Saturday, March 31, 2007

April Fool!

Of course, the best ones are the ones which are always slightly believable...

Radio Netherlands Worldwide - Independent thinking, independent voice - English
Europe pushes for one-size-fits-all condom
Vanessa Mock

The EU will soon be getting too close for comfort for Europeans with new rules
to standardise the size of condoms across Europe.

The European Commission is pushing for legislation for all condom manufacturers
to start producing one-size-fits-all condom.

The new move is part of a wider drive to harmonise Europe's niche market sectors
and boost competition, said Robert de Lange from the Commission's Directorate
for Competition:
"At the moment we have a lot of small producers who are unable to break into
other European markets because of big discrepancies in the types of condoms used
in each member state. We need to create a level-playing field if we want to
boost critical mass and innovation in this sector and not be crushed by growing
competition from Asia."


But the proposal, which has been pushed through by the German Presidency of the
EU, has sparked an outcry in some countries, such as Italy.

Italian MEP Giovanni Penne says the EU should not be meddling in its citizens'
most private arena - the bedroom:
"This is a very touchy issue with Italians. We are worried that this
one-fits-all size might not be suitable for some Italian men, who are very loyal
to our own, well-established brands.

When it comes to love and romance, we have our way of doing things. We don't
want Brussels slipping under our sheets."

Italian opt-out
Penne says Italy, along with Spain and Portugal, would try to opt out of the
directive when it goes through for approval by EU ministers at the end of May.

But they will come under pressure from the Commission to at least accept some
form of standardisation, says De Lange, who insists that the new guidelines are
the result of "years of scientific research and testing across the EU".

The move has also been welcomed by many smaller condom makers, such as Sweden's

New materials
"No one should worry about the sizing as there are many new materials on the
market that mean that the condoms should be suitable for all Europeans," says
Condomania's CEO, Erika Ottic.
"For us, it's great news as it means we'll finally be able to move into new

Condomania is already looking at merging with two smaller companies in Hungary,
says Ottic, where condom sales are among the highest per capita in the world.
"We are also launching a limited edition condom with the EU flag on it to mark
the 50th anniversary of the EU."

The Vatican, which condemns the use of condoms, was not willing to comment on
the Commission directive.

At least, I hope it is...!

Quite possibly true

Your Personality Profile

You are pure, moral, and adaptable.
You tend to blend into your surroundings.
Shy on the outside, you're outspoken to your friends.

You believe that you live a virtuous life...
And you tend to judge others with a harsh eye.
As a result, people tend to crave your approval.

thank goodness

For tourist boards. Without them, how would we all know where to go on holiday?

Thanks to this shining example, I know where I'm going this year!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Solve the riddle!

Solve the riddle!

Iran and all that

The comic genius that is The Spine

Had a chat with my old prof from my International Law course yesterday about this, and we were both in agreement that even though it is a disputed territorial line, the fact that the Iranians came back with a second set of coordinates is highly suspicious and indicative of them being wrong.

I am just thankful that the UK still has a diplomatic corps to deal with this, although given that the EU are going full steam ahead with their EU embassies, how long will this go on for?

A point raised on Question Time last night by Nigel Farage asked why the UK were not on a higher state of alert after the Americans raised theirs? We are not arming our troops properly, the size of our armed forces is now below that of Eritrea and Burma and positioned at No. 28 in the world and yet we continue to fight wars that are unnecessary for the defence of our country, and are illegal.

The Los Angeles Times commented on the British strategy in the Middle East:

The tragedy is that he had to rob Peter to pay Paul because Britain can't maintain 7,000 troops in Iraq and 7,000 in Afghanistan. Those are hardly huge numbers for a country of 60 million with the fifth-largest national economy in the world. Yet even as Britain has continued to play a leading role in world affairs, it has allowed its defenses to molder.

The total size of its armed forces has shrunk from 305,800 in 1990 to 195,900 today. This downsizing has reduced the entire British army (107,000 soldiers) to almost half the size of the U.S. Marine Corps (175,000). Storied regiments such as the Black Watch and the Royal Scots, with histories stretching back centuries, have been eliminated.

Even worse hit is the Royal Navy, which is at its smallest size since the 1500s. Now, British newspapers report, of the remaining 44 warships, at least 13 and possibly as many as 19 will be mothballed. If these cuts go through, Britain's fleet will be about the same size as those of Indonesia and Turkey and smaller than that of its age-old rival, France.

I sincerely hope that we can solve this crisis through diplomatic means, because giving the Americans an excuse to go to war with Iran would be disastrous to all concerned.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Press release from 'eurosceptic' Conservatives

Release: immediate

Date: 28 March 2007

Issued by: Conservatives in the European Parliament

Timothy Kirkhope MEP, tel: +32 (0) 2 28 45 321Conservatives urge Merkel to lead the 'Europe of Results' not the Europe of declarations and constitutions

Conservative leader says European people need actions not words to re-establish interest in the European Union

Mr Kirkhope said: "The European Union today is viewed as a distant bureaucracy. People see the EU as an over-regulating body that is encroaching on too many matters that could be better regulated by the nation state. People want to see co-operation in Europe, but they do not understand why politicians in the EU and in this Parliament spend so much time on constitutional and institutional issues. It is results that matter, not the drafting of constitutions.

