"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."

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Bailout In Eight Minutes

A quick round-up of what's been going on this week in video form:

On Clegg @ 6.36: "... as if by luck". My thoughts exactly.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

So Fractious!

People seem so fractious these days: from the Southern Mediterranean to North Africa, from Northern Europe to the British Isles and on to America and Canada, there is just so much discontent at the moment. If you go on Twitter, that's virtually all there is, pouring in, all the time: unrest here, disquiet there, riots brewing everywhere.

Some people complain about social media networks; they say they're juvenile, frivolous and empty-headed. I'd say, well, sort out the people you 'follow' then. If you follow IheartBieber or Loveland4All what can you expect? GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Did you know that there's apparently a video somewhere of Gaddafi being raped after capture? You won't hear that on the BBC or SkyNews. Or how about THIS?  I posted about it having been developed back in 2009 but at the time the press release said there were no govt takers and treated it as a joke. My, how times change. As Hookie said in response to a previous post, we can't take anything for granted - and one thing's for sure,  we shouldn't take for granted that government is benign.

Some people might think that those two bits of info are GIGO, but I think they're interesting and worth keeping an eye on.  I might as well throw in these as well:
  1. Yet another e-petition but this one is different in that it calls for the government to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
  2. Nigel Farage claims he's heard whisperings of Conservative defections to UKIP.
It's cat/pigeons time everywhere at the moment and our little worlds are about to be rocked, mega-bigtime.

'No Such Undertaking Has Been Received'

I wouldn't usually bother to defend a newspaper but the Daily Express came in for some flak on the radio this morning because of its front page, which the presenter threw cold water on. This is it:

The DE headline

Unfortunately the DE is right although, strictly speaking, it was Merkel who made the outrageous warning.  It formed part of her speech made prior to the leaders' summit as she gave reasons why the euro must survive.
Merkel abandoned her usual cautious rhetoric warned outright of a war... "Nobody should take for granted another 50 years of peace and prosperity in Europe. They are not for granted. That's why I say: If the euro fails, Europe fails," Merkel said, followed by a long applause from all political groups.

"We have a historical obligation: To protect by all means Europe's unification process begun by our forefathers after centuries of hatred and blood spill. None of us can foresee what the consequences would be if we were to fail."
Here's some related reading that gives a fairly good overview of the bigger picture:

EU quietly seeks sweeping new legal powers
Germany makes Greece pay with sovereignty for new bail-out
Nazi jokes: Cartoons/art  point at revived historical enmity
Riot Police deployed + barbed wire fencing erected on roads surrounding EU Council in Brussels
Brutal gamble to let others take the pain
Interesting photos: Cold shoulder for Cameron & fist fight in Italian Parliament
EP votes for 5.2% budget increase
EP votes to freeze expenses rather than cut
Clegg's wife rewarded with EU trade chief job

The next thing to look out for is the wrangling over treaty change and the sneaky methods that will be employed to present any change as "limited" and therefore avoid the need for a referendum.

UPDATE: Archbishop Cranmer has an excellent post with lots of extra detail.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Fighting Hard For British Interests

PM meets with Kinnock's daughter-in-law

And can we please stop all this media talk about 'saving Europe'. It's about saving the EU construct and nothing else.

PMQs: Summary & Videos

The cheering, jeering and barracking edition.

Miliband: Greece, Italy, recapitalisation of banks and an agenda for growth. 'Which powers and when' will they be repatriated? He also raised Clegg's statement that no powers would ever be repatriated while he was in government. He pushed the question of who speaks for the government, Clegg or Cameron.  Cameron called him "a complete mug".

Did your MP speak?
Luciana Berger, Lab Co-op, Liverpool Wavertree; Bernard Jenkin, Con, Harwich & North Essex; Sir Peter Tapsell, Father of the House, Louth & Horncastle; Angela Smith, Lab, Penistone & Stocksbridge; Mark Pawsey, Con, Rugby; Sandra Osborne, Lab, Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock; Gavin Barwell, Con, Croydon Central; John McDonald, Lab, Hayes & Harlington; Duncan Hames, LibDem, Chippenham; Paul Blomfield, Lab, Sheffield Central; Karen Lumley, Con, Redditch; Gloria de Piero, Lab, Ashfield; Nadine Dorries, Con, Mid-Bedfordshire; Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP, Lagan Valley; Stephen Lloyd, LibDem, Eastbourne; David Hanson, Lab, Delyn; Mary MacLeod, Con, Brentford & Isleworth; Alison McGovern, Lab, Wirral South; Ed Timpson, Con, Crewe & Nantwich; Unknown, Lab, xxx?   Harriet Baldwin, Con, Karen Buck, Lab, Westminster North; Andrew Bridgen, Con, North West Leicestershire; Jamie Reed, Lab, Copeland, Shadow Health Minister; Heather Wheeler, Con, South Derbyshire; Debbie Abrahams, Lab, Oldham East & Saddleworth; Tom Brake, LibDem, Carshalton & Wallington.

Topics raised:
Hillsborough; Merkel/EU/Clegg/treaty change; hysteria; regional funding; regeneration of the high street & housing; Stuart Walker murder; sentencing for drug driving; exploitation of QE by some banks; funding cuts to CAB; Sheffield Research Centre/GDP; pupil premium/national funding formula; women negative to government; incinerator in Mid-Beds/people against it; overseas aid/persecution of Christians; apprenticeship schemes; lack of prison places; female entrepreneurs; Hillsborough/release of police papers; fostering & adoption; report on gang culture; family friendly government; cutting numbers of PCSOs in Westminster; Localism Bill/planning/housing; NHS hospitals; free schools; NHS; two thirds of rioters had special educational needs.

Points of Order:
Bill Esterson, Lab, Sefton Central whinged about being called 'priggish' in a debate in Westminster Hall.
Kevin Brennan, Lab, Cardiff West whinged about Cameron's use of the terms "mug" and "bunch of hypocrites" during PMQs.
Greg Mulholland asked whether MPs could sign the e-petitions. Answer: 'individual members can make their own judgement on the merits of the case - no parliamentary propriety involved.'
Julian Lewis - amendments proposed to BBBC motions (as in Monday's referendum motion) should not be allowed.

