The argument put forward by many in the remain camp is that it would be better to stay within the EU and change it from the inside

However, one only has to look at history & more recently David Camerons attempt only a few months ago to negotiate with the EU on the topic of change from within - we have all seen how well that went, so why should their stance change in the future?

Based upon the EU's track record why on earth does anyone think that the EU is either willing or able to change - even assuming there is a wish to do so - which clearly does not curently exist

Quite frankly those 'in charge' in the EU are set upon an all-encompassing Federalist agenda and anyone who believes otherwise is deluded

Therefore, why should the UK be shackled to an EU, run by an elite whose ideology is totally alien to our own, purely for the benefit of other countries & the rest of the world?

Furthermore, this magnanimity expected of the UK does not come cheap, with an increasing expectation that the UK will provide ever more funding and help solve all the EU's self inflicted problems, where the UK had no say in the original decision (witness Germany unilateral recent open-door policy over migrants) - sometimes to the detriment of our own population as in the case of many decisions by the ECJ (European Court of Justice)

How interesting that according to all the 'remain' pundits the UK is deemed to have little global influence or power to go it alone, and yet at the same time, there seems to be a huge worldwide attempt to prevent the UK population from exercising their vote in favour of Brexit - something simply does not add up!

Does this concerted effort of bullying, threats and persuasion by the 'remain' lobby, by drawing in all manor of supporters from the entire spectrum of ghastly celebrities right through 'captains' of industry and culminating with ex US Secretaries of State, really make any sense?

After all bearing in mind the claims that the UK is a spent power, why should anyone outside the UK care - unless of course there is more to this than meets the eye?

Everyone wants the UK to remain in the EU as a stabilising/moderating influence - but at what price to the UK in terms of Sovereignty, migration and additional financial contributions to a failing EU. Moreover we have an EU that has no intention or will to change despite having had the 'writing on the wall' for a number of years already. The EU simply produces one 'fudge' after another to provide stop-gap solutions, rather than addressing the issues properly with a view to permanent solutions. This must surely the result of woefully inadequate leadership, paralysed by the concept of decision making - i.e. not one statesman amongst the lot of them!

Perhaps a more pertinent question should be - how long will the EU last if the UK does leave and other countries decide to follow suit?

Naturally if Brexit should come about, then the UK will remain willing to step in and help the Europe in times of trouble, as we have done in the past with previous conflicts - but there is really no need for the UK to be part of the unfolding train-wreck of the EU, just to demonstrate commitment to world peace

As for America - clearly they have short memories because they seem to have forgotten the reasons behind their own War of Independence (1775–1783). Why is the wish for Brexit any different?

Anyway does the UK really care about all the US threats over the 'special relationship' because quite frankly we all know that this is a very one-sided arrangement to serve the US only and any assistance to the UK always comes at a price. Let us not forget history and the Anglo-American Loan Agreement, the USA Cash & Carry policy (WWII) or Lend-Lease because the USA refused to enter the war and only engaged after Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941. Preferring instead for their 'allies' to do the fighting for them. All this seems rather like deja-vu with the European migrant crisis - America distances itself & Europe picks up the pieces

Whilst we are on the subject of the US, could someone please explain what their contribution has been towards solving the European refugee/migration problems currently being encountered. This is especially poignant bearing in mind that the US were instrumental in being one of the root causes of these issues in the middle east in the first place and now seem to have 'ducked' responsibility

So guys, before standing on the sidelines telling the UK what to do, any advice you offer would probably have more credibility if you started taking your fair share of Syrians, Iraquis, Afghanis and other displaced people that you have helped make refugees in the first place

However, what is hugely disappointing with this entire episode, is the manner in which David Cameron has conducted himself over the referendum, by displaying nothing more than privileged 'bully boy' tactics in an attempt to get his own way.

Considering the office he holds, his obsession and kowtowing to celebrities has always been rather demeaning to the British people, especially as this was not what he was elected to do. Neither is his coterie of Chipping Norton cronies particularly edifying and only brings him into disrepute when favours are handed out

Tags: , | Categories: Economics | European Union

As transfers of wealth go - the CAP is a real 'doozy' in transferring wealth to those who already have a lot and yet want even more

Any sector that has an overburdening reliance on handouts of public money cannot be good for the economy or the nation and unfortunately this is what todays farming seems to have become

Broadly the origins of the present day CAP came into being as an arrangement between France and Germany. On the one hand Germany's industry wanted access to French markets, whereas on the other hand France (ever the opportunist) wanted someone to bankroll their farmers. Furthermore, France only became a net contributor in 2005 having had a 'free ride' for many years

Nevertheless the CAP was born out of protectionism and is undoubtedly an obstacle to free trade. Although, in the eyes of the recipients of this largess, that clearly does not seem to matter and neither do all the problems associated with protectionism and emerging countries / markets - after all "i'm all right jack"

Don't forget that currently 40% of the EU budget is allocated to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Many years ago, we saw France and other members applying these same tactics when the UK applied to join the EU (1970's) in respect of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) - the rules were changed barely 24 hours before the UK signed-up

UK EEC Referendum - Will UK Get Their Fishing Grounds Back From EEC Original Illegal Theft

Yet France always manage to come out on top, despite having a dysfunctional 'basket case' economy and still having an over-inflated say in how the EU operates

However, in respect of UK farmers - what other industry

  • Can avoid the planning rules
  • Is pretty much exempt from inheritance tax (business)
  • Cannot trade profitably
  • Receives handsome subsidies for failure

