David's Musings


Clegg vs Farage (Round 2)

I thought I would let the dust settle on the latest head-to-head twixt Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage before putting my two-pennyworth forward for consideration. For those who did not watch or who would like to refresh their memories:

It cannot be denied that Farage has an ‘appeal factor’ – he is not an Oxbridge-career-politician-who-has-never-had-a-real-job, he presents an image of being-one-of-us and projects an ability whereby he seems to be able to talk to us as one of us – and thus it could be said he has ‘charisma’.

That is on the plus side – unfortunately where he is found most wanting is in his inability to concentrate on important detail and to recognise an open goal when presented with one. 

In the debate last night Clegg raised the tired old canard about Norway being governed by fax – yet Farage could have killed Clegg’s argument stone dead by pointing out that, for example, Norway has no vehicle industry but sits on the United Nations body (UNECE) that decides such matters as the size of wing mirrors on vehicles, having a voice in the formation of such global rules while the United Kingdom, with a sizeable vehicle industry, has no voice whatsoever, being subservient to the European Union which speaks for all 28 Member States. Farage could also have made the point that far from being governed by fax, Norway is in the position of already knowing what ‘rules’ the EU is about to bring in having already had a voice in their formation. Farage could also have made the point that Norway can refuse to implement any EU ‘law’ – as they did with the 3rd Postal Directive, ie Norway has the power of veto, which the United Kingdom does not possess.

While Bagehot reckons that Farage is all ‘piss and wind’ (apologies for the use of the vernacular and needless to say I paraphrase); Janet Daley reckons that he has ensured the British public will no longer accept a cosmetic fudge of any new terms: their awareness of what is at stake in our present relationship with EU institutions will be heightened by Farage. If only that were true.

What is missing in this entire debate on the UK’s membership of the European Union are the two matters of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘democracy’ ,at least where the MSM is concerned – and, also unfortunately, where the political class are concerned: including Farage. For sure, Farage prattles on about the need for the British people to have the ability to govern themselves – but seeks not to discuss how that should be done. In that respect Farage is no different to those he castigates in that he is a firm advocate of parliamentary democracy and the system of representative democracy. If Farage is to present himself and his party as ‘the alternative’ then the question has to be put to him as to where is the alternative twixt the present political class and his political class; to which the answer can only be: none – they both wish to govern us and thus view us as no better than serfs.

It is good to see that the ‘penny has finally dropped‘ with The Harrogate Agenda  that the change they wish to see in  our democracy viz-a-viz membership of the European Union are so entwined as to be inseparable. That that realisation is most admirable does however present another problem – namely how to make that message resonate and become ingrained in the British ‘psyche’. It is here that I have to return to the point I made in this post- added to which the ‘message’ of the ‘Out’ campaign is disparate; it has no central ‘message’. When considering that those such as Better Off Out appear to be content campaigning for the cessation of the UK’s membership of the EU, they offer no alternative to the status quo – in other words they fail to tackle the subjects of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘democracy’. Witness the fact that one of the finalists of the IEA/Brexit competition is one Rory Broomfield - a director of Better Off Out and The Freedom Association – in a competition that is obviously skewed to ‘reasons economic’ for cessation of the UK’s membership of the EU – and which is totally ignoring matters of sovereignty and democracy (hence the exclusion of the submission by Richard North?).

It would appear that Nigel Farage, fresh from his triumph over Nick Clegg, is ‘cashing in’ on same with a live phone-in for Telegraph readers at 1pm tomorrow. You can watch Phone Farage live here. To take part, email phonefarage@telegraph.co.uk with your question. One can only hope he manages to ‘up his game’?

So why is it that those involved in a campaign, one with a single aim, are unable to understand – and accept – what is the ‘core’ reason for said campaign? Are we talking ‘egos’ here – and if so, do not a few heads need to be gently ‘banged together’? When the voice of any campaign is ‘splintered’, it is doomed to fail – which can only mean that any referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU is as good as lost before it has begun.

Just a few thoughts…………………………………..

Update: And another open goal Farage missed - Leon Clifford reminds us that Farage’s comment about the need for another Manchester was also not hitting the point – we will in time not need another Manchester – rather more space akin to Belgium.



CleggvsFarage: the aftermath and fallout (2)

Much has been written and appeared in the media following the CleggvsFarage debate, some of it valid but in the main including a great deal of partisan rubbish – and both views have missed the most important aspect of the question about whether or not the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union. Not only has that most important aspect been ignored, but so have the individual components of that question. Clegg based his case for continued membership of the European Union purely on economic terms, completely ignoring the aspects of democracy, national independence and how we are to be governed. Farage touched on all three of those points, yet failed to bring them all together into one coherent and easily understandable argument – and in so doing totally missed the fundamental point; of which more in a moment. 

 It then follows just why do television and radio continue to present programmes wherein, within the time frame allowed, it is impossible for those panelists taking part to provide a lucid response to questions posed of them – or is this part of a plot to ensure that complex questions, such as membership of the EU never will be fully discussed. What is the point of what are in effect public information services if they just permit lies to be broadcast – do not those public information services have a duty to their listeners/viewers to correct misinformation? It is necessary to then question the form of language that our political class use, their phrasing and content. Again, what is the point of making what are, in effect, grand sweeping statements encapsulating words that to the average listener/viewer are incomprehensible?

