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Saturday, 3 September 2016

The EU's sausage stall economy

"Every Austrian sausage stall pays more tax in Austria than a multinational" said Austrian chancellor Christian Kern yesterday, in response to the Apple tax judgement. Don't blame us. It was the EU's crooked senior unelected official Herr Juncker who is responsible for much of it - while running Luxembourg he invented low tax deals that allowed multinationals operating in Europe to accumulate billions in untaxed profits. Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax, the 10% charged in Cyprus and Malta's zero rate likewise. It's estimated that US corporations pay only 1% tax to the EU on $100bn a year in profits.   

Of course, which of the EU's three fundamental freedoms - free movement of people, goods and money - you value the most determines your attitude to business domicile, migrant workers and the trailer of cheap champagne for your daughter's wedding. But without harmonised tax laws, without harmonised external borders, without massive tax transfers from Germany to the rest of the EU, the only people being hurt by the EU are its citizens. US global corporations and economic migrants from Africa and the Middle East are doing alright, but are costing the people of Europe hundreds of billions of Euros each year just to keep the dead sham of their crooked, corrupt, weak little EU in place. 

Still, so long as nations such as Austria remain members, there's no point complaining, Herr Kansler Kern.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Burqa ban in UK? It should happen soon.

The papers are feigning shock at the results of a YouGov survey that suggests the British public favour a Burqa ban by 2:1. The ban would enjoy wider support if it were not portrayed as a racist assault on Moslems rather than a measure to ensure equity, justice and fairness. 

The Hijab and Chadoor (1 and 2 above) are really no different to a nun's wimple - or to the sight of all women in a catholic church wearing headscarves to cover their hair, a sight I remember well from youth. However, it is the Niqab and the Burka (3 and 4) that cause real problems. 

What is the biggest cohort of unemployed persons in Britain? Moslem women. The unemployment rate - and therefore poverty, disadvantage, poor health, disease, deprivation and exclusion - amongst Moslem women is sky-high. We must, for their own good and that of our nation, get these Moslem women out of their houses and into work and off benefits. However, the Niqab and Burqa are as good as making these women unemployable - they present insurmountable barriers in any job that requires communication and are a significant health and safety hazard in many working environments in which goods, machinery, plant or equipment is moving about. Getting your Burqa caught on a loose heavy steel staple on a conveyor belt and being dragged into deadly machinery is no joke. 

So whilst Moslem women are quite free to adopt this dress at home, I'd suggest it just presents too many hazards and disadvantages to be permitted in public. The danger to others is clear; imagine being stuck behind women in Burqas when a department store is on fire and is being evacuated; they cannot safely read exit routes or instructions and could delay others, leading to death and serious injury. 

Sorry, for their good and for ours, these things must be banned in public. And soon, before innocent people die. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Blair's next job

"The body is starting to stink" said Ted, Blair's enigmatic CIA chum and head of station in Uzbekistan. "Karimov was a good client" replied Blair "and will be hard to replace". The two men ducked to avoid the splash of blood and entrails from a rebel being torn apart by wild horses as a warm-up to the weekend's soccer match in the country's new $2bn stadium  (Blair's cut was 7%). Blair glanced round to see Philip Green's wife wince as she picked a piece of rebel spleen from her Hermes bag. The new British ambassador cleared his throat. "They can't keep news of his death secret for ever. Sitting him on the throne during the day and popping him back in the meat fridge at night. He was never exactly an animated man but people are starting to notice"

Blair looked thoughtfully at the ambassador. When in office in the UK he had to replace Britain's previous representative when the man complained about having to watch Karimov's enemies being boiled alive in butter. A gentle man who affected red socks, it was the agonised screaming that upset him. That and the guiltily delicious smell that took roast pork from his menu for the next four years. 

