Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vince Cable and Coalition Doomsday

I couldn't really believe what I was hearing today. Sadly I heard numerous interviews with Vince Cable, I think he has some serious form of mental illness, or maybe dementia.

When asked about dropping Lib Dem principles, or what pass for principles, he declared they did it in the 'national interest'.

In the 'national interest' he joined the Coaltion cabinet.

He then drew up government policy on tuition fees and student loans.

He thinks the coalition policy is absolutely right under current circumstances.

He may however abstain when the voting in the House of Commons because his mates in the Lib Dems might abstain.

So what he is finally saying is: "stuff the national interest, my gang's more important".

Labour are enraged but I've heard little response from the Tories. I can only assume that Cable doesn't realise how despised the Lib Dems are, by their own supporters as much as the elecorate at large, and thinks another general election might be a good idea.

As for anybody who thought the Lib Dems were trustworthy, there must still be a few out there, I think this latest fiasco proves you totally wrong.

Or maybe putting the Lib Dems into government has really been the ultimate care in the community cock-up.

FA Cup Replay: FC United of Manchester v Brighton

It's now time to start praying that the weather next Wednesday is a little better than it is this week. The FA Cup replay at Gigg Lane, Bury is not all ticket but tickets are going on sale to ease entry to the stadium on the night (Wed 8th Dec).

If you've yet to watch FC United this is the ideal first game. A bumper gate, probably a record, the chance of a giant killing act and lots of noise ad colour which will mean one of the best atmospheres you're likely to experience at a football game .Following are the details:

As previously stated, the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON second round replay versus Brighton & Hove Albion will be played on Wednesday 8th December with kick-off at 7.45pm.


This match will not be all ticket but, as a larger than average crowd is expected, FC United will be selling tickets in advance to try and speed up entry on the night.


If you wish to guarantee entry to your preferred stand it is advisable to purchase your ticket in advance.


Prices for all parts of the ground will be Adults £8, Over-60s £5 and Under-18s £2.


Selling arrangements


The Manchester Road End, Main Stand and Cemetery End will be set aside for FC United supporters. Tickets will be on sale from the Bury FC ticket office (next to the main reception) at Gigg Lane, Bury, between 10am and 3pm from Wednesday 1st December and Wednesday 8th December (NOT including Sunday 5th December)


For those who cannot get to Gigg Lane, tickets can also be purchased by telephoning the FC United club office between 10am and 4pm on 0161 273 8950  and paying by debit or credit card up to 4pm on Friday 3rd December 2010. A £2 booking fee will be charged to cover card and recorded delivery postage costs.


Unfortunately, due to the short timeframe we cannot accept payments by cheque.


Tickets will not be on sale to personal callers from the FC United office.

FC United will send all tickets by recorded delivery but we CANNOT take responsibility for any items that go missing in the post.


29-11-2010 at 18:45

For more infrmation visit the FC United website.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Libertarian Party AGM

The Libertarian Party AGM on Saturday saw us elect a new Party Leader, Andrew Withers, although for a few days he will remain, like newly elected US Presidents 'Leader Elect'. I have blogged about this before so I won't repeat myself, suffice to say that I am extremely pleased that we now have a leader who is a doer and am confident that we will make great progress in the New Year.

You might like to visit Andrew's blog, Looking for a Voice.  I'm looking forward to working with Andrew and the other people elected on Saturday to fight for a worthy cause whose time has come.

The AGM also provided a great opportunity to catch up with my sister and her husband (aka Julia and Barry) who, like yours truly and Mrs B, happen to enjoy good food and wine. Delays on the M6 meant that by the time I arrived in Wood Green on Friday night we were too late to hit the West End, as planned, so stayed in for an excellent home cooked meal.

Of course the AGM was in a pub, The Punch Tavern on Fleet Street, which meant first pints of excellent foaming ale being consumed around 12 00pm.  So the tradition of good company and good booze continued. Then, at 4-00pm I was round the corner to The Blackfriar to meet Julia and Barry again. Both pubs are a must if you like good ale and traditional pubs. Another pint and a catch up on the football scores, notably Brighton 1 FC United 1 and Manchester United 7 Blackburn 1, then we crossed the Thames to walk along the South Bank.

If you get the chance to visit the South Bank Centre before 5th December you must visit the World Press Photo Exhibition 2010. It's an exhibition of around 170 award winning photographs but be warned, some of them are extremely disturbing.

We then headed towards Soho via The Salisbury to the wonderful Melati Restaurant for a fantastic Indonesian/Malaysian feast.

Sunday morning saw the long drive home after a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, arriving back in God's county just before the heaven's dumped a couple of inches of snow on us.  And just to finish the weekend properly Mrs B had prepared a fine Sunday dinner of roast beef, and we had a roaring log fire to sit by while catching up on each others weekend news while enjoying a couple of tinctures.

That's what I call a damn fine weekend, just a shame I couldn't fit in a football game at some point.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Science Fiction and Things

If you are into science fiction, old time radio, cult TV and fantasy I can suggest a visit to The Blog of the Cosmic Griffin.

I'm into cult TV and radio and this blog looks like being a good one. It's new, begun this month, but looks good and has great content. The current post is a review of the 1997 sci-fi film Gattaca. In fact I'm off to buy the film, the review has tempted me!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

European Gendarmerie Force

From the Eurogendfor website, a description of their logo:
On a background of blue sky, the cruciform sword symbolizes the force, the laurel crown the victory, and the flaming grenade the common military roots of the police forces.
Britain is a changing place and public opinion is constantly shifting, especially around law and order. But I hope that the above description of the Eurogendfor concerns people. It perhaps more starkly than many things highlights the difference between the UK and European countries.

Eurogendfor is a paramilitary force set up by the European Union. Six member states are currently involved, they are Italy, France, Spain, Romania, The Netherlands and Portugal. They are based in barracks in Vicenza in Northern Italy. The Turkish force, Jandarma, currently has observer status and the Poles and Lithuanians are partners.

The force is under the direct control of the EU and can be deployed anywhere in the world. Imagine the student riots escalating and the police losing control. That is the ideal scenario for the deployment of this force.  It has recently been involved in missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The UK government has repeatedly claimed that the Eurogendfor will not be deployed in the UK. But the EU does have a habit of creeping influence becoming creeping power.

More information is available on the European Gendarmerie Force website.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gregg's Library

I've had a busy morning ploughing through a simplistic novel about an attempt to establish the Fourth Reich using the European Union. I'd promised weeks ago to review it on my other blog, Gregg's Library, which I have now done. If I'd have given up halfway through and not bothered ever mentioning it again nobody would have probably noticed. But I said I would so I have.

Now I'm cooking Cumberland sausage before heading off to Manchester to meet my fellow thespian wannabes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eric Cantona

I was at Selhurst Park when Eric dished out some retribution to an obnoxious prat. I was there when he came back from the ban at Old Trafford and scored with a penalty against Liverpool. Sadly I missed the chance to be an extra when they filmed Looking for Eric in Manchester.

But he's in the news again, and here's that video:



In my position, not being very good with figures, I'm not sure whether I should max my overdraft on December 7th, or clear it thus depriving the bank of some interest. I'll have to contemplate that one.

