Friday, 29 August 2008

LITTLE INTELLIGENCE

The suggestion of EU intelligence sounds more like an oxymoron than an idea that could be taken seriously, but worryingly it is a proposal that is in the process of serious consideration. Even more worryingly these proposals could force Britain’s intelligence services to share sensitive data with other EU countries.

As described in a headline in the Daily Mail on Friday, 8th August, 2008, Brussels is planning “Europe’s CIA”. These proposals would force MI5 and MI6 to share intelligence which would go into a EU central intelligence unit enabling any member state to use it. This would put at risc any hard won intelligence gathered by British agents being leaked to some far less scrupulous security services.

Due to our long standing special relationship with the USA, British intelligence has been privileged to have access to some very sensitive US intelligence which the Americans would not want, or trust, other European agencies seeing. If the UK is forced to share this information the Americans would have to consider what information is passed on to the UK possibly leaving this country exposed.

According to Duncan Gardham writing in the Daily Telegraph, Thursday, August 7th, 2008, British intelligence services are preparing to fight these European Union plans. He states: “the idea of handing over intelligence to Brussels with the prospect of little in return and the risk of compromising sources has sent shivers through the security services.”

Paul Cornish, an expert in international security at the Chatham House think-tank said: “The difficulty with the EU is that it is a complex organisation and there are risks in sharing information with countries like Bulgaria or Hungary that it will end up in other hands.” Much of the intelligence gained could be of ordinary British people which the EU could have access to.

MANY A TRUE WORD SPOKEN IN JEST

It was the old Bard, William Shakespeare, who wrote: "Many a true word is spoken in jest", or something like that.  Well, here's a little jest that came my way be e-mail which, as funny as it may seem, is not really that far from reality.

Two Americans were talking on the telephone:- 
"Hi Bud. I just been reading about this limey, Gordon Brown. Has he replaced Tony Blair?

Yup Chuck. He's the noo Prime Minister of England
 
So this Gordon Brown was elected into the job?
 
No. He kinda just took over.
 
But the people must have wanted him as their leader?
 
No, they didn't get a say in it.
 
But someone must have voted for him at some time?
 
Oh yes, his constituents in Scotland elected him to the House of Commons
 
So he's Prime Minister of Scotland too?
 
No, that's a guy called Alex Salmond
 
Hang on, if Gordon Brown is from Scotland, how come he is only Prime Minister of England?
 
It's the limey system. Gordon Brown can only make laws for England, not Scotland.
 
So does he make ALL the laws for England then?
 
No, those are made in Brussels.
 
Why did the English vote to have their laws made in Brussels then?
 
They didn't. They were promised a vote in the Labour manifesto. But it was dropped.
 
What the heck is going on over there Bud. We are talking about the Country that gave us the Magna Carta,
saw off the Armada, stood up to Hitler, and invented Parliamentary democracy.
How does this Brown get away with it? He must be one helluva popular guy.
 
Oh no  Chuck. A recent poll voted Brown as the most unpopular Prime Minister in history.
In fact he has already hinted at the name of his successor, a guy called Ed Balls.
 
Sorry Bud, this phone lines breaking up. What was that last word again?
 
Balls
 
Yeah, you're sure right there pal

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

VANISHING VESPA'S

Trying to imagine Rome without Vespa scooters is akin to trying to imagine Italy without spaghetti, it seems nigh on impossible, but thanks to more interference from the nit picking, meddling and bureaucratic EU Commission, the day of the Vespa is no longer.

Like the classic film, 'Roman Holiday', featuring Audrey Hepburn, Carry Grant, and of course, a Vespa scooter, these economical little bikes will be
little more than things of the past.  The reason the EU has signed their death knell is down to its obsession with emissions.  The last scooter to be made at the Italian company, Piaggio, on the weekend of 24th August.  No bike with a two-stroke engine over 50cc will be economically feasible to produce, even though they still do not use much fuel or produce anything like the emissions from the fleet of lorries that the EU uses for its pointless shuttle of MEPs papers and documents back and forth from one pointless parliament to another in Brussels and Strasbourg.

GET READY FOR THE CRASH

Jeff Randall, who writes on financial issues in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, is a journalist well worth reading and taking notice of.  In his article: 'Final pieces in jigsaw of doom drop into place', August 27th, 2008, he warns that despite Gordon Brown and his clown, Alistair Darling, trying to convince us that things are about to improve for the economy, things are definitely about to go pear shaped.

In his well considered analysis he has noted that although the economy began to go into decline, many people continued to borrow money on credit cards, loans and mortgages on the basis their property would continue to rise in value, and that as long as they continued to work they could feed the debt.  The problem for a large number of people who purchased property when things had just peaked, before the decline began, are now finding they are in a negative equity situation.  However, as stated above, everything depends on their ability to keep working and earning.  As long as they could keep doing that the Government did not hear alarm bells loudly ringing and tried to convince themselves everything would get better soon.  The problem is, according to Jeff Randall, the crash is imminent.

However, he spotted a little noticed item from the Financial Times which was published on bank holiday Monday, which reported that one sector is getting busier, that is legal helplines and employment lawyers are finding a sharp upturn in the number of businesses and employers seeking advise on how to sack staff.  If you add the prospect of large numbers of people being sacked or made redundant, a large number of which up to their eyes in debt which they will find difficult or near impossible to repay, then something smelly and unpleasant is about to hit the fan.

EURO BAROMETER: EU NOT POPULAR IN THE UK

The Eurobarometer is a regular poll taken by the EU which monitors public opinion from across the whole of the European Union.  In poll after poll the UK voters consistently shows their dislike of the EU in the public opinion results.

You would think that after all this time the penny would drop with our leaders that the people do not want to be part of the EU project.  They did not vote for it, they did not ask for it and they do not want it.  It is time the UK pulled out and far past time our elected representatives actually represented the people rather than the EU.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

WHEN DID THE EU CARE ABOUT SOVEREIGNTY?

A word in your shell-like: Nicolas Sarkozy chats to the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
The various leaders of the EU nation states are going to love the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has pulled them away from their holidays to attend a special summit regarding the situation between the EU and Russia.

The Times of Malta has covered the story to a degree, but the question remains, what exactly can the ineffectual EU do about it? It has no power or influence and the most all it can do is jump up and down and shout a bit - which is not a lot of use.

According to this article in the Times the EU is concerned about the sovereignty of Georgia and other states. However, considering the undermining of the sovereignty of the EU member states, the question has to be asked - when did the EU care about sovereignty?