Any other business would have gone bust long ago and all that theses subsidies have done is ensure that UK farmers stagnate because many of them are far too comfortable, with little innovation and any diversification dictated by how much they get from other/more subsidies

Who pays for subsidising farmers income - every taxpayer, including small businesses who are them selves struggling - but never mind all that provided that farmers have their income topped up by those less well off than themselves

and all the time these farmers are sitting on considerable assets and ever rising land prices - whilst expecting the rest of the community to suffer in order to maintain their subsidies

There is no claw-back from inherited estates for the subsidies farmers have received and this CAP abuse crosses the entire social strata from the very wealthy to the marginal farmers with little or no distinction - just hold out you hand and collect the annual subsidy - rather like Monopoly 'pass go' collect £200

It has been said that

 '.. The abolition of subsidies would cut taxes, cut food prices, stop distorting world trade and make European farm exports more competitive ..'

However, the farming lobby throughout the EU is far too powerful to let that happen

Adding insult to injury was an attempt in the EU courts, by 3 German farmers to stop publication about individuals receiving these huge subsidies. Although subsequently overturned, this does indicate a mindset in some farmers that they are trying to hide what they ultimately know is wrong and unfair

'.. The EU's top court says the EU must stop publishing data about individual farmers who receive subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) ..'

EU Diktat - Stop publication about individuals receiving these huge CAP subsidies

Which rather epitomises the whole reasoning behind the EU

 

References

Beneficiaries of CAP payments (shared management)

 

Tags: | Categories: Farming

Given a clean sheet, if the UK were not already in the EU, the question has to be - would you vote to join the EU as a new member today?

In all probability the answer would arguably be NO, because instilling the fear of leaving over the unknown, is completely different to making an informed decision to join in the first place. Furthermore, and any decision would conceivably be formed against the following background:

  • Treatment of Greece 
  • Treatment of Cyprus
  • Migration levels
  • Asylum becoming a 'lifestyle' choice - not the first safe haven country
  • On-going endemic corruption
  • Ignoring members referendums when it suits the EU - try again until you get the 'right' result
  • 1999 Santer Commission Resignation (see below)

and finally, last but not least -

Will UK Get Their Fishing Grounds Back From EEC Original Illegal Theft

 

2010 - Conservative Manifesto

This stated the party would:

'.. Restore democratic control In future, the British people must have their say on any transfer of powers to the European Union. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum ..'

This aspect has not even been addressed by David Cameron, which means that he has failed to implement a promise that was made in the manifesto


European Communities Act 1972

This 1972 Act of the Parliament provided for the incorporation of European Union law (originally Community law) into the domestic law of the United Kingdom

The reality of the situation is that if David Cameron was truly batting for the UK he could easily address the European Communities Act 1972 and do away with the theatrics of all night discussions asking for changes and being constantly rebuffed by the EU

 

The EU Bill and Parliamentary Sovereignty 

House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee - The EU Bill and Parliamentary sovereignty

EUROPEAN UNION BILL

Explanatory Notes

Status of EU law

Clause 18: Status of EU law dependent on continuing statutory basis 104. Clause 18 is a declaratory provision which confirms that directly applicable or directly effective EU law only takes effect in the UK as a result of the existence of an Act of Parliament. The words ‘by virtue of an Act of Parliament’ cover UK subordinate legislation made under Acts, and because of the particular context of this clause, also covers Acts and Measures of the devolved legislatures in exercise of the powers conferred on them by the relevant UK primary legislation

 

European Union Act (EUA) 2011

Section 18 was originally projected to be a ‘sovereignty’ clause, intended to reaffirm the sovereign character of the legislative power of the UK Parliament

Section 18: The Sovereignty Clause

On 6 October 2010, the Government announced that the Act would include a provision "to underline that what a sovereign Parliament can do, a sovereign Parliament can always undo".

HOWEVER, the clause, eventually enacted as section 18 of the Act provides that:

"Status of EU law dependent on continuing statutory basis

Directly applicable or directly effective EU law (that is, the rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies and procedures referred to in section 2(1) of the European Communities Act 1972) falls to be recognised and available in law in the United Kingdom only by virtue of that Act or where it is required to be recognised and available in law by virtue of any other Act."

 

No Disagreement Permitted with the EU

Brussels is completely unaccountable and consistently asserts its will, irrespective of any democratic process, over every sovereign nation within the Union - only ever accepting its own decisions

Let us just recap for a moment over a few highlights

The original version of the Treaty of Lisbon (EU Constitution 2005) was rejected by France and the Netherlands and yet it was re-hashed into the Treaty of Lisbon and accepted in 2009

In 2015 Jean-Claude Junker, President of the European Commission (remember him over Luxembourg and its status as an EU tax haven at the expense of other member nations) said - '.. there can be no democratic choice against European choices ..' - this rather gives the game away! 

 

The Irish Referendum 2008

In 2008 the Irish people clearly rejected the Treaty of Lisbon - 46.6% of Irish voted "Yes" and 53.4% "No"

Instead of simply dropping the bill, the Irish were told to try again with another referendum because the EU refused to accept Irelands democratic process which did not agree with the EU own agenda

After the second referendum in 2009 the EU obtained the result it wanted

 

Who Exactly are Those in Favour of Remaining in the EU?

