Monthly Archives: October 2015

Lies, Damned Lies and Facts

Yesterday, in the House of Commons, David Cameron repeated his dismissal of the ‘Norway Option’ as an alternative form of membership of the European Union, stating that Norway has no seat at the table and no ability to negotiate – something he repeated on Facebook.

Readers will recall my handing David Cameron a ‘dossier, during a meeting at his constituency office in Witney. Readers will also recall that in his response he stated that he could not agree with a number of the points I made, eventually informing me that he was drawing our correspondence to a close. In that dossier facts were presented to David Cameron which showed that Norway does have a seat at top tables and does have the ability to negotiate as a result of being heavily involved in the various stages by which EU law is implemented.

If David Cameron will not take on board my views, then perhaps he will those of the EFTA website and the words of an eminent authority on matters EU. In respect of the latter, permission from that authority was sought and given for me to forward David Cameron a copy of FlexCit. While FlexCit is a comprehensive explanation of how the UK can disengage from the EU, there are further references to fact in relation to Norway’s relationship with the EU. Norway does not have a vote within the EU, that is a well known fact and one that is not disputed; but Norway does not need a vote as by the time the EU implements ‘law’, said ‘law’ has already been agreed within United Nations bodies with Norway having had a seat at the table where such law was formulated; coupled with the fact that the EU is mandated to consult with EFTA on the implementation of EU law. In this regard it is worth mentioning page 204 of FlexCit which provides an example of Norway’s ‘influence’ where the formation of EU law is concerned.

That David Cameron continues to misrepresent the position of Norway in respect of her dealings with the European Union (no, let us be brutally honest: he continues to lie) cannot be allowed to continue. To this end I felt duty bound to yet again email David Cameron; the text of which follows:

Dear Mr. Cameron,

Following my move to Co Durham it is acknowedged that you are no longer my Member of Parliament, however you are the Prime Minister of this country and if we are to have any vestige of democracy then any member of the electorate must have the opportunity of contacting you in order to hold you to account; and expect to receive the courtesy of a detailed reply.

Over the last few days you have been quite vociferous on the question of what is known as the ‘Norway Option’, maintaining that country has no seat at the table and has no ability to negotiate. You are also on record as stating that Norway pays as much per head to the EU as do we.

You and I know that those statements are a misrepresentation of the facts – in truth, ‘misrepresentation’ is perhaps the wrong word to use as it is plain that you have been less than candid.

To deal with the last point first: as has been pointed out elsewhere, the Norwegian government’s own figures show that its total EU mandated payments (gross) are approximately £435m (€600m) per annum. With a population of five million, that is approximately £86 (€120) per head (gross). Net payments, however, are about £340m (€470m) per annum, or about £68 (€94) per head. In 2014, the UK gross contributions to the EU were £19.2bn, less £4.9bn rebate. That gives an equivalent gross payment of £14.3bn. After rebates and other receipts, our net contribution was £9.8 bn. With a population of 64 million, that puts our gross contribution (without rebate) at £300 per head, our equivalent gross payment at £223 per head, and our net per capita payment £153 per annum – more than twice the Norwegian payments.

You are also on record as stating that Norway pays but has no say [on the rules] – that statement competely denies the huge amount of consultation by EFTA states within the EEA decision making process (see attachment)

.You maintain that Norway is not present at the table where decisions are taken. This overlooks the influence that Norway exerts on global bodies – for example UNECE and Codex – which is where law emanates in the form of dual international quasi-legislation, or diqules. These are then handed down to countries and trade blocs, such as the EU, for implementation.

As someone who wishes fervently to cease our membership of the EU it pains me greatly to observe the paucity of the arguments being presented by the, so far, two groups vying to become the ‘lead’ organisation in the forthcoming referendum. Both exhibit a common trait with you, in that none of you appear to know that about which you speak and write.

