Thursday, 30 September 2010

NO BENEFIT TO EU MEMBERSHIP

Many years ago when I was working in our Birmingham based family business, my brother was having a moan to my father, who had founded the business in 1946, about how many hours we were all working for so little reward. My father, always the optimist, replied: ‘Ah, but don’t forget the benefits’. My brother looked puzzled and said: ‘What benefits?’, to which my dear old dad, after a moment of head scratching, came up with the answer: ‘You can put your rubbish in the skip whenever you want’. That then was our one and only benefit for little pay, long hours and much stress, which is usually the situation for those in small businesses.

The futility of my dad’s reply always reminds me of the strange souls who, against all common sense and logic, still support our British membership of the European Union. They always repeat the mantra that we have to be in the European Union for the benefits it brings us, but we all increasingly have to ask – what benefits? As far as this blogger can see there is not one single benefit to being in the EU but thousands of reasons why we should quit ASAP and, in hindsight, never have joined in the first place.

One alleged benefit of being a member of the EU is for the grants it gives us. I always love this one when I am asked from time to time to give a talk to various clubs and groups about the EU. My way of answering it is with a proposition, I offer anyone in the room to fund a project in their home in exactly the same way we claim EU funds. Usually someone will say I could do with an extension to my property or we need a new carpet, then I hit them with the fact I am not giving out funds for those projects which they need the most, but for things that may be nice but of little use such as re-landscaping their garden, or removing the wallpaper and painting the walls – so what’s it to be?

Once they make their choice I then inform them that in order for me to fund this project they are going to have to put a plaque on the wall of their home, with my name and logo on it, to let everyone know that the project has been ‘PART FUNDED’ by me. The part funded bit is important as this is when they discover I am not going to give them all the money, just half of it, they are going to have to stump up the other fifty per cent themselves.

So, if a project is costing £1000 they are contributing £500, and I the other £500 – or so they think. Now we get into the details of the project, what sort of garden landscaping, etc, would they like? Once they tell me I inform them that they can forget that as I am the one making all the decisions and decide colours, materials and everything else regarding the project, they have to be ready with the their share of the money. Now we come to the crunch, in order to get this ‘Part funding’ from me they have to be a member of my club which is going to cost them £1000. It soon dawns on them that a project worth £1000, which they did not really need, had no say in at all and is of little real use to them has actually cost them £1500 and I have run off with £500 of their money yet my plaque on the wall of their home is giving the impression that I am the generous one who has kindly given this money thanks to the benefit of being in my club. As Elmer Simpson would say: “Doh”!

Yesterday was one of those “Doh” days, reported in the news was just how much EU membership is costing each and everyone of us in the UK, which is £128 a year for the benefit of such things as the EU-wide arrest warrant, thousands of unwanted and unnecessary laws – thousands of them, a blight on businesses and the complete undermining of our democracy, Parliament and sovereignty – it just aint worth it.

We as a nation, according to the news item, are giving the EU the equivalent of £440 a year and receiving £312 back in so-called ‘direct benefits’. Many other countries such as Poland and other ex-Communist countries are gaining from the money we contribute, in many instances EU funding to these poorer countries is very much to the detriment of Britain and its citizens. A case in point is what happened to the car workers at the Royton Peugeot car plant. This company, based on British soil, employing British workers whose taxes were being used to fund the EU, asked the British Government for a grant – the unelected EU Competition Minister said no, it’s unfair completion to our elected Government. So, what happened next, Royton was closed and Peugeot re-located to Slovakia with, guess what, a whopping great hand-out of our money from the EU.

There is still more to this, as it is not just the cost of the money we are endlessly handing over to the EU, but the cost of EU regulations which are imposed on our British based companies making them uncompetitive on global markets. The item on Cadbury’s chocolate under this posting is a prime example. If new EU rules on our financial markets are implemented the fiscal cost to the bond trading in the City of London and our banking and insurance industries, which are vitally important wealth creators for the UK, the cost and loss to the nation could be devastating. The EU may cost us individually £128 a year, but the underlying costs and damage done due to EU membership is incalculable. There are no benefits from EU membership.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

MAKING LIFE SWEETER

One of the many arguments, and there are a lot of them, why Britain should never be a member of the European Union is that we do things differently to the rest of the EU because we are different. Whereas the rest of the EU member nations all belong to one land mass and have been invading and conquering each other for centuries, we in Britain became separated and chose to do things our own way – we just had the inconvenience of having to pop over to the continent from time to time to sort out some of the megalomaniacs that have a habit of popping up over there, then when we have put a Napoleon or an Adolph in their place we generally go back to minding our own business and concentrate on global trading – which is what we have always been good at. So why on earth we would want to join the mad actions of the new European megalomaniacs in the creation of a European superstate governed by an autocratic European elite is beyond the reasoning of most sensible British people – all it does is create problems where none existed and undermines our trade, freedom and democracy.

Ever since we first joined, what was then the Common Market in 1973 under the false delusion put out by Ted Heath that it was good for trade, we have been fighting a loosing battle with a trail of EU victims scattered from end to end in the country, none less than Cadbury’s and our traditional milk chocolate producers.

It took over 25 years of legal wrangling, several £millions and a vast number of man hours before the EU decided we would be allowed to call milk chocolate milk chocolate rather than the meaningless ‘vegilate’, as it was insisting. This is all because the rest of the EU loves dark chocolate rather than our different milk chocolate. Now the EU has set about the Cadbury slogan of ‘A glass and a half’ of milk in every half pound of chocolate – it is insisting it is changed to: ‘The equivalent of 426ml of fresh milk in every 227g of milk chocolate’. Catchy, ‘innit.

Faced with this ad-mans nightmare Cadbury’s have had to drop the slogan which has been a trademark since most old farts such as this blogger were not only kids but from way before starting in 1928.

What other adverts would could be affected by the EU and our current obsession with political correctness. Maybe the Bisto Kids with their ‘Ah, Bisto slogan should be changed as it may attract pedophiles. They could have the old Bisto gits instead, or maybe Coca-Cola would have to lose its slogan of the ‘Real thing’ to ‘Assimilated thing’ if it can’t prove to the EU what the real thing is, or Guinness having to use the slogan ‘It may be good for you’.

