Monday, 31 October 2011

Prevarication, obfuscation, alarmism and procrastination.


Whether the 81 parliamentary referendum rebels achieved any long term good remains to be seen.  But I think they have in one sense, at least Cameron is now under pressure and knows he is out of touch, while the MSM have become increasingly vocal and anti-EU.  It has helped make EU resistance more mainstream.

What gets up my nose is Cameron’s ludicrous rhetoric, nonsensical pronouncements and posturing, all this schoolyard level faux warrior language about fighting Brussels to repatriate powers. Who on earth does he think he is, Perseus, the fabled warrior promising to slay the multi-tentacled monster? Thus by saving the UK he can claim the hero’s mantle and another session as PM. Even if it were not so dishonest of someone who has been feeding the monster a high protein diet for months it is simply pathetic. The only plus is that by his own rhetoric he is unwittingly painting the EU as a belligerent oppressive power.

It’s not a fight, he doesn’t need to fight. He could have said no to many of them when the directives were issued. Even now all he has to do is meet Mr Rumpy-Pumpy and tell him that he’s sorry but this set of directives and that set of directives simply don’t suit us, so we won’t be doing that any more. He may have to pass a UK law that clarifies our alternative to avoid trouble in the UK courts but that’s it. No fighting, no arguing, he just needs enough balls to stand up and say what we are not prepared to do inside our own borders.  What would happen? Well nothing of course! A bit of whinging and grumbling perhaps but the EU knows it needs the UK more than we need it, as long as the non-compliance were internal matters to the UK that didn’t bleed over to central Europe they would simply shrug and ignore it.  

That doesn’t get us out of the EU of course, and doesn’t deal with items like fish which do require a treaty outside territorial waters but it would make much of the EU more palatable.

And now we have a similar nonsense over Scotland. Can they become independent and stay in the EU without adopting the Euro? Of course they can, if that’s what they want. As long as they refrain from claiming Northumberland and keep their laws and taxes north of the border nobody is going to invade them or bomb the Scottish parliament. Lawyers can examine the treaties until they make themselves embarrassingly rich (no doubt they will do just that) and one or more factions will accuse them of breaking treaties whatever, but faced with the reality of whatever the Scottish people decide the EU and the UK  will have no choice but accommodate reality. 

Then there is Clegg’s irrational alarmism. Does he really and honestly believe that we can’t exist without European integration and those of us who refute that integration are ‘little Englanders’ or want to be part of America? He’s a complete fool. It’s not me that’s a ‘little Englander’ for spurning the EU.  Rather that he is a ‘little Eurolander’. I am more of a big Worldist. In any case the EU may have folded by Christmas after today's Greek news.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pssst! Digital Europe going cheap

 Sometimes you just have to laugh.

I just recieved this offer from the webhosts 1 and 1 with .EU domain registration at 99pence. I think this provides a pretty accurate valuation of what commerce and the free market thinks of the EU brand.

So if anyone fancies a .eu website or email address to impress their friends now is the time to go for it.

I should say I have already taken advantage of their offer so am currently the registered owner of wewantout.eu. I may use it to compile a list of anti EU blogs, or if any genuine group or movement can promise to make better use of it or have better ideas I am open to persuasion for alternatives, or transferring or redirecting it (but not for money, just for the craic, as they say).

That ridiculous referendum debate

I'm pleased to read over at WfW's pad that some of my favourite bloggers and agitators made their way to parliament. Personally I refuse to go to London any more as I no longer regard it as part of England, and no, it's not the immigration issues, it's the commercial and political mentality that sets it apart as a madhouse. But it's great that some did get there and very good to see members of the blogging movement move from the virtual to the real world where things can actually be done.

Two things struck me very strongly from watching the televised debate.

The first was that it wasn't a debate at all. Once it started all the government sycophants and whores for Cameron left the chamber leaving the 100 or so democratically minded pro referendumists to talk amonst themselves for a few hours. Even ignoring the whipping I don't see how the place can even pretend to be a debating house when people leave before hearing what the opposing arguments are then return only to vote at the end. It defeats the very concept of a debate, which is a process whereby people listen to other people's differing opinions then come to a decision themselves.

