Friday, November 12, 2010

Judicial Ruling - Personal Humour, Not OK

From the BBC.

A man who posted a Twitter message threatening to blow up an airport is facing a £3,000 bill after losing an appeal against his conviction.

£3,000?  What did he tweet?

The message Chambers sent to his 600 followers in the early hours of 6 January said: "Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"

Three grand for that?

At his trial in May, Chambers was fined £385 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge by a district judge.
 On Thursday he was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,600.

Fear not.

After the hearing, actor and Twitter fan Stephen Fry tweeted that he would pay Chambers' fine.
He tweeted: "My offer still stands. Whatever they fine you, I'll pay."

I'd threaten to blow them up for you Mr Chambers, but I can't afford the legal bill.  Besides, "Side bar please your honour!"

Ermm, Your honour if for example the law for Common Assault requires

"Both in the common law and under statute, the actus reus of a common assault is committed when one person causes another to apprehend or fear that force is about to be used to cause some degree of personal contact and possible injury. There must be some quality of reasonableness to the apprehension on the part of the victim. If the physical contact is everyday social behaviour such as a handshake or friendly pat on the back, this is acceptable even though the victim may have a phobia although, if the defendant is aware of the psychological difficulty, this may be converted into an assault if the intention is to exploit the condition and embarrass the victim."

So, M'lud could you confirm for us please; I can spit a threatening promise to maybe kick someone in the nuts next week, but I can't make an obvious joke on twitter?...  Actually don't answer that M'lud, I rather stupidly forgot for a moment we were living in the UK.

Friday Flashback

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Foundation X

The below test is copy and pasted directly from Hansard, though I hat tip Infowars, who in turn hat tipped Charlie's Diary


The question to keep in mind as you read on is, did someone just try to but the British Government, or, should we make Peer's take a drink and drugs test before speaking in the chamber?  You decide.

--

Lord James of Blackheath: My Lords, I do not know what you have done to deserve me this late in the evening but I am afraid that is where it is. It has been a fascinating day. I particularly enjoyed the comments of the noble Baroness, Lady Browning, on the subject of "Brigadoon", which was the first play I ever saw in the West End. I do not think she delivered the punchline. The whole point about "Brigadoon" was that it came out of the mist for only one day in every 100 years. That is a lovely idea for the Opposition.

We have heard today a great many tales of woe and dismay about the future, and some of optimism from this side. I am concerned about where the common ground is in that. One of the lessons of what is now quite a long life is that nothing is ever quite as bad or quite as good as you expect. It is probable that there will be a little more common ground between us than we might foresee at the moment. We might assist that process because growth will be what brings the two sides together. The more growth we can achieve, the more scope there will be to deal with some of the greater calamities that might occur unforeseen-since everything is unforeseen in politics.

I will talk a little about some of the growth opportunities that we might be able to harness and what we can do. As I have mentioned before, one of my great messages is a lesson from Sir Kenneth Cork, who taught me most of what I know about corporate rescue. It is that you cannot rescue a business that does not have a successful past. Anything that does not have a successful past is a failed start-up. Get rid of it and concentrate on the businesses that have a successful past. Where, today, are the businesses with a successful past? They are languishing in the intensive care units of the banks. They cannot get out because most of them have been the victims of expanding their capacity beyond the demands of the marketplace. That is a very expensive situation to get out of once you are in it. It was done with some dexterity and considerable success in the early 1970s through the initiatives that were forthcoming from three Is: investment in industry. One of the great tragedies of our economy at present is that we do not have three Is functioning in that form today. Boy, do we need them.

I am very much a believer in the principle of the collective collapse of generic groups of businesses as entities. Let me give some examples. At the present moment this year, we have probably lost half a million cars in our British export market. They would have been a very big additional factor to the economy, both in production-the wages that would have gone to the people who built them-and in the export value they would have had. Why? It is because the banks played their usual dirty trick a year or two ago: they saw that there were big markets outside-big back-orders-so they let the businesses have the money that they needed to fund the delivery of the order books that they had. The orders came in; they took the cash, reduced the facilities and the automotive component industry did

1 Nov 2010 : Column 1537

not have the working capital to gear up for the massive turn to the diesel engines, which were demanded, and the British export market could not maintain the export requirement necessary to maintain its position on the international scene.

That has largely been corrected now but a similar problem may well happen. The next big crisis is going to come in the second week of February next year when the huge crisis that comes cyclically every year afflicts the retail sector worse than ever. It is already bereft on the high street-with shuttered shops and redundant staff, and a very dismal sight it is. What happens in the banking industry is that it knows that in the first two weeks of February every year, all the credit cards that have been used to buy goods going into Christmas pay, and the retail industry has the lowest borrowings of the year. The banks lie in wait and they grab them. Remember Woolworths? Who is coming next?

So we need someone who can take a grip on a general strategy to save the retail industry from another calamity. One of the great regrets I have at the moment is that the person who would best be able to do that is Sir Philip Green, and he is doing something else. I hope that the Government will hold on to him, and once he has actually finished his present task, he will be told to go and cherry pick the entire retail industry languishing in the hands of the banks, and put together the next version of British Home Stores as a government subsidiary which needs funding and which can be imposed on the banking industry by grabbing each bit, despite the fact that there will be minority bank interests that will not want to sell out for the benefit of the major bank interest, which will get the cream of the equity conversion. That is what three Is should exist to do, and what it did so brilliantly before, and that is why we need it back now.