Monday, 25 August 2008

WHEN THE CEILING CAVED IN

The most powerless body of people in the European Union are the Members of the European Parliament.  These are the only elected representatives the EU has and they have no powers other than to try and block EU Commission proposals (which they very rarely do), and other than that they serve no useful purpose whatsoever - bar one as far as the EU is concerned.

The only function of an MEP, despite the fact each and every single one of them costs the taxpayer over £1 million per annum to keep, is to give the EU a facade of democracy - and that is about all.

So, if each MEP serves no useful purpose, the average speaking time allowed for each MEP is around 90 seconds in the European Parliament when their so-called debates are taking place, the question has to be asked - what on earth do they need two parliaments for?

There is a parliament in Brussels and another in Strasbourg - why?  The simple answer is down to the stroppy French.  The EU set up its sham parliament in Brussels then the French demanded they wanted an EU parliament on French soils - and what the Frogs demand - the Frogs get.  So another parliament was built at enormous cost in the city of Strasbourg.  We now have the ludicrous situation of MEPs doing a weeks work in Brussels (if that's what they call it!) and then packing everything up, papers computers the whole lot, to be put into a fleet of lorries and then shipped off to Strasbourg for a few days, re-packed and then transported back to Brussels at huge expense.  How mad is that?

We may ask that question about the sanity of all this, but you have to remember we are dealing with the EU, which is far from a sane organisation.  So, the situation is, the Strasbourg parliament has to be used for twelve sessions each year, then the rest of the time it is kept heated, maintained, staffed and unused.  

However, as you can see from the above photograph, on the 7th August 2008 the ceiling fell in, and now there is even more expense (at our cost) to get this phantasy forum back together before the return of the MEPs who, no doubt, have been gadding far and wide around the planet at our expense on fact finding trips to discover the source of global warming.  

And the cost of the constant shuttle from Brussels to Strasbourg each year?  £160 million.  The daft thing is the MEPs hate the place as it is difficult to get to and they get fed up of constantly having to pack and unpack all their papers.  I have a good idea - lets get rid of the whole lot and return to our Westminster Parliamentary democracy.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

OLYMPICS OVER FOR FOUR YEARS

Thank the heavens for that, the bloomin' Olympics are over, no more until we in the UK are lumbered with them in 2012 - and the enormous costs!

Whilst everyone has been declaring this feast of pointless running and jumping a success, one hell of a lot of poor Chinese people have suffered because of them. Richard North on the EU REFERENDUM blog explains this more fully.

As he writes, to ensure the games went off without any hitches and that the mass of flowers were well watered, some towns and villages have had their water supplies diverted, as well as the loss of electricity for certain parts of the day to ensure there were no power cuts. Our Olympics, when they come, will cost the British taxpayers a considerable sum for no return, but in China it's cost the ordinary people a lot more.

A GEOGRAPH DAY

Walsall Council House photograph used on Geograph web-site
One of the reasons you see a photograph nursing a camera of me at the top of this blog site is because I have been a keen amateur snapper for many years.  My interest in photography came from my dear old dad who was not only a keen stills photographer, he was enthusiastic about cine as well and was a founder member of the Castle Bromwich Cine Society back in the late 1950's.
 

In those days when he did his photography it was all black and white and he used to take over the kitchen, much to my mothers delight, black out the windows and do all his own develping and printing.  I often helped him and we would several hours of an evening working on his photographs, some of mine too when I began taking photos too.

So, this diversion from my usual topic, which is to write about the disaster known as the EU, is due to the fact that although we have been inflicted with the usual bank holiday weather, I have, at least, managed to find a gap in the weather on Sunday morning to get around my town of Walsall to take some photographs to upload onto a web-site called GEOGRAPH.

I have been adding photographs to this site since the beginning of 2008, all bar one of these photos on this posting have been put on to that site today, the photo of Walsall Council House has been listed on MY PROFILE for quite some time.

The photographs on this page are of locations around Walsall town centre starting from top to bottom: Walsall Council House, Martha's Vinyard which was once the Magistrates courts in Walsall and is now a bar, a fine old Victorian building which houses the Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society and the Leicester Street entrance to the Town Hall.  That was the entrance we used to go in for the Saturday night dances during the early sixties in the days of my youth.


Saturday, 23 August 2008

A SLIGHT DIFFERENCE

Old warriors and their medals
There has been a fair old bit in the news about old Jock squint, aka Gordon Brown, our beloved Prime Minister, making a comparison between the British athletes in the Olympics in Beijing and our troops in the far too many war zones we are involved in.  There is a slight difference that should be pointed out to Gordy, apart from not having to dodge bombs, bullets, missiles and anything else the enemy can throw at them, the difference between our soldiers and the British athletes are this. 

Members of the armed forces look at their work as a career which they know will possibly end their lives, but are still willing to do so for the defence of the Realm.  Their pay and conditions, also disruption to family life, do not reflect the possible dangers they are asked to face on our behalf. 

Runners jumpers, swimmers and those who choose to take up athletics make a choice to be involved for the possibility of fame, glory, and the many fiscal rewards they can make if successful. A poor bloody infantryman considers himself successful if he is still alive after a tour of duty. 

Olympic athletes win a medal if they run a bit faster than someone else, members of the armed forces are awarded a medal if they have placed themselves in extreme danger - how many athletes are awarded posthumous medals? 

If Gordon Brown can’t understand these fundamental differences, then what on earth is he doing as our Prime Minister where he is in a position to send brave young men to their deaths?

THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY

The Lyndon house Hotel
There is nothing better at the end of the week than a good pint of real ale, in a good hostelry, with good company.  Early Friday evenings in the Lyndon House Hotel in Walsall is always the best pint of the week, its a chance to wind down and relax a bit with the weekend to look forward to.

So what has been going on over this last week?  As we are in August and Parliament is still in recess we are still in what has become known as the "silly season", and what could have been sillier than the daft comments made by the Lib Dim leader, Nick Clegg

I had the misfortune of briefly coming into contact with Calamity Clegg in the days when he was an MEP.  It was at a meeting in Nottingham when the scrapping of our pound sterling for the vagaries of the EU's euro was a hot topic.  The local Nottingham newspaper organised a debate on the dubious merits of joining the single currency and Clegg was there to do his best against Britain retaining its sovereign currency and control of our own economy.  At the end of the debate I took this photograph of him for my rogues gallery and he, somewhat contemptuously, spoke to anther person as if I did not exist and said: "It's amazing how these people oppose you and then want to take your photograph" - he is an arrogant individual.  The person who was debating to keep our pound was Edward Spalton, he commented to me that evening that Cameron was a "dangerous young man".

In Cleggy's dream world there is no need for us to seriously consider building nuclear or clean burning coal fired power stations with some urgency, everything is just fine and dandy in his little world and we will not run out of energy.  This however, is not the opinion of many far wiser heads than little Nick who thinks solar panels are the answer.  As Captain Mainwaring would say: "Stupid boy".

Also this last week there has been a call to substantially increase parking charges in town centres, the idea being it will encourage people to use public transport and leave their cars at home.  So what will happen if these ill thought out plans are imposed on a hard pressed and grossly over taxed motoring public?  They will drive even further to out of town shopping complexes where parking is not only a great deal easier, but free too.  The end result will be our town and cities will become ghost towns with shops and stores closed and boarded up.  

If you go back thirty to forty years cars had easy access to city centres, there were no shortages of on street parking and car parks.  These days town centres are closed off to cars which are confined to the outer edges.  Parking spaces are restricted and what there is are usually not cheap, and there are few on-street parking bays.  It is as if the Government want our cities and major towns to close down.

This last week has not been without its share of politicised madness, thank God its Friday and a pint of foaming ale awaits.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

LIES, FIBS AND UNTROUTHS

A little time ago there was petition posted on the number 10 Downing Street web-site asking for a cost benefit analysis of membership of the EU. Below is a copy of the response from the Prime Minister's office.

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"Thursday 21 August 2008, Eu-cost-benefit - epetition response. We received a petition asking: “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to commission an independent cost-benefit analysis of membership of the EU.”

Details of Petition: “Membership of the EU costs the taxpayer billions yet the British government continues to insist that we are “better off in”. They have never commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of membership of the EU and should do so as soon as is reasonably practicable and care should be taken that the organisation chosen to produce the analysis is completely independent and has no reliance or vested interest in the British government or European Union as usually happens in EU studies in the House of Lords where peers in receipt of EU pensions which can be revoked if they don’t promote the EU are asked to provide critical analysis of the EU!.”

Read the Government’s response.
This Government strongly believes that the benefits of EU Membership clearly outweigh the costs. UK membership of the EU is central to the pursuit of stability, growth and employment, and firmly in our national interest, both economically and in a wider political and strategic context. Our membership of the EU has brought real benefits in jobs, peace and security. Through it, we belong to the world’s biggest trading bloc with a Single Market of over 490 million people. Half the UK’s trade is now within the EU, with an estimated 3.5 million British jobs linked to it, directly and indirectly. 57% of total British trade in goods is with the EU. 62% of our total exports go to the EU. In 2005, British investments in the EU totalled over £17bn.
The benefits are not limited to the rights of British companies to buy and sell across the Single Market. Our EU membership also allows our citizens to live, work, study and travel across Europe and to receive free medical care if we fall sick on holiday. Improved maternity pay, the right to paid holidays and now the reduction in the cost of mobile phone calls when abroad, are just some of the practical benefits the EU has helped deliver. A number of studies related to the costs and benefits of various aspects of the EU are available in the UK. The Government takes account of such studies as part of its ongoing approach to EU policy issues.

The Government does not therefore see the need to commission an independent cost-benefit analysis of membership of the EU."
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We really do have to take the Government to task over this reply, which is nothing more than an oft repeated mantra which has become so repetitive its like a record stuck in a groove. First, how does membership of the EU give us stability? That comes form having a good stable business base, which sadly the EU, through its vast and complex mass of legislation, directives, and regulations, is being undermined and becoming uncompetitive - this too will undermine our employment base. So much for that one.

Next there is the is the trading bloc of 490 million people. That would be great if we were selling more to them than they to us, but sadly we are the customers and it is the rest of the EU that makes money out of us. Our UK business is done with the rest of the world - that is where we get our income. In fact, when you take into account that of all 100 per cent of trade done in this country 80 per cent of it is internal. That, my fine friends, is you buying your newspaper from the corner shop, Joe's tool works down the road purchasing his raw materials from Bert's supplies from around the corner, then flogging his finished widgets to Harry's repairs on the other side of town. That is where the bulk of business is done in this country and the EU has nothing to do with it.

Of the 20 per cent which is export, in real terms around 40 per cent of that is to the EU, that is when you take in to account many of our goods which are destined for non-EU countries pass through the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, these are classed as exports to the EU - despite the fact they will end up thousands of miles away from the EU on the other side of the world. This then reduces the figure the Government gives of 62 per cent of our total exports being to the EU. So what it boils down to is we are preparing to sacrifice 100 per cent of our democracy, sovereignty and freedom in return for roughly 10 per cent of our total trade. That, in my eyes, is not a good deal.

So, based on those facts, where are the 3.5 million jobs that rely on EU membership? Sadly, as we have come to expect from this and every past Government since that old swine Heath took us in to the Common Market in 1973, they lie, they deceive, and they fib through their teeth. The real benefits are out of the EU - not in it.

COMMENTS ON GEORGIA AND THE OLYMPICS

An excellent blog, which has a far greater number of hits than this meagre little blog, is the EU Referendum Blog created and constantly updated by Richard North and Helen Szamuely.

There are a couple of posting on their blog which I think are well worth reading.  One is covering events in Georgia on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia.  Entitled: 'Last year was different', give it a look.

The other is covering the Olympics in China, something I have commented on in this blog recently (also see the posting below).  This reflects that although China has held what is seen as a successful running and jumping fest, it is not such a good place to be and where the rights of the people simply do not exist.  This posting is entitled: 'The Dark side'.

There was also an interesting item on the arrest of two pensioners in China in the Telegraph too.

SUCCESS IN THE TELEGRAPH

Guess who got a letter in the Torygraph?
Any regular reader of this blog (all two of you!) will know by now I send out quite a few letters and comments, most sent to the large national daily newspapers often fall on stony ground, but ever so often, one gets printed.

The above letter, much to my surprise, went in the Daily Telegraph LETTERS PAGE (you will have to scroll down to the Olympics letters) on Thursday 21st August.  If the above is a bit too small for you to squint at, here is the full text of my masterpiece.

"Sir - In the past, it was the Communist and other dictatorial regimes which won the most gold medals at the Olympics.
Now that we are winning more gold medals than ever, does this reflect the fact we are no longer a free liberal democracy and have become a state monitored and controlled regime ourselves?
Derek Bennett
Walsall, West Midlands."

The trouble is, we all know what the Bard said about saying things in jest.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

PROVING A POINT

Derek Bennett reads the Times of Malta
If you head south down the leg of Italy, then keep going for a bit after Sicily, you can't help but bump into a rocky little Island nestling in the Mediterranean sunshine - this is Malta.

Often referred to as the George Cross island because of the bravery the Maltese people showed during World War Two, it's an odd place which I describe as a curates egg - good in parts. My better half and I have only visited the Island once, that was for a week during September 2006, we stayed at the resort of Buggiba which I would not recommend. A lot of Malta is scruffy and unkempt with building works taking place, Buggiba itself has grown rapidly in the last ten years and is not the best planned place - although the Sunflower Hotel where we stayed was pleasant and as long as someone is not looking for the Ritz I would recommend highly, although it's tucked away at the back of the town.

The one good thing about Buggiba was its bus service,
you could jump on one of Malta's rickety old buses and go anywhere on the island quite easily - which is where the good bits come in such as Melehia, Mdina, Valletta, Victoria on Gozo and Golden beach for a days sunbathing.

So what am I going on about Malta for? After all this is not a tourist blog it's an anti-EU blog. Well, my interest in Malta began some years ago when it was announced that it was negotiating membership of the EU as part of one of the ten accession countries and was to hold a referendum on membership.
Knowing some of it's newspapers printed in English I decided to start a letter writing campaign to the Times of Malta and the Independent in the hope the Maltese people would learn from our experiences that EU membership was bad news - especially for your democracy and freedom. Every chance I had I wrote letters the Maltese press, along with a number of other enlightened British anti-EU campaigners.

Malta, after all, had all through its history been conquered one way or another by a whole succession of army's and different cultures, its people had been subservient to all number of occupying nations. Malta finally became a truly independent nation when Dom Mintoff finally kicked the British out. So, the question has to be asked, why on earth did the Maltese want to sacrifice that independence and join the EU? The answer is, just like us in the 1970's, they were conned - stitched up like kippers. They have been told that by joining the EU tiny little Malta would find a place on the worlds stage and that it would become wealthy - yeh - fat chance!

Through my letter writing campaign I had the great fortune to be contacted by Eddie Privitera of the Campaign for National Independence (CNi), who we met on our trip in 2006 and other Maltese anti-EU campaigners. The constant message to the people of Malta was that you were going to lose your freedom to make your own decisions and your state owned shipyards, which is a major industry and employer in Malta, will not only have to be privatised under EU rules on subsidised industries, but it would more than probably have to shrink in size too under EU orders. There were howls of protest from the pro-EU brigade in Malta but, in the end, we were proved right as you will see from the article in the Times of Malta.

These days when I write to the Times of Malta it is usually to remind them that the warnings of us EU-sceptics in the UK are being proved right, as you will see from my latest letter below.

"It is not that long ago when the people of Malta could state that they lived in a free, self governing, democratic country – but not anymore.

Stark proof of this came in the article: "Brussels queries the government's approach on shipyards" (Times 20th August). Next to tourism, Malta’s shipyards were one of the islands main employers, it was a proud state owned industry. Sadly, they are not only being sold off to comply with orders from the EU, but to add insult to injury, the once sovereign Maltese Government are being told by the EU, as written in the Times, they are not allowed to use public funds to ensure the new operator can start off with a clean slate when the yards are privatised next year.

Many of us from the UK, who knows all too well of the EU’s undemocratic ways, wrote to the Times before your referendum and warned that this would happen. Sadly, Malta still joined and threw away its independence. In a year or two the headlines in the Times will be of shipyard closures and even more job losses. You were warned and are still being warned – there are no benefits in EU membership."

ROAD TOLLS NOT DRIVEN OUT

A younger Derek Bennett and his Triumph Spitfire in 1968 in happier motoring days.

Driving in the summer months when the schools and many people are on holiday is quite blissful as you sail along without all the stopping.  Driving also used to be a less stressful experience in the days when you did not have to worry about being monitored and spied on by the hundreds of millions of pounds worth of equipment the police and local authorities have to trap the unwary motorist who is fool enough to stray over the speed limit by a few MPH.  Sadly, our driving experiences are set to become even more costly and stressful if this nasty Government does as it is told by the EU.

The prospect of road tolling had seemed to fade a little, especially after campaigner Peter Roberts of the Drivers Alliance who initiated the number 10 Downing Street Petition gained 1.8 million signatures against road pricing, but it has never gone away despite its unpopularity.

On Monday 18th August the Daily Telegraph reported that the Government was planning to press on with their plans for a national road pricing scheme, with trials set to begin in 2010. These trials will test the reliability of the tracking and satellite tracking systems required to make the road pricing plans work.

Eight areas have been selected to run these trials which, as the Daily Telegraph reports, will eventually lead to tolls on motorways. Drivers could be charged at up to £1.30 per mile which many lower income motorists would find impossible to pay. One hundred cars in each of the eight areas will be fitted with black boxes to test the equipment. Members of the public will be invited to take part in the trials which, in reality, is akin to taking part in a self destruction trial.

For families living apart in towns across the country these plans could prevent them from seeing each other on a regular basis due to the prohibitive costs of travel and fuel. 

Peter Roberts (pictured above) of the Drivers Alliance said: “If the Government was true to its word and was kicking road pricing in the long grass, why is it running trials? Either they are wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money or they are not being honest with voters.” 

Despite the Daily Telegraph warning of the resurgence of tolls, it failed to mention that the Government has little choice on this issue as, ultimately, it is doing nothing other than obeying EU orders to introduce road pricing as part of the European Union's plans for a EU-wide road pricing scheme.

THE REAL REASON FOR THOSE FACE SCANNING MACHINES

The news has been covering the latest trial run of the new face scanning machines at Manchester airport. All the usual bo@*/cks has been spouted how wonderful it is and how much time it will save travelers - which in reality is utter tosh. I have travelled a couple of times from Manchester airport, which is far from the best airport in the world, and both times the massive queues have not been at passport control, but at both the check-in desks followed by a long snaking queue to get into the departure lounge. The reason for this being all the daft security we have to suffer including the removal of our shoes and belts then shuffle through the metal detectors holding on to our trousers for dear life in case they fall down with several hundred people watching. What happened to the days when flying used to be oh so sophisticated?

As a member of the anti ID card organisation, No2ID, I get regular updates by e-mail, and this item below was their latest. Read the truth why we are suffering the inequities of these contraptions:

“The Home Office misdirecting the public as usual. This demo for a feeble technology is smoke and mirrors. What's being checked against watch lists is not your face but your passport. The
unfunny flipside of the joke that is "facial recognition", which we are supposed to be paying attention to here, is that the e-Borders systems are collecting massive amounts of detailed information about "every" traveller's journey - not just those of suspects on watch lists - passing it to foreign powers, and making it available to hundreds of government agencies and quangos. Meanwhile the people who used to do passport screening, and who can recognise odd behaviour as well as faces, may be losing their jobs.”

