Sunday, November 29, 2009

Google Ethics?

They talk about it all the time on the TV, Google's motto official or otherwise is "Don't be evil".

So, by extension, despite hundreds of thousands, if not millions of sites referring to and writing about Climategate, why is it not a valid "query selection" that they will automatically offer in their search box? Does Google consider the ready availability of information questioning the CO2 link to Climate Change as "evil"? This is not new to today; this has been the case all week as I have tried a number of times using google to see what is coming out new on this story around the world. I thought earlier in the week that it was suspicious, but put it down to being a new topic and my readiness to see a conspiracy; I am no longer alone in this query.

I am not sure what it is about this story that has Google worked up, but are they trying to help hide an important scientific argument, or is it that they feel they now control the direction of free speech on the internet? Either way, it’s not very impartial and not at all fitting with their self written lofty ethics. Shame on you.

Google UK:

Google Germany:



Google Ireland:


Google France:



It's not just Europe, see Google Canada:



God bless America for protecting free speech:


Dr North - Googlegate?
James Delingpole - Googlegate?
Christopher Booker - Climategate: Is this the worst scientific scandal of our generation?

1st Year Blogoversary


One year in the blogosphere.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Caption Competition - 27-Nov-09


Farage In EU Parl - Another Great Video



I have posted a number of videos from Nigel Farage before, this one will not disappoint. Firstly Mr Farage delivers another soaring speech that is typical of him, but also he reveals (well, I didn't know this..) that Baroness Ashton is not only an awful choice for the post to which she has been appointed (or, is perfect if you wish to flip it on it's head) but she was the Treasurer for the CND in the 1980's when sizable and questionable donations were received.

Keep watching after Mr Farage sits down. The reaction from those in the chamber to a speech that broadly mirrors the opinions of the people of the UK reveals exactly why the UK must leave the EU, for we, and our views are not appreciated nor are they welcomed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Climategate - US Congress To Investigate



Unlike the British news outlets, the US news is now reporting on the Climategate emails, it's not just Fox (video above) CBS is also giving this some prominence on their TV news and website.  Now the US Congress has decided that it is serious enough to warrant an investigation. Gerald Warner has more HERE

It is a reflection on the UK political scene that these emails have been hacked from a British University, involve British scientists and yet the media is largely apathetic to the news and is not giving it much attention.  Furthermore, that a foreign legislature has felt the need to look into the actions before the UK Government, and probably in that absence of any kind of UK Government investigation.  There may be much more to be revealed in this story, as it seems that New Zealand's research data may have been "massaged" to present the results desired rather than to represent the true conclusions of science.

I am troubled by that claims of a scientific nature are coming under a cloud of ambiguity.  Science is science, it is the function of uncovering the facts of how things work and explaining and reproducing those effects.  If the CO2 cheer-leaders all act like Ed Begley Jr in the above clip, they will lose the argument. 

There is, I think a general acceptance that we should not pump chemicals into the air, and dump pollutants into the sea.  There is a tangible and explainable science to recycling our materials.  The CO2 argument is different, CO2 is a naturally occurring gas, a combination of two of Earths basic and necessary elements, Carbon and Oxygen; Cloroflouorocarbons have no history of abundance in our environment.  CO2 has been around on earth for millions of years, but Climatologists are making claims on two decades of primary research. 

We owe it to ourselves to be crystal clear about science, especially when we are set to make laws and take actions that affect all of us on a daily basis.  In fact, "we" are not making those decisions, the decisions are being made again by "experts" and unelected leaders.  Beyond a reasonable doubt is probably the best term that should be applied.  As far as I can tell, nobody in the world has been able to show a negative effect of CO2 using sound science.  Computer models that have been presented have been exposed as having implanted data applied to fill in gaps that if removed lead to different conclusions; Graphs that supposedly plot data are shown to not represent the real data at all, and I keep reading that Weather Station data is presented in a selective way.  Why also are so called "Climatologists" so reluctant to release raw data behind their research?  If other Scientist cannot reproduce your results, it is not Science, it is a claim.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to the people of America, or at least the few of you that that read this blog.

We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, but we know all about it from watching your sitcoms and hospital dramas.  It seems like a fun day.

Have a lovely day.

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Tarquin takes Peter Hitchens to task over the Monarchy

Ian Parker-Joseph says that the Euro-Federalists are moving quicker than ever now; and names Daniel Hannan as a progressive communitarian.

Subrosa says that News Corp and Microsoft are discussing an internet tie up deal.

Roger Helmer introduces to us an exciting renewal energy technology.

Tory Bear calls for a new Conservative leader.... In Scotland.

And Finally, JuliaM has the story of a spiritualist ghost-buster, Merseyside Police and a tribunal.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best Placed Economy In The G7...

...Best placed of those needing an IMF bailout loan help that is.




So, was he lying? Was he so incompetent not to know? or, is he simply deluded?

A good summary, plus more blogable graphs from Mark Bathgate over on Coffee House, who is filling in now Fraser has moved up to the Ivory Tower. 


200 years ago, Gordon Brown would have been dragged from Parliament and shot for gross incompetence and betrayal of the nation.

100 years ago, Gordon Brown would have been unceremoniously relieved from his position and lampooned forever as the profligate buffoon he really is.

Today, he is able to command a state funded broadcaster to dictate the mantra that he has saved the world, whilst selling out the poorest to a legacy of state dependency and crippling taxation; meanwhile, yet again, continental Europe, with Browns complicity has its sights on destroying the free enterprise initiative of the City of London, the very heartbeat and soul of our strength and identity as a world trading nation. 

And yet, somehow, in a way that future historians will understand less than us, he somehow still gets double figures in opinion polls.

Busy Day

Thinking ahead to next year, it is my intention to reformat Daniel1979 Blog to something a bit more unique, moving away from the standard blogger layouts.  It must be said, I am a complete duffer with such things as HTML so in this vein I have been looking about and doing some homework to what is available to pauper bloggers like myself on the Internet.  Anyway, I stumbled upon a fantastic format that immediately seemed to suit one of my other ventures, Football Banter, and tonight, with just a couple of hours graft, I have managed to roll out the new format over there.  For those of a Football, Blogging and/or Football Blogging persuasion, I hope that you like it.



Hopefully, all of the changes and potential problems have been identified upfront, and thus, the hard work is now done.  I have to say there is a wealth of solutions available, albeit with licensed conditions to those of us on the blogger platform, god bless the internet!

Changes will come here ready for New Year, but no concrete decisions have been made.  Though the url will remain, I am also toying with the idea that "Daniel1979 Blog" is not the most eyecatching nor enticing blog name and a top level name change will probably be accommodated.  I might even drop the "1979" in favour of coming out, so to speak; but in truth will in all likelihood look for something a little more whimsicle.

Add a full shift at the office and it has been a busy day!

President Van Rompuy Haiku

Inspried to leave a comment over on The Boiling Frog's new blog I left this...



