Sunday, 28 September 2008

Andrew Symeou

Andrew's railroading continues:

Andrew Symeou, 19, from north London, was arrested by British police on June 26 after Greek authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant.

The case has reopened a debate about the warrants, which were introduced without fanfare in 2002 and which allow any European Union citizen to be extradited to face trial in another EU country without evidence being heard in a domestic court.

Mr Symeou, who was remanded on £20,000 bail paid by his mother Helen, and had his passport seized, is wanted in connection with the death of another British holidaymaker, 18-year-old Jonathan Hiles from Cardiff, who died after an incident at the Rescue nightclub on Zante on 20 July 2007. He was allegedly punched, fell off a stage and cracked his skull when he hit the floor.

Mr Symeou, a student at Bournemouth University, denies the charge and says he was not even in the nightclub until three hours after the incident.

Mr Hiles, 18, who had represented the Great Britain roller hockey team and played ice hockey for Cardiff Devils' junior team, was taken to hospital in Athens where he died on 22 July 2007.

Mr Symeou, from Enfield, north London, has never been interviewed by Greek police. If he is extradited he could spend 18 months in Greece awaiting for trial for an offence that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The European Commission says the introduction of European Arrest Warrants has been "made possible by a high level of mutual trust and co-operation between countries who share the same highly-demanding conception of the rule of law".

But critics claim that widely-varying standards of criminal justice within the EU will inevitably lead to miscarriages of justice.

New laws approved recently by the European Parliament, but still to be ratified by member states, will make the extradition process almost automatic - even if the individual has already been convicted and sentenced at a trial at which he was not present.

The first and primary duty of any system of government is to protect the country itself from invasion. The second is to protect the rights of the citizens from a similar such invasion. That clearly and obviously includes protecting the rights of those accused to a fair trial.

Our current system doesn't do that, as we can see above. So it would be entirely fair to say that our corrent system of government, where 80% and more of our laws come from Brussels, has failed.

About time we went back to a system that actually worked, that did protect our rights, don't you think?

Cheering News

So imagine the consternation now felt at the British Council, one of the most politically correct organisations on earth, at the results of its survey of young people in both Britain and Italy.

A large majority felt that excessive immigration was threatening their national identity, many thought it was threatening the jobs of domestic workers and only seven per cent of the British young people questioned felt themselves to be citizens of Europe.

So when will the Government wake up to the opinion of that 93% and take us out of that citizenship of Europe?

The Express gets it.

A couple of days ago I pointed to a blog post which told us that you can be better off on benefits than you might be in work. One newspaper that has got this point is The Express. Here and here, they lay out what is actually happening.

The basic problem, from an economic point of view, is that the tax and the benefit systems overlap. You can be both paying income tax and also getting tax credits and other benefits. So when you income rises just a little bit, you can lose more in tax and the loss of benefits than you gain by the extra income.

There are essentially three ways out of this bind. We can abolish the welfare system...which of course no one wants to do. Change it perhaps, but no, no one is advocating that we simply allow people to starve in the streets.

Or we can spend a great deal more money on the system, money that we don't have.

Or we can be sensible and simply not tax those working poor in the first place. That reduces the marginal tax rates so that those who do go out to work, those who get a better job, or who do some overtime, get a better income by doing so.

That sensible and simple solution is of course the one that we in UKIP propose.

Raise the personal allowance to £10,000 and a lot of these problems simply go away.

State schools

The cost of educating a child in the state system is greater than in many private schools, it has been claimed.

Fee-paying schools work out cheaper because millions of pounds of public money is being spent on bureaucracy, a headteachers' leader said.

And he warned that, despite the huge sums being pumped into state schooling, 'an awful lot of money never gets close to a child's education'.

It's not as if people don't know this. Some people at least....but it does go to show the most important point about the spending of taxpayers' money. It isn't how much you spend that is important to the result, it's how you spend it.

For example, the Finnish school system is usually pointed to as the best in the world. They spend less per pupil than we do. However, they also spend it differently: there's a pretty rigid line between schools that teach academic subjects and those that teach vocational ones. You know, not comprehensive education, but something more like our own past system of grammars and secondary moderns.

Which is, of course, why we have a policy in favour of such a system.

As ever, we're delighted to learn things from our fellow's the political entity which is the European Union that we're against.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Green fascism

It's easy enough to go overboard with the claims that the various greenies are simply fascists, if of an eco- kind. Yes, they do want to force us all to live as they determine we must and yes, they do seem to have a temptation to use the most oppressive State measures to make us do so.

But to be honest, at least when I sling around such accusations, a lot of it is hyperbole. It's a way of getting up their noses, of ridiculing their pretensions, rather than a real comparison of them with Mussolini and his Black Shirts.

Well, at least usually it is.

Residents of the planned eco towns in England could face strict monitoring of their travel habits, home insulation and even wasted food, to ensure they are truly living a "green" lifestyle.

Experts advising the government on its plans to build up to 10 eco towns by 2020, yesterday called for ministers to toughen environmental standards for the developments with monitoring to ensure their carbon footprint is three times smaller than the British average.

The recommendation is that there should be detailed scrutiny of the number of trips residents make by car, and the types of waste produced by households and businesses. Thermographic cameras should be used to check which homes lose heat, according to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe).

The monitoring plans are part of the proposed standards for the government's flagship housing programme, which has been criticised for failing to demand the highest levels of sustainability.

I'm all in favour of the idea that we might tread more lightly upon this Earth even as I criticise the methods offered to help us do so. But do we really need to have block captains monitoring our every move?

That really is getting a little close to fascism, isn't it?

Regulating blogs

The idea that blogs need to be regulated at a European level has been defeated. At least for now, but we all know they'll be back for more. Bad ideas never die in the EU, do they?

Charles Crawford explains the idea in all its awfulness, here.

Quite simply, neither you nor I, nor anyone else for that matter, needs the permission of the European Unions to express our opinions. There's an end to it.

Those ID cards

Yes, they're an expensive nonsense, they won't solve any problems except to remove even more of our liberty than we're already losing. But then we find that behind it all is the European Union. Trixy has the details here.

Nigel's quoted on it too.

Officials said the image of a bull represented the Greek myth in which Zeus turns himself into a bull and abducts Europa, a beautiful princess.

Campaigners said it was bizarre that there not more outward symbols of Britishness on the card, given that it will be used as a proof of residence.

Lorraine Mulally, spokesman for campaigners Open Europe, said: "The use of EU symbols, instead of national ones, is part of a wider attempt to promote the idea of a common European citizenship, which EU federalists have been pushing for some time. The Government seems happy to buy into this."

Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, added: "A British ID card without a British flag on it? Instead we have the symbol of Europa, and we know what Zeus did to her.

"We don't need or want ID cards in the first place, free people in a free country don't require them. But to have the European Union thrust down our throats at the same time is simply a load of old bull."

Well said John

We've always known that teh continental economies are run rather differently from our own. We've also always known that there has been something of a movement to change the way we do things to make it the same way as they do things.

The Rasmussen report was just voted through the European Parliament last week an John Whittaker had this to say about it.

Senior politicians in France and Germany have in recent weeks called for a radical shake-up of the market system. A powerful EU faction that has always been hostile to the City of London – which is known in Brussels as “the casino” – see this crisis as a rare chance to ram through irreversible changes.

“They want to regulate the capital levels of every firm and partnership, limit takeovers and regulate asset stripping. In short, they want to regulate the Anglo-Saxon version of capitalism out of existence,” said John Whittacker, MEP and UKIP’s economic spokesman.

Absolutely John. They just don't like our way of doing things and they want to force us to change.

Can we leave yet?

Tsk, naughty Lib Dems

Really, they should have known better.