So, there we have it. Read the article in the Daily Telegraph.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

UKIP MEETING IN DUDLEY

This happy looking chap is UKIP Councillor Malcolm Davis who is the Chairman of the Dudley branch of the UK Independence Party.  Malcolm's a good chap who has achieved quite a lot in Dudley over the last few years since he quit the Liberal Democrat's to join UKIP.

Not only has he achieved being elected to the Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, which for a small political party like UKIP was quite something to be proud of, he has also lead the main opposition to the building of a 'Super mosque' in Dudley, the proposal for which has outraged local residents.  Thanks to the efforts of Malcolm and his very able and dedicated team of UKIP members they have managed to prevent the building of this mosque which may have gone ahead unchallenged - although there is a long way to go before the Dudley UKIP team and local residents can heave a sigh of relief and say the project has been scrapped.

On Monday evening the 18th August, as part of my UKIP duties, I attended the Dudley UKIP branch meeting, which is more of a pleasure than a duty to be with such good people.  The team have already completed one very successful petition against the Mosque as the first part of their challenge, 23,000 people signed their original petition and now they have another petition well under way with a substantial number of signatures already.  

As a devout Christian Malcolm and his team do not want to stop people of other faiths from worshiping, but what they do object to is the fact that the plans for this mosque are for it being one of the largest outside London, its size will be out of keeping with the area and will create no end of problems with congestion and noise for the people in the area.  Added to that the land was designated for industrial use, not this also Dudley Council have let the developers purchase the land for a sum way below its true industrial value. 

The Dudley UKIP team's petition is based on a covenant that came with the land.  It stated that if the building was not completed or substantial building on it had not taken place by December 2008, then the land had to go back to Dudley Council at the same price it had sold it for - which was way under value.  The petition asks Dudley Council to honour this covenant.  Although they are still getting signatures coming to Malcolm on a regular basis, the next big petition signing day will be in Dudley town centre on Saturday August 29th in Market Place, near the fountain.  If you are in the area go and say hello to the team, who will be there from 9 am to 4 pm, give them some help if you can and don't forget to sign their petition.

BACK TO THE TELEGRAPH COMMENTS

The Daily Telegraph web-site is one of my favorites, I'm always putting postings on there, so here are three of my Telegraph postings for Monday 18th August.

Comment 1:
"What's happened to us in this country? We fought a war to prevent this sort of thing and now we are governed by mindless people who do not make laws to benefit the nation, they simply rubber stamp and 'gold plate' thousands of EU directives and put it into law.

The whole nation has gone to sleep, there was a time when no Government would dare to do to us what it is doing now. Where is the spirit that made people rise up against the poll tax or spend their days at Greenham Common? It seems to me the only body of people standing against this nonsense are a few old age pensioners who refuse to pay their Council Taxes on principle and are prepared to serve time in prison to make a stand.

These days we simply do as told, or if we contravene some obscure petty rule we allow ourselves to be punished and criminalised. Bring back the London mob that had politicians living in fear, where are you now you poll tax rioters, what happened to the bulldog breed? The choice is simple, we either rise up against this nonsense or drown under it."

Comment 2:
Back in the days of conscription, Sergeant Major's would roar at their new conscripts: "You're in the army now lad!" It was a stark reminder to many that they were no longer in charge of their own lives or affairs for the full term of their national service - they now belonged to the army and were expected to obey orders.

The fact that the French President is now negotiating with Russia on behalf of us and the rest of the EU is a similar reminder to that long past Sergeant Major. We’re now in the EU, our governance and the running of our affairs are not our own – we are expected to obey orders and do as the EU instructs."

Comment 3:
"Reading these comments has just inspired me to create a new name for the little Hitlers who implement this nonsense, from now on I will refer to them as a BUREAOBOSSY.

Anyone who finds themselves one the wrong side of their attention will be caught by the bureaobossies – painful!"

Sunday, 17 August 2008

TIDYING UP

Dorothy & Alan Sheath
First the barbecue, then the clean up! Sunday morning and it was off to the home of Alan & Dorothy Sheath whose garden we used for our UKIP barbecue the on Saturday (see post below), to help tidy up and dismantle all the equipment। There was still a fair bit of food and booze left over, which is being sold off to the local members to make a few more quid for the branch UKIP funds. when this was done there was still time to take a visit to the Lyndon House Hotel for a quick pint and a look at the Sunday Telegraph. Despite throwing most of the magazines and other supplements away, unread (I hate paying more for the Sunday papers for all the unwanted bumph that comes with them), the main reason for buying the Telegraph each Sunday is to read what Christopher Booker has to say.

I have been a great admirer of Christopher Booker for many years from the days when he and Richard North used to do a 'Red Tape' column in the Daily Mail. Richard North now runs the EU Referendum blog and on that site he has been reporting a trip to the USA by himself and Booker. Apparently, they had delays returning home and he reported that there would be no Booker column in the Sunday Telegraph this week - but good old Booker still managed to get his copy in on time.

This week, as I expected after following the EU Referendum blog and news of their trip, Booker reported that the mad waste recycling zealots in the USA, especially San Francisco, are even worse than in the UK। Here, if you are caught leaving you bin lid open by a few inches, or throw the wrong type of rubbish in the wrong recycling bin, then you can expect an £80 fine and a criminal record - there they fine you up to $1000 (£500) - is there no escape anywhere from this lunacy?

However, if his report on the mad waste recycling rules makes your blood boil, then the article accompanying it was enough to vaporise what blood was left. As most will know, thanks to the reports in the past by Christopher Booker, Prime Minister Ted Heath gave away our fishing waters in the early seventies as part of the raw deal to get us into the Common Market. Some of the richest fishing grounds in the world were given away to allow what is now the EU enslave us. Thanks to this and the EU's mad Common Fisheries Policy British fishermen are not allowed to harvest the fish around our shores, they have to ask the EU for a quota. The bulk of our fishing quota is given to foreign fishing fleets leaving our fishermen, what few we now have left, to struggle to survive and starve into slow bankruptcy.