A whole raft of establishment 'worthies' from state sponsored organisations or large multi-nationals whose interests are already aligned with the EU

How many of these people have actually build businesses rather than being professional managers of other businesses 

As a consqeuence these people belong to a completely different world to small entrepreneurs or the rest of the community

 

Selling EU Membership on Fear

Ultimately one really needs to ask why all the 'selling points' of remaining in the EU put forward by David Cameron et-al revolve around the 'fear factor' and very few of the reasons for staying focus on the positive advantages

Unfortunately, scaremongering has to be the default position for the 'IN' camp, because it is proving to be very difficult for them to come up with any advantages of belonging to the EU, especially against the EU's existing historical disastrous track record

Even recently (Sunday Times 14-Feb-2016), Carolyn McCall the CEO of Easyjet wrote a rather dysfunctional column about the disadvantages to leaving the EU, once again disappointingly relying upon the fear factor. Ms McCalls line seems to relate to the airline industry in 1990 and how flying was only the domain of the wealthy at that time. Quite frankly there is absolutely no correlation between events today and occurrences 25 years ago, and to suggest otherwise is mischievous 

Then in the same edition of the Times, the ex CEO of TUI pitches in with his scaremongering about security fears should the UK leave the EU - conveniently forgetting that TUI suspended services to Tunisia in the wake of the July 2015 beach massacre. At the time the UK was in the EU

Both cases just confirm the dubious nature of the 'IN' supporters rhetoric

Finally, what on earth has hearsay about Margaret Thatcher views have to do with anything in today's context. Whatever views Ms Thatcher had/had not would have been based on her prevailing knowledge at the time and once again not 25 years later, when clearly events have changed

Quote - John Maynard Keynes - '.. when the facts change I change my mind ..'

One of most extraordinary aspects of this entire debate is the difference in approach between the two sides.

The 'IN' advocates put up all manner of unproven statements by a raft of Europhiles from one background or another (preferably 'celebrities' which is David Camerons wont) - oh! and by the way, if these 'celebs' (or anyone else) wants to have an opinion on the topic then they might at least be affected by living in the UK, unlike others who have expressed their views such as Richard Branson, Barack Obama and others - otherwise keep quiet because it only affects you indirectly!

Furthermore, the 'IN' refuse to see the way David Cameron was treated by the EU in February 2016 over raising very valid issues, whilst at the same time not acknowledging that very little was actually gained, despite the Government fanfare over all manner of claimed summits achievements

This was an ideal time for the EU to look at itself and review the way forward, unfortunately they simply refuse to acknowledge their own failings and demonstrate once again that the whole thing is totally dysfunctional, with every member having their own agenda instead of a coherent way forward. Just look at the disarray over the current migrant/refugee situation, which has been on-going for quite a while and lurching from one crisis to another, as a clear example on how structurally challenged the EU has become

Interestingly enough, it turns out that other member states either all want concessions in one form or another or expect the UK to pay for benefits to their own Nationals - this of course is coming from migrants own countries of origin which do not afford to their own people this same level of benefits in the first place!

.. and let us not forget public statements made by EU leaders to the effect that it doesn't really matter what is agreed - once the UK referendum is history they can overturn the agreement anyway. This just goes to show their contempt for the democratic views of members sovereign nations - especially if they overturn agreements that have been voted on as part of remaining in the EU

Furthermore, how many of the 'IN' fraternity are precisely the same people who advocated the UK joining the Euro? Their judgement was wrong then and it continues to remain flawed about the EU

So much for trusting the EU, which seems to consist of a very duplicitous bunch (used advisedly) of people with absolutely no sense of right/wrong, honour or concept of integrity except where it comes to 'trousering' benefits for themselves - ie a totally untrustworthy unaccountable elite group which remains undemocratic and seemingly cannot be removed

TRUST, ACCOUNTABILITY, HONOUR & SOVEREIGNTY ARE THE UNDENIABLE HURDLES THAT THE 'IN' CAMP FIND VERY DIFFICULT TO GET AROUND! 

 

Member Countries

The ongoing travails of Greece and the past bullying by Germany are already well documented 

Schengen is failing by the day and the EU seem impotent over a solution

Austria has given two fingers to Germany over border controls and has recently set daily levels for migrants

Hungary has erected fencing on the Romanian border and are about to hold a referendum on migrant quota's

Additionally, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia have all built their versions of the anti-immigrant fence along parts of their borders

France and Italy are already in a debt trap - a situation in which their debt is difficult or almost impossible to repay, because they cannot get their GDP to grow fast enough under any circumstances

A great deal of this debt is owed to foreigners and sooner or later (sooner!) thie interest rates on Government bonds will increase, re-financing will cease to be an option and the only way forward will be for them to leave the euro - alternatively the euro will need to be reformed under yet another fudge

At this juncture existing members will need to help them out - ie. the UK if it remains in the EU will also have to stump-up bail out funding

There used to be a saying 'he who pays the piper calls the tune', which makes the whole influence that France has in the EU a complete joke. A 'bust' country should actually be relegated to the bottom of any decision making table, but instead France seems to have cosied-up to Germany and achieved an influence in the EU far greater than its financial standing warrants

What a mess - so with this in mind - watch this space

Just in passing, in a club where all members are equal, who gave Germany the right to declare a unilateral 'open door' policy for migrants to be imposed on other members - thereby causing the current crisis?

AND THE 'IN' WANT TO JOIN THIS DISASTER!