Neither does it help when those who are able to have nearly an entire page in a broadsheet newspaper to offer a dispassionate view about the UK’s membership of the European Union then fills his allotted space with with rubbish content. Enter Charles Moore, previously Editor of the Telegraph. It is noticed that in the comments section, peter63 finds it astonishing that an intelligent person like Charles Moore can be in two minds about Brexit. On the face of that written today to couple the words ‘intelligent person’ with the words ‘Charles Moore’ could be held to be an oxymoron – and Moore admirably demonstrates that where the word ‘moron’ is concerned, ‘oxy’ is but one prefix that can be used, there being, it would seem, moore available.

FHS, how can one claim to be a eurosceptic of 30 years standing; be opposed to rule from abroad; still believe that the EU table is the top table; acknowledge that Norway, as a non-member, can prosper both globally and in the single market – yet be in two minds about whether membership of the EU is a good or bad thing? Moore is but another classic example of someone who doesn’t think about things he doesn’t think about. It seems to have escaped Moore’s attention that the reason why millions of people do not quite know what they think is because no-one has ever explained, in words of one syllable, both sides of the argument – nor does Moore appreciate that he is one of those guilty of wasting the god-given opportunity presented him so to do. One can only presume the lure of Black and Barclay monthly cheques interfered with his thought processes.

In his article Moore mentions that there are two forms of membership available – unfortunately this poor hack does not even realize that the two forms of membership about which he writes bear no resemblance to the two forms which will, I believe, shortly appear on the horizon. He ends his article questioning whether our Leaders are telling us the truth – which begs the question whether Moore is both blind and deaf as well as dumb. Since when has any politician told the people the truth?

As I pointed out in my preceding post, democracy and sovereignty are two words which are not getting a mention in this debate about our membership of the EU. For the benefit of those in doubt on that question (in which Moore obviously must be included), ultimately, where the CleggvsFarage debate is concerned, at the end of the day the entire question of the UK’s membership of the EU boils down to three basic options:

  • Do we wish to remain a member of a supranational body in which we, the people, have no daily control over those who implement laws by which we are governed and which affect our lives and who we cannot throw out of office,or;
  • Do we wish to cease that arrangement and return to a situation wherein we still have no daily control of those who implement laws by which we are governed and which affect our lives – albeit that we can, every five years, throw out of office those with whom we disagree and elect another group of people who will enjoy the same ‘privilege’ as the previous lot, or;
  • Do we change the system of democracy under which we are governed and move from what is a state of serfdom to a position where we actually control the one aspect of human life that is individually finite – our life in all its facets: locally, nationally and internationally.

Until someone decides to raise those three options further discussion twixt Clegg and Farage – or between any other two politicians – remains what it ndoubtedly is: vacuous verbiage.



Viviane’s been ‘reding’ the riot act again!

Not content with ‘laying into’ the UK in London last Monday, Her Vivianess has repeated the performance this evening in Cambridge, at the university’s Faculty of Law; her speech being entitled: The United Kingdom and the EU – inevitably drifting apart

Once again, like Barroso on Friday – and again on Sunday – Reding has confirmed that an Associate Membership status will be on the cards for those member states that do not adopt the euro and the subsequent membership of a United States of Europe.

Reding states that the EU’s clout allows it to negotiate valuable trade deals with other trading partners around the world – er; and Norway or Switzerland, Viviane? She seems to forget they too have clout and even ‘little’ Switzerland has managed a trade agreement with China while the EU is still struggling to do likewise.

I do not intend to delve into the content of her speech, readers can do that themselves via the link above. Go read it, please. What I will say is that this speech goes far beyond her recent Q&A session in London, it is almost adversarial in content encapsulating threats galore – if you read into that which she said.

Methinks that things are going to get ‘a little messy’ from now on.



Swiss boardrooms – preference for targets, not quotas

It will be recalled that the European Union wishes to impose a requirement that 40% of corporate boardrooms will be comprised of women. During the process the Norway Model of Boardroom Quotas was studied, plus of course La Viviane lost no time in helping the process along. She may well believe that: Governments have a responsibility to improve and facilitate work-life balance so people can combine a family and a career; but this smacks a tad to me of a nudge towards social engineering and state ordained at that. Is it not up to people to work out what balance they want where family and career are concerned? In which case why are quotas required?

During November 2013 a press release was made available on boardroom quotas for women and the matter was on the agenda of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council meeting held on 9/10 December, at which the United Kingdom was represented by Ms Esther McVey Minister for Employment, Department for Work and Pensions; and Ms Jane Ellison Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, Department for Work and Pensions. The conclusions reached at this meeting can be read on page 8 of this document. The Progress Report mentioned in the conclusions on page 8 can be read here.

Contrast the attitude of ‘you will do’ from our EU Government with that of Switzerland and the process adopted there. In summary, the  cabinet has agreed in to introduce a 30% women boardroom target for companies with close links to the Swiss government, with the guidelines, approved last November, applying to 29 companies with a total of 264 board seats and are to be implemented by 2020 which include the Post Office, the Swisscom telecom company, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, the Skyguide air traffic control, the financial and nuclear safety regulators and the Ruag armament firm.

In fact from the article we learn that while this approach might not seem exceedingly ambitious, it is however in line with recommendations by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which in its latest country survey on Switzerland, the organisation supports a soft approach such as voluntary targets, disclosure requirements and a so-called Comply or Explain policy – a corporate governance code, allowing companies not to comply with certain provisions, but they have to explain the reasons and provide an alternative solution. Boardroom quotas may not always be economically efficient and are therefore a second best option, says Richard Dutu, economist at the Swiss desk of the OECD in Paris.

And being Switzerland, the people of Basel City will be the first to decide on a similar project at a cantonal level – for the boardrooms of its state bank, public transport and utilities in February.

Coercion or choice? Where life-balance is concerned, at least those in Basel City will get the latter option.