The Liberal Democrats broke the law by making automated phone calls to supporters during their party conference, despite having been warned that their actions would be likely to breach regulations.
Does that mean we get to throw them all in jail now?


Thursday, 25 September 2008

UKIP's tax policy

As we all know, UKIP's tax policy is to raise the personal allowance to £10,000 a year. That's the start of it, of course, but it'sa very important start. As this post shows.

Let’s define wages as the income you get from working, relative to not working.
Then look at table 2.2c (p114) of the latest Tax Benefit Model tables, the DWP’s full description of our tax and benefit system, published today.
This shows that if a single person moves off the dole and into a 16-hour a week job at the minimum wage, he gains just £8.42 a week. That’s a wage of barely 50p an hour.
And if a married couple are unemployed and one takes a part-time minimum wage job, they lose - yes, lose - £6.63 a week. They have negative wages.

No wonder we've so many idling on benefits: look at the wages they get if they try to go to work.

We'll only be able to deal with this by making work pay....and the way to do that is to take the working poor out of the income tax net.

More on Gawain

As so often, Mr. Eugenides gets to the heart of the matter.

No problem blogging if you're Margot, of course: hell, they'll even subsidise it for you. Just so long as it's earnest and supportive.

Gawain tells us the truth about the European Union and they threaten him with a fine for doing so. Margot Wallstrom spouts any old soft soap propaganda and we have to subsidise her to do so.

Always the same, isn't it? One rule for them and another for us.

Catholics and Kings

It's simply amazing some of the things that politicians comeup with. We've had reports that the government want to change the rules about Catholics being able to become the Monarch and also that first born daughters would inherit, not just first sons as at present.

But as The Anglo Saxon Chronicle points out, it doesn't actually work like that. The government in Westminster cannot change that law.

For they have to ask all of the other countries (some 17 at the moment, isn't it?) where the Queen is indeed Queen as well.

So not only are they proposing this in their fourth term (yeah, right, like that's going to happen), they can't even do it anyway.

We told them so

A number of us pointed out a few months back that if there was going to be a stamp duty holiday or there wasn't going to be someone had to take the decision quickly.

If there's going to be a few months of rumours about whether there will or won't be a change then that will make the housing market seize up anyway, the uncertainty. And guess what's happened?

The British Bankers' Association has now revealed the extent of the damage caused by this uncertainty. The number of home loans approved for new house purchases plummeted in August by 64 per cent, year on year, to a new low of 21,086. As it takes two to three months from a mortgage being approved to the completion of a sale, this suggests that the number of housing transactions, already at the lowest level since records began in 1977, could fall even farther. As the number of transactions falls, so do prices, as sellers have to slash their prices to attract buyers.

This could cost us all billions as bank losses rise, just think of the number of mortgages we own through Northern Rock. And all because the politicians who rule us don't understand the most basic things about markets: what kills them is uncertainty.

It didn't really matter whether they had a stamp duty holiday or not. What did matter was that they made the decision in the early summer, when the rumours started, and stuck to it.

As any businessman knows, it's almost always better to take a decision, even the wrong one, than it is to vacillate.

Which is the problem?

This story enrages.

Sheffield City Council said it did not allow funerals to be held at weekends, except for Muslims because Islam deems that the dead must be buried as soon as possible.

Special treatment for a specific group or religion? That's not how we do things here.

This part of the story is wonderful though.

Abdool Gooljar, president of the Sheffield branch of the Society of Islam, said: "I, firstly as a Muslim and secondly as a citizen, do not want preferential treatment. We are living in a multi-faith, multi-cultural society and we should endeavour to meet the needs of every citizen in this city."

Mr. Gooljar seems to have a better idea of Britishness than Sheffield City Council.

I've long thought that Islam isn't of any great danger to us or our way of life. But our reaction to it might be. If we ever lose that knowledge that as British citizens we are all equal then we'll be stuffed.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Vindico makes the point

We've already mentioned that "inquiry" (scandalous insinuation is closer to the truth) by Hans Gert Pottering into the funding of Libertas in Ireland. That it might be CIA money being used to spread the words of freedom and liberty.

A purely personal opinion is of course that that would be a marvellously productive use of both taxpayers' and spymasters' money. That is the point of the whole game, after all, to maximise freedom and liberty. There is of course no evidence that the money did come from such a source, just those insinuations. That Declan Ganley sells to the US military, that he funded Libertas himself in part, so thus....

But as Vindico points out, the EU funded propaganda missions to Ireland during the referendum.

So it's perfectly OK for the EU to throw taxpayers' cash at winning a referendum by manipulating the debate, but when the USA does this it is very bad. Again, for clarity - Brussels throws taxpayers money at manipulating the Irish referendum; the USA does the same. One is bad and one is good.

War is peace. Security is freedom.

Good to get the Orwell in when discussing the EU of course. But please, a word in Brussel's shell-like? 1984 was a dystopian satire, not an instruction manual.

I beg your pardon?

Health Secretary Alan Johnson wants patients to challenge doctors and nurses to wash their hands

I beg your pardon?

If we're going to have a National Health Service, if we're going to have a system whereby every family in the country is taxed so that the Government will provide the health care, isn't it actually part of the deal that the government, perhaps in the person of the Health Secretary, tells the doctors and nurses what to do?

Like, for example, you're all professionals with years of training under your belt so wash your damn hands?

Jeepers, after all, the germ theory of disease is only, what, 150 years old now?

Silencing Gawain

You might have seen this around but if not, here's the story. One of our own, Gawain Towler, has been banned from blogging by the powers that be in the European Parliament. Apparently, having your own opinions and expressing them is frowned upon. To the extent that you can be fined four months wages if you do so.

The full story is here.

Well, OK, we all knew they didn't like people taking the mickey out of their pretentions but there's a much larger point to make behind this as well.

As Lord Pearson has been saying repeatedly in the House of Lords, there are a number of peers who are in receipt of (substantial, up to €80,000 a year,) pensions from the EU and they are subject to the same gagging clauses. In theory, as has just happened to Gawain in practice, they can be threatened with cuts in or even the abolition of their pension if they do not support the aims of the Union at all times.

However, as Malcolm Pearson has been pointing out, those peers do not have to declare such an interest when speaking in the Lords: not even on a debate about that very European Union.

One rule for the common man, another for the Masters, don't you think? And a situation we might want to change as well.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Going Postal

That's a fair old image, that one at the top, isn't it? Been used on leaflets with great success by the East Sussex Branch.

For of course we know that the problems we're all suffering with post office closures are indeed as a result of the EU insisting that we cannot any longer do things as we would wish, only as they insist.

But things get better. Kris, of that same East Sussex branch, has been adding that image to those handy shopping bags you can see in the second photo. You can contact her here to purchase one.

Not just to carry the shopping home in of course (and without having to use those plastic bags to boot!) but a great way of campaigning while out and about. You will get people asking "what's that all about then" and what better way to bring someone into the fold?

Controlling Bloggers

Yes, there's been another dippy idea from a dippy MEP. This latest one is that blogs should be regulated at the European level. Apparently some take their rights to free speech a little to seriously or something. There are details here and here (be aware, that latter uses language perhaps more suitable for sailors and fishwives than maiden aunts).

The entire idea is of course wrong for this reason:

My "credentials" are that I am a citizen of your much-vaunted Union, with the democratic right to say what I like about whomever I like. Those are all the credentials I need, or will ever need. It is not in your power to withdraw that right simply because you do not care for the way I exercise it.

As I myself said on my own blog when this matter was first mooted. You can have my blog when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Unitl then, I'm a free person in a free country and I'll continue to express myself as I wish, using the language and technology I desire, to say what I desire to say.