 

1999 Santer Commission Resignation - The resignation of the European Commission

The entire European Commission - the executive body of the European Union - has resigned in the wake of a damning report exposing fraud, corruption and mismanagement at senior levels

Resignation of the European Commission - Parliament

1999 - EU chiefs resign en masse

 

Finally, David Cameron really does need to grow up about this issue and stop behaving like a petulant child.

All his rhetoric about Boris & co and preventing Civil Servants from acting for both side is quite frankly an abuse of power 

 

References

Recent EU Scandals

Campaign for an Independent Britain

Tags: | Categories: European Union

TalkTalk seems to have been compromised yet again (despite being warned) with an unspecified number of customer records being put at risk and all we get from the company is sorry, relayed by a CEO who seems completely out of her depth with even the basics of computing

Coupled with this is a fake concern whilst at the same time off-loading responsibility for TalkTalk’s abject failures back onto their customers – with phrases such as: just monitor your bank accounts against any unauthorised intrusion as a result of our mistakes

Quite frankly TalkTalk are currently in stall / cover-up mode because they really don’t have a clue how many customers have been affected or the long term implications of their negligence and there is really no way they can quantify the numbers involved in this breach. Therefore one must assume that their entire customer base is at risk!

Furthermore, to all accounts, we are being told that much of the data was not encrypted in the first place – which is a fundamental howler that should be severely penalised - and the best the CEO can come up with is that it is not a legal requirement. Oh well! that's ok then!

Make no mistake the ICO has a guilty part to play in all this as does the actual DPA – which is abused almost every day by any organisation one contacts. Even if you ask them the time the reply is generally we cannot tell you because of the DPA; an answer that is borne of complete ignorance of the law and perpetrated by just about every organisation one speaks to because it suites them to take this stance with their customers – for their own ends

This is all very well, but surely it is about time we put a proper price on failure so that companies take more care in the future. After all TalkTalk are now busy off-loading the responsibility for monitoring compromised information back onto their customers – with the inevitable hand wringing and statements about change your password, watch out for targeting by scams etc.

The full impact of this breach may not be known by individuals for months or even years and in the meantime companies like TalkTalk simply walk away from the situation unscathed

Why on earth does a Data Protection Act exist except to guard against this type of eventuality and in order to do this they need to have a proper method of penalising companies that do not handle customer personal details securely

Unfortunately the present position of a block fine seems to be the best sanction/penalty on offer

‘.. In April 2010, the ICO was granted the power to issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious DPA breaches ..’

Now to put this in context let us just assume that TalkTalk has compromised 4 million customers and receive the maximum fine of £500,000 – this means that your personal data as a customer is valued by the ICO at 12.5 pence when in fact your data could probably be sold to hackers for far more than that on the open market. Therefore a  fine of £500,000 is simply  ‘chicken feed’ in the overall scheme of things!

No wonder all these companies are so cavalier with your information because the ICO penalties are so weak that there is simply no incentive for a company such as TalkTalk to exercise a duty of care. After all, even the fine is probably tax deductible so just pay the fine, don’t change their ways and carry on as normal regarding the DPA fines as one of the prices of doing business – wholly wrong!

Well this is not good enough – especially as the maximum fine is per company breach and NOT PER COMPROMISED RECORD

The fines should be on the basis of each hacked record and if the company cannot quantify the extent of the breach then the default it should be on the basis of their entire customer base

One also needs to take account of the potential costs to the customer if compromised, and 12 pence nowhere near meets the expenses involved trying to mitigate the impact or worse still dealing with a raid on their bank account

With all this in mind I suggest one starts with a fine per customer record and not a block fine for the company

The level at which this fine should be levied must be set at an amount that the takes account of the costs incurred by a ‘normal’ customer in taking protective measures when informed their data has been compromised and in this respect a suggested starting figure of £10.00 per customer record for the first company offence rising to £100 per record for repeat offences

The figures now change to a far more respectable penalty for TalkTalk – 4 million customers @ £10.00 each = £40 million fine, which is a far more realistic consumer cost associated with their failure(s) and would undoubtedly be a wake-up call for them to take matters far more seriously

… and for goodness sake let’s stop having these so called X_Spurts (x = unknown quantity & spurt= a drip under pressure) in the media giving bindingly obvious comments because they need to say something and are just as much in the dark as everyone else

Alternatively repeal the DPA because laws without proper sanctions are worthless - over to the ICO to change their penalties – when can we expect these fines to become more realistic?

By the way - from what sparse information is available one would lay odds that the hack was probably via SQL Injection – perhaps TalkTalk should look this up because they are obviously totally in the dark about the whole area

Tags: | Categories: Computers

Well it seems as though Volkswagen, a German company, have been caught trying to cheat vehicle emission tests on a number of their cars

This is not an Oops! oversight moment, but rather a deliberate attempt to outwit the testers, thereby portraying their vehicles to have cleaner emissions than they really have

Now this is all very well, however, the logical natural progression of Volkswagen deliberately trying to cheat the emissions testing is a release of excessive pollutants into the environment - a number of which are known to be harmful to the population

Therefore, like it or not Volkswagen (a German company) has deliberately attempted to 'gas' people of many nations across the globe

Bearing in mind Volkswagen/Porsche roots and its beginnings serving Adolf Hitler in the 1930s perhaps one would expect the company to be slight more circumspect over deliberately releasing known toxic gasses to affect the lives of the population

Furthermore, history has shown that the last time this sort of thing happened was with Germany in 1940-45 as a legacy of WW2, with connotations of concentration camps (gas chambers), and gassing vast numbers of the Jewish community - similarly one would have thought Volkswagen would be doubly careful and sensitive about this area

But no – clearly not! Volkswagen seem to have had a corporate lobotomy

The company knows full well about the impact of NO2 emissions and seems to have taken a deliberate decision to ‘poison’ the population

No one will really ever know how many have died or been affected by this fraudulent company policy, however, it does very much look like a latter day Auschwitz

With all this in mind when can we expect all the top management at Volkswagen to be arraigned on manslaughter charges – quite apart from having to bankroll any resulting fines from their own personal wealth?