Libertarian Party v The Government-An Update

Following attempts by the Coalition to bar Andrew Withers from becoming Leader of the Libertarian Party we have taken legal advice and requested clarification from the Electoral Commision on the legality or otherwise of the government's actions. I have previously posted on this here  and here.

This afternoon the following email was received from the Electoral Commission and is their considered opinion on Vince Cable's attempt to remove Andrew Withers as Leader of the Libertarian Party through the courts.


The current proceedings taken against you is a matter for the Courts to decide.
If the party makes an application to appoint you as Leader, then we shall consider the application in accordance with PPERA taking account of any implications of the Court decision. If approved, we shall update the party's registered entry.
So the considered opinion of the Electoral Commission is that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has the right to determine who shall and who shall not be the Leader or an officer of a political party.

Also that it is the Electoral Commission's considered opinion that it is up a court to decide whether Andrew Withers will be the elected Leader of a registered political party, not the members, and that the Electoral Commission will approve an 'application' from the Party, not a notification from the members that a new Leader has been elected.

Freedom of association has been the bedrock of our parliamentary democracy, under the Coalition the freedom to associate will be decided by the Government.

I wonder if we'll all be arrested on Saturday for subversion when Andrew becomes Party Leader.

Ireland-Declan Ganley Talking Straight

Through all the waffle around the Irish bailout, and the crisis throughout the European Union, comes a voice of reason. Step forward, yet again, Declan Ganley:



It's just a shame there seems to be no serious politician, in the UK, Ireland or anywhere in Europe, telling it as it is. Little Georgie Osborne has certainly done neither the UK nor Ireland any favours by bunging £7,000,000,000 into the great black hole that is the so called bailout.

There Are Comedians-Then There Is Simon Amstell

Comedians are supposed to be funny, I think the clue is in the name. Comic, comedy, comedian.  A comedy is something that is humorous, a comedian is somebody who is humorous and makes people laugh. People like Lee Mack and Peter Kay today  are fine examples of people who make other people laugh. They are comedians.

Then you get other people such as Simon Amstell and Marcus Brigstocke. Both smarty arsed people who are tediously smug, self-satisfied and mind numbingly not funny. But for some bizarre reason they are called 'comedians'. In the clip below Simon Amstell sat cross legged on the sofa, obviously assuming it made him look avant garde and cutting edge. I thought it just made him look like a curly haired anorexic Buddha in dodgy glasses.

I'm not in the least bit socialist, and am certainly no class warrior, at least I don't think I am. But whenever I see Amstell or Brigstocke I imagine them cutting their 'comedy teeth' in a minor public school where their peers found cruelty to fags highly amusing, and those two must have been extremely cruel to fags. The problem is they have arrested devlopment and still have that mentality, hence the clip below. The particularly tasteless line comes near the end. If you don't know, the guest they are about to introduce is the singer Russell Watson, who has had two years of treatment for a brain tumour.



I saw this clip which was on live TV yesterday morning. What isn't shown sadly, is Watson's response when the interviewer asked him about Amstel's remark. He replied along the lines of: "Well I just passed him as I came on, but he's too small to punch". A rather sharper put down than anything Amstel could muster I suspect.

Admittedly comedy is a matter of personal taste, and there are obviously people who find Amstel, and even Brigstocke faintly amusing, otherwise they wouldn't sell their DVDs or tickets to their shows. To those people I say stop wasting your time. Watch the following interview, with a really funny fella, and find out what a real comedian does. And he doesn't sit cross legged either!

The Threat of Militant Islam

This is the UK 2010!
There is a growing recognition that tolerance has its limits. We cannot afford to tolerate ourselves into extinction. Anybody who has grown up in a high ethnic, especially Muslim area, will have seen the change in the past twenty years or more. And it is very disturbing.

The old New Labour government needed the votes of the ethnic minorities so cried racism constantly in an effort to make them feel threatened. They then rode in on their white chargers to protect them. I don't believe the overwhelming majority of people in this country give a damn about somebody's ethnicity, colour or religious beliefs. But they are quite rightly concerned at the threat to us from militant Islam. Don't expect the London bombings, the vile demonstrations against Remembrance Day parades by Islamic militants, and other incidents such as Wootton Basset, not to have a negative impact on the majority view of Islam. It is inevitable

I didn't see last night's docmentary about radical teachers in Islamic schools in the UK but was neither shocked nor surprised at what was apparently reported, it's been common knowledge for years. But under the New Labour all inclusive regime it was tolerated. What has shocked me is that the Coalition government appear to be preparing to take action against the militants in faith schools. The following quote from an article about the programme last night in the Telegraph is very heartening:


It has been left largely to journalists and to think tanks like Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion to study and expose radicalisation in schools and universities. Last night, Panorama’s John Ware revealed that 5,000 children in more than 40 Saudi Students’ Schools and Clubs in the UK were being taught anti-Semitism, homophobia and other tenets of sharia. Michael Gove promises that his department will extend its remit to ensure it can stamp out such teachings in part-time schools. Mr Gove is the author of Celsius 7/7, a brilliant analysis of how the perverted totalitarian ideology that is Islamism developed out of “a great, historical faith” that has brought spiritual nourishment to billions. Asked to define extremism, he has explained that ''you know it when you see it”.

See the full article. Let's hope action on this threat is one promise the Coalition keep

Monday, November 22, 2010

The BBC Must Go

Some taxes, under our current system of social democracy, are inevitable but taxes such as the BBC Licence Fee are totally unjustifiable. Why should we pay our TV tax to fund the BBC? Remember the tax is payable if you have the equipment in your home to receive TV signals, whether you watch the BBC or not. Just like the NHS the BBC is a state owned remnant from a bygone era. Both should be privatised.

BBC political correctness and bias seem to get worse as the general populace become more angry about political correctness. The cosmopolitan elite at the BBC really do despise us plebs who pay their wages, and with an increasing venom. Last week I saw a BBC documentary The Amerian Dream. It told the story of the American Dream through the 1950s and '60s. But behind every example of great achievement, there was a barbed put down. For example the quality of daily life and the growth of suburban living was highlighted but then a woman who had severe mental health problems appeared and lo and behold, the illness was blamed on the American Dream.
 
And of course there were the usual accusations of paranoia about communism, even though documents released in recent years prove that there was indeed a concerted Soviet led effort to undemine the American, indeed the whole Western system. We called it the Cold War, I suppose BBC producers would call it an attempt at liberation! 
 
Then three days before FIFA vote on who is to host the 2018 World Cup, with England in a strong position to win the race, the BBC are to air a documentary about corruption within FIFA. What wonderful timing, thank you BBC. The BBC claim that the broadcast is in the public interest, which it may be, but the timing is certainly not in the national interest. The footballing authorities are now considering boycotting the BBC, or at least the team bidding for the 2018 World Cup are.
 
But pissing off the sporting authorities is one thing, the BBC have managed to piss off the military in a grand style too. They are now broadcasting a drama showing the bullying of troops in Afghanistan. Again if there is a problem it needs dealing with but, whether we should or should not be in Afghanistan, we are there and we should be 100% behind our troops as long as they are there. How would you feel with your young lad in Afghanistan watching a drama about bullying? If you were a young lad in Catterick or Aldershot waiting to leave for Afghanistan, how would you feel watching that?
 
When wre've been abroad we've often slumped into a hotel room, weary and wanting to catch up on the news after a long journey. On goes the TV, up pops a news item  with a definite anti-British slant, and the blood starts boiling. Before switching off we check what hateful channel it is and guess what? Yes, it's BBC World!
 
The BBC consistently undermines Britain and everything British. I don't see why my taxes should be paying for it to do so.
 
If you feel the same there are numerous campaigns fighting to have the licence fee abolished. Some are weird, some extreme, others highly reasonable. I am not recommending any but suggest you search and research on the internet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Trains, Planes, Automobiles and White Vans-Divine Comedy

I'm off to London next weekend for the Libertarian Party AGM. I've checked out trains and buses but they either take too long or are far too expensive. So it looks like my trusty old white van will be my chosen mode of transport and a night or two sleeping in my sister's spare room in North London. I say couple of nights as the AGM will probably involve several pints of beer rendering me unable to drive until the Sunday. Good reason to then have a decent chicken madras too.

Whenever I consider public transport the wonderful National Express by the Divine Comedy runs through my mind. We did actualy know somebody a few years back who was a hostess on the National Express buses, and her arse really was as wide as a small country. Belgium I always thought, Julie thought more Luxembourg, either way it was a Benelux country.

Ladies and gentlemen, before I leave to spend a few hours in the Rover's Return in Manchester, I give you, the Divine Comedy and National Express:



Well it is Friday, and I thought I'd reintroduce Friday Funday. All work and no play.........

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Persecution of Christians

Throughout the world Christians are being persecuted and very little is reported in the mainstream media, unless it is where there is a current newsworthy situation, such as Iraq. The persecution of Christians in many countries is supported and actually enacted by the state, it is not just different groups acting under their own initiative and taking the law into their own hands.

Of course there are groups such as the Tibetan Buddhists being oppressed too, and they deserve support in their fight against Chinese oppression. But you might see a 'Free Tibet' car sticker in the UK, you will never see one denouncing the oppression and torture of Christians anywhere in the world. Sadly, many Christians seem unaware of what is happening or if they are, seem to regard it as somebody else's problem.

What got me on this train of thought was this story yesterday about a British boy being bullied at school by Muslim pupils for posting a favourable message about British troops on Facebook.  The production of slaughtering of animals to produce Halal meat has also been in the news recently. Halal butchers are exempt from our animal cruelty laws. It must be noted that Kosher meat is accorded similar exemption and is equally cruel.

Then on Remembrance Day there were protests by Muslim extremists when sick abuse was hurled at participants in parades. Admittedly the extremists seem to be a minority, but all majorities begin as minorities. The big question for us in the UK is when does tolerance of others become a danger to ourselves?

Then we recently witnessed extreme atheism around the time of the Papal visit. It seemed pretty clear to most of us that the likes of Richard Dawkins, and other humanists, were using the Papal visit to rant against all religion, but Catholicism is the easy target and the other religions don't seem to understand that they are also included in Dawkins' obsessive attacks. After all, if Dawkins, Tatchell and company ranted and demonstrated against Islam in a similar way, they may not find things as comfortable for themselves as they do attacking Christians.

Now as a consequence of the threat of terrorism from Islamic extremism, again a tiny minority, or at least we hope it is, we find ourselves living under increasingly oppressive anti-terror legislation, so oppressive that even an obvious joke or throwaway remark on Twitter can find you facing the full force of the law.

There is actually no conclusion to this ramble. It is a sign of a civilised society to be tolerant of others, after all we are all unique and therefore different. But I can't help thinking that tolerance has a limit, and that limit is when tolerance actually puts you in danger. Put another way it is about our survival instinct, and I can't help wondering sometimes if our obsession with being open and liberal may not put us in danger. In the meantime I await a copy of the Koran that a Muslim friend has bought me so I can find out more for myself about the real Islam.

Below are links to a few reports about Christian oppression in other parts of the world.

Pakistan
Iraq
Algeria
Egypt
Saudi Arabia
Iran
Bangladesh
Vietnam

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Road Rage

If people persistently parked in front of your garage door, what would you do? I think most of us would either leave a note on the offending vehicle, or speak to the driver if he/she was around. But how many times do you put up with it until you snap? The man in the following video snapped and did what I think many of us would do eventually.



But sadly he has now been banned from driving. What constantly angers me is why so many parents, often those who bleat most at drivers who do 31mph past little Tarquin or Kylie's school, think they, as parents, have a God given right to park where and how they want when on the school run, note the driver parking on the yellow zigzags in the video to collect the kids. This case just compounds that and I for one am disgusted that this man has lost his licence.

He should really be given a medal!

European Union in Crisis

I'm sure I'm not the only one convinced that, come what may, the Euro will survive the current crisis as will the European Union. Too many vested interests will ensure that no matter what happens they will botch it through this mess and continue towards future crises.

Most of the countries in the Eurozone botched their figures  so that they could rush lemming like into the single currency in the first place. Their EU masters were happy to turn a blind eye because they desperately wanted their single currency. When have our EU masters ever let reality impact on their great project?

How many people breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Danes voted no to Maastricht in 1992? Just one nation refusing to sign the treaty would kill it. The Danes in a referendum voted no. They were told to vote again, and voted yes.

The Irish voted no to the Treaty of Nice in 2001. They were told to vote again, and voted yes.

The French voted no the Constitution in 2005.
The Dutch voted no to the Constitution in 2005.

The Constitution became the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish voted no to the Lisbon Treaty in 2008. They were told to vote again, and voted yes.

If the EU can so blatantly ignore democratic ballots in such an authoritarian fashion, why should they do the right thing when it means making decisions behind closed doors? My guess is that after ignoring the democratic wishes of the people so many times, because they are power mad and fundametally dishonest, they will do anything they have to do to hold their empire together. If they means eventually bringing economic ruin to Europe then their vanity will allow it.

The actions of the EU have brought about a resurgence of the far-right in Europe, as seen in recent national elections. I fear that the EU will eventually crumble because of it's fundamental lack of honesty, transparency and demoracy which will lead to complete economic ruin and a rejection of democracy. After all, successive British governments and others, have handed over the power we entrust to them to the EU. Why, when it crumbles should we trust our government structure when it has spent the last decades subverting our democratic rights and liberties?

What I find so difficult to understand is why the people of Europe have allowed theses abuses of their power to continue. Perhaps you get what you deserve.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jacqui Smith on the BBC's This Week

On November 4th former MP and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith appeared alongside Andrew Neill and Michael Portillo on This Week. You remember her, the one whose husband worked for her and put porn movies on his expenses? The one who ripped us off by 'flipping homes'? Yes that one.

So I complained to the BBC that my taxes were abused by her and now my licence fee money, another tax, is being abused. Should you ever feel like complaining to the BBC, about abusing your tax money, or their political bias to the left, then this is the response you are likely to get. Not that I expected anything different:

Dear Mr Beaman


Reference CAS-390419


Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘This Week’ broadcast on the 4 November.


We understand you felt that Jacqui Smith was an inappropriate choice of guest.


As the former Home Secretary, we felt that Jacqui Smith was an appropriate choice of guest to discuss the topic of ‘When do we tell the PM about a bomb scare?’


Jacqui Smith explained how to deal with a bomb scare and when to tell the prime minister. She debated the political week with Michael Portillo in the aftermath of the printer cartridge scare.


Nevertheless, we appreciate you may continue to hold a different view and we would like to assure you that we’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.
Thanks again for contacting us and we hope you continue to watch ‘This Week’.


Finally, I have attached an invitation from BBC Audience Services' Head of Communications & Complaints, asking you to participate in our customer survey. We would welcome your views on our service.


Kind Regards


Gemma McAleer


BBC Complaints


www.bbc.co.uk/complaints
Thanks Gemma, but no, I won't be watching This Week in future.

Here is a link to see the other fiddles Smith was up to when she was a Member of Parliament.

Funny how it only takes two complaints about Jeremy Clarkson and there is a national outcry and the BBC apologise.

Andrew Withers, the Libertarian Party and the Police State

I have previously blogged here about the trials and tribulations of my friend and political colleague Andrew Withers.

Following is a statement issued today by Andrew updating us on his fight with the British police state. It seems that the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition is carrying on oppressing the people of this country in much the same way as the Labour government did.
Since the arrival of the letter from Osborne Clarke Solicitors Bristol claiming to be acting on instructions from the Secretary of State Vince Cable on Friday 12th November 2009 stating his objections in the ‘ public interest’, to myself acting as Leader of the Libertarian Party or indeed any office within the party, and registering his desire that I hold no executive position in foreign companies either, it has been a busy few days.


Counsel’s initial opinion is that Vince Cable has no jurisdiction over political parties, and legal opinion in the United States where I have an ongoing representative agreement is that Vince Cable should wake up and realise that Whitehall has had no legal authority in the USA since 1780.


As has been pointed out in some very supportive emails, if Nick Griffin, Gerry Adams, and Gordon Brown, can be leaders of political parties what has brought Vince Cable to this conclusion considering I am neither racist, advocate violence or display incompetence.


This morning an email has been received from the Electoral Commission confirming that the matter is being dealt with by the Chair of the Commission Ms Jenny Watson.


A further email has been received from the office of Dr Liam Fox MP who has previously had a meeting with Ed Davey the responsible Minister in September.


Despite repeated emails chasing to set up the meeting in the last two months, the emails are now not being responded to by officials in the Department or in Ed Davey’s office.


This is an extraordinary situation, and legal advice has been to allow the Electoral Commission to establish the position under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
As repeated I see that that the leadership of a properly consituted minor party is not for the government of the day to interfere in.
This situation, a UK government minister attempting to subvert the internal structure of a small independent political party, has no place in a free and democratic country. On November 27 we will be holding our AGM in London, and I have every confidence that Andrew will be supported by the overwhelming majority of party members in his campaign to become leader. What will the Coalition government do then, arrest us all?

For more information please visit the Libertarian Party website.

Spooks

Here's one for spooks,  long leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night everywhere they may be:

The European Union Gravy Train

Greedy Euro Bitch
One of the most telling images in last night's Dispatches documentary was the statue facing the European Parliament. Failing to see the irony, faceless bureaucrats aren't known for their sense of humour, they place a hard faced, unsmiling, Germanic warrior maiden holding the symbol of a currency outside their pretend parliament in Brussels. What the downtrodden fellow at her feet is either doing or thinking I daren't imagine. But cash and power is what the EU is all about.

Similarly one of the most telling interviewees last night was North West Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies. Repeatedly he told us how he made pots of money from various allowances, which he thought was wrong and shouldn't happen. He told us that he had a flat in Brussels but still received the £260 a day attendance allowance to cover accomodation and subsistence, such as hotels and restaurants.

Now forgive me but also in the programme we were told that MEPs had to sign in to claim the attendance allowance, so surely if you think it is too much don't claim it for two or three days a week. Or is that too rational for an MEP? Or do what your colleague Liz Lynne claimed to do, pay the excess back.

Even if Davies took credit for telling us that he donated the excess to charity that would be better than him smugly admitting it was wrong while telling us he was on the make. That doesen't make it right Chris.

It was refreshing too for the documentary to not only concentrate on the greed of MEPs from all parties, but to go into a little detail about the only other people benefitting from the EU-big business. Twinings getting massive subsidies from the EU and immediately closing down their tea factory in North Shields and moving it to Poland. Nothing to do with paying cheaper wages in Poland I'm sure!

The programme also informed us, yet again, how wealthy landowners benefit, to the cost of tenant farmers, from EU subsidies. When I'm asked why we are in it at all if it's so bad I think you only need to look at this programme, dig a little bit deeper and give it some thought. The only conclusion you can come to is that the EU is run for the benefit of politicians, of all parties, bureaucrats and big business. The rest of us are just economic units, here to be bled dry for their benefit.

Also, look at the fact that 70% of our laws currently come from Brussels and tell me that having the right to go and work in Italy, Spain or France without having to apply for a work permit, assuming you speak those languages, is worth sacrificing all that for.

Dispatches is still available on 4oD via the Channel 4 website for 29 more days. Well done Channel 4.

Monday, November 15, 2010

MEPs and the GravyTrain

I'm looking forward to watching Dispatches tonight on Channel 4. It's yet another expose of the immoral workings of the European Union and the hypocrisy of MEPs. I've just seen this trailer for tonight's episode, which is entitled Riding Europe's Gravy Train.

What saddened me was seeing UKIP MEP John Bufton interviewed about signing in on a Friday morning to get the £260 allowance then clearing off home when the allowance is supposedly for staying overnight. Sadly Bufton, when asked if he cold justify it,  replied: "Under the system that we have yes". I know John Bufton and I'm  terribly disappointed to see that he has gone native, but not surprised, they all do.

Morality never seems to enter a politician's mind when it comes to grabbing the cash. The justification from them all, be it MPs or MEPs when caught on the make, is always "well that's the system". It might be, but you can still say no. It's the height of hypocrisy for an MEP, supposedly opposed to the vile gravy train that is the EU, looking smug when caught claiming a £260 a day allowance for turning up to work. Legally it may be ok, but morally it stinks.

Dispatches tonight is a must view if you have any interest in how your taxes are squandered.

The Libertarian Party and State Oppression

Below is an open letter to John Bercow written by a friend and colleague of mine, Andrew Withers. Andrew is a founder member of the Libertarian Party and is standing, unopposed, for the party leadership later this month. I have been happy to support Andrew and continue to do so despite Vince 'Big Brother' Cable's actions. The actions of the Coalition in this instance just prove why we need a libertarian party, and why the Liberal Democrats are anything but liberal:

Mr John Bercow



Speaker to the House of Commons


Dear Mr Bercow


On the 12th November 2010 the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills Dr Vince Cable MP instructed a firm of solicitors, Osborne Clarke of Bristol to write to District Judge Watson of the Bristol Registry requiring that I have leave of the Court to act as elected Leader of the Libertarian Party, further more and I quote:


‘Our client does not consider that Mr Withers has currently demonstrated sufficient need for leave in respect of the entity’


The Libertarian Party is a registered party within the meaning of the Political Parties,Elections and Referendums Act 2000, and I have a mandate from the members of the party to act as the party leader as from the 27th November, what further sufficient need do I require ?
It is extraordinary that a Minister of the Crown has made such a legal move against the leader of a minor party and creates a dangerous precedent constitutionally. Can you please advise when government ministers and the executive think that they can act in such a manner, and interfere with the internal workings of another party through the Courts.