In the meantime, here's one from November 1990:

Thatcher -v- Kinnock

Also: Fifty years of PMQs

Today's PMQs:

Paxman: Who Is Bagpuss?

From last night's Newsnight. This looks like another attempt at damage limitation from The Moggster, although he doesn't mince his words: 'If the LibDems want to hand more powers to Brussels they can leave the government and call a GE on that basis.'

Clegg: "Eurosceptics ... won't succeed as long as I'm in government"

Greece & The Euro: 'A disorderly default is now a high risk'

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Rach Plays Chop

One Of Those Days

I meant to keep this for the Sunday Reflection, but, on reflection, there's no time like the present. As Charles Walker, MP, said yesterday: "If not now, when?"

Anthony Lorien

It isn't wrong to be proud of your country or to want the best for the people. "We are in your face," and we won't go away.

Help yourselves and spread it around.

Another Day, Another Time, In a Land Far Away

The 25th of October, 1415. How inappropriate that Cameron should retire, wounded, on St Crispin's Day.
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
Make him a member of the gentry, even if he is a commoner.
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
(Shakespeare: Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3)

Well, I guess Cameron is one of those who "hold their manhood cheap".  I doubt we'll forget the three-line whip he imposed against a referendum to give us a voice on the EU, for whatever reason he gives.  Remember that it was a motion based on the petition on the website his government trumpeted as a voice for the people, prompted by more than 100,000 signatures calling for a referendum  and he still imposed a three-line whip against it.

In truth there have been more petitions than I can count; today another eight or nine have been added to the website in light of the Commons vote but rejected on the grounds that "a petition already exists".  There were also some calling for the whipping system to be abolished but they were rejected too since "this is Party policy not related to Government".

As always, we're too fragmented.  Even I posted a petition, but it didn't call for a referendum, it called for a straightforward repeal of ECA 1972.  The problem with that, I suspect, is that any repeal would be subject to scrutiny by European Courts and therefore dismissed - talk about the cat among the pigeons.  We aren't sovereign and more people need to recognise that our Westminster Assembly is no more than that.  The days of having an Executive and Legislature in the British Parliament are long gone.  These petitions give us a semblance of democracy, nothing more.

As for Miliband, he can forget it too if he thinks Sarkozy "speaks for all of Britain" when he insults Cameron.  No Frenchman will ever speak for the people of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and it was a very badly judged remark from Miliband.   Cameron is an idiot -  but he's the best idiot we've got at the moment and diplomatic protocol dictates, at the very least, civil manners.  We Britons can insult our own leaders without foreign interference thank you very much, and we do it on a regular basis.

I'm afraid that the more I see and hear, the more I continue to believe that the only way we will truly regain sovereignty is via a revolt, feet on the street, mass tax withholding.  How gutless are we, to let our elected representatives get away with this charade?

Here's Agincourt from the French point of view for those interested in the history.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Some Stonking Speeches

Just a few videos from today's referendum debate. Some MPs seemed to lose their way and lost sight of the fact that the motion was whether to allow the British people a referendum on the EU, instead they began addressing EU points.

In the end it was Ayes: 111, Noes 483 - so 483 MPs who don't think the British people should have a voice on the EU.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Frank Field

Bill Cash

Stewart Jackson

Thanks to LiarPoliticians for the videos - he's had a busy day.

There were plenty of others: Redwood, Shepherd, Jenkin, Walker, Baron, Carswell ... ... too many to mention - well done to all the 111: we won't forget.

UPDATE The full text of the debate is now up on HANSARD and it's well worth looking through. Ian Davidson (Lab Co-op) was another MP who made some excellent points and there are quite a few stinkers too - Eustice, for example, the Tory toad who tabled an amendment, abstained, so his career is safe.  Aiden Burley was another one who made a fool of himself.  Shouts of "drivel" were heard towards the end of his short speech.  I think this is funny:
Mr Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab) rose—
Hon. Members: Groan!
Mr Deputy Speaker : Order. He has not said anything yet!

Here's the list of the Ayes:
Andrew, Stuart
Baker, Steve
Baron, Mr John
Bingham, Andrew
Binley, Mr Brian
Blackman, Bob
Brady, Mr Graham
Bridgen, Andrew
Brine, Mr Steve
Bruce, Fiona
Byles, Dan
Campbell, Mr Gregory
Campbell, Mr Ronnie
Carswell, Mr Douglas
Cash, Mr William
Chope, Mr Christopher
Clappison, Mr James
Cooper, Rosie
Corbyn, Jeremy
Crouch, Tracey
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John
Davidson, Mr Ian
Davies, David T. C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh Mr David
de Bois, Nick
Dinenage, Caroline
Dodds, rh Mr Nigel
Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.
Dorries, Nadine
Drax, Richard
Engel, Natascha
Field, rh Mr Frank
Field, Mr Mark
Fullbrook, Lorraine
Godsiff, Mr Roger
Goldsmith, Zac
Gray, Mr James
Heaton-Harris, Chris
Henderson, Gordon
Hermon, Lady
Hoey, Kate
Hollingbery, George
Holloway, Mr Adam
Hopkins, Kelvin
Jackson, Mr Stewart
Jenkin, Mr Bernard
Jones, Mr Marcus
Kelly, Chris
Leadsom, Andrea
Lefroy, Jeremy
Leigh, Mr Edward
Lewis, Dr Julian
Lucas, Caroline
Lumley, Karen
Main, Mrs Anne
McCabe, Steve
McCartney, Jason
McCartney, Karl
McCrea, Dr William
McDonnell, John
McPartland, Stephen
Mercer, Patrick
Mills, Nigel
Mitchell, Austin
Morris, Anne Marie
Morris, James
Mosley, Stephen
Murray, Sheryll
Nokes, Caroline
Nuttall, Mr David
Offord, Mr Matthew
Paisley, Ian
Parish, Neil
Patel, Priti
Percy, Andrew
Pritchard, Mark
Reckless, Mark
Redwood, rh Mr John
Rees-Mogg, Jacob
Reevell, Simon
Robertson, Mr Laurence
Rosindell, Andrew
Sanders, Mr Adrian
Shannon, Jim
Shepherd, Mr Richard
Simpson, David
Skinner, Mr Dennis
Smith, rh Mr Andrew
Smith, Henry
Stevenson, John
Stewart, Bob
Stewart, Iain
Streeter, Mr Gary
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sturdy, Julian
Tapsell, rh Sir Peter
Tomlinson, Justin
Turner, Mr Andrew
Vickers, Martin
Walker, Mr Charles
Walker, Mr Robin
Weatherley, Mike
Wheeler, Heather
Whittaker, Craig
Whittingdale, Mr John
Wilson, Sammy
Wollaston, Dr Sarah
Wood, Mike
Tellers for the Ayes:
Mr Peter Bone and
Mr Philip Hollobone

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Too Many Laws

I'm not quite sure how my train of thought progressed to get to that heading* but there it is. Not only are there too many laws, there are too many conflicting laws which provide loopholes; loosely-worded law is the worst law of all and nobody knows better than the Labour govt between 1997 - 2010 and the Opposition (now the government).

