Tuesday, 31 May 2011

TIPPING THE SCALES

John Gardner, the Director of the BWMA


How long does it take for the penny to drop? That question should be asked after Asda announced that it is to return to selling strawberries in traditional 1lb punnets after consumer research has shown that 70 per cent of Asda’s shoppers were confused by metric and much preferred traditional imperial weights and measures. It hardly needed research to inform Asda, or any other retail outlet of this, metric has failed to be accepted by the British despite the BBC doing everything possible to promote metric only in all its news bulletins and programmes.

Last night I watched the programme about ancient Egypt on the BBC, all distances and sizes were given in metric, which for many viewers, including this one, was about as good as speaking in a foreign language as none of these sizes had any relevance, other than when they mentioned how many cubits a pyramid was, which was easy to relate to as a cubit is the length of a mans arm from his elbow to his thumb, which is the logical and easily understood basis of imperial measures whereas Metric was based on some unreliable scientific theories.

It seems that a substantial number of shopper said it took longer to do their shopping due to the additional time spent trying to convert the continental weights and measure into imperial which they could relate to.

John Gardner, who is the very active Director of the British Weights and Measures Association (BWMA), said that consumers had the right to see both types of measures on their groceries. The law as it stands, to comply with EU regulations which override all British laws until the inevitable time Britain leaves the EU, means that metric has to be display most prominently but imperial can also be shown as an alternative indicator.

Many small traders fell foul of the law when they displayed their goods in imperial only, or gave their customers exactly what they wanted which was to weigh and provide in imperial. If a customer orders in pounds and ounces, they are supposed to weigh and provide in metric to the closest proximity of the imperial weight requested, which is absolute madness – if someone asks for a pound of bananas, why can’t they be given exactly what they wanted. It was due to this exact requests that the late Steve Thoburn, who became one of the leading metric martyrs, was prosecuted which means it is illegal to give your customers what they wanted but not to totally confuse them with a system of foreign weights and measures that have little relevance to most British shoppers.

What is needed now is for the leading supermarkets to give motorists the chance to purchase their petrol and diesel in gallons too, most drivers have little concept of how much fuel they have purchased other than by value. They may know the cost it takes to fill their cars from empty, but not by how much fuel they have purchased, which is how the chancellor with his extravagant fuel taxes and the large fuel suppliers have got away with inflating fuel prices which cost more in the UK than other parts of the world. If motorists had the option of choosing at the pumps, by the press of a button, which measure they wanted, imperial or metric, the vast majority would choose gallons over litres.

It would be good if Asda and all the other leading supermarkets really put a challenge on this issue and sold only in imperial. The weight of the big traders behind this campaign could really tip the scales.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

PAYING THE PRICE

Slightly younger, Derek Bennett and brother Bruce, a typical couple of lads.


At the time I didn’t know Wally Davies from next door was watching. I was about 14 and living in my parents’ home in Walsall. It was a bitterly cold day in the middle of winter, snow lay all around and I had just made up the open fire to keep warm and had to go outside to put the coal shovel back in the coal bunker, which was a around twelve feet from the back door situated next to the dining room bay window. Being lazy and not wanting to put shoes on to do this simple chore, I leant out of the door and thought if I gave the shovel a gentle lob into the air it would nicely drop into the narrow open top of the bunker – that was the plan anyway.

With the shovel in my left hand I swung it and launched it into its intended projectory towards the bunker, but to my horror I had given too much swing and the bloody thing flew past the bunker, and with an almighty crash, it smashed through the bay window finishing up back in the house. That was the moment I realised Wally had been watching and with a roar of laughter he warned: “You are going to cop it when your mom and dad get home”.

How many kids throughout history have broken glass by accident doing some daft unintended thing such as kicking or batting a ball too hard or in the wrong direction? The answer must be countless numbers, probably every kid that has lived since glass was first invented. Does that make them all criminals? To anyone with a few ounces of grey matter just behind their eyes and between their lugholes would say ‘no, of course not’, they most probably had done the same thing. However, the thicko’s in Thames Valley Police decided, when young Tom Clarke accidently kicked his ball into a greenhouse, smashing a pane of glass, they would treat the case like something out of a Die Hard film and sent a helicopter to the scene and generally overreacting. They have also treated the accident as a criminal case landing young Tom with a record that will stay with him for all time.

Around the same period this insanity was taking place, a real hardened young migrant criminal, who has done a number of robberies and muggings, and has been locked up six times, has been protected by a gagging order in case being branded a thief would be harmful to him. It is no wonder this once proud nation of ours is going to hell in a handcart when those in authority use such strange twisted logic and have such perverse priorities. One young man involved in a simple accident is named, shamed and branded a criminal, while real young criminal is protected by the might of the law and his name kept secret.

The whole gagging order business has turned into a mess, the footballer, Ryan Giggs, was protected by a super gagging order which prevented the press releasing news that he had been unfaithful to his wife and getting his leg over away from home, yet due to the internet everyone knew who he was but could not name him – even though the secret was blown.

These things, such as grossly overpaid people who make large sums of money for kicking a ball around for a bit a couple of times a week, who are then protected by the law when they get up to a bit of illicit hanky panky, have created quite a stir in recent weeks. The whole thing seems to have created a total confusion in the press and media, who report that this is all down to the Human Rights Act which was put into law by the Labour Government, and that there is now conflict between judges and Parliament, but little or nothing has been reported where the whole problem started from – which of course, and as usual, is the European Union.

The Court of Human Rights, as pointed out on this blog before, is separate to the EU, but the EU has enshrined it into the Lisbon Treaty, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown sneaked off and signed, and Dave failed to give his ‘cast iron’ promise of a referendum on it. This now means the human rights laws and rulings of the court are part of our lives and laws. British judges, in most cases, give EU laws and rulings precedence over British laws, especially if laws made in our Westminster Parliament are in conflict with EU laws. This whole fiasco is tied up in such a knotted tangle, due to this we now have the situation where our Members of Parliament feel the courts are overriding them and trying to gag Parliament. It was because of this the Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, John Hemmings, used his Parliamentary privilege to name Ryan Giggs, hence me being allowed to give his name on this blog without fear of being thrown into a police dungeon and having the key thrown away.

The lunatic part of this is the fact our MPs, who since voting through the European Communities Act in 1972, have been quite happily shedding and abandoning British and Parliamentary sovereignty like nudists shedding their clothes on Brighton beach, are now suddenly becoming indigent because the power of Parliament to govern is rapidly vanishing and the power of the courts and the legal profession, thanks to EU rulings, is growing and becoming more important than them. It is all very well for them to start jumping up and down now getting all indignant, but the situation our MPs now find themselves in is wholly down to them and their predecessors. They have kicked the sovereignty ball through the window and now they are paying the price of the smashed glass.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

WELCOME HOME

David Campbell-Bannerman, defected from UKIP to the Tory Party.
It is strange to see a photograph you have taken (see above) plastered all over the internet, including the BBC News, as I have experienced this morning with reports coming in that David Campbell-Bannerman MEP has defected from UKIP to the Conservative Party.


It’s nice to know that as a very keen amateur photographer, taught by me dear old dad, my photographic work is of a good enough standard to be used by the mainstream media, but not good to know the reason why – the, loss of DCB, as he was always known in UKIP, is a blow to the party and a feather in the cap of the Conservative Party, especially after DCB’s comments in support of David Cameron.

It is reported that DCB said in his statement announcing his defection: “I have been increasingly impressed by the leadership shown by David Cameron in dealing with this country's problems. In particular, the Government's determination to clean up the economic mess left by Labour.


