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Saturday, 25 January 2014

UKIP Shipping Forecast

Sorry, but it had me laughing out loud ..
We've got to be able to laugh at ourselves

Yo Yo Yeo

There's really nothing I can add to a wonderful story told by the Mail this morning here. It's got everything - the scion of a well known County family, a spat with a neighbouring Tory MP, a TV sleb and of course Yeo himself, fighting desperately to overturn the decision of his own local party to sack him. Oh for the pen of Alan Ayckbourn to bring the whole drawing-room comedy to stage.

Friday, 24 January 2014

It's about sovereignty, stupid.

A couple of points about the criminal appeals being heard today, two against whole life sentences and one by the Attorney General seeking to increase a sentence to a whole-life term. And I'll phrase this in language so simple that even the meanest intelligence can understand. 

1. Although everyone knows the ECHR and the EU are not the same, they share a common effect in diminishing UK sovereignty and increasing their own
2. The UK has a fair and comprehensive appeals process that can be used by sentenced persons to appeal the length and conditions of their sentence. This system is whole and complete in itself and requires no external meddling or modification
3. The ECHR judgement on whole-life terms requires them to be open to review in a process additional to and over and above the UK appeals system
4. Judges are concerned that this ECHR intervention constrains their ability to pass whole life terms in a way that the appeals system does not.

And this last point is very important. Commentators may think that this ECHR refinement is fair and reasonable, or even 'appropriate', or even that it 'shows up the inadequacies' of the UK legal system, but these are opinions, they are not facts. And whilst everyone is entitled to hold opinions, it is vital in order for sceptics to retain credibility that they avoid mistaking their own opinions for facts. The fact is that this intervention from the ECHR diminishes UK sovereignty, and that's what many sceptics object to.

That's all. carry on. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Corporates exclude MEPs from trade talks

Senior executives at Ford, Nissan, General Motors, Monsanto, Renault, Thyssen, Nokia, Siemens, BP, Lafarge, Wal-Mart, Apple, Chevron, Erikson, Alcatel and General Electric have full and uninhibited access to them, as do Barosso, van Rompuy and several other non-elected EU officials; senior US civil servants are not restricted in any way from having them in full. But MEPs including Nigel Farage and Dan Hannan, Parliament and Europe's 500m voters are forbidden not only from seeing them, but kept in the dark as to what exactly Barosso and van Rompuy are giving away. I'm referring of course to the working papers of the US - EU trade talks; the deal is being done by the global corporates, and signed away by unelected EU officials without any democratic involvement at all. 

Further to my post a week ago about the rise in power of the corporates, Der Spiegel has more information - not on what's being negotiated, of course, we're forbidden from knowing that - but on the extent to which national democracies are being excluded from the deal.
"Everything related to the talks is being kept highly classified. Even though the deal will affect the futures and interests of 500 million EU citizens, member states agreed to keep them in the dark about TTIP negotiations. All papers, documents, emails and negotiating minutes have been marked secret. Only the senior-most party members in the European Parliament's International Trade Committee are allowed to see documentation relating to the negotiations and they are forbidden from discussing what they see. Not even the negotiating mandate, upon which the talks are based, has been made public. In addition, the US has forbidden the EU from passing along American position papers, even to members of the European Council and European Parliament -- despite the fact that these same papers have been shared with 600 industrial lobbyists in the US."
I suspect that when the Germans realise the deal will give Wal-Mart the right to fill their supermarket shelves with GM soya products without having to declare the GM content any more, and that Budweiser can sell its mildly alcoholic chemical soft drink as 'beer' in Bavaria despite German purity laws, it will be of little consolation to learn that the Kermits can now wean the Septics from cheez-in-a-spray-can onto unpasteurised Saint Nectaire if only they can find a way of selling it in a plastic tube.  

Who wins? The global corporates and the Euro Federasts of course. Who loses? US and European consumers, SMEs and the Mittelstand, our cultural identities and of course our democratic rights are eroded.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Add three years to their bird ...

My Blair and Brown fantasy imprisonment league, with jail sentences linked to my sense of outrage at the continuing effect of their criminal malfeasance, sharply increased cell-time for them both this morning  after reading Simon Jenkins in the Guardian;
Eight years ago, David Craig's Plundering the Public Sector calculated that 10 years of New Labour had seen £70bn vanish from taxes into management consultancy, PFI and IT fees, to no noticeable public gain. Most Whitehall IT projects had been fiascos, and there is a new one each week. The beneficiaries have been the rich: firms such as KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, Capita, Serco, McKinsey and others. Today's public accounts committee may howl about waste, but the stable is bare and the horses are over the horizon, laden with gold.
I'd begun to forget just how very, very economically destructive Labour are. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Economics 101 - Women's pay

In a perfectly fair employment world, remuneration will be linked directly to the contribution the employee makes to the firm. Using strictly objective criteria, devoid of what economists term 'taste discrimination', this can be quantified by an equation that rates education, experience and a third factor which for brevity we can call 'employability'. A man and a woman the same age with exactly the same 2:1 from the same university in the same year and whose 'employability' is exactly equal who are working for the same firm in the same job would therefore be remunerated equally just as long as they both have equal experience in the workplace.