The second thing was John Redwood's speech. I know some people are unsure of his loyalties but his contribution to the debate was excellent, it was brief and to the point, thoughtful, incisive and delivered with considerable style and authority.  I have to wonder why someone with his clarity of thought, intellect and speaking strengths is sitting on the back benches of a party led by two overgrown schoolkids like Cameron and Osbourne?

Update - And I forgot, for those who want to keep the pot stirred there is a new government petition here.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tories and Labour are making gross tactical errors over the EU referendum debate


It’s been perfectly clear to me (and most Eurosceptics) that Cameron doesn’t have, and has never had, any intention whatsoever of extricating us from the EU. He is a committed Europhile and all he wants is for the issue to go away so he can play his Boy’s Own power games. But irrespective of our need to get out, and aside from the real democratic deficit caused by a government that ignores the will of the UK people, his instigation of a party whip against the referendum vote is a monumentally bad tactic for him and the party.

Were he to allow a completely free vote it would in any case be lost. The Lib-dums would all vote against a referendum, Liebour would mostly vote against, many Tory Europhiles would vote against, so the referendum bid would fail irrespective of his intervention. However Cameron would be able to claim it was a free democratic decision, not my fault mate! He would be free to continue as now with his mildly Eurosceptic charade and continue paying lip service to the Eurosceptics. But by instigating a whip he has firmly marked his card, and that of the party elite, as being out and out Europhile. They are out of the closet. Never again will he, or the party, be believed when he claims to be sceptical. 

Furthermore he will have absolutely no moral high ground from which to attempt to close the issue. Because there was no ‘democratic’ vote the Eurosceptic pressure will not be satisfied and the issue will not go away. Just the opposite it will be seen as rigged and the response will be anger.

With a whipped vote he will also give away a huge slice of conservative support. Not just alienating his own backbenchers but huge swathes of local party supporters and voters will have had enough! He thus severely weakens the Tory party and opens the field at the next election for Eurosceptic parties and even independents to pick up that disaffection. I wish I had confidence UKIP could use the opportunity effectively. I can almost see the posters – Cameron with an arrogant smile and the slogan along the lines ‘This is the man who refused democracy’.

Meanwhile Labour is being just as stupid and short-sighted. It’s been reported that the party line is vote to oppose a referendum. Why? The obvious tactic for them would be to abstain. That would allow them to sit back and watch the Tories and the coalition rip themselves apart. It would also keep their options open and allow them some Eurosceptic credibility when the EU becomes a big election issue, which it will. They would be left in a position where they could fight UKIP for the disaffected Tory Eurosceptic vote. Yet like Cameron they want to nail their Europhile colours firmly to the mast. It makes no sense.

I know about the arrogance and greed and venality of politicians but I really can’t believe the level of sheer stupidity they sometimes display. But such self inflicted wounds for the main parties create a silver lining for us. It means that although Monday's vote is irrelevent, and we'll not get the referendum, the EU issue will remain wide open, Eurosceptics will be even angrier, and the next general election could even get interesting.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Going Backwards


I can just remember the London smogs, one very bad one being one of my very earliest memories as a pre-school child, so it was probably the famous one of December 1952. It made quite an impression on me at the time, thick smelly fog polluted by industrial fumes and coal fires. Fog and heavily polluted smog during calm weather were not uncommon during 50s and 60s London winters. 

Over the years air quality has improved significantly. This is something environmentalists and indeed politicians should be proud of, back when solving pollution problems was real rather than this modern CO2 fairy-tale nonsense, sensible things got done, action was taken and this country is a better place for it. Smokeless zones and low emission coals might have been a nuisance but even ordinary fog seems less common nowadays than it was, maybe cleaner air attracts fewer water droplets, or maybe it’s just my imagination and living near the windier west coast? 