And if you don't like my views or what I say well, diddums is the only possible adult response.

Declan Ganley

It looks liike Declan Ganley has the federasts a little worried.

THE RUMOURS and accusations of American involvement, swirling for months, have always been flatly denied. Now there are calls for a full and formal investigation of exactly who has funded Libertas, the policy group that played a high-profile role in pushing for Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon treaty.

Hans-Gert Poettering, president of the European Parliament, is demanding a probe into Libertas, its founder Declan Ganley....

Oooh, my, can't have anyone upsetting the applecart now, can we? Encouraging people to use their vote to decide upon the future of the European Unikon. Wouldn't be right now, would it, having democracy?

That's what the investigation is about.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Greenie Nonsense

It's very difficult not to laugh sometimes. Here we've got some Green politician arguing about the various different types of energy generation we could install.

This massive under-utilisation of our green resources is also reflected in job figures. According to government-sponsored research, the UK has, at very best, 26,000 jobs in renewable energy. By contrast, Germany has 250,000 jobs.

With the right investment, the UK has the wind resources to be a European green industry leader. As well as reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy security, wind power also creates a large number of jobs per TWh unit.

While nuclear produces 75 jobs per TWh per year, oil and gas around 250 jobs, wind produces up to 2,400 jobs.

She uses this as an argument in favour of wind power.

Which is simply blindingly stupid. "Creating" jobs is of course a cost of a scheme not a benefit of one. If you were running a business, something simple like a whelk stall, would you use the method of production that needed 2 people to run it or the method that used 200 people?

Quite, you'd use the two people method because you know that it's very expensive indeed to employ 200 people.

That wind power needs 32 times as many people to set up and run it than nuclear does is of course exactly why we would like to have the nuclear system not the wind power one.

Really, you do have to laugh at these people sometimes, don't you?

I know the answer to that question!

Authorities in the UK and in the US are taking steps to regulate the way banks and speculators behave but while we have been tightening our belts here, ahead of tough times to come, bureaucrats in Brussels have just carried on spending.

The EU is in just as much need of regulation as the stock market. News that EU leaders plan to squander Euro cash on a museum and a satellite TV system is typical of their total disregard for the people they are supposed to serve.

Who in Britain today believes that we are getting value for money from Brussels?

The people who think there's value for money in that spending are the people doing the spending of our money. Everyone else knows that it's being wasted.

So how long before we take back the power to spend our own money and stop the waste?

The cod shortage

Want to know why cod and chips is now moving past £5 a portion? Why there's almost no cod left in the sea?

Described by fishermen's leaders as "a monumental moral disaster", this is a direct and inescapable consequence of the EU’s idea of fisheries management which in this case has led to a "staggering total" of 12,000 metric tons of marketable cod, with a potential value of £25 million, being discarded.

These data come from marine scientists at the government's Fisheries Research Service in Aberdeen. They show that, from a survey, carried out between January and June, 40 percent of landings of cod by weight are having to be discarded to prevent the fleet breaching the EU's quota restrictions.

At least 90 per cent of the catches are above the minimum marketable landing size, yet the above quota fish are being thrown back dead.

Yes, because the EU insists that we throw dead fish back into the sea.

Can we leave yet?

Eurozone problems

Following on from Tim Congdon yesterday we get Ambrose Evans Pritchard today.

Europe has embedded paralysis in its treaty law. Maastricht prohibits a Keynesian blitz. Budget deficits above 3pc of GDP are not allowed until an EU country is already in dire straits, and even then approval requires a committee vote by 27 states. So Ireland, Italy and France must now tighten fiscal policy into the downturn. There is no EU Treasury to back the euro, and therefore no Euro-Paulson with the powers and legitimacy to take sweeping steps in an emergency. By extension, there is no clear-cut lender of last resort either. Each country is on its own, yet none have the instruments of monetary policy to carry out a Paulson-type rescue with credible punch.

The European Central Bank stands aloof with Teutonic severity, as hawkish as the old Bundesbank - or the Reichsbank in 1931. It too is a prisoner of a rigid treaty mandate. There was a mad Wagnerian feel to its July rate rise. We now know that Euroland was already slipping into recession when it acted. Do the hawks mean to unleash Götterdämmerung on the peoples of Spain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Greece, with all the dangers that must accompany a disintegration of EMU?

These are three of the problems that I fret over with the ECB, indeed the entire eurozone system.

The first is that by definition, with a single currency there has to be a single interest rate. So economies which are falling into recession have no ability to lower interest rates in order to minimise or even forestall problems.

The second, that the ECB itself seems to have not worked out what actually caused the Great Depression: it was the tightening of interest rates and the subsequent contraction of credit. So with a financial crisis like the one we have interest rates should indeed be going down.

The third is that there is in fact no lender of last resort in this system. There's no "there" there.

All of these three individually and even more strongly all of them together mean that while we and the Americans might have a financial jolt and a downturn, we at least have the tools to deal with them while the eurozone simply doesn't. Which doesn't bode well for the severity of the downturn when it comes to that very eurozone.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Tim Congdon on the Eurozone

Allow me to welcome a guest blogger to our 'umble abode. Tim Congdon, economist, businessman and of course, member of UKIP, on the eurozone:

American capitalism had a terrible shock last week. But Americans are right to believe their bank deposits are safe and that over the long run their financial institutions will deliver good investment returns to savers. The USA is a single nation with a single Federal government, and clear lines of responsibility from its central bank and official agencies to the private sector banking system. That is why the Federal rescue will work.

Compare that with Europe and the single currency ‘area’. Yes, ‘area’. The Eurozone is not a nation with one government and one central bank. Instead it is an ‘area’, which can vary in size as countries join (and leave, as Italy has threatened to do), which has 12 governments, 12 inferior national central banks, one superior central bank based in Frankfurt, and countless regulatory agencies with conflicting agendas. What would happen if a truly ‘European bank’ – a bank with shareholders in Germany, a headquarters in Paris, loans in Spain and deposits from all 12 member countries – were to face the sort of troubles that have affected Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers in the last few months. Which government would be responsible for helping it? And under which nation’s laws? And does anyone know whether the taxpayer, the national central banks or the Frankfurt-based ECB itself would organize the rescue attempt?

The European single currency experiment – and it is still an experiment – may be about to face its biggest test.
Tim Congdon CBE.

The EU and the block exemption

Currently manufactuerers have to make their parts supply chain available to independent garages. The EU has decided to change this with the following effects.

The EU planned changes mean car manufacturers will no longer be forced to provide parts and computer codes to independent garages so they can carry out repairs on the vehicles.

Instead motorists will have to have their cars fixed at the manufacturer's dealership workshops, where charges are up to 40 per cent more.

The average hourly charge at an independent garage is £55.63 compared to £94.70 at a dealership garage, according to recent figures.

That's nice of them, isn't it?

Can we leave yet?

Upcoming UKIP meetings

HI , thanks for adding the previous up coming meetings on the UKIP blog, i have some more here if you could do the same please , Thanks Josh
The SW Region are holding a strategy meeting hosted by Swindon UKIP. The venue is the Nightingale Hotel, Old Vicarage Lane, South Marston, Swindon SN3 4SH. It will start at 7pm on Tuesday 14th October.

Trevor Colman and another MEP candidate will be present. The meeting is to discuss our campaign for 2009 and all SW branches are asked to at least send a representative, and as many activists as you wish (the venue can hold 150).

Contact Bob Feal-Martinez
Chairman and PPC Swindon Branch

The next UKIP Wiltshire County Meeting will take place on Tuesday 30 September at 7:30pm. It will be held at the Lysley Arms on the A4 between Chippenham and Calne, in the Coach House.