Norway PM’s message to Cameron

At 4:30pm today David Cameron is to hold a meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the reported message she brings with her will no doubt be seized on by those campaigning for the UK to remain a member of the European Union. Solberg’s belief is that it is in Norway’s interests for the UK to remain in the EU, where it could act as a break on those pushing for closer integration.

Against that view consideration has to be given to the forthcoming convention and IGC about treaty change; and were the Spinelli Group’s ideas for a new treaty to be incorporated, then Solberg is going to have the same problem that will face Cameron – join in or accept associated membership.

We can therefore expect more of the ‘fax democracy’ meme; although one can but hope that it will also be reported that Norway has a few problems of her own where tax on cheese is concerned plus the fact that it is also reported that she has failed to implement over 400 directives (including the 3rd Postal Directive) and thus stands accused by the Commission of obstructing the Single Market.




Scotland, Independence, Defence implications – and another matter.

In September this year the Defence Committee published its Sixth Report on the Defence Implications of Possible Scottish Independence – a fascinating read for those with the time to so do.

The Conclusion of this report contain a very damning charge where the education of the public are concerned, especially on matters of great importance (although obviously the degree of importance should not matter). From the Conclusion:

The people of Scotland and the rest of the UK deserve to be presented with as full a picture as possible of the implications of Scottish independence for their future defence and security. To date, the information published by both the Scottish Government and UK Government falls far short of requirements.

Let us take that assertion by the Defence Committee that the people of this country deserve to be presented with as full a picture as possible – and let us apply that assertion to other matters.

Do not we, the people, deserve to be presented with as full a picture on our membership of the European Union? In which case one has to ask why this is not happening. Why will not our political elite admit that full membership of the European Union is not necessary to access the Single Market – and why will not they acknowledge that the Norway Option exists? As is shown in this paper, Norway by no means is a ‘fax-democracy and has just as much voice in the formation of legislation as the EU.

If we, the people, are to have a Review of the balance of Competences where the European Union is concerned – I refer to that being produced by William Hague – do not we, the people, deserve a fair review and not the biased effort so far provided?

If we, the people, have to suffer the present system of ‘faux-democracy’ under which we are governed; should not we, the people, have the right to demand that political parties stick to manifesto commitments? Take for example the promise of ‘recall’ of MPs. In the ‘Coalition – a programme for government’, were we not promised (page 27): We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents. What in fact resulted was a system in which fellow Parliamentarians of the accused would have the final decision – something not mentioned in the manifesto. While on this subject, think back to the last Government and their proposals in respect of the smoking ban and pubs – that which resulted was entirely different to that which had been proposed.

I have been accused – in the nicest possible manner – by commenters that I apologise far too much; but I must so do again for mounting my current hobby horse. The foregoing is not democracy!

Where a system exists in which, during a fixed term, a government can pass any law it likes, against which the people have no method of rejection; when a government can practice censorship, to whatever degree, then the result can only produce tyranny.

To their everlasting shame, the people of the UK appear resigned to waving goodbye to democracy and seem content to accept tyranny.


Gender equality – non-executive directors

On their website Ukip announce: An amendment that would allow governments to dissolve companies that do not adhere to a gender quota system of 40% in senior positions has been passed by the European Parliament today. Another amendment passed will mean that the under-represented gender will be given preferential treatment in the recruitment, selection and appointment of non-executive directors. The website also includes a statement from Paul Nuttall who condemns the decision as barmy, mad, bad and downright dangerous.

Firstly the press statement of Ukip is a tad disingenuous in that presently this matter is only in the form of a draft directive and has to go before the Council of Ministers for their agreement (decided by QMV) when they meet on 9th/10th December before it can become EU law.

At the time of writing, I have yet to find any reference to a EU Parliament amendment that would allow the governments of Member States to dissolve any company that did not adhere to a gender quota system of 40% in ‘senior positions’, but I am still looking. What an article on the Europa Newsroom website does state is that the EU Parliament has called for sanctions to be mandatory, rather than indicative, as the Commission proposes; while also calling for companies to be excluded from bidding in ‘public calls for tender’; and partial exclusion from the award of funding from the European structural funds. The EU Parliament has also departed from the Commission’s original proposal with their decision that there should be no possibility for Member States to exempt companies from the law where members of the underrepresented sex make up less than 10% of the workforce.

It is also worth mentioning that Ukip do not appear to understand the role of non-executive directors and the powers such have – but then why is that not a surprise? Also on the latter point that Ukip make in their press statement quoted above, it is worth reading exactly what the draft directive states on that particular point – which is not that which Ukip intimate.

There are a number of documents that readers may wish to read about this draft directive: the Europa Newsroom; (see latest stories section); a summary of the European Parliament plenary session; the draft directive; and surprise not, but somethingthat shows our old friend UNECE has had a finger in the pie, plus two papers on the subject here and here. We also find that Norway has enacted the 40% thingy long before the EU – but again I digress.

Together with Richard North, Autonomous Mind and The Boiling Frog, invariably I receive criticism for what is termed ‘Ukip bashing’ – but is it not justified? For Ukip and their spokesmen to put out vacuous comments which are economical with the actualité and then to be ‘found out’, does their standing as what they hope and purport to be, namely a leading anti-EU voice, no good whatsoever – in fact it can only do them harm as eventually those to whom they appeal will soon come to realise that the voice of Ukip, in common with every other political party, cannot be relied upon for the truth.

Perhaps they need to take a leaf out of the old tv series ‘Dragnet, which to paraphrase: Just the facts Sir, just the facts…..

Just a few observations……….