The EU is dull, unimaginative and destroys imagination, life would be much sweeter out of it.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

BRITAIN SINKING

When it comes to matters of immigration, tax and spend and how we should tackle the financial deficit, then ignore the glazed eyes of the Labour Party, which is currently doing some serious naval gazing at the conference in Manchester and getting in a frenzy about the election of the wrong Milliband, they don’t have a clue and never will. Ignore too the silly Liberal Democrats currently trying to look important because, after 65 very long years, they actually have people in Government again – albeit by default. Finally, most definitely ignore the slick and dangerous words of the Conservative Party which has proved that when it comes to the EU, it does not just tell fibs, it lies on a scale so spectacular it is hard to fathom – and this current Tory administration is no different. When it comes to giving the truth and the facts on the EU UKIP can be the only trusted political party.

Those of us in UKIP have been warning about the dangers of EU membership for years, sadly the electorate have chosen to either ignore our warnings or believed them but still put their faith in the political parties that have betrayed them, rather than UKIP. Now they are learning the hard way how foolish they were to trust the so-called three main parties.

The error of their pro-EU ways was driven home today in the Daily Mail. At a time when budgets are being slashed, jobs being lost and general austerity, the last thing this nation wants is a flood of benefit tourist pouring across EU enforced open borders to live here at the expense of the long suffering British taxpayers – but this is what is about to happen because we are in the EU and subservient to it.

Currently in Britain we have a “habitual residency test” to establish who is entitled to benefits. But the EU has decided that rules made in the UK for the benefit of UK subjects are in breach of its rules on human rights. Because of this the EU Commission, which is not elected by anyone anywhere in the whole of the EU, let alone by anyone in the UK, has begun legal proceedings against our democratically elected British Government to force it to tow the EU line. According to the Daily Mail article the cost of compliance to Britain could be a staggering £1.3 billion a year on lower estimates, possibly even as high as £2.5 billion. This will put a real dent in the Governments plans to cut welfare spending.

You can’t blame those immigrants wanting to come and live here if our benefit system offers them the sort of money, homes and welfare they could only dream of in their current impoverished circumstances – it is only human nature. The people we have to blame are those who support our membership of the EU which undermines our freedom and liberty to make laws for the benefit of all those who currently live in the UK, which will include those who have migrated to these shore in the past or even the children and grandchildren of past migrants who are now firmly established as British subjects.

Because of our debt Britain is a sinking ship, these EU rules will ensure that not only will its residents drown as it goes down, but so too will those who sought safety on it as their weight will speed up the process of its decent to the bottom. The UKIP lifeboat is waiting.

Monday, 27 September 2010

THE UNIONS CHOICE

The valleys of Wales were always a traditional Labour Party heartland, as the mist and rain rolls over the hills and mountains the harmonious voices of the local male voice choir could be heard singing: “There will always be a welcome in the hillside for the Labour Party” – or will there? Plaid Cymru has made some inroads into the Labour vote over the last few years.

It was in North Wales at the home of my mother this last weekend that I saw the rather tortured declaration of the Labour leadership. Using a form of AV preferential voting, which will not be too different to that now being proposed by the two-tone coalition Government, we all witnessed the strange and drawn out ritual whereby those with the lowest percentage of the vote gets knocked out one by one.

As I watched the screen my eyes were drawn to David Milliband grinning from ear to ear in a silly, girlie sort of way – I was convinced he already knew the result and had won the contest to lead the worst political party in living history, but no, it was little brother Ed who glumly stole it from him.

I’m still trying to get my head round it. As mentioned each candidate with the lowest percentage was knocked out in turn. First to go was Diane Abbott, then Andy Burnham followed by Ed Balls, there was a sort of logic seeing them go as the percentages were never there for them, but the vote was there for David closely followed by Ed – then the trade union vote was added and by the tiniest of margins Ed got the job. So, what we have now is a leader of the Labour Party not chosen by the Labour MPs, MEPs or activists, who are all those expected to work hand in hand with the party leader, but a chap chosen by the trade union movement which, despite the historical links to the Labour and trade union movements, will actually be detached from the leader. It’s a bit like the old northern saying: ‘There’s nowt so queer as people, dogs and the Labour Party’!

The Tory press are already jumping for joy as they see Labour taking a retrograde step, the headlines are announcing the death of New Labour and the rise of a Labour Party in the tow of the unions – we will have to see. There is also a great deal of speculation about the Marxist links in the Milliband family – how left wing are the two Milliband brothers? Although this blog and some of my writing has accused them of being a pair of leftie Marxists, we will have to see how left wing Ed Milliband is. After all, my dear old dad in the pre-war years when he was a young man was a member of the Communist Party until it lost its attraction when they asked him to go and fight in the Spanish Civil War – he took up weight lifting instead. By the time he died in 1999 he was a fully committed Thatcherite Tory – so we will have to see which way Milliband leans in the days and weeks to come.

At the end of the day it was a straight choice between a Milliband or a Milliband and the unions chose the Milliband named Ed – all the rest of the Labour Party has to do is learn to live with it.

Friday, 24 September 2010

NO OTHER WAY

Out of all the crap that is spewed out by broadcasters these days, dreary soaps, pointless reality shows, cooking, gardening, house buying and American pot boilers, there are a few little gems that shine out from the usual TV tedium. One such programme is the BBC’s ‘Who do you think you are’.

Not all of these programmes which delve back into the family history of some over hyped modern celebrity come up with anything really interesting, but fortunately many of them do. Who would have dreamt that the camp Alan Cumming had a grandfather who was hooked on danger and carried out some extremely brave deeds during WW2. When looking into family histories there can be quite a few surprises including the discovery of foreign linage, which in a very roundabout way is getting to the point of this posting.

When many of the old Eastern bloc nations joined the EU our useless Labour Government Ministers, despite the warnings from the press and many ordinary citizens, made the crass statement that they only expected around 13,000 Polish citizens would move here. As usual they were wrong and we were right, as more than one million Poles have come to live here. Few of us have any problem with people from Poland or any of the other old Eastern Communist countries, in fact we have a great deal to thank the Poles for as they helped to save our bacon in the war, but where would we find space for them and all other immigrants on our already overcrowded island? Under EU rules of free passage no British Government which is happy to be subservient to the EU can do anything to stop this influx.

Now the problem is due to become even worse as Bulgaria is about to start handing out passports to non-EU citizens who can prove they are descended from Bulgarian citizens. If they have in their family tree somewhere a Bulgarian linage then they are in and with their Bulgarian passport they can then live anywhere they like in the EU. Bulgaria has plans to hand out 500,000 passports to people mostly from the Ukraine and Moldova.

Currently EU rules allow us to restrict the number of citizens from Bulgaria and Romania , around 25,000 low-skilled workers are permitted to work here, but after 2013, again under EU imposed rules, the floodgates are opened and if every single one of those 500,000 new Bulgarian passport owners chose to come and settle here there is bugger all our Government can do about it – so much for the sovereignty of this nation and the improbable promises of the Con-Dem coalition to restrict immigration.