We never voted
President Van Rompuy in
Democracy died.


Stop laughing at the back.

Think you can do better?  Then feel free.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dr Tim Ball Interview On Climategate



Hattip: Anoneumouse

Recommended Reading 24-Nov-09


Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:





William Rees-Mogg says that the EUsceptics are the real friends of Europe.


Tim Collard is mad with the bankers for wanting to end free banking in the UK.


The Mail was the first mainstream paper to give some prominence to the CRU emails...


... Though The Devils Kitchen had already summed things up quite nicely.


The All Seeing Eye reports that the British Navy have fired shots off the coast of Gibraltar.


And finally, Ben Brogan polls his readers as to why no one likes David Cameron.


Enjoy!

First They Were Drowning Toy Puppies...

Now...



Remember, you must be affraid, becuase it makes you easier to govern.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Poll Tells A Different Story For The Tories

From Politics Home, a poll by Angus Reid

Conservatives - 39%

Labour - 22%

Liberal Democrats - 21%

Others - 18%

This poll would give somewhere around a 170 majority to the Conservatives demonstrating how crazy the current boundaries disparity is, and how different pollsters are able to predict wildly different political scenarios every few days by using slightly different methods and weighting.  This is a new polling firm, and a healthy 2,000 were sampled.  UK Polling Report already has written this up, and they confirm that the pollsters weighting disadvantages Labour, but only very slightly.

Right, now the interesting point on this poll, 18% is a hefty number for the "others" which has generally been sitting anywhere between 12% and 15% for a while, except for a few weeks around the EU elections.  I suspect the biggest chunk goes to the SNP, but what is the UKIP number?  That is going to be telling in the next election as potentially 2 in 3 new UKIP voters will be drawn away from the Conservatives; or at least, that would be my prediction. 

I wonder what the number is that UKIP need to poll before the Conservatives start to look over their shoulders (if they are running polls that splits the "others", and I think it is a safe assumption that they do).  I think from memory UKIP polled a little over 2% at the last General Election, so anything around 5% would be I think a fair improvement at this point, but anything higher still must be a concern for their opponents.  And not just with the Tories; UKIP will be looking to unseat Liberal Democrats in the South as well.  UKIP will not be winning this election, but they are looking like the party that costs others key seats at this election.  They don't need a leader to be out campaigning for them, especially when "Cast-Iron Dave*" keeps driving the EUsceptics moving away from voting Conservative.

170 Majority at the top end, and a niggling annoyance growing at the other.  When If the Conservative number contracts, we will have a very interesting story.

I look forward to reading other bloggers opinions on this, but in the morning.



*This seems to be the settled nickname for him on the blogosphere now.

President Rompuy - 0.008% Legitimate

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Agenda

Over on SNP Tactical Voting I left a comment on a recent piece about the death of blogging, and in reply Jeff left me a comment, part of which was to say

“…I read your blog but it's not immediately obvious which side of the many fences you come down on which could maybe count against you. It shouldn't but it could…” The full post and comments is HERE.

I don’t disagree with Jeff’s point, but it did make me pause for some thought.

When I started this blog it was after reading a number of other blogs, mostly on MSM sites and although I agreed with much of it, I found it frustrating when issues I though important went uncommented on, and on occasion when important topics were framed in a way that I felt missed the point; whether deliberate or not. It was also started with an ignorance of just how broad the Blogosphere really is. But it was started to be a place for my thoughts and ideas and that was how I wanted it to be.

My voting record and intentions are a matter of record here; I have voted Conservative in the past two General Elections, which are the only two I have been old enough to vote for. I voted Jury Team at the last EU Elections, and UKIP prior to this. With the current Conservative policies on the EU I have resolved that I cannot bring myself to vote for them until the Conservative Party gets a hold of itself over the EU and commits to withdrawal. Jeff is right; my politics are all over the shop, because I vote on the policies and how I see them. My politics do not line up to any of the parties exclusively. This is obviously showing through in my posts.

You will not get party allegiance here. I am broadly of the political Libertarian Right, and when The Conservatives, UKIP, LPUK and even the English Democrats and Jury Team talk about issues I see to be important, they get my support, and when they are not making much sense I will also say when I disagree. I would say the same of the Parties of the Left such as Labour, Lib Dems and the BNP, but I have not found anything I can side with them on; so they will continue to receive my criticism.

I am writing this blog because for many years I have taken an active interest in politics, and the more I read and the more I wanted to take part the more frustrated I became. There was a point when I wanted to get involved with the Conservatives and go knocking on doors, and try and win people and voters over. But, I do not agree with the Conservatives on certain things. I certainly do not agree with their current stance on the EU, and feel sorry for the people that have recently felt that they have been let down. But there is much more than that, the Conservatives are a “broad church” and for that they should be commended, but on policy, it is the same collection opposing factions in Westminster pulling the strings. Their only real strength is their continued presence in Westminster as a non-left wing party. The rise of the internet and with new ideas being expressed, I think their position as the sole power on the right of British politics is going to be severely challenged in the next two decades. Anyway, they do not stand for everything I believe in, no party does, so they will not earn my membership, nor my blog allegiance (bloglegiance).

I believe the state should be small, and that it should be drawn by the people of the people and for the people. The state is currently suffocating people, and I want to argue against this. I believe in the rule of law, and that those laws should be written by democratically elected representatives, and that execution of the law should be done by civilians, and that the law should be applied fairly. I believe that people should be distrustful of the state, and should be able to stand up to the state so as to demonstrate that we are being governed by our kin and our neighbours. I want the state to represent the views of the majority opinion, but to show compassion and understanding to the minority. I want the state to only have as much power as is needed to execute its duties, to legislate and protect the people it represents. I want the state to never believe it is above its own laws or the values of those they serve. I want the state to stay out of the way and out of the lives of individuals and families, I want it to have boundaries and a framework it dare not cross. I want people to be able to live their lives, to exchange information and news freely, to be free to assemble without molestation, for the state to know that it works for the people and is there to serve us, not the other way around. And most importantly, if and when any of the above is infringed upon with or without intention or malevolence, I want the people to be able to throw out the whole rotten lot and appoint a group of people, who, can stand and win office on the strength of their arguments and bring about a new government as mandated by the people. There are measures by which all of the above can be monitored, and in my mind we live in sad and dangerous times.

