Sunday, 30 November 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008
UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP has raised further fears of Britain's slide towards a police state over the arrest of Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green.
In an action that looks more appropriate to the bad old days of the Soviet Union than a modern liberal democracy, the Metropolitan Police used counter-terrorism officers to raid Mr Green's homes and offices and to hold him for nine hours on suspicion of "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office" and "aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office".
Their excuse was a call from the Home Office to investigate the leaking of sensitive information revealing that the government knew about the employment of illegal immigrants and that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith had warned the Prime Minister of a possible rise in crime during a recession.
A junior official at the Home Office was suspended from duty and arrested on 19 November but was subsequently released on bail without charge.
Nigel Farage said: "When the police start arresting politicians for doing their job then we're well down the path to a police state.
"Finding out what the government doesn't want you to know they're doing is the very job of an opposition politician."
The arrest of an MP and the raiding of his offices is unprecedented in the investigation of government leaks.
It is well known that opposition MPs often rely on the leaking of information embarrassing to the government of the day and though there have been many inquiries, the police have rarely been involved and internal investigations have usually ended with the officials thought to have been responsible for the leaks. Even then, successful prosecutions in such cases have been very few.
The government has denied being involved in the arrest of Mr Green. However, it begins to look sinister alongside the steady increase in public surveillance over the past 10 years and Labour's apparently insatiable appetite for collecting information on citizens, together with its planned introduction of ID cards.
The police action has been justified on the basis of a little-known common law statute. But what does it say about Britain today when newspaper headlines might read "Opposition spokesman arrested"?
Friday, 28 November 2008
The whole idea and concept of the European Union is one of the noble idea of the richer member nations helping out their poorer European neighbours. However, of course, it don’t work like that and when adding in the real underlying reason for this virtuous edifice, which is the creation of one massive new nation called Europe, what is left can best be described as an unmitigated mess.
It’s sea of corruption and vested interests, it has created a Europe of ‘me first’ nations and has never taken into account human nature and the fact that opportunists and scallywags will get in there and take liberties with the EU’s grand ideals.
The poorest nation in Europe is Bulgaria, and if the EU was working to its principles it should be receiving EU funds to help improve the lives of its poorest people, of which there are a lot in Bulgaria, including their pensioners as seen protesting above. But of course, as mentioned, it don’t work like that. The problem is EU money in Bulgaria, which was never noted for its honest ways, has been vanishing into black holes, and no doubt a number of corrupt pockets.
Because of these “widespread spending irregularities”, the EU has decided to strip Bulgaria of £187 million in EU funding and unless the Bulgarian government does not sort out these problems of corruption and organised crime, the EU has threatened to remove £289 million of aid next year.
Considering the UK, along with Germany, is one of the EU’s largest net contributors, British taxpayers who are currently struggling to make ends meet, or get life saving drugs on the NHS, and whose pensioners are living in an increased state of poverty, are paying for this Mafia corruption and widespread losses in the EU and for our money to just vanish.
Ok, so the EU thinks it has Bulgaria sorted, now what about all those other EU-wide scams and widespread losses? All this amounts to yet another, of the many, many reasons why we would be much, much better off out of the EU.
In what can only be described as a crushing defeat by the Tory campaigning tank in the borough, Labour’s candidate, Richard Worrall, lost one of Walsall’s safest Labour wards to the Conservative candidate, Kamram Afteb.
Ex Councillor Worrall (he’s the one with the funny hat!), whose endless array of letters constantly blight the letters pages of the local free press with his unwanted opinions on just about everything, seems to be making a habit of loosing elections.
He lost his Council seat in the St Matthews ward, which used to be a Labour seat and is now Tory. He tried to regain it but failed, so he moved on to Brownhills, where he then lost another two elections, moved back to St Matthews and lost again – twice – and now this fiasco. He really is making a habit of losing once safe Labour wards, he should be renamed as the Jonah of the Labour Party in Walsall.