With both the European and unitary authority elections looming next year, we need to step up preparations for both. At the meeting we will be able to update you on preparations in the South West, and how we can all help the campaigns. It would also be useful to run though the state of preparedness of each of the branches, particularly progress in choosing council candidates.

The meeting is open to committee members from each of the branches, with Chairmen, PPCs and council candidates particularly encouraged to attend.

Contact Richard Wright
North Wilts Branch

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Military Japes

In contrast to the story immediately below I thought this was really rather funny.
A BBC reporter who joined the Army to expose bullying may be sent to war, it emerged yesterday.

Russell Sharp, 25, did 15 weeks before lying so he could quit on “compassionate” grounds.

And last night after furious top brass found out who he was they threatened to haul him back to complete his training — and send him into action.

Senior officers hit the roof because Sharp, whose TV film Undercover Soldier was screened on Thursday, had only a week left of the 16-week course at Catterick, North Yorks, when he said his “girlfriend” was expecting.

She turned out to be a fellow undercover Beeb reporter who was NOT pregnant.

One of the officers demanding Sharp be held to the four-year stint he signed up for stormed: “It cost £19,000 to train him and now we are one soldier down. It would teach him a lesson.”
Unfortunately they're not going to do it of course, but wouldn't it be fun if they did? And wouldn't you like to have been there when they told him what the actual legal situation is? That once you've signed up you've signed up Sonny. Taken the Queen's shilling you have.

How did this happen?

A HERO soldier’s wife hit out last night after she was banned from adopting a cat because he is in the Army.

The charity Cats Protection told her it is their policy not to rehome moggies with service families.
Seriously, how did we end up with a society like this?

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

And such rough men's children are no longer able to adopt a kitten? We need something of a rethink here, don't we?

That Bruges Speech

The Telegraph has reprinted Margaret Thatcher's Bruges speech in all its glory. Here.

Reading through it you can see the hope that was there, that we could indeed turn the EU the way we wanted it.

20 years later of course we've found out the hard way that we can't. It's not reformable from within, which is of course why we're members of the political party we are members of.

If we can't reform it we'd better leave, hadn't we?

If you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear...

That's what we keep being told about all these new Government databases, the ID cards, the NHS Spine, the cameras, the constant intrusions into our lives and the capturing of what we do, where and when we do so. Depends on what you're trying to hide though, doesn't it?

A battered wife's confidential address details were twice passed to her ex-husband by his girlfriend while she was working in a Government tax office.

So, how many work for HMCR? 80,000 or so? And how many will have access to those ever so secret medical records? 250,000 or so isn't it? And to the ID card database? Another 330,00 I've seen it said.

Going to be an interesting society where anyone who wants to beat you up, anyone who wishes you ill, anyone who wants to annoy you or interfere with your life only has to find one person out of 660,000 who is willing to them a "favour", isn't it?

Better to simply scrap these schemes rather than build a society like that, don't you think?

Friday, 19 September 2008

Young Independence and Freshers' Fairs

With students returning back or in my case, starting University in the upcoming days and weeks, Freshers’ Fairs are also kicking off all over the country as Societies attempt to recruit new students. This year, for the first time, UKIP will have a presence at some Universities thanks to the launch of UKIP’s youth wing, Young Independence.

What does this mean? Well, for the first time, as students are courted by Conservative Future, Labour Students, Liberal Democrat Students and other fragmented socialist groups, our Party will now have a voice on that battlefield as well. This is of course extremely important. If we are to expect young people to become aware of issues such as the dangers of the European Union, then we must engage with them at a grassroots, one to one, personable level. After all, despite Nigel Farage’s high impact media appearances, these appearances are sporadic and will act only work in the form of a scattergun, occasionally getting young people interested. Lets not forget that according to polls held in France and Ireland more recently, people aged under 35 are the most eurosceptic part of society that there is.

What Young Independence aims to do is build up groups of young UKIP members at University’s spanning the length and breadth of the country, who will voice an opposing stance on issues just as our elected representatives are doing for the Party. I truly believe that what the UK Independence Party has to offer students and other young people is something completely different and in many ways greatly rebellious against the political system in Britain and the class of people that run it at present.

A full raft of ‘common sense’ domestic policies espoused by the UKIP includes such student pleasers as:

-The abolition of tuition fees.

-A strong opposition to the occupation of Iraq.

-Support for nuclear power.

No other Party supports all three of these policies, yet they are all the types of things students want to hear and will support, myself included. When we consider as well UKIP’s principled and sensible stance on the EU, immigration, crime, education and many other issues, there is now much in UKIP for young people to sink their teeth into.

Finally, as I said in my speech at the Conference, the passion of our UKIP members is truly infectious. This is an exciting Party to be in at the moment as we represent a tide of public opinion that we must now attempt to sway from the ‘Apathy Party’ into our camp. With the European Elections coming our way next year, the future for UKIP looks bright, and it will become even brighter as Young Independence continues to play the crucial role of providing young people with a true political alternative.

Michael Heaver.

Why we need nuclear and coal

Yes, we as a party say that we need new nuclear stationsand new coal fired power stations. Not because we specifically like them but because we'll need them: renewables simply won't fill the energy gap.

There are those of course who disagree, like this piece in The Guardian today.

The report models current UK energy demands across all sectors of the economy and assesses the potential for different renewable sources to replace fossil fuel and nuclear generation. This isn't wishful thinking; we've carefully modelled exactly where and when we use energy, and how we could replace current generation with renewables. The scenario uses a broad spread of different sources – onshore and offshore wind, solar, small-scale hydro and tidal power. It's true that the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. But we've mapped the UK for renewable energy potential and found that by distributing the generation around the country, using storage and managing our energy use intelligently we can even out the ups and downs in supply and demand.

Energy saving is crucial. The scenario requires us to reduce our
energy use by almost half.

So what he's actually saying is that renewables won't in fact provide the energy we need or want, they'll only provide half of it. And this is seriously touted as a reason why we won't need nuclear and coal?

As is pointed out in the comments, what's really being said is this:

"A range of tariffs will enable

consumers to choose between high cost uninterruptible

supplies and discounted rates where energy

companies can control appliance use to balance


No s*** Alex? " control appliance use "

I'll summarise the plan for those that don't want to read the report: they want us to halve energy use - not just leccy, all energy use, they then want us to accept brown-outs, grey-outs and blackouts as routine.

So there you have it. Even those promoting renewables only are saying that in order to prevent blackouts we'll need to have nuclear and coal. That pretty much ends the argument really, doesn't it?

Friday catblogging

One of the weirder things about these blog things is that you're not a proper blog unless you have friday catblogging. The origins are lost in the mists of time (umm, a bloke called Kevin Drum about 5 years ago) but if you want to be taken seriously then you've got to have a cat on a friday.

Thus, in a bid to be taken seriously, the UKIP blog offers you ninja cat.

Lib Dem campaigning style

Labour is "finished", and so maybe it's time for Nick Clegg's "new type of government". Few details so far from Clegg himself, but for those eager to know how good the prospects are and how the new politics works, a few indications from Chris Davies, one of the party's senior MEPs. "The Liberal Democrat leadership must change its approach to the next European elections or the party risks humiliation," he said in an email to activists, later reprinted at conference. "The 2009 elections will see the Liberal Democrats lose seats in the European parliament unless the party injects passion and aggression into its campaigning style." We can learn from Ukip, he said. "In 2004 it had a simple anti-European message, it courted controversy, and it used the backing of media personalities to secure publicity."

Just a little hint for Chris. It's not just the passion with which you put the message over, it's also the message itself. We did well in the last euro elections not just because of our passion, aggression or media issues.