Unfortunately for me, to be able to blog here and write in defence of my political beliefs, I am unable to put myself into the camp of one party. Yes, I generally feel that none of the political parties can match my lofty ideals, but that as I see it is their malfunction, not mine. Looking across parties, there are bits here and there that I agree with, and in my position I am free to do so. I do not expect my opinions to be universally accepted or understood, but there is always the comment form for people who do visit here to register their opposition. Jeff’s point was that without a tribe in which to belong I may be missing out on a few people’s blog rolls and that that may be costing me some lost traffic. That may be the case, it certainly seems logical. I don’t think that I can bring myself to plead for blog roll links from those who feel that they cannot link here because I am not towing a party line, because there are many who already have linked to me without that fear; plus, I don’t want to. If I am losing traffic it is because I am not as good at this as other bloggers and I know I am not as good a writer as I wish I was. If I get a hit and that person does not come back, I only did half of my job. I have not broken the glass ceiling because I have not been able to entice people to keep reading my musings. For the record, Jeff is a fantastic blogger who is able to write impartially and cogently about a party and cause that he is obviously passionate about, and also then is able to engage in detailed follow up in the comments. If you are not terribly familiar with his blog, please make some time and have a read. There are some brilliant Scottish bloggers, and in my opinion the SNP bloggers are winning the argument for a separation of the UK, an opinion that they are convincing me on that I did not hold a year ago.

So I am not about to join any party, but I am going to try to be clearer about where I stand on certain matters. There are probably a thousand blogs where you can go to get party grass roots and member’s commentary. But come to this blog and you will get my honest assessment, but you can always know by coming here that I am not pushing you towards a particular party. I am not sure if that counts for anything on the political blogosphere, but that’s just how it is.

And as one of my film heroes says “and that’s all I got to say about that.”

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Recommended Reading 21-Nov-09

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Guido says that Labour is playing politics with railway station improvements.

Jeff wonders if we are witnessing the death of blogging.

Patently is angry, again.

Esther Addley says that a blogger called Darren guessed the identity of Belle De Jour years ago.

And finally, Letters From a Tory says that the Climate Change camp is under fire in the blogosphere.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun Stairs

From those crazy Swedes, and Volkswagen.


video

Friday Caption Competition (New)




More Lies; Three Months Later Megrahi Lives

It has been three months since Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison and sent home to Libya to see out the final three months of his life in his home country.

Today, Al-Megrahi lives, and according to Guido has been discharged from the medical centre that was treating him. Seems he is not so close to death after all.

The Governments in Westminster and Edinburgh have lied to the people of the UK about this story. Leaked Ministerial documents to the Sunday Times showed that the view from the UK Government was that it was in the "overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom" that the convicted terrorist be released. At the same time a long standing negotiation between Libya and BP that had been running for many months hit the rocks.  The conclusion of the UK Government was of course linked to the oil deal.  Gordon Browns government made the decision to release Al-Megrahi and very soon afterwards the Libya/BP deal was concluded.

The Sunday Times claim that it was in fact Jack Straw who pushed for a U-turn. They claim that two letters dated five months apart showed that Al-Megrahi was not under any consideration for release, though there was a British-Libyan prisoner exchange on the table. The Libyans ramped up the pressure on the BP deal, and included Al-Megrahi as a condition.

Upon his release Saif Gadaffi insisted that Al-Megrahi's release HAD been linked to the oil deal, yet the UK Government still denies this. Said Gadaffi concluded “Nobody doubted Libya wanted BP and BP was confident its commitment would go through. But the timing of the final authority to spend real money was dependent on politics.”

In case you are wondering, £15 Billion is the estimated profit BP will make from the oil deal. And in the end it took just a few weeks for our Governments to stitch up a deal that sold our principles and belief down the river for the associated tax revenues of an oil deal. There was no vote in Parliament, no public debate, no consultation with the families of the victims of The Lockerbie Slaughter. This is just how politics is done in Britain today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Queens Speech



I'll save you 6 minutes, The Queen says... "My Prime Minister has a cunning plan" in her best Baldrick voice then reeled off a load of predictable nonsense from a Labour written handbook.  The End.

86% Want Britain Out Of The EU

According to the Daily Express.

So, when can we expect that referendum then?

Recommended Reading 18-Nov-09

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Tom Harris speaks out against plans to regulate the blogosphere.

Spiegel say that President Obama has failed the world on climate change.

Iain Martin says that Brown is bouncy.

Sophie Tredmanson says the church of scientology has been accused of torture and forced abortions in Australia.

And finally, from the Daily Mail, the man who married his own daughter so he could stay in the UK.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Compass Rumour

The think tank Compass may now be ready to move against Gordon Brown, despite not being prepared to earlier this year; though their support or lack of it may be linked to what is announced in the pre-budget report on 9th December.  It seems they are worried Brown might lose so many seats, the Labour Party will have little to salvage come next summer.

Story is on the Guardian.

Hat-Tip: Fabienne.

Tax Doesn't Have To Be Taxing

.... Apparently it does actually.


I spent 3 hours in a meeting today, which I initially thought was to prepare us for the UK rate change on 1st January but was actually to tell us that tax rules throughout the EU are changing, especially in relation to services. And with about 6 weeks to go, some of the national legislation has not yet been published. This is an issue for us when transacting for example out of Germany.  Most of this stems from an EU directive passed in February 2008, however national Governments have still not put the legislation in place formally leaving all businesses precious little time now to be prepared.

The point is, I work for a big IT company, and we pay a well known Financial Services firm for accountancy advise and we pay a lot of money for a well known IT software to transact our business on. None of it can be compliant today with the (known) changes.  We will work hard and undoubtedly have to pay to get compliant before the deadline.  But we have just 6 weeks to meet compliance with as yet unwritten tax laws and with as yet unannounced VAT rates and changing EU VAT regulations.

If you are a part of, or know someone who is a part of a business that transacts cross-border sales, especially if they transact any type of services, please tell them to call their tax accountant right away. My company will find this exceptionally challenging - if you are a small business you are about to get completely walloped.

It is not just rules and rates that are changing; there are filing timeline changes in some EU countries (with subsequent fines for non-compliance). 

Good luck!

Recommended Reading 17-Nov-09

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

The All Seeing Eye has an update on the stealth closures of parts of the British Forces Post Office.

Jeff says that the SNP should drop their 2010 referendum plans.

Boris Johnson says we should worry that so many people are fleeing because of the 50p tax rate.

James Higham asks, why was Enid Blyton so controversial?

And finally, a surprising piece on the BBC website looking at what the outcome would be if the UK exited the EU.

Enjoy!

President Rompuy

Meet your new President, his name is Herman Van Rompuy and he is currently the Prime Minister of Belgium. He is a Flemish Christian Democrat who is not very well known outside of Belgium.


He has emerged as front-runner and will likely be installed in December, if he can keep a low enough profile until the next EU Summit being held in Brussels next week. He is the favourite of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy for two reasons. Firstly, he is a low profile character who would mould the role, for his tenure at least as more of a Chairperson than of a jet-setting President. Sarkozy and Merkel have apparently agreed that they do not want to be seen as playing second fiddle to an EU presence on international junkets.

The second appealing factor is Mr Van Rompuys likely legislative agenda as he is a staunch fan of the original EU Constitution and a Federalist. His domestic manifesto was penned largely by him and called for a massive expansion of the presence of the EU in councils, town halls, schools and in sporting events all around the EU. The document also says that apart from the EURO, other national symbols need to be replaced by European symbols, such as licence plates, EU Identity Cards, EU Flags at all government buildings across the EU and EU Sporting teams and events.