"Similarly in Europe, I have been pleased with the robust stance taken by David Cameron and Conservative MEPs over the EU budget negotiations and I believe that it is Conservative MEPs who are working hard to defend Britain's interests. In contrast, as a member of UKIP I witnessed too many colleagues obsess with single issue politics, internal fighting, and shouting from the sidelines. This behaviour does nothing to serve the best interests of the British people.


"With the recent failings in domestic elections, the ditching of policies and the lack of any credible plan, UKIP has confirmed it is not a serious, credible, fully fledged political party but merely a pressure group. I have been a proud member of the Conservative Party in the past and I am proud to come home to the Conservatives today. Once again, the Conservative Party is proving, as it has so many times before, that it is the only party that can be trusted to sort out Britain's economy and stand up for Britain in Europe.

"I stood for the European Parliament because I wanted to work for the best interests of the United Kingdom and my constituents in the Eastern region. I now feel that I can best serve them and their interests as a Conservative member of the European Parliament. Of course, I have not always seen eye to eye with the Conservative Party on every issue. I continue to believe personally that Britain should leave the EU but I also believe that while we are members we should fight our corner to secure the best deal possible."

DCB shot his bolt with UKIP when he not only challenged Nigel Farage for the party leadership, but also when he got the BBC Question Time programme to drop Nigel as a guest due to him being a candidate for the UKIP leadership at the time. Nigel is not a forgiving leader and DCB’s days as a leading figure in UKIP were numbered.


His going is a loss and a blow to all of us who have given many years to UKIP and will continue to campaign for it. It was the work of DCB and the UKIP policy committees, which he oversaw, which meant UKIP not only shook off the ridiculous allegations it was only a single issue party, but saw UKIP go into the 2010 general election with not only the best manifesto and set of policies it had ever had in its history, but a set of policies that far outshone those of all the other political parties and were far more substantial too.

Added to that, another sad loss has come in the shape of the resignation, for personal reasons, of Jill Seymour from the UKIP National Executive Committee (NEC). She was always a very active and hard working member who did a great deal to not only promote UKIP, but also ensure it raised much needed funding.

UKIP is poorer for the loss of DCB and of Jill Seymoure, although she is not leaving UKIP but just standing down from the NEC. Were I the leader of UKIP (a position I do not aspire to or would be able to cope, with I add) I would be doing my damndest to get DCB back, Jill to return to active service and also putting out the hand of friendship and reconciliation to many others who, for one reason or another, are no longer with us or active any more.

I fear DCB has made a huge error, he may be the golden boy and the prodigal son in the Tory ranks at the moment, but that party is far from trustworthy, it is devious, deceitful and is well deserved of its “nasty” title. When the gloss has worn off DCB’s shine and when he finds the truth that it is a pro-EU party, despite the rhetoric, he will need to watch his back – they are liable to drop him as quickly as they picked him up. I for one would welcome him home to UKIP.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

RECOVERING FROM ANOTHER HOLIDAY

Derek Bennett, holiday hard labour!
There hasn't been any blogging on this site due this blogger being on holiday - if that is what it can be called. Most holidays in the Bennett household seldom consist of packing suitcases and jetting off to some sun kissed foreign climes, or lazing on golden sandy beaches being served exotic drinks by attentive hotel waiters, but instead usually consist of me digging holes in the garden then filling them in with concrete for one reason or other - hence the lack of postings as this typical holiday in Costa Del Walsall has left me knackered!

The hole digging this time was to prepare a base for the garden shed Mrs B has been asking for over the last ten years or so, added to that there was also the task of stripping four layers of wallpaper off the bedroom ceiling, which became a major task in itself. The only luxury to be had during my so-called break was a pint or two in the good old Lyndon House Hotel, my favorite watering hole.

So, while I have been doing other things, the EU and its vanity currency continued on its not so merry way towards oblivion, the Greeks have returned with their begging bowl and the Spanish population are beginning to get uppity with the drastic spending cuts and job losses that are the inevitable outcome of joining the euro. Maybe I should take more holidays like this in the hope the EU will have become such a disaster it will collapse up its own currency black hole. Tomorrow it's back to work for a rest - and to continue the campaign to free our country from the grip of the EU.