Reference

Holocaust Research Project

VW outgoing boss's €28m pension pot to pay out €1m a year

 

Tags: , | Categories: Germany | Pollution

What is the way forward for asylum. Only by coming up with a equitable solution will all parties feel they are being treated fairly.

Furthermore, regarding asylum as only a temporary situation will probably discourage economic migrants from trying to capitalise on the misery of others because there is nothing really to be gained by having access to Europe on a temporary basis for a short time

Questions

What are the long and short term effects of mass migration on both the country they leave and also the one they enter

Effects on the receiving country - say the UK

  • Access to the NHS
  • Access to schooling/education
  • Access to benefits
  • Access to housing
  • Access to state pension

All this affects population density, especially as the UK is the most heavily populated country in Europe and hitherto has provided refuge for the greatest number of migrants and also the most funding to assist poverty in the World

There are inevitably costs associated with all these items which require funding by the receiving country. Although, if it becomes recognised that these costs are only temporary then many are more likely to deem them acceptable rather than being a permanent undefined drain on the receiving countries resources, which is inevitably funded by the indigenous population

What is the future effect on refugees home countries once the wars have stopped and stability returned? These countries have lost a huge number of their educated and skilled middle class who are just the very people needed to re-build the country and in order to assist with this re-building process those who have left must be returned to help their own country get back onto its feet

When the threat is over, those given asylum should return to their own countries to re-build them, however, history has shown that once settled in Europe very few wish to return and far prefer their new life in Europe

Steps for a Solution and Way Forward

Here are a few suggestion just to set the process in motion

  • Asylum is only ever a temporary state to provide an interim safe haven - however long the situation lasts - until the threat has gone away or the refugees country of origin has stabilised
  • No asylum seeker should be given nationality by the receiving country - they should always retain the nationality of their country of origin

  • The receiving country will grant the same rights to asylum seekers as those it affords to its own nationals for the duration of the asylum, which is finite in duration - until they return to their country of origin

  • Children of asylum seekers born in the 'safe haven' country must always retain the nationality of their parents and can never acquire nationality of their country of birth - irrespective of their physical location

  • Whilst holding the status of asylum seeker, no migrant can acquire citizenship or nationality of the country granting safe haven

  • Every 2-5 years everyone granted asylum should be assessed against the prevailing conditions in their own country with a view to being returned once it is safe. This is in line with other migrants who are permitted to come to the UK to work but are subject to periodic review

  • A clear distinction must be made between economic migrants and those seeking asylum. Economic migrants remain subject to all the existing rules

  • Human Rights Laws cannot be used to avoid or circumvent eventual repatriation or returning to their own country once the threat to asylum seekers has gone away

  • It is anticipated that returning their own country will be voluntary and repatriation would be the last resort
  • Receiving countries will not be permitted to offer those given asylum, amnesties to remain and become citizens simply because they have lost track of migrants who have 'disappeared'. They will remain subject to being returned to their own country for an indefinite period

 These should be the basic tenants of any way forward for asylum seekers

Tags: , | Categories: Migration

The tide of refugees from Middle Eastern war-torn countries has already swamped Europe and there are inevitably more to come in the future from those seeking sanctuary and a better life because nothing seems to be ameliorating the problems in their home countries

Most of these refugees have had a long, risky and arduous journey to get to Europe and we see heart wrenching stories in the news everyday about individual families and their losses

One has to question how has it come to this and why the innocent always end up as collateral damage, whilst everyone stands by watching - and opportunists use the situation to their own advantage?

Europe

A fractured Europe (EC/EU) is in complete disarray over how to handle the situation and member countries have now started blaming each other in the spirit of true nationalism over which one is doing more/less to address the issue

– Germany seems to have had an epiphany and is blaming the UK for not committing to something that the UK was never party to in the first place whilst ignoring their own inglorious history over migrants – Huguenots, Jews (pogroms), Gastarbeiter (‘guest worker’) … etc.

- and Hungary, with some justification, is blaming Germany for encouraging the situation with an ‘open door’ policy whilst expecting other countries to police parts of Europe’s border for their benefit

But still nobody deals with the traffickers – and so far as one can determine there is not even any coherent policy on how to stop them or even address the issue. Well here is a suggestion:

Introduce the death penalty for traffickers because that is nothing more or less than they are inflicting on those who use their services

Recently the EU has begun threatening to slash funding for member countries who do not take what they perceive as a fair share of migrants and they have also started trying to blackmail the UK over migrants in respect of EU reforms - warning the Prime Minister that overhauling the EU will be blocked unless the UK takes more refugees.