The Laws of God and the Laws of Man.

Once upon a time the laws of God were taken as read, except by certain individuals we wouldn't want as neighbours. They seemed to work alright at the time:
I'm the only God
No graven images
Don't blaspheme
Keep Sunday special
Love & respect your mum and dad
Don't kill
Don't sleep around
Don't steal
Don't lie
Don't be envious
I don't know about you but I can lay claim to at least 70% of those.  Actually, looking at them again it's more like 80% - perhaps I'm a nutter after all. The only problem is that they don't seem too difficult to adhere to - on my part it's mostly been involuntary because, by nature, I don't want icons of dead men hanging on my walls, I love my mum and dad, I've never killed anyone or stolen from them, I don't sleep around, I haven't lied and I wish my neighbours good luck.  Add to that the fact that I won't shop on a Sunday out of sheer contrariness (fruitcake alert!) and I think that almost makes me an involuntary or unknowing Christian by default.

On the other hand, we elected friends, neighbours and countrymen to speak for us:

There's no codification of English Law so nobody actually knows how many laws, statutes, regulations or directives there are that now seek to control and limit our everyday life but you'll know it when you walk down your High Street and you'll recognise it when you receive a fixed penalty notice from your local authority or a knowing wink from your Community Support Officer who licks the tip of his pencil and flips open his notebook as he approaches you.  Round and round and round we go, without meaningful change. 

These are the laws of William the Conqueror:
One God to be revered throughout the whole realm; peace and security to be preserved between English and Normans
Oath of loyalty
Protection of the King's Peace
Frenchmen to pay "scot and lot" *
Live cattle to be sold in cities
Defence of French allegations of offences
Hold the law of King Edward
Freeman's pledge and surety
Prohibition on the sale of any man by another outside the country
Forbidding killings and hangings
So, laws to repress the population aren't a new Nu-Labour or Tory-Lite innovation by any means - it's just been a progressive subjugation of the workers, by which I mean taxpayers, over the centuries.  The question today is, when is enough enough?  When is ignorance, deliberately inculcated by the State, going to implode?

While we're talking about 'the law', have a look at this:
EU law is a part of English law. The European Union consists mainly of countries which use civil law and so the civil law system is also in England in this form. The European Court of Justice can direct English and Welsh courts on the meaning of areas of law in which the EU has passed legislation.
And this:
Since the English Civil War, the bedrock of the British constitution has traditionally been the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK's supreme and final source of law. It follows that Parliament can change the constitution simply by passing new Acts of Parliament. There is some debate about whether this principle remains entirely valid today, in part due to the UK's membership of the EU.
I think there's quite a bit of debate going on behind the scenes and if I were given a choice, which I'm not, I'd  rather be governed by the laws of Aethelberht of Kent than Anointed of Brussels.  Labels and laws will be the death of us.  The authoritarianism of the State is choking us, not just as businesses and independent charities, but as people, as individuals in our own right.  I hope for a Happy Ending but know that, as with all fairy-tales, it will only come by our own endeavour.

* Scot & lot  (from Old French escot, Old English sceot, a payment; lot, a portion or share) is a phrase common in the records of English medieval boroughs, applied to householders who were assessed for a tax (such as tallage) paid to the borough for local or national purposes. They were usually members of a merchant guild. Before the Reform Act 1832, those who paid scot and bore lot were often entitled to the franchise. The expression used today originated from this time period. Members that did not pay their taxes "got off 'scot-free'".

* I remember now.  It's been a

Friday, 21 October 2011

For The Record

Amidst all the talk of front and backbench rebellions, three line whips and amendments, the e-petition which the Backbench Business Committee agreed to debate is:

Britain wants referendum to leave EU

Responsible department: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The Daily Express is crusading to end Britain’s membership of the European Union. We want the Government to arrange for an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU either by means of an enabling referendum or directly so that the British people are once again placed in charge of their own political destiny. We would like this matter debated in parliament.

The petition doesn't call for debate about producing White Papers or repatriating certain powers over a period of years; it calls for a debate on withdrawal and an In/Out referendum. The way things are going, by Monday afternoon, we'll find MPs will be debating whether Auntie Mary's recipe for Stollen is better than Uncle Tom's wiener schnitzel.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Patience Is A Virtue

Here's a song I've posted before. It seems a good day for it while our Leaders are congratulating themselves on a job "well-done". They should be reminded that, in the eyes of many people, they should go to trial. I'd happily dig their bodies out of a bombed-out hidey-hole and say 'que sera sera' but I'd rather they went to trial too.

I hope you enjoy the song; it was a Sunday Reflection ... the caveat is that it only applies if the people don't get to them first:

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pic from LBC97.3fm

Contrary to what we'll hear in all the acreage of news to follow, there are some Libyans who aren't celebrating his death. Many are concerned at the number of Islamists and al-Qaeda members in the National Transitional Council. We'll see. The only thing for sure is that Britain will be pouring yet more aid, in one form or another, into the country.  Oh, there is one other certainty: the overwhelming majority of Libyans who have been given refuge in this country over the years will not bother going back home to create a better country.

PS First reports said he was shot in the legs; the second said "and also in the head".   The pic above has been confirmed as authentic.