Another element of the world out there at the moment which is potentially waiting for the pratfall of a massive collective bankruptcy is the food processing industry. The more the accent is moved from the small corner shop to the big grocers, the more production has been stepped up by the food producers to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of cheap food coming through the grocery chains. Of course, they have fallen into the trap again of funding themselves to too high a capacity for the market demand with the result that the grocers can rub their hands with glee and say, "We can screw the margins down so tight you won't be able to breathe" and the suppliers are going to go collectively "pop" at some point in the next few months, because they will not be able to keep up and there is a big social factor coming. We will have the present dependence on cheap food to keep some sort of society structure fed, but we will actually end up being forced up on prices as the industry goes out of business in terms of its ability to keep supply going and prices are forced up in the grocery chains. This is going to be another calamity coming, and we need to have a top-down view as to what to do with it.

I have given your Lordships three examples of why I think we need something, but the creation of the three Is along the lines that I have been talking about would be of the order of a £5 billion cheque required

1 Nov 2010 : Column 1538

to do it. However, we do not have £5 billion; we do not have half of £5 billion to put in to the creation of this at the moment, so what do we do about it? At this point, I am going to have to make a very big apology to my noble friend Lord Sassoon, because I am about to raise a subject that I should not raise and which is going to be one which I think is now time to put on a higher awareness, and to explain to the House as a whole, as I do not think your Lordships have any knowledge of it. I am sorry my noble friend Lord Strathclyde is not with us at the moment, because this deeply concerns him also.

For the past 20 weeks I have been engaged in a very strange dialogue with the two noble Lords, in the course of which I have been trying to bring to their attention the willing availability of a strange organisation which wishes to make a great deal of money available to assist the recovery of the economy in this country. For want of a better name, I shall call it foundation X. That is not its real name, but it will do for the moment. Foundation X was introduced to me 20 weeks ago last week by an eminent City firm, which is FSA controlled. Its chairman came to me and said, "We have this extraordinary request to assist in a major financial reconstruction. It is megabucks, but we need your help to assist us in understanding whether this business is legitimate". I had the biggest put down of my life from my noble friend Lord Strathclyde when I told him this story. He said, "Why you? You're not important enough to have the answer to a question like that". He is quite right, I am not important enough, but the answer to the next question was, "You haven't got the experience for it". Yes I do. I have had one of the biggest experiences in the laundering of terrorist money and funny money that anyone has had in the City. I have handled billions of pounds of terrorist money.

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Where did it go to?

Lord James of Blackheath: Not into my pocket. My biggest terrorist client was the IRA and I am pleased to say that I managed to write off more than £1 billion of its money. I have also had extensive connections with north African terrorists, but that was of a far nastier nature, and I do not want to talk about that because it is still a security issue. I hasten to add that it is no good getting the police in, because I shall immediately call the Bank of England as my defence witness, given that it put me in to deal with these problems.

The point is that when I was in the course of doing this strange activity, I had an interesting set of phone numbers and references that I could go to for help when I needed it. So people in the City have known that if they want to check out anything that looks at all odd, they can come to me and I can press a few phone numbers to obtain a reference. The City firm came to me and asked whether I could get a reference and a clearance on foundation X. For 20 weeks, I have been endeavouring to do that. I have come to the absolute conclusion that foundation X is completely genuine and sincere and that it directly wishes to make the United Kingdom one of the principal points that it will use to disseminate its extraordinarily great wealth into the world at this present moment, as part of an attempt to seek the recovery of the global economy.

1 Nov 2010 : Column 1539

I made the phone call to my noble friend Lord Strathclyde on a Sunday afternoon-I think he was sitting on his lawn, poor man-and he did the quickest ball pass that I have ever witnessed. If England can do anything like it at Twickenham on Saturday, we will have a chance against the All Blacks. The next think I knew, I had my noble friend Lord Sassoon on the phone. From the outset, he took the proper defensive attitude of total scepticism, and said, "This cannot possibly be right". During the following weeks, my noble friend said, "Go and talk to the Bank of England". So I phoned the governor and asked whether he could check this out for me. After about three days, he came back and said, "You can get lost. I'm not touching this with a bargepole; it is far too difficult. Take it back to the Treasury". So I did. Within another day, my noble friend Lord Sassoon had come back and said, "This is rubbish. It can't possibly be right". I said, "I am going to work more on it". Then I brought one of the senior executives from foundation X to meet my noble friend Lord Strathclyde. I have to say that, as first dates go, it was not a great success. Neither of them ended up by inviting the other out for a coffee or drink at the end of the evening, and they did not exchange telephone numbers in order to follow up the meeting.

I found myself between a rock and a hard place that were totally paranoid about each other, because the foundation X people have an amazing obsession with their own security. They expect to be contacted only by someone equal to head of state status or someone with an international security rating equal to the top six people in the world. This is a strange situation. My noble friends Lord Sassoon and Lord Strathclyde both came up with what should have been an absolute killer argument as to why this could not be true and that we should forget it. My noble friend Lord Sassoon's argument was that these people claimed to have evidence that last year they had lodged £5 billion with British banks. They gave transfer dates and the details of these transfers. As my noble friend Lord Sassoon, said, if that were true it would stick out like a sore thumb. You could not have £5 billion popping out of a bank account without it disrupting the balance sheet completely. But I remember that at about the same time as those transfers were being made the noble Lord, Lord Myners, was indulging in his game of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic of the British banking community. If he had three banks at that time, which had had, say, a deficiency of £1.5 million each, then you would pretty well have absorbed the entire £5 billion, and you would not have had the sore thumb stick out at that time; you would have taken £1.5 billion into each of three banks and you would have absorbed the lot. That would be a logical explanation-I do not know.