This places immense pressures on our services such as schools, hospitals, NHS, council houses and services as well as our tax funded benefits system as most unskilled workers will find it near impossible to get work. Our green belt will be under serious threat and the tensions it will create in society will be immense. The truly frustrating thing is that our real friends in the Commonwealth who we have always had close links to will find it is they who will be barred from living here.

Despite this potential flood of uncontrolled EU condoned immigration Damian Green stated: ‘The new Government is determined to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands per year.’ The question has to be how? I don’t suppose taking control of our borders again by quitting our disastrous membership of the EU will be an option, will it? There is no other way.

A NEW BUBBLE

Worthless stock from the South Sea bubble.

Yesterday I posted the item below about the opening of the worlds largest wind farm off the coast of Kent. It was interesting to receive later in the day the latest edition of the Free Trade League bulletin which included this item on wind farms:

"The Great Wind farm Collapse could be the 21st century equivalent of the South Sea Bubble. We doubt if any of the planned giant 150-metre turbines (as high as the London Eye) will ever be economic except with government subsidies. And those are going to become scarcer. Already President Obama’s lack of enthusiasm for wind-power is being blamed for a two-thirds fall in new orders received by Tyneside turbine builder Clipper. The shares of this AIM-listed company peaked at 880p in 2007, had fallen to 180p within the past year and this week collapsed 13p to 31p on the latest update regarding sales. Last year United Technologies (the Pratt & Whitney jet engine maker) spent £126m on taking a 49.5% stake and it may now bid for the rest. So there is hope for shareholders. But we wonder if time will show that the £11bn Scottish & Southern power giant was ill-advised to become the country’s biggest builder of wind farms on the basis of government pledges of favourable prices for “renewable” energy."

Thanks are given to John Hefferman of the Free Trade League for permission to reproduce this.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

WIND, JUST WHAT THE EU WANTS

From the UKIP web-site promoting the wind farm conference.

What is it with our British politicians and their total subservience to the European Union and all its edicts and instructions? If the EU says jump our civil servants and Government Ministers immediately ask: ‘How high?’ At the same time most of the other EU countries implement the bulk of EU legislation in their own particular way by filling it either in obscure places where it will never see the light of day again or in the place marked ‘bin’.

Reported in the Daily Mail today (23rd September 2010) was the news that as from today Britain is now the biggest offshore wind generator in the world all because the EU loves wind generated electricity. The offshore wind farm based off the coast of Kent which has just been switched on for the first time, it is boasted can generate enough power to supply a small city – but of course only on the days when there is either enough wind or not too much, which begs the questions: what about all the others cities and large towns and what happens on the days the wind farm can’t operate? We may be doing the bidding of our masters in the EU but we are not doing much good for ourselves.

At the end of a becalmed day Britain and all the other complying EU countries will always need an alternative means of supplying electricity, be they either, gas, oil, coal fired or nuclear – so what is the point of blighting our landscapes and seascapes with these massive and inefficient turbines, which if you read the Daily Mail article, are far from green to produce anyway – they don’t even provide much work for British subjects as they are mostly produced and operated by foreign countries too.

UKIP MEPs, Godfrey Bloom and Derek Clark, are organising a wind power conference in London on the afternoon of the 5th October where they will be launching a DVD exposing the pointless truth of these wind farms, details of how to book are on the UKIP web-site.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

EU PENSIONS, A REVOLUTION COMING ON

Those of us born just after the war, the ‘baby boomers’, are either just beginning their retirements or, like me, are just a year or two away from drawing our pensions – not that we have that much to look forward to as the state pension is far from extravagant. Some baby boomers have reasonable pensions from the companies they worked for, whilst others have been hit hard by Gordon Brown’s raid on their pensions in the days when he was given carte blanche to rob from the poor and give to the EU.

However, whilst we poor lowly, sniveling, EU citizens cower in our hovels living off spam and keeping warm by huddling around a roaring candle, there will be one group of people we will all be delighted to know will be living life to the full on their nice plump, gold-plated EU pensions. While we lesser mortals lie in bed at night thanking the EU for the hundreds of thousands of obscure laws that keep us safe and wreck our businesses and liberty, the very people responsible in the higher echelons of the EU will be receiving their nice fat EU pensions we have all paid for – now doesn’t that warm the cockles of your socks!

Over the next thirty years the cost of funding the pensions of our privileged Eurcrats is due to double, according to a study by the European Commission. UK taxpayers will, in the future, be paying £350 million a year. Over the next fifty years taxpayers all across the EU will be expected to find £85 billion to keep our retired EU fat-cats in the lavish lifestyles they have become accustomed to. In that time, according to the Daily Mail, the British contribution will be a more than generous £8.5 billion.

The Taxpayers Alliance are highly critical and Fiona McEvoy of the TPA stated: ‘Most people are struggling to pay in to their own pensions, and yet their tax pounds are boosting the hefty retirement funds of those in Brussels.’

As long as Britain remains in the EU such people as Lord Kinnock, Leon Brittan, Chris Patten, Nick Clegg and many others who have licked the EU’s boots for the benefits that servitude to it, will be able to continue living in genteel wealth. These are the rewards for doing a disservice to their own country and countrymen. We can stop this by leaving the EU, the problem is those in power are also in the pay of the EU – I feel a revolution coming on.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

YES, IT WAS RIGHT TO SAY NO

It's always pleasant and extremely satisfying when the inevitable happens and the EU's sycophants have to admit they were wrong. Enjoy this link to the BBC web-site for a very pleasant moment at the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool.

TAXED TO DEATH

Whilst driving this morning listening to Radio Four’s Today programme, there was an interview with a Jewish woman who as a young girl had managed to escape the Nazis in Poland during the war and was found by some British POW’s on a working party. Despite the terrible retribution they faced from the enemy they hid and protected this girl for about three weeks and as a result saved her life. She was being interviewed because she was due to give a talk about her experiences. When asked why these POW’s risked so much to save her she said that when they had been asked that question themselves after the war, their answer was: “Because we’re British”. It was expected of us to behave in such an honourable way and there could never be any other thing to do – almost as if they were saying – whey are you asking such a question.

Being British always had a certain status, we were always expected to be a nation that stood up against intolerance and overbearing regimes, such as the brutal Nazi regime in those days. So what has gone wrong?

We have gone, over the years, from being a free, tolerant nation of well governed people to a people that sheep like obey the commands of our new governing elites in Brussels and subsequently Westminster, which operates under the supervision of the EU.