Now living in the country we get the occasional agricultural pong, and sometimes the smell of cooking from the local pub drifts across the garden, but heavily polluted air, acid rain and roads stinking of traffic fumes are essentially things of the past, even in cities and despite the huge population and traffic increases.

So far this year there have only been a handful of cool windless nights where the atmospheric temperature inversion traps the air at ground level, but on every one there has been a noticeable smell of wood smoke filling the air. This isn’t localised wood smoke from a nearby bonfire or immediate neighbour’s fire but is general. It’s not yet thick enough to be visible but the unmistakable tang and taste is everywhere around. 

Increases in gas and electricity prices, partly the direct consequence of reducing emission of a clean harmless gas,  are driving a huge surge in wood burning stoves and emissions of particulates, soot and raw pollution. Wood burners are so fashionable that some newer housing estates built without fireplaces are sprouting increasing numbers of industrial looking stainless steel chimneys up the outside walls of the houses.

I wonder how long it will take before we return to the 50s smogs?

Monday, 10 October 2011

Dear Mr King

It has come to my notice that you have just created an extra 70 billion pounds or so for the benefit of the country. I must say I think this is a very generous and thoughtful move. 

In the present circumstances where the value of my personal pension savings are producing approximately half of the income planned when I started working and saving for it in 1972 it is extremely welcome indeed. I understand how that nice Mr. Brown needed to tax my miniscule retirement pot to pay for all those lovely hospitals, enable such incredible improvements to education with all those beautiful new schools and of course to buy those essential votes for his party, but to be honest it has caused a teeny-weeny bit of a black hole in my provision for the future, even before the more recently reported 30% drop in pension values.

Of course I also understand the importance and value of rural artwork to brighten up the countryside and lift our spirits. All those lovely white windmills create such a lively landscape, so much more exciting and futuristic than the fuddy-duddy fields, trees and virgin moors that those boring old poets and painters used to drool over. However, it is clear you realise that such environmental improvements are nevertheless quite expensive, and with the bill being added to my electricity charges it is having a little bit of a detrimental effect on my household energy budget.

Meanwhile the cost of daily living and getting to the shops in order to purchase the increasingly expensive food on offer continues to stretch the family finances. I know that nice Mr Cameron invaded Libya in order to get first dibs on their oil for us, but even with that help it’s still a bit difficult to fill the car up nowadays. That cuddly Mr Pickles has also done his best with local councils but despite his efforts increasing local taxes, fines and charges from the local authority have also had an effect over the years. I do realise it’s vital for our social cohesion that we are fully staffed with diversity co-ordinators, union organisers, minority rights officers, outreach officials and the like. Gosh, all these vital services councils have to supply! I also fully understand that road use by all the irresponsible, wastrel motorists should be minimised by calming measures, council officials and draconian parking charges. Money well spent it may be, nevertheless you must realise it has created a tad extra burden on the day to day costs for ordinary households.

Anyway, I digress, I'm sure you are well aware of what life is like for ordinary people on ordinary incomes as your advisers will undoubtable have briefed you. I only really wanted to say now very pleased I am that you have decided to address some of these issues that affect us ordinary folks by making some more money. It's so great to see such a generous and selfless gesture from the banks as a thankyou for all the bailouts and help we have given you in the past few years. Over a thousand pounds each so quite a significant amount, it should be effective at buying us a couple of months respite from our problems.If you could arrange to have my share together with my wife’s share paid direct into our joint bank account by the end of the month I would be very grateful,

Friday, 7 October 2011

Why the Government will not allow us the benefits of shale gas.


So I admit I’m not a politician, or an energy expert, or an economist, or any of those type of specialist but I do enjoy logic and strategy games and it’s abundantly clear where the pieces are and how they have to play out in this one.

I’m assuming that the whole low carbon nonsense started because the government, along with the rest of the EU and other western world leaders, needed a new tax base. One that grabbed its take at the most basic human activities of every individual so was proof against evasion, that allowed plenty of profits for the banks, traders, bureaucrats and corporates and was hidden behind a wall of legal instruments, permits, international agreements and permissions, smoke and mirrors to hide the sheer size of the take envisioned by governments, the EU and the UN. 