This is hardly a constructive approach and simply ignores the failures at the heart of the EU with their inability to formulate a measured response to the crisis whilst trying to blackmail member countries into getting their own way over ideas emanating from Germany and France

The Dublin Agreement and The Schengen Agreement are about to break down because those countries directly affected perceive them as too great a burden. Even the proponents of these two Agreements start having second thoughts when they themselves are the preferred destination of thousands of refugees

– i.e. France expecting Italy to stop migrants on the France/Italy border but deeming it perfectly acceptable to encourage migrant passage through the France/UK border or accepting bribes/kick-backs from the UK not to do this – double standards, but then throughout history France has always been the prostitute of Europe – so ‘plus ca change ..’!

Anyway, why on earth is France involved in any decision making whatsoever over Europe – after all they are an economic ‘basket case’ only one step away from Greece – so what gives them a right to have more of a say than other countries in anything, apart from a questionable Germany/France pact?

This is especially poignant bearing in mind history and the Battle of Verdun which to all accounts was a strategy of attrition - as described by Erich von Falkenhayn, it was conceived as a way to 'bleed France white'

Whilst all the while those at the top of the EU do nothing, seemingly completely paralysed by the situation and there is not one statesman among the entire lot of these corrupt little self-serving nobodies. They are great ones for wanting power but totally out of their depth when expected to exercise it in a coherent manner by finding solutions to the current crisis – unfortunately the stance of wait and see is completely unacceptable in a tragedy that is unfolding on a daily basis because time is simply not on their side

All this only goes to strengthen the case for hastening the UK exit from the EU as quickly as possible – after all it was a flawed model from the start because of too much self-interest from member countries coupled with the fact that it is a bottomless money pit with no accountability and questionable ethics 

The UK should be part of Europe as a trading alliance and nothing more – we are simply not interested in yet another layer of corrupt politicians telling us what we can/cannot do in contravention of their own rules (i.e. Why Is Subsidiarity Not Working ) whilst at the same time picking our pockets over membership contributions – having already stolen our fishing grounds when we originally joined the party in the 1970’s - Will UK Get Their Fishing Grounds Back From EEC Original Illegal Theft

United Nations (UN)

What about the UN (United Nations) which seems to have been remarkably silent over events unfolding in the Middle East - United Nations Overview

 

‘.. Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security ..’

 

Am I missing something here because it very much looks as though the UN is asleep on the job – or perhaps they too have become another ‘too cosy’ organisation more concerned with their own pay-packets and writing endless reports rather than carrying out their mandate?

Let’s just rewind and go back to why the UN was setup in the first place

 

‘.. The UN was established on 24 October 1945 following the Second World War to prevent another such conflict

 

Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict ..’

 

With this in mind precisely what has the UN done recently to protect these refugees and address the conflict in the Middle East – because they seem to hiding their light under a bushel!

America

America has conveniently distanced itself from the whole Middle East crisis. They were one of the prime movers in instigating a crisis, which they played a major role in bringing about (oil etc.) and yet they now abrogate all responsibility for finding a solution or accepting resulting refugees

When is America going to step up and start helping to sort this problem out? 

Come on Obama, a great many of these matters concern America and some aspects relate to the continent of your ancestors, so start engaging before America has any more deaths on its collective conscience

Harrowing Images

Photojournalism has played its part in making the world aware of the tragedies involved, although, listening to the news the other day it was interesting to hear an interview with a representative of their governing body. He was effectively saying that every photojournalist was looking for the one picture that would make their name – the more heart-rending and dramatic the better to make an impact, to rank alongside the other iconic photographs of our age - Iconic Vietnam Napalm Girl

There are two aspects of this that one always wondered about

– firstly how photographers were in the right place at the right time to obtain some of these photographs – was it serendipity or calculated by monitoring a known ‘killing ground’ (phrase origin from the Vietnam war and Cambodia) and does one stand by watching events unfold to get a good picture or intervene to stop a disaster happening in the first place?

- secondly are these photographs passed to the newspapers in the spirit of altruism for a better world or for a price (fame and fortune)?

Hopefully the concept '.. it's not the principal its the money ..' does not apply 

Furthermore, are these images really being used to tell the story or do they have an underlying agenda to blackmail Governments into changing their policies by adopting a different stance to migration?

Are Aspects Being Orchestrated

There is absolutely no doubt about the dreadful circumstances and soul destroying hardship of these refuges, nevertheless when one sees some media footage it does seem as though certain aspects have been setup to achieve the desired coverage

How many of those claiming asylum are nothing to do with war torn areas at all and are purely nationals from other countries who are fleeing poverty in the Balkan States (Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo etc.) - using the tide of 'genuine' refugees to mask their true origin

Putting this in perspective, these economic migrants (rather than asylum seekers) number over 40% of those claiming asylum in Germany this year - i.e. approximately 195,000+ non asylum seekers trying to avoid border controls to get into Germany alone

Perhaps this is one reason why we see great reluctance by migrants to be registered and processed at the point of entry, possibly engineered by those who are not genuine asylum seekers to cause confusion and gain entry on the coat-tails of genuine refugees. Because it would be very simple to refuse entry for economic migrants at that point and much more difficult once there are processed further into Europe

This raises the question as to whether some of this coverage is being orchestrated by others, especially when one sees a podium with megaphones and placards (in English containing correct spelling of difficult words) in the background somewhere in Hungary where English is not the native language - in some circumstances one has to ask whether the media is reporting the news or trying to make the news

Let the facts stand up for themselves for genuine asylum seekers – they are certainly compelling enough to do so without manipulation or embellishment from other sources, which if exposed will only go to denigrate the importance of what is happening

References:

United Nations Charter 

Tags: | Categories: Migration

Let’s keep the issue simple so that it does not become too involved

The Bank of England is making a great mistake in clamping down on borrowing so late in the economic cycle when it should really have been addressed far earlier. Their proposal for mortgage ‘stress testing’ is badly thought out and will inevitably be subject to the law of unforeseen consequences by penalising buyers in poorer areas of the country

Firstly the BOE dropped interest rates to artificially unrealistic levels and held them in this depressed state for a number of years, whilst ignoring the impact on savers, who were held out to dry

Secondly the BOE imposed no controls (stress testing) early on at the start of the economic cycle on mortgage affordability and took no account of interest rates inevitably returning to their mean. They now seem surprised that anyone who could, took out unaffordable mortgages, at unrealistic long term interest rates, on unrestricted multiples of income. What did the BOE really think would happen with the introduction of cheap money – one doesn’t really need a crystal ball to predict the outcome?