When the EU Constitution was dropped by the people of Europe and re-introduced without the EU Anthem he told the Belgian Parliament

It is also a certainty that President Van Rompuy will additionally be the instigator of direct taxation to the EU which he has championed for many years. Initially this will be in the form of “Green Taxes” drawn from petrol pumps and from aviation duties, but the aim will be to ring fence VAT across the EU and make it a direct tax set by and paid to the EU.
“We go on with the ratification of the European Constitution in all our parliaments, but we need to admit that for the moment the project is over. However, this doesn’t mean that we cannot continue to work in a creative way in the direction which the Constitution points in.
“I don’t object if we break up the Constitution into smaller parts, as long as we continue to work in the same direction: in the direction of more Europe.”

The adoption of the Lisbon Treaty has paved the way for a Federal Europe, and this will now be rolled out; but it will be done so under the guise of the wishes of the peoples of Europe, when really it is for the betterment of the new elite. The EU has used soft power as a means to consolidate central control of EU Nations for many years, and it will roll out the next phase of the EU project in the same manner. EU Flags will be sent to town halls, schools and Government buildings. The EU Ring of Stars is already proudly displayed in a number of EU countries, but by no means all. The destruction of National Identity and formal efforts towards a European Identity will be openly adopted. The EU which has been working its way into schools without a mandate for years will now have the final say on the way and manner our children are educated. If they cannot win our minds they will take our children’s instead.

What is our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown likely to do? Nothing. Though Whitehall will give the impression of resisting many of the above mentioned initiatives they are at heart fully sold up to the EU project. It is only for appearances sake that Labour will make some overtures, but as soon as these matters have come into place they will be fully supported and pointed to as Labours willingness and ability to work well with European Partners. But the truth is, it is all about giving the appearance that some domestic control and scrutiny remains when in truth it does not. The Conservatives will talk about a Federal Europe being unacceptable, but they too know the only way out now is what they consider the nuclear option, withdrawal.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Franco Frattini, the Italian Foreign Minister has called for a single European Army to be created to underpin a common European Defence policy. The logic according to Mr Frattini is:


"if we do not find a common foreign policy, there is the risk that Europe will become irrelevant. We will be bypassed by the G2 of America and China, which is to say the Pacific axis, and the Atlantic axis will be forgotten. We need political will and commitment; otherwise the people of Europe will be disillusioned and disappointed. People expect a great deal of us. After Lisbon we have no more alibis".
Was he speaking for you when he said that? No, me either. He continued his assessment concluding that it was a “Necessary objective to have a European Army” because
"Take Afghanistan: at present President Obama asks Poland, or Italy, or Great Britain for more troops. If there were a European army, he would have a 'toolbox' to draw from. He might need 30 aeroplanes: he would be able to ask if the European army was in a position to provide them."
…. Erm, so we should have a European Army because it will make it easier for the Americans to deploy European troops and assets??

Keep your eyes peeled. These are the sorts of discussions that long ago would have been conducted in Parliament by representatives drawn from the people of the UK (and soundly rejected). Now the fundamental decisions of our lives are being made in Brussels, Paris and given in interviews to journalists from the Times along the Tiber. The discussion and topics will be contextualised by the agents who support these changes, and opponents will be quickly marginalised.  Gordon Brown may hark on about Britain having influence in Europe, but he also said that the UK was best placed of all G8 Countries to see out a recession and that his Party would not make spending cuts... His belief that the UK has influence in the EU proves how well Sarkozy and Merkel can marganilise him without him even realising.

Democracy truly is the most valued and also the vaguest of political terms in the political world; oh fair England what is the reason for your extended slumber?



18-Nov-09 Update: I did not realise that Mr Rompuy is also a poet, good thing then that Iain Martin did and has published someo of his work.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Interesting Thought

With David Miliband not taking an EU job there were unsurprisingly a few whispers that there might be another coup attempt in the offing somewhen before the next elections.  I personally do not think an attempt will now be made to usurp the Prime Minister.  The plotters have already failed to remove the least most popular Prime Minister in recent history, which really shows what little strength they truly have.  Besides, any challenge would almost certainly now trigger an early General Election rather than a leadership contest and too many Labour MP's stand to lose too much money if they get sent home early.

Anyway, the keen eye is on Ministers and ex-Ministers to see who will move first, and who is posturing now ready for a post General Election Labour leadership bid.  There is one candidate that no one has yet mentioned as a future leader of the opposition.  Gordon Brown.

It seems to be assumed that following an electoral drubbing Gordon Brown will step down as leader.  But why?  The man is quite delusional when it comes to his outlook on most things.  He swore that the UK was best placed of all EU and G8 countries to weather his recession.... look how wrong he was, but look also at how he believed it to be true.  He also thinks he has saved the world, and that only he and his mroal compass know what is best for country and party.  Labour failed to step up and remove Brown when they had the opportunity to.  They listened to Gordon's tears rather than what the country wanted.  With a reduced number of MPs in the next Parliament, possibly under 180 seats in total, the task of forced removal may actually be even harder than now under Labour Party rules.  Gordon Brown may just see it as his duty to stay on, he will probably assert that he is the only person who could lead the Labour Party back to past glory, and it may be old hands in safe seats that control that balance and allow him that opportunity.  How will messers Miliband, Straw and Johnson react to that?

Just something to think about.

The Great EU Debate #2

Check out this new advert from the Tax Payers Alliance which is going to target cinema audiences.




Hattip: The Big Blue Bear

The Great EU Debate

The Tax Payers Alliance last week launched The Great EU Debate which is a cross-party effort to encourage public debate on the future of Britains EU membership.  As part of the lauch they are giving away 5,000 copies of the book Ten Years On, Britain Without The EU.

Additionally the TPS is conducting numerous interviews with people on all sides of the arguement.  Here is Daniel Hannan's cogent contribution.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Recommended Reading 15-Nov-09

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Christopher Booker says that the EU Commission have stayed in office illegally.

JuliaM says we must never get rid of Jury Service, and has a good example of why.

Roger Helmer MEP has a good piece about the Bureaucracy of the EU (and a reason why you might want to think twice about being one of his suppliers.)

Helene Mulholland says that Gordon Brown has spoken to Rupert Murdoch since the misspelling row.

The Sunday Times says that the Italian Foreign Minister is pushing for single European Army.

And finally, John Redwood lists ten things Gordon Brown could apologise for.

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Question

Is there a convention of when Christmas decorations should be put up in one's home?  I assumed there isn't one because they seem to be going up from October in different places.  I know they are supposed to come down on the 12th day, but I am not clear of when they should go up.

I am of the mindset to leave it as late as possible as I get bored of the sight of them if they go up too early.  My wife [who is usually right about all matters concerning what happens in the house] has just asked if we could put them up soon.  The village lights were being put up last night, and I saw weeks ago that they turned the lights on in London.  The Tesco's where I shop has had Christmas cards on the shelves since July.