UPDATE:  First reports indicated that the convoy he was travelling in was hit by NATO bombs, that he was found, with others, hiding inside a pipe, a fight ensued and he was captured alive.  It's all very muddled, as you'd expect.   Second report said said he was found in a house by NTC 'troops' and was killed a firefight.  I guess this is one of those things where we'll never know the truth.  All I know is that if Gaddafi had been captured alive and sent to trial, it would have been very embarrassing for certain people.

Thought For The Day

Can anyone out there enlighten me, please? The thought that's going round in my head, and to which I have no answer, is this:

If, and I know it's a very big 'if', there should be a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU, who will be allowed to vote?

Citizens from other EU member states who live in Britain are allowed to vote in EU and local elections, but not our General Elections. Will they also be allowed to vote in any in/out/shakeitallabout referendum?

If so, this would not only skew the results but be completely at odds with current policy for a Scottish Independence referendum for Scots only which precludes the Welsh, English and Northern Irish having a voice.

I know I'm getting ahead of myself here, but it's best to be prepared. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

PMQs: Summary + Videos

Cameron led with a tribute to Rifleman Vijay Rai, Royal Gurkha Rifles, who died in Afghanistan last Saturday.

Brief info on another half-hour at Cameron's Comedy Store - scheduled to run until  May 2015 "come what may".  Miliband didn't have his way on his first three questions about Fox & the MoD but managed to provoke frowns from Cameron & Osborne on the economy.

Did your MP speak?
Stephen Hepburn, Lab, Jarrow; Oliver Colvile, Con, Plymouth Sutton & Devonport; Julian Brazier, Con, Canterbury; Mark Durkan, SDLP, Foyle; Martin Horwood, LibDem, Cheltenham; Steve Rotheram, Lab, Liverpool Walton; Damian Hinds, Con, East Hampshire; Anna Soubry, Con, Broxtowe; Pat Glass, Lab, North West Durham; Neil Parish, Con, Tiverton & Honiton; Tom Greatrex, Lab Co-op, Rutherglen & Hamilton West; John Pugh, LibDem,Southport; John Spellar, Lab, Warley; Andrew Rosindell, Con, Romford; Gregory Campbell, DUP, East Londonderry; Adrian Sanders, LibDem, Torbay; Angus Robertson, SNP, Moray; Sam Gyimah, Con, East Surrey; Graham Stringer, Lab, Blackley & Broughton; Jason McCartney, Con, Colne Valley; Ian Austin, Lab, Dudley North; Robert Buckland, Con, South Swindon; Russell Brown, Lab, Dumfries & Galloway; Mark Pritchard, Con, The Wrekin; Michael Meacher, Lab, Oldham West & Royton.

Topics raised:
Supporting/sacrificing workers/Jarrow March; marine renewable energy; economy/BoE; Pat Finucane; house building/planning; Hillsborough; Help For Heroes; domestic violence; education/EMA; energy prices; carbon capture & storage; NHS management; sentencing for knife crime; EU referendum; Honours List of the fallen in Afghanistan; EU directive/diabetics/Dept of Transport interpretation; sale of Edinburgh Airport; education/independent school/academies; cuts to health/emergency services; Regional Growth Fund; sentencing for knife crime; 'Giving Voice' campaign; Fox & Werrity; fiscal union in eurozone undermining UK; statutory register of lobbyists/think tanks.

Followed by a Statement by Ken Clarke - Justice & Security Green Paper.

Hepburn - Hinds incl Cameron -v- Miliband

Soubry - Gyimah incl Cameron -v- Miliband Round 2

Stringer - end

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

All Together, Now

If only! The protesters at St Paul's are being portrayed by the media as the usual unwashed, benefit-claiming/trust-funded trouble-makers and it's true that there's the usual appearance of the Socialist Workers' Party (!) and Anarchists United but it's more than that. There are people there who can see that this financial system isn't capitalism, that our liberty has been sold out, that our laws are repressive and that only the name of the government has changed. I'd be there too if my health permitted it.

If you haven't already done so, check out this post from OldRightie.

Btw, thank you to OR for choosing my caption as a winner!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Synon: Euro-Parliament opens its own propaganda centre: and you're paying for it

Euro-Parliament opens its own propaganda centre: and you're paying for it

The Parliamentarium finally opens its doors.

"Most revolting is a long dark corridor with a line of illuminated pictures which are part of a 'journey through time.' Run an 8-year old child past those and he will come out at the end imagining -- and that appears to be the purpose --that before the European institutions set up shop, the countries of the European continent could be nothing but a rubble-strewn wasteland.

Examples: just one picture illustrates Italy in the early 20th century, and that shows Mussolini's march on Rome. The Netherlands in 1949: a grim border post, with nearby propaganda insisting that 'transport across Europe was very complicated and had to overcome various bureaucratic obstacles.'

Amazing: this is an EU institution tut-tutting bureaucratic obstacles. Go ask the first small businessman you kind find about just what sort of bureaucratic obstacles the EU now puts up to him getting on and doing is business anywhere, much less across borders.

Then Poland gets two pictures to illustrate its history. First picture, 1939, Nazis. Second picture, 1943, more Nazis. Spain, 1939, gets a picture of Republican forces who were defeated by Franco. But the parliament spares the Republican forces any mention of their Soviet communist backing.

The United Kingdom finally gets a mention on this history wall, and this ought to frighten the wits out of any 8-year old you might be foolish enough to take to this place: London, 1941, shows children at Cosway School sitting in class wearing gas masks while a recording repeats over and over again: 'What in concrete and practical terms does the independence of nations mean in the world of today, a world of the closest economic and political interdepenence, which means the destiny of all mankind is indivisible.'

Berlin, 1948: a picture showing 'poverty and hunger.' Then -- hallelujah, which is the response we are supposed to have since what we are dealing with here is a temple dedicated to the cult of Europe -- a picture of a European Movement gathering in Brussels in 1949, 'a mass gathering in support of European unification.'

I looked pretty close but I couldn't see any acknowledgement that through the 1950s and into the 1960s, the European Movement was secretly financed by the CIA as part of its Cold War strategy against the Soviet bloc (hat tip as ever to Booker and North's The Great Deception for that research).

[...] Airlift, Marshall Plan, and on and on: you'd think the MEPs would at least find a spot in the 'dynamic sequence of individual environments' to put up a poster saying, 'Thank you, Uncle Sam.'

