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Saturday 14 March 2020

Noisome stench of Met corruption - Cressida Dick must go

One phenomenon that we will find increasingly frequent is the drowning-out of important news stories by the overwhelming effects of Covid-19. Soon, every day will be a good day for revealing bad news. One such that has gone almost completely unnoticed was the report by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary into the Noncefinder-General / Met police celebrity sex abuse mess. 

The Met wasted £5m of our taxes and a cost of scores of real crimes going uninvestigated as detectives as credulous as old maids chased phantom high-end personalities, egged on by Labour's deputy leader, Noncefinder-General Tom Watson and the kiddie-fiddler they had especially befriended.

Cressida Dick, the police officer with command responsibility for the shooting of innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, was Met chief from 2017 to 2019, during which time she had on her desk the report by Sir Richard Henriques and did exactly nothing to tackle the institutional incompetence and malfeasance in the Met. In fact, she seems to have spent all her efforts into hiding the Henriques report from the public - fully assisted, no doubt, by the failed mandarins at the Home Office who flourished under Theresa May.

It stinks. Cressida Dick must go. As Harvey Proctor told the Telegraph
"Police officers who mess up and get things so seriously wrong including the present Commissioner should bear a personal responsibility for their wrong doing. They should not be promoted, pensioned off. Ennobled and enriched. That is not the correct lesson that should be learnt from this dreadful scandal - the worst in living memory of the police."

EU/EEA and the UK Cases    Deaths  
Italy 15113 1016
Spain 3004 84
France 2876 61
Germany 2369 5
Denmark 676 0
Norway 621 1
Sweden 620 1
Netherlands 614 5
United Kingdom 590 10
Belgium 399 3
Austria 361 1
Finland 155 0
Greece 133 1
Iceland 117 0
Czech Republic 116 0
Slovenia 96 0
Portugal 78 0
Ireland 70 1
Romania 64 0
Poland 49 1
Estonia 27 0
Luxembourg 26 0
Croatia 25 0
Bulgaria 23 1
Slovakia 21 0
Hungary 16 0
Latvia 16 0
Malta 9 0
Cyprus 6 0
Liechtenstein 4 0
Lithuania 3 0
Total 28297 1191

Thursday 12 March 2020

EU shamefaced over Italy as China rides to the rescue

Back in 2019, lost in the Brexit noise, Italy became the first big EU nation and the first member of the G7 to sign up to China's Belt and Road initiative. China had infuriated Brussels by introducing a strategic development plan to Europe in which they had no hand; China targeted the Mediterranean states, the closest parts of the EU to ships low in the water with Chinese goods. The EU was still squabbling over the interests of the northern EU, Rotterdam and Hamburg, which had the lion's share of Chinese imports. As The Diplomat reported, the China - Italy MoU was comprehensive
... aiming at a strategic partnership covering a broad range of areas such as trade, investment, finance, transportation, logistics, infrastructure, connectivity, sustainable development, mobility and cooperation, also involving third countries. Notably, the area of telecommunications was left out of the agreement.
Well, this week Europe was sharply reminded of that agreement. At a time when France and Germany banned the export of medical equipment to Italy, China rapidly arranged to airfreight millions of masks, gowns, eyeshields, hectolitres of alcohol gel and even respirators, thanking Italy for the care provided to the 300,000 Chinese expats working in northern Italy, and re-committing to the friendship between the two nations. The South China Morning Post reported on a telephone call between the nations' foreign ministers
During the phone call on Tuesday, Wang told Di Maio that China would not forget “the precious support” from Italy when “we were at the hardest moment fighting the epidemic”. “Now, we are willing to stand firmly by the side of the Italian people,” the Chinese foreign minister said.
“Although currently China itself still has great demand for medical materials, we will overcome the difficulties and offer material aid, including face masks, to Italy, and increase exports of materials and equipment to meet Italy’s urgent need,” Wang said. “If the Italian side requires it, China would also like to send medical teams to assist in combating the virus,” he said.
The response of the EU to the challenge has been, at the least, confused. Whilst Richi Sunak yesterday committed £30bn to counter the effects of the virus in the UK, the EU's response has been to protect the banks and the interests of the ECB. A measly €7.5bn has been committed for all 27 EU nations, and Brussels has announced plans to co-ordinate the distribution of medical protective supplies. When it whined to EU nations that health was a national competence, it raised only anger. The EU has been for years acting, setting up organisations, sitting on committees as though it were the European Health Authority - now it's proven to be a hollow pretence.

As AE-P writes in the 'graph, Sunak and Carney have shamed the EU.
The EU’s legalistic spending machinery will limit any fiscal punch and slow the roll out of crisis measures. There are still no eurobonds, no shared budget, and no mutualised pan-eurozone deposit insurance for banks, which leaves vulnerable Italy in the worst of all worlds: deprived of sovereign economic instruments yet without EU fiscal support to compensate.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that 70pc of Germans could be infected but failed to draw the economic conclusions. She spoke of a €25bn EU crisis package - less than 0.2pc of GDP - and but proffered no fiscal emergency spending for Germany itself beyond a trivial €275m for health care. Fiscal stabilisers will have to carry the load.
Italian voters will not easily forget either the actions of France and Germany, or the inaction of the EU. Nor will they forget the assistance given by China at a time when her own people are not past the crisis. I've no doubt that there will be those in Brussels who see Covid-19 as just another 'beneficial crisis' that will allow the Federasts to ratchet up control. This time it may just be a crisis too far.


EU/EEA and the UK Cases    Deaths  
Italy 10149 631
France 1784 33
Spain 1639 35
Germany 1296 2
Netherlands 382 4
United Kingdom 373 6
Sweden 326 0
Norway 277 0
Belgium 267 0
Denmark 264 0
Austria 182 0
Greece 90 0
Iceland 70 0
Czech Republic 63 0
Portugal 41 0
Finland 40 0
Ireland 35 0
Slovenia 31 0
Romania 25 0
Poland 22 0
Croatia 13 0
Estonia 13 0
Hungary 12 0
Latvia 8 0
Luxembourg 7 0
Slovakia 7 0
Bulgaria 4 0
Malta 4 0
Lithuania 3 0
Cyprus 2 0
Liechtenstein 1 0
Total 17430 711

Tuesday 10 March 2020

The future is Local

You'd be hard put to invent anything as singularly stupid as Corbyn's spiteful and vindictive scorched earth policy as his grip is forced from the Labour Party. He, Milne and McDonnell have spent their term getting as many as possible of their own people into Labour's key positions, and no doubt a new leader will find employment contracts impossible or hugely expensive to break. However, the absolute moronic icing on the stupidity cake is the suspension of Trevor Phillips on the grounds of preventing reputational damage to the party.

The May elections will be a test of how far Corbyn's party have evicted the Trad Lab local government nexus in the heartlands. I've written before how I once knew well, liked and respected the old Labour culture in south Yorkshire. We share many values; a passion for fairness, equity, probity, transparency, stewardship, trust and democracy. Our beliefs are grounded in a moral absolutism that is Christian in character. We believe in merit, in the rewards of ability and application, and deprecate everything that Corbyn's Labour stands for - privilege, nepotism, moral relativity, racism and discrimination, avarice, partiality, dishonesty, twisted political manipulation, bullying, stitch-ups and corruption. 

Where the trad Lab people and structures are still in place, the Labour vote will hold up. Where the Corbynites have taken over, openings will be created - and we are starting to see the rise of new, Labour-replacement parties, locally focused, with no London blow-ins, party functionaries, remote from the Corbynista nomenklatura. Ieuan Joy in the 'graph describes them as 'microparties'. Of course my own party will hope to make inroads here in May - but trad Lab voters I know will be reluctant to vote for the local businessmen who will stand as Tory councillors in red wall country. Boris was different. These places are not Tory, though the voters are conservative. The mill owner and the landlord are still the enemies.

The hate parties and personalities will also seek to make inroads here in May, looking to exploit local tensions. Social media users will know that they have started their campaigns already. I have great confidence in the ability of local voters to dismiss them. They are rightly loathed every bit as much as Corbyn's NKVD.

I used the meme below as part of a jokey dig at Labour in the December election, but after the voices in the media questioning, following the suspension of Phillips, just how nasty and authoritarian the metropolitan party can get, it will raise just a scintilla of real caution. It's what parties such as the one Corbyn, Milne and McDonnell want to create can become.