And is it just me, or are other people seemingly putting their decorations up earlier now than they did in years past?  When I was growing up, we would put them up on the last day of school, which meant the tree was up about a week, or less, before Christmas.  Now however, my parents seem to be putting them up in early December.  Are others feeling compelled to put theirs up earlier now?

Any thoughts? 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Missed Opportunity

David Dimbleby will miss Question Time tonight for the first time in 15 years after an unfortunate accident involving his wife’s bullock.

The press statement reads:
David Dimbleby will not be chairing Question Time this week – the first he has missed in over 15 years – but he will return next week. John Humphrys will temporarily take the chair tonight.

David Dimbleby was injured yesterday in a minor farming accident. David was loading a bullock onto a trailer when the bullock reared resulting in David being briefly knocked out. He also received a cut to the head that required stitches.

David is recovering well. He attended hospital yesterday, but as he received a head injury, he is staying there for observation. This is just as a precaution, which is not unusual for a patient suffering concussion, and he should return home shortly.

David would like to thank the staff at the hospital and he looks forward to returning to Question Time next week. He said: “I haven’t missed a Question Time in over 15 years. Trust my wife’s bullock to take me out. I’ll be giving bullocks a wide berth in future.”
Though I obviously would wish Mr Dimbleby a speedy recovery and hope he recovers well, I was disappointed to see that the replacement host has been announced as John Humphrys. Not because I have any particular gripe with Mr Humprys, it’s just, a more radical guest host could make for a one off exciting episode.

Imagine say, David Starkey or Nigel Farage steering usually sterile debate along in a different direction. There are absolutely loads of people who could have made a one off crack at it that could have make for an excellent episode. Perhaps even more of a firebrand, someone like George Galloway who might not bother letting the panellist answer and just answer all the questions himself with some blairing rhetoric.  This is such a missed opportunity!

Ho hum.

As it happens, joining Mr Humphrys tonight will be former Tory Shaun Woodward, Pauline Nevile-Jone for the Conservatives, Lib Dem Julia Goldsworthy, Will Self and James Cracknell. Might I also recommend that if you are watching Question Time you simultaneously join in with the excellent live blog session that will be hosted over on Biased BBC where the debate and lively banter is never sterile.

Recommended Reading 12-Nov-09

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Mark Bathgate says that the UKs debt rating may soon be revised down after two recent signs from the IMF and the EU commission.

Harry’s Place says that the Sun proves just how easy it is to get someone’s name wrong.

Gregg wonders if Geraldine Smith MP is a coward or a bully?

Tim Worstall says that permits and licences are the enemies of freedom.

Gerald Warner thinks that the EUSSR Commissars have killed freedom and are posing as Democrats.

And finally, courtesy of Steve Tierney meet your new super hero, Captain Euro!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

EU Referendum Pledges

Just for the record, and because I have been critical of David Cameron and the Conservatives lately I felt compelled to add a clarification.  Though I am displeased with the Conservatives and David Cameron what Labour and the Liberal Democrats did was many times worse.


Labour and Liberal Democrat MP's were elected on the promise of a referendum; they accepted your votes and took their seats based on that pledge.  Once in place they conspired to circumvent that promise.

Nobody at all will be able to trust their pledges this time around.  At no point have the leadership of these parties apologised nor have they expressed any regret.  They lied to win peoples votes then acted explicitly against the wishes of those who voted for them.


Labour's Manifesto Pledge:

The EU now has 25 members and will continue to expand. The new
Constitutional Treaty ensures the new Europe can work effectively,
and that Britain keeps control of key national interests like foreign policy,
taxation, social security and defence.The Treaty sets out what the

EU can do and what it cannot. It strengthens the voice of national parliaments
and governments in EU affairs. It is a good treaty for Britain
and for the new Europe.We will put it to the British people in a referendum
and campaign whole-heartedly for a ‘Yes’ vote to keep Britain
a leading nation in Europe.

Liberal Democrat Manifesto Pledge:

The new constitution helps to achieve this by improving EU
coherence, strengthening the powers of the elected European
Parliament compared with the Council of Ministers, allowing
proper oversight of the unelected Commission, and enhancing the
role of national parliaments. It also more clearly defines and limits
the powers of the EU, reflecting diversity and preventing overcentralisation.
We are thereforeclear in our support for the
constitution, which we believe is in Britain’s interest – but ratification
must be subject to a referendum of the British people.



The fact that anybody in the Labour Party or the Liberal Democrats should try to score points from the Conservative reversal is further proof of what a complete bunch of chancers they are.  They clearly feel absolutely no shame in their lies.  They placed their allegiance to the EU ahead of their pledge to their UK voters.  The Conservatives should accept absolutely no criticism from the Labour or Liberal Democrats on their EU policy; though that won't shut me up.  It cannot be said often enough, deceptions of this ilk have damaged trust in politics and politicians, but failure to acknowledge their misdeeds drives people to despair.

For what it is worth, if the Conservatives had of got in prior to Lisbon's ratification I actually do believe that they would have honoured their pledge and held a vote. But that is hearsay now, what matters is putting things right as soon as possible.

EU Wide ID Card Scheme Ready To Roll

The EU wide ID card scheme provisioned for in the Lisbon Treaty is coming soon.  Pilot schemes are ready to be launched in 2010.

One of the project leaders, Miguel Alvarez Rodriguez has been quoted:

“The main objective now is to test the model in real time with real people. Usability is critical to the success of the framework, so during the pilots we are expecting to refine and improve elements where necessary. Although it was a key factor in the conceptual design, scalability is also a challenge to be addressed in any future extensions of the project.”

So, seeing as the Conservatives opposed the UK scheme before Alan Johnson scrapped it about 20 minutes ago I wonder what both parties reactions will be.  The article does not specify where the 5 trials will be, but seeing as the UK spent a prince's ransom already what is the betting that the UK in whole or in part will be included in the test?

Just when thing feel like they could not possibly get worse; it just does.

Hat tip: Ian Parker-Joseph

The Birth Of The Albion Alliance

James Higham on Nourishing Obscurity has been busy in recent days, and has launched a new initiative which I wanted to make people aware of. Today is the launch of The Albion Alliance.



It will be a grass-roots movement built on the principles of freedom, self-determination and common sense with loyalty to the country and asking it’s people to be above party politics.

It is an effort to unite across political parties in and is hoping to get as many people involved as possible to gather and push hard for:

1. The end of Labour in office

2. An immediate national referendum on our membership of the European Union as it is currently constituted.

3. To work with each other, rather than stand against one another.

The best way to get involved and find out more is to join the group’s mailing list and have a look at the website. Ian Parker-Joseph, leader of the Libertarian Party UK is on board and has penned this linked post on why he feels we need such an alliance.