My noble friend Lord Strathclyde came up with a very different argument. He said that this cannot be right because these people said at the meeting with him that they were still effectively on the gold standard from back in the 1920s and that their entire currency holdings throughout the world, which were very large, were backed by bullion. My noble friend Lord Strathclyde came back and said to me that he had an analyst working on it and that this had to be stuff and nonsense. He said that they had come up with a figure

1 Nov 2010 : Column 1540

for the amount of bullion that would be needed to cover their currency reserves, as claimed, which would be more than the entire value of bullion that had ever been mined in the history of the world. I am sorry but my noble friend Lord Strathclyde is wrong; his analysts are wrong. He had tapped into the sources that are available and there is only one definitive source for the amount of bullion that has ever been taken from the earth's crust. That was a National Geographic magazine article 12 years ago. Whatever figure it was that was quoted was then quoted again on six other sites on the internet-on Google. Everyone is quoting one original source; there is no other confirming authority. But if you tap into the Vatican accounts-of the Vatican bank-you come up with a claim of total bullion-

Lord De Mauley: The noble Lord is into his fifteenth minute. I wonder whether he can draw his remarks to a conclusion.

Lord James of Blackheath: The total value of the Vatican bank reserves would claim to be more than the entire value of gold ever mined in the history of the world. My point on all of this is that we have not proven any of this. Foundation X is saying at this moment that it is prepared to put up the entire £5 billion for the funding of the three Is recreation; the British Government can have the entire independent management and control of it-foundation X does not want anything to do with it; there will be no interest charged; and, by the way, if the British Government would like it as well, if it will help, it will be prepared to put up money for funding hospitals, schools, the building of Crossrail immediately with £17 billion transfer by Christmas, if requested, and all these other things. These things can be done, if wished, but a senior member of the Government has to accept the invitation to a phone call to the chairman of foundation X-and then we can get into business. This is too big an issue. I am just an ageing, obsessive old Peer and I am easily dispensable, but getting to the truth is not. We need to know what really is happening here. We must find out the truth of this situation.

Dan Bull On Student Protestors

Another gem from Dan.

You Get What You Vote For


Bra-bloody-vo.

And the 25 who are campaigning for votes for wing of The Westminster Party that advocates integration into the EU Super State, (just slightly slower than that other two, but with twice as much denial and drama) are:

•Steve Baker
•Brian Binley
•Peter Bone
•Andrew Bridgen
•Douglas Carswell
•Bill Cash
•Chris Chope
•James Clappison
•Philip Davies
•David Davis
•Richard Drax
•James Gray
•Gordon Henderson
•Philip Hollobone
•Julian Lewis
•Jason McCartney
•David Nuttall
•Andrew Percy
•Dominic Raab
•Mark Reckless
•John Redwood
•Richard Shepherd
•Sir Peter Tapsell
•Andrew Turner
•Martin Vickers

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not While I Still Have Breath In My Lungs

I was alerted, as others have been to this by Ian, whose reaction is the same as mine having read Van Rompuy's latest call to arms in their plans to build Europa.

Here is the speech in full:

---

P R E S S
FOR FURTHER DETAILS:
Dirk De Backer - Spokesperson of the President - +32 (0)2 281 9768 - +32 (0)497 59 99 19
Jesús Carmona - Deputy Spokesperson of the President +32 (0)2 281 9548 / 6319 - +32 (0)475 65 32 15
e-mail: press.president@consilium.europa.eu - internet: www.consilium.europa.eu/vanrompuy

EN

EUROPEAN COUNCIL
THE PRESIDENT
Berlin, 9 November 2010
PCE 256/10

"A Curtain went up - Ein Vorhang ging auf "
President Herman Van Rompuy
pronounces the first Berliner Europa-Rede
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung - Stiftung Zukunft Berlin - Robert-Bosch-Stiftung
Pergamon Museum


- DE -

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to be addressing you at this place and time.

Above all because I am the first politician you have invited to give the annual "Europe Address".

And then because it is my privilege to do so in the Pergamon Museum, and on 9 November.

This place and that date are linked to so much history! There is a sense of powerful and ancient forces driving us in two directions

The Gods of Olympus before and behind us, 2300 years old, take us to Greek civilization and Pergamon with its temples, fountains, libraries and theatres. For someone who was schooled in the Classics, to be standing here is a proud moment indeed!

What is more, today is 9 November, a day of such exceptional significance in 20th-century German history. With its times of darkness but also of course with the joy of the fall of the Berlin Wall, so close to where we stand.

The "Wall of Shame", the very antithesis of the legacy of Greece: democracy.

At school I learned of Pericles' famous formulation of democracy in which "the affairs of State are not the privilege of the few but the right of the many".

That too is why I cannot remain unmoved by today's date.

EN

A well-known German philosopher, Peter Sloterdijk, said thirteen years ago - and I quote:

"Were it possible for nations as a whole to suffer nervous breakdowns - in the case of Germany the only date on which that could occur would be 9 November. With a regularity which resembles a nervous tick, since 1918 for nearly a century this is the date on which the Germans have assembled to answer to history, for both good and evil."

What a series of events.

1918: the end of the First World War.
1938: the Kristallnacht, the start of a nightmare.
1989: the end of the Cold War, the commencement of a reunited Germany.

For me, 9 November is perhaps the most important turning point, not just in the history of Germany but also in Europe's most recent history. It has made Berlin a European city.

(I hope you will forgive me if I now continue my address in English.)

EN -

The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 21 years ago.

Some of you were there, on one or the other side.

Some of you even not yet born.

I myself was then chairman of my party. I remember a few months after the fall of the Berlin Wall that we, with the Christian Democrat prime ministers of Italy and the Benelux countries, met in Salzburg with Chancellor Kohl to speak about German reunification. I felt in that very small group, up in the mountains, that history was present.