EU/EEA and the UK Cases    Deaths  
Italy 7375 366
France 1126 19
Germany 902 0
Spain 589 5
United Kingdom 273 3
Netherlands 265 3
Sweden 203 0
Belgium 200 0
Norway 169 0
Austria 102 0
Greece 73 0
Iceland 55 0
Denmark 38 0
Czech Republic 32 0
Portugal 30 0
Finland 30 0
Ireland 21 0
Slovenia 16 0
Romania 15 0
Croatia 12 0
Poland 11 0
Estonia 10 0
Hungary 8 0
Slovakia 5 0
Luxembourg 5 0
Bulgaria 4 0
Malta 3 0
Latvia 3 0
Lithuania 1 0
Liechtenstein 1 0
Total 11577 396

Monday 9 March 2020

It's time to replace the ECHR

When the monochrome horrors of the camps shocked cinema audiences in Britain, when stories of brutality, atrocities and the iron boot of authoritarianism trampling democracy became current, the UK was foremost in imposing on the wayward peoples of the world a new reminder of the duties that governments and societies owe to their people. Following the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (the name originally of the alliance fighting the Axis powers), the Council of Europe adopted the European Convention, together with a court to enforce it.

The ECHR and the ECtHR are not EU institutions but those of the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe includes 47 nations and 820 million people; the EU only includes 27 of those nations and 426m of those citizens. However, the ECtHR has fallen into the same pernicious power-grab using the same pernicious method as the EU - the notion of 'dynamic' law and regulation. You sign up to potatoes, and within a few years they have changed it to include tomatoes, oranges, bananas and plums. The 'they' is of course unelected judges - and Ld Sumption featured the 'mission creep' effect in his Reith lectures last year;
Article 8 protects the human right to private and family life, the privacy of the home and personal correspondence. It was designed as a protection against the surveillance state in totalitarian regimes. But the Strasbourg Court has developed it into what it calls a principle of personal autonomy. Acting on this principle, it has extended Article 8 so that it potentially covers anything that intrudes upon a person’s autonomy unless the Court considers it to be justified.
Now, it will be obvious that most laws seek, to some degree, to intrude on personal autonomy. They impose standards of behaviour which would not necessarily be accepted voluntarily. This may be illustrated by the vast range of issues which the Strasbourg Court has held to be covered by Article 8. They include the legal status of illegitimate children, immigration and deportation, extradition, criminal sentencing, the recording of crime, abortion, artificial insemination, homosexuality and same sex unions, child abduction, the policing of public demonstrations, employment and social security rights, environmental and planning law, noise abatement, eviction for non-payment of rent and a great deal else besides. All of these things have been held to be encompassed in the protection of private and family life.
None of them is to be found in the language of the convention. None of them is a natural implication from its terms. None of them has been agreed by the signatory states. They are all extensions of the text which rest on the sole authority of the Judges of the Strasbourg Court. This is, in reality, a form of non-consensual legislation.
It is not that we have abandoned any of the fundamental rights for which our fathers fought and died, any of the rights laid out in the convention of 1950, but that the ECtHR has assumed an authority that usurps democracy. These are not decisions for judges - they are decisions for voters, and for the ballot box. Only ending this slow-motion power grab will restore democracy.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus (the disease it causes is called Covid-19) has already caused nations to look to themselves. France and Germany have banned the export of masks, gloves, alcohol sanitiser and other preventative materials - banned export to other EU nations. Shengen is about to be suspended and national borders manned again - this time with (pointless) temperature probes replacing the Tommy guns. At times of war and plague, nations reassert themselves, and people demand that their own governments look to their interests, not to those of a remote federation of unelected apparatchiks.

Update - GBP - EUR pair
For anyone looking for an explanation of why the €/£ rate has gone from 1.204 last week to 1.146 today - it's the carry trade, not us, and it will work itself out - as Zerohedge has it 
If a carry trade unwind does cause the euro to surge uncontrollably against the dollar towards the $1.2-1.3 zone, the impact on the fragile eurozone economy could be devastating. For despite the euro’s weakness against the dollar, other countries have also been pursuing weak currency polices. As a result, the euro effective exchange rate (ie measuring the euro against a basket of currencies) is much stronger than the headline euro/$ exchange rate suggests. A surge in the euro from current levels as the carry trade unwinds could crush the eurozone economy. Indeed it could threaten the euro’s very existence. 


EU/EEA and the UK Cases    Deaths  
Italy 5883 233
Germany 847 0
France 716 10
Spain 430 5
United Kingdom 206 2
Netherlands 188 1
Belgium 169 0
Sweden 161 0
Norway 147 0
Austria 104 0
Greece 66 0
Iceland 53 0
Denmark 31 0
Czech Republic 26 0
Portugal 21 0
Ireland 19 0
Finland 19 0
Romania 13 0
Croatia 12 0
Slovenia 12 0
Estonia 10 0
Hungary 7 0
Poland 6 0
Luxembourg 3 0
Slovakia 3 0
Malta 3 0
Bulgaria 2 0
Latvia 2 0
Lithuania 1 0
Liechtenstein 1 0
Total 9161 251