In principle this sounds like a great idea so I will be keeping an eye on the group and will bring updates on any exciting news.  My feeling has been for a long time now that the anti-EU movement in the UK is too fragmented and easily manipulated and out manoeuvred by the will of the traditional political parties.  Any effort to bring an end to this is worth some attention in my book.

Drunk Woman's Close Call In Subway

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ken Clarkes Take On Tory EU Policy

James Kirkup describes Ken Clarke as "a walking gift to journalism if there ever was one" and then quotes Ken Clarke from the Commons Press Gallery on David Cameron's new EU policy.

Mr Clarke’s words:

“We’re going to have a go at repatriating, going back to the old opt-out on the social chapter. People want to be reassured on criminal justice.

“I think it’s largely reassurance, myself.

“But I do think we will not be alone. We will have allies.

“So long as you don’t over-dramatise it, done properly, there’s a serious negotiation to be had.

“I look forward to getting the debate back to a bit of calmness and common sense on both sides of the argument.”
I wrote down my thoughts after hearing Cameron's speech last week, I have not heard or read anything to make me change my mind. Many Conservatives reaction was supportive of David Cameron, but laced with a not so subtle bitterness which betrayed what was in their hearts, that they were again gambling on the Conservatives coming through for them later on; lying back and thinking of England so to speak.

There is talk of a civil war brewing; this may be the case but I suspect this may take some time to happen. The Conservatives can handle lively debate under the roof of their broad church, even if it is no longer encouraged actively. But the real dilemma is not between the factions but in the hearts and minds of potential and loyal Conservative voters. To many, the question is different. What is the lesser of two evils... Five more years of Labour or acceptance of the Lisbon Treaty and accepting Britain as a province in the new EUslavia? Neither play well in the minds of many.

The return of Ken Clarke the front benches prompted much comment at the time. I reluctantly tried to find some positives in the decision myself. I made the point that Clarke needed to land a scalp and live up to the image of the Big Beast. However, what has he achieved since? Lord Mandy loves having Ken Clarke as a Shadow, he has failed to land any big blows and Mandy even joked at the Labour Conference that Ken Clarke privately agrees with all Mandy has said and is doing. What else could be expected from two paid up EU loving foot soldiers?

It's not like Ken Clarke is doing his homework and trying to hold Labour to account. In a recent exchange in the Commons Clarke proclaimed that British businesses were struggling under the burden of over regulation. His designated chaperone retorted with a simple request for Clarke to name three regulations that he would dismantle... Clarke had no answer. Not one. Perhaps Ken Clarke could find some time to have a read of this or even this - He is going through the motions and not trying very hard. It will be a seamless transition when he takes over from Peter Mandelson.

As I was listening to David Cameron last week on his new EU policy, it did not sound like a speech that had been written by Ken Clarke; it sounded like a speech written for Ken Clarke. Ken Clarke is not someone I would pick out as a good representative what Conservative voters want, or how they think.

The new EU policy has only one unarguable plus point so far as I can see...

David Cameron cannot be accused any time soon of being a popularist when writing up policy.

All of this got me thinking that maybe Clarke was not brought back because he is a big beast, but maybe he just knows where the bodies are buried and convinced Cameron to let him back in. After a not very convincing start to his role, he does not appear to be under any pressure to claim any scalps. Just maybe Clarke has the dirt on Cameron already.

After removing the Conservatives from the EPP in the EU Parliament, one could be forgiven for having expected a more robust line when Lisbon was finally ratified from Cameron; he had certianly convinced the likes on Dan Hannan and William Hague convinced that there were some serious intentions there. Yet instead of looking to the Party and to what they want to see, Cameron looked to Clarke and the supporters of the EU and wrote up another chapter in the Conservative EU play book. Was this a reversal or an attempt at Blairesque triangulation?

Agree with me or not; agree with Cameron or don't. But his EU policy is going to define Cameron and the Conservative Party for a generation and the more it is discussed, and the closer we get to Cameron as PM the greater that split will be felt by those who have to chose which side of the line they want to be on.

EU/Europe Distinction Petition

I just spied this over on bloggers4UKIP
The European Union (EU) is not Europe. Europe is a continent containing many countries, most of which are in the EU. The EU does not cover the whole continent, it does not represent the whole of the continent and the British Government's Europe Minister doesn't form policy on the whole continent of Europe.

The Prime Minister, the British government and the EU itself should stop claiming the whole continent for the EU. The EU should not be referred to as "Europe" and the Europe Minister should be called the EU Minister. Similarly, the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights should be known as the EU Court of Justice and the EU Court of Human Rights.

The Prime Minister should issue guidance on the use of the word "Europe", rename the Europe Minister to the EU Minister and petition the EU to name their institutions appropriately.
I think this is a worthy one.  In my writings I do try to make the distinction between the EU and Europe, though I have probably not been 100% consistent, I do think it is an important distinction in the scheme of the EU debate.  The use of the term "Europe" where the term "EU" should be used is a common one in the distortion of certain opinions, but both sides of the arguement would be well served by observing this convention.

Sign the petition here.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Recommended Reading 09-Nov-2009

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Jackie Ashley says David Cameron will feel a backlash for his change in EU policy in the future, but also says private polling has Labour worried that they may only win about 120 seats at the next election.

David Blackburn says there is renewed tensions between Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown.

The Times says Jack Straw has promised a review when it was revealed that 40,000 assaults are dealt with by way of cautions.

Events Dear Boy, Events says that Alan Johnson does now want to lead the Labour Party given his recent interview.

And finally, check out Guy News this week, for those with a keen eye, Daniel1979 can be spotted outside the Westminster Arms.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Pictures From Westminster

Terrible, really not so good... None the less here they are.





















A good day was had by all.  To the surprise of some there, we were as a group allowed up into the public gallery, though not before it was checked with Parliamentary security what the rules were for entering with masks on... eventually we were waived through into the airport style scanners, were photographed and then queued up where you have to provide your name and address on an official looking form whereby you promise not to disrupt proceedings from the gallery.  All masks and costumes had to be removed.  Truth is,  after only a few minutes of listening to a climate change debate was needed for Old Holborn and the rest of us to fancy heading back to the pub; so we left.

My attendance on the day was in part because I dislike our government and what they are doing, and I am angry with what is going on in Parliament.  I do not feel represented, and I like to get up to Parliament a few times a year to join in with various protests and marches.  Old Holborn would probably point out that this was not a protest, and that would be true, which was my second reasoning.  I wanted to see if a group of individuals who are openly critical of Government could still access Parliament and get in slapping range of our elected and unelected politicians.  With laws being passed that will not allow for unapproved protesting around Parliament, and that prevent people from taking photographs in the street all in the name of protecting us from terrorism, but really enabling MP's and the state to be more and more removed from people; my fear was that a group of people with dissenting opinions may be stonewalled under anti-terrorism laws.  In the grandest traditions of British protest and eccentricity, the land where a person will roll a penny for miles to raise money for charity, walk the marathon in a submariners suit and where magicians will live in a perspex box over the river for a few months, what level of fear, if any would a group of people in plastic masks attempting to watch our government function first hand generate?

From the pub where I met the group who had already been to Downing Street it would seem we were under what I assume was police surveillance. We walked from the Westminster Arms to St Stephens Gate at the front of Parliament.  I found out later that on the way there some of the costumed attendees had met with remarks in the street from people who assumed, well, I am not sure what they assumed, but they felt free enough to let off some disparaging remarks.    At Parliament the main players were denied access initially in their costumes but eventually, when security was satisfied (and after Tory Bear had conducted an Interview for Guy News) we were ushered in and very subtly broken into smaller groups.  Firstly by allowing only a few through the initial security barriers, then by making us queue before heading up to the gallery.  During this time additional groups, including school children were allowed through so as to separate us out.  They needn't have worried, everyone I spoke with was polite and in no way hostile; and quite possibly there out out the same kind of curiosity as I.  It is also worth mentioning that the Police, and uniformed "Police Staff" were again as with my previous visits exceptionally polite, and as with before they seem to enjoy seeing people turn up who will give politicians something to think about.  From previous visits and this one it is clear that the resentment the public feels leads right up to Parliament and is felt by those who protect the fantastic building and those who work there.

On the way out from the gallery, Old Holborn and some others were sidelined by security, though I did not get to hear why.  I was told third-hand that they wanted to know why we were all there, and identified him as the group leader.  Given the reaction from other staff, this may well have been from genuine curiosity and support, though my guess is that OH would have not given them any more info than he wanted to.

And that was that, which lead then to my third and in truth the biggest motivator for going and that was a chance to go have a drink with some fellow bloggers which is always good fun.  Before heading home, The Boiling Frog and I nipped back to the St Stephens Tavern for a quick pint of Badger Beer which has been living in the memory since the May jolly organised by Steve Green.

So it was a good day and a good experience.  Having had a read around everyone seems to have attended and taken away something different from the day.  They do this kind of thing more justice than I do in their writings, so here are a few recommended links to get some different perspectives (and some much better pictures).

Old Holborn - Hogwarts



Billy Blofeld - Old Holborns walk

Dick Puddlecote - Stroll On


And this from Dungeekin, who did not make it but it sounds like he will do next year.

Rainbow

I am just clearing the memory card on our camera when I stumbled upon this which my wife took when we were driving through Ireland last year. I don't think I have ever seen a rainbow appear so close, both to us and to seeing an end arrive to the ground.

video

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

++Daniel Hannan - Returning To Back Benches++

I should not be shocked, but I still was.

Daniel's latest post.

An Autumn Stroll In Westminster

I will be joining Old Holborn and others for a stroll in Westminster tomorrow.



I am going because I am fed up with this government and have been for a long time, and I like to get up to Westminster a couple of times a year to let them know about this.  Admittedly, this may well be the most creatively themed of my trips but having seen the photo's from his previous expeditions there it looks like too much fun to miss.

Plus, at the Bloggers get together in May, Steve Green introduced me to Badger Beer, and I have had a hankering for it ever since, so I will probably pop by the St Stephens inn for a quick reminder as I have not seen it anywhere since.



So if you fancy going come along, full details on Old Holborns Blog.  The more the merrier I believe.  Bring your cameras so as to capture as many images as possible.

David Camerons New EU Policy - My Verdict

So there it is, straight from the horse’s mouth, a Cameron Conservative Government:

- Will accept Lisbon and will not hold a referendum.

- Will attempt to repatriate some Social and Employment laws, (which remain unspecified).

- Will seek an opt-out on the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

- Will offer a referendum guarantee on future power transfers to Brussels.

-  Will pass a British Sovereignty Act stating that the will of Parliament is supreme to that of the EU.


So let's look through this; calmly I hope.

The Conservative Party will accept Lisbon, and only seek repatriation of certain laws laid out as above. So the EU President is in, as is the High Representative, and the EU wide ID Card scheme, control of the police and of our economy. No word though on whether the EURO is now an option. If it is not under the next Conservatives it definitely will be the next time Labour or the Liberals get in. But the bottom line from Cameron is that it was Labour that screwed us and that we should blame Labour, but the Conservatives will not attempt to reverse or take the UK out of the EU or force any retrospective vote on Lisbon.

Initial reaction to this can be read over on the Daily Telegraph, where a group called the "European Movement" could not be happier with David Cameron speech, in fact they are positively thrilled.
The European Movement welcomes the statement by David Cameron today that a future Conservative government would not seek to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty.


Peter Luff, Chairman of the European Movement, said:


“The Lisbon treaty is not in force yet, so it is premature for the Conservatives to say that it is not working and needs to be changed. That would be to put ideology above practicality, which is not the right thing to do. Better to give the new treaty a chance.


“There is a large and far-reaching agenda ahead of Europe at the moment, including economic recovery, fighting climate change, helping Afghanistan attain stability, and improving Europe’s relations with China, Russia and America. The Lisbon treaty will help Europe deal with these important issues.


“Any attempt to renegotiate the treaty will be difficult, time-consuming and counter-productive. It makes more sense to deal with the real issues facing Europe right now than to pick an unnecessary and distracting argument with our European partners.”

There is more, but I think you get the point.

Secondly we have the previously mooted repatriation of powers is limited to some Social and Employment laws. David Cameron acknowledged that he would need the support of all 27 member states and probably only when attached to a new accession treaty could this be achieved. So, if the EU does not expand there can be now repatriation. If the EU offers no new treaties, as it does not need to do now that Lisbon grants self amending powers there will be no repatriation of powers. And if the 27 member states do not agree, there can be no repatriation of powers. Let me spare the guff, this cannot happen, there will be no repatriation on this basis. This is nothing more than wishful thinking. How do I know? Because the working time directive was rammed through the EU Parliament this year with the support of Labour MEPs overriding our previous so called “red line”.

There was nothing, absolutely nothing Gordon Brown as PM could do to reverse it. That was the PM’s position in relation to an EU Directive where the UK had achieved a “red line” BEFORE Lisbon.

There is not a conceivable situation whereby 27 council members or a majority in the EU Parliament will grant this power back to the UK, and Cameron should and I assume does know this. But, he is setting himself up for a fight he will not win or another climb down later on.

As someone who wants out of the EU, the repatriation argument was going to be the key today for me, and how far the Conservatives would be prepared to reach and how hard they were prepared to fight was going to be the key to how badly support would leak away. The answer I take from the speech is not very deep, not very hard and allowing themselves 4 to 5 years to do some pretty undefined and uninspiring stuff. It has not brought me closer to voting Tory; I wonder how many wavering Tories will feel that this is simply not good enough?

The third point is an opt-out on the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Now my understanding is that this is a document that was agreed at Ministerial level about 20 years ago and has been bouncing around ever since. It is not in itself a treaty or laws but a proclamation of statements about Human Rights. There is obvious concern about how this will be interpreted by Judges and how it will affect legal practices throughout the EU. However, I think there is a little misleading going on here.