And on it goes, but I will end with just one more example of the way the EU institutions such as the European Parliament try to twist everything good in any of the dozens of countries scattered across the European continent into a product of 'Europe.'

One room in the exhibition has a floor with a 200 sq m map of Europe -- for you Anglo-Saxons who are actually paying for a big chunk of this thing, that is 240 sq yds. The visitor pushes around a big battery-powered toy that is the size of a dustbin. He stops the dustbin on any one of a number of cities, and the screen in the top of the dustbin tells him what 'Europe' has done for that city.

Brace yourself, Edinburgh.

For a start, the city is called 'Edinburgh in the..."

Go read, and see how history has been re-written and our children's minds are being abused and manipulated.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

PMQs: Summary

Cameron led tributes to Lance Corporal Jonathan McKinlay and Marine David Fairbrother, who died in Afghanistan. The Repatriation Report: "We here at The Final Turn stood true and firm to see home these two brave young soldiers".

Miliband led with unemployment figures - government policies not working. Once again, "every job lost is a tragedy for that person and that family". I can't believe how many times Cameron has trotted out that phrase.  He should realise that endless repetition dulls the message and reinforces the impression that he is insincere.

Tetchy, rowdy, with two long lists of government 'achievements'. Neither of them listened to the other, neither addressed the issues, but this is PMQs so petty sniping is par for the course.  Tellingly, there were plenty of jeers from the Labour benches when the TPA report on Union Leaders' stratospheric pay was raised.

Sorry, I forgot about Nick Clegg, again.  Make up your own jokes.

Did your MP speak?
Sir Alan Beith, LibDem, Berwick-upon-Tweed; Sir Peter Tapsell, Father of the House; Nia Griffith, Lab, Llanelli; Lorraine Fullbrook, Con, South Ribble; Andy Slaughter, Lab, Hammersmith; James Morris, Con, Halesowen & Rowley Regis; Denis MacShane, Independent Labour, Rotherham; Richard Fuller, Con, Bedford; Andrew Miller, Chair, Science & Technology Committee/Lab, Ellesmere Port & Neston; Mark Spencer, Con, Sherwood; Pat Glass, Lab, North West Durham; Alan Reid, LibDem, Argyll & Bute; Keith Vaz, Lab, Leicester East; Esther McVey, Con, Wirral West; Alun Michael, Lab Co-op, Cardiff South & Penarth; Nick de Bois, Con, Enfield North; Kelvin Hopkins, Lab, Luton North; Simon Hart, Camarthen West & South Pembrokeshire; Jon Ashworth, Lab, Leicester South; Henry Smith, Con, Crawley; Steve Rotherham, Lab, Liverpool Walton; Christopher Pincher, Con, Tamworth; Margaret Ritchie, SDLP, South Down; Lee Scott, Con, Ilford North.

Topics raised (in order):
Women's State Pensions; calling for "the prosecution of senior British bankers"; Fox & Werrity; BAE/job losses; NHS cuts in his constituency; children in "problem families"; Ukraine/EU/stalinist show trial of Yulia Tymoshenko; business, not govt, creates jobs; closure of the FSS and loss of experience; welfare reform; ministerial code/Fox & Werrity; women's retirement age/pensions; "gender equality" in Royal succession; Miliband's "sinners & winners" in business; Fox & Werrity; mandatory sentencing for knife crime; Britain shd withdraw from EU fisheries policy; job creation in his constituency/banks' credit flow; youth unemployment/education system; TPA report on Union Leaders' pay; behaviour in the House on Tuesday evening/MPs pensions/Hillsborough; reintroduction of "rigour" into the education system; independent public inquiry/Pat Finucane; prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit.

Followed by a Statement on Northern Ireland.

Beith - Fullbrook (incl. Cameron -v- Miliband)

Slaughter - Ashworth

Smith - Scott


That's it - see you on Sunday.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


I've been going downhill faster than my opinions on the blog so I suppose it was only to be expected that there'd come a day when everything shut down. I'll try and stick with PMQs and the Sundays but, beyond that, I can't say.

My life used to be measured, not by coffee spoons or politics but by music and poetry. I've spent three years chronicling our venal Parliament and the EU, trying to warn about what was to come. It's  apparent for all to see now but I still need to find a home, somewhere with a big garden and a big kitchen so I can grow and cook to my heart's content, with people to love and people who love me.

I think it was Twitter & The GV News that finally did it with an overload of economic and political info - that and still living out of two suitcases and sleeping on a sofabed with no access to a garden almost a year after coming home to England.

On the bright side, here's the RPA, conducted by Andrew Lytton playing Bach's "Sleepers Awake!"  I hope we do.

PS - Still calling Harbinger!

Do You Want This?

This was posted on YouTube yesterday and it's in French but I think we all know what "plus de governance l'Européen" means. It's no surprise that ratings and comments are disabled for all videos coming out of the EU these days.
Barroso appealed to European leaders to explain in their region and in their country how important this regional and cohesion policy is, underlining that the money invested through this policy "is not money for Brussels; it is money for the regions of Europe. It is money for the workers of Europe, money for the farmers, all those who want to have a future in Europe, money for the citizens of Europe, money for those who are unemployed and those who are afraid of being unemployed." He concluded by stressing that "this is the appeal I want to make to you so that we can work with our Member States and explain that there is no excess of regional policy in Europe, there is no excess of cohesion in Europe, there is no excess of Europe, on contrary what we need in Europe is more solidarity, more responsibility. We need in fact more Europe."

If you believe that, you'll believe anything and, as the old joke goes, Barroso may be appealing, but not to me.

I think the English expression I'm looking for is "Do one".

Wakey, Wakey

This video was written, performed and produced by a regular reader at Max Farquar's. There's an invitation to spread it around, so get spreading:

Monday, 10 October 2011


My thanks to the latest person to join the gang for reminding me of one of my favourite songs. I miss my music - everything's still in storage.

A Bonus with Sam Moore.

Ayn Rand Was Right

Here's Nurse with a dose of Soma

I haven't read her books for a quite a few years now but they made a big impact on me.  The over-riding impression I was left with is that the warning of a society in decline comes when all the little things break down. It's an indication of corruption, not necessarily monetary, but in the strictest sense at the heart of governance.