Now both the BOE and politicians are caught in a dichotomy between economic and social considerations, because interest rates cannot be raised without the inevitable social fallout when mortgage repayments rise and existing home owners cannot afford their repayments. We are told that a 0.5% rise in rates will cause problems for 750k mortgagees and no politician likes the prospect of political suicide such as this

Nevertheless this is the present reality, so what is to be done?

The simple facts are

  • Any housing bubble will be driven by London and the South East in the main, although there are other pockets throughout the country as well
  • Other areas in the county are either stagnant or have falling house prices

The question therefore is how to curb one without affecting the other.

With this in mind, we need to ask what element under state control affects housing irrespective of location and remains pliable. Surely the answer is the rating system and by controlling the rates it is surely remarkably simple to influence the housing market, as well as raising money from wealthy areas to support those that are less fortunate

The current rates system has a cap at the highest band H, which equated to a house price of £320k as at April 1991 (or approximately an average of £1.05m today)

Therefore by definition anyone with a house valued at more than band H is getting a ‘free ride’ by not paying the same proportion of their house value as those lower down the scale; furthermore, the greater the house value the more inequitable the whole situation becomes

Possible Solution

Adopting the following simple approach would allow the weighting to be in favour of those areas in the country where house process have stagnated whilst potentially curbing possible housing bubbles in areas such as London

Change the rating system to be a single percentage for all domestic properties (say – 0.3%) over the entire country and use the latest Land Registry purchase as the base value of the property

  • Easy to implement & collect
  • Simple to change the percentage if necessary
  • Automatic adjustment every year according to Land Registry records – no challenge to RV possible
  • Accommodates asset rich/cash poor who have owned their house for many years
  • Everyone pays the same percentage on the last purchase price of their house

Naturally there will be objections but on balance this is probbaly the simplest and fairest solution to a difficult issue. After all if one can afford to purchase an expensive house then you should be able to cover the running costs; alternatively don't buy the property, it really is very simple

Reference

Mansion Tax Acceptable Idea With Shambolic Presentation

Tags: , | Categories: Bank of England | UK Government

David Cameron and other leaders (including Angela Merkel) have historically expressed severe reservations about Jean-Claude Juncker being the right man for the job as president of the executive European Commission

These doubts are underpinned by the fact that Juncker is a staunch supporter of a federal European state and therefore unlikely to change the ‘status quo’. Although, this stance would seem to be totally at odds with the very clear message which seems to have been recently sent by the electorate in many EU countries that change must happen

Furthermore, to all accounts Jean-Claude Juncker is described by colleagues as an ‘inveterate drinker’ and has been on record as the subject of various drunken outbursts in the past whilst in office; which in itself should surely ring warning bells. The extraordinary thing is that all this is glossed over and ignored by the European political elite – however, in another context, no country in the EU would allow a person who was drunk to drive a motor car (Germany limits are 0.5 mg per ml) so why is it deemed acceptable to have someone who is an ‘old soak’ eligible for the top European Commission appointment; where the damage he could inflict is immense?

Now everything seems to have altered almost overnight and Juncker is flavour of the month, so what happened to change people’s minds about Junckers suitability for the job?

According to the Sunday Times - 20 June 2014 there is more to this than meets the eye - claiming:

 

‘.. European Commission sources say Bild’s publishers were given assurances by Juncker’s team that, if elected, he would support them in their long-running battle with Google ..’

 

Which in turn resulted in the following article in Bild

 

Bild - Juncker muss Präsident warden – 30 May 2014

‘..So was geht vielleicht in der DDR oder in rechtsnationalistischen Bananenrepubliken ..’

Translated as

‘..So what is going on perhaps in the GDR or in right-wing nationalist banana republics ..’

 

Therefore on the face of it, Bild and Mathias Döpfner (CEO of Axel Springer SE) would seem to categorise the UK as a ‘.. right-wing nationalist banana republic ..’ – which coming from a German newspaper in an article written 6 days prior to the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings really is a bit rich!

Well ‘seig heil’ –  Where have we heard this chant before?

Anyway to get back to the underlying issues

If these allegations by the Sundays Times are actually remotely true they raise all manner of questions which really need to be answered by Bild, Angela Merkel and Junckers

The fact that Google and Bild (Springer empire) are at loggerheads is a matter of record and identified by the Financial Times – 09 June 2014

 

‘.. Where Mr Döpfner led, politics followed. In May, Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economy minister, publicly called for the possible break-up of Google should the company be found to have abused its dominant position ..’

‘.. But the latest demonstration of Springer’s power came after the European elections, when Angela Merkel changed course over backing Jean-Claude Juncker for the presidency of the European Commission hours after Bild backed him in an editorial ..’