Can you please urgently advise as Chairman of the Speakers Committee under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, when such powers were transfered from the Electoral Commission and to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.


I have no intention of seeking the leave of the Court to act as the leader of the Libertarian Party and I suspect this act is both illegal and ultra vires on the part of the Secretary of State. I am urgently seeking Counsels opinion on this letter.


I would be grateful for your urgent observations by return.


Yours sincerely


Andrew P Withers


Leader Designate
Libertarian Party

In the latest turn of events in Andrew's four year legal tussles with The Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, a District Judge in the Bristol Registry has ordered that he should list all of the companies and organisations that he is an executive member of so that it can be decided by the Court whether he should be given permission to continue. Amongst the organisations specifically named is the Libertarian Party.

On the 22nd September 2010, the Information Commissioner ruled that when the Department was being run by Mandelson it withheld evidence that Andrew Withers wished to rely on in Court, and that they should release it ‘without further delay’. That ruling has so far been ignored by The Secretary of State’s officials. If the order is further ignored by this Friday, Andrew Withers will be seeking a Court Order to compel the Secretary Of State to comply with the ICO order under sec7 (9) Data Protection Act 1998.

Andrew's local MP is Dr Liam Fox and has been extremely supportive in a case that he has called in a personal telephone call a ‘scandal’, and found time in the midst of the strategic defence review to have personal meeting with Ed Davey MP the responsible Minister in the coalition Government on the 27th September 2010 to discuss the case. After which Ed Davey has ordered a review into the case by senior officials and a meeting has been suggested with senior officials to try to resolve the situation.

Andrew is currently writing a book about his experiences, and admits that new chapters are being added as one man’s fight against a politicised bureaucracy continues into a fifth year.

The story started in 2006 when a French company that Andrew was a gerant (director) of was illegally placed into liquidation by its French Director in contravention of the company statuts and on a perjured statement of affairs. The Court appointed Receiver was paid 8000€ to bury the company, and the French Director made off with the assets and finished goods . An investigating French barrister appointed by Andrew Withers visited the Receiver in Coutances and noted that there were no accounts, invoices or supporting documentation. The Barrister described the situation as the worst case of corporate fraud he had seen in over forty years of practice.

The unfortunate direct consequence of this fraud was that it brought down the British company down as well and it ceased trading in 2006 unfortunately four customers and a number of corporate creditors lost money.

The company was wound up in 2007, and Andrew presented himself to the Official Receiver with supporting documentation and statements from the French Investigating Barrister as to the veracity of the illegal winding up of the company by the French Director causing the failure of the company. He was complemented on the professionalism of the presentation of the narrative and whilst he could not promise that nothing more would be heard from the Insolvency Service, he was satisfied with the narrative.

In October 2007 , Andrew became one of the five founding members of the Libertarian Party sickened by the growth of the security state established by Blair and continued by Brown and the fact that the State was out of control and the State was absorbing more and more taxpayers funds. Three days later the run on Northern Rock began.

From this point the story started to take a bizarre and disturbing twist.
■Despite the French fraud being reported to Avon and Somerset Police and the Insolvency Service which is part of the then Business,Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. A furious French Colleague contacted Andrew to report that the French Director had just been given an award presented by the British Ambassador to Paris and Lord Digby-Jones (GOAT)

■From redacted documents secured under the Freedom of Information Act, the French Director started lobbying to have Andrew investigated in April 2008.

■In June 2008 he received a letter from the Insolvency Service in Plymouth to say he was under investigation under the terms of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, this despite them having no accounts because they could not access the electronic copies of the SAGE accounts.

■In November 2008 the Assistant Official Receiver confirmed in an email that in their view the French subsidiary was not part of their investigations as their advice was that it was not possible for French companies to have foreign shareholders !

■The conduct of the investigation was the source of endless abuse, the interviewer was balefully ignorant of commercial law, gave off the appearance of being a former policeman, told a number of direct lies and allowed Andrew to look at a former employee’s personal bank statements and files in contravention of the Data Protection Act, then could offer no explanation what those statements and files were doing with the company documentation.

■The Company’s former accountants were threatened with investigation, to the extent that they took legal advice.

■Mandelson was appointed Secretary of State 3rd October 2008, it is his decision to seek disqualification orders against company directors. Liam Fox MP met Andrew and was shown all of the documentation relating to the criminal fraud. Fox lobbied Mandelson and was rebuffed.

■Further evidence was supplied to the Secretary of State in July 2009, including witness statements and French Court documents to show the extent of the French Fraud and the effect it had had on the British Company. All of this evidence was rejected and returned to Andrew unread.

■From redacted documents received by Andrew under FOI , the Official Receiver’s recommendation to move forward to Proceedings was rejected for lack of evidence in May 2009, saying it ‘required more work done on it’

■In August 2009 with days to spare before being statute barred, proceedings were authorised by Secretary of State Mandelson against Andrew to be disbarred as a director for eight years. If Andrew was so minded to sign a confession and to say a false set of accounts prepared by the Secretary of State were true (that omitted the French subsidiary) , the ban would be reduced to seven years.

■Andrew and his lawyers refused to sign, and tried to negotiate with the appointed lawyers to no avail to drop the case.

■When the evidence in the case was finally released to Andrew it soon became apparent that-

■The winding up order made against the company was made by somebody who was not a creditor. The Official Receiver knew this and sought to hide the supporting documentation and invoices that had been altered

■The French Director had supplied the Official Receiver with forged Delivery Notes, the Official Receiver made no attempt to verify them.

■The Official Receiver had made no attempt to contact the Court appointed Receiver in Coutances, but entered into very friendly correspondence with the French Director. The Official Receiver allowed the transfer of assets , goods and cash to the French Director’s company at nil value.

It costs not less than £50 000 to mount a defence in actions such as this, Andrew’s legal insurers refused to consider this was an action they would cover, it does not take long to burn through legal fees, and with money running short Andrew compromised and settled on a voluntary undertaking with the Secretary of State for five and a half years not to act as a company Director with an undertaking that a s17 hearing would be heard by the District Judge before the undertaking took affect on July 13th 2010. The Court Order of 22nd June confirms that hearing never took place because the Secretary of State two days before the hearing in July had issued no instructions to counsel to attend and had broken the settlement by rushing into print and online trumpeting their success on the 1st July. The District Judge then signed an order to allow Andrew to continue to act as a Director in two designated companies, an order that was renewed on the 11th of October 2010 pending the outcome of the next full hearing.

Andrew released the following personal statement in October:

“I first wish to repudiate the voluntary undertaking I signed on 22nd June 2010, the accounts so presented were false, the Official Receiver knew they were false, I knew they were false, they were based on perjury in both French and English Courts, based on forged documents supplied by the French Director who colluded with the Official Receiver to transfer assets at nil value. I simply signed to end the attrition of costs by an overbearing State and because of the effect this war of attrition has had on my family. That is the end of one battle, but I have not given up the fight in this war.


I am grateful for the support of my legal teams in both France and England, to Liam Fox MP and to the members of the NCC of the Libertarian Party who refused to accept my offered resignation last June as Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the Party, and that despite the Court Order of the 11th October 2010 examining whether the poorly written, oppressive anti business CDDA 1986 can extend its authority over companies that are not registered in this country and to political parties and to charitable organisations, I will continue to seek the leadership of the Libertarian Party. Therefore it is only fair that all members are aware of this cloud that hangs over me before casting their vote.


I welcome the intervention of Ed Davey MP and look forward to the results of his review and for the opportunity of a meeting with senior officials to present the evidence that Dr Liam Fox has seen and quite rightly has called a scandal.


This will not however stop me seeking a Court order on the 25th October against the Secretary of State following the ruling of the Information Commissioner of the 22nd September. I will also be launching a civil action against the Secretary of State, Official Receiver and French Director, as both a creditor and shareholder of my former company for the wrongful transfer of assets , equipment and cash to the French Director at nil value.


I can however only express my displeasure at the lack of action by the Avon & Somerset Chief Constable in this case in relation to the Fraud and Theft that has occurred. The constant pleading of lack of resources has further undermined my confidence in Law enforcement.

I was a Classical Liberal before I help found the Party, my experiences of politicised public servants under the last administration have only confirmed that I must continue with that fight. I am confident the Parliament never intended the CDDA Act to be applied to foreign companies over which they have no jurisdiction , nor to political parties which is a breach of basic political Liberty, and I am confident that the Judge will come to the same conclusion "
ENDS

I will be at the Party AGM on November 27th, look forward to greeting Andrew as our new Party Leader and will support him in any way I can in the face of state oppression. It seems that Cable is continuing the practice of Mandelsonian dark arts.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

A Tory councillor has been arrested for Tweeting: ‘Can someone please stone Yasmin ­Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan’t tell Amnesty if you don’t. It would be a blessing really.’

Not a very smart move by the councillor, but he is a Tory. Apparently she'd been on BBC radio claiming that we, the British, had no right to lecture the Chinese about human rights. I'm not surprised he was angry, I get angry every time the lunatic woman appears on TV or radio. It's pretty obvious to all but a loony, humourless politically correct idiot that Compton, the Tory, wasn't actually asking potential stoners to get in touch, it was a daft remark, that's all.

On radio today the humourless Alibhai-Brown claimed to love free speech, obviously only if she approves of what you say. Does plod come and knock my door if I say certain miscreants 'should be strung up'? Likewise if I say 'I'll kill you if you're not careful' next time my wife takes the mickey out of my bald head?

Alibhai-Brown needs to get a bit of backbone, and the police really should  find something better to do than mither a councillor who makes dodgy remarks on Twitter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The European Union-The New Evil Empire

The EU proves time and again that it despises the people of Europe, it is only interested in consolidating and extending its power, and is supported by British MPs, MEPs and bureaucrats who are making themselves wealthy on its ill gotten gains.

The Soviet Union referred to the Eastern Front (1941-45) of World War II as the Great Patriotic War, ironic as they had already snuffed out the freedom and independence of many smaller states. They then proceeded to enslave a whole chunk more of Europe after World War II behind the Iron Curtain. To ensure no more nasty wars supposedly.

Similarly the EU is trying to claim the last war as a fight for European integration, meaning freedom and democracy, or their equivalent of it. It is trying to hijack Remembrance Day with a £4.7 million plan to put euro-branded commemorative plaques marking "European integration" on war cemeteries and memorials. How very Stalinist.

Then your president, Herman van Rompuy claims that Eurosceptism will lead to war. Oh really Mr van Rompuy? I'll tell you what will lead to war, the European Union. van Rompuy is a characterless, grey bureaucrat who has not been elected to his post. It is being governed by the unelected that is likely to lead to war.

van Rompuy claims that Euroscepticism leads to nationalism which leads to war. What leads to nationalism is forcing millions of people into an undemocratic union that bleeds them dry and denies them their heritage. Remember the EU is increasing its budget when every real country is cutting expenditure, and we have no power over those who are stealing our taxes. That is what leads to war.

Every tyrant has a scapegoat. van Rompuy is making us Eurosceptics his scapegoat. Of course it doesn't help our cause when supposedly Eurosceptic MEPs, such as UKIP's, ally themselves with assorted fruitcakes and extremists in their EFD Group in the European Parliament. The EU has been very canny. Draw in the Eurosceptics, seduce them with all the cash available and they can't resist. If you doubt the lure of the filthy lucre just remember Ashley Mote and Tom Wise.

But then you have to dangle the carrot of more cash to those who haven't gone so far that they've ended up in clink. How do they do that? They introduce the concept of the pan-European political party. You can't sit there in isolation in the 'European parliament', you need to be in a grouping with lots of other parties from other countries. Why is that? Because that way the EU will give your group of MEPs more money to spend. Then you ratchet things up a little more and the groups become pan-European political parties.

So how does this serve the EU's purpose? Because the mainstream political parties will not ally themselves with smaller, more radical parties. So there begins a desperate scramble among the smaller parties in the European parliamant to find common ground, because they have now become greedy for cash. So UKIP end up allied with Lega Nord and other unsavoury parties in the European parliament.  In May 2009, Matteo Salvini, formerly an MEP and at that time Lega Nord secretary in Milan, called for racial segregation on Milanese public transport. Nice chap.

So when we in the Eurosceptic movement try and defend ourselves from attacks like van Rompuy's, the actions of UKIP MEPs make our position very weak with their associations with the far-right in Brussels. And if you doubt the seriousness of the UKIP position, remember that two of their MEPs, Nikki Sinclaire and Mike Nattrass , have left the EFD Group.

As an old UKIP friend of mine used to say about Eurosceptics joining in the European parliament jamboree: "If you sup with the devil, you need a very long spoon".

Remembrance Day

The Menin Gate, Ieper

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chaytor, Devine, Morley and Hanningfield: The Filthy Four

Straight after the news of Woolas getting his comeuppance the Supreme Court have now ruled that The Filthy Four must stand trial. The down side is that it will cost you and me, the taxpayers, around £1m as for some inexplicable reason, they qualify for legal aid. Hanninfield has not claimed legal aid. Here's what they are accused of:

ELLIOT MORLEY



Accused of 'falsely claiming a furnishing allowance' after claiming more than £30,000 expenses for a mortgage he had already paid.

He claimed £16,000 at £800 a month in mortgage interest between March 2006 and November 2007.


A second charge alleges that between April 2004 and February 2006 Morley made a further false mortgage interest claim.

Again he is accused of claiming £800 a month, a total overpayment of £14,428.67.


JIM DEVINE



Accused of falsely claiming expenses in March 2009 after submitting two misleading invoices for printing services worth £5,505.


Also charged with dishonestly claiming allowances for repair, insurance or security between July 2008 and May 2009 by submitting false invoices for services, cleaning and maintenance of £3,240.

DAVID CHAYTOR



Accused of providing false information on an allowances form under the Theft Act 1968 after claiming £18,000 for rent he paid to himself.