People ask what Europe is doing to combat global climate change, to fight the scourge of global poverty and to make our continent more competitive in the face of globalisation. They are not asking for Constitutions and Treaties. They want us to deliver on the substance, and not dwell on processes."

Rejecting the need for a new constitution, Mr Kirkhope added: "In the 21st Century, we need more flexibility and more decentralisation to enable our economies to win in international markets. We do not need more regulation in Europe, we need less. We do not need more majority voting to fight climate change or global poverty. Rather we need more effective intergovernmental co-operation.

"Constitutions and institutions do not generate prosperity, they do not make our economies more competitive, they do not reduce C02 emissions and they do not feed hungry people in the developing world. I urge governments to respect the 'no' votes of the French and Dutch peoples, avoid a lengthy and divisive constitutional debate and get on with the job of delivering on policy substance."


So once again to all those of you who ramble on about UKIP splitting the Eurosceptic vote, I say, "how?"

This press release could have been written for Blair himself. Or Merkel for that matter. It is as clear as a bell that the Conservatives are dedicated to not only remaining in the EU, but want to promote it in the UK and want it to have more power.

And I ask the question of Mr Kirkhope: with regards to his comments on poverty in the developing world, does he actually understand about trade policy? The EU is not going to eliminate poverty in the developing world, anymore than I am going to become a card carrying member of the Liberal Democrats, become a ballet dancer and have a crew cut.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fashionably thin?

The news today that Allegra Versace has been suffering from anorexia is truly awful, yet is it so surprising that someone brought up in the world of haute couture fashion has succumbed to an obsession about body image?

I went to an all girls school were eating disorders were rife. I personally suffered from anorexia, but luckily managed to get over it. Mainly because I was too busy playing sport and being active to calorie count, and quite frankly, I got too hungry. But I suspect I was one of the lucky ones, and I don't think the desire to be thin ever really leaves. Why would it when we are bombarded with daily images of glamorous, thin people in perfect clothes and perfect make up who seem to have a perfect life?

However, I've never, ever, wanted to be a size zero. Why would I? I'm a woman: I'm not supposed to be a stick. When I look at these women on the catwalk I have absolutely no desire to look like them, because to me they look ill, and they certainly don't look attractive.

And for proof that they are ill, how about the sad story of Luisel Ramos who lived on diet coke and lettuce leaves for 3 months, before appearing in a show, stepping off the catwalk and dying from heart failure. Hardly glamorous, is it. She was told by her agent that if she lost more weight she could 'make it big'.

What makes it more odd for me to understand this desire to look like a bag of bones is that when you look at the 'lads mags' and their rather cute 'sexiest bosoms list' or similar, it's never the sticks who are voted No.1. This year, readers of FHM voted Scarlett Johansson as their favourite who, whilst she is not be a heffer, is a far cry from the sad person in the picture above.

A report in the Daily Mail over the decision by some countries to ban size 0 models from the catwalk tried to find out why fashion designers who were against these teeny weeny models still went with producing samples in such small sizes. One such person spoke to them anonymously:

I have to make my samples in a size eight," said one.

"If I make them any bigger so I can use models that are more shapely, no one will use the samples in the fashion magazine shoots afterwards because magazines nearly always use size eight-or-under models.

"I cannot afford to lose that potential.

"Sample sizes are an industry-wide standard that will evolve slowly as the look changes — which I hope it does.

"But for the time being we must conform to the stick-thin image.

But it's also widely accepted that the fashion world is dominated by gay men. Who like boys. Boys who, of course, don't have curves. So they make clothes for women who look like boys.

But why would any woman want to look like a boy?

I, personally, took the decision never to read or buy a magazine that had anything to do with dieting on the front cover. These magazines seem to push this view that a woman should never be happy with her life: you could have a job you enjoy, be happy in a relationship and have enough time and money to see your friends and do what you enjoy. But that's not enough for the likes of Cosmopolitan magazine. Oh no! Dump your 'fella' for a better version, go on another fucking diet and spend your free time looking for a new job or developing your skills so you can get another job.

As someone who believes in markets, I can't see this trend changing unless people reject these ridiculous notions. Why should the fashion industry change when people seem to be happy with it? Why should magazines stop running their tedious diet plans and continual slagging off of other women if people buy them?

I hope that a change does come about, and people do realise that looking like a skeleton is not healthy or attractive, but I am at a loss as to why it is taking so long.

It gives the phrase 'fashion victim' a whole new meaning.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

another EU scandal?

News reaches me that dawn raids took place this morning in France, Italy and Belgium because of an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding EU embassies.

According to reports, EU officials may have been giving the gravy train an extra buffet car by indulging in some dodgy tendering for contracts for the security arrangements for EU embassies and the buildings themselves.