We beat you because our message was and is right. We simply need to leave the European Union and become a free and sovereign nation once again. And if you're going to try and ignore that point and the vast majority of the British who agree then your future in politics might be shorter than you'd hoped.

Maternity pay and the gender gap

Turning to serious matters just for a moment we've got this news that Brussels has decided to increase maternity pay.

Women will be entitled to full pay for the first 18 weeks of maternity leave under radical plans being drafted in Brussels.

This more than triples the amount currently received by new mothers in Britain but would saddle businesses and the taxpayer with a massive bill.

Ministers face an uphill battle to block the controversial proposals, which will be unveiled next month and enjoy the support of most other EU countries.

Brussels sets minimum levels of maternity leave and pay, while countries may apply their own rules beyond these provisions.

Now this may or may not be a good idea: different people will have different views on it no doubt. The point is that this is only one side of a coin. The other side is the gender pay gap.

A few years back, when I first started saying such things, it was considered extreme, even swivel eyed lunacy ( thanks one D. Cameron for that phrase) to say that one of the causes of the gender pay gap was the length of maternity leave and the costs to firms of providing it. You might recall the stick Godfrey Bloom got for suggesting that no rational employer would hire a woman of childbearing age.

Fast forward a few years to now and we find that this is now a commonplace, an accepted truth in The Guardian, we've even had people at the Equalities Commission stating it as obvious fact.

Which it is: of course, if the law says that one group of people are going to be more expensive to employ then it's obvious that that same group will be paid less.

What makes this EU rule making so infuriating is that we've got another arm of the organisation bleating about the gender pay gap and how we've got to do something to reduce it. But, as the above makes obvious, we can't do both.

We can't have longer maternity leave, higher maternity pay and also reduce the gender pay gap. We have to choose one over the other. And as the EU seems to be incapable of understanding that point it's better that we leave and then make up our own minds, don't you think?

The Gordon Brown Calculator

From our friends at the TPA.


Make sure you've got your sound turned on.

You What?

When wheelie bins began to go missing from outside their homes, residents wondered whether they should call the police.

But when the thieves were unmasked, their identities proved to be something a shock.

The two men responsible were council officers assigned to secretly snoop in back gardens.

They were employed to find out which residents were using extra 'unauthorised' wheelie bins to dispose of their rubbish – and took those bins away if they considered them to be unlawful.

Since it's the council that hands out the bins in the first place, you'd think they had enough already, wouldn't you?

But there is method in their madness.

It insists its policy of one rubbish bin per household will cut landfill costs and boost recycling.

Councillor Alan Cottam, of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition-led council, said: 'The council has recently been carrying out checks to see how many unauthorised bins are in the borough.

And why would they want to reduce landfill and increase recycling? We've no shortage of holes inhhte ground in this country, after all. Well, that would be the European Union's rules insisting that we must in fact reduce our landfilling and increase recycling.

No one's ever given a decent reason why we should have to do this other than we've been told to do so.

But at least if anyone ever asks you what the EU has done for us now you can tell them. They've made our local councils spend our council tax on peeping toms to see how many rubbish bins we have.

Well worth all those billions we pay to get that result, isn't it?

Charles Clover

Charles goes looking for reasons to be cheerful in these chaotic times.

Another reason to be chipper came out of Brussels yesterday. The European Commission has agreed to raise the age at which cattle need to be tested for BSE from 30 months to 48 months, according to the meat processors.
It's a little sad when you have to include amongst your reasons to be cheerful the fact that the bureaucracy has decided to stop doing sometihng so damn stupid, isn't it?

What would actually be more cheering would be being free of the people who make such silly decisions in the first place.

Help for Heroes?

At a loose end tomorrow, Saturday? Around London?

Fancy a bit of rugger?

Why not pick up a ticket for the Help for Heroes Game?

Stars of old, up and coming youngsters mixed in with players who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq to raise money for the rehabilitation of the wounded.

Wish I could be there so if you do go, raise a cheer and a pint to our military for me, would you?

New UKIP Blog

Wonko the sane has started up a new site where you can link through to other UKIP bloggers.

It's here.

I've got something similar (but suffieicntly different to be delicious) in development....but am having that usual problem of having to read the instruction manual as translated from Chinese to English by someone with no knowledge of either language. Bear with me....

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Mail Headline

Pole dancing club licensed to open at site where Mayflower set sail... what would the Puritans have said?

Erm, we're leaving?

UKIP: in touch with reality

So the Mail asked various peeps what was the price/value of certain things.

This was of course after the Cleggmeister thought that the old age pension was £30 a week.

So who was in fact in touch with reality?

Look here.

Amongst the politicians....Vince Cable, 4 out of ten.

Nigel Farage? 7 out of ten.

So there you have it, UKIP more in touch with reality than the Lib Dems.

But then we knew that anyway, didn't we, making this "olds" not " news".

Upcoming UKIP meetings

UKIP Southampton meeting ------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------Nigel Farage will be speaking and answering questions from the audience on Monday 22nd September 2008
at The legacy Botleigh Grange Hotel, Grange Road, HEdge End nr Southampton starting at 7.30 pm and will last for approx 2 hours.The hotel is located on the A334 Grange Road between West End and Botley, we have been allocated the millenium suite and ther eis adequete parking on site.David Samuel will act as chairman for the evening and The Theme will be UKIP- your questions answered.Please note that this is a public meeting
UKIP Worthing West Branch:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Will be holding a Public Meeting on 2nd October 2008at The Barn Field Place Worthing Speakers will be: Nigel Farage MEP &Douglas Denny PPC for Bognor & Littlehampton
UKIP East Devon is holding a public meeting on October 24th at 7.30pm at the West Hill Village hall, nr Ottery St Mary, Devon.
Speakers include William Dartmouth, Laura Moralee, and Nigel Farage.

Be there or be square.

Politicians lie

Of course they do.

But it gets really alarming when they start to believe their own lies.

Mark wrote to his MP about Bob Spink's Early Day Motion.

See his despair at the answer he received.

The Common Fisheries Policy

The Common Fisheries Policy is simply so appalling that even the eurocrats are waking up to the unfolding disaster.

"In its current form, the Common Fisheries Policy does not encourage responsible behaviour by either fishermen or politicians," said Borg. "The management tools we use reward narrow-minded, short-term decision making."

Decades of political bartering between such fishing nations as Spain, Britain and France have made sure that the current EU fleet, reduced as it is, can still catch up to three times the maximum sustainable yield. It has left several species in key EU waters on the verge of commercial extinction.

"That is why I have proposed a full review" of the EU's policy, said Borg.

"Borg" is of course Joe Borg, the Fisheries Commissioner. A full review eh? Not really necessary, there's already a plan to fix the British fisheries.

It's here.

The other nations of Europe are entirely free to copy that as well: just replace "Britain" with "France" and "British waters" with "French waters" and so on and it'll all work just fine.

I have of course sent Joe a copy just so that he can see what a reasonable and rational solution looks like.I'll let you know if I get a response.....although I won't be holding my breath. That reasonable and rational solution means Joe giving up his power, his job and his perks. Not something that bureaucrats are renowned for doing.

Joe's email address is here.

My letter:

"Dear Commissioner,

It is reported in the Daily Express today that you are considering a rethink of the Common Fisheries Policy.

I'd just like to point out that the hard work has already been done, the plan written.

It's here.

All that is necessary is the implementation. True, such implementation will mean the destruction of your own job and the dismantlement of your department but that of course will be fine for you and your staff. For of course you did all enter public service in order to advance the common weal. Didn't you?
Tim Worstall"

That recycling mess

The Mail:

Every family will keep a kitchen slop bucket according to plans for the future of rubbish collections published by Government advisers.

