Following a member of my new family suffering a stroke three weeks ago which resulted in his passing on Wednesday night last week, out-put on SfS will not recommence until the end of this week.
We read in the Telegraph that George Osborne hails the written agreement that a loan to Greece via the EFSM – which he said was not on the table (ie, it won’t be happening) has been successfully agreed; and that any liabiility against non-repayment is insured. He continues by stating that because the Government refused to compromise its principles, it demonstrates a red-line they will not cross.
The media appears unable to express any incredulity that if one agreement can be torn-up, then just when in the future will this latest agreement suffer the same fate. This entire episode brings to mind ‘Referism‘ incorporated in the 6 Demands of The Harrogate Agreement (specifically Demand #4).
Not only is Osborne talking crap (do not most of the Talking Heads speak out of their rear orifice?) but so too is Simon Richards of The Freedom Association, with an article which appears on Conservative Home. Readers will recall the response I received from him to an initiative of mine in which he stated: …….please rest assured that we are committed to doing all that we can to try to ensure that the anti-EU case is put as effectively as possible.
It is a great pity that Simon Richards declined the invitation issued because, had he not, he would have learned one hell of a lot and thus negated making a public ass of himself with the crap that he profers in the article linked to above.
One can only assume that people like Simon Richards, Rory Broomfield and Matthew Elliott believe they are offering a service; and, unfortunately, they undoubtedly are – to the ‘In’ campaign who must be wetting their pants laughing so much at the paucity that those who think they are God’s gift to the ‘Out’ campaign, are offering with their statements and writing.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)
When George Osborne went to the recent ECOFIN meeting in Brussels and was questioned about the UK’s liability to bail out Greece, we were informed that he stated, as he arrived at the meeting of finance ministers: It’s in the interests of economic stability across Europe that this Greek deal is now signed and sealed. But let me be very clear. Britain is not in the euro, so the idea that British taxpayers are going to be on the line for this Greek deal is a complete non-starter. The euro zone needs to foot its own bill.
We now learn that there would appear to be have been a change of heart by Osborne and the British government as the European Commission has ignored David Cameron’s objections to using British taxpayer money to keep Greece from going bankrupt over the summer. Brussels announced today that it would press ahead with plans to use a moribund EU-wide rescue fund – the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism – to provide a €7bn emergency loan to Greece. The plans are set to force the Government in to an embarrassing climbdown, riding roughshod over a “black and white” agreement the Prime Minister had brokered with fellow EU leaders promising the money would never be used to rescue a eurozone economy. Should the EFSM loan go ahead, the Treasury will be exposed to around €690m of risk in order to help Greece avoid bankruptcy until the end of July. (Source)
It should be noted that were the Greek bail-out to encompass any contribution via the IMF, the the UK would be liable. As a result Osborne is incorrect; likewise Cameron was – by intimation – incorrect in his response during PMQs today; and must surely be guilty of misleading the House of Commons. Its not for Britain to bail out Eurozone countries; and we wouldn’t do that. (from 4:59).
Let me not digress into the subject of who governs this nation………
Don’t you just love ‘straight-talking’ politicians’?
When one looks at the ‘supporting cast’, which culminates with an article by Daniel Hannan on ‘global engagement’; paraphrasing Lee Rotherham, one can only presume that this series will comprise of: from the unaccountable, by the unaccountable*, for the unaccountable – in other words, a perfect example of a vicious circle.
Ending his article on ConHome, Paul Goodman lauds the fact that ConHome (via him) were the first to propose ‘Business for Britain’. All one can say in reply is, to paraphrase Laurel and Hardy: And look at what a fine mess Matthew Elliott has got us into!
*Okay, so Hannan is elected and thus ‘accountable’; but how is he accountable when he is continually elected by those who have no idea exactly why they are electing him?
Recently the European Union published its €13.1 billion investment plan for transport which has been endorsed (naturally, as transport per se is an EU competence) by Member States. Helpfully the European Union also published the proposal for the selection of projects in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Transport 2014 Call for Proposals.
Readers will no doubt be aware of the recent report published wih regard to the call for a third runway at Heathrow; a report on which our Prime Minister appears to be ‘sitting’ – no doubt with a headache as a result of his ‘no ifs, no buts’ statement to oppose that (but then we do know that Cameron is a man of his word, don’t we?)
Reverting to the proposal for the selection of projects by the European Union, from page 228 of that we learn: Heathrow Airport is one of the TEN-T Core Network Nodes. It is considered a bottleneck given its capacity saturation and subsequently the frequencies of delays and air holding experienced by users of the airport.
As the heading to this post says: nothing like a bit of added pressure, is there – but then, you ‘do the maths’.
George Osborne has announced plans to build more houses.