There shouldn't even be EU embassies. The EU is not a country (yet) and the UK has it's own diplomatic corp to represent British interests abroad. I can't imagine that I would ever be in a situation where, if I was in trouble abroad, I would say "well, thank god there's an EU embassy who can help me!"

They probably wouldn't ever be open, when they were they would be understaffed because of the working time directive and the long lunch hours, and the paperwork would just be unimaginable. In fact, I suspect that it would be quicker to be arrested and face trial than get the EU to help out in a sticky situation.

Especially if past form on corruption is anything to go by, because the security staff would all be dentists....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Eurosceptic Tories?

I was rather interested to see this comment on the BBC website:

Europe is a great ideal for The Continent. We should be proud to have a close relationship with it. If we want to be in it then we should come up with a full proposal as to how it should be formed and what the constitution should be for a world class business and political entity. More action and less talk, please.
Guy Stacpoole, Petersfield, Hampshire, England.

Mainly because the chap in question is a Conservative councillor.

So to all those Tories who say that UKIP is splitting the eurosceptic vote, I say: How?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sack the FCO?

Because they seem rather surplus to requirements now that we have the EU defending our interests...

Stupid internet police

Am typing this from a hotel in Berlin, which is why the post might bit accidentally littered with ß, ä ö ü and zs instead of ys.

Anyway, computer has some kind of filter on it for websites. Went to the kitchen and it would not let me look at it because it contained the word fucker. (I would put that in quotation marks but I cant find them, or apostophes.) Well, okay. Kitchen is a bit sweary.

So I thought I would have a look at shoes. But that wasnt allowed either. The reason? Because I had written a post on genital mutilation.

This is happening to children probably younger than the ones they are trying to protect, so why dont they allow people to know what is going on? Censorship like that is the worst kind....

Anyway, Auf Wiedersehen. Im off to gatecrash a birthday party.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The simple budget

Ich bin ein Berliner

Well, not really. But if you have a bucket handy, here is the Berlin Declaration, which I have taken the time to edit for you lovely, and if I may say so, rather attractive folk.

For centuries Europe was an idea, a hope of peace and understanding. This hope is now fulfilled. European unification has made peace and well-being possible for us. It has created a sense of community and overcome obstacles. Every Member has helped to unite Europe and to strengthen democracy and the rule-of-law. We have the love-of-freedom of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe to thank that today Europe's unnatural partition has at last been superseded. Through European union, we have diverted our counsels from bloody conflicts and painful history. Today, we live together, in a way, which was never possible before.

A fucking bad idea, if you ask me. A customs union which is detrimental to not only those concerned, but to the rest of the world. Whose ruling elite are unelected and unaccountable to the people?

And I am getting rather sick of continually writing that the EU has not kept the peace in Europe for the last 50 years. as I, and many other, have said before, it was NATO, trade, no need to go to war and sheer bloody exhaustion from 6 years of fighting, not to mention the Marshall plan which stopped any more wars happening. The way I see it, forcing countries together and taking away their national identity is far more likely to cause conflict than stop it.

We citizenesses and citizens of the European Union are, to our good fortune, united.

In the European Union, we are developing our common ideals: for us, the individual is the focus. His dignity is indisputable. His rights are inalienable. Women and men are accounted equal. We strive for peace and freedom, for democracy and the rule-of-law, for mutual respect and responsibility, for welfare and security, for tolerance and participation, for justice and solidarity.

This very document shows how little the EU actually cares for democracy, as it is a stepping stone towards the ratification of the EU Constitution which has been rejected by two founding countries of the EU.

And if the individual actually was the focus, wouldn't this be a libertarian system of government, rather that a quivering mound of statism?
We live and work together in the European Union in a unique way. This is expressed in the democratic participation of the Member-States and the European institutions. The European Union is founded upon equality and communal solidarity. In this way, we have made possible a fair balance of interests between the Member-States.

Well, some people are trying to get away with as little work as possible, actually. And lots of countries like, and joined the EU to get state funding from other countries who are better off than they because they embraced free markets. And fair balance of interests? Don't make me laugh. Again, France and the Netherlands haven't had a fair balance of interests because the EU has completely ignored what they decided about the EU. Britain doesn't because for one example, they've just been outvoted over the 'open skies' deal. It's a way of forcing through EU rules and making the EU stronger by cutting down on the power a national government has over the country it is supposed to represent.
In the European Union, we affirm the uniqueness and manifold traditions of its members. Its open borders, and vital multiplicity of languages, cultures and regions, enrich us. There are many goals, which we cannot reach alone, but only together. The European Union, the Member-States and their regions and localities divide the work between them.

Sorry, run that past me again? Taking away democracy and traditions is a way of affirming uniqueness? What about the uniqueness of Trial by Jury and innocent until proven guilty? Of imperial measurements? Of a parliament which makes the laws for the country, rather than a supranational government? Of eroding down traditional counties and replacing them with EU regions? Of a Commom Education Policy which will tell history the way the EU wants it?
We stand before great challenges, which do not stop at national borders. The European Union is our answer to them. Only together can we safeguard our social ideal for the future for the benefit of all the citizenesses and citizens of the European Union. This European model combines economic success and social responsