"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, 31 October 2010

Sunday Round-up

DfID Secretary involved in dubious dealings
"After receiving £40,000... The minister telephoned the British high commissioner in Ghana on the issue, according to internal government documents cited by the Sunday Times, despite the fact it involved British business interests overseas, which is outside Mitchell's remit. Officials in Mitchell's office also contacted the Foreign Office to say that the matter required "urgent attention".
Yemen, the new Afghanistan
"One of the significant issues we're seeing is the number of foreign fighters going to Yemen. The German authorities are very worried. At least 70 Germans are thought to be in training camps, with about 200 travelling there in the last two years." Whitehall sources say about 30 Britons are believed to be training there.
C of E in fake marriage scam
The leap followed the introduction of rules in 2005 which required non-EU nationals to obtain a certificate of approval from the Home Office before they could marry in a civil ceremony at a register office. The Church of England was exemp­ted from the clampdown.
The size & cost of the EU's diplomatic army
Rebels are angry that the Foreign Secretary ordered Tory MEPs to support the formal creation of the European External Action Service. A spokesman for Mr Hague said: ‘We did not support the establishment of the EEAS but it, like the rest of the Lisbon Treaty, is now, regrettably, a fact."
Cameron's referendum u-turn
At the Council of Ministers, Europe’s prime ministers and presidents backed “a limited treaty change” to deliver tighter fiscal discipline across the EU and a ­permanent bail-out fund for members of the eurozone. The change will create an “economic government” for Europe...Leaders are petrified that any change to the EU treaties would spark referendums in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.
LGBTI jollies in the Hague
The real cost to European taxpayers of the event will be far higher than the quoted cost, as many of those attending are representing publicly-funded bodies and will claim travel and accommodation expenses. The event was staged by "ILGA-Europe" – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
Brown due to give speech in the Commons
The Ministry of Defence is considering three options to maintain the two new carriers: give the work to Rosyth; offer it to the French; or close Rosyth, but retain its dry dock and bring in contractors to carry out the annual upgrades and six-yearly major maintenance work. A senior MoD source said: ‘You would have thought Gordon Brown would have wanted to stay away from the £38 billion black hole he created in the defence budget.’
Housing benefit reform under renewed attack
The concerns come as the National Housing Federation, the body that represents housing associations in England, claims that around 200,000 people will be forced to live below a minimum income standard that has been endorsed by the prime minister.
Harman apologises for ginger jibe
Delegates at Labour's Scottish conference could barely conceal their shock as Ms Harman, who is known for her strict adherence to politically correct views, turned her fire on the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in the least correct way imaginable, mocking his red hair and comparing him to a squirrel.
The children snatchers
Yet virtually none of this reaches the outside world because the system is hidden behind an almost impenetrable veil of secrecy. The nominal reason for this is to protect the identity and interests of the children, but secrecy has been so extended that its real aim is to protect the system itself and all those who do so well out of it.
Liam Fox: an apologia
"...it has always been my view that defence must be a sovereign issue ... which is why this week will mark the beginning of a long-term commitment to closer defence and security links with France."
Charles de Gaulle no longer seaworthy
The French aircraft carrier which is set to play a key role in defending Britain over the next decade has broken down. As President Nicolas Sarkozy prepares to use a London summit this week to announce that RAF jets will fly from the carrier Charles de Gaulle, his naval chiefs have told him that she is no longer seaworthy.
American offer 'refused'
The White House has offered to send a U.S. aircraft carrier to be stationed off the British coast and boost security during the London Olympics, Ministry of Defence sources claimed last night.  The suggestion is said to have been rejected by No10 because it would make the UK look ‘weak’. And last night Downing Street was silent on the claim.
British troops facing investigation
The case involves multiple claims of ill-treatment contrary to human rights law, including hooding or blindfolding, allegations of being forced into prolonged stress positions in solitary confinement, and deprivation of sleep, water and food.
Tory MP's outburst against Cameron
‘I don’t anticipate any early calls to Government. I’m a white, Christian, married bloke from the Home Counties so I probably don’t fit the description of what the leadership wants at the moment.’
Merkel's solution to Germany's 'failed multiculturalism'
'Today, people with a migrant background are under- represented in the public sector, and that needs to change.'
Anti-islamisation spreads in Europe
The right-wing populist Pro Cologne movement has campaigned against the [Cologne] mosque and moved a step closer to its goal last week after joining forces with Austria's far-right Freedom party (FPO).
MPs & the BBC at loggerheads
A source said: ‘Cockerell promised it would be a serious look at the work we do. But despite the assurances, some of the committee said, “You can’t trust journalists. They will do us in at the first opportunity. It will all be about our expenses. They will stitch us up.”
Dover steps up campaign to keep the port British
Since Gordon Brown's government decreed that the port should be sold off to the highest bidder, probably a foreign company, there has been a growing campaign not only to keep the port British but to pass it into the safekeeping of a local consortium.

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