"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sunday Round-Up

Do they want to win the war in Afghanistan or not? Govt saves £2m pa by grounding helicopters. The FCO refused to discuss the funding but privately officials confirmed the money was cut amid vain hopes that the Americans would foot the bill instead.

MoD tells pensioners to stop sending parcels to troops The couple, who have become hugely popular with troops in Afghanistan, said they were "amazed and appalled" by the MoD's attempt to stop the parcels. The troops, who call them "Jo and Mo", write warm and moving letters of appreciation. Some send photographs and some have visited the couple on their return to England.

"Pinned to the wall" Goldsmith warned Blair Iraq war was illegal. It was intended to make Blair call off the invasion, but he ignored it. Instead, a panicking Blair issued instructions to gag Lord Goldsmith, banned him from attending Cabinet meetings and ordered a cover-up to stop the public finding out.

Golden Goodbyes to EU Commissioners. Even commissioners who have hardly served any time are entitled to lavish settlements. Poland’s Pawel Samecki, who is leaving his job as regional policy commissioner after just six months, will receive a golden parachute worth £256,000.

Sarkozy says Britain "big losers" “The agreement on the role of Michel Barnier was sealed between Barroso and I three days ago. It’s exceptional for France. And the second victory is that our friends, the Romanians, have agriculture. In brief, two jobs the Anglo-Saxons will not have.” France Soir meanwhile proclaimed: “The French have won.”

The Swiss vote to ban minarets  A similar battle has been raging in Germany over plans to build one of Europe’s biggest mosques in the shadow of Cologne cathedral. The Danes are also locked in debate over plans for two grand mosques in Copenhagen. An Italian town seized the headlines last week by putting up signs banning women from wearing the burqa in public.  Here's the game: Minaret Attack
UPDATE: Exit polls show 59% back the call to ban minarets

PM loses job in paperwork oversight. He had fallen foul of the regulation that members of parliament will forfeit their seat if they miss three consecutive sittings of parliament without notifying the speaker of the reason for their absence. This sounds like something we could introduce into our own HoC.

BBC Radio 4 is "too white" The BBC has held focus groups with mixed panels of Muslims and Hindus to gain guidance on how the output could be changed to reflect multi-faith Britain. As part of this move, the station has recently broadcast a series on the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in Britain. A new show will be broadcast next month on what can be gained from using Jamaican patois and will examine a new speech pattern called "multi-cultural London English".

A civil servant catches up with public opinion as the right-hand man to Alistair Darling told last week’s Government Finance Profession conference in Brighton: ‘The Government is facing its own mortality.’ Meanwhile, Darling & Brown fight over contents of the Autumn Budget


  1. And the MoD story about the couple sending socks and other goodies to the troops struck a chord. Just before he was caught in a massive IED blast, my nephew asked us to send socks as they were all running short and couldn't get any. Well at least he's been flown home for treatment and can buy his own and two of his surviving mates will now be able to use one pair between two, as they left a leg each in the crater. Nice one MoD.

  2. That's an awful story Hogday, I hope your nephew and his pals get over it the best they can. The govt seems to be leaving more and more to voluntary services & charities these days but at the same time is trying to put a wedge between the armed forces and the public while blaming the public for not supporting the AF! They give out too many conflicting messages.

  3. Thanks GV. The Army welfare seems to be excellent so far. The unpublicised hidden casualty figures are eye-watering by modern standards.


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