPs in reality had any choice.
According to government figures, the amounts are huge. In 2007, the gross contribution before abatement was £14.2 billion with an abatement of £3.9 billion. For 2008, the figure is £14.6 billion with a projected abatement of £4.6 to 4.7 billion. The year 2009 will cost us £13.7 billion with an abatement of £4.8 to 4.9 billion, in 2010 it is £14.4 with a £3.8 to 3.9 abatement, and for 2011-13, the range is £14.1 to 14.5 billion with projected abatements of £3.5 to 4.1 billion. In round billions from now to 2010 the EU costs us an average of £10 billion a year in hard payments and much much more in compliance costs.

Perhaps these figures will be taken in to account when government and regional agencies glibly refer to ''European Money''. The UK currently receives back two thirds of the hard money we pay to the EU, so by any definition it is not ''European Money'' but British Tax payers money returned back to us (very) conditionally from the EU coffers in Brussels.

Next week hopefully with attention from the media the ratification process of the so called EU Reform Treaty starts in Westminster. The Treaty when ratified will in simple terms 'deliver' more 'Europe'. Encouraging signs of media attention to come can be found in today's Sunday Telegraph, together with a piece in the The Sunday Times with the headline "Ministers mask effect of EU treaty", reporting that, "The significance of the new EU treaty has been deliberately downplayed by the government, according to a damning report by MPs published today." Matthew d'Ancona in his column in the Telegraph then gives us a long dissertation about how David Cameron has a "cunning plan" to deal with the treaty, but doesn't want to tell us what it is.
As we have posted before, alone amongst the business organisations it is only the FSB who have asked their members their views on the importantance or otherwise of demanding a public Referendum on the Treaty prior to ratification. All the other major business organisations the CBI, BCC and the IoD appear to be of the view that the issue should be left to ''the politicians''. Well for forty years the issue has been left to our so called political elite; one has only to look at the great deception that has resulted. I earnestly believe that I am not being over optimistic in believing that the members of the FSB will respond to the on line survey and insist that their organisation join the demand for a referendum.

Meanwhile, such is the effect of the bribery of the non corporate British Business community that ever increasing vast sums of ''European Money'' is paying for huge amounts of negative interference of the process of business which no amount of consultation or so called lobbying in either Westminster or Brussels can meaningfully positively influence.

Saturday, January 19

The End of Week Quote

'It is difficult to believe how far the EU has infiltrated our "civil society" until you see the evidence for yourself. So deep is the rot though that, whenever an organisation stands up in support of the EU, you can bet that, somewhere – and not very deep down - EU money is talking.''

Dr Richard North - in his recent the story posted on EU Referendum.

Wednesday, January 16

The March of the Euro

On the ball as he so often is, England Expects is retailing speculation from Brussels-based EU Reporter that Gordon Brown is engaged in some dirty dealings, preparatory to bringing the UK into the euro. This is not entirely unrelated to a report in today's Times which tells us that an informal meeting convened by Brown, between himself and the French and German leaders ... read on at EU referendum ... EU Referendum.

Tuesday, January 15

The Sunday Quote

''Ninty persent of the politicians give the other ten per cent a bad reputation.''

Henry Kissinger.

Hain the Vane

The vain in Hain is quite a pain - an excellent comment from a fellow blogger. The Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) seems to be morphing into the Department of Weak Protestations. The Conservatives' proposal to force people who have claimed unemployment benefit for more than two years to do some community work has an 82% approval rating in a Telegraph poll today. Read all about it on The Purple Scorpion

Sunday, January 6

The Sunday Quote

''Oblivion - The state or condition in which the wicked cease from struggling and the dreary are at rest. Fame's eternal dumping ground. Cold storage for high hopes. A place where ambitious authors meet their works without pride and their betters without envy. A dormitory without an alarm clock.''
Ambrose Bierce, US Writer and Journalist 1842 - 1914

The Booker Column -Important

Christoper Booker, in today’s column, writes about the Lisbon or as it is otherwise known The EU Reform Treaty. It is a vital issue since if this treaty comes into being this year quite simply the UK will truly cease to be self governing. We will be a part of a Federal State called Europe if not in name but in actuality. It is that simple - if readers are still in any doubt that this could soon be the case - especially Business leaders - they need urgently to seek the facts.

Saturday, January 5

The cost of the Global Warming Fantasy.

Consumers of electricity - all of us thats – who are now having to dig deeper to pay their electricity bills will mostly be unaware that, in addition to the swingeing increases announced yesterday, they are paying an increasing premium through their bills for the global warming fantasy. Dr North explains on EU Referendum.