This week Booker follows up the sadly depressing tale of the father and son who run a small fishing boat around the Thames estuary who were recently prosecuted for fishing over their meagre fishing quota (which was the only way they could survive). It is sad to say that two otherwise honest men have been treated by the courts in the same manor as major criminals and drug smugglers. Using the same rules to seize the assets of serious criminals to prevent them from profiting from crime, these two now face losing their homes and all their possessions. The same judge, Judge McKittrick, who used laws designed to tackle major league criminals against two struggling fishermen, has since handed out some very lenient sentences against people found guilty of what many would describe as far worse offences. A thug who mugged and seriously injured an elderly lady of 76 was given a lenient sentence of six months in prison, and a paedophile and sub-postmaster who had stolen £15,000 were given nothing more than a suspended sentence. In this country crime no longer pays if it the only way you try to survive against EU rules, but comes up trumps if you are a real criminal.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

THE SUMMER BARBECUE

Enjoying the barbecue
It was decided at one of our regular meetings several weeks prior, that what our Walsall -Wplverhampton branch of the UK Independence Party really needed was a bit more dosh in the piggy bank in readiness for whenever the general election is called. That is when Gordon Brown has the guts to call it - more like. So, a decision was made to hold a summer barbecue and plans were put underway. There was one slight problem,
however, this year it looks as if summer has been cancelled, we seem to have gone straight from spring to autumn.

From the beginning Tony Lenton and Alan Sheath took over the running of operation BBQ, Alan and Dorothy Sheath kindly offered the use of their sizeable garden for the event. They beavered away like Trojans, they found the best deals for the booze, they got the beefburgers, bangers and everything else by scouring all the special offers in the supermarkets
went to the discount stores for all the other things we needed - they did a tremendous job between them. We also contacted and roped in family and friends, they all coughed up £10 a head for the privilege of being there, I sent out mass e-mails around the other UKIP members in the Midlands and around the country, plus promoting the barbecue in the Euro Realist newsletter, and in the end around thirty five people came along for the afternoon.

Not being used to cooking on a barbecue it took a little time to get used to the contraption Liz Hazel and her hubby, Daren had managed to get for the day,but no one complained about their slightly singed sausages and cremated burgers until I got the hang of the thing. Rescue came in the shape of Michael Jose who took over sizzling duties which meant I could take some photographs of the event.  Naturally, as you would expect from a gathering of political activists, and you can see from the above photograph on the left, where you can see from left to right: my father-in-law Fred English, Gordon Smith, Steve Fowler and Tim Melville, having a good chat about the problem of the EU and how we can solve it.

On the whole a good and very pleasant afternoon was spent in some convivial company, although the cooking by me may have been a little suspect.  The kids who came along had a good time running around, there was more than enough booze and food and, most importantly for an outdoor event, the rain held off.
Liz Hazell and lads waving everyone off after the event.

MONEY WORRIES FOR THE EU

One of the people who warned that the idea of a single currency for the whole of the European Union would have serious problems was the economist Bernard Connolly (pictured below), he foresaw that a single interest rate for a multitude of differing economies was going to create great problems and fiscal strains.  

When he first warned of these strains he was employed by the European Commission and worked in Brussels.  He could see that a country such as Germany, which had a strong economy, may need a higher rate of interest to control inflation than countries with weak economy's like Spain and Portugal where lower interest rates were required to help things along.  When you think about it this is so logical it is almost impossible not to see exactly what he was saying without having a PHD in macro economics.  As he warned at the time, it just wasn't going to work.

So, what happened to Bernard Connolly?  Well. at the time he was giving his warnings it was in the days when preparations were being made to introduce the EU's euro, and the EU Commission did not like being told that their shiny new euro was going to be a disaster - Bernard was told to keep his trap shut and just get on with the job of preparing for the euro.  He continued to give warning so the EU Commission first suspended him and told him not to leave Brussels - or else!  There were also veiled threats which made him fear for his life.  When I had the privilege to meet Bernard Connolly at a meeting in Malvern a few years ago, where I took the photo of him, he was a very jumpy individual as it was still not that long after he had finally been dismissed by the Commission.

Although Bernard and other mainstream economists were warning of serious problems with the concept of a single currency, the EU was not interested, this after all was nothing to with economics the euro was a political project part of the final aim of creating a single country - the United States of Europe.  If some countries were inflicted with inflation or high unemployment because of it - well tough.  As far as the EU was concerned the well being of the people and businesses in the the EU were of little concern - it was the 'project' that came first.  This is the mindset we are dealing with and anyone who states we can have "influence" in Europe is either daydreaming or lying through their molars.

Because of this, the situation we have today in these fiscally fraught times, is that there are now immense stresses building in the Eurozone.  Reported in the Daily Telegraph business section (Friday 15th August) was an article entitled "Spain in crisis as Europe crumbles", and guess what, it reported that the economies of France, Germany and Italy all contracted in the first quarter of this year and could by now be well into recession.  When the euro was launched we were all told it would be such a strong and powerful currency that it would shrug off the effects of a credit crunch the likes of which affecting the globe today.

Spain is particularly vulnerable, the problems there has meant that the Spanish Prime Minister has had to cancel his holiday to rush back to try and sort out the mess. the whole of the eurozone is shrinking and the individual EU member countries can do little to stop it as they are no longer in control of interest rates or currencies - that is now the job of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.

Who then should pop up in this Telegraph article, none other than the man who first warned of this, Bernard Connolly himself.  He is now the global strategist at Banque AIG, it must have given him great satisfaction to inform the Telegraph reporter that the "eurozone faces possible disintegration unless there is a fiscal bail-out from Germany that matches - in sheer scale - Berlin's Versaillies reparations payments after the First World War".  He said: "The bursting of the EMU credit bubble seems imminent, and will reveal current account imbalances among euro area countries as extremely dangerous."

The man who warned of all this is now seeing his prophesy come true.  And what of the ordinary people of Europe who have been afflicted with the ailing euro?  These poor souls, who never asked for the euro and now would like their old currencies back, are having to live with the fall-out.  They now loathe the euro as it has added to their costs.  In the cold light of day it all looks very different to the New Years Eve when the euro was launched a few years ago to a great fanfare and fireworks.  The only explosions now are those going off in the office of Jean-Claude Trichet, the man in charge of the ECB, whose job it is to cope with the mess - poor soul.

UPDATE, Saturday 16th August, 2008.  For a report from the Times of Malta on the fall of the euro CLICK HERE.

Friday, 15 August 2008

ER - UM - OOPS

Anyone reading this blog, all one of you, will notice if you go to the profile page that I have only been bloggin' for a short period - in fact less than a month. Well, that is the excuse I am going to use to cover my embarrassment.