Listening to the rant from Nick Clegg about using lie detectors to catch tax evaders makes me wonder, is this man British? We know he has a Spanish wife, is that the reason he has abandoned all principles and adopted the EU rule of state interference, intolerance and overbearing bureaucracy? What too of his new chum, Dave the Tory Toff Cameron, does he not care about the people it should be his duty to serve when he is obviously, and seriously, considering the idea of the tax authorities taking total control of all wage payments in this country? This whole scheme is so preposterous, so outlandish and smacks so much of Big Brother it should chill every free thinking person to the bone. Is this the Britain those POW’s stood up for and were obviously so proud of when risking their lives to save that young Jewish girl? It is not a Britain they would recognise today.

The thought of handing so much power to an already over mighty tax authority is of such monumentally outlandish proportions it is truly frightening to even think about it – how could any sane person in office ever consider giving this one Government body such awe inspiring power over all of us? The merged Inland Revenue and Customs already have almost limitless powers, they have free range to turn up at the home or business premises of any person in the land and confiscate anything they want without even the niceties of arrest or search warrants – there is nothing any of us can do about it. Mass murderers have more rights in law than a person accused of fiddling their taxes – and now this mad coalition want to give them even more power!

If this frightening scheme goes ahead the state will be in total control which also means, ultimately, the EU too. Anyone that steps out of line, says or does the wrong thing, could in the future suddenly find that their money is being withheld by the state and fines for alleged crimes they may never know about automatically taken from their earnings. As I say, this is Big Brother on its way.

Sadly, this is not British, Britain has been slowly strangled, it has died a painful death from that murderous day in 1973 when the traitor Heath stuck the first knife in marked Common Market. There is no one left that is British; a handful of us may like to think of ourselves as such, but John Major when signing the treasonous Maastricht Treaty put paid to our last vestiges of Britishness as that terrible treaty made us all European citizens. We are now in the grip of the EU and its minions where decency, liberty and freedom to do the right thing is no longer accepted. Cameron and Clegg, like Blair and Brown before them, are doing as the Nazis planned all along. Britain is already dead but to make sure, what remote vestiges of life that remain are to be taxed to death and may it rest in peace.

Monday, 20 September 2010

FUNDING CRUELTY

Anyone who does a bit of travelling around the world will often relate tales of some of the strange customs and rituals that take place in these distant, and not so distant places. In Derbyshire we have the quaint tradition of well dressing where wells, or pretend wells, are decorated in flowers. If you were to travel down under a few years back the Ausies created a new tradition of ‘dwarf throwing’, which came in for quite a bit of politically correct criticism – even though the dwarves being thrown had offered to take part in the sport voluntarily. You also get in some places traditions which are less quaint and in reality quite unpleasant – not least in Spain.

Our European partners in Spain have always followed the tradition of bullfighting, which is a particularly cruel sport as the poor bulls that are unfortunate enough to take part are tormented in the most painful of ways before being put to death. It is a slow agonising end. We in Britain have banned cock fighting, badger baiting and even restricted fox hunting which is classed as so typically English, but the Spanish still practice this cruel sport. However, it is being banned in certain parts of the country as pressure mounts to stop this cruelty.

Sadly, however, despite global criticism condemning this cruelty, the Spanish still seem to have a blood lust for the barbaric practices of killing bulls painfully and slowly as well as other customs of tormenting other animals in many of their fiestas, and what makes it even more sickening is the fact that we are paying for this cruelty from our taxes via the European Union.

(This link is not for the faint hearted) Reported today in the Daily Mail is the custom of Toro del la Vega which takes part in certain backwaters in Spain, a bull is driven through the streets and stoned and tortured on its way until, in the end where it is badly weakened and losing blood is finally put to death. The cruelty and pain this poor animal goes through is horrific. This is a tradition that has gone on for centauries in Spain and the EU not only seems to think it is fine and dandy, it is also lavishing £37 million a year of our money to subsidise it.

Thanks to EU (our money) the towns that host these backwards medieval traditions are able to use the millions given in funding to rebuild dilapidated bullrings. To make things even worse, some MEPs are unbelievably campaigning to have bullfighting and other blood fiestas officially recognised as part of Europe’s cultural heritage, such a move would make the towns that take part in these most appallingly cruel acts eligible for European arts and cultural funding.

The reason, it seems Spain is entitled to the figure of £37 million a year is all down to the number of bulls sacrificed to this so-called tradition, around 40,000 which suffer this torment each year. There are countless reasons why Britain should never be part of the European Union, out of all of them this is one reason that stands out. Out of our £46 million a day we give the EU for no advantage whatsoever, we could then at least use some of it to campaign against such cruelty instead of unwillingly and objectionably funding it.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

ADVENTURES WITH HIGHGATE MILD

To break away from the usual tales of relentless news of the EU takeover and occupation of our nation, which this blog mostly covers, there is a little cheer in my neck of the woods, Walsall, with the news that our one and only brewery in the town, Highgate brewery which went into receivership a short time ago, is on the verge of reopening and begin the process of brewing its unique dark mild ale once again.

Highgate mild was always a favourite tipple of mine; it first passed my lips in the now closed Duke of Wellington pub in Walsall, which had the reputation of serving the best Highgate mild in the town. Highgate was a beer that needed the services of an expert cellar-man and many pubs, sadly, were not up to the job of serving a pint of Highgate – which put many off the beer. However, if you went to a pub that knew what it was doing and took a sup of this sweet creamy beer it was just like drinking nectar. From my first swig of Highgate I was hooked.

The only trouble was, as mentioned, was finding a pub in my own locality that could serve it as it was supposed to be served. At one time I used to drink in the Three Crowns pub where we could walk to with the dog. It was a good pub with a friendly landlord and many people we knew went there too – but the Highgate was hit and miss there. One day the brewery announced it was going to spend £500,000 upgrading the pub – and promptly wrecked it – hence the reason it is now closed, so we all moved to the Broadway pub where you could get quite a good pint of Highgate.

I was quite happy in the Broadway, which had not changed too much since it first opened in the early sixties, although the little pool and fountain, which sat in the lounge bar just under the mural of leather making in Walsall, had long since gone. Sadly, that pub too became the victim of the upgrade and I no longer frequent it. One of my eternal claims to fame is in the fact that just days before the pub closed for its so-called ‘refurbishment’, when they were running everything down, I had the privilege of drinking the very last pint of Highgate mild ale ever to be served there.