As a further attachment please find a copy of FlexCit, the work of an eminent authority on the European Union, namely Dr. Richard North. This work explains how this country can exit the EU painlessly (the Norway Option being but the first – and temporary – step, thus allowing businesses to retain access to the single market, while the lengthy process of unpicking 40 years of our enforced membership is carried out).

While FlexCit will undoubtedly increase your understanding of matters EU and global governance, especially where the subject of Norway and her influence is concerned; it will also mean that, having read it, your need to be less than candid will become unnecessary.

Yours sincerely,

David Phipps

Needless to say any response from David Cameron will, as usual, be made public on this blog.

What a contradiction!

At PMQs today Christpher Pincher – Conservative: Tamworth – (starts 01:00:57) rose to ask David Cameron whether, on the question of the UK’s reformed relationship with the EU, he [David Cameron] would confirm that no option is ‘off the table’ and that all British options would be considered; including one similar to Norway.

David Cameron replied that no options were off the table and went on to say that some wishing to leave the EU point to Norway stating her position is a good outcome. He continued that Norway has ‘no seat at the table’ and ‘no ability to negotiate’ – in effect ruling that option out.

Hello? Either nothing is off the table, or it most definitely is  – according to his reply. Methinks our prime minister needs to widen his reading list in respect of Norway ‘not having a seat at the table’ nor having ‘no ability to negotiate’? He could try reading the EFTA website?

In an earlier tweet I accused Mark Field (@Mark FieldMP) of being a ‘numpty’, asking him, in response to an article he wrote, what it was he did not understand about the origin of law. When the same description can be applied to our prime minister, then it becomes obvious why this country is in the state it is. But then, when leaders of political parties are chosen from such a low pool of ability and knowledge, what can one expect – but I digress.

Just what is it this man, so elevated above his ability by a chosen few, does not understand about this country’s ending its membership of the EU and forging a new ‘relationship’? Who has maintained that adopting the Norway position is the end result – other than those who know not about that which they speak and write?

In any event if Cameron ‘rules nothing out’, then prejudging his rengeotiation by aready appearing to ‘campaign’ to keep the UK in the EU is a tad ‘partisan’ – is it not?

As, from my days in Witney and thus having an email contact address with him, one is tempted to email him a copy of version 24 of FlexCit and ask him just what of that document he does not understand, nor agree with. No doubt I would be informed that I am no longer a constituent of his and therefore he has no obligation to respond. I would, however, were I so to do, point out to him that as prime minister he would have me believe he speaks in my best interests (which he doesn’t) and therefore is duty bound to reply. Temptation, temptation…………

As I have written previously, David Cameron is very charming when you meet him and it is difficult not to ‘like’ him – to which the same could be said of Tony Blair. Both seem only interested in their ‘legacy’ – and look where that has got Blair (Chilcot?). Cameron once said he was the heir to Blair and in that respect he was quite correct – they are both prats and thus unworthy of the office they, respectively, held and hold.

 

 

 

 

 

Democracy – and why we haven’t got it

The Minister for Local Growth & the Northern Powerhouse James Wharton writes about the devolution of power and support of the devolution deals taking power from Whitehall and returning it to communities.

He writes how devolution can give voters, civic leaders and businesses power over the decisions which affect them and which shape their local environment. Elected ‘civic leaders’ can only be held to account by voters once every four years, so just how can the people who are subject to decisions made by those (businesses) over whom they have no real control whatsoever hold them to account? Paraphrasing this article, business needs to learn one thing: how we are governed is not the business of business.

Wharton also writes about Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), which is but a substitution by the last Coalition govenment for Regional Development Agencies. It is a requirement of the EU that Member States ensure such bodies exist – so as with everything, what’s in a name change? Public life is riddled with duplicity and is now the norm – witness, for example, how many climate change ‘pushers’ have enhanced their income through exploitation of the very legislation of which they were part of it’s enactment. Tim Yeo? John Gummer – the latter since ‘lorded’ and now living on planet Deben?