Before 1989, I had not seen this side of the Wall first hand.

When I was about fifteen or sixteen years old, a teacher recommended me to read Karl Marx. At our Catholic school this could be seen as strange advice, but the teacher said: “You will not become a Marxist anyway!” He was right... For me, communism was a denial of European values. So when I arrived at the University – shortly before May ’68 – I was already immune to all Marxist and other ‘revolutionary’ movements. Ever since, my anticommunist convictions have remained strong.

That’s why the events of 9 November marked for me, like for all of us, the end of an era of destructive ideologies. This story is often told, and must continue to be told.

However, the fall of Wall not only marked an end (to communism), it also was a new beginning. And that's why we are here tonight.

The fall of the Berlin Wall created a movement in and for Europe.

Our divided, frozen continent was set in motion, a desire for freedom gripped millions of people. It first hit everyone on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain; the Curtain, which, according to Churchill, would run "from Stettin to Trieste”. They could shake off the tyranny and discover the great wind of liberty. However, people on the West side were also touched. So the "wind of change" not only blew "from Stettin to Trieste" but also from Cork to Capri, and from Stockholm to Sevilla.

1 Peter Sloterdijk, 'Der starke Grund, zusammen zu sein', Die Zeit, 2 Jan. 2008.

Before 1989, the European Community mostly stood for economic integration -- the internal market on its way, Schengen "noch in den Kinderschuhen" -- but now new impulses were given to our common adventure.

Through the 9th of November, the European Union became what it is now, and from this event we must also understand how to act today.

Before 1989, all Europe was, figuratively, behind a curtain!

The world map only contained East and West in our minds.

There was no role for Europe itself on the Cold War's conceptual globe.

Only when the Curtain went up in 1989, did old Europe come from the wings and enter onto the world stage, aus den Kulissen auf das Podium. Step by step.

• Filling its own space.
• Strengthening its internal bonds.
• Finding its own voice.

These are the three European themes which I should like to illustrate tonight: our space, our strength, our voice.

II.

The day after the Wall came down, Willy Brandt spoke the famous words: 'Jetzt wächst zusammen, was zusammengehört.'

Although he spoke about Germany, it is true of Europe too.

We also 'grew' together.

There was no plan, but it wasn’t an accident of history either.

The movement came from the people, grass roots up -- beginning with stirrings of freedom in Poland, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia.

What started as a flight from tyranny, evolved into the freedom of movement. Salesmen and students, traders and tourists, men and women from East and West: all started to seize opportunities across borders, as soon as the Wall came down. Today, after the entry of ten Central and Eastern European states into the EU these flows of freedom have been secured. It is more than an element of an economic Union. A space of freedom and rule of law, for restless travellers and sedentary citizens alike: it is a sign of civilization.

Enlargement is not just a bureaucratic process from Brussels, it is about getting to terms with the events since 1989. In opening itself to new Members, the Union has maybe not done the ‘zusammenwachsen’, but it has done something as essential: sealing the fact that we Europeans ‘gehören zusammen’.

That we are one Union.

This chapter of the Union's history is not complete yet.

In the first ten months of my mandate, I have visited seven countries of the Western Balkans, in order to confirm their European perspective.

Their desire to join our club follows a time of barbarism and violence, which all of us had thought to be impossible in Europe after 1945.

This should encourage us even further to welcome them.

Why?

Because almost all who are now part of Europe have experienced great upheavals within living memory.

It is true for Germany, France and the other founders after the destruction of the Second World War.

It is true for Greece, Spain and Portugal after the end of their dictatorships.

It is true for the former communist countries which joined us after the Wall came down.

In every enlargement, the Union has absorbed the shocks.

As an anchor of stability.

As a haven of prosperity and freedom.

As a guarantee of peace.

The entry of the Western-Balkans into the Union will seal an end to the last civil war in long history of Europe -- no more, no less.

So to those who say that war is so far away in our past that peace cannot be a key issue in Europe anymore, that it does not appeal to the younger generations, I answer: just go out there and ask the people there! And ask the young ones too!

Achieving this goal will require political courage, on both sides. The idea of accession is not popular in all the current Member States. Of course candidate Members have to fulfil all the conditions and have to break completely with their past of civil wars.

Pro-European governments and parties should not lose enthusiasm.

Citizens who strive for peace and reconciliation, should not lose hope.

The countries of the region deserve our help to fulfil their European destiny.

Why do these accession movements also lift the Curtain from Europe as a whole?

Just consider the two different meanings of 'Europe': on the one hand our beautiful continent, our rich culture, on the other hand the political object called EU.

The geographical and cultural Europe, versus the political 'E-U-rope'.

And now see what happens over time.

When back in the 1950s only six countries grouped together and called themselves 'Europe', this was maybe a bit pretentious, or rather: an allusion to the future. However, this original promise is now coming true!

Thanks to the successive enlargements, the European Union grows into the political expression of our continent.

After 1989, we start to resemble ourselves, our clothes finally fit us.

When we speak about Europe as the continent of values, then today it is true not for just a small part of Europe, not for the half of Europe, no, today it is true for the continent as a whole!

It gives us credibility.

All our countries have to deal with a new diversity. The time of the homogenous nation-state is over. Each European country has to be open for different cultures. However, we only have one civilization: of democracy, of individual rights, of the rule of law.

Alongside diversity -- and diversity is certainly a strength of our societies --, we still need, in each of our societies, a sense of unity, of belonging together. This sense of unity can lie in shared values; or in a language, a shared history, a will to live together (as Ernest Renan said). And this will springs above all from the stories which we tell each other.

Think of the ancient Greeks: the stories of Homer created bonds throughout the centuries. They have us spell-bound tonight. It can be stories of war and peace, of Olympic exploits or saint-like sacrifice, of a Prison stormed or a Wall which came down.

Such stories do what a treatise on ‘values’ cannot achieve: they embody ‘virtues’ in an understandable way, virtues shown by men and women in real situations. Courage, respect, responsibility, tolerance, a sense of the common good.

To keep such European virtues alive, to transmit their age-old qualities to our children and grandchildren, that will be one of the great challenges for the future.

We have to be a Union of values but also a Union of civic virtues, 'eine Wertegemeinschaft genauso wie eine Union der Zivilcourage'.

III.

I should like to come to the second theme of our European story as it started when that Curtain went up.

I am talking about the euro: the great bringer of unity and stability.

Just imagine the big recession of 2008-2009 with the old currencies. It would have resulted in a currency turmoil and the end of the single market! A currency war always ends in protectionism.  This spring, at the height of the public debt crisis, you said, Frau Bundeskanzlerin: ‘Scheitert der Euro, dann scheitert Europa.’ If the euro fails, then Europe will fail.

These words marked people's minds.

You thus highlighted the wisdom behind the creation of single currency. This insight was: when we make a currency, we are building Europe.

After the Wall came down, in a moment of potential conflict between the new Germany and her partners, the statesmen of 1989 – Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand, Jacques Delors and the others –, they seized the anchor of Europe and accelerated the plans for a single currency. It was the great achievement of the Maastricht Treaty.

Ever since, the fate of Europe and the euro have been intertwined.

The euro is the most visible and the most palpable sign of our common destiny. It is also our most powerful tool.

Sharing a currency means that the decisions of one, affect all.

We have seen how! This spring, the crisis of a country of 10 million people became the crisis of 350 million people; early May, it even turned into a global threat.

What happens with pensions or debt in one country, affects the banks and taxpayers in another country. In good times and in bad times. What hurts Athens damages Amsterdam; and if Barcelona flourishes, Berlin prospers. The national and the European interest can no longer be separated; they coincide.

Until one year ago, all this was just knowledge – theoretical.

In the spring crisis, it became an experience – unforgettable.

Today, we have to act upon the fact – responsibly.

That’s why two weeks ago the European Council took important decisions: we sealed a solid pact to strengthen the euro.

Our decisions -- and I am thinking in particular about the recommendations of my Task Force on economic governance -- make sure that every Member State feels and understands that its decisions affect all the others and the Union as a whole. One cannot maintain a monetary unity without an economic union.

I am very satisfied that the European Council of 29 October endorsed the end result of the Task Force. It is a huge leap forward.

Let me mention the three crucial points.

First of all: We will better observe the economies of our countries, their competitiveness, the risks of housing bubbles and other vulnerabilities. We will act and correct if necessary.

It is a real innovation!

If we had had this instrument in the euro's first decade, a crisis in the Eurozone could well have been prevented.

Second point: we will strengthen the Stability and Growth Pact, to substantially increase fiscal responsibility and penalise irresponsibility. Sanctions will kick in earlier, on more grounds, and be decided more easily. Some people are disappointed there is not more "automaticity" in the decisionmaking. 

Well, thanks to the new so-called reversed majority, more "automaticity" is exactly what
we propose!

It is a break-through.

Third point: we will establish ‘a permanent crisis mechanism to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area as a whole’. As President of the European Council, I will undertake consultations with the Heads of State and Government and the Commission President on the limited treaty change required to achieve this goal. We all want a robust and credible system to be in place in 2013.

It is our duty.

Taken together, these proposals are the biggest reform of the Economic and Monetary Union since the euro was created. They will make our economies more crisis-proof. We will thus complete the edifice started in 1989. Not by moving into an imaginary new castle, but by strengthening our foundations.

In the true spirit of the Lisbon Treaty, all institutions and Member States have worked together to achieve this. It was an excellent example of what the Chancellor last week in Bruges baptised the “Unionsmethode”.

Cooperation is the Leitmotif. It has always been my political ‘way of life’. For instance, from the first day of my mandate, I established informal and structural contacts with the Commission, the European Parliament and the rotating Council Presidency. Without cooperation between the institutions and between the Member States and the institutions, the Lisbon Treaty cannot function. 

So the euro brings us stability. But we also need progress. If we only stay stable in a moving world, we decline. We also need more structural economic growth.

In most European countries -- which are not growing demographically, on the contrary, especially in Germany -- economic growth is basically the result either of working more or of increasing productivity, the quality of the work. Making better cars, more competitive machines, developing smarter services.

Otherwise we will become a large museum, but not one that you and I would like as much as this one!

Reforms which touch social security or pension systems are basically the work of the Member States. The European Union can set orientations, especially in the Eurozone, but the implementation is ‘decentralized’ (it is the principle of subsidiarity). In normal situations, the Union can observe the situation, give recommendations on fiscal balances and debts to Member States, but it cannot impose concrete measures. But when the policies of one country create risks for the Eurozone as a whole, sanctions can be imposed, even at an early stage.

Within the European Council, economic growth is a ‘Leitmotif’ since the first meeting I chaired in February 2010. Over the next months, I intend to take up in the European Council the twin theme of Innovation and Energy.

These meetings are elements in a long term economic strategy.

In March we will evaluate for the first time – as part of the so-called European semester – the efforts made by all Member States to implement the EU2020 strategy, aimed at growth and jobs.  Let’s insist on that: growth and jobs, that is our goal.

People sometimes complain about a lack of political courage these days (presuming that one or two generations ago, this was a quality in abundance!).

I, for one, have really been impressed over the last year by the political courage of our governments.  All are taking deeply unpopular measures to reform the economy and their budgets, moreover, at a time of rising populism. Some Heads of Government do this while being confronted with opposition in parliament, with protest in the streets, with strikes on the workplace (or all of this together!) and fully knowing they run a big risk of electoral defeat -- and yet they push ahead.

If this is not political courage, what is?

We will overcome the divergences inside the Eurozone, which were at the root of the eurocrisis.  The current differences in economic growth rates are due to the strong economic measures taken by the countries with problems, but all this will be temporary. A few years from now we will show more convergence, not just in policy, but in figures.

And to reassure the German audience: this is about catching up, not slowing down!

The euro is now stronger than a few months ago, precisely because we acted with political determination.

I pay tribute here in Berlin to the exceptional role the German Chancellor and her government have
played since the beginning of the euro crisis.

The Franco-German friendship is for the Eurozone a necessary condition for success, but not a sufficient one. The concerns of all should be taken on board. It is my role to make sure that this happens. And it does.

In my view the limited Treaty amendment all Heads of State and Government agreed upon ten days ago is essential, but it should not reopen the entire ‘internal debate’ on the nature, the goal and the architecture of the Union: we have more pressing matters at hand.

For the same reason, I do not think that redesigning the way the EU get its revenue is a top priority.

The current system reflects as a rule the Member States’ capacity to pay. Contributions are based on the Gross National Income and thus seen as fair. Some have suggested to replace this with a direct EU tax, for instance on financial transactions or on carbon. It is argued that such real 'own resources' would make the Brussels institutions 'more responsible'. I am personally open to new ideas, but since most alternative sources of income would risk to hit Member States unequally, this would weaken the fairness of the current system, its built-in solidarity. So let's be prudent, but let's discuss it.

The more important question is how we spend European money. We must focus on areas where European expenditure, by avoiding duplication or by economies of scale, adds value for the taxpayers.

IV.

This finally brings me to the third theme of our story, as it started in this city 21 years ago.

As I said, since that day of joy, the Curtain went up over Europe as a whole:

• We have been bringing into our club the rest of our continent (thanks to the enlargements);
• We have been increasing our internal strength (thanks above all to the euro)
• And, thirdly now, we have improved the reach of our voice on the world stage.

Here again, 1989 has been a turning point. The changes in the world forced us to assume a growing responsibility for our own security. After the Cold War, we came out of our Winterschlaf.

Not just advocating common principles, but also defining and defending our common interests.

To those who speak with complacency or masochism of a “decline of Europe on the world stage”, I just ask: where was Europe on this stage before 1989?

And it is not just WE who have changed since that moment. Look at the world today!

It is no longer divided in West and East, with the Third World in a corner and us in the wings.  No, those old categories have disappeared.

The impressive economic and political shifts which we call 'globalisation' have not only lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, in so doing they have also drawn a new map. Thus the Third World has almost shrunk to a large part of Africa, whereas the largest part of Asia, with China and India, shows new self-confidence, and so does South-America.

THIS is the global stage on which Europe has to act.

In this new world, which may offer us many surprises, we have to get and occupy our place. The Heads of State and Government have a seminal role to play: together defining the Union's strategic interests, deciding priorities, setting our common direction.

Let me briefly sketch some developments.

First development: power and influence in the world are more and more a matter of economy, and less of weapons. Recent regional conflicts like in Iraq and Afghanistan have clearly demonstrated the limits of military intervention. Emerging powers are also learning the lesson that they cannot rely on their growing military muscle without the risk of isolating themselves. Moreover, with the world economy growing at a pace of about 4 percent, pressure will increase on the prices of energy, of food, of raw materials. Access to these basic products will be key in the coming decades. As a Union we have to defend our interests in this changing world.

Second, for this globalising world we need a stronger global governance. That’s why we need the G20 to take a more political lead as well. Two big reforms are stuck: the so-called Doha Round for further free trade in the world, and the follow-up of the Climate conference of Copenhagen.  Fortunately, last month the Ministers of Finance have reached an agreement on the reform of the International Monetary Fund. However, the international monetary system as such no longer works smoothly.

Only market-based exchange rates could translateuld translate the ‘fundamentals’ of an economy correctly and ensure fair competition between countries and currency areas. The economic fundamentals, such as low inflation and low deficits, also have to be sound. Without this, the spectre of protectionism will come back. The shift towards more flexible exchange rates and sound fundamentals will take place progressively, but it is a necessity.

That's why this will be a key issue at the G20 summit of Seoul, later this week.

Third, the European Union wants to recognise the political role of the new emerging economies.  The Europeans did so by establishing the G20 at the highest level, and by giving up two European seats in the IMF reform. However, we also think that the emerging countries in turn should then feel themselves more responsible for the world economy and be more active in ‘world governance’. I hope they will understand that it is difficult to have simultaneously the rights of an underdeveloped country and of an advanced economy.

In this changing world, the European Union has to adapt itself further. We have to punch our full weight. As we concluded in the European Council of 16 we must build our relations with strategic partners on reciprocity and on mutual benefits. Let’s start where we are strongest: leveraging our economic weight. In the IMF, the countries from the Eurozone should work closely together. One day we should come to a powerful euro seat in the IMF, a seat as strong as our common currency.  If we want to count in the world, then each of the 27 Member States and the EU institutions should give the same key messages. Not per se a single voice but a single message, delivered by all 27 countries.

The Lisbon Treaty provides us with the political and diplomatic means to do this.

After having spent the first half of the year in crisis management mode, this autumn the European Council has started to give the strategic guidance. From now on, we will discuss foreign relations in each meeting.