I have now moved on to watering holes new, but since the Broadway I have seldom had the pleasure of a pint of Highgate, my regular these days, the Lyndon House Hotel, did not serve Highgate and it was back to bitter for me. However, with the return of the beer my adventures with Highgate mild ale, with luck, may return again one day – cheers!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

REMEMBERING JOHN GOURIET

John Gouriet, a great campaigner for freedom.

This blog could not go by without a mention of the very sad loss of one of the anti-EU campaigns most valiant activist, John Gouriet. Over the years since I joined the campaign against the EU occupation of Great Britain, I had the privilege to meet John many times at a number of events and always found him a friendly and approachable man.

Despite the fact he worked so relentlessly and tirelessly for our cause and that of freedom generally, and was so successful in so much of what he did, he was never the sort of man to brag or place himself above others. I am convinced that even though he did so much and achieved far more than many others, he saw himself as one of many in this battle against the EU takeover of our country.

Today seems an apt day to remember him as the Daily Telegraph has honoured him in their obituary page, you can also read what the Freedom Association which he helped to set up, also says about him in their obituary to him. We have all lost one of our most important generals in this fight, he will be hard to replace.

WELL DONE ANNE

Long standing anti-EU anti-EU researcher, campaigner and good friend, Anne Palmer, had success getting a letter in the Daily Telegraph today 14th September 2010.

Her letter, along with that of others on the same subject, was used by the Telegraph in response to the latest meaningless Tory nonsense of having referendums on devolving more powers to the EU. As Anne points out, since the signing of the Lisbon Treaty the EU now has all the power, the only option left to this country if it really does value its freedom liberty and sovereignty is to quit the EU as soon as possible – but Dave Cameron’s pro-EU Tories will not offer that solution so they faff around with this trivia instead.

Read Anne’s letter, as she sent in full, below.
"The Conservatives promised a ‘referendum guarantee’ on all future transfers of power to Brussels. If a future government tries to transfer further competences from Britain to the EU, how can it do so when it has given away the authority of the Royal Prerogative to do so, to the European Union?

Article 47 (Lisbon) gives the EU as a whole "legal personality" so that the EU can ‘speak with one voice’ to ratify any future Treaties and Agreements on behalf of all 27 countries.

Here in the UK, the decision to fight wars or to ratify treaties, our Government by law has to use the Royal Prerogative on behalf of the British Crown.

The power of the Crown is held in trust by the executive and passed on to the next government. In ratifying the Treaty of Lisbon, Article 47 means our Government has handed over the Royal Prerogative to foreigners. Yet the power of the British Crown is the ultimate authority – or sovereignty – behind Parliament, so it is not in the power of the government to give away the Royal Prerogative to anyone – and certainly not to foreigners, it would be treason so to do.

By this action, has our Government, and also the Crown, been made subservient to the EU? Surely a treasonous act in itself? EU Treaties are designed to be permanent, so given that the EU is planning for the next 50 years, the gift of the Royal Prerogative is one which cannot be taken back for it is bound up in the Treaty of Lisbon. Either the Royal Prerogative remains out of any British Government’s reach because it is now in the hands of foreigners and the UK Government has no power to alter, accept, ratify, etc any further Agreement or Treaty or new legislation, plus in the process of giving it to the EU in a Treaty has removed all further power from the British Crown? Without the Royal Prerogative no legislation re Treaties or Agreement can be lawful/legally accepted here in the UK. Perhaps even the Treaty of Lisbon has no effect here in the UK either, for once out of UK government’s hands nothing in that Treaty can take effect? Which under the Common Law Constitution of the United Kingdom is it? I have no doubt many millions of people in this Country would like to know the answer too."

Well done Anne, an excellent point why EU membership is so wrong.

Monday, 13 September 2010

THE EU SUCKS!

Anyone who follows this blog will have noticed that there is not usually much blogging done by me most weekends, if any at all. Weekends, for me are for lots of other things such as doing the things I don’t get the chance to do in the week due to work commitments, going to my favourite watering hole, the Lyndon House Hotel for a beer, looking after elderly parents in the shape of my old mom who has moved back to the Midlands from North Wales, and Fred, my father in law. In fact weekends tend to be so busy with other things having time to blog is a bit of a luxury.

One of my occasional weekend duties is to give my car a clean – usually when I become too ashamed to be seen driving such a filthy car, which is where this posting is meandering to.

Car cleaning includes getting the old vac out and getting rid of layers of dust, dog hairs and other detritus’ that builds up in there over a period of time. With me, a dog and two cats in the house Mrs B need a pretty powerful vacuum cleaner to cope with such things, so news that the EU is now threatening to make a clean sweep with new regulations on vacuum cleaners is bad news – it wants the companies that manufacture vacuum cleaners to reduce the wattage on their products to save energy – can these interfering bumblecrats leave no one alone?

According to an article in the Sunday Telegraph (12th September 2010) the EU’s officials are proposing to restrict the power of the appliances through the use of regulations. Naturally, this potential dust-up with them has got vacuum cleaner manufacturers in a state of panic. They are warning that the ability of their machines to suck up dust and dirt would be seriously restricted, including the removal of the fine particles which give problems to those with allergy and asthma sufferers.

Vacuum cleaners are included with other household appliances the EU has its beady little eyes on, which include energy levels of fridges, TV’s and computers too. All these rules just make life a misery for the appliance manufacturers and consumers alike, they must now realise by now the EU sucks!

Friday, 10 September 2010

WHY PFI?

Last night there was a letter in my local evening newspaper, the Wolverhampton Express & Star, in which the correspondent was bemoaning the use of PFI (private finance initiative) to build a local hospital car park which will cost everyone a fortune to use. So, for the benefit of those uninitiated to the EU’s devious little ways, here is a bit about PFI and why we have it to build our hospitals, schools and other major projects such as the useless M6 Toll.

When the European Union was preparing to launch its own currency, the euro, the German’s were concerned that their strong economy would be seriously undermined by the profligacy of certain Euro Med countries. It therefore demanded that there should be a strict stability and growth pact agreed by all countries in the EU – including us in the UK even though we were fortunate enough not to be involved in the folly of surrendering our currency, as were other EU countries.

This now means our British Governments, of all political hues – including our current two-tone coalition, unquestioningly obey the strict borrowing and spending limits of this pact – although other countries have fudged the rules, hence the problems in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

The only way our Governments can now build hospitals, schools and other major projects is through the private finance initiative (PFI). Rather than borrowing and spending large sums to build and update our infrastructure, which would contravene this EU imposed pact, they give the go ahead to private companies , who then borrow and spend to build these constructions, after which they lease it back to the Government, or in realty us the taxpayers,

As the lease terms annually are within the limits of the spending pact the Government does not contravene the EU’s rules, which they always seem happy to slavishly follow. Sadly, it is us, the ordinary working people, who then end up paying three to four times the value of the project over the length of the lease period. This may keep the EU happy but it costs us a fortune – in addition to the £45 per day we still give to the EU as net contributors to its budget.