This article of Wharton’s, in common with the output by most politicians, is nothing but idiotic dogma and ideological crap with one aim: to wrest control from the people and concentrate it yet further within the political elite (Hannan with ‘The Plan’, please take note). Devolution – Pah!

Now we have the government of the day, due to being ‘blocked’ by the House of Lords, wishing to, in effect, change our constitution (such as it now is, their having virtually scrapped it by virtue of our membership of the EU) and how it is supposed to work – and we do not live in a democratised dictatorship? At the end of the day just whose constitution is it – and when do we get our say over something that was not mentioned in the manifesto on which they were elected?

Presently we now have three declared contenders for leadership of the ‘Leave’ faction and one for the ‘Remain’ faction; and ‘annointment’ of each side will be in the hands of the Electoral Commission. It needs to be remembered that while that body is supposedly ‘independent’, four members of it are ‘nominated’ by political parties. Nothing like having an iron, or four, in an ‘independent’ fire is there? Should it not be for the electorate to decide which group they wish to lead both sides of the argument – a sort of ‘open primary’ – and then let each side ‘fight it out’?

At his Icelandic meeting we have David Cameron expected to repeat a claim that Britain would be unable to leave the EU and still enjoy unfettered access to the single market – which is a downright lie. Coupled with this we read a No10 spokesprat stating: “…..and no EU Commissioner to help.” On their appointment any EU Commissioner has sold their body and soul to the EU – so the only entity they can help is the EU.

If the government of the day is attempting to mould public opinion, is it too much to ask that they tell us the truth? If, as it apppears, the government of the day is attemting to rig the result of the referendum by means of propaganda then they are but paying lip service to democracy – and should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

 

 

 

How to create an EU Region

Anyone see how he did that: the usual question among an audience of a magician when he performs a trick using sleight of hand.

George Osborne has announced two new Northern Powerhouses – in the shape of the North East Combined Authority and the Tees Valley Combined Authority – under the guise of city-region devolution deals. The former comprises seven councils, namely: Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland – with the latter comprising five councils, namely: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-On-Tees.

Within the Eurpean Union the  Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics, as we English would have it (abbreviated NUTS; and some may be of the opinion the abbreviation is most apt, however I digress) is derived from the French Nomenclature des Unités territoriales statistiques and is a geographical nomenclature subdividing the economic territory of the European Union (EU) into regions at three different levels (NUTS 1, 2 and 3 respectively, moving from larger to smaller territorial units). It must be pointed out that NUTS is but an extension of ISO 3166 (ISO: International Organization for Standardization headquartered in Geneva).

For the record NUTS is based on Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS), which is regularly updated. The current NUTS 2013 classification is valid from 1 January 2015 and lists 98 regions at NUTS 1, 276 regions at NUTS 2 and 1342 regions at NUTS 3 level (UK listing commences page 124).

As will be seen, the North East of England (UKC – Level 1) is divided into two further areas, Tees Valley and Durham (UKC1- Level 2) and Northumberland & Tyne and Wear (UKC2 – Level 2). The former comprises Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, South Teeside (Middlesborough, Redcar and Cleveland), Darlington and Durham; the latter: Northumberland, Tyneside (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside and North Tyneside) and Sunderland.

George Osbone may have ‘conflated’ levels 3 of level 2, but the result is to create UKC1: the EU region: North East England. This will give both Combined Authorities access to the Committee of the Regions, the Council of European Municipalities and regions; and the ability to arrange loans from the European Investment Bank. On that latter source of largesse it is worth noting that Greater Manchester Combined Authority (representing the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester while working in partnership with central government and regional bodies) is in debted, to the tune of £1bn or more, to the European Investment Bank.