Food scraps and leftovers put in the buckets will be collected once a week - but the rest of the refuse will be picked up once a fortnight.

So, let's go through the whole thing one more time.

The European Union decides that we should all recycle more. No one's quite sure why but once they've decided that's it, we have to comply. So then, in an attempt to get us to throw out less rubbish (or recycle more, depending on who you talk to) they decide to only collect the rubbish once every two weeks.

We all point out that this means rotting food lying around so now they decide that they'll bring back the weekly collection, but only for the food. The other rubbish will only be collected once every two weeks still.

As the article points out, we'll need to buy special new trucks to collect the food, so more expense. And new buckets of course.

So in the end we have more collections than we used to (every two weeks we'll have two food and one general as opposed to two general) and we'll have a worse service (because that food has to be put unwrapped into the food bins so it will rot more easily).

So, more expense, worse service, greater public health problems and all because the EU says so.

Can we leave yet?

Lib Dem troubles

Yes, it looks like this telephone campaign by the Lib Dems might be in a spot of bother.

The Information Commissioner said it was 'concerned' by the campaign and has demanded to see the script, before ruling whether it breaches regulations banning direct telephone marketing without the recipients' consent.

The Scottish National Party lodged a complaint with the commissioner, pointing out the Liberal Democrats had successfully protested against a similar SNP campaign three years ago, featuring an automated message recorded by Sir Sean Connery.

If we've got laws in this country against just phoning people up out of the blue and trying to sell them something then of course they apply to politicians too.

In fact, given the codswallop that certain politicians try to sell us (that u-turn on the Lib Dems supporting the euro and now not supporting the euro was pretty amazing, wasn't it?) they especially apply to policians, don't they?

Stuart Wheeler

This is interesting. From the Standard.

Spread betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler hinted he may back Ukip in next year's European elections unless Mr Cameron hardens policy on Europe.

(Have a look at the comments there, there's a lot on our side.)

Or the Independent.

Stuart Wheeler, the rabidly Eurosceptic spread betting magnate who has poured an estimated £5m into Tory coffers over the past seven years, will today give a speech at the annual James Goldsmith memorial lecture in which he will urge the public to vote against the Tories unless they can convey a more Eurosceptic message.

"It's essential the Conservatives make two key manifesto pledges on Europe before the European elections next year," he tells me.

"They need to promise that if the Lisbon Treaty hasn't become law by the time they get to power, they will hold a referendum on withdrawing. And they need to pledge to renegotiate our European relationship, then hold a referendum on whether the negotiations were sufficient."

"I've always been a loyal Tory supporter and I'd prefer to back them but on this occasion, if they refuse to make those pledges, I'll be encouraging people to vote for another party."

Wheeler was courted last year by Ukip leader Nigel Farage, whom he described as "clever and articulate".

Would those promises be just like those the Labour Party made about a referendum on the Constitution though?

That EU budget

As Dan Hannan points out, no, they've again not managed to get the EU's books up to scratch so that the auditors can sign off on them and agree that they provide a true and fair recording.

Yet, strangely, I find hope in the indifference of my countrymen. If people were angry about Brussels malfeasance, it would indicate that, on some level, they believed in the possibility of reform. Anger comes from frustration, and frustration from the thwarting of something you had hoped for. But most people in Britain - as in much of the EU - are beyond frustration. They do not feel anger but contempt, not loathing but scorn. They know that the EU is structurally rotten. They have long given up on any hope of regeneration. They just don't give a fig any more. They have reached that terrible point in a doomed marriage when bickering gives way to disdain, and separation becomes more or less inevitable.

Quite right of course. Further, a good man is Dan, very sound on most issues as here. The only question is, what's he doing in a political party that shares so few of his sensible views?

Bournemouth West

Bournemouth West branch have given their website a shine and a polish.

Looking pretty spiffy if you ask me. Go have a look.

One of those days

It's not all glamour being a press bod you know. Today was spent tracking down the loose ends of a story. Will the EU do this? Can the UK do that without the EU's say so sort of thing.

No one really knew so I was bouncing around trying to find out and then, in one 90 second phone call, no, the EU won't do that, yes, the UK can do it without permission.

There aren't that many things we can do without going cap in hand but this is one of them.

Doesn't matter what it was all about....just proof of that old maxim that it can take very little time for someone to give you the answer you seek but it can take a long time to find that person.


Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Margot Wallstrom: Sexist or what?

As my friend Emma Bonino pointed out today at the launch of the campaign: Women are not better, and neither are men. But the difference is that men think they are better!

We've two choices there, that's either a very weak joke that hasn't made it through the translation process or it's a sexist remark by somone supposedly promoting gender equality.

Today, the European Women’s Lobby launched their 50-50 campaign for democracy, a Europe–wide initiative to increase the presence of women in the decision-making process and to encourage women to cast their votes in the next European elections that will be held in June 2009.

We'd all be rather more interested in allowing people of any gender or none a voice in the decision making process rather than just a presence I think. For example, having a referendum on this Lisbon Treaty thing rather than having it rammed down our throats, don't you think?

It is great to know that this campaign is already supported by over 150 well known personalities from all over Europe, such as Danilo Turk, President of the Slovenian Republic, the Prime Minister of Belgium Yves Leterne

If that's what counts as "well known personality" then the federasts are having more problems than I thought. But the really fun part of it all is this:

The campaign launch will be followed by activities directed towards decision-makers and political parties at European and national level, urging them to achieve equal representation of women and men when lists for the European elections are drawn up and when new Commissioners will be appointed .

Candidates have already been chosen.....You're either about 6 months late or 5 years early. And we pay this woman €225,000 a year?

Godfrey Bloom and Angelina Jolie*!

Godfrey Bloom's got a new film out and you'll never guess who else is in it**.

No, really, you won't!

Have a look at the film here.

Out of Control.

How the EU is costing you the Earth.

*Umm, no, Angelina Jolie has nothing to do with this. Sorry, it's just that she seems to be in every film these days.

** Not Angelina Jolie. Sorry.

Billy No Mates

That's the European Commission, "Billy No Mates".

An interesting little document arrives in the inbox.

The European Commission has so few friends that it's willing to pay people who will make nice noises about it.

1.1. General Programme objectives
The Programme ‘Europe for Citizens’ (2007-2013) is intended
to contribute to the following general objectives:
(a) giving citizens the opportunity to interact and participate in
constructing an ever closer Europe, which is democratic and
world-oriented, united in and enriched through its cultural
diversity, thus developing citizenship of the European
(b) developing a sense of European identity, based on common
values, history and culture;

(c) fostering a sense of ownership of the European Union
among its citizens;
(d) enhancing mutual understanding between European citizens
respecting and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity,
while contributing to intercultural dialogue.
1.2. Specific call objectives
The specific objectives of this call for proposals are:
(a) to foster action, debate and reflection related to European
citizenship and democracy, shared values, common history
and culture through cooperation within civil society organisations
at European level;
(b) to encourage interaction between citizens and civil society
organisations from all participating countries, contributing
to intercultural dialogue and bringing to the fore both
Europe's diversity and unity, with particular attention to
activities aimed at developing closer ties between citizens
from Member States which acceded to the European Union
before and those which have acceded since 30 April 2004.
Under the terms of the call, an organisation should focus on at
least one of those specific objectives (see point 2.2.1 of the
full text of the call for proposals).

They're willing to pay €600,000 a year for this service as well.

That's an awful lot of our money being spent on propaganda now, isn't it?

That financial crisis

We've heard an awful lot of shouting and screaming from various leftist types about what's been going on in the markets over the past few weeks/months. What we haven't been getting (in my own ever so humble opinion) is anything very useful being said by them. It all seems to have been stuff cooked up from the Cliff Notes version of Das know, capitalism facing it's inherent contradictions sort of thing.

So I'd like to point you to a very good article (in my own ever so humble opinion of course) in this morning's Times.

Essentially, hedge funds aren't going bust any more than they were a year or five years ago. But the big financial companies are. Why?

They're both working in the same markets, so it can't be markets that are wrong.

Chris Dillow (he's of the left but he's that rarity, an intelligent lefty) points out that it's likely to be a well known economic problem, the principal agent problem.

This might be a little too much economic and technical jargon for which I apologise, but it's a great insight into what has been going wrong.

For example, traders getting huge bonuses if they take large risks and they work....but then not suffering any pain or losses if they fail. The shareholders pay out huge amounts in the good times to the traders but then the shareholders have to carry the losses in the bad and the traders don't....that's the principal agent problem at work.

Those phone calls from Nick Clegg

If you happen to be one of those 250,000 people who get a nuisance phone call from Nick Clegg this evening some advice for you.

Firstly, here's the basic story. Then here's Iain Dale's take on it. Yes, it gets very dun indeed, for a couple of years back the Lib Dems reported the SNP to the Information Minister for making just such calls.

All rather "Tee Hee" don't you think?

But even betters, the Lib Dems set up a website, here. Explaining that unwanted phone calls can be very disturbing and telling you what you can do about those who make them. So, if you are one of those who get that recorded call from Nick Clegg, now you know where to complain about getting a recorded call from Nick Clegg.

If that site doesn't work here's Nick Clegg's direct contact form.

UKIP Elsewhere

Up in Wigan.

And North West MEP and member of UKIP John Whittaker has called for the abolition of car parking charges at NHS hospitals in England.
He said: "It is iniquitous that people visiting hospitals, including those in Wigan, for whatever reason should have to pay.
"These are not places that they attend for fun.

"They are frequently worried sick about their loved ones, or their own health, and it is wrong they should have to pay to park.
"With the hike in fuel prices, just getting to the establishments is a problem for many people and parking fees are an extra burden they can ill afford to meet.

"The Scottish Government has made the right decision on this matter and our government should follow in their footsteps."

EU Barmy Rules!

Now's the time to tell the Eurocrats which if their rules we want to see abolished!

The Sun has teamed up with a German and Polish newspaper to take the pulse of the three nations. Which of the bureaucrats' barmy rules should be consigned to the dustbin of history?

Bendy bananas? Carrots are fruit? Biofuels pushing up food prices worldwide?

All worthy contenders of course but there's one much more important.

This one.

Yes, the European Communities Act 1972.

Repeal that one and we'll be free of all their crazed rules, not just one or other of them.

So, start here at The Sun.

In the first box, "European Communities Act 1972".

Second box "Because it is the reason the UK is a member of the EU" or something like that perhaps.

Third box: "If we leave the EU by repealing this Act then we are free of all their barmy bureacrats' rules, not just one." or something like that again.

Fill in the contact details and away we go!

Spread the word around, let's see if we can make our voices heard!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Lib Dem crime plans

They seem to have missed a very important area for crime reduction.

Why's the harvest so bad?

Three alternative explanations.

European Union machinery rules and prolonged rain mean the crops may rot in the wet fields before they can be collected.

The EU rules ban farmers from using combine harvesters on wet land to protect soil quality.

That's the correct one.

Can we leave yet?

Now it's the art market

Yes, another area where we Brits excel just about to be shut down by the European Union. Of course, those in the know have been waiting for this for years.

Apparently the Conservative Party has only just found out about it.

Helen tells it like it is.

Nothing wrong with cleaning toilets

Certainly not, a valid and valuable job. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, did that job when young.

Miss Smith, 45, who now holds one of the country's top four ministerial positions, revealed how she worked on a ferry to pay her way through Oxford University in the 1980s.

'I cleaned the cabins and the toilets too,' she said.

The sneaking thought does cross the mind that what she was doing then was more valuable to the country than what she does now. Sparkling porcelain upon which to sit is certainly of more value than the theft of our ancient liberties, the 42 day detention, the European Arrest Warrant, trials in absentia and so on.

Anyone want to offer her a job then? She does have experience with the U-bend after all.

Offers on a postcard to:

Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

More on Market Rasen

Stephen's got a nice little story here.

However, after it became clear that there were only two candidates, Tories and UKIP contesting the Middle Rasen Ward (West Rasen, Osgodby and Usselby), on Thursday October 9, the Deputy Conservative Leader issued a statement attacking the Liberal Democrats (and Labour) for “ignoring residents” and denying them a choice at the polls.

You would assume from that that the Tories are supporters of choice and the democratic process. However, the Tories then attacked UKIP for putting up a Candidate and there by ensuring there would need to be an election. UKIP are wasting Council Taxpayer's money by forcing an election complained the Tory spokesman. So Lib-Dems and Labour are wrong for not standing a candidate and hence denying choice at the polls but UKIP are wrong for having a candidate and hence providing choice at the polls?

A Tory MEP on Europe

This isn't exactly ringing euro-sceptisism, is it?

We believe that the EU is about people. It must be, and be seen to be, providing and promoting greater opportunities for more people. These include life-long learning; greater mobility to work, study or draw a pension in another EU country; a better work-life balance, and above all more freedom of choice as to how to achieve it.

Phillip Bushill-Matthews (no, I'd never heard of him either) that is. There's little there about the important matters, about how we should be able to get on with things our own way, rather than being bossed around from Brussels. Rather, he's talking about mild changes to this and that law, he's actually proposing that there should be more laws about what you may or may not do.

Just as an example, that "better work-life balance, and above all more freedom of choice" actually translates into proper English as laws banning you from having the freedom to choose your own working hours. For that is what the Working Time Directive does, says that you may not work the hours you desire, if you do indeed desire them.

Actually looking him up I see that he's the current Leader of the Conservatives in the EP. Read more of his piece in The Guardian. It's really not "in Europe but not ruled by Europe". Rather more which of our freedoms would Europe like us to give up next?

Ukippers Elsewhere

Tim Congdon, our man in the party who knows all about monetary economics is quoted today.

"This is a potentially very dangerous situation," said Professor Tim Congdon from the London School of Economics.

"Banking system capital is being wiped out. The risk is that this could lead to a contraction of credit and set off a self-reinforcing downward spiral, leading to the sort of debt-deflation we saw in the 1930s.

"It is already clear that money growth has ground to a halt over the past three months. We must prevent it from actually contracting. If the Fed and European Central Bank don't cut interest rates soon, it is going to be a problem," he said.

This is following on very much from the Milton Friedman school of thought about what caused the Great Depression.

It wasn't the collapse of Wall Street in 1929 at all. It was what the authorities did afterwards, did to try and solve that Crash, that caused the Depression. They let, indeed insisted that, the money supply shrink. A diminishing money supply necessarily leads to a contraction of economic activity. That's actually what a recession or depression is, a contraction of economic activity.

Tim Congdon's on record elsewhere recently as saying that the inflation of this year is a blip. With food and oil prices now falling again we don't need to worry about it: but we do need to worry about the money supply contracting and the possible slump that would result.

Thus we need to cut interest rates and cut them now.

The Fed, the American central bank, almost certainly understands this. Ben Bernanke, its head, is a scholar of the Great Depression and one with very similar views to Tim Congdon's. It's the European Central Bank we need to worry about. They seem not to have got the message....Friedmanite ideas have never really done very well in Continental Europe now, have they? Indeed, their last few moves on euro interest rates were upwards weren't they?

Really not what is needed.

Satellite control of cars

This is of course insane.

Drivers could have their speed controlled by satellite to stop them from breaking the limit following a Government trial of new technology.