Afterthought: And we still have to ascertain the the additional bureaucratic costs of this draft directive, not just on companies, but also on the state.  The fact that the EU states this directive will have no additional cost on the EU budget is neither here nor there – it sure will have an effect on the costs incurred by companies; and on the budgets of Member States who, in turn, will only be able to recoup their costs by additional taxation on their cash cows people!



All Party Parliamentary Groups (2)

Following the first post on this subject I thought it worth a little ‘rooting around’ the world of All Party Parliamentary Groups, however the Register is over 600 pages and it would take a  team of researchers to investigate the memberships of each group, the interests they have declared and the questions that they have each asked in Parliament. I would also refer readers to the list of APPGs that exist – a matter on which readers can form their own opinion.

According to the Rule Book covering APPGs, any MP or Peer of the Realm has the right to join an APPG – however in delving into what may be called the murky world of APPGs one can be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that we, the public, are being taken for the proverbial ride. In regard to that statement let us return to Mark Pritchard and his membership of APPGs. Likewise, according to Wikipedia, Pritchard’s main political contributions focus on defence, foreign affairs, counter-terrorism, home affairs, pro-life and animal welfare issues; and one can be forgiven for coming to the assumption that belonging to 92 APPGs presents Pritchard with innumerable opportunities for the odd ‘jollie’ or two. Leaving that what may be termed ‘spurious’ accusation to one side, it should also be noted that during 2012/2013 Pritchard earned from The Soufan Group; The CCA; and International Management Partners Ltd, a further sum of circa £85,000 for ‘consultancy’ services. In respect of Pritchard, one also can justifiably ask whether he would have achieved such consultancy fees had he not been a Member of Parliament?

Let us also look at Andrew Rosindell, Conservative MP for Romford. Within the last five years he has been to  the Cayman Islands, Venezuela, Jordan, Gibraltar, Taiwan, Norway, Switzerland, Lebanon, Qatar, China, Syria, Malta – a total of 12 overseas trips; and still he has yet to visit the ‘holiday delights’ of Thailand, Mauritius or St Lucia. At first sight it may appear unfair to intimate that all APPG groups are but the doorway to ‘jollies’, however bearing in mind that there are over 600 pages of registered APPGs all I can offer in my defence is that one has to start somewhere. 

It is also acknowledged that there are, undoubtedly, MPs who do have a ‘passion’ and interest on certain subjects and wish to learn all they can on their chosen interest – but I come back to the question raised in my first post: are overseas trips necessary and could they not learn just as much from research on the internet? ‘Overseas trips’, per se. also beg the question that, as with all those ‘selling an idea’, is not the visitor presented with that which the seller wishes them to see?

If one looks at the membership of APPGs that happen to be what may be called ‘holiday destinations’ it is interesting to note that when considering places such as the Bahamas; the Maldives; Mauritius; St. Lucia; and Thailand, we find that Roger Godsiff’s entries on the Register of Member’s Interests, show that in the last 5 years, he’s travelled (for free) to Mauritius, and also Japan, Syria and Vietnam, which, added to the jaunts enjoyed by Andrew Rosindell, begs the question just what and how is, what may be termed their ‘jet-set lifestyle’, representing the interests of their constituents; and also, just what are the sponsors of these trips getting for their money?

There is also a further point to consider, namely that of the ‘interests’ of those bodies that form the Secretariat of APPGs and what is their role, coupled with the effect that their ‘input’ may have on those at the ‘coal face’. It is not just the body that acts as Secretariat that require consideration, as we now enter the field of lobbying. Let us look at a relatively new APPG; that of Victim and Witness of Crime. Immediately we find ‘stakeholders’ piling in with their views, here and here. Subsequently those at the ‘coal face’ now find their work and ‘work ethics’ dictated by those over whom they have no control. On top of which,  is not how victims and witnesses of crime problems are resolved a matter for those in whose neighbourhood such occurs? Is it not through taxation that such is paid and therefore should not those providing said taxation not have a voice in how their money is spent?

I can but now refer to Demand #5 of the 6 Demands: no taxes or spending without consent: no tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express permission of the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a properly authenticated budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures; should not we who provide the funds for such support to victims and witnesses of crime not have a voice in what is an important social matter?

All the foregoing raises what I consider to be a fundamental question; namely is it not time that we who funded the sole reason for their position that they occupy, namely to safeguard and ‘manage’ our country, decided to set a few constraints on how they spend their time?







David's Musings


Sold Out (3)

Following the previous posts in this series, which dealt with German influence within the EU, it is necessary to begin with this article from German-Foreign-Policy.com, from which:

 German government advisors support the establishment of new integrationist procedures to pre-empt future resistance to German predominance over the EU. “A major redistribution of power” is currently taking place in Europe, with France and Great Britain falling clearly behind Germany, according to a recent declaration of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs…….

Edward Spalton, Hon Secretary, Campaign for an Independent Britain, spends a great deal of his time talking to students at schools – when the opportunity arises. Recently he spoke to the sixth-form of a public school - which is what we call really high class private schools in
England – on the subject of Britain’s membership of the European Union. With his permission I reproduce his speech in full. Where he refers to a video, I have, rather than refer to a link – as does his speech – inserted same.

If I may be permitted to digress, it should be explained that Edward, in an email to me, stated that the report, linked to above, came from a long-standing German friend - Horst Teuber – and Edward explains in his email that normally he tries to end his addresses on a happy, upbeat note of the better, happier and more prosperous future which is available for the taking outside the increasingly restrictive and authoritarian EU. Edward continues that the arrival of Horst’s email caused him to change his mind and let the sixth formers know, towards the end, about the concerns of his German friend and the way the German political class sees its country’s role in the EU. Edward ended his email to me, stating that whilst he knew that the soft-focus, touchy-feely presentation of the EU went down well with young people, he reflected that his audience would
soon be of voting (and military) age and deserved to be treated as adults; while ending that it was probably bad propaganda for the cause of independence as nobody likes the bearer of bad news  but he thought the young people  deserved the truth of the mess we have allowed our politicians to get us into.

Edward’s speech:

Thank you very much for inviting me.

There is a great deal to talk about, as Britain’s membership of the EU now affects all our lives from the largest matters like environmental and foreign policy to the relatively trivial like the way our dustbins are collected or the permitted curvature of bananas. Please bear in mind that the EU is a political project to create a single European polity – a super-state or super-government, a “country called Europe” of which Britain is to be a province or collection of provinces. The economic, social  and legal effects are aimed towards achieving this.

It was on a school visit to Germany in 1958 when I first heard about the institution which is now the European Union. The German boy, who was my host, asked “Have you heard about our Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft? It will guarantee our living standard”.

Neither his English nor my German was up to translating the word, so an explanation had to wait until we got home. When I mentioned it, several other boys said that their hosts had said exactly the same thing. So it was obviously something they had been taught in school.

Our teacher explained that the word meant “economic community”                 1.

It had been created only the previous year by a treaty between Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries. We talked about it for a while and thought it was a great idea that these countries, former enemies, were getting together to co-operate with each other. It seemed a hopeful sign for future peace. We didn’t really think of it as something Britain would be joining. “But remember” said our teacher “This shows a big difference between the traditions of England and Germany. You would not be taught a political opinion as fact like that in a British school”. I am glad to see that this tradition holds good here today, which is why we are having this meeting. In Germany you would  have been indoctrinated  about the EU, as part of the official curriculum from infants’ school onwards.

Of course, when we came to our conclusion that the EU (then the one year old European Economic Community) was a good thing, we did so in total ignorance. We didn’t know what the treaty contained , what institutions it set up and what its political objective was. For many years people called it “The Common Market” and thought it was merely a free trade agreement between sovereign countries. Its real aim was something entirely different – gradually to establish a single government over and above all the national democracies of Europe. From the Sixties I worked in the grain and animal feed business and so was amongst the first to experience the full effect of this when we joined the EU in 1973.

Britain had enjoyed a policy of free trade in food with the whole world for over 100 years. That changed on the stroke of midnight January 1 1973 when we were locked inside the economic prison of a sort of siege economy , forced to pay much higher European prices which were fixed by politicians, who also created a huge increase in officialdom. We were instantly cut off from our traditional suppliers in the Commonwealth. Not only did we pay much higher prices for our own food, we were compelled to pay massive amounts of tax so that the EU could guarantee the prices to French, Italian and other farmers, regardless of whether anyone wanted to buy their produce or not. Ever since, people have borne   these iniquitous and unnecessary costs – many tens of thousands of pounds per family over the years. The policy has changed somewhat but the EU still piles on needless costs with a single, corrupt agricultural policy from the olive trees and vines of Crete and Sicily to the Arctic wastes of Finland. It was this which first started me thinking that the EU was decidedly odd. Yet, many businessmen thought that the advantages of being able to sell our products freely to a single market of hundreds of millions of people would outweigh this. That has proved to be a disastrous miscalculation because  our trade is in massive deficit with the EU. They have sold far more to us than we have to them, so our main export has been British jobs – mostly skilled, well-paid jobs. We get back shelf stacking and spanner and screwdriver work.

Funnily enough, our trade with the rest of the world, where   we don’t  have the supposed benefit of EU membership, is going very much better.

Our trade with the EU is important. Exports  to the EU amount to about 10% of our Gross National Product (GNP), although that is declining. Our trade with the rest of the world is also about 10% of GNP although that is rising.  The remaining 80% is purely domestic.

The EU is a legislation factory, piling on costly regulations and laws – some 320,000 pages of them, I am told. So 90% of our economy has to carry that cost for the sake of the 10% which we actually sell to the EU. The EU Commission itself calculates that the size of the Single Market (some 500 million people) gives a sort of tonic effect of about 2% of GNP but admits that the costs of its regulation amounts to 5% of GNP – so the negative effect is 3% by their own reckoning. Other economists put the costs much higher.

 On top of that we are paying well over £2 million pounds per hour to the EU in taxes. Our trade with the EU has stagnated. Adjusted for inflation, British exports to the EU are now lower than they were in 2002. On present trends, four fifths of our exports will be going to countries outside the EU by 2033.   Britain will be looking well beyond stagnating, declining, over-regulated Europe for its prosperity.  

Yet, at the outset, many business people were persuaded that the EU would be an advantage. One of them campaigned for eleven years for us to join. On July 28 2013, a Mr John Lidstone wrote to the Sunday Telegraph -

From 1961 to 1972, as part of a team of key businessmen, I spoke to meetings throughout Britain, arguing the case for the United Kingdom to join for trade purposes what was then known as the European Common Market. The case for enjoying favourable access to a market place of millions of people was overwhelming. Had Ted Heath, the chief negotiator, told the British people what the long term consequences of joining the EU would be, I and my team would never have supported such a policy”.

Mr Lidstone and many like him were duped. So were all the national newspapers and the BBC abandoned its impartiality to become an EU propagandist with the news vetted daily by the Foreign Office. Businessmen and ordinary people  thought the EU was an economic project but it was a political one to arrive by stages at a single European government within which all the nations of Europe would be reduced to mere provinces.

