Saturday, 7 December 2013

Just Ambrose

Just a link to Ambrose today, and a question. First the link to another well reasoned piece concluding
"The great EU fight (is) over the locus of democracy, and whether or not the ancient nation states are or are not the proper foundation of European societies."
And a question. The comments rapidly degenerate into a puerile exchange on our respective military capacities; is it healthier to joke about the prospects of another European war, or to refrain from doing so?. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Patten, the last life peer to Chair the BBC

It seems likely that Chris Patten will be the very last life peer to chair the BBC. Patten, who in popular opinion should be doing three years chokey for his part in fraudulent and illegal payments made from the TV tax to favoured chums, is also refusing to testify to the Commons European Scrutiny Committee on the BBC's bias in reporting EU matters.

Unfortunately the man has no shame whatsoever and so cannot be expected to resign simply because he has been caught in the web of irregular payoffs and BBC HR bosses lying to Parliament. People like Patten neither resign on principal nor take the blame for their subordinates.

But since it's his status as a peer that allows him to refuse to appear before the Commons, one can be sure that MPs will now ensure that the next Chairman of the BBC is endowed with no more than a knighthood, and that no life peer ever again chairs our national broadcaster.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

"Sovereignty should not be exported"

The former Lord Chief Justice is not a man who uses words carelessly. English law is still made from the judgements of the judges of our senior courts, whose remarks are divided into the rationes decidendi - the legal basis of the decision - and the obiter dicta, remarks made in passing but which nonetheless have the power of great and senior thought. Last night in a speech at University College London Lord Judge delivered some very carefully crafted sentences with all the weight of the most critical obiter dicta he ever delivered in court.

Judges who make law, like our own, should be absolutely opposed to the idea that this gives them any precedence over the country's democratic process; they make or interpret law in the absence of a specific provision made by Parliament and they don't presume to try to over-rule what Parliament has decided. This is ingrained in Lord Judge's fundamental tenets, but not so in the judicially-unqualified administrators appointed to the ECHR. In the particular case of 'votes for cons' Europe's interference is intolerable.
"My personal belief is that sovereignty on these issues should not be exported, and we should be wary of the danger of even an indirect importation of the slightest obligation on Parliament to comply with the orders and directions of any court, let alone a foreign court.

Ultimately this is a political, not a judicial, question

My profound concern about the long-term impact of these issues on our constitutional affairs is the democratic deficit

Are we – are they – prepared to contemplate the gradual emergence of a court with the equivalent jurisdiction throughout Europe of that enjoyed by the Supreme Court in the USA? Thomas Jefferson would have strongly advised us against it."
Europe has produced too many Roland Freislers for us ever to cede judicial authority to other than our own Supreme Court. 
Euro-Clerks get the key to the Dressing-Up Box

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Brit Jihadists in Syria

With fears that the 300 British volunteers fighting in Syria for the al-quada rebels will return home with harmful skills, the best solution of course is for them never to come home. A victory for Assad, with the summary execution of all foreign insurgents, as we saw in Libya with the fate of imported fighters, would solve the problem.

Theresa May is considering revoking their British citizenship. I'm not so sure about this. Would it have been right to cancel the passports of Brits who fought with the International Brigade for fear they'd learned to be Bolshevik stormtroopers? In fact many of them came home completely disillusioned with Soviet communism. And what of the scores or hundreds of our ex-special forces and paras still working around the globe as mercenaries or 'close protection' hirelings? Should we cancel their passports, too?

Ireland has only just annulled the opprobrium in which the government was held for withdrawing the civic privileges of all those who fought for the UK in the Great War. And then the fear of harm was justified - it was the skills learned in Flanders with rifle and Spandau that informed the fighting of the Irish Civil War.

And before that, in the 18th and 19th centuries, pretty much every battle on European soil, and even a few in the US Civil War, saw British officers joining-in on a voluntary basis as an early form of Erasmus-programme internship. We've actually got quite a long tradition of this sort of thing.  

And if boy Dave listens to the pillow-nagging and continues to push for government support for the al-quada rebels he'll just make things even harder - how could we cancel the passports of those fighting for our allies?

The Sunni rebels in Syria recently mistook one of their own for Shia, and sawed his head off by mistake. We can also only hope that our own native Jihadists are so unschooled in their own religion that they are taken as Shia ... 

Monday, 2 December 2013

More on that Euro poll

As predicted, the detail of the Opinium survey appeared on their website late enough yesterday not to spoil the Observer's story and too late to allow the other dailies to do a decent job of analysis (though the Mail has a half-arsed go HERE)

A couple of things most of you know already but it's nice to have confirmed; the young are likely to be pro-EU and the old anti-EU, but the old are far more likely to vote; the Euphiles feel less strongly about staying than the Euphobes do about leaving (28% of 50% 'strongly' to go, 17% of 36% 'strongly' to stay), and big business is keener on the EU than small business (being better able to afford the cost of regulation gives them competitive advantage)

And of course the best bits are always in the appendices rather than in the conclusions that the report commissioners draw for you. The most glaring omission in the available choices for the questions "biggest benefits / drawbacks of EU membership" was a choice of pooled sovereignty / loss of sovereignty - and as usual respondents then pick the nearest alternatives - in this case foreign affairs / policy and environmental policy / laws. Given this glaring omission, the poll confirms that Brits think that free, tariff-free trade is the biggest benefit of EU membership whilst loss of control of our own country is the biggest drawback. 

It's in the responses to one question that has been ignored both by Observer journos and Opinium analysts that the truth behind Churchill's words on the UK's place in Europe becomes clear. Respondents were asked to name things / events from their countries past of which they were most proud; the Germans said reunification, the French said the 1789 revolution, the Poles said leaving the Soviet Union but the Brits said our monarchy and our military prowess. Germans value their culture (though it's not clear whether this is Schiller, Goethe and Heine or Bratties and the Oktoberfest) and the efficiency with which they rebuilt after the war, the French value the Rights of Man and democracy, the Poles value their identity and character but we value our industrial history. They're all new countries with a history of losing wars, we're an ancient kingdom with a history of winning them. They lay claim to the virtues of the Enlightenment, we lay claim to the Enlightenment's scientific and technical advance - the coal, iron, steel and engineering that lifted the whole of Europe from 18th century serfdom to 19th century demos. 

And for their closest chums, they all look inside Europe - naming Belgium (France), Austria (Germany) and Germany / the UK (Poland) - whilst we look over the great ocean to pick the US.

For me, the survey confirms that we are a European nation but not a nation of Europe; we are of Europe but not in it. We are fixed and unmoving, whilst they, with all their fluid borders, ethnographic pockets, revolutions and internal wars, are a big squabbly mix far, far better off as a federation of a hundred baby statelets than as a score of separate nations. And that's why we must leave.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

State child snatchers out of control

Unless we act now and do so boldly and decisively the UK will really deserve its European reputation for State nastiness. This is wholly due to the inexcusable abuse of powers by the State Child Snatchers. Already many European workers have come to the UK only to have their children seized by these abusive and out-of-control petty functionaries. The problem is simple; they are incapable of evaluating risk, and incapable of understanding that there can never be 'zero risk' for any child in any family. 

Booker has long highlighted this gross abuse of state power, and today breaks a story that both Richard North and Autonomous Mind feature prominently. A child snatched from the womb, the Italian mother drugged and cut-open whilst strapped to the operating table; it's a tale that could have been told as testimony at a War Crimes tribunal.

This is the most appalling instance of maladministration I have ever come across. The judge who granted the order must be sacked - clearly he should never have been appointed to the bench in the first place. And I would encourage the Italian authorities to issue European Arrest Warrants against all the 'social workers' involved, and to extradite them and try them in Italy for their revolting crimes.

We must halt these abuses. And we must stop them now.

Polls

Latest Opinium poll for the Guardian / Observer published yesterday;

Labour - 35%
Conservative - 28%
UKIP - 19%
LibDem - 8%

Opinium also carried out a cross-Europe survey that are still hiding - for fear it contains indications other than those 'spun' by the Observer? - and is absent either as a link from the scare story or from their website. I suspect they'll release it next week after the scare story has done its job.