Saturday, April 30, 2016

TTIP

Very thoughtful and interesting piece by Helen Lewis in The New Statesman about TTIP:  http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/04/case-against-ttip

Everyone should be concerned.

Fagin

I hope that Labour's enquiry into anti-antisemitism within the party looks at the disgraceful campaign waged against Michael Howard in 2005 - with Fagin and Flying Pig posters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36175660

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4217009.stm

A second referendum would be justified

ENGLAND 41% to 43% to OUT
WALES 35% to 42% to OUT
SCOTLAND 51% to 34% IN
OVERALL 42% to 41% to IN

If Scotland forces the rest of the United Kingdom to stay in the EU a second referendum would be justified.

The Remain side is relying on Labour voters getting them over the line

Interesting too speculate what effect the current in-fighting in the Labour party will have on the EU referendum.

If the Remain side is relying on Labour voters getting them over the line this may well have been the week that nixed their chances.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-labour-anti-semitism_uk_5723b9ace4b06bf544e1be6b?43pzxgvi




Friday, April 29, 2016

John Major has a vested interest in the United Kingdom remaining in the EU















Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but John Major has a vested interest in the United Kingdom remaining in the EU.

If we leave (as we must) the cornerstone of his premiership record is immediately undermined.

There will be no Major legacy of any kind (even the Cones Hotline was a flop).

Already seen as one of the shittiest Prime Minister's ever, his reputation will fall even further.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/665655/John-Major-Brexit-campaigners-NORTH-KOREA-EU-Remain-rant

https://twitter.com/BBCr4today/status/725950567072301056

They are losing the intellectual argument















What to make of this incredible accusation by John Major that the Leave campaign wants to turn the United Kingdom into North Korea?

Most people of course will just ignore him.

This is the Prime Minister whose greatest legacy was the Cones Hotline.

But when the Remain campaign resorts to abuse does it not indicate that they are losing the intellectual argument? (they've already lost the emotional argument).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qj9z
As Daniel Hannan MEP has just pointed out on Twitter:  Today EFTA signed a free trade agreement with the Philippines. The talks took less than one year.

https://twitter.com/DanHannanMEP

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"There is an institutional ganging-up against the British voter".

Wonderful interview with Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom talking about the EU on Newsnight this evening:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk25

She was calm and rational and told us "there is an institutional ganging-up against the British voter".

"Crisis, what crisis"

Do you remember all those smug lefties who said they were enjoying watching the Tory party tear itself apart over Europe?

Well now it's our turn:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36160135

And I LOVE Jeremy Corbyn's reprise of "Crisis, what crisis" - he is truly a 1970s man.

If the EU protects workers rights, what do we need trade unions for?

Rather obtuse article by Kam Gill on the Left Foot Foward website:  http://leftfootforward.org/2016/04/eu-health-and-safety-laws-have-protected-workers-rights-says-tuc/

If the EU protects workers rights, what do we need trade unions for?

One rather thinks Kam Gill has just talked himself out of a job.

And he rather overlooks the fact that the TUC would have NO INFLUENCE WHATSOEVER on the EU high panjandrums.

A “Social Europe” is in practise impossible to achieve.

Candid and realistic assessment by Danny Nicol (Professor of Public Law at the University of Westminster) of the implausibility of a "social Europe" on Left Futures website:  http://www.leftfutures.org/2016/04/implausibility-of-a-social-europe/

It should be required reading for all those lefties who are thinking of voting Remain.

Particularly pay attention to the paragraph:  EU Treaties provide no means of discarding the TTIP; and the other reforms would require a complete absence of neoliberal governments throughout the EU.  Sadly these policies are so heavily protected against repeal that a “Social Europe” is in practise impossible to achieve.  No doubt “another Europe is possible” – but outside the European Union.


The SNP has been taking money from Vladimir Putin

Interesting comment on last night's Newsnight by David Frum (Senior Editor, The Atlantic) that the SNP has been taking money from Vladimir Putin.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk25

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dry as dust and dull as ditchwater

Pro-Remain article by Andrew Dismore for Progress:  http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2016/04/27/london-is-stronger-in/

Dry as dust and dull as ditchwater.

A succession of highly-selective stats that might be half-true or might be entirely spurious - it depends on your point of view.

But nothing that addresses the sense of bewilderment ordinary people (including ordinary Londoners) feel that their country has become an alien place where they are no longer safe or cared for.  That impersonal forces are making unaccountable decisions beyond any suggestion of democratic control.  That their country is being taken from them.

Doubt on the accuracy of George Osborne

Niamh-ni-Mhaoileoin, writing for Left Foot Forward, casts doubt on the accuracy of George Osborne in claiming the Leave campaign was causing economic slowdown:  http://leftfootforward.org/2016/04/osborne-blames-eu-for-gdp-growth-slowdown-but-what-about-his-policies/

Significant quote:

Lee Hopley, chief economist at the manufacturer’s organisation EEF commented that ‘’The extent to which this across the board weakening can be attributed to political uncertainty ahead of the referendum is open to question.’
While acknowledging that ‘referendum wobbles could make themselves felt in the coming months, she suggested that ‘global financial market volatility, stuttering world trade growth and challenges on the high street feel like more obvious explanations for the slowdown’

The moral corruption of British politics

on this evening's Channel 4 News Michael Crick revealed that the main unions have done a deal with Tory Remainers - David Cameron will drop key areas of union reform in return for the unions backing the Remain campaign:  http://www.channel4.com/news/

Never was the moral corruption of British politics exposed so nakedly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It’s people’s jobs, prices in the shops and the proper funding of public services

With astonishing mendacity Lord Mandelson froths about the Leave campaign, accusing them of every vice he can think of.

But in one passage the prince of cats is absolutely right.

"“The economy is not something that can be opted into or out of in this debate – it is the future of this country that is at stake. It’s people’s jobs, prices in the shops and the proper funding of public services that are on the ballot paper in June" he tells LabourList.

We can agree with him on that:


  • The EU has swamped the United Kingdom with cheapo migrants that have taken the jobs from British men and women by pricing them out of the Labour market.  
  • In 1974 the entry of the United Kingdom into the then EEC was accompanied by a stratospheric spike in food prices as we were forced to buy food from French farmers with expensive socially-constructed framing models rather than from Commonwealth producers where economies of scale are able to deliver very low cost and high quality food - food prices that are still available if we will only free ourselves from the EU.
  • The millions of eastern Europeans that have flooded into the country in the last 15 years have imposed an intolerable burden on public services, and effectively stolen the assets paid for by British taxpayers over the past five decades.
So thank you Lord Mandelson for drawing attention to these issues.

Voting REMAIN in the EU referendum is more important than the election of a reforming Labour government in 1945

Hilarious, laugh out loud speech by Alan Johnson MP earlier today in which he claimed that voting REMAIN in the EU referendum is more important than the election of a reforming Labour government in 1945.

Will Ken Loach be making a film entitled Spirit of '16 ?

Will luvvies sat on Andrew Marr's sofa tell us that the EU referendum inspired them to express their inner socialist in the latest production of Aladdin?

What a ridiculous man Alan Johnson is.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/redbox/topic/no-topic/alan-johnson-eu-ref-more-important-than-attlee-government

http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/14451328.Alan_Johnson__Vote_to_stay_in_EU_perhaps_more_important_than_1945_vote_that_heralded_reforming_Atlee_government/

The Labour Party is split THREE ways over the EU referendum

On the Today programme this morning was a report on the split in the Labour party over the EU referendum.

The Conservative Party is of course split over the issue.

But the Labour Party is split THREE ways over the EU referendum.

The Parliamentary Party does not represent the Labour activists or the Labour voters.

The Labour activists do not represent the Parliamentary Party or the Labour voters.

The Labour voters are threatening to stay at home or indeed defect to UKIP (Frank Field MP, interviewed on the programme, revealed that up to 40% of Labour voters could vote Leave in the referendum).

What a shambles!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qj9z

Monday, April 25, 2016

"The Brexit camp is charging ahead"

In Grimsby the Leave side is doing well.

"The Brexit camp is charging ahead".

Of course the metropolitan elite do not get as far as Grimsby.

Most of them will not even know where it is.

But to me it is part of the real England.

http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/Brexit-leads-way-Telegraph-online-EU-poll-time/story-29172169-detail/story.html



David Cameron is our Harold Wilson

Channel 4 News this evening reported the use of the phrase "notoriously slippery" with reference to Harold Wilson and the 1975 referendum.

With the implication that David Cameron is our Harold Wilson.

http://www.channel4.com/news/

The Leave side are the underdogs





















Betfair shows a lead for the Remain side.

Which means the Leave side are the underdogs.