Whenever I stand in elections for UKIP, people say to me: “I would like to vote for you but if I do I will be letting the Labour/Conservative’s back in”. The ironic thing is, by voting for these pro-EU political parties they are letting the EU back in and it is costing us far more than we can afford in these harsh economic times.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

TALKING OUT OF THE SMELLY PARTS

There was an item on the BBC West Midlands news programme last night ‘Midlands Today’, (Wednesday 8th Septemer 2010) regarding the serious issue of the collapse of the social housing group, Connaught with the loss of many jobs. A lady representing the Federation of Small Business (FSB) was interviewed about the knock on effects of this collapse as there are many small to medium sized builders seriously out of pocket, with little chance of being paid the money Connought owed them. As someone such as myself, who has struggled to keep a small family business afloat in lean times knows – this is not good.

Nearing the end of this interview the BBC presenter asked the FSB representative what she thought the Government should do to help building companies – her response was they should cut V.A.T. to 5% on all building work. Now the FSB is a pretty savvy organisation, they always used to be very anti-EU, in fact many years ago FSB delegates even voted at one of their conferences in favour of repealing the 1972 European Communities Act, which in effect they were voting for Britain to leave the EU. Sadly, however, last night on the telly, I am very sad to say, when this FSB person asked for V.A.T. to be cut in the building sector to 5% she was speaking out the part of the body normally reserved for toilet paper. The minimum V.A.T. rate the EU will allow is 15% and she and her fellow FSB members can scream as much as they like, but until their past conference vote comes about and we leave the EU no British Government will ever be allowed to cut, or even abolish, V.A.T.

If things are bad in the building trade and they need us to leave the EU to help them survive, then consider the medical profession which is also being seriously undermined by the EU. This ultimately means for those whose health becomes a life or death issue, leaving the EU may have a far greater meaning when we talk about survival.

It seems that since the European Union’s Working Time Directive was imposed upon us, junior doctors are encountering great difficulties undertaking their duties due to the restrictions on their working hours this directive inflicts upon them. They need to work longer hours but no longer have the freedom to do so. This is creating a massive problem for the health service as many junior doctors are quitting in frustration leaving the NHS short staffed and with lengthening waiting times for patients. To solve the problem, step forward our Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley.

Mr Lansley, it seems, has intervened in this matter after the British Medical Association warned that due to this unwarranted EU interference junior doctors were spending more time on paperwork than doing essential training, they are so frustrated with their working condition one out of every four is dropping out of NHS training in the first two years.

Andrew Lansley MP was confronted in our once sovereign Parliament by a fellow Tory MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston, who is a former GP. She complained that the EU directive had caused patient care to suffer. In his reply Lansley stated: “I’m very clear that together with Vince Cable [the Business Secretary], we need to take the European Working Time Directive back to the EU.”

Just like the lady from the FSB, our EU obedient Health Secretary is talking out of his smelly parts. Oh yes, he can take it back to the EU who in turn will tell him not to be silly and sod off and do as it instructs. Maybe it really is time to take a serious look at repealing the 1972 European Communities Act.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

EU REBATE BATTLE, SEND IN THE TOY SOLDIERS

Hands up all those who were reassured when our Chancellor, George Osborne, warned the EU to keep its sticky little interfering mits off our rebate. I don’t think you can be raising your hands high enough, I can’t see any. Sadly, when it comes to protecting British interests against the onslaught of the EU blitzkrieg which is constantly on the attack, our Sooty and Sweep leaders and two-tone Government does not inspire confidence.

Reported in the Daily Mail (Wednesday 8th September 2010), “In a strongly-worded statement in Brussels, the Chancellor dismissed calls for Britain to give up the rebate, which was famously secured by Margaret Thatcher.
“Mr Osborne hinted that he would use the veto to block any attempt to claw back the rebate, saying that those pressing for the move were 'wasting their time'.”

Interesting statements these, Osborne may have use a strongly worded statement but how many of those have we had in the past from a whole collection of politicians, only to find their words were little more than waffle and hot air? Then there was the comment on using the veto – have we still got any veto’s left, and if we had when was the last time in living memory did any British Government resort to using it? As I say, none of this inspires confidence and the EU, like a ferret down a hole after rabbit, is hell bent on finishing off the job Tony Blair started when he sacrificed a large chunk of our veto for nothing other than the few shiny EU trinkets of vague and worthless promises on the CAP.

Our once sizeable rebate has been whittled down from £5billion last year to what is being forecast to be worth £3.25billion this. No doubt those bright sparks in the pro-EU movement will put this down as yet another wonderful ‘benefit’ of being in the EU – everyone loves a cash cow!

In the coming months there is going to be a concerted battle against our rebate and the EU will be taking no prisoners. Sadly, we have little hope of defending our rebate, or anything else the EU wants, with our useless coalition Government on our side it is like sending toy soldiers into battle.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

WE KNOW THE STATE OF THE UNION

Henry Kissinger once said: “Who do I call when I want to call Europe?” This was an ignorant and arrogant statement from a man who obviously had little care for the sovereignty or independence of Europe’s nations – he considered himself far too important to respect such things and saw Europe as a single entity.

To keep Mr Kissinger happy, and no doubt a few American Presidents too, the various leaders of the nations of Europe, against the wishes of their peoples, have been industriously working away to destroy themselves and their treasonous task is nearing its long journey towards conclusion. However, there is still a snag; if dear old Henry wanted to ‘speak to Europe’ today he would still have to ask a similar question. He would not ask which country, but which person.

As the nations have prostrated themselves on the altar of European integration the power has shifted not to one person, but to several, none of which is elected of course as considering the people in Europe is far too inconvenient – they may get it wrong as they have done in so many referendums. So in traditional and good old EU style a truly bureaucratic cock-up has been created and instead of one telephone call, there is four.

Just imagine Mr Kissinger having a sudden bright idea which means he wants to instruct Europe what to do to comply, would he call dear old Manuel Barroso, the EU Commission President? Or what about Mr Van Rompuy, the damp rag from Brussels who few realise is the EU President? Then of course there is the Belgian President who currently holds the rotating EU Presidency until the end of the year. Or would Mr Kissinger want to wave his CND credentials and give Baroness Ashton a call as she is the EU High Representative? Oh what a pickle.