For forty years, the British political class has lied and lied again to the British people about the nature of the project.

Even Lord Hattersley, a keen Europhile, more than half admits it.  “Not only was it wrong for us to deal superficially with what Europe involved, but we have paid the price for it ever since, because every time there is a crisis in Europe, people  say, with some justification,  “Well, we would not have been  part of this if we’d really known the implications” . And the implications for democracy, civil liberties and freedom are truly horrendous.

I am now going to play you a completely factual, translated  German video clip about what the Eurozone countries have done to their own peoples. What it describes has now become law. Please bear in mind that it was a supposedly unalterable principle of the Euro currency that no country would ever be made responsible for the debts of another. When presenting this to the Bundestag, Angela Merkel said “Never will you be able to change this by anything you do in Parliament”. So died German democracy, although their MPs go on drawing their salaries.

The Eurozone countries have agreed to abolish what little remaining democracy they have. By the European Stability Mechanism, the ESM, the treaty of debt by which they hope to save the Euro, they agreed irrevocably and unconditionally to pay any required capital demand within seven days.

Article 27 of the ESM gives the institution “full legal capacity to institute legal proceedings” but “The ESM and its property, funding and assets shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process”. It is also immune from “search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure…by executive, judicial or legislative action”.                        

So it is a law which can never be changed. What is more, the officers and staff of the ESM also immune from every form of legal process.

The ESM is literally a super-state agency above the law. Whilst we are not part of the Eurozone, those same anti-democratic governments are part of our government, as long as we remain in the EU and they have a permanent majority of votes over all the other countries. So they can have their own way at any time. Britain is now a permanent second class member, paying a first class subscription – a payer but not a player!

Although the Euro currency is destroying the economies and Southern Europe, it is being enforced with ruthless severity. Unemployment in these countries is at levels not seen since the Thirties with as many as one in four people out of work in some. In Greece, unemployment amongst young people is around 70%. People are scavenging in dustbins for food.

The Greek National Health Service has collapsed because the EU authorities have confiscated its funding. The death rate amongst young babies has gone up 40% but the babies are considered a worthwhile sacrifice to keep the political project of the Euro going. In Cyprus, they simply stole money from people’s bank accounts to do the same. In Germany, people are getting fed up with having their pockets picked by taxes to keep this evil in force – and it is creating genuine hatred between the peoples of Europe. Like everything else to do with the EU, the Euro currency was created to help enforce political union, not for economic benefit.

That is now the law. The anti democratic Eurozone countries have between them a majority of votes in the EU so they can always outvote us. They are part of our government. Britain is a permanent second class member but  paying a first class membership subscription, second only to Germany. The Euro currency is destroying the economies of Southern Europe with levels of unemployment not seen since the Thirties and many people reduced to scavenging in dustbins. In Cyprus, even the bank accounts were plundered. Under EU orders, the government literally became a bank robber, stealing the savings of the people to prop up the currency which is destroying their prosperity. In Greece, the National Health Service has been so plundered that infant mortality has increased by 40%.

The Euro is literally killing babies but that’s all right, as part of the price of political European Union.

Although it will require detailed negotiation, to leave the EU is actually quite simple and it is the only way to renegotiate a new relationship with our European neighbours. Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty provides that the EU  must also make provision for continuing trade with a country which leaves. One possible option is for Britain to join EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, which gives exactly the same access to the Single Market as we have at present but outside the EU’s political structure.

Norway and Switzerland have this sort of arrangement and are the most prosperous countries of Europe. They do a far larger percentage of their trade with the EU than we do but are not part of it.

The EFTA countries play a very active role in consulting on Single Market rules within the EU before they are finalised. They are represented on literally hundreds of EU committees. In any case most of these rules affecting trade now come from outside the EU, from bodies like the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe or the Aarhus Convention on Environmental Issues.

The EU effectively rubber stamps their decisions by regulations and directives for us  to comply with the UN requirements.  Norway and Switzerland, as independent countries,  have their own voices in these international bodies.

Britain is actually excluded from this Top Table by its EU membership. It has to toe the agreed EU line in any negotiations and follow the “common position” imposed by Brussels before negotiations with the UN and other bodies start. And within the EU, we are in a perpetual, ineffectual minority.

Some jobs for British people do depend on our being in the EU – those of politicians and officials. No other jobs do.

Real jobs all depend on British businesses producing the right products, at the right price and at the right time. If our businesses do that, then the world is our oyster – not just the economically stunted, over-regulated, declining market of the EU.

There will always be dangers in the world, against which the EU is powerless to protect us. But there is no danger at all in recasting our relationship with our European neighbours in a realistic, friendly way which re-establishes our democratic self government. The danger truly lies in doing nothing and continuing to submit to increasingly authoritarian rule within the EU by people we do not know and cannot dismiss.

The EU has not delivered us the promised prosperity, rather the reverse. Even if it had, Benjamin Franklin’s remark would still be true – A people which attempts to trade freedom for prosperity will deservedly end by losing both.

And the EU is building a paramilitary force, called the European Gendarmerie to enforce its will. In the last Parliament, MPs repeatedly asked the government for assurance that this force would never be deployed on our streets but no such assurance was given. Here is a video clip:

Their aim “to erase the differences we might have” should make us all rather nervous. More like soldiers than police, aren’t they? This makes me think that the EU is a good organisation to leave as quickly as possible.

I had intended to end on a very upbeat note because the way out of the EU is straightforward though not simple and the prospects for us as an independent country are so much brighter . We certainly need lose no trade as a result.