"So how about it, Blair? You ready?" asked Ted. "I can feel the hand of destiny on my shoulder" replied Blair "Cherie can redecorate the Presidential Palace. We'll have to cut down a little on the butter-boilings, of course, with Cherie being a judge and everything, but I can't deny the money is a key attraction."  he gazed wistfully at the horizon, past a section of bowel hanging from the corner of the VIP stand. "as of course is the lack of an extradition treaty with the UK."

"Congratulations, Mr President" growled Ted.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Time to give the French a Britannic shrug

Do the Kermits seriously imagine that their noisy bluster over the squalid Calais migrants camp bothers us? Sure, they're piqued that their nation and economy is down the can, that in future they'll depend on German hand-outs to pay their public servants, that across the Channel our economy, free of the EU, will surge ahead to become Europe's wealthiest. Hence the threats and bluster to move immigration checks to UK territory. 

Any such move will only further damage French trade. UK exports will get a rapid ride into France going outwards, but French imports will face long delays and freight queues stretching from Calais to Rouen. For we will be forced to two varieties of new border controls; on the entry ramps of UK registered P&O ferries in Calais, and on the exit ramps of DFDS ferries in Dover. Migrants and illegals will either be left in Calais or on board the French ships.

Dover turnaround times for the French ships will quadruple, as will their port fees. Likewise for UK ships in Calais. Fares will rise. Passengers and freight will seek other ports - killing jobs and income in Calais, which depends completely upon the port for its wealth. 

It's really up to the Kermits; honour the existing treaty, or face severe restrictions on their exports to the UK from Calais and become the laughing stock of Europe with the MS Côte des Flandres and her sisters full of Ethiopians who won't disembark being fed and catered by DFDS, and with the key town of the Côte d'Opal becoming a depressed, run-down slum with rusting docks and empty warehouses. 

Their choice.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Labour's corrupt whine cuts no mustard

Electoral probity, universal suffrage and the secret ballot are the three keystones of a stable democracy. Labour, in an astonishing display of party interest above national interest, support the corruption of all three legs of our democratic stool in ways that unfairly favour Labour.  

Electoral probity is only gradually being restored after long neglect by all parties and determined efforts by Blair / Brown to undermine the democratic process. As Michaeel Pinto-Dischinsky commented, we have 3m on the electoral roll who shouldn't be and we had 3m missing who should be. Individual voter registration is weeding out the double and false registrations, and the recent referendum has brought in 2m of the missing 3m. Good enough. 

Second, we have an Electoral Quotient that is way beyond the basic +/- 5% envelope required for a fair electoral system, and in comparison to the +/- 3% achieved by advanced democracies such as New Zealand it makes the UK literally third-world in EQ standards. This necessary change needs no debate, and the pained whine coming from Labour at the prospects of losing more underpopulated seats than the Tories is simply contemptible. 

The fair issue for debate is what the EQ should be - and how many MPs the Commons should have. My own view is that Cameron's proposed reduction to 600 giving an EQ of 71,031-78,507 voters per seat is about right - given that the long-term trend is for devolution, localism and a reduction in the scope of the national Parliament to matters of national importance. As devolution gathers pace, this number should be reviewed and may need to fall further. 

Labour's point that the proposals are based on the 2015 electoral registers, disregarding the 2m new registrations this year, are short-sighted, and Theresa May could make things even more painful for Labour by including them. The new 2m are largely in constituencies in cities and urban SE areas and will only lose Labour more seats in the de-populated outer zones. The 2015 election was based on electoral lists that included 7m suspect registrations - which were due to be removed by 2016*, losing up to 10% of electors in some Labour inner-city constituencies. So by all means base the EQ on the very latest electoral lists available - Labour will only suffer more. The population drift from Wales, the NE and other stagnant areas of the UK to London and the South-East - from traditional Labour areas to Tory areas - is continuing and will continue. 

Labour's whining about changes that strengthen and regulate Britain's democratic systems simply shows that the party is acting now wholly in its own interest and with no regard to the good of the British people.

* But evidently weren't - Voter figures are 46.4m in 2012, 44.7m in Dec 2015 and 46.5m for the referendum. We must await the Boundary Commission report for greater clarity.