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Friday 4 August 2017

Italy acts whilst sclerotic EU dithers

In just the same way that Austria, Hungary and a few of the Balks acted independently of the EU to close the Balkans route for economic migrants last year, Italy is now taking unilateral measures to block the NGO 'taxi service' from points three miles from the Libyan coast to Sicily. The first NGO taxiboat, The Iuventis, operated by a German NGO, has been seized. The Italians have implemented three new requirements; first, migrants picked up should be landed at Libyan, not Italian ports. Second, Italian police and security to be on all NGO vessels to monitor whether, as alleged, the taxi boats are in radio contact with the smuggling gangs, and rendezvous are being arranged to transfer migrants. Finally, ship to ship transfers at sea are banned. 

This is against a background of noises from Austria that she will move armoured vehicles to the Italian border, and stringent French border closures on all entry points from Italy to the West. Hungary is also making determined efforts to pushback against the Soros-funded undermining of European national identity and his suspected covert funding of the Libyan NGO taxi boats. 

And what has the EU been doing whilst all this has been done? Nothing. Nada. Rien.   

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Is it 'cos we is Brits?

With security chaos at air terminals across Europe as staff take advantage of new Shengen controls to irritate travellers, British newspapers are asking "Is it 'cos we is Brits?". That the nation now believes that the spiteful, vindictive and self-destructive dwarfs of Brussels are capable of such attempted Brexit sabotage means we have come far since 2016.

But someone needs to explain that no, this is not directed at us, this is just the EU destroying its own tourist industry by humiliating and frustrating the new rich from Beijing and Mumbai and the old rich from Tokyo, New York and London. All for the sake of preserving the sacred Shengen border free zone, more valuable to the Federasts than the entire European tourist economy.  

These people really are arses.

Monday 31 July 2017

Snouts in the universities pension trough

The cushiest job in the UK today is in a university. No longer need one be gifted academically or have skills as a scholar or teacher; any mediocre administrator who can talk the talk can get in to a university staffroom these days. One has to publish, of course, but given the plethora of niche academic journals with tiny circulations but eye watering costs you can write pretty much academically worthless and semi-literate garbage in order to accumulate a publications list. No-one will read it. It doesn't matter. Then there's the pension; 1/75th of salary and a lump sum of 3/75ths of salary for each year of service. With employee contributions capped at 8% and the university paying 18%. For the new Vice-Chancellor of the Agricultural University of Steeple Bumstead on a salary of £450,000 a year, that 18% employer contribution is worth an extra £81,000 a year. 

Of course, as the FT reports, the next best job to being a Vice-Chancellor is to be a member of the 8-man University Pension Scheme Executive Committee; they were paid an average of £488,000 each in 2016/17. Plus, no doubt, the pension benefits. 

There's only one problem with this academic cornucopia, under which VCs have grown fat as butter and as rich as pre-reformation abbots and even the Head of the School of Pig Farrowing at Steeple Bumstead earns more than the Prime Minister. We can't afford it. The pension fund has assets of £60bn but liabilities of £77.5bn. Something needs to be done. 

Part of the problem is that each participating institution doesn't have to balance its books; Steeple Bumstead can award its teaching staff the most outrageous salaries, salaries that accumulate pension liabilities way beyond the institution's own contributions and share, but the scheme as a whole must meet the costs. The universities can't increase student fees any further, as this will kill the goose. And all those podgy-fingered vice chancellors feasting at their high tables on fine foods and wines won't take a cut in their wedge. So either the taxpayer bails the broke USS out or the pension fund cuts its benefits .... and you can probably see which way this is going. 

Glynis Breakwell, Bath Uni VC on a wedge of £451,000. Not sure who the bloke is.