Re-building old Court entrances because new vans are "too big".   I know it might seem like a small thing, just £900m compared to the trillions that have been bandied about in recent months, but it's important. It's important as a symptom of decline, just like the fridge or tv that used to last a lifetime now last a couple of years if you're lucky. No doubt someone, somewhere woke up from a dream one morning and thought 'in-built decline = in-built renewal via in-built consumerism'. When will these muppets learn to stop messing around with what once worked very well.

Our English Bill of Rights worked well, so too did our Magna Carta.  They're not working so well now with the encroachment of other values, other ideologies - each stealthy step takes us further from man's inherent freedom to be a man, an individual in his own right with responsibility for his own life and his own family.  We've fallen so far and yet we don't seem to recognise it for what it is.  Instead it's an intangible feeling that expresses itself in restlessness and good old-fashioned British 'grumbles'.

Grumbles aren't good enough, especially when they're mis-directed or hi-jacked by vested interests.  You only need to read the papers or switch on the news to spot all the little glitches in society's infrastructure. They're the little things that leave you wide-gazed and open-mouthed - and there's always an element of truth in them, no matter how much other newspapers might denigrate them.

Since Cameron's Coalition took office I created a tag: 'Cameron's Britain', which followed 'Brown's Britain'. I think that's unfair to Cameron because it isn't his Britain, it wasn't Brown's and it isn't ours, it's someone else's - but I don't know what to call it. NWO is already taken and I'm reluctant to admit in print that we're a manipulated creation even though, in my heart, I know it's true.  There's an in-built design fault - designed to fail in order to re-create in another image and keep us buying into the concept.

The concept this time isn't a toaster, a tv or a fridge, it's democracy.  Cameron's suggestions for Big Society go nowhere near addressing what really needs to be done.  If you like fudge but are allergic to nuts, you'll vote for Cameron or Miliband and not taste the corporatism or totalitarianism as you suffer anaphylactic shock..

Woad & Pitchforks At The Ready

I really don't get what Cameron's doing. I suppose it's part of his 'nudging' Big Society - or, rather, the EU's 'nudging' Big Society; all part of the plan to give power to the people - sounds good on paper but doesn't work in practice. When I first heard Cameron's statement that we should guard our own borders my first thought was: 'Why are we paying UKBA,' and my second was an image of a line of woad-painted Angelcynn standing atop the White Cliffs of Dover with pitchforks and torches standing ready to repel boarders. I don't know who Cameron intends to appeal to, unless it's the already-nosy, curtain-twitching jobsworths.

Looking at his other points - forced marriages could be made illegal and a cash bond could be demanded from immigrants - it just strikes me that we've heard it all before.  He'd do better to instruct the Police & Judiciary to take off the velvet gloves when investigating so-called 'Honour Killings' and also deal with the alien practice of polygamy within Britain.  Today's statement seems to be yet more soundbites made in some sort of attempt to get people to take responsibility for their own lives. Great ethos, wrong way to go about it and essentially meaningless.

It's also confusing some people. On the radio, one chap said that fifteen years ago when he wanted to bring in his wife, he already had to fulfill strict criteria re her financial support and she had to learn English in India. Nobody raised the point that fifteen years ago we had a Conservative government and Labour had yet to open our borders to the world and his mother.

One other suggestion of Cameron's is to re-visit the so-called 'Britishness Test' for would-be citizens - those who want a British passport. I'd be surprised if this holds water since many of those educated by the State in the last fourteen years would also be hard-pressed to know the history of our Isles.

Keith Vaz, who charged us £75k+ for a London flat despite living in a £1.5m home just twelve miles from Parliament, and who ranked 43rd highest in expenses claimants in 08/09, said:  "[This will] antagonise settled communities in Britain and enrage our allies such as India."  He went on to say: "A more effective method must be found in order for immigrants to pay for public services." I'm obviously a penny short of a shilling this evening because I thought that's what taxation is for.  If they pay taxes, they pay for public services, we all do - and then some. Vaz + Bandwagon = Vroom.

Let's hope these immigrants drive cars and want to park outside their own homes.  That's a pretty good revenue-raiser for local councils, especially Barnet.

Wes thu hael doesn't sell woad or pitchforks - yet - but a visit is worthwhile - you can learn how to make your own.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The EU 2100 Strategy

No, that's not a typo, it really does say 2100, ninety years from now. It hardly bears thinking about what sort of world we'll be living in - well, our children and grand-children at least - if the following is current thinking within the EU. The prayer for today has to be 'please let these f/tards implode - and make it soon'.

I couldn't find much online about Iulian Oneasca, the author of the document, beyond the fact that he once worked at the Institute for World Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Bucharest and now works at the European Institute for Romania (possibly just a name change, a takeover of the Institute).  He's a good European is Iulian. He offers his critique and advice to the European Commission on their strategies; he points out "the joys and delights" and he points out the pitfalls.

Pitfalls such as "empowering people."  He likens it to a coin with two faces: "the ugly one has been exposed by the Swiss [...] banning the construction of new minarets across Switzerland, towards the end of 2009".
A new thinking and a fresh approach are required. Enhanced information and empowerment of the populations could generate positive emulations, provided that detrimental cultural heritage is filtered.
He goes on:
[The] EU needs a life-time horizon to reinvent itself, reshape humans and heal societal and institutional structures in which they operate.[...]. The passage from domination and exercise of force to global governance, the force of arguments and principles, is smooth and deliberate. This is the genuine Avatar2, the virtual projection that we are seeking for. It promotes a comprehensive approach based on the following three pillars:
  1. Humans and Humanity, addressing Economy, Society and Well being;
  2. Environment, aiming to Clean environment and Energy resources;
  3. Interactions, Terrestrial or Cosmic.
Iulian is nothing if not ambitious, with a grand vision for future humanity:
There are sufficient reasons to consider social issues as powerful shaping forces, which Europe should not ignore:
a. Exclusion processes, which have developed over generations through various channels, such as cultural heritage, ethnicity or religious bigotry, are strengthened by economic deprivations.
b. The human’s cultural heritage is impregnated with germs of violence, intolerance and discrimination. [...] Adding to the exclusion, these threats may be accompanied and reinforced by resurgent nationalism and right-wing extremism that will focus on foreigners and immigrants.
Reinventing the human being may be the proper solution. It requires thorough and early interventions that may spread over a life time. EU should enhance forming its citizens and their civic spirit.
I told you he was a good European didn't I?  And this is an example of the type of person they take their advice from.  Where the heck did we go wrong?