Human Rights Laws are subject to great debate in the UK, but the fact is, most of these do not stem from the EU, but from the 47 Member Council of Europe and the European Convention of Human Rights which the Council passed. This is not a part of the EU; it has nothing to do with Lisbon. The inclusion of the Charter to Lisbon will not really change the debate in the UK on how Human Rights laws are implemented, and really most of the argument boils down to Judges Interpretation both in the UK and in the ECHR Courts in Strasbourg. The Tabloids will still have plenty to write about on this score. I can’t help thinking this point is a smoke screen from the Conservative Leadership, and the misplacing of laws enacted from the Council of Europe rather than the EU (a mistake frequently made) was often publically seized upon by Ken Clarke to ridicule those who complained about the EU but did not really know what it does. So I wonder if Ken prompted this to be included?

The next point was that the UK Parliament would offer a law to guarantee power of referendum on any future transfers of powers. This I think is an interesting pledge, one which some people will buy into, but here is my thinking. EU law is superior to our own laws on areas where the EU decides it is, and up until now, the EU has required treaties to change the balance of those powers.

The EU now only needs, say 10% control, and without much more than a snap of the fingers, it can assume at will up to 100% of control from the nation-state. That’s the deal that is what we are signed up to. So, by going back to the first point, that generally the Conservatives are accepting Lisbon it is hard to see how any transfer in this sense, the 10% to 100% grab will be possible, in fact I would say it is impossible to achieve and would again require unanimity from 26 other nations who have nothing to gain from an UK opt-out here. I return to the point that an amendment would be required at EU Law, which would never be passed in the council or the EU Parliament and potentially a treaty, of which there may not be another one. If this is not the case I hope someone can link to some supporting evidence, because this is certainly the case now.

But what of that small pool of laws that we have retained, well The Conservatives could pass a law in the UK Parliament guaranteeing that a referendum must be held before any more powers be passed. What is left to be passed? The EU will now control us, our education, our police, our local councils, they can impose ID cards, and control environmental policies, employment laws, and they will soon control our economy and increasingly are merging the lines between the national defence and security initiatives of different nations. Seriously, what is there left to want a referendum on? But even with this law, it is subject to British Law and as such can be reversed by a future Labour or Liberal Government. It is only good for as long as the Conservatives hold power in Westminster. I am not filled with confidence this pledge will serve us in the way it was being sold.

It is in fact very much a symbolic bolting of the barn door when the horse is long gone, only the barn is derelict and the bolt is rusty, so what’s the point? Poor horsies.

Maybe I am wrong, I fail to see how any security can be gained or felt from this pledge.

The final point is the Conservative promise of a British Sovereignty Bill asserting that UK Law is supreme to that of the EU. It is an Interesting notion. However, this is another smokescreen.

During what could laughably be referred to as the debating of the Lisbon Treaty in Parliament, Bill Cash introduced Clause 9 as an attempt by the UK to assert Parliaments supremacy over that of EU Law. The Clause read
“Notwithstanding any provision of the European Communities Act 1972, nothing in this Act shall affect or be construed by any court in the UK as affecting the supremacy of Parliament"

The idea being that UK Courts would not feel obliged to ignore UK Laws where these were contradicted by EU law which no matter how you cut it is considered to be superior to UK law. If a vote in favour of the clause had of been accepted the passing of Lisbon could not have happened, as the text has to be adopted by each country in exactly the form it arrives. The vote for clause 9 was defeated, but that is not the point I am trying to make. It is that it had a chance of passing, however, the night of the vote, the Conservative Whip sent Conservatives the all clear to go home, which they did as the Whips word is as good as the Party Leaders word. Just 7 minutes after the texts were sent, the vote went to the lobbies. Only 48 MP’s were present or able to make it to the vote which was then easily defeated.

If David Cameron views the Supremacy of UK law, why did he have the Whip send everyone home? If David Cameron was serious about not wanting Lisbon, Clause 9 was about the best chance of scuppering it in Parliament, so why not try to do so?

These are questions I do not have the answers to, you will have to draw your own conclusions there, but for the record here are the 48 who deserve a mention for defying the whip and voting for what David Cameron now wants you to believe is his aim to.

Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Binley, Mr. Brian
Butterfill, Sir John
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Conway, Derek
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Gray, Mr. James
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
McCrea, Dr. William
Pritchard, Mark
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Scott, Mr. Lee
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simpson, David
Spink, Bob
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Walker, Mr. Charles
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas

Even if The Conservative Leadership now believes that there should be a protection written at UK Level, it is entirely pointless trying to argue in an EU court that a UK Law supersedes it. It does not, and only someone who does not understand this or a person who hopes that others do not understand this would try something so utterly pointless.

If you are in the EU, you are in the EU 100%. The Conservative will be laughed at all across Europe for even trying to get control back, it ain’t gonna happen and certainly not in the ways they envision. Frankly it shows how little this has been researched because the lawyers will all say the same.

There is a case for a retrospective referendum, but if recognised by the EU it would also have to dismantle the structures of Lisbon (which have all been erected before it became law, so you can be sure this will not happen) and there is a case for an “In or Out” referendum, which will obviously be a vote on whether to leave the EU or not. Such a referendum is the only way of achieving the desired relationship so many of us in the UK want; that of EFTA Membership and full trading rights and access, whilst none of the statehood that comes about by being in the EU. Best of all, we would write our own laws again and govern ourselves again. This is not on the table from the Conservatives; they are tabling acceptance of the EU and nothing stronger than the hint of inclusion of a referendum in a second Conservative Parliament. Sorry but this is not good enough. We all know, thanks to Stuart Wheelers legal challenge that an actual manifesto pledge is not considered sufficient for the courts to act upon, let alone a line in a press conference a whole Parliament before.

So, after today’s speech I can see absolutely no reason to vote Conservative given my strong feelings on the EU, though I now welcome that the Tories can finally admit that we are enthralled to the EU’s wishes, and I think can no longer claim to be an EUsceptic Party. Though I do for some reason still think of David Cameron as a good man, a measure not easily attained in my estimations, I can see no serious policy attempts to make all of our lives better by wresting control away from the EU juggernaut. In fact, I really felt like David Cameron did not fully appreciate exactly how enthralled this country is to the EU. Until the Conservatives really open their eyes to the extent of damage being done to our country by membership of the EU and until Conservative voters are prepared to hold their votes until stronger EU Policy is drafted it is simply more of the same merry-go-round that has led us squarely to where we are today.

Because of my personal feelings I think there will still be a few exits, and possibly a defection or something of that ilk. However, where as Ithink I have a pretty good measure on the Eurosceptic feelings of the country, I have misestimated the level of actions proportionate to certain events, so I am really guessing as to the voter and potential reactionary response here. I am interested in hearing others opinions both on what I have written, but also on their take from Cameron’s speech and how they are feeling about the Conservatives right now. So, feel free to let rip in the comments.