There are those on Twitter getting parts of their underwear in a twist due to the fact that British firms are being ‘bought up’ by foreign investors, yet little seems to bother those same people that our governments (national and local) are also being ‘bought-up’ by the EU. Loans have to be repaid and as neither level of government has money of its own it does not take a degree in logic to realise who will be footing the repayment bill. One wonders whether the good folk of the North East, having voted ‘No’ to John Prescott, realise that they have had the same idea foisted on them by a Conservative politician, albeit in a sightly different format and without the opportunity of a referendum.

This move by Osborne is but one of many to ‘regionalise’ the UK – remember Hazel Blears and her ‘multi-area agreements‘ (MAAs); did not MilibandE, following a report by Lord Adonis, suggest the creation of Combined Authorities?

If one politician can, by seight of hand, re-create an EU region, one has to wonder how easy it will be for a number of politicians, again by sleight of hand, to create a majority for the ‘Remain’ groups in the forthcoming referendum.

 

 

 

 

Chicken and egg?

Correspondence seen by the BBC shows the government is considering whether elected Police and Crime Commissioners should have greater powers to put up council tax. At the moment they need to hold a referendum if they increase the charge for policing on council tax bills by more than 2%. Some Police and Crime Commissioners want the referendum rule scrapped.

(Source)

Little noticed, it seems, is the extract above from a BBC news article.

The Conservative 2015 election manifesto does not make – to my knowledge – any such reference to increasing the powers of Police and Crime Commissioners, other than:  develop the role of our elected and accountable Police and Crime Commissioners (page 59). Readers will recall that the first incumbents were elected, on an extremely low turnout, in 2012. Those elected were to serve a term of 3½ years, with the next elections due to be held in May 2016 when the elected term will be 4 years. Police and Crime Commissioners are no more ‘accountable’ than are MPs – consider: how are either of them ‘accountable’ when they have been given ‘carte-blanche’ for 4 or 5 years?

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire proposed to increased the amount of the Council Tax for Bedfordshire Police by 15.84% compared to 2014. By law this meant there must be a local referendum to decide whether any increase of more than 1.99% should stay or whether there should be a lower Council Tax increase for Bedfordshire Police. The referendum was held on 7 May 2015 and the majority of those voting were against the increase of 15.84% (source). On learning that Bedfordshire Police are to receive no increase in government funding, lo and behold a public petition is produced which calls for more government funding – and gets signatures from those who, no doubt, also voted against the proposed increase in council tax.

As Janine di Giovanni is reputed to have said: Human memory is short and terribly fickle – or to put it another way, people will jump on any bandwagon without thinking things through, or in this instance without considering the source of government funding.

This  problem about ‘police funding’ in turn leads back to The Harrogate Agenda (Demand #5) which incorporates the idea of ‘Referism‘ – one that proposes any form of tax should be decided in advance on production of an estimate, which would be subject to public approval. But on what basis would public approval be decided when human memory is short and terribly fickle?

If The Harrogate Agenda (THA) is to be ‘promoted’ then should not an ‘army of vounteers’, similar to that which is proposed for the promotion of ‘FlexCit’, be set up in order to counter conundrums posed by, as an example, the wish of Police and Crime Commissioners to have the power to increase council tax in relation to the aims of THA and Referism? Perhaps he (the director) who is therefore in charge of THA – and deigns, sometimes, to still read my scribblings – may respond; after all, THA is an ‘intrinsic’ (his word) part of FlexCit.

Much is made of the fact that Ukip, Vote Leave and Leave EU publish ‘wish-lists’ to resolve the problems of this nation’s membership of the EU without also showing how those ‘wish-lists’ can be achieved. If the ‘definitive’ plan to cease this nation’s membership of the EU is to achieve public acceptance then all bases must be covered?

As is said – there’s more to making an omlette than cracking eggs………….

Just a thought or two………..

 

 

Time waits for no man – so they say

With Leave EU and Vote Leave behaving like two ferrets in a sack, the CBI publishing a pamphlet with so many inaccuracies contained therein – at which point one has to wonder at their audacity in even publishing it – and the Referendum Planning Group (RPG) not entering the fray so we are informed until February next year, the question to be asked is whether the public are being provided with balanced information.