If you scroll down you will notice an article entitled: "Where Did China Come From?". When edititing the pages of this blog I noticed that the word 'China' had suddenly appeared next to an article in which I tore into the Chinese leadership for their lack of human rights and their abuse of the people - I couldn't understand where it came from and could not shift it. I was also convinced I had done nothing to put it there and presumed, wrongly, that it was to do with this blog being blocked by Google in China, which does happen. However, as I am gradually beginning to master how the site works and what goes where, I discovered that you can flag things, which is what I had done without realising it. Er - um - oops, what a dipstick I am.

I suppose I could have lifted my posting from this site, but if we are in this together then you will get my occasional better moments and postings as well as my hash ups such as this.

UPDATE OF GEORGIA

Events are changing in the conflict between Georgia and Russia, for an opinion from Helen of the EU Referendum blog on the Bruges Group blog,  go HERE to read  a short item.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

MY REGIONAL ASSEMBLY COMMENT ON THE TELEGRAPH SITE

This was one of the many comments I make on the web-site of the Daily Telegraph, or the 'Torygraph' as many call it. The comment was made in relation to an article about the Scottish Parliament, I had to remind them that Scotland is no longer a country but little more than a region of the European Union and why we are stuck with Regional Assemblies which are designed to break the UK into 'Regions of the European Union'.

"The simple fact is, there shouldn't be a Scottish Parliament, but sadly this artificial construct was only created to give the the Scottish people the illusion of having a voice. In reality, like the Welsh and the English, they have been well and truly stitched up by the EU and its minions such as Tony Blair who was the Prime Minister who set this up as part of the creation of a Europe of the Regions.

What we now have is a once united Great Britain broken up into twelve regions of the European Union, of which Scotland is one and can, in no way, consider itself as a nation ever again.

Our once sovereign Parliament in Westminster has been undermined as the regions, including the sham Parliament in Scotland, take their orders directly from Brussels. All the Scottish people have managed to do by voting for this Parliament when they were given a referendum was to undermine themselves.

A United Kingdom of all its parts, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which when free of the EU many years ago had a Parliament that was answerable to no one. The Scottish voters had more representaion in our Parliament per person than the English - but no one quibbled as we were a united nation.

Now, thanks to the EU inspired break up of the UK, we are a disunited Kingdom squabling amongst ourselves for the meagre pickings of power the EU allows us. We've all gone bonkers!"

SCARYLAND

WALSALL COUNCIL HOUSE, A TRADITIONAL MUNICIPAL BUILDING
What happened to municipal pride? In days gone by our local councillors gained prestige through building grand municipal buildings and creating amenities such as parks, swimming baths and other things their local residents could enjoy. The Victorians were extremely good at this and through their efforts the quality of life improved greatly for the people they served.

They built sewers, schools, hospitals and helped to improve the health, lives and education of the residents in their town.  The more they did the more their towns prospered and their prestige improved greatly. We have a lot to thank our councillors of old, they were unpaid and they gave their time and knowledge willingly - they really did understand the meaning of public service.

So what grand municipal projects are our paid modern councillors and councils involved in today to help improve the quality of life for those who elect them?  Well, if snooping is a municipal project then that’s what our councils are up to.  We no longer have Councillor Bond, we have James Bond with a clipboard monitoring our every move.  The baddies to be spied on these days are not Dr No, Scaramanga or Blofeld, they are us, that is you and I the ordinary British subject.  And our crimes which have to be monitored?  Well, there are serious environmental crime which threaten world peace and global security such as leaving our dustbin lids ajar, putting recyclable waste in the wrong bin, allowing our dogs to leave a mess behind them (which is annoying). 

There are other crimes such as parents wanting the best for their kids and attempting to get them into the best performing schools which may be out of their catchment area, smoking in or drinking in public places, littering and so the list goes on. Because of this, and thanks to some draconian new laws invented by our increasingly neurotic Government aimed at fighting terrorism, councils throughout the land will be given the right to bug our telephone calls, snoop on our e-mails and use covert tracking of our movements – the British people are now such a danger to the authorities that they have to be watched and monitored night and day.

All this spying of dear old Mr & Mrs Jones and just about every other ordinary person, comes about courtesy of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). The Home Office, another public body who at one time used to see its function in life as serving the British people, who now think the British people should serve it, wants to extend the powers of the state and councils to snoop over us. It now wants powers to have access to web-sites and e-mail accounts as well as calls made over the internet. There is an EU Directive 2006/24/EC which covers the retention of communications data and there is a fear that councils or quangos could use private e-mail accounts or internet phone records to snoop on taxpayers. There was a time we in the UK thought we lived in a free land – these days, thanks to the mass of powers given to our once public servants, we now live in scaryland!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

WHERE DID CHINA COME FROM?

WHO PUT THE 'CHINA' SYMBOL THERE?
Take a look at the photo above of my computer screen, the page that is open is the edit page of this blog. All the items showing are what I put there when writing this blog, apart from the little green word, 'China', next to the heading: "No Escape, Now the Olympics". Who put that there and why?

I presume it was put there by Google who control the blogs, I also guess this blog is now blocked in China due to my criticism of the Communist regime in that particular article. Am I wrong? I would like to hear your comments on this. Do you blog too? If you have written anything unfavourable about China and found one of these little green words popping up in your edit box I would like to know.

Whilst we are on the matter of China, and the original posting about the Olympics that started all this, it would seem there is some jiggery pokery going on over there with the Chinese authorities. Apparently, the televised version of the opening firework display was digitly enhanced, then they have been filling empty spaces in at the various Olymoic competitions with their own olympic workers to make the games look as if they are better attended, and the little girl dressed in red who sang in the main auditorium had to fake it by miming to the song as she was not the real singer. The girl who sang the song in reality was a chubby faced plump girl who sadly, was a less attractive child. As Confucius once said: "Blimy"!

Monday, 11 August 2008

WAR IN EUROPE

DAILY MAIL, MONDAY 11th AUGUST 2008
One of the mantras which the acolytes of the EU constantly spout is: "There have been no wars in Europe since 1945 because of the EU" - please save us from this dire brain dead waffle. Europe is a vast continent home to many nations, of which 27 nations have decided to sacrifice their liberty, freedom and right to govern themselves by joining the EU - sadly the United Kingdom is one of these enslaved nations.

For the benefit of those who continue to use this pro-EU mantra, well, hello, take a look at the clipping from the Daily Mail above. Now what do you make of it? Er yes, its war in Europe and its bloody, nasty, and the lives of innocents are being destroyed because of it.