Monday, 16 May 2011

ARROGANCE

Many politicians over the years gained a reputation for being a bit on the randy side - not least Lloyd George, the old Liberal leader. Fondness for a bit of hanky panky dropped Profumu in it during the fifties when he was found to be cavorting with ladies of dubious charms, who had also been, lets say quite friendly, with some high ranking Russian spies around the same time. A bit of slap and tickle nearly finished the Bill Clinton’s term in office - so you could say Dominique Strauss-Kahn is only following a political tradition which had landed him in the mire in Nw York.

The difference, it would seem with his case and the goings on of those named above, is that the ladies these past politicians were caught with their trousers down were quite willing participants in the frolics, whereas the hotel chamber maid Strauss-Kahn tried to have his wicked way with was not happy about being another of his conquests, although at this stage we can’t presume his guilt.

What he does seem to be guilty of is arrogance. He is obviously a powerful and wealthy man and because of this, like so many who are powerful and influential, they seem to think they can have and demand what they want and all the rest of us on this planet are there to serve them - a general attitude which is becoming the norm these days.

Since becoming involved in politics I have had the privilege of meeting some of the old style politicians, people such as Lord Shaw (Peter Shaw) before his death, and Tony Benn who will give his time to anyone. There are few left of that ilk, Richard Shepherd remains in Parliament, Christopher Gill, another ex Tory Euro-rebel, who is now active in UKIP, are always true gentlemen - by the new breed are different.

I have met some of the new, much younger political types, and their arrogance shows. To them the electorate are a nuisance and inconvenience, the last thing they want to do is answer to the people, even though it is their duty to represent those who voted them into office.

It is because of this arrogance we find ourselves up to our eyes in the EU mire, its is why the people across the continent are stuck with a vanity currency that is failing badly, why we have the Lisbon Treaty inflicted upon us which has granted vast powers to the EU, and why despite the falling number of voters no politician wants to do what is right and put this county first. Arrogance will also be their downfall.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

FIRST WATCH THIS

For those that still deny the EU has plans to become on single nation, then watch this video and then the one in the posting below with Nigel Farage's remarks - all chilling stuff.

NOW WATCH THIS

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

IT'S ALL THE FAULT OF UKIP

It’s hard to believe that once upon a time, long ago in my distant past, I placed all my faith in the Conservative Party and voted for it, come what may, in all elections without question. It’s hard to believe I could have been so stupid and so badly taken in.

The problem is, the Tories always say one thing, when meaning another. So when they say they are ‘Eurosceptic - honest - you can trust me I'm a Tory’, what they really mean is they are pro EU and the last thing you should ever do is trust them.

They employ this strange logic which in their arrogance they actually think that their opinions are akin to those of us un UKIP, and when we UKIP members stand against them in elections they feign shock and horror: “Why are you standing against us, you are going to let Labour in” they bleat - oh didums!

We had a dose of this last week at the Council election count on Friday 6th May in Walsall. A Conservative member I have known for a long time, and like, said to me not long after I arrived at the count venue: “You may cost us the Rushall Shelfield Ward - why are you standing there?” I had to be blunt and reminded him we are different parties, he belongs to a pro-EU party and I an anti-EU party, we in UKIP exist because of the betrayal of the Conservative Party - a point he had to accept.

Later in the morning, as events unfolded and the Tory losses came in, one of our supporters was criticised by a leading Tory Councillor for costing them a ward, he was really angry and blamed it all on us. A short time after another of our UKIP candidates was criticised by another Tory Councillor for the fall of another Tory held ward.

This is the strange logic of the Tory Party. They are the ones who took us into the Common Market and sold us out on a pack of lies, they signed the Maastricht Treaty and the Single European Act and they are the ones keeping us in the EU and refuse us the referendum they promised - yet blame UKIP for their woes! These people are seriously bonkers - how anyone in their right mind can vote for them is beyond me.