While the RPG believe the ‘battle’ does not begin until David Cameron sets out his agenda, presumably they are keeping their ‘powder dry’ – fond as they are for military phraseology – unfortunately it would seem that events have overtaken their planning in that the two aforementioned ‘Outer’ Groups – and the joke that passes for the ‘In’ group – have ‘upped the anti’ somewhat.

Readers will recall the phrase: ‘many a mickle makes a muckle’ (often misunderstood) but intended to convey the idea that many little things can add up to a lot. The more the three aforementioned groups are allowed on the playing field with no opposing team facing them, the more ‘goals’ they will score.

The problem with waiting for Cameron is that, with all the misinformation being put out by Leave EU, Vote Leave and BSE, the public may well have made up their minds which way they intend voting; in which case – where RPG are concerned – the battle may well have been lost; unless of course there is a strategy for countering months of misinformation into just weeks.

According to Ryan Heath, Politico (Brussels): The Commission still prefers to finalize a package for the U.K. in December, but can live with a delay of a few months into 2016. What they are much more interested in is the referendum taking place by June 2016. The thinking is that the longer it takes for a referendum to be held, the more chances there are for another Calais-style migration crisis. The nightmare scenario is a Brexit referendum that becomes an immigration referendum by proxy.

What credence one can attribute to that view I leave up to readers; however following Cameron’s intention to set out his demands in a letter to Tusk and the more than possible wish of the Commission to finalize a ‘deal’ by December, then a referendum next year is a possibility – especially as Cameron has obviously ‘given up’ on achieving treaty change prior to his intended referendum in 2017, settling instead on ‘promises of further protocols/associate membership/or any other ‘jiggery-pokey’ with which he can ‘up-conjure’.

It could be asked where is the Electoral Commission – who will make the decision of who is ‘Lead Campaign’ on both sides – when those from whom it appears they will be choosing make ‘false claims’; and if those contestants are making false claims now, will we ever be given the truth.

The one loser, while ‘jockeying for position’ is played out, is the electorate – but hey, what does that matter while those who vie for the ability to play with our minds continue their egotistical ‘little games’.

Just saying………………………

 

 

 

 

 

Er, What day of the week is it?

Open Europe’s Daily Press Summarywhich is emailed to subscribers, is sub-titled: ‘The Daily Shakeup – Cut through the chatter’, while one of the sub-headings is ‘Intelligence’.

Today we are informed that: The Daily Telegraph reports that six Cabinet ministers have demanded that collective responsibility be waived so that they are allowed to campaign for Brexit. The article cites unnamed ministers saying it would be “insane” for David Cameron not to allow this and that it would lead to a “bitterly divided party”. Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that, according to unnamed Conservative party sources, Cameron is considering a reshuffle ahead of the referendum to purge the Cabinet of its most sceptical members. Separately, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in an interview with the BBC, “I think we’re all Eurosceptics now. I don’t see any ‘Eurofanatics’ around the Cabinet table.” The Vote Leave campaign has claimed that David Cameron has ditched 14 of the 24 pledges that he had previously said he wanted to renegotiate. These include calls to limit the powers of the European Court of Justice and to repatriate social and employment policy.

If the above is not ‘chatter’ I would love to know: what is? The Telegraph article referred to is either a poor attempt by a supposedy Tory-supporting newspaper to stir up divisions within the Tory party or just ‘column filling inches’ because the journalist concerned had nothing else about which to write.

Vote_Leave trumpets that David Cameron:  has ditched 14 of the 24 pledges that he had previously said he wanted to renegotiate: and that furthermore: On top of this, 15 of his 24 pledges would require changes to the EU treaties. Then, in their ‘Must Read’ section they link to an article authored by Roger Bootle – a man who was forced to retire from the judging panel of the IEA Brexit competition due to ‘conflict of interest’. Well, there’s ‘catch-up’ and there’s ‘catch-up’; and Vote_Leave haven’t even got onto the playing field where Cameron’s ‘aim’s and treaty change are concerned – most of us who understand the basics knew months ago that Cameron was ‘thinking the unachievable’.