In fact since 1945 there have been many conflicts and tensions in Europe. We have seen Russian tanks rolling into Hungary and Czechoslovakia, bloody war as Yugoslavia tore itself apart and now this - which looks horrendous. Now think of this, we were at war with the Japanese until 1945 too, but there have been no conflicts between Japan since, nor are we are bound to them as we are with the EU - we simply trade with them.

So, what will the EU do about this latest conflict in Europe? The answer is very little - what can it do other than jump up and down a bit squawking its indignation, whilst at the same time get nowhere. In fact, in some of the conflicts of recent times in Europe (which the EU tells us it has prevented!), EU interference has actually made things worse - God help the poor souls in Georgia if the EU pokes its nose in. If you want to read some informative updates on events in Georgia you will find EU Referendum will be keeping an eye on things and adding postings.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

POTTERING ABOUT

BRUCE & TONY IN THE LYNDON
Sunday the 10th August has been a day of pottering about, doing a few jobs for 'er indoors this morning, then off to get Fred, my father-in-law who comes to spend Sunday afternoons with us, and then my favorite part of the day - a visit to the Lyndon House Hotel for a pint where we usually meet my brother, Bruce Bennett, his other half Christine and my old UKIP pal Tony Lenton who has been campaigning with me since our days in the Referendum Party in 1997 when he was my election agent.  Malcolm McKenzie, my computer boffin (mentioned in an earlier post if you scroll down) has also been back to my home to finish off the work on my old Mac which is now working on the internet faster than ever - there were a few bottles of real ale for him as thanks for his efforts.

At the time of this posting I haven't had a lot of time to look through the Sunday papers, just a quick glance at the Mail on Sunday - there's not much in there just the usual gossip, I will digest the Sunday Telegraph later.  However, there was an item in the Daily Mail on Saturday 9th August that caught my eye this morning when taking my press clippings, it was entitled: "Councillors could vote from the home or pub".  Yes, some bright spark has decided it would be a good idea for our elected representatives if they can vote on matters of how they spend the many millions we Council Taxpayers place into their  care while that are out getting plastered or watching football on the telly when their minds are on other things.  This D.M. article stated that only one councillor needs to be in attendance.  If my old mucker above, Tony was elected no doubt he would be the one they would choose to sit in the Council house on his own as he would be the 'Tony-one'!  (Yes, I know, it's an old joke don't groan like that).

However, joking aside, this is actually a serious matter, it is down to moves like this that help to destroy and undermine our democracy as such a move would reduce the serious business of our elected offices to being meaningless.  Mind you, when you see where this proposal has come from, which is the office of Hazel Blears, what else can you expect from such a meaningless Minister?


A COUPLE OF PUBLICATIONS

GERMANY'S FOURTH REICH BY HARRY BECKHOUGH
Harry Beckhough is someone I have been privileged to have made contact with through being involved with the anti-EU campaign. Because of his wartime experiences he saw first hand what Germany is capable of and how German leaders have always plotted and planned to rule Europe and has recently updated his publication: ’Germany’s Fourth Reich’.

Although a slim volume, it is packed with information and goes back to the days of Charlemagne (771 – 814) and Germany’s first Reich, through to the creation of the European Union which, with German influence, is Germany’s Fourth Reich.

Harry Beckhough has certainly lived through history himself. He served with the Royal Artillery, as a codebreaker with the 8th Army breaking Rommel’s signals and messages for Montgomery, after which he was recalled to India and helped to break Japanese code signals.

Following the war he worked in the Foreign Office and met, on a regular basis, Dr Konrad Adenauer along with other prominent European statesmen. It is through these contacts he has been given a great knowledge of Germany and how part of the German characteristic has always been an inherited desire for domination. It is this knowledge which he has put to good use to write this publication. He has also written an autobiography: ‘Thinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ based on his wartime experiences.

Within its 72 pages Harry Beckhough gives a history of Germany’s Reich’s, including the new beginning and its Fourth Reich. Anyone who purchases this publication will find it informative and it will help them understand what is driving the EU and the eventual planned destruction of Europe’s nation states – including our own – to be consumed by a new, German led empire, called Europe.

To order this publication send payments payable to “Harry Beckhough”, 44 Castle Court, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1XG. Total payable is £5 plus £1 p& p.

THE PICTURE BY CHRISTOPHER CHANDLER
A long serving reader of my monthly newsletter, 'The Euro Realist' newsletter, has recently had a book published, entitled 'The Picture' which he has written under the nome de plum Christopher Chandler.

As you may guess, a tale of fiction from the pen of an avowed EU-sceptic would have lots of references to the EU, its acolytes and its devious doings, which naturally is a major part of the story - including the working in of real characters and historical events. Reference to the Bilderbergers is also in there too as their involvement could not be missed.

The tale is a clever plot based on the narrator of the story, Noel Beck, and what happens after he takes a brass engraving to be assessed at a BBC Antiques Roadshow programme. There, the specialist is a little mystified about the engraving, which Noel Beck explains that his father had found it in the ruins of Hamburg at the end of the war. The Roadshow specialist explains that although the engraving looked as if it was depicting Moses parting the waves in the Red Sea, he was a bit puzzled by the fact the mountains in the background looked more like the Swiss Alps, it was noticed how the lines of the waves were very precise and very similar.

A few weeks later when the programme is shown, Noel Beck is surprised to return home after a day at work as a pharmacist to find two messages on his answer phone from two people who wanted to speak to him about the engraving. The first message is from a rather arrogant sounding person who is representing someone who wants to purchase the engraving, the other from a solicitor whose client wanted to meet Noel Beck and to see the engraving as he felt he remembered it from the past.

From there on the story becomes more intriguing as Noel Beck finds some strange things happening to him, including the bugging of his flat and telephone and his savings in his bank account suddenly disappearing. The tale is told over a period of several years and draws in that old rogue Ted Heath, it implicates him with some underhand dealings to get us into the Common Market, it also includes a Swiss bank and a court case involving the ownership of a Monet. It's well worth reading. The story is told in a nice easy style and although there are no car chases, fight scenes or James Bond style goings on, it has a good steady pace that keeps you engrossed right to the last page.

The Picture’ has been published by Athena Press and can be purchased frome the JUNE PRESS BOOKS or ordered from all good bookshops. ISBN 978-184748-325-6.

For those who would like to download a copy of my newsletter, The Euro Realist, then go to the Walsall - Wolverhampton UKIP web-site at: www.ukipwalsall-wolverhampton.co.uk click on 'NEWS' where you will be able to click onto and download back issues of my newsletter - now that will keep you out of the pub for an hour or two.