They never attack their Labour of Liberal Democrat opponents for costing them wards they once held or for losing elections, yet they do their UKIP opponents. They never ask why the electorate have placed their votes elsewhere, nor do they question the fact their precious party is stuffed full of rabid pro-EU nutters who loathe their own country, from Cameron down - in their strange logic when they lose elections it is all the fault of UKIP and their own stupidity has nothing to do with it.

Monday, 9 May 2011

NOTHING TO FIGHT FOR

Derek & Tom the cat chilling out after another election failure.
After every election campaign, when the pounding of streets delivering leaflets, the talking to people in their doorsteps and and all the other palaver that goes with election campaigning, there comes an urrrghh moment when everything goes limp. It is only now, late on Sunday 8th May, I feel like blogging about yet another failed attempt.

After all the work, tension and hopes that the electorate will give you a sizeable vote, which then does not materialise - all there is left to do is just let everything hang loose, chill out and wonder if it really was worth it - it happens every time and it has happened to me after every election I have stood in since 1997.

On Thursday 5th May the voters in the Paddock Ward in Walsall, where I stood for election - yet again, made their decision and it was not me. True to form they did not bother to look at what they were voting form, or for who, but what’s the colour of the rosette the candidate is wearing - they chose the blue rosette because that’s the one they always choose. In other wards it may have been a red rosette or possible even a yellow one - why? Because they always do.

As Dick Tuck once said after losing the 1966 California State Senate election: “The people have spoken, the bastards”, there is a sense of rage that they could be so silly as to keep voting for the same three political parties that have got them and our nation into such a mess - the only good thing they did on Thursday was to give the Euro fanatical Lib Dems a good kicking then like silly sods gave their votes to Labour. Struggle to understand the electorate and wonder if all the effort many of us who work and campaign to save our country from EU dominance, which is a position granted it thanks to the willingness of the Lib, Lab, Con for it to become our master, is actually worth it. Then its a case pick myself up after every election, dust myself down an start all over again as the fault is really all mine - I could not explained the truth the horror of the EU, the utter betrayal of the other political parties well enough to the voters - they just don’t seem to understand, why are they not listening or seeing what lies in front.

Next year there will be more elections and no doubt I will be back again - hoping that this time the electorate will be savvy enough to know they are wasting their votes if the vote Labour, Tory or Liberal Democrat, then also no doubt after it is all over I will be feeling shattered and exhausted, just as I do now and wondering why no one wants to hear the truth and vote to save their country from a complete EU take-over, which is now well advanced. By the time they realise it will be too late and there will be no point in me standing in elections - there will be no United Kingdom to save and nothing to fight for.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

I'VE VOTED, HOW ABOUT YOU?

Derek Bennett and an optimistic headline in the Torygraph.

Any time before six in the morning was always referred to by a friend of mine as “silly o’clock”. This morning, election day, I was up and about before silly o’clock and after feeding the cats, sprinkling some flake to feed the fish and about a million tadpoles in the pond as well as putting the day’s supply of bird food out for the mob of local pigeons, and a quick slurp of coffee, it was off with my UKIP pal and fellow candidate Steve to do a final ‘good morning’ leaflet drop.

In all elections I like to get out a leaflet before the polls open to remind people why they should vote UKIP today. This time I have taken a serious swipe at the local Tory run Council and their destructive car parking policies which is doing a lot of harm to businesses in and round Walsall town centre.

By the time we had finished delivering all 400 homespun leaflets, knocked up the night before on my photocopier which I keep in the front bedroom, much to the delight of Mrs B, it was around 9 am and the polling stations in the Paddock Ward were already busy.