If the public are to be plagued with ‘news’papers, think tanks and campaign groups, then is it too much to ask that ‘news’papers provide ‘news’, think-tanks actually ‘think’; and campaign groups do just that without indulging in hyperbole?

If ‘news’papers can’t provide ‘news’, think tanks can’t think and campaign groups are unable to avoid hyperbole; then the question whether they even know what day of the week it is becomes superfluous.

Just asking…………….

 

Passing thoughts……….

……..which constitute nothing but a series of yawns at that which the media (and bloggers) consider important.

1. James Forsyth, writing in the Speccie, states: The upshot of all this, though, is that the date for the referendum is slipping back. At the moment, autumn 2016 is the government’s preferred date. But members of the Cabinet, including those on the Europe committee, are increasingly talking about a 2017 date. Tellingly, I understand that the Cabinet committee hasn’t even discussed a date for the referendum yet.

Just what is it that this ‘wet-behind-the ears’ young journalist does not understand about the process where ‘treaty change’ is concerned? That some of that which Cameron wants requires such, coupled with the fact the a new treaty is certain from what the EU Commission has been saying and not withstanding that there are elections due in France and Germany means that the earliest the referendum could be held is late 2017 at the earliest (if not later) – that is if Cameron wishes to return with concrete ‘change’, rather than ‘statements of intent’, which won’t be worth the paper on which they will be written. Even Manfred Weber informs us that the UK won’t get more than peanuts from the EU; whilst ruling out any treaty changes to be made before the a) British referendum, b) the German general and c) the French presidential elections in 2017, will not and cannot happen. “It is pretty clear that David Cameron cannot expect more than legislative measures and some protocol statements’, he states.

Forsyth’s article is but yet more of the vacuous comment to which we are being subjected – but hey, ‘journalists’ have to fill column inches even if they know nowt about which they write.

2. It is observed that The Times, according to Open Europe, has informed their readers that a third ‘group’ has entered the contest to achieve ‘lead campaign’ status for the ‘Leave’ faction; namely The Referendum Planning Group (RPG). If that group considers itself intellectually above its opposition, where submissions to the Electoral Commission are concerned, it will presumably include in its Foreward to said submission the ‘shortcomings’ of the competition – without, naturally, any hint of ‘patronisation’. Just a thought…..

3. Richard North writes about ‘marital wheels-within-wheels’ where the output by the media is concerned – just another example of how the ‘Westminster Bubble’ attempts to ‘condition’ public opinion? In this context; yet another example of ‘twisting’ the by-line of Dragnet (see preceding post?).

4. Dominic Cummings and Vote_Leave appear to have belatedly realised that the views of those prevously employed by the EU results in those employed supposedy on behalf of the UK, ensure that a ‘balanced’ view is put forward in relation to the pros and cons where this country’s membership of the EU is concerned and that their motives might just be ‘questionable’.  What’s new? In this regard I return to the previous point about ‘Dragnet’ and that facts are being changed to protect the guilty. Coupled with this is the fact that those who ‘knowledgeably’ inform us about ‘matters EU’ know not the slightest on that subject.

5. Simon Jenkins, writing in the Grauniad, states that: The EU is a sham – Simon, those of us who take an interest in ‘matters EU’ had worked that out from the outset, especially where the subject of democracy was concerned. The fact that one, presumably, earning ‘megagrand per annum’ can quote Roger Bootle, who has ‘form’, brings into question the right of the author to pontificate on the subject – surely?

6. Last, but not least, it behoves those stating that were they to secure the ‘lead nomination’ from the Electoral Commmission not to accuse their opposition of patronising them, or threaten them not to so do (see comments). ‘United we stand, divided we fall…….? Conversely perhaps we should recall the Three Musketeers: All for one and one for all? By all means have differences of opinion, but point them out in a ciivilised manner without issuing veiled threats and using confrontational language……..? Mending fences………?