But a message from a friend in Germany gave a very much darker picture of the intentions of the German government which has not been disclosed in our newspapers at all. When I received it I wrote to him:

Your latest report arrived just as I was preparing a talk for school sixth formers (16 -18 year olds) on Monday 11 November (Armistice Day). I want to bring your report into it as something they should know about . It will not be the main point of my speech but I think I ought to mention what you reported. It is very difficult to do this without being accused of being anti-German. You have given me a nice problem for the week end!

Horst, who is a very careful journalist, replied:

……You are right, it might not be easy to explain these things without being accused of being anti-German. But things are as they are, and as at least some German politicians tell their aims more frankly today than before, everyone who is not willing to believe it can read it for himself…..

And I have printed a copy of his article “Domination over Europe” for everybody. It outlines plans in leading German political circles to become more assertive in imposing their will on the rest of Europe. Please take it and read it. I won’t go into the details here. I should mention that I have known Horst Teubert for thirteen years, as a very conscientious journalist.

He is rather left wing and I am quite conservative. I have done translation work for him and never known him to play games with the facts. Germany has been a leading player in the European project but for rather different motives than those we hear about in our media. For home consumption, their politicians are more frank and this goes right back to the early days of the European Coal and Steel Community which was sold as a guarantee of peace and co-operation in Europe.

But even in 1950, there was a different idea in Germany. Dr Hans Seebohm, Minister of Commerce in Dr. Adenauer’s government expressed it thus:

Does free Europe want to join Germany? Germany is the heart of Europe and the limbs must adjust to the heart, not the heart to the limbs.

Bear in mind this was just five years after Germany’s total defeat . The Greeks, Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, Cypriots  and Italians are certainly feeling the pain today of adjusting to the “heart” and its Euro currency project.

Doctor Seebohm’s boss, the Chancellor Dr. Adenauer also had his ideas about European development. Germany had lost a great deal of territory as a result of the war. Here he is, telling an audience of people from Silesia that European development would enable them to reclaim that territory from Poland.

Well, that’s sixty years ago, so maybe things changed in the next forty years. Here is Theodore Waigel, the German Finance Minister who more or less invented the Euro, again addressing a large audience of some 10,000 people who originated from Silesia . He says quite plainly that the German Reich did not cease to exist in 1945 and that, in the course of a European settlement, Germany will get its lost territories back.

There are no subtitles, so here is a translation:

“At the All-German conference of Silesians in Hannover, the will to re-unification was strongly emphasised. The CSU Finance Minister told an audience of around 10,000 people that the aim remained the unity of the German people. According to Waigel, those East German districts on the far side of the Oder/Neisse line (the frontier with Poland) still belonged to the German question.

The demand for German reunification was the central theme of the conference. In Hannover it was also asserted that the unification of Europe was an important pre-condition for a free, united Germany. The speakers left no doubt that it would be the will of the German people which would be decisive.”

Waigel’s remarks: 

“The German Reich did not come to an end with the surrender of the German Wehrmacht on 8 May 1945. There is no genuine treaty, valid in international law by which the Eastern parts of the German Reich were separated from these. Our political aim remains the creation of the state unity of the German people in freely agreed self determination”. 

So the EU means different things to different people and this is what it means to the German political class. In this country not a lot of people know that. Presumably, our leaders do but are not saying. These speeches are by the most senior politicians of main parties – not by some wild men of extreme fringe groups. 

To us they say that the  EU means a favourable market for our goods although in fact our economic experience of the last forty years has been disastrous. Our politicians prefer not to talk about the political side because that is potentially far more disastrous and they dare not tell us. 

So the old gentlemen with their medals, marching so proudly past the cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday and remembering their friends who didn’t make it, are mostly quite unaware that the peace settlement which followed their victory has mostly now been completely undone. Leading German politicians want to roll forward the frontiers of Germany to where they were before Hitler started his war. It is a steadily maintained aim over many decades, pursued behind a “European” cloak through the institutions of the EU.

Whilst our own press carries a great many Nazi stories harking back to the war, understandably upsetting our German friends, it hardly reports at all on these more recent developments.

Of course, modern Germany is not Nazi. It is ( in those parts not usurped by the EU) a functioning democracy but one in which the political leadership is becoming ever more ambitious in its aims and arrogant in its attitude to those countries over which it claims to rule in “benevolent hegemony” as part of a united Europe.

To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sooner or later they are going to bump up against an equally politically determined opponent. If we remain in the EU where the German government is perforce part of our own government, we could easily see British forces deployed to defend German interests. Indeed, I believe that already happened in Yugoslavia at the end of the last century.

It may be that German hegemony over central and South Eastern Europe is indeed benevolent – certainly in comparison to the Nazi and Communist oppression which preceded it. Certainly we have no force to oppose it but neither do we have any business helping to pay for it through the £2.25  million per hour which our government takes in tax from us  as our EU membership fee.

Our government says we are in the EU for trade. It is perfectly possible to keep that trade and have the same access to the Single Market which we have at present without contributing towards the grandiose political structure of the EU – an organisation whose objectives are increasingly alien to the interests of this country.

As an Irishman remarked of a couple who were divorcing after a long, unhappy marriage. “Those two will get on much better together when they’re apart”.

That is true of Britain’s relationship with the European Union. We need to tackle the inevitable divorce in an optimistic, positive way.

(At this juncture it should be made clear that the article Edward Spalton printed and handed to his audience was that to which I link in the first paragraph of this post).

For those readers interested there are two more speeches by Horst Teubert which are of similar relevance and can be seen here and here.