If women, on average, spend less time in work than their male counterparts, a perfectly equal system will reward them less. Women taking time off for maternity will therefore be rewarded less on average and across the board. The facts bear this out; of the 18% gap in earnings, around 4% has been attributed to 'taste discrimination', but the balance is due to women having lower aggregate experience. 

If you think this is unfair, there are two ways to deal with it. Either you can force firms to pay less efficient staff the same as more efficient staff - grossly unfair - or encourage fathers to take childcare responsibility and take time out of the workplace as women do. The latter is the option we've chosen. It's fair, it keeps objective reward systems intact, and the aggregate time lost to business remains broadly the same. Sure, it will take time to erode that gender pay difference, but we can monitor it.

Of course it assumes that man and women who have children come in working couples - something deeply unattractive to some gobby interest groups. And if working couples decide that it's the woman who takes a few years off and the man who continues in work, we must respect that also; just as long as the opportunity is there for it to be the other way around is enough to ensure we have a fair and equal system.  

Monday, 20 January 2014

Lord Yeo of Sandwich speaks

" It is with great regret that I must abandon my efforts to hold on to the seat of Suffolk South against the opposition of the common people there, who clearly believe they should have some sort of say over who sits as their MP. The impertinence and spite of these Suffolk yokels is beyond belief; not only did they imagine they had a right to question how well I had performed as their MP, they also refused to pay the perfectly reasonable £5,000 fee I had asked for meeting them. Unbelievable. Thankfully, having never moved from my home in Sandwich, I have no interests in the constituency to dispose of and can leave the fools in Sunbury to stew in their own juice. What? .... Sudbury?.... Sudbury to stew in their own juice.

I will now be able to spend more time with my golf club, Royal St George's, but thanks to David haha will still have to make the same journey to Westminster, where I am pleased to say I will be able to continue to promote my scheme for the installation of over 400 wind turbines to, er, Sudbury, which is the highest place in Suffolk at a height of 25m above sea level. Clearly, its extremely elevated position makes it perfect for wind power.

I would like to thank all those at Global Renewables Inc for their help and support during this time, and am pleased finally to be able to take up a full non-exec directorship with the company." 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Nissan, Ford and the CBI back Eurofederalism shock

I'm not sure why the Observer even bothers reporting that Nissan, Ford and the CBI are throwing their multinational weight behind a pro-EU campaign. Of course they are. As are Monsanto, Beyer, Alcatel, Lafarge, Vodafone, Siemans, Fiat and all the rest of the global corporates. The CBI is the mouthpiece of big business, not UK capitalism, and all these firms are the profound enemy of free markets and open competition, and therefore the profound enemy of both small business, consumers and Adam Smith capitalism everywhere. They would happily carve up our combined GDP between them, throw our sovereign standards on the fire and replace them with their own corporate logo flags and crowd out every strand of potential competition from the market. An arrangement as at present under which they can turnover a billion in sales in the UK, France and Germany but pay tax in Luxembourg suits them fine. Of course they love the EU -  within the EMU the EU has ensured that labour, not global capital, has paid the price for recession with a lost generation of millions of young people who may never experience the world of work.

Big firms love the Big State, love regulation, love the minimum wage, love EU social measures such as maternity and paternity leave and in this they are hand in hand in hand with the Big Unions, fighting for their members. Even the Labour Party is being more honest about who in our society it really serves - those working in the public sector, and those working for big business. Labour policy says forget the poor, the young, the unemployed, the struggling self-employed craftsmen, the marginal, the dispossessed, the community shopkeepers, artisan bakers and hill farmers; forget that Britain which works in a crinkly tin shed on an industrial estate making windows or HiFi amplifiers or timber mouldings, that hangs its shingle on a dwellinghouse or which works from a garden building. Labour doesn't want you. 

Neither do Dave and Georgie - they've cast their lot with global business, the Bilderbergers and the EU federasts, and are in alliance with Labour in terms of so many shared interests that they must seek artificial differences between them. Dave, Nick and Ed have more in common between them than any one of them has with the British people. 

All of which we already know. But between now and May the silly scare stories will multiply; we can answer them only one way - by marking our Euro ballot cross in the UKIP box. And that includes all Farage's critics as well as his friends - to do otherwise will mark them out as petty, petulant and up their own arses rather than a part of the common struggle.