7. If this ‘EU referendum’ is to be won, then that which I tried to bring about must happen. I do not believe that I am alone in becoming tired of ‘claim and counter-claim’; not least forgetting the egotism that is becoming visible by the day and which does the aim of us ‘Outers’ no good whatsoever.

8. As with the media, there are those in the blogosphere who exhibit only a transmit mode – conversely it is the aim of this blog to stir up ‘discussion’, rather than to lecture. It is hoped that I do just that………..

 

It’s October, not August – or is it?

Within the field of politics it is generally accepted that August is the ‘silly season’, during which we are regaled with all the ‘wacky’ news and views both featuring those of whom we have heard and those of whom our first reaction is: who the hell are they.

We have only begun what may be termed ‘the phony EU Referendum’ period and already we have those with idiotic, unfounded and totally illogical views of what this referendum is about, spouting forth.

Joining the likes of Elliott, Rose, Farage and all the other comedic figures that are tryng to impress us with their knowledge (not) of ‘matters EU’, we now have Charlie Mullins and Caroline Lucas. To which all one can say to Charlie Mullins is: stick to plumbing (which presumably he knows something about – or not as the case maybe) because his article only exhibits what an ass/arse he is. For example, he claims that by ceasing our membership of the EU we would no longer have a place at the ‘top table – FCS, how can anyone ‘manage’ a company and not be aware of the origin of standards to which he has to adhere?

Turning to Caroline Lucas, one is tempted to paraphrase Richard Llewellyn and ask: how green is our Lucas? If this woman really wishes to know what democracy looks like then she ought to take a trip to Switzerland. Her ‘wish-list’ will never see the ‘light of day’ – mind you, having met her I doubt she even realises that; she is that much of an ass as is ‘our Charlie’ above.

Digressing slightly, I note the veiled criticism that in hoping it was possible to get the anti-EU faction together, speaking with one voice, it is now inferred that it was a tad naive on my part: Bluntly, it is little short of childishly naive to expect the different groups to collect together under one umbrella, and “play together nicely”, so that we can beat the big bad Europhiles, riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after (source). I still maintain that but for the egos of all those involved, that scenario could have happened.

On a similar note, if we are to selectively quote Winston Churchill (circa 1950), , then let us also consider (commences 5.24pm): To win the war we agreed to put our armies under S.H.A.E.F., a great Anglo-American organisation that was for the tactical and limited purposes prescribed. No one would ever have suggested that General Eisenhower should have had the power to say what units of the British Army should be suppressed or disbanded, or how they should be raised or remodelled, or anything like it. Or: I would add, to make my answer quite clear to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, that if he asked me, “Would you agree to a supranational authority which has the power to tell Great Britain not to cut any more coal or make any more steel, but to grow tomatoes instead?” I should say, without hesitation, the answer is “No.”

We are also informed, those of us who consider ‘sovereignty’ to be important, that there is a need for us to ‘grow up’ and think twice about our obsession with sovereignty. Was not Churchill discussing ‘sovereignty’ in his remarks above? It will not have escaped the ‘eagle-eyed’ among my readers that he also ‘coined’ (next para of his speech) what I believe is the first reference to ‘associate membership’; but I digress even further. What is ‘sovereignty’ but the right of a nation to decide that which happens within its territorial boundary, coupled with its relationship with the rest of the world.

It is indeed not only odd, but also ironic, that castigation should be levied against those of us who believe in our nation’s sovereignty when FlexCit contains a section on that subject and one that comprises the Six Demands required by The Harrogate Agenda.

It is also obvious that we have entered a period of ‘claim and counter-claim’ by all sides of the argument; at which point I can only repeat the closing remarks of my preceding article.