Cars fitted with the system would have their speed automatically monitored by satellites, which would also be programmed with the speed limits for different roads.

The problems range from the merely technical through the conceptual to the civil liberties implications and beyond.

To start with, do we actually believe that the government is competent to draw up a database of all the roads in the country with all of the relevant speed limits on it? Without those little stretches of motorway marked as being in a 20 mph limit by mistake? Anyone?

The stronger version of the system would actually make it impossible for you to break the speed limit. The system would control the fuel flow in your car to as to stop you leadfooting it. But there are times when you both need and want to break said limit: for example, imagine you've been a little silly in trying to overtake. You've got two choices. Break the speed limit to complete the manouvre or get creamed by that oncoming lorry. This system would ensure you get creamed, wouldn't it?

Of course the major complaints are that firstly this is just a stalking horse for road pricing. The second that, guess what? the EU is involved.

Because of the Galileo satellite system of course. Firstly this was to be built by private industry, to provide a European version of the GPS system. When it was obvious that trying to charge for something that others simply give away wasn't going to work the private backers pulled out.

We taxpayers were forced to step in (and I think I'm right in saying that until the Lisbon Treaty passes, the Commission actually has no legal right to spend the money this way) and start paying for it. But still no one can work out what to use the system for. Except that it's already been agreed that any EU nation wanting to run a satellite based road management system must use the Galileo system to do so.

So what we've really got is people desperately dreaming up ways to make use of a satellite system that we don't want but already have to pay for.

Be simpler just to leave them all to it and go our own sweet way, wouldn't it?

Quote of the Day

No, of course, we're not great fans of Vince Cable around here. But this is excellent.

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, when asked about Mr Brown's problems said: "I have no wish to kick a twitching corpse."

Economist Joke

Two economists are having lunch on a cafe’s patio when a Porsche drives past.

The first economist says, “Wow, I really want a car like that.”

The second economist responds, “Obviously not.”

This does, believe it or not, make a certain amount of sense and there are, even more unbelievably, those who would find it funny.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Well, Sorta Vince

Vince Cable lays out the latest Lib Dem tax plans.

Big firms such as Tesco are using "immoral" tax avoidance measures and will be targeted as part of a Liberal Democrat bid to save £5 billion a year by closing loopholes, economics spokesman Vince Cable has declared.

The crackdowns will go towards reducing bills for low and middle earners by the equivalent of taking 4p off the basic rate of income tax - along with increased green taxes and reducing pension relief for the super rich.

It includes a move to prevent expensive properties being placed into offshore trusts or other vehicles to avoid paying stamp duty, a practice Mr Cable said was a "gross abuse" that had saved the supermarket giant £63 million.

Individuals and companies "who would usually think of themselves as highly reputable" had taken advantage of the loophole, he said, adding that closing it could bring at least an extra £1 billion into public coffers.

Those who think of themselves as "highly reputable" would include the Guardian Media Group then, do you think? For they did indeed use such offshore Stamp Duty dodges in their dealings over EMAP.

However, the real problem we've got here is an idea called tax incidence. The person handing over the cheque isn't necessarily the person who actually bears the economic burden of a tax. Further, when we deal with companies, there isn't actually a person there, only a legal fiction.

All taxes are in hte end paid by human beings: what we'd like to know is which ones for any specific tax. Given that companies are simply such a legal fiction then we'd like to know who is it that carries the burden of taxes upon companies? It's got to be some combination of customers in higher prices, workers in lower wages or investors in lower returns. When we look at corporation tax we find that it's 70% paid by the workers in the form of lower wages. It wouldn't be surprising at all to find that the Stamp Duty fell on them in the same way.

So while this all sounds quite lovely, bash the companies, it really isn't quite that simple. Are we really happy with the idea of a tax cut for the middle classes paid for by lower wages for the shelf-stackers in supermarkets?

Where your money goes

Those poor little MEPs.

The European Parliament is launching its own four-channel TV station this week, at a cost of €9 million (£7 million) a year.

Europarltv aims to make the 785-member parliament “as transparent and understandable as possible to European citizens” by broadcasting in 22 languages on the internet. MEPs voted the money for the project because they were concerned that too little of their work was being shown on the existing EU-subsidised internet service, Europe By Satellite, which broadcasts only selected debates and speeches.

Don't you think it's all rather sad? Egos sufficiently monstrous that when we don't pay attention they simply confiscate more of our money so that yet more of their sad activities can be broadcast?

Broadcast on a channel which absolutely no one will watch, of course.

Go Steve Go!

This is all really rather amusing.

THE LIBERAL Democrats have failed to put up a candidate to defend the seemingly safe district council seat vacated by stalwart party member Gary Fenwick. When the nominations were declared today, Friday, there was a glaring absence of a Liberal Democrat.

Not defending a seat that you hold is a little odd for a political party of course. So what caused this?

Coun Cotton said he had no doubt that West Lindsey elections officer Graham Spicksley had done everything by the rules, but the party expected a longer period of time in which to get the papers processed.

"It's usually longer and we thought we were in time, but we weren't. We were surprised ourselves at the shortage of time as we thought nominations closed next week.

"I'm still a bit shell-shocked myself to be honest," said Coun Cotton this afternoon.

Ah, so is this where the nickname Lib Dims comes from?

But what we're interested in of course is who actually is standing.

Standing for election in the Middle Rasen Ward - covering West Rasen, Osgodby and Usselby too - on Thursday October 9 are Geoff Wiseman for the Conservatives and UKIP's Steve Pearson only.

If you happen to be in or around Lincolnshire and Market Rasen why not think of giving Steve a helping hand?

Sharia Courts in the UK

How did we get into this situation?

Islamic sharia law courts in Britain are exploiting a little-known legal clause to make their verdicts officially binding under UK law in cases including divorce, financial disputes and even domestic violence.

A new network of courts in five major cities is hearing cases where Muslims involved agree to be bound by traditional sharia law, and under the 1996 Arbitration Act the court's decisions can then be enforced by the county courts or the High Court.

Officials behind the new system claim to have dealt with more than 100 cases since last summer, including six involving domestic violence which is a criminal rather than civil offence, and said they hoped to take over growing numbers of 'smaller' criminal cases in future.

There's nothing wrong with having private systems of law of course. As long as everyone using them is doing so voluntarily they're a fine idea. But the danger is when two further things happen: firstly, that people who are not using them voluntarily get forced to do so and secondly, when the real courts of law get used to enforce the judgements of these private courts.

At the moment we've no evidence of the first of these happening but that second definitely is.

Are we sure this is something we want to see continue?

Comments Policy

You won't be surprised to find out that we have a comments policy around here. At least to begin with we'll be running comments moderation....sorry, but yes, you'll need to wait for your comment to be reviewed before it is published.

As to what we'll be moderating...the usual legal stuff of course, libel, incitement to violence and so on. Also the usual taste things, no use of the "c" word and so on. But much more importantly this is our blog so moderation will be done according to what we want. We're sure there are any number of things that you might want to inform us about but this may or may not be the time and place to do so. If we decide it isn't then there is no appeals system. Simply go and get a blog of your own and start posting.

Welcome, welcome

Welcome to The (Temporary) UKIP blog.

Where, while crack squads of coders prepare our long term home, we address those issues of interest to current and potential members of the UK Independence Party.

Your host is Tim Worstall, recent (and junior) addition to the UKIP press office and we'll be joined by various more interesting and more important people as time goes on.

Please note that this isn't an official official site. Nothing here should be taken to be an official UKIP policy or statement: we might be party members, we might be party workers or officials, but we're not the NEC and so nothing is an ex cathedra proclamation of the one true way.