I'll answer that for you - we went wrong by trusting our politicians: those members of society, our friends and neighbours, who said, 'vote for me and I will represent you in a democracy'.  Well, they didn't, they haven't and they aren't.  We're guinea pigs, fodder, pieces on a chess board, and they're playing with us, carrying out their little experiments.  Their last experiment, with the economy and monetary system, has gone badly wrong but I doubt they care; it's just an exercise - they're on manoeuvres.

UPDATE: Do me a favour and someone, please, put me out of my misery:

Common Purpose is piloting a course for Libyans in the UK who remain deeply connected to the country, and want to make an effective contribution to Libya even if from afar.

Sunday Reflection

GP: Suzuka 1988

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Before I was side-tracked by buying a present for my eldest's girlfriend I was compiling a few interesting links to demonstrate how the world was flowing. Unfortunately, my i/n connection crashed and I hadn't bookmarked them :-) Once I'd pulled them up from memory, it then crashed again so ... here's what we're left with:

Belgium on the brink. Without a national government for more than a year, this EU member-state is fast becoming a testing ground and prototype for European federalism. Believe it or not, some people actually herald Belgium as a success. There's one big boss in Brussels (unelected) and many provincial governors: layer upon layer of governance and bureaucracy.

If your blood isn't rising already then you're not English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh. The lovely Belgians can go back to De Standaard and their moules frites with mayonnaise.

Perhaps Cameron thinks we don't notice; perhaps he's right. Q. When is the Freedom Bill not a Freedom Bill? A. When it increases the power of entry into people's homes.
A report from the joint committee on human rights warns that the measures contained in the 'freedom bill' actually create new risks to individuals' civil liberties.

The government is reviewing its existing powers of entry to private properties, including homes.

It is also proposing to authorise ministers to extend existing powers of entry and roll back safeguards, prompting criticism from committee chair Hywel Francis.

"The proposals in the bill are overly broad and give ministers carte blanche to change powers of entry as they see fit," he said.

"This power needs to be limited to provide real protection for individual privacy, and existing powers of entry need to be examined carefully to reduce their scope and number."
We don't need a Freedom Bill; we don't need a British Bill of Rights - we already have them.

The man in demand, the man who owns much of the planet, the lobbying groups and the vested interests still has a criminal record.  I can't believe this man still holds the position he does.  Didn't he once brag that he made his billions on the back of Great Britain's Black Wednesday?

Shock! Horror! Hedge Funds and private equity make up 27% funding to Tories. Tsk. How awful, let's get a slot on Newsnight.

Oh! Wait a minute... Trade Union donations account for 91.3% funding to Labour. Oh well, let's not mention that.

Testing on live animals: It must stop. Sentient beings and all that.

There's been a record number of people evicted from their homes in Spain. This is pretty much how Greece was first reported.

Not the real thing: Olympics 2012. Sponsors accused of breaking "the spirit" of the games. Whoever negotiated the contract to win Olympics 2012 is a muppet if he couldn't foresee what would happen. We were warned last year to get out of London, close businesses and go on holiday.
Tony Travers, a transport expert at the London School of Economics, said: "It is hypocrisy for the Games organisers to issue an anti-car message which does not apply to the sponsors.
Ah well, Tony, some of us live and learn.

Are Green Tea supplements already banned by the EU?  If not, they soon will be. Au Revoir, to Green Tea supplements in France.  I assume this is all on the back of the EU demanding stricter regulation of non-BigPharma natural medicines.  After all, why let people go out into woodland or meadow and find a dock leaf to cure an itch?  Much better to prohibit picking the dock leaf and let BigPharma patent some artificial derivative and charge us for it.

Are you a journalist in America?  Get ready to be told how to report about Islam.  We're so touchy-feely here in Britain that you only have to look at our newspapers to see how we were one of the first to implement the edict.

Britain will comply with this, of course, but some member-states will not.  There's a disagreement about battery hens.  Once upon a time this is something our own government could have done but now we're just at a competitive disadvantage within the EU.  It's "clearly unacceptable" says the EU Commissioner but nothing will change.

This one surprised me: the National Union of Farmers is supporting the Govt's new planning regs.  I bet their President, Peter Kendall, has been on a Common Purpose course with his talk about smart farming.
"...speaking in Manchester this week, Mr Kendall said the planning reforms could help farm businesses increase food production by making it easier to get permission for the likes of new farm buildings, polytunnels and anaerobic digestion (AD) plants."
Lovely, can't wait.  Think of all those subsidies they'll get and the cheaper food costs are sure to be passed down to us (1972 and CAP re-visited ad nauseam).  Forget those rolling hills and infinite horizon meadows - let's have polytunnels instead.

Florida installs fingerprint scanners on school buses.  Apparently it's because they can't keep track of children attending school.  Whatever happened to the School Register?  How many parents in Britain know whether their child is being finger-printed before entering the dining room or the library?

Syria warns Jordan not to participate in Turkish/Israeli "large-scale manoeuvres":
"If the Hashemite Kingdom lines up with Turkey and Israel and deploys extra troops on the Syrian border, Assad will order his air force to bomb Jordanian towns.
And if Israel intervenes to engage Syrian bombers, Damascus would launch surface missiles against Jordanian cities.
It was the second time this week that the Syrian ruler had threatened to punish an enemy with ground-to-ground missiles. Tuesday, Oct. 4, debkafile revealed that Assad had threatened to demolish Tel Aviv by missiles within six hours of an attack on Syria."
Russia and China veto UN Resolution re sanctions on Syria. They fear it will turn into an excuse for bombing, like Libya.  Russia has a good deal on arms sales.

Sorry, I'm dashing for dinner now so the rest is short.

An in-depth report on Peak Oil, Climate Change and the threat to food security

The lies and the futility:  Obama's "Millionaire Tax" Collected Over Next Ten Years Will Plug 4 Months Worth Of Deficit.