To sum up: the Curtain is up, the public is waiting, and Europe is ready to act.

V.

We have together to fight the danger of a new Euro-scepticism.

This is no longer the monopoly of a few countries.

In every Member State, there are people who believe their country can survive alone in the
globalised world.

It is more than an illusion: it is a lie!

Franklin Roosevelt said: 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'

The biggest enemy of Europe today is fear.

Fear leads to egoism, egoism leads to nationalism, and nationalism leads to war (“le nationalisme, c’est la guerre” (F. Mitterrand)). Today’s nationalism is often not a positive feeling of pride of one’s own identity, but a negative feeling of apprehension of the others.

Fear of ‘enemies’ within our borders and beyond our borders. It is a feeling all over Europe, not of a majority, but everywhere present.

Our Union is born out of a will to cooperate, to reconcile and to act in solidarity.

Fear is the source of immobility, of a lack of ambition, or worse, of protectionism, in Europe and globally.

Those who are afraid of the loss of jobs and prosperity will thus create precisely what they wanted to avoid.

- DE -

Nothing was ever built on fear.

The European Founders-- Monnet, Adenauer, Spaak -- were full of ambition, not faint-hearted.  The citizens of East Germany thrust aside their fear and in so doing vanquished the terror of communism.

Our Europe stands for an open, not a closed society. But an open society with rules and values, with a project and with a positive identity .

Ultimately, people respect leaders, who bring together and who have a unifying effect. But without hope and vigour, nothing great can be achieved.

We must therefore be men and women of hope.
Hope, founded on achievements in the past,
hope, used for moulding the present,
hope, as a spur to a better future.

The European idea has been the most successful and most generous project in the world since 1945.  It has united the whole continent and brought us peace and prosperity. And it has given the 500 million men and women in our Union today a foundation on which they can build a better Europe for tomorrow.

Let us then use our experience, and above all live our hopes!
___________________


What stunning delusions the man has, to allude to European Democracy whilst sounding a call against Euro-scepticism which is of course code for democratic process and checks and balances.  It is the same old battle, that "they" always seem to get out ahead of us, do some name calling and label a few people so that the abiding masses can be shuffled along feeling comfortable that their bland "leaders" on telly are protecting them.

Well, Ian said it first:

I was Born English, I will Die English. I will never be an EU ‘citizen’ – I do not consent.



The unelected Van Rompuy, the quiet assassin of nations, has just declared war on the peoples of these Islands and the rest of Europe who will not quietly submit. I WILL fight if necessary to defend my homeland.

Amen.  I am with you Ian and all those who are prepared to state the same. 

The Conservative method, if we can call it that of trying to take us into the EU at a slower pace, whilst allowing a couple of vocal voices on the fringes must be exposed as just another weapon in EU-philes arsenal.  It might be slower than they would like, but it delivers exactly the same results.  It is a lie that they will reform from within and only a delusional mad person would believe that anybody other than those with the megalomaniacal desire to drag us into a European subservient state has any "influence" from within.

Today in the Commons, the Conservative led Coalition will, I have absolutely no doubts, sign up to an amendment to the Lisbon Treaty.  The Cast Iron pledge of a referendum withdrawn "because it is already law" forgotten despite these changes not yet being law. 

For a decade or more there was always the illusional hope that if the Conservatives got back in they would sort out our position in the EU, yet not long after Cameron got in, the real EU-Sceptics not only saw behind the mask; but pointed out that a real EU Sceptic has no need for a mask.  Those of us who would put Country before Party were prepared ask questions of the man boy that were supposed to make him uncomfortable - that's the point.  The UK has ushered in yet another submissive surrounded by Bilderbergers that will carry on playing the game of selling us out.

We have to draw a line in the sand.

We, non-Conservative Party supporters, NEED the EU Sceptic members and voters drawn to the Conservative Party because of the 5 or 6 EU Sceptic voices that are there.

We will never, ever, ever, ever get a referendum on membership nor the chance to vote into Westminster a Party prepared to withdraw from the EU as long as we accept the position that you can be an EU Sceptic voice in a EU Phile party.  Tonight and tomorrow, the few in there will be vocal about the Lisbon Treachery, but they will always ask you to vote for more of their Party.

This means, as I say, a line in the sand.  1st December, Traitors Day.  From this point on we must make stronger arguments that you cannot be in the Westminster Party of LIB/LAB/CON and be an EU Sceptic, and we must add to our list of opponents those who will stand up and call for people to vote for them, even if they are, themselves vocally EU Sceptic.  You know immediately of the few Conservatives and one or two Labour MPs who are prepared to "break ranks" and "speak out".  They are harming the EU Sceptic cause by advocating the continued voting for LIB/LAB/CON which acts and legislates with one voice on all matters EU and they serve as useful mascots come election time that can be given just a little more airtime so as to hold onto EU Sceptic voters.

Sometimes we need to tell our friends the truth and hurt their feelings, because they cannot see the damage they are doing.  They maybe and in this case are acting in what they view to be in the best interests of those they wish to serve, and to as they may view it to best serve the cause.  But sometimes, we must tell our friends that they are wrong, and that though they might not see it right away, they are actually doing themselves, or their cause a great disservice.

And to Van Rompuy we need to send the message that we are not done here in England.  He can hunt us down one by one, but we will never accept that Europe can be united by stealth and undemocratic measures.  We must remind those who would look upon us with a critical eye that we do not care that they do, and point out it is the Unelected Federalists in Brussels who act in secret and cannot get their books signed off that are the ones who are forever laterly revealing what they really intended all along.