So Step forward Manuel, let them all know how it is in the EU in a state of the Union speech, just like the American Presidents do – I’m sure he would like to be number one on Mr Kissinger’s telephone list. To make sure he is he has decided that we will all be absolutely thrilled for him to spend our money to help him promote himself. He is to have a photographer and television producer available to him 24 hours a day, this is on top of the four speechwriters and web designers that will be at his beck and call too – and you and me are paying for it.

For once there was disquiet in the obedient ranks of the MEPs, who normally like to check into the Parliament, take their daily attendance allowance then scoot off to the local bars and restaurants. They were told that if they did not attend Mr Barroso’s state of the Union speech they would be fined, and if anything can stir the average MEP up it is to threaten their gravy train.

We all know the state of the European Union, it is dire, it is undemocratic, it is bureaucratic and, to put it in not too polite terms – it is crap. So who is going to tell Mr Barroso that!

Monday, 6 September 2010

A GREAT CONFERENCE

Jeffrey Titford, recalled as the UKIP interim leader.
As a enthusiastic amateur photographer the two days of the UKIP conference, which took place on Friday and Saturday in Torquay, was a chance to go berserk shoving the lens of my camera here there and everywhere. Since going digital there are no constraints on how many photos I take, unlike the days when I used to have to nurse three or four rolls of film. The result of my efforts was 513 photos which took an eternity to download when I got back home on Saturday night and all the rest of the weekend to grade and catalogue. Hence no blogging.

The UKIP conference, which was a tremendous two days, was full of great speeches and a few surprises, not least with the announcement that Jeffrey Titford, who became the party leader in 2000 and stabilised the party after a period of turmoil, is to be the interim leader until a replacement to Lord Pearson is elected. In my opinion a better choice could not have been made, I have always had a great liking for Jeffrey from the days when I first met him when we both campaigned for the Referendum Party.

Another shock was the news that Paul Nuttall, the well liked and respected UKIP Chairman, was to step down, which is a great shame as Paul did a difficult job with great skill. Nigel Farage also announced that he had been debating with himself regarding standing for the leadership again, and announced that after a hearty English breakfast that he was going to throw his hat in to ring too for the leadership, despite the fact he is still suffering the after effects of the plane crash that could have so easily killed him on polling day this year.

This now means that there are already a number of people vying for the leadership who have also declared. As well as Nigel, Gerard Batten is going to stand again and could well give Nigel a run for his money – he was the second placed candidate in the 2009 leadership elections. So too could David Campbell-Bannerman who is highly respected within the party and much admired for his work with the UKIP policy teams in the run up to the general election. It was thanks to him that UKIP had the best manifesto it has ever had and the best policies in the general election – it was just a shame the media chose to ignore the contents of the UKIP manifesto unless they were attacking Lord Pearson for his lack of knowledge about it.

No doubt there will be others in the race for the leadership, and Tim Congdon, who has also announced his leadership candidacy, and is a well known and highly respected economist, could garner quite a bit of support too as he is seen to have the gravitas the party needs. Only time will tell who is the have the job and for my fellow UKIP members to decide – it is going to be a hard choice.

One of the most riveting moments of the conference was the talk, and presentations given on the horrors of the European Arrest Warrant, by Gerard Batten and Lord Datmouth. So many British people have become victims of the EAW, not all are known about by UKIP as not all come to light, but the overriding factor in all of them is the lack of any substantial or reliable evidence. Other EU countries have carte blanche to accuse any British subject on the most circumstantial evidence and neither our Parliament or courts can do anything to prevent this vile miscarriage of EU justice. Gerard pointed out that even in the days before the House of Lords relinquished its position of the highest court in the land to the ‘Supreme Court’, the Lords did not want to know about the injustice being done to Andrew Symeou, which has been covered on this blog in the past. By allowing the EAW and not standing up to it the British people have been abandoned to our grim EU fate by the very people whose duty it is to protect us from foreign subjugation. There were cries of shame from the conference as Gerard repeated this sorry tale.

The most heart rendering and horrific tale of all was that of Jason McGoldrick who was arrested on some very flaky evidence and transported from what he thought to be the safety of Great Britain to a Hungarian prison. To put it mildly, Hungarian prisons are not somewhere you want to be, there is no EU Human Rights there as the conditions the prisoners are forced to live in, including Mr McGoldrick's time there, are sub-human. People in this country would be prosecuted for cruelty if they kept animals in the same conditions. Food there was pork fat, and that was it unless your family could get supplies in to you, some prisoners starved in there.

It was thanks to the efforts of Lord Dartmouth that he was finally released and returned to this country. Only UKIP was prepared to help him and do anything for him, as in nearly all these cases of EU injustice. As pointed out, the British people have really been abandoned.

There were many excellent speakers throughout the conference, not least Lord Stoddart, the independent Life Peer who enthralled the UKIP delegates, and naturally Nigel Farage wowed his audience, as he always does.

However, not all the conference was of gruelling tales of the European Union or as depressing as listening to speakers relate the many sad tales of the EAW, there was still fun to be had and old friends to socialise with too. This was thanks to the UKIP dinner on the Friday night which was a great event and a great credit to Steve Crowther, the conference organiser and his team, who organised the conference. On the night there was a fund raising auction, a comedian and a band so the conference delegates could dance the night away, especially Andrew Fear from the UKIP head office who could be taken for a very energetic Fred Astaire on the dance floor – he didn’t even look tired the following day – but that’s UKIP stamina for you. A great conference was had by all.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

WHERE OUR ROAD TOLLS COME FROM

If you are travelling north to south, or vice versa, or possibly east to west and back again, then it is inevitable at some point in your travels you are going to come across the unhidden gem that is the Midlands, which sprawls across the centre of England. This is the part of the world where this blogger hails from.

One other thing you will come across too, other than bloggers from Walsall, will be our motorway system. Venice has its canals, Chicago is renown for its massive railway network and the Midlands has its motorways. We have that fiendish bit of motorway, otherwise known as ‘Spaghetti Junction’ which scares the hell out of the uninitiated traveller to the Midlands. The Midlands is also the point where the M6, M5, M42, M54, M40 and M6 Toll all collide in a tangled mass of motoring confusion. The M25 may be famous for its snarl ups, but the true art of motorway traffic jam making was created in the Midlands.