He falsely claimed £12,925 in rent between September 2005 and August 2006 for a London flat when he was the owner of the premises.


Between August 2007 and January 2008 he also rented a cottage at taxpayers' expense at a rate of £775 a month from his mother Olive Trickett. He pocketed £5,425.


Also accused of filing two invoices for computer IT services worth £975 in 2006.


LORD HANNINGFIELD


Faces six charges relating to false travel expenses claims. He is alleged to have claimed Lords overnight allowances in London when he had actually returned to his Essex home.
The offences are alleged to have taken place between March 2006 and April 2009.
From the Mail Online.

Falklands War II?

Not militant Islamists, Argentinians!
That famous old Churchill quote: "those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it", is as relevant today as it was all those years ago.  But it seems that this government is continuing to treat the armed services with the same level of contempt that the last shower did.

From the Telegraph Online:
Scrapping Britain’s flagship aircraft carrier made no financial sense and leaves the Falkland Islands vulnerable to a new attack, former senior Navy commanders have claimed.  
Lord West of Spithead and Sir Julian Oswald, Admiral of the Fleet, are among a number of officers to have urged David Cameron to reverse the cost-cutting announced in last month’s defence review.

The irresponsible action of this Coalition/Tory government follows increasing militancy from the Argentinians over their claim to the Falklands, against the clear wishes of the islanders. The following comes from The Grauniad  in February this year:

Buenos Aires moves ahead with sovereignty claim following mobilising of Latin American support against Britain last night intensified its diplomatic offensive against Britain's oil exploration off the Falkland Islands by taking the case to the United Nations.

There is absolutely no justification for the Argentine claim to the Falklands. The only justification for them becoming sovereign Argentinian territory would be if the majority of Falkland Islanders wanted the change. They are firm in their wish to maintain the status quo. So why is this government leaving them vulnerable to a second invasion? Would our Anglo-French navy stand any chance of repeating the heroics of 1982? I doubt it, the French would be as supportive now as they were in 1982.

On the Saturday in 1982 when the House of Lords debated the response to the Argentinian invasion that led to the sending of the Task Force, I was in Westminster at a Freedom Association meeting. One of those present was a member of the House of Lords and returned from the House occasionally to update us on the debate. It was extremely exciting at the time, but I would prefer it not to be repeated. Sadly the Coalition/Tory government don't seem to remember those distant days.

It is not for us or the Argentines to decide the future of the Falkland Islands, it is for the Falkland Islanders to decide their own future.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Prat of the Month

Oi, teacher, stop shouting!
Step forward Mrs Joyce Walters, aged 50.

Walters has won £150,000 damages from her local authority because, as a teacher, she developed nodules on her vocal chords. She claimed that her unruly pupils meant that she had to shout a lot, and has now had to give up the vocation she supposedly loved.

If she was so hot at the vocation she loved, why could she not control a classroom without bawling like a parade ground RSM from a Carry On film?

Prat she might be, but she's smart enough to con a local authority out of £150,000 that could have been spent on education.

Full Story

Monday, November 08, 2010

Magazine-Shot By Both Sides

A classic from 1978 originally I think. I didn't even know Magazine had got back together, but here they are from last year:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Those Nice Liberal Democrats

Having had a couple of days now to ponder the demise of Phil 'The Prat' Woolas I thought I'd make a couple of observations.

It's ironic that it was the Lib Dems who forced the first decision of this kind in nearly 100 years. They are probably the dirtiest, most conniving and underhand political campaigners in Britain. They are the masters of the black arts of modern electionering. I suspect if a few more of the Lib Dems' opponents had been as savvy as the Welshman in Oldham, there would have been many more decisions like that from the election court, only against the Lib Dems.

But that's the problem with the Lib Dems, they are like spoilt brats. They think they have the moral high ground which, in their warped world view, gives them a God given right to do what they want. Have you ever met a Lib Dem who isn't a smug bastard?

Even on a trivial level they say what the hell they want to get the odd vote. I remember one Lib Dem opponent, 2001 general election I think, telling a bunch of school kids that one of the reasons he supported the EU was because our streets are full of dog muck, which is dangerous, but in Europe they clean it up. Having just got back from one of our frequent trips to Belgium, where the streets are paved with dog poo, I put them straight.

Another one, again in a school debate, claimed that Skoda was now a serious car maker because of the EU. He didn't tell them that Volkswagen bought Skoda before the Czechs joined the EU. He made it up. I enjoyed telling the kids the truth.

Ever seen those little graphs in their Focus leaflets/newsletters? You know the ones that claim that the Lib Dems are within winning distance of the sitting councillor/MP, with all the other parties way down and only the Lib Dems can unsaet the sitting Tory/Labour wallah. They make them up. The same graph appears in Focus leaflets all over the country.

I've seen the Lib Dems put leaflets out in a particular street claiming that they are campaigning to improve the street lights. They'd been tipped off by one of their councillors that the lights in that street were due to be replaced in six weeks. Guess who claimed the credit?

In some ways, although I'm glad Woolas has got his comeuppance, it's typical of the Lib Dems to run off crying to sir when the black arts are used against them for a change. And if you have any doubts about how vile and dishonest the Lib Dems are, just remember how quickly they dumped their election promises to get into bed with the Tories.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Oldham East and the Libertarian Party

Earlier today I blogged about Phil Woolas and the election in Oldham East being re-run.

I then suggested to Andrew Withers, the  Deputy Leader of the Libertarian Party, that we put up a candidate.

Andrew then got back to me suggesting that I might like to be said candidate.

So I now find myself Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Oldham East.

Funny old day.

Phil Woolas and Oldham East Election Re-Run

The Pillock's Leaflet
Another turd has floated to the surface and needs flushing away.

For the first time in 99 years a specially convened election court has overturned the result of a parliamentary poll and ordered a rerun after two high court judges ruled the result of the Oldham East poll void. They upheld the claim by Elwyn Watkins, the Lib Dim candidate, that Woolas knowingly made false statements in his election material in the general election.

In a nutshell the shit played the race card, and it's backfired.

I think I'll be popping over to Oldham East a few times to campaign for anybody other than Woolas.


Full Story from Grauniad Online

Thursday, November 04, 2010

European Trade Unions

I have first hand experience of Trade Union bully boys in action, back in the old days of the miners' strike in the 1980s. It's good to see them on their knees with the odd dinosaur like Bob Crowe reminding us what a shower of self interested parasites the Unions have become. But are they finished in the New Europe?

I particularly enjoyed reading the following article by Cristian Gherasim, who is currently working on a master’s degree in Romanian and European politics at the University of Bucharest.

We are all familiar with the power gained by trade unions in present-day Europe. Lately, it seems that they have also gained the privilege to turn to violence each time their demands aren't met. It's safe to say that a union's decision has become as important as a governmental decree.

Trade unions set wages, working time, retirement age, and social benefits; then they oversee and enforce them by going on strike each time the government is unwilling to succumb to their demands. God forbid someone anger the hyperactive trade unions. They will use force, seize the economy, and fervently hunt down anyone who dares to think that each worker is responsible to consumers and not to union leaders.