Friday, November 05, 2010

IF

IF there were some kind of revolution...

and IF I had a say on the matter...

This would be song one in our post revolution party

Farage Wins UKIP Leadership Race

Since many Journo's are on strike, here is the press release.

UKIP Leadership Announcement

Nigel Farage MEP has been re-elected as Leader of the UK Independence Party.

Mr Farage, 46, was elected by UKIP members with a total vote of 6,085 or 60.5% of the 10,073 votes cast.
The unsuccessful candidates and their voting tallies were:

Tim Congdon 2,037 (20.2%)
David Campbell Bannerman 1,404 (14%)
Winston McKenzie 530 (5.3%)

It is his second term as leader, his first came to an end after he had stood down before the last General Election to fight Speaker John Bercow for his seat of Buckingham.

Here is his acceptance speech in full:

I would firstly like to thank the UKIP electorate once more for putting their faith in me. I would also like to give thanks for being alive, for being here and for having the chance to take on this role again. I really did have the most miraculous escape from that plane crash. I must also give thanks to my family who, once again, will have to pay the price for me doing this job.

I note with delight that today is November 5th, a symbolic day of an attempt to overthrow the political class, although I promise our methods will be peaceful.

Being leader of UKIP is a job I have done before and I led the party in the European Elections of 2009 to second place across the entire United Kingdom. If I was bold before the accident, I'm fearless now.

And this is the time to be fearless; to be strong and decisive and to push for what we believe in. For never have the political classes been more out of touch with public opinion.

Patriotic Old Labour voters have known this for a long time. The Traditional Liberals are also finding it hard to recognise what the Liberal Democrats have become.

But for millions of Tory voters, the last few months have been something of a shock.

For years I was told 'The Tories are playing a very clever game' and 'Just wait until David gets in'.

Well, David is in. And his international policy is simple:

Surrender, Surrender, Surrender.

Patriotic Eurosceptic Tories are beginning to realise that under David Cameron and William Hague their party has ceased to exist. Quite simply, they've given up. Remember the cast-iron pledge of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? They turned their back on it and now only UKIP are prepared to put the question to the British people.

In no single area does our national interest come first.

Look at the economy, with cuts made in almost all areas of public life except the EU budget. In December I will lead the UKIP MEPs in voting against not only the 6% rise proposed by the European Parliament but also the 2.9% rise we think is an insult to British tax payers and Mr Cameron thinks is some sort of victory.

And their defence policy reads like the script of a Gilbert and Sullivan farce. Carriers without planes and 50 year treaties with France; troop numbers at risk when we are facing the hardest fighting since the Second World War. Our Armed Forces should be completely at the command of the British government: they take an oath to The Queen as their Commander in Chief not Nicolas Sarkozy. We must take back full control of our defence forces.

As for immigration, well every single assurance the Tory Party has made has proved to be valueless. Now we don't just have an open door to the Bulgarian criminals gangs but a million Moldavians have been given EU passports and a new trade deal with India is being negotiated which proposes not just trade but an open door to the entire Indian work force into the United Kingdom. Every assurance on immigration caps is meaningless. The only people who should decide who comes to live, work and settle in this country should be the British people themselves through their own parliament.

But the acceptance by the coalition of the EU Foreign Policy and the formation of an EU External Action Service under the ludicrous Baroness Ashton is a policy which should make the Tories hang their head in shame. The woman that no one dares to criticise, a woman who has never been elected to anything apart from her successful position as treasurer of CND. Well I dare. Closing British embassies and replacing them with EU ones doesn't give the UK a bigger influence in the world.

And despite receiving millions of pounds from city sources, Mr Cameron has given away total control of the UK's biggest industry to three EU regulators. It is now an irrelevance who forms the British government now if you work in financial services. In all areas of our public life, UKIP is the only party saying let's take back control.

Sadly, there isn't time to mention the £8.7 billion being spent on dubious foreign aid or giving the vote to rapists and murderers; the wasted billions on useless windfarms and the closing down of British industry because of carbon credits.

In 'defending' the national interest, David Cameron has let the country down like a cheap pair of braces.

Britain needs a party that puts British interests first.

UKIP is that party, but it needs to up its game.

I'm appealing to people who believe in the UKIP message that the best people to govern Britain are the British people themselves; not to just agree with us, or lend us their vote at European Elections.

I'm appealing for them to join us, to get involved in this battle against our political classes. When David Cameron talked about the 'Big Society' I had no idea what he was talking about. Well, here's my version of it. Let's create the Big Society of law abiding, tax paying, patriotic people and urge them to join us in this battle against our gutless political classes.

Help us to make UKIP a force to be reckoned with.

Thank you.

Monday, November 01, 2010

EU Vote Pledge

It might not come to much, and it definitely won't if people don't take part. But, the fact is, until the LIB/LAB/CON alliance is threatened with electoral disaster they will not act, and they are still not listening. Please take a few seconds to read and sign, and if this and other initiatives can help pile on the pressure then it will be worth it.

The more people that sign and mean it, the better the chance of getting what we want.  Please spread the word to any one you know who will pledge.



Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.


If you also want to run this pledge on your blogs or facebook, email me and I will send you the code.

Recommended Reading

David Abbott MD, MRCP agrees with Ashley Mote that we should all become revolting.

Ian PJ has more on Fox's outsourcing of our military to the ever ready and brave surrender monkeys.

Dr North disagrees with P.A. and thinks David Cameron's EU adventures are an example of spectacular stupidity.

ConHome surprises us with the revelation that Tory voters are still more EU Sceptic than it's leadership (unless of course there is a General Election on).

Dean laments the UK Supreme Court (and the ECHR).

Off you go.