Our UKIP team put in a valiant effort, every house received a UKIP election address from Liz, but elections are seldom fair or reflect all the hard work and effort put in by the campaigners. The Tories went out hard for this ward, and their work paid off, but it seems unfair that the BNP, which is not the most savoury of political parties, got 9o votes to Liz’s 52. They didn’t even seem to get their act together until the tail end of the campaign. I think people hold their noses and vote BNP on the basis they are the nastiest party they can find just to shock the three main parties – I can think of no other reason unless they are out and out racists.
One interesting point which Liz commented on was that the predominately white area of the Beachdale Estate only saw just over 270 people voting, for a large estate that is truly dreadful. The majority of the votes came from the mostly Asian Birchills area, and the Conservative candidate was Asian, so you have to hand it to the local Tories for playing such a canny game. And to Liz, bad luck, there is always next time.
The big question now for the Walsall UKIP campaigners is, shall we do this again when the next by-election comes along in Rushall Shelfield due to the sudden, and very sad death of the well liked Councillor, Cath Mikklewright?
The results of the by-election were:
Kamran Aftab (Conservative) 764
Richard Worrall (Labour) 661
Malcolm Moore (BNP) 90
Christine Cockayne (Liberal Democrat) 72
Alan Davies (Democratic Labour) 69
Elizabeth Hazell (UKIP) 52
Paul Booker (Green) 34
The voter turnout was 19.6%
View the Walsall MBC WEB-SITE posting of this by-election.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Monday, 24 November 2008
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
This has just reminded me of a joke about a blonde who wanted to learn to speak Spanish in an afternoon. When the language school told her this was impossible, she burst into tears and said: “I’m going to Benidorm tomorrow, what am I going to do?” She was told not to worry as most Spanish spoke English, all she needed to do was to speak s-l-o-w-l-y and she would be ok.
She gets off the plane and heads for the bar. Seeing a blonde barmaid she says very slowly : “Helloo---nice---day---innit.” The blonde barmaid replied: “Yes -- wot – can -- I -- get—yer?” I’ll – ‘ave – a Babysham – ta.” She replied. The barmaid said: “That’s – my – favourite – drink – too.” The Blonde asked: “Where – do – you – come – from – then?” The barmaid replied: “Birmingham” To which the blonde saiad: “Oim – from – Birmingham – too, -- so – what – are – we – dooin’ – speaking – Sannish?!!”
Yes I know, that joke’s a bit tortuous, but whatever sort of mangled English you speak, it’s generally understood wherever you go, not just on the continent of Europe, but the whole world too.
So, getting to the point, why is it that the great and glorious bastion of European integration, that vast and wonderful melting pot of European unity, has to have a multitude of translators in the European Parliament, even for some of Europe’s more obscure languages such as Gaelic, despite the fact the Irish all speak English anyway?
The 27 member nation EU has officially recognised, and translates, 23 languages. This does not just involve 23 translators, there has to be a translator for each language to another language. So, there has to be a translator from French to German, French to Spanish, French to English and so on. Then there has tobe translators from German to Spanish, German to English, German to Welsh – yes, I did say German to Welsh, as the EU has now just agreed to translate speeches into the Welsh language too, although it has not been classed as an official language.
When you actually start to look at the numbers and the vast array of combinations of translations, the EU has to have a vast army of translators at its disposal at enormous cost to the taxpayers, who are paying for this multi-lingual farce.
So, as just mentioned, Welsh is now the latest language which will need transaltion, and the Welsh Assembly have confirmed that its Welsh language translators have their bags packed and are raring to go. That means there will have to be a new Welsh speaking platoon to join the linguistical army in Brussels. There will be Welsh to Estonian Welsh to Gaelic, Welsh to Maltese, Welsh to Polish, Welsh to…… well, it goes on and on.
And the cost of all this? You may well ask, it currently costs a billion euros a year to translate all these languages, that’s £841 million in real money. What for? To ensure that all the EU's edicts, regulations, directives and masses of bureaucratic gobble-de-gook gets put into a language that everyone can understand to make it legal. Meanwhile, in the real world, the masses are becoming ever more frustrated by the EU, its costs, secrecy, its isolation and anti-democratic nature – and we are paying for it. As the Welsh would say: ‘Now there’s expensive boyo’! It really would cost us a great deal less if we quit the EU.