Now it is a case of wait and see, the polls close at ten tonight and we will have to wait for the count tomorrow, but if people really do want to shake things up and bring about real change they have to stop voting for the tired old, clapped out, three main political parties and start voting UKIP. If they don’t all they will get is much the same. I have already voted this morning, for my pal Steve Grey in the Pheasey Park Farm and Orchard Hills Ward, how about you?

WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES

This blog posting is not for the finacially squeemish, if you hate seeing vast sums of money being wasted then look away now.

Writing the the Daily Telegraph, Bruno Waterfield reports how the EU spends some of the £48 million a day we squander on EU membership. Lifting it straight from his article it reads:

"Brussels has demanded that British taxpayers stump up more than £600million in extra contributions to the European Union next year to meet a proposed £5.5billion increase. Here is a breakdown of the EU's spending.

£94 billion: The nine tenths of the EU's budget in 2009 that was “materially affected” by irregularities, projects that included the spending of more than £350,000 “improving the lifestyle and living standard of dogs” in Hungary.

£2billion: The annual cost of paying pensions to Eurocrats by 2040, British taxpayers will end up paying £350million of the total.

£136million: The amount British taxpayers paid for EU pensions in 2010, giving the average retired Eurocrat an income of almost £60,000.

1,023: The number of unelected EU civil servants who pocket bigger salaries than David Cameron's annual income of £142,500.

£328,000: The annual pay and perks package for Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign minister and highest paid female politician in the world

2,558: The number of senior EU officials, earning £185,000 a year, who were entitled to three months time off work on full pay last year.

£67million: The amount that the European Parliament’s 736 MEPs can collectively claim this year in “daily subsistence” and “general expenditure” expenses without having to provide any receipts or proof of expenditure.

£150million: The annual cost of moving the entire EU parliament hundreds of miles from Brussels to Strasbourg for a plenary sitting once a month as a symbol of Franco-German reconciliation.

£90million: The European House of History, to be built by 2014 by MEPs, despite a continuing argument over fundamental historical event, such as what happened during the Second World War.

£8million: The annual cost of EuroparlTV, a television channel, which highlights the work of MEPs, and has only 830 daily viewers, less than 10 per cent of the 9,000 people working in the parliament every day.

£410,000: Cash to train teenagers in Burkina Faso and Mali, two of the world's poorest countries, in “therapeutic dancing” because Africans find that “expression of feelings through the spoken word is often difficult and complicated”.

£180,000: The sum paid on the EU's “project of generosity” set up to “spread the movement of reaching out and sharing”.

£162,000: The funding went to the London-based Flying Gorillas troupe, whose acts includes the “brilliant smelly foot dance”."

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

"I KNOW WHO YOU ARE"

Liz Hazell campaigning for UKIP in Willenhall North.

It’s a big day tomorrow for all candidates standing in the local elections, myself included as the UKIP candidate in the Paddock Ward in Walsall, so like everyone else whose name will be starring on ballot papers from John O’Groats to Lands End, we will all be hoping to do well, even if we won’t win we will all be looking for a sizeable vote and hoping not to come last.

We in Walsall have twelve UKIP candidates in eleven out of the twenty wards this year, we have two in the Aldridge Central and South Ward due to there being a vacancy after the Conservative Councillor, John O’Hare stood down. The O’Hare’s had become a bit of an institution and this must be the first time in fifty or so years there is not one member of the O’Hare family serving on Walsall Council.

Tomorrow could prove a very interesting day, as I have been pounding the very pleasant streets of the Paddock Ward I have been picking up the impression that people have got to the stage where they are seriously considering breaking away from voting for one of the three main political parties – after all – where has that loyalty got them. Britain is broke, Gordon Brown almost gave the bulk of our gold reserves away at rock bottom prices due to flooding the market with gold. We are up to our eyes in so much debt our great grandchildren will consider themselves lucky to pay it off and 75 per cent of our laws are made in the EU by people none of us elect. This is far from good, and when you add into the troublesome mix that we have run our armed forces down so badly we hardly have any defences, this beautiful nation of ours is in a perilous state – all because the same people were being elected time after time and knew they could dump any kind of crap upon us and like fools we would go out and vote for them again, and again.