Friday, January 4

Education, Education, Education

The words of a Policeman. Reproduced from The Policemans Blog

J Edgar Hoover Was Half Right

I had the misfortune to attend one of our less academic local schools a week or so back. I won't bore you with the details, save to say that, while it wasn't the crime of the century, it had left a young girl quite distressed; on balance, I suppose, it was worth attending, though in my day it would have resulted in six of the best from the headmaster and no 'outside agency' would have been required. (My day is only 20 years ago, but it increasingly seems to have been in another era altogether, and possibly in another country).
Teachers (honest ones), parents (intelligent ones) and police officers now know that a significant minority of the schools in our cities offer almost nothing in the way of education.
In the worst 10 per cent, it's far more serious than a simple lack of schooling: drugs are openly sold and consumed, pupils are often drunk and/or pregnant, hardcore pornography is widely available and eagerly swapped, casual sexual assaults and threats of serious violence are commonplace and there is very little, if anything, that the teaching staff can do about any of it. It's heartbreaking, actually.I looked around. All I could see were lost souls destined for the scrapheap. At 13 years of age, they had literally no hope of ever achieving anything in their lives, without the intervention of a lottery win or some other piece of outstanding good fortune.
I thought about my own grandfather. He was one of seven, and grew up in a slum dwelling with an outside standpipe for water. In his 90s now, he still reads avidly, lobs bits and pieces of Shakespeare about and can talk you through you Partition, the
Beatles and the Falklands with equal clarity.
I saw a young lad I vaguely knew. His hair had been shaved at the back into an approximation of the letters 'MUFC' and he had a gold stud in one ear. ''What's happening in Afghanistan at the mo, mate?'' I said, conversationally. ''You what?'' he said. ''Afwhat?''
I happen to know that this lad's father is doing time for murder, and that his mother is an alcoholic and occasional prostitute. I hate to sound like a bleeding heart, but is it his fault he doesn't know what's happening around him? Is it the teachers' faults they can't educate him? What is going on in this country?

J Edgar Hoover was half right when he said, 'The cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair.

Thursday, January 3

The Purple Scorpion stikes again

Why trust governments with big questions when they can't get smaller things right? If somebody wanted to replace the 46 fire control centres in England with nine regional sites, at a cost to taxpayers of £100m, with the first one due to open in autumn 2006, you'd maybe accept a little slippage. See the piece posted on the very excellent: The Purple Scorpion

Tuesday, January 1

A Quote for the New Year

''Democracy is a devise that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve''

George Bernard Shaw

A very truly democratic New Year to all our readers throughout the free (and not so free) world. Peter Troy, Editor.

A Gentle Flat Bottom

.... and other predictions

So it is, yet again, a New Year - having stated only yesterday that we won't do a piece on predictions for 2008 here it is.

Without doubt the main political focus in 2008 (in the UK) will be the economy with a continuing down turn and with a gentle flat bottoming out mid year; only a small growth in UK economic activity by the end of the year.

After eight years of above-inflation public spending increases and a massive growth in the public sector and indeed far too much 'public sector thinking' in the UK economy - tough times are on the way for the non essential parts of the public sector (about time too) both in Westminster and particularly in the North East of England. All of which is for the good of the economy in the long run, a significant decline of Public Sector influence (or interference) will of course encourage entrepreneurial thinking - which is all very good of course.

By mid year there will be extra pressure on Gordon Brown, who has probably passed the point of no return in terms of popularity. There will be significant rebellions from Labour backbenchers over such issues as the length of time terror suspects can be held without charge as well as political pressure caused by announcements a real reductions in government spending on sensitive areas such as health, education and social benefits.

The continuing call for a referendum on the so called EU Reform Treaty (maybe even by the huge small business community) will increase in the run up to May when a debate on the issue will be before Parliament. All of which will diminish the Prime Minister’s standing and add to his woes.
Our real government based in Brussels, the EU, will continue to pump out large amounts of directives and regulations and general interference which will impact on all of us. Most of the British public will continue to be unaware of the slow burn effect on the British way of life because the media will continue not tell them where most of our laws now come from and to a large part the great British Public cant be bothered to work it out for them selves.

British Small Businesses will continue to be disadvantaged in favour of huge businesses which nothing short of an organized meaningful protest will prevent.

As we have predicted in The Journal recently there will certainly be no general election in 2008.

The scandal surrounding Labour’s donations will resurface in a big way, almost certainly with criminal charges. Peter Hain’s “administrative error” in failing to register at least two donations to his deputy leadership campaign will come back to haunt him.
China is set to become the Economic super star performer of the year, our only hope must be that this is reflected in a significant improvement in human rights. Well Chinese's pigs might yet fly!
As the year progresses attention on the American presidential election, which takes place in November. With a weak set of potential Republican opponents, and with her own campaign well funded, Hillary Clinton has the best chance a woman has ever had of making it to the White House - though Mrs. Clinton has little in common with the Very British Baroness Thatcher. Whatever the outcome the US election it is important for the Western World - this blog will be there in the US in 2008 reporting on key events.

At the end of this year the British politician who purports to be the leader of HM Opposition in Parliament will say in the media ''there has to be a better way'' and that ''it can only get better''.

So there we have it - all mostly quite predidicable.
There is of course the unexpected - which is when life does get exciting. Whatever happens VBS with a lot of help from our friends will be here on the blogosphere. A happy (blogging) new year.

A Chinese pig in flight