 

Naturally there is nothing wrong with Angela Merkel changing her mind based upon a newspaper article, after all that is her prerogative. Nevertheless, she would be well advised to understand the underlying motives for the Bild article in the first place and whether it arose out of a ‘behind the scenes’ deal between Bild and Jean-Claude Juncker, because being potentially manipulated by bribery and a corrupt undisclosed arrangement by someone hoping for EU office as president of the executive European Commission, would be very damaging indeed

Perhaps Angela Merkel would like to state her case for interference on the basis of the following and explain the justification for her recommendation:

 

Letter in the Times of 22 June 2014

Correct route to selecting the EU president

The relevant provision is Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union

Members of the commission “shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution” — including the European Parliament

In making its choice the European Council must “[take] into account the elections to the European Parliament”. This time, the elections have shown the deep disaffection of many citizens throughout the Union. The president of the commission must be someone who can respond to this challenge and maintain the credibility and independence of the commission.

 

Therefore, in the light of all these matters, has ‘.. a senior member of Juncker’s team had held talks with Springer over Google ..’ and if so, was a bribe offered to Mr Döpfner over supporting Springer in their spat with Google?

If this was the case then surely it graphically demonstrates another reason on precisely why Jean-Claude Juncker is not the right person for the job; or does Angela Merkel wish to turn yet another blind eye to the reality of a corrupt Europe?

Disclosure over this matter really is required and the standard method of Junckers avoiding to engage on uncomfortable issues should not be regarded as acceptable

Tags: , , | Categories: European Union

After many years of trying to publish documents relating to the run up to the Iraq War conflict we now find out that full transcripts of Tony Blair’s conversations with US  President George Bush will be withheld; effectively stymying the Chilcot enquiry and making it a complete waste of time and money - or as some have said 'a whitewash'

Sir John Chilcot - in a letter, told the Cabinet Secretary:

‘.. My colleagues and I judge that this material is vital to the public understanding of the inquiry's conclusions ..’

Furthermore, these documents could form the foundation of impeachment proceedings against Tony Blair and a motion was tabled in Parliament on 25 November 2004 as follows:

CONDUCT OF THE PRIME MINISTER IN RELATION TO THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ

That a select committee of not more than 13 Members be appointed to investigate and to report to the House on the conduct of the Prime Minister in relation to the war against Iraq and in particular to consider

(a) the conclusion of the Iraq Survey Group that in March 2003 Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction and had been essentially free of them since the mid 1990s,

(b) the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement that he was wrong when in and before March 2003 he asserted that Iraq was then in possession of chemical or biological weapons or was then engaged in active efforts to develop nuclear weapons or was thereby a current or serious threat to the UK national interest or that possession of WMD then enabled Iraq to inflict real damage upon the region and the stability of the world,

(c) the opinions of the Secretary General of the United Nations that the of Iraq in 2003 was unlawful, and

(d) whether there exist sufficient grounds to impeach the Prime Minister on charges of gross misconduct in his advocacy of the case for war against Iraq and his conduct of policy in connection with that war

Let us not forget that the Chilcot enquiry was set up by Gordon Brown in an attempt to head off any attempt to impeach Tony Blair and accordingly this is hardly a satisfactory conclusion after all these years - as they say in the insurance industry ‘time and distance’ can solve most issues

Therefore, it would seem as though the Cabinet Secretary is potentially interfering in areas outside his remit and thereby protecting Tony Blair from the consequences of his actions by preventing him being held to account

Under the deal that has been thrashed out, the information being disclosed of discussions between Mr Blair and Mr Bush will be limited to “quotes or gists” and the inquiry's use of the material “should not reflect President Bush's views

Clearly I am missing something here – but WHAT DEAL? Surely this is the tail wagging the dog because something of this nature should not be subject to a bartering/deal process? We have an enquiry underway which has every right to expect full disclosure on all the facts and yet Mr Blair and his cronies have once again managed ‘covertly’ to supress information that could implicate him in a conspiracy; thereby preventing the electorate from judging the issue for themselves – all under the dubious guise of sensitively handling the UK/US Head of Government channel

Does this mean that the US sanctions withholding evidence of possible collusion by Tony Blair in an attempt to take the UK to war in Iraq?

Perhaps someone could explain at what point ‘sensitively handling the UK/US Head of Government channel’ becomes a cover-up because it very much looks as though this line has been crossed? Furthermore, by this cover-up, Mr Blair has also managed to avoid possible impeachment and so as far as he is concerned this is a win-win situation, never mind the fact that this decision is an absolute disgrace and not necessarily in the best interests of the UK

Interestingly enough this latest arrangement has all the hallmarks of the Dr David Kelly cover up which also involved Tony Blair and related to the Iraq War - UK Secret Courts Bill Sneaking In Via Back Door

Frankly it is actions such as this that give WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and  Edward Snowdon a good name and becomes in danger of vindicating their actions – although, this is probably precisely the opposite effects to those intended by the security services

Finally, we come to Sir Jeremy Haywood part in all this - he was principal private secretary to Mr Blair in 10 Downing Street in the run-up to the war and is hardly an impartial arbiter in this process, although he obviously does not believe in recusing himself from being a party to any decision. The extraordinary thing is that no one in authority has told him to sit this one out and remain on the side-lines over this decision – WHY NOT?

References:

A Case to Answer- Produced for Adam Price MP August 2004

Tags: , | Categories: UK Government