And we know how the British favour the underdogs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-odds-idUSKCN0XM0IK

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Greater regard for their fellow countrymen and women

We are told endlessly (on and on the nagging goes) that the NHS is almost entirely staffed by immigrants.

We are also told that sections of the NHS (the junior doctors) are going on strike.

Is it possible that there is a connection between the immigrant composition of the NHS and the willingness of NHS employees to go on strike (with all that that implies for patients)?

If the NHS is made up of mercenaries, is it any wonder that they have no regard for their patients.

That their primary interest is money.

If we paid a bit more and had an NHS in England and Wales entirely staffed by English and Welsh people is it not more likely that they would have greater regard for their fellow countrymen and women?

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/24/mps-call-for-pilot-of-junior-doctors-contract-to-avoid-strike-action

The Home Secretary seemed more interested in semantics than in properly answering questions

Disappointing interview with Home Secretary Theresa May on the Andrew Marr Show this morning.

The Home Secretary seemed more interested in semantics than in properly answering questions.

She seemed to think that by deconstructing phrases and de-linking concepts she could prove that the problems around immigration that people complain of do not really exist.

And yet the problems are manifest for all to see.

For instance, one of the consequences of the massive influx of single young men has been the appearance of sleazy red light areas in almost every town and suburb where the immigrants congregate, indeed sometimes in villages.

I know of one sleepy rural market town where there is a narrow ally way from the market place down to a picturesque, recently renovated cobbled square.  The ally way is lined with antique shops, cafes, ladies hair salons.  A little way down the ally is a large Victorian pub, recently renovated.

The pub has applied for a "sexual entertainment" licence.

At the other end of the alley an informal house of ill repute, staffed by eastern European women, has opened (unofficially) above an estate agents.

It is inevitable that in the hours of darkness the alley will become an open-air brothel with prostitutes using the deep doorways to entertain their clients, throwing their filthy detritus on the pavement.  And it is also inevitable that there will be the associated criminal activity that always attends the emergence of red light areas (drugs, people trafficking, pimping etc).  Not to mention the public health implications with increased rates of venereal disease in the town that will have to be dealt with by the NHS.

But the Home Secretary does nothing except play words games with Andrew Marr.

One thinks that the Home Secretary has been too long in her post - that she has been subsumed by the culture of her department and become a civil servant writ large.

Theresa May, you have been a disappointment.

When "Dave" finally goes (roll on the day) I would like you to go too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0795gq8/the-andrew-marr-show-24042016

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/24/britain-has-control-of-borders-theresa-may-insists-despite-3m-mi/

The degradation Obama has imposed on the British people

Barack Obama has done a great deal of damage to long-term Anglo-American relations with his cack-handed interventions into the British EU referendum debate.

Perhaps he is not bothered by this?

Perhaps he hates his own country as much as he hates the United Kingdom?

Let us look at what he has done.

By so publicly humiliating the United Kingdom with his "back of the queue" comments (containing the subtext that the United Kingdom is of no real economic importance to the USA) he has made us a laughing stock in the capitals of the world.  From Berlin to Pyongyang foreign leaders will be guffawing with pleasure at the degradation Obama has imposed on the British people.  In the Kremlin Vladimir Putin will no doubt be delighted at the crack that has emerged in Anglo-American relations.

And let us take the implications of all this one logical step forward.

The facade of British world power status, already brittle and wafer thin, has with the Obama intervention been finally shattered.

What many people already knew has now been conveyed publicly to the world - the United Kingdom is a tiny island of no real importance to anyone.

Therefore why do we need the expensive trappings of world power status?

Certainly we do not need to spend billions and billions of pounds on the (American) Trident weapons system.  As a Conservative who is against Trident I have kept quiet because I thought possession of the system was required to maintain our "parade" in the world.  But if even our so-called ally is scornful of our efforts then what on earth is the point of giving the Americans all that money?

It would be interesting for the British media to report some of the coverage and cartoons about the Obama intervention that are appearing in the foreign media.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36120808

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3556162/Obama-warns-DECADE-trade-deal-Thatcher-s-economic-guru-claims-Brexit-leave-people-40-better-week.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/7101575/Farage-accuses-Obama-of-blasting-Brexit-to-line-his-own-pockets.html

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A quick and dirty TTIP deal

In Left Foot Forward Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling suggests that "Obama’s visit is a charm offensive, intended to secure a quick and dirty TTIP deal in the sunset of the President’s administration":
http://leftfootforward.org/2016/04/obamas-ttip-charm-offensive-wont-quell-public-resistance/


Hypocrisy exhibited by Hillary Clinton intervening in the EU referendum

Stinking hypocrisy exhibited by Hillary Clinton intervening in the EU referendum:  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/23/hillary-clinton-britain-should-stay-in-eu

In 1992 the Clintons responded with fury when Conservative Central Office in London (presumably under the direction of John Major) helped George Bush senior's re-election campaign by researching the behaviour of Bill Clinton (draft-dodging, pot smoking etc) while a student at Oxford.

Why is British intervention in the USA political process bad, but American intervention in the British political process supposedly legitimate?

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/663867/Hillary-Clinton-EU-referendum-Brexit

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hillary-clinton-favours-remain-saying-she-values-a-strong-british-voice-in-the-eu-a6998086.html

Odd that none of these youth leaders wanted to ask him about his intervention in the EU referendum debate

Aisha Gani in the Guardian reports Obama's question and answer session with 500 "youth leaders" earlier today:  http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/23/barack-obama-london-visit-young-people-key-to-changing-the-world

Is it not odd that none of these youth leaders wanted to ask him about his intervention in the EU referendum debate?

How was the audience selected and what criteria did they use?

It is almost as if these 500 "youth leaders" were handpicked to conform with a particular ideological stance.

Being "leaders" their views on a whole range of issues will presumably be in the public domain and so it would be easy for an organiser of the meeting to check and select.

And it appears from Ms Gani's article that no-one of English ethnicity was present at the gathering - is this a true reflection of the event or evidence that Aisha Gani is unthinkingly racist?


So ignorant of current affairs that she thinks Canada is a republic

Did Nesrine Malik really claim, during today's Dateline London, that no-one can remember who the President of Canada is?

Is she really so ignorant of current affairs that she thinks Canada is a republic?

And no-one on the panel corrected her.

Which left me thinking:  these people are all self-important idiots.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m93g

Bigoted, in the most unpleasant way


















It would be outrageous if it were not predictable that Dateline London should be so blatantly biased in favour of the Remain party.  And that it should also be bigoted, in the most unpleasant way, against the Leave party.  One rather loses all trust in the BBC when this sort of thing happens (and perhaps we should be noting this sort of thing for the BBC charter renewal process).

The Remain party's use of taxpayers' money to send a propaganda leaflet to every household in the United Kingdom supposedly representing the government's position (obviously a false claim since the government is split on the issue).  The behaviour of supposedly impartial institutions such as the BBC in supporting, in an undisguised way, the Remain party.  The connived intervention of foreign leaders to bully and cajole the British people into voting for the Remain party.

All these incidents will not do the Remain side any good.  If they manage (against the odds in my opinion) to win the referendum, immediately these incidents will be presented as evidence that the referendum result was "stolen".  And that will not bode well for politicians who have associated themselves with the Remain argument.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m93g

Friday, April 22, 2016

There is no special relationship between the United Kingdom and the USA

Diane Abbott was unconvincing when challenged on Channel 4 News to come up with reasons why the United Kingdom should stay in the EU.

Although she was quite right to say that there is no special relationship between the United Kingdom and the USA.

If the Obama visit has done nothing else, it has at least opened the eyes of many British people to that fact.

http://www.channel4.com/news/

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

"The US president hit back at the suggestion that he was not an admirer of Britain's wartime leader, saying he had a bust of Churchill outside the Treaty Room - his private office on the second floor of his official residence.  'It's there voluntarily because I can do anything on the second floor. I love the guy,' he said." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36115138
Does Obama "love" Winston Churchill?
Can the Radio 4 PM show and Channel 4 News, both of which have fact-checking departments, check the veracity of that statement?
If Obama genuinely loves Winston Churchill we would expect to see references to Winston Churchill in his public statements over the last thirty years or so.
I don't just mean rebuttals to the criticism following the removal of the bust from the Oval Office.
I mean genuine admiration that reflects his claim "I love the guy".
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
And if nothing can be found Obama will be revealed as a liar.  Indeed a liar across two continents and a liar at the highest level of diplomatic intercourse.  And the journalist who proves this will have a story that will be remembered.


"What kind of people do they think we are"

Does Barack Obama think he can threaten the British people?

He would not be the first foreign leader who made that mistake.

As his "hero" (as he not very convincingly claimed today) Winston Churchill would say:  "What kind of people do they think we are".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/22/barack-obama-arrives-in-britain-to-tell-voters-to-remain-in-the/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36115138