The ‘divorce’ to which Edward refers is a subject that needs wider coverage, together with how said divorce can be amicably arranged . Unfortunately it is not one that we will see put to us by the MSM, our political class or their compliant media ‘friends’.

On the question of a ‘common voice’ against this country’s membership of the EU – and any possible referendum on the question – I have to mention a post by Autonomous Mind; one in which he, in effect, queries the ‘diverse’ message being put forth by the various anti-EU organisations. At which point one has to interject and raise the subject of ‘egos’ and question whether that is the problem that is preventing a ‘unified message’. All things considered, when one has such an inflated ego as that possessed by Matthew Elliott, who is an example of the problem involved in presenting a united front against ‘full’ EU membership, one has to ask what chance does the ‘anti-EU membership’ voice have – especially when one looks at any possible ‘No’ campaign?

In conclusion, if there are those in Germany worried about the direction their country is taking, then the papers linked to in the first two posts in this series attain even more relevance.

Update: Edward Spalton forgot to mention that a the 6sixth-form meeting above he was supported by John Harrison, a chartered accountant who is the CIB treasurer. John gave an excellent brief account of why the euro project is bound to fail as a medium of exchange between economies which have widely differing and variable levels of labour productivity – it is appended below:

Before deciding whether the UK should join the Euro the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, drew up 5 economic tests which the UK must pass for the UK to join. However the 5 tests were superfluous. They ignored the one defining test that was of far greater significance than all of the rest put together and that one thing that doomed the Euro to failure from the start.

That was the growth of Unit Labour Costs throughout the Eurozone. Without that being the same, high levels of unemployment were bound to come about in some EU countries and that is what we are seeing in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain already.

Let me explain what I mean by Unit Labour Costs. Simply put it is the labour cost of producing one item of something. Let’s say in a very simple economy you employ me to produce glass tumblers. You pay me £10 per hour and I produce 10 tumblers an hour. The unit labour cost is £1 per tumbler.

In another country, let’s say they produce salt cellars. There they pay their workers €10 per hour and they produce 10 salt cellars per hour. The unit labour cost of one salt cellar is €1.

So in this simple example, the terms of trade are equal and £1 will equal €1.

If my wages were increased to £11 per hour and but my output remained at 10 tumblers per hour. The unit labour cost is now £1.10 each. If our neighbours increased their wages to €11 per hour and increased their output to 11 salt cellars, their unit labour cost remains €1.00 per unit.

The terms of trade are now against us. More £s leave our banks than the €s that are coming in because we now sell less of our products.

Under the laws of supply and demand the exchange rate of our currency would fall. In this simple example it would fall by 10%, bringing the terms of trade back into balance and trade carries on as it did before.

This is how countries, like us, for decades have been able to increase the wages to our workers faster than their output has increased. The £ fell in value from around $4 to the £1 in the 1950s to about $1.50 now.

Unit labour cost is a factor of wages paid and productivity, but productivity itself among other things is dependent on the amount of capital invested in each worker and climate. Capital because if you have been given a new machine and I am producing solely by hand you will produce a lot more than I would. Climate because it is much easier to work in the fairly temperate northern Europe than it is in the hot South, where it is often too hot to work in the afternoon.

For a single currency area to work, unit labour costs have to increase at the same rate in each country all of the time, but that is impossible.

Assuming that the European Commission can do nothing to change the climate, though it does seem to be trying very hard to, I’ll concentrate on capital.

The amount of capital invested per worker would have to be the same in every country and increase at the same rate so there would have to be an ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE transfer of capital from the industrialised northern countries to the more impoverished southern and eastern ones.

It had never occurred to me until now that the European Commission would deal with this in an altogether different way – move large numbers of people from the East to the West.

So what will be the effect of unit labour prices rising faster in some countries than others? Quite simply it will be loss of exports and jobs in the poorer performing ones, which is what we have seen in recent years.

Unemployment rises, the government’s tax receipts fall because there are fewer people in work, welfare spending goes up because there are more unemployed and all of a sudden the government has to borrow large sums of money to keep going and in its turn faces bankruptcy.

The solution to the problem for an independent state, as Argentina did a few years ago, is to default on your debts, reduce interest rates and devalue your currency. These three things are done together and the economy goes through a dramatic recovery. Unfortunately these solutions are not available to the countries in the Eurozone.

Instead the European Commission has imposed austerity measures on the southern European states, putting up taxes and reducing government spending which actually makes the situation worse by creating more unemployment.

Incredibly, to try to bring unit labour costs down, they are actually reducing the wages paid to workers. Even if by some miracle this reduction in wages brought them back to parity with Northern Europe it would be a fleeting solution only as in the very next day, unit labour costs would change by different amounts in different countries and we’d be back on the same path to disaster again.

If Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain had kept their own currencies they would been able to devalue them over the years allowing them to remain solvent. Instead the EU’s great vanity project, the Euro, has been imposed on them and maintained at extraordinary costs to their people.



Huhne: economical with the actualité – again

That fine example of honour, truth and moral rectitude, has an article in the Guardian today; from which:

 It rejected a Norwegian or Swiss half-pregnant option where you apply the rules but get no say over making them.

As with the old canard about 3 million jobs being dependent on our membership of the European Union, one that has been repeated so many times the needle has worn a hole in the record, so with this lie about Norway and ‘fax-democracy’.

Huhne needs to read this, especially the sections headed: The Origin of Rules and International Treaty Bodies - you never know, the ‘fumb duck’ might learn something.

Needless to say I shan’t hold my breath waiting for the MSM to take Huhne to task – although, with a bit of luck, Christopher Booker, who is undoubtedly a cut above the MSM, might be so persuaded. 

Just saying…………


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