More than most, French workers have always been at odds with capitalist morality. Recently, we have seen how a country can be run — or run into the ground — by trade unions. In reaction to President Sarkozy's proposed pension reforms, French workers have gone on strike and paralyzed the nation.

Not only did they stop working but they also turned to paramilitary tactics. They seized refineries and fuel depots; they closed fuel pipelines going to Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, and massively disrupted rail travel. The fuel shortages have crippled the economy. Strikers stopped work at two of France's three liquefied-natural-gas terminals. All 12 French refineries have gone on strike. The country has also started to import electricity as the wave of protest action took hold of energy supplies. Students have taken to the streets, and the police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters in cities like Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, and Bordeaux.


On the other side of the English Channel, Britain's government unveiled plans to slash public spending, eliminate nearly half-a-million jobs, and raise the retirement age from 65 to 66. But the British largely resisted the urge to follow the lead of their French neighbors and flood the streets in angry and sporadically violent protest.


Why is there such a stark contrast between the reactions of French and British citizens to this week's parallel announcements of so-called austerity measures? Some would say that it is a question of national peculiarity and that some nations are more inclined than others to social unrest. This may be one of the reasons, but I believe that things are much simpler than that. It is less an aspect of crowd psychology than a consequence of a lesson learned through economic history.


As Ludwig von Mises tells us, the British have already experienced how trade unions and Keynesian policies can utterly destroy a nation's economy. After World War I, Great Britain returned to the prewar pound-to-gold parity. This caused an overevaluation of the British pound and the purchasing power of every employee increased significantly. In a free-market system, the nominal wage would have gone down in order to counterbalance this phenomenon, without the real wage being altered. But that didn't happen. Why? Because trade unions opposed any wage adjustment to match the new purchasing power of the British pound; real wages continued to rise due to this monetary measure. A full or near-full economic catastrophe followed.


The predominantly industrialized England, which relied heavily on exports, found itself unable to pay for raw materials as the British pound — and with it British goods — increased in value and became more expensive on the world's markets. Exports declined and so did England's economic might. Because wages were artificially forced over the level that would have enabled the full use of the workforce potential, factories and whole industries had to close down, with millions of workers losing their jobs.


Unemployment lasted for years, production reached an all-time low, and the United Kingdom went into recession. The government had to act and they did so by devaluing the pound. But the trade unions caught on to this monetary stunt and demanded that wages be indexed in line with the rising prices, which in turn generated inflation.


"The British have already experienced how trade unions and Keynesian policies can utterly destroy a nation's economy."


Keynes was quite aware of the fact that trade-union-imposed wages generated skyrocketing unemployment. Still, he claimed that workers, despite currency devaluation, can be tricked into thinking that their wages remain unaltered if they keep on receiving the same sum of money. He foolishly thought that full employment could be reached by inflation and not by having a free labor market unhindered by trade unions and government.


The only way of attaining full employment is by having a free labor market. Only it can determine the real cost of labor. Wages can only fluctuate in line with workforce demand. But because there's a group of people who think that full unemployment is unattainable without inflation, labor markets continue to be under the control of governments and wage levels are the outcome of trade-union pressure and violence.


So, the British are content with the announced cuts because they are aware that a deficit-run budget can send them back to the 1929–1933 economic meltdown. They are aware that the infamous European social model is no longer sustainable. It can no longer cope with deficit spending, high labor cost, and state-provided benefits. An aging population and the lack of economic competitiveness weakens Europe's ability to maintain the high living standards that most western Europeans have enjoyed during the last decades.


The French, like other welfare-state beneficiaries, have to come to terms with the end of their art de vivre. From now on they have to work longer, harder, better, and understand that free markets and not trade unions should act as censors. They have to give up the idea that work benefits are collective rights. Work and the search for work benefits are solitary activities upheld by personal skills that only a free market can properly evaluate and repay.


In fact, work has value only within a free-market system. Only in this way can every worker's effort be correctly assessed and remunerated properly. Otherwise it's all a waste of time and energy. This worker-consumer relationship is mediated through the use of money. And the salary, far from being a gift from government and trade unions, is the materialization of the consumers' satisfaction.


There's a lot of hypocrisy in this kind of social movement and national strikes. For workers and trade unions the principles of the free market and capitalism are falling on deaf ears. They want more money for less work, the same benefits even though they are no longer competitive and their manufactured goods no longer sell. As it often happens, their work is unproductive and they end up being heavily subsidized. These absurd antieconomic behaviors are a waste of public money and only stress the need for developing appropriate free-market mechanisms.
Driven by their socialist beliefs, the present-day trade unions act against laissez-faire and the tradition of economic liberalism, discouraging Europe's workforce and generating economic stagnation. This crippling system of social benefits and the trade unions' guerrilla-warfare method of getting their own way have to stop. If they don't, Europe will lag ever further behind and its current relative impoverishment will soon turn into absolute pauperization, ultimately resulting not only in economic but also in cultural and moral decline.
 The article appears on the website of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Original article here with links to further material.
 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Deluded Frogs and the Vimto Cordiale


French Annual Surrender Rehearsal
I've looked on the internet for reaction to the announcemet of our military shacking up with France and, apart from the odd "it's only because we're broke" comment, it seems to have been pretty widely accepted. In fact the only bigotted response I found was the following in the Daily Telegraph:


If proof were still needed of the essential asymmetry in French-British relations, you need only compare reactions on either side of the Channel to the Sarkozy-Cameron agreement, which proposes that the French and the British military co‑operate to form a joint expeditionary force.


Beneath the diplomatic veneer, les Anglais are up in arms: the names Napoleon, P├ętain, Exocet and Jacques Chirac are fiercely lobbed about. To sum it up, the French are unreliable, devious, and let others actually win their wars for them, while making a lot of noise on the sidelines. And that’s only in the last century or so; before that, they were the Hereditary Enemy.


The D-Day shindig has been bad news for Sarkozy. Meanwhile, we French, frankly, couldn’t be less bovvered. It’s a clear case of “you obsess about us; we hardly think about you”. Yes, of course, you can find historians and admirals to recall the infamous Mers-el-Kebir incident, when, on July 3, 1940, most of the French fleet was sunk by the British Navy rather than run the risk of seeing it join Nazi forces, at the cost of 1,297 French lives. 

The French are famous for being deluded. They think we obsess about Napoleon, Petain and Delors? I fear most people, especially those who have wasted a few years in comprehensive schools, probably think Napoleon, Petain and Delors are a French boy band in the Eurovision Song Contest.

They think they are the only ones who can cook. They think they still produce the best wine. They think they still produce the best cheese. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

And what thanks do we get for saving them in numerous world wars? "You sank our fleet and cost us 1,297 French lives". It would be rude to mention what happened to the Jews who found themselves under Petain in Vichy France. But I'm going to:

In total, the Vichy government helped in the deportation of 76,000 Jews, although this number varies depending on the account, to German extermination camps; only 2,500 survived the war.
From the Jewish Virtual Library.

I think it was the Americans who coined the phrase 'Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys'. I wonder why?

But I'm still looking forward to a week in Paris in the New Year. And probably a couple of weeks in the Vendee in the summer. If they'll let me in!

We wouldn't get on so well, us and the French, if we didn't have a pop at each other occasionally.