When one ‘tunes in’ to this referendum debate/discussion it is impossible to forget a television series of the 50’s, called ‘Dragnet’. Its famous introduction, as it was supposedly based on fact, was that: Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. When one listens to the ‘thrust and counter-thrust’ of the referendum protagonists one can be forgiven for thinking only the facts have been changed to protect the guilty.

It sure is a ‘topsy-turvy’ world in which we live………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Fleas have little fleas, etc, etc

Big fleas have little fleas,
Upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas,
and so, ad infinitum.

We all know the nursery rhyme, which is closely based on lines by Jonathan Swift from his long satirical poem “On Poetry: a Rhapsody” (1733):

The vermin only teaze and pinch
Their foes superior by an inch.
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite ’em,
And so proceed ad infinitum.

A few days ago, on the 8th to be precise, EU Transport Ministers unanimously adopted a general agreement on the two market pillar proposals of the 4th Railway Package, on Governance and Public Service Obligations – which kinda makes a mockery of this country paying Patrick McLoughlin to be its Secretary of State for Transport. This idea of ‘Governance and Public Service Obligations’ sure as hell did not originate in Brussels – no, try here.

Joëlle Bergeron (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy – EFDD)asked a question on the subject of UperPop: In several Member States, UberPop, a taxi service for individuals which competes with traditional taxis, is the subject of intense debate. Countries like France and Germany have banned UberPop. In other Member States, such as Britain, UberPop is permitted. Former EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has published an op-ed in the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, in which he declares himself in favour of free access to the market of companies like UberPop in the name of free competition. He believes that banning UberPop is corporatist in inspiration. Does the Commission believe that the prohibition of UberPop taxi services by some countries constitutes a breach of the principle of free competition or does it believe that the way in which the profession of taxi driver is organised must remain the responsibility of Member States?

In response Ms. Bulcon, on behalf of the Commission ,said on 7th October: The Commission has received complaints about the prohibition of UberPop services in some Member States. These complaints are being assessed by the Commission in order to ensure that national rules and practices concerning taxi and hire car with driver services are in conformity with the general principles of the Treaty and relevant secondary legislation. In relation to the profession of taxi driver the Commission is currently launching a study to analyse the markets for taxis and hire car with driver services in Member States as well as a separate explanatory study on consumer issues in certain online peer-to-peer markets, including the sharing of private transport. These studies will allow for evidence gathering and further reflection. Guess who will be making the final decision on ‘Uber’? It sure as hell won’t be Patrick McLoughlin.

During the speech by Jean-Claude Juncker on the ‘State of the Union’ he stressed that the fight against climate change will be won or lost in cities, where 75% of Europeans live and where 80% of Europe’s energy is consumed. The promotion of cycling as a sustainable transport means for short-distances – notably in urban areas – can help achieve the EU’s climate objectives. Just where did J-CJ get this idea? Well, from here of course; and where cycling is concerned, he no doubt had read this.

There does exist a ‘global government’ – and it is run under the auspices of the United Nations, as some of us know only too well. Likewise, we are also aware that the EU is not a ‘giver’ but a ‘taker’ of law (as demonstrated above) – which in turn also kinda makes a mockery of the efforts of Matthew Elliott/Stuart Rose and their ilk. To think that we have, on the face of it and if Cameron’s schedule runs as he plans, another two years of all this ‘euro-crap’……..

Unfortunately, those that do know that about which they talk are speaking to a miniscule audience as they don’t have the ear of the media; and those that do have the ear of the media haven’t the faintest idea of that about that which they talk – with the very few who do know that about which they talk being ‘overtalked’ by those interviewing them – plus of course having the constraints of political party membership/reselection/possible re-call to the ‘political ladder’ of promotion to consider.

Now why do I think that the forthcoming referendum is going to be run by brain-dead numpties, in turn chosen by brain-dead numpties – and decided by brain-dead numpties?

I think I may have to go for an extended ‘kip’………