Even though most of the election tomorrow are local Council elections, although there are also elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, the people being elected will only be concerned with local matters such problems about dog poo on pavements and such like. However, the big thing will be how many people prove they are so sick and tired of the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband and their pointless parties they go out and vote UKIP or for other independent candidates.

In our territory of Walsall I have hopes that our Liz Hazell in Willenhall North will be able to give the sitting Lib Dem candidate a good run for the money – even better if our Liz can win. Then we have Steve Grey in the Pheasey Park Farm and Orchard Hills Ward, he is up against Mike Bird, the Tory Council Leader and our Steve gets a bloomin’ good vote in that part of the world. Mike has made himself extremely unpopular of late with his refusal to listen to the people of Walsall regarding his very unloved parking policies – motorists are being walloped, businesses are being hit because people do not want to pay to park where it was once free and jobs are being lost – but what does Mr Bird do? Rather look to himself and the problem he has created, no he blames the new Tesco Store which his Council approved of and is demanding that they introduce parking charges too – Tesco’s should tell him to take a running jump.

As well as our UKIP team, we also have a good independent standing in Darlaston South, the husband and wife team of the Botts have done well there for a good few years, then there is Pete Smith of the Socialist Labour Party hoping to be re-elected – which I think he will as he does what a local Councillor is supposed to do, i.e. represent those that elected him which is a principle most elected politicians seemed to have given up on many years ago.

One independent candidate I am hoping won’t do very well, even though I bear no grudge or dislike for the chap, is Barry Sanders who was, up until this election, the sitting Councillor in the Paddock Ward where I am standing – that was until he was dumped with little ceremony by the Tory Party in Walsall. He is one very unhappy person. But elections being elections and every candidate for themselves, I am doing my best to get a higher vote than him.

This year, because of the referendum on our voting system, to AV or not AV, a great many election counts are taking place on Friday instead of after the close of polls on Thursday, which means none of us in Walsall will know how we have done until about midday on the 6th May.

I personally go into this election in an optimistic mood although I know the reality of being elected is remote. The reason I feel optimistic is down to what people have been saying to me I the ward over these past few weeks, and many sound supportive, not all of whom I would have expected to be either. There has been another first in this election for me too, after all the times I have stood in the Paddock Ward this is the first time several people, as did a chap planting flowers in his garden last night, say: “I know who you are” before I have even introduced myself. It’s now a case of fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

EU THREAT TO BLOGS

Over the last few days I have been picking up some frightening news of the EU’s plans for the world of blogging and web-sites, there is much talk of a “Great Firewall of Europe” – bloggers need to beware as their freedom is under threat from the EU.

In my neck of the woods, Walsall, we have a brilliant local web-site called the Yam Yam, which has recently been revived, and as well as giving local news it links to a whole array of local bloggers, not all of which I agree with but none the less they have their views, as I have mine. How many of these bloggers will remain if the EU’s proposals go ahead? The chances are this blog, which is without doubt a very positive anti-EU blog, will vanish as one of the Yam Yam’s regular links – the EU will never approve.

Anti-censorship campaigners are comparing the EU’s proposals to China’s rigid system of controlling blogs and web-sites – anything it does not like is banned and blocked, the EU wants to give itself the same powers.

It seems a fairly obscure group within the EU, the Council of the European Union’s Law Enforcement Work Party, has proposed a secure European cyberspace based on a “virtual Schengen border”. It states there would be “virtual access points” whereby “the Internet Service Providers would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU ‘black-list”. The question being asked is who will be on the black-list? This is proposing EU-wide censorship and would seriously undermine the freedom of individuals on the web and blogs, but when has the EU ever bothered about freedom? A little matter of closing down blogs won’t bother them.