There is much discussion about the need for a third runway at Heathow, coupled wih the statement by Osborne in his budget about funding for new roads, or improvement/upgrading to/of same.
European Heads of State are to meet on Sunday to discuss Greece.
Just three items from the news of the last few days , which begs questions: does the need for more housing not have a root cause in ‘open borders’; is not ‘transport’ an EU competence and, consequently, are the decisions in this area not driven by the EU’s TEN-T programme; if Greece is to get the money it needs – and part of that ‘loan’ comes via the IMF – is not this country liable for part of the ‘contribution’?
The answer to all three of the above questions is: Yes!
Still the political elite of our country would have us believe they ‘govern’, still they maintain that Parliament is ‘sovereign’ – really?!
Now tell me: who is living ‘cloud cuckoo land’? Our political class and their psycophants (which includes our media) – or those of us who can distinguish the wood from the trees?
Nick Cohen has an article on the Speccie Coffee House, one in which he begins by writing about the European Union; and then seamlessly moves to using the word ‘Europe’.
When members of the ‘Eurosceptic Aristocracy’ (a term of which I have just become acquainted) are unable to differentiate twixt a political entity and a continent, it begs the question just why the hell do people pay so much attention to similar offerings from such people?
Richard North, on his blog: EUReferendum.com has been producing some ezxcellent articles about ‘trade’, the last commenting on the problems created by non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and technical barriers to trade (TBTs). I have yet to hear any politician even raise these subjects in speeches, articles, or in the House of Commons; yet are not our politicians those who consider themselves ‘all-knowing’? This begs the question: when our political elite talk about wanting a trade agreement with the EU (without the ‘political baggage’): do they have the slightest idea of what negotiating a ‘trade agreement’ encompasses?
Digressing slightly, I well recall Robert Kimbell (@RedHotSquirrel on twitter) – who is vociferous on behalf of Ukip on that medium and who has blocked me from following him, informing me in a telephone conversation that if everyone put their mind to it, a trade agreement could be ‘done and dusted’ in a month. (Really?!)
When you have such a vast lack of knowledge exhibited by an obvously unknowing political activist, is it any wonder that our ‘Eurosceptic Aristocracy’ are unable to do better? But I digress.
It would appear that Owen Paterson and Dominic Cummings are begining to take a leading role in the ‘Out’ campaign and in regard to the latter I have to take exception to a comment in his latest blogpost (leaving to one side his assertion about a game-changer possibly being a second referendum) in which he takes exception to the use of the word ‘sovereignty’. He writes: Everything will need to be pared down to a few fundamental objectives such as: neutralising fear of NO, explaining the gains from regaining control, explaining the costs and dangers of continuing to give away control, and developing a feeling in the country that NO would not just be good for us but good for the world. It will also require avoiding language that confuses. For example, the word ‘sovereignty’ is for many people ‘something to do with the queen’. Stop using it.
Er, does not explaining the gains from regaining control [of our country] and explaining the costs and dangers of continuing to give away control [of our country] encompass the definition of ‘sovereignty’? If, as Cummings asserts, many people associate the word ‘sovereignty’ with the Queen, then whose fault is that – viz-a-viz this country’s membership of the European Union?
Richard North recently wrote that he is at last a little hopeful that we can see an end to some of the internal squabbling; and far be it for me to ‘rock the boat’, but is not the wish of those of us wishing to see this country’s ‘divorce’ from the European Union not that based on ‘sovereignty’ and the ability of us becoming a self-governing nation once again, something that will eventually lead to the sovereignty of the people through the adoption of The Harrogate Agenda?
‘Divorce’ from the European Union and The Harrogate Agenda are entwined; so, yes, Mr. Cummings, we do need to continue the use of the word ‘sovereignty’ in the ‘No’ campaign.
According to the Daily Telegraph: More than 207,000 foreign nationals successfully applied to become naturalised British citizens in 2013 – more than 560 a day – at a level second only to the 225,000 who won citizenship in Spain.
Granting someone British citizenship entitles that person to vote in local and national elections; plus any referenda. Who says the fabric of our nation is not being changed behind our backs? Remember, this citizenship is being granted by the State – we, the people, have no voice in the decisions made.
Contrast this with Switzerland where it is not the final decision by the State that agrees to confer citizenship, but that of the local people.
There was much outcry about Blair and his government ‘opening the doors to immigration’ – but what, exactly, has changed? Zilch!
Who gave politicians the right to alter the society in which we live? Who gave politicians the right to subtlely change the fabric of our nation? Who gave politicians the right to change our culture? Who gave politicians the right to order our lives?
We did! Because we as a people, through ignorance and laziness, could not be bothered to take an interest in our own country and how it is governed.