Amongst this weave of motorways lurks, as mentioned above, the M6 Toll, which is the quietest bit of motorway you will come across in the whole of the UK. The reason the M6 Toll is so quiet is because motorists strongly object to being screwed for using roads that they have already paid for via their Road Fund Licence Fee, exorbitant taxes on their fuel, which also has V.A.T. piled on to it creating a tax on a tax, and all the other expensive Government and council rip-offs such as congestion charging, parking fees and fines. Like me they would rather use a heavily congested motorway than pay anything from £5 to £10 (depending on your vehicle) to use the M6 Toll which was originally designed to ease the congestion on the M6.

Because so few motorists want to pay again to use their already paid for roads, they avoid the M6 Toll like the plague. This is the reason why it has become a loss making project and a ‘White elephant’ as described by the Campaign for Better Transport, who have just released a report on the M6 Toll. Also covered in the Walsall blog, the Yam Yam.

So, if as all seem to agree, toll roads such as this are a total waste of time and little used, why bother to build them in the first place and why is our two-tone Con-Dem Government still prattling on about road pricing? It is almost as if we are going back to the days of the toll house (Toll house photo by David Neale used under the Creative Commons licence) when travellers and carters had to stop and pay their tolls to use a muddy track, this is most definitely a retrograde step as we had thought we had moved on from those distant times.

As with any puppet government, our Sooty and Sweep leaders are being operated by the EU which has its hands firmly up their backsides and making all the movements. All is revealed as to where the idea for our road tolls come from in the document from the Europa, Summaries of EU legislation below, which was kindly sent to me by Anne Palmer. Read on:….

SUMMARY
Background

Electronic Fee Collection (EFC) systems offer the possibility of charging road vehicles in a more flexible way and allow infrastructure charging policies to be implemented. It is vital for such systems to be interoperable across national borders to avoid creating new obstacles to traffic flow in Europe. Interoperability should therefore enable users to travel throughout the Union without charging procedures changing from one country to another and without having to install extra equipment to access other charging zones. This does not mean there would be one single supplier but that there should be sufficient technical compatibility between different systems so that paying charges on different stretches of road in the Union would be a seamless operation. Interoperability is, therefore, an important factor from the viewpoint of the single market, transport policy and the development of the information society.

This Communication examines the obstacles to interoperable electronic fee collection systems and puts forward certain recommendations for arriving at an appropriate level of interoperability on a European scale.

Issues to be resolved:
The first major issue studied is technical interoperability. Existing motorway EFC systems make use of Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) between fixed roadside equipment and vehicles. Another type of system is based on satellite location (Global Navigation Satellite System) (GNSS) and mobile telephone technology (GSM).

The first step towards interoperability should be the definition of a common minimum level of functionality to enable authorised subscribers to pay fees using the same method of payment and the same equipment anywhere on the network of operators belonging to the system.

The second major issue is contractual interoperability. The existence of interoperable equipment needs to be accompanied by contractual agreements between infrastructure operators. The same concept of a common minimum level of functionality should therefore be applied. In this context, the approach recommended in the Communication suggests that EU projects need to involve closer cooperation with operators on the definition of a minimum common functionality taking into account, as a first priority, cross border traffic of heavy goods vehicles and long distance coaches. The definition of a minimum common functionality should form the basis for a draft agreement between operators wishing to achieve interoperability. European and national standardisation bodies should, for their part, finalise work on the standardisation of the DSRC link and other systems such as those that use satellite location and cellular telephone communication.

A very important issue is the treatment of "non-equipped users", that is, drivers who have no equipment and those who have equipment which is not compatible with the system in the motorway concession area in which they are traveling. With regard to this, the Communication recalls that within the framework of Community legislation, each country should be free to implement its own choice of options for the treatment of non-equipped users, according to its particular national characteristics, in particular those of the road network and traffic.

As for the issue of classification, a common set of vehicle characteristics needs to be agreed which can be used for classification, as electronic fee collection systems need to recognise vehicle categories in order to apply the tariff for the use of the tolled road.

As a consequence, a common set of declared parameters needs to be defined during negotiations between operators. As for the issues linked to the enforcement of tolling, the Commission will study the establishment of a general framework at EU level for the prosecution of EFC violations across national borders, to be used either as a basis for or to complement bilateral agreements. National authorities, for their part, need to be encouraged to establish effective links between toll enforcing administrations or operators and national registration databases to facilitate cross-border enforcement.

The protection of personal data and system security may be another major obstacle to achieving interoperability between systems. According to the approach chosen by the Commission, the presumption should be that general rules on information security and numerical data protection must be applied and will be sufficient unless there is a convincing case otherwise. National authorities and operators must, however, be encouraged to examine whether any additional measures are necessary.

Given the present differences in existing technologies in the different Member States, a strategy for convergence comprising several stages must be envisaged prior to interoperability. These successive stages will allow interoperability to be guaranteed for a growing number of functions and the above-mentioned issues to be progressively overcome.

Actions to be carried out:
In this context, this Communication defines the main actions of the first phase (1998 to 2000) that the Commission will carry out with Member States, local and regional authorities, operators and standardisation bodies. These actions can be summarised as follows:
* to define and agree a common minimum level of functionality for equipment at European level;
* to enable these functions to be performed, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) should complete its work on electronic fee collection and define, validate and adopt those standards that are still necessary in the area of short range radio communications (DSRC) and any other necessary areas;
* the Commission will help the interested parties to complete work on contractual interoperability;
* the Commission will explore the necessary means for facilitating cross-border enforcement while guaranteeing the protection of personal data and privacy;
* the Commission will also cooperate on the introduction of urban tolls, so as to ensure compatibility between this and inter-urban systems.

The Commission will draw up proposals based on this approach and will put forward proposals for actions for subsequent phases on the basis of the results obtained in the first phase.

RELATED ACTS:
Communication from the Commission: Developing the trans-European transport network: Innovative funding solutions, Interoperability of electronic toll collection systems [COM(2003) 132 final - Not published in the Official Journal]. Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the widespread introduction and interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community [COM(2003) 132 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

This proposal was announced in the White Paper on transport policy. Its purpose is to create a European electronic toll service so as to ensure the interoperability of toll systems in the internal market and help with the formulation of infrastructure charging policies at the European level. The service is based on the principle of "one contract per customer, one box per vehicle" and will serve to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and limit cash transactions at toll stations.
Co-decision procedure (COD/2003/81)

On 23 April 2003 the proposal was adopted by the Commission.
On 25 April 2003 the proposal was sent to Parliament and the Council. See HERE.
Lots on too on HERE.

DIRECTIVE 2004/52/CE on Interoperability of Electronic
Fee Collection Systems in Europe HERE.

House of Commons Transport Committee HERE. Also HERE.

The potential of Road pricing -IMPORTANT TO READ

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