Carbon taxes fit the bill exactly. If it were just about restricting carbon based fuel usage to reduce CO2 they could simply have added a duty, like petrol duty, to all carbon based fuels. That would appear to do exactly the same thing; but of course it wouldn’t. We would see it, know how much it was and could complain, they needed to make it too complicated for the average person to unravel and to hide the scale and extent of the main rake-off.

Whether the original AGW scare was invented for the purpose by the New World Order or others or whether it was simply a ‘happy accident’ of honest (if faulty) research to which they could hitch their wagon is irrelevant. The ‘green power’ movement and AGW alarmism were clearly seized on by world governments, and they have clearly been actively driven and encouraged by elites and governments all around the world to garner public opinion into supporting what the governments want to do. Even to the extent that plenty of the population, possibly many of the politicians themselves, have been brainwashed into demanding that the government take draconian action. Governments have all worked together in collusion because they are seduced by the same prize of an excuse to tax energy use, because energy, in the form of carbon compounds, is the basic building block and necessity of all social and economic activity, the ultimate tax and control tool.

It’s fairly clear that most sceptic activity over the years has been entirely misplaced and has had only limited effect. Making the assumption that it’s a scientific error and trying to oppose the faulty science has eroded the support for the greens but nobody that mattered was listening. Government elites are not fools, they are not mistaken and it’s dangerous to assume they would jump on such a bandwagon from ignorance, those that mattered must always have known the deeper truth. Meanwhile the ‘scientific’ puppets were bribed by jobs, grants and academic inducement to follow the prescribed line while sceptics, including many real scientists, were pigeon-holed as a minority group and subjected to an unprecedented regime of vilification. The lie had to be kept alive. 

Peak oil and energy security have always hovered in the background to mop up an additional wedge of potential opposition. Some thought easily shows that these issues are meaningless. We in the UK have enough energy in the form of un-mined coal to keep industry running and keep the lights on for many years. It may be fiddly, even expensive, to remove the real pollutants like sulphur and particulates and convert the energy into gas for other purposes but it can be done a lot more cheaply than chasing the green energy agenda. It's cheaper to converst a car to gas than to build an electric one. Such obvious alternatives have been ignored.

 We in the UK are basically too late to stop the juggernaut of ludicrously expensive green energy, the EU is wholly committed, having made carbon charges the prime financial and tax earner for their future, Cameron and Huhne and Osbourne’s first budget have all but sealed our fate in the UK for the foreseeable future. There is now such a huge investment in expensive second-class energy manufacture they must pretend it is all justified. So much has been promised into the future with feed tariffs guaranteed for 25 years, schemes like next year’s government ‘green deal’ to make £10,000 per house available for insulation (yes it’s a lot of money!). There are now so many people, commercial firms, so much ego and so much tax at stake and already invested that they dare not put the brakes on. They have spun the merry-go-round so fast that they can’t get off.  

They may yet be derailed. America is enjoying a last minute refreshing bout of political and economic realism, Canada seems less convinced, but other countries are not. Gillard in Australia is so desperate to get carbon taxes (with long term lock-ins) on the statute books that she will commit political suicide for herself and her party and risk national recession to do it. Why does Cameron think it necessary to cheer her on if not because he and the EU don’t want to be isolated in their scam.

Growing scepticism and opt-outs by other nations may produce some token gestures and a few compromises, fewer expensive windmills and a bit more nuclear perhaps, or very limited production of shale gas as backup and to help keep transport running, lip service to reality. But a significant drop in energy prices from a UK source would completely undermine their entire pyramid scheme, rendering useless all the investments, plans, promises and expected tax incomes and leaving a legacy of wastage, liabilies and repercussions ending political carers and parties. They dare not let that happen. Just as Obama has restricted and obstructed oil drilling in the USA expect our government to do everything they can to deny us the prosperity of this cheap, available and local energy.

That's my take on the situation anyhow.