Unrest is spreading to Toronto.  Taxpayers world-wide are unhappy at the way their taxes are being spent yet governments go on, regardless.

Bernard Howe-Hogan, the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has issued his first statement: "I will fast-track ethnic minorities".  I bet he's been on a Common Purpose course.

More on Dexia An interesting video.

Let's finish with this:  The nannied and pampered new generation.

Check this out:

Condell: The Great Palestinian Lie

"Wasted generations of hate."

Friday, 7 October 2011

Four Trillion Euros

That's the cost to taxpayers of bailing out the banking system since 2008. And Barroso didn't even blush as he said it.

The EU: "the most beautiful project in history". In ten years time the euro "will be stronger; members want to join the euro, no-one wants to quit the euro".

The UK & The EU: "It's the choice of the British people...if they want to stay we will be happy... no-one forces Britain... a Union that is democratic and free." "Leaders at national levels should assume their responsibilities."

UPDATE: Muffled Vociferation: Barroso & van Rompuy thought the EU would get the Nobel Peace Prize. Stop sniggering at the back! When you've stopped laughing, make sure your children know the truth.

All Take, No Give

Following on from my earlier post about Cameron living in the past and addressing a nation that no longer exists, the following story is a perfect example of why.

Council bans blackberry picking

We're being coralled and taxed, herded and limited in action and thought. This government shows no sign of easing up on restrictive measures and the Grand Repeal Act, which, before the GE, we were told could be going through Parliament within weeks of them being elected, has yet to appear. The Enbeobee Syndrome is still rampant (New Boss Old Boss) and it's time this government was made to realise that the status quo just isn't good enough.  All central and local government employees who have ever been on a cultish Common Purpose course should be taken to a secure establishment and de-programmed.  All these made-up, spur of the moment rules are killing the country and choking us.

People of England - get blackberrying!
O, blackberry tart, with berries as big as your thumb, purple and black, and thick with juice, and a crust to endear them that will go to cream in your mouth, and both passing down with such a taste that will make you close your eyes and wish you might live forever in the wideness of that rich moment. How Green was My Valley
The taste of an English Autumn
Heaney: Blackberry-picking
The Urbane Forager

Thursday, 6 October 2011

No Politics*

The BoE has announced more QE, the ECB has bought bad bank debts that it can't afford and Cameron exhorts 'the nation' to pull together and adopt a Blitz spirit. The problem is that those people with the Blitz Spirit have long gone, Cameron. They've either died or fled abroad and all you have left to 'nudge' is a mish-mash of cultures and disparate people, particularly in London. I suspect he's thinking of the English when he talks in war-time metaphors but we're the Silent People, we haven't spoken yet, so have this to be going on with and dream on, Cameron.

Happy and I'm smiling,
Walk three miles to drink your water.
You know I'd love to love you,
And above you there's no other.
We'll go walking out
While others shout of war's disaster.
Oh, we won't give in,
Let's go living in the past.

Once I used to join in
Every boy and girl was my friend.
Now there's revolution, but they don't know
What they're fighting.
Let us close our eyes;
Outside their lives go on much faster.
Oh, we won't give in,
We'll keep living in the past.

Oh, we won't give in,
Let's go living in the past.
Oh no no we won't give in,
Let's go living in the past.

*I mis-spoke and will issue a clarification later.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Oh-Oh. Bank of America Protected By SWAT Team

This is ba-a-a-ad news from SHTF Plan.
From what we can gather, according to eye witness testimony, St. Louis PD has barricaded the Bank of America building and is refusing customer access to deposits.

Apparently it happened in August. People write about similar experiences in the comments section. Bad news all round - and still not being reported in Britain.

H/t to @analiensaturn on twitter

Cameron: Conference 2011

This is the longest video available at the moment.  I'm probably being picky, as usual, but: "Please build something worthwhile for us and our children" doesn't sound like clear instructions  and a clear objective to me.   It sounds like open-ended meaningless waffle where he can just make something up as he goes along.

Edited to add this: 'Highlights'

Quentin Letts probably has the best article about the conference as he highlights the schmoozing that goes on.  I'd like to see a return to Conferences of old when members could debate issues and vote in the hall rather than listen to tedious self-congratulatory speeches about how well a Party is performing.

The Daily Politics has the speech in full on BBC iPlayer

Full transcript HERE

Wordle: Cameron Conference 2011

The Knotted Cords Of Debt

The knotted cords of debt

More about the Franco-Belgian problems with Dexia. It's not only PIIGS now.

Events Move On In Greece

The so-called troika of the ECB/IMF & EU may think it's okay to hold off on giving Greece the next tranche of the bailout 'loan' but time and financial markets don't wait, not even for such important people.

The Greek Armed Forces have now entered the fray with retired officers taking over the Ministry of Defence and with the professional body charged with representing current Armed Forces issuing a warning that the 'military’s confidence in the “intentions of the state” regarding their pensions has been “shaken”.'
Amid a wider protest of some 2000 officers, around 300 stormed the building as the crowd shouted “down with the Pasok junta” - referring to the governing social democratic party.
As the article points out, this comes on top of protests by the Police force last week. If things continue as they are, and there's no reason to expect otherwise, and given the reputation of Greece's Armed Forces, it isn't beyond the realms of possibility that a coup could be in the offing.

EU Observer


This morning's newspapers all seem to know what will be in Cameron's speech to Conference this afternoon. If it's true that he's telling people to pay off their credit cards and rein in their personal debt, he's setting himself up for a fall. No matter how sensible the advice, it isn't always possible and the press will be all over him this evening.  When there are reports that many people are having to use the cards to pay utility and food bills comments like this will be seen as insensitive and out of touch at best.
As reported by the BBC, he will address the issue of the UK's deficit reduction by saying:
"This was no normal recession; we're in a debt crisis. It was caused by too much borrowing, by individuals, businesses, banks and - most of all - governments.
"The only way out of a debt crisis is to deal with your debts. That means households - all of us - paying off the credit card and store card bills."
New Statesman

UPDATE: According to the Daily Politics, that part of Cameron's speech has been re-written after gauging the reactions coming in. Instead of saying that households "should" pay off their debts, it's changed to households "are" paying off their debts. Subtle, eh!

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