Friday, 21 November 2008
As a young man in those heady days of the late sixties, working in the tonsorial arts (I was a barber), as it was a topic of the times I used to have an occasional conversation with my customers about the merits, or otherwise, of joining the Common Market. The one thing I could never get my head round in those days was the workings of the Common Agricultural Policy, the CAP. This struck me as seriously weird, farmers would grow things which would then be put into store, rather than sold, until the prices were right. I was told this would stop the fluctuations in food prices and protect the livelihoods of farmers.
As much as it was explained to me I could still never quite grasp it, but to bequite honest, as a young chap in my early twenties, whose only ambitions in life were to jump into my little Triumph Spitfire and to gad off somewhere to have a beer or two in every pub in the Midlands, and to chat up any young ladies in the vecinity, hey, who gave a toss about the Common Market and its weird CAP.
It was not too long after Heath took us in, without a debate or referendum on the issue, and fed us a pack of lies about the illusory benefits of membership, that we began to see the effects of the CAP. Vast grain mountains sprang up, wine lakes appeared, butter was stockpiled and many other foodstuffs filled barns and storage units to the rafters – all because of the Common Agricultural Policy. And while this was going on our food prices, which we were promised would reduce after membership, continued to climb. These days, thanks to the wonders of the CAP, the average family now has an additional £25 or more on their grocery bills courtesy of it.
In reality the CAP is an abomination, it has never worked and can never work, so why is it still with us? Ask the French, or more precisely ask the French leadership who live in utter terror of their farmers. These French peasants who run outdated little smallholdings, farms and vineyards, turn into rampaging tyrants the moment any French, or other EU leader, even whispers the word “reform”. The next thing you know is tractors are blockading roads, barricades are set up, there is the ritual burning of lorry loads of foreign sheep, ports are blockaded and general mayhem takes over. Added to this, although France, like Britain is a contributor to the EU budget, by the time they get their CAP subsidies back, unlike us poor saps in the UK, they finish up getting back about the same as they put in, viola! Or as they say in France, “Good, innit”!
The CAP, which should be renamed the ‘Costly Agricultural Policy’, accounts for 40 per cent of the EU budget, and something ought to be done about it, but every time there are negotiation to do something about it the French usually scupper it, as we have just seen in the latest negotiations to try to sort out the £42 billion the CAP now costs us. According to the Daily Telegraph that adds up to a cost of £300 per year for every British family.
The idiotic thing is, every time those of us who can’t see any point in EU membership whatsoever, say it’s time we said adieu to the EU, one of the twits that support it comes out with the tired old whinging line: “Oh, we have to be in or we will be isolated”. No, we are isolated in the EU, just as Hilary Benn, our Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found out when he was well and truly isolated within the EU, when the interests of the French, Germans and Italians turned against him. It was, as the Telegraph put it, their “Vested” interests that blocked any chance of reform to European Farm subsidies – not any common sense or practical reasons, but hey, we are talking about the EU here where common sense is unknown.
There have also been what is described as “back door” measures which will allow France to recycle unspent farm subsidy cash worth £254 million every year into extra payments for their farmers – and little, overtaxed and struggling Britain, is going to have to pay for it. As I may have mentioned once or twice before, all the benefits are out of the EU. We can kiss the CAP goodbye, reform our agricultural policies to suit our needs and we can reclaim our fishing grounds. There is no sense for the UK remaining in the EU at all - it’s all a load of CAP!
Thursday, 20 November 2008
On Wednesday 19th November, 2008, the UK Independence Party MEP for the East Midlands, Derek Clark, highlighted the European Union’s response to the growing problem of piracy on the high seas. Needless to say, when you read Derek’s letter which was published in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday 19th November, 2008, which is reproduced below, you will see how bothered the EU is about this serious problem which will add vast costs to the shipping of our goods and how little it cares for the well being of seafarers.
“Sir - A month ago MEPs in the European Parliament adopted, with a huge majority, a proposal to downgrade piracy (report, November 18) from an act of war to a simple criminal act.
Once implemented it means that a naval vessel will not be allowed to blow pirates out of the water, as they deserve, but will have to arrest them and send them off to an international court, where, no doubt, they will plead "human rights".
Two months ago the Parliament enthusiastically adopted a report which will require all ships in EU waters to carry an electronic tag to record their movements and cargos. This information, relayed by the Galileo satellite, will be electronically stored in an EU data centre.
We all know how secure that will be. Just one corrupt operator and the pirates will have all they need to sort out the richest pickings, instead of relying on chance.”
High flying Government Minister get all emotional about a lot of things, which they talk about with passion, but the reality is there is very little they can do about much of what they talk about because if they do, there is an 80 per cent chance, that they will be contravening EU laws. The EU now accounts for 80 per cent of all laws made here in the UK.
It is sad to say that our Parliament has now become so insignificant that at election times we are not voting for people to govern our country, to make our laws and defend us, we are simply voting for the people who will say one thing, then rubber stamp the orders of the unelected EU elite’s, who may contradict everything said by those who we elect.
The sad irony in all this is everytime it comes to matters of the European Union, these ministers and other elected MPs, either do their best to avoid talking about the EU – especially David Cameron’s Tories, or flatly deny that the EU is the root cause of the problem, as we have seen with the closures of our post offices. Yet they still, without fail, put their brains into neutral and repeat the worn out, and now much discredited, age old mantra that we have to be in the EU for the benefits it gives us and that three million jobs rely on it (despite that one being disproved seconds after it was first stated).
So, what and where, exactly, are the benefits of EU membership? UKIP MEP, Gerrard Batten, has been delving into the costs of EU membership in some considerabledetail, and if you read his REPORT which has been published by the Bruges Group. You will see from his research we pay one hell of a lot of our taxpayers money for these illusory benefits.
Using Government figures and statistics, Gerrard has discovered that for the equivalent of every single man, woman and child in this country, each and everyone of us pays £1077 gross or £915 net per annum to the EU for the privilege to have our sovereign Parliament undermined to the extent that it is little more than an attractive edifice in the centre of London which attracts the tourist – its occupants have virtually no power or control any more. We contribute our taxes, which is the equivalent for every person of £2119 gross or £1799 net per annum, for this appalling state of affairs whilst shed loads of our money are being sent to the EU with little question because we are not allowed to ask the question: “What benefits?”
Gerrard Batten’s article runs to over thirty pages, so give yourself time to read it.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
The current batch of post office closures are due to be completed by February 2009, but a further number were under threat which were allegedly reprieved by the Government. However, it would seem that despite the promised reprieve additional post offices are still set to go in what is described as them closing “in an unplanned way”.
Although the Penguin tries to ridicule this blog for using such terms as “holocaust of post offices”, it is hard to know exactly how else to describe it. Richard North on the EU Referendum blog warned that the reprieve of a further 3000 or so post offices would be going against the EU’s mad rules, it looks as if this Government, in yet another underhand and sneaky move, will be complying with our unelected masters in Brussels yet again.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Thanks to the opening of our postal services to competition due to compliance with the European Union’s rules, thousands of post offices around the country have been closing, and several hundreds more are due to close in the next few weeks. So, where do the customers go when one already busy post office closes it doors? They go to the next nearest Post Office that has escaped the wholesale slaughter and join even bigger queues.
Reported in the press on Monday 17th November, 2008, they put out the that almost quarter of customers at post offices are having to wait 10 minutes or more to be served. The research done by the watchdog, Consumer Focus also found that a third of post office staff are giving customers the wrong proof of postage or insufficient evidence for them to claim for lost or undelivered mail. This, presumably, is due to the additional pressure of work.
However, as usual, the press and media are quick to jump onto a problem and report it, but because they did not explain that the root cause of these problems all stem from idiotic directives from the EU, only half the story has been reported. Once again British membership of the EU has created an almighty problem and once again this proves that Britain would really be better off out of the EU.
For more on the lack of media coverage of our post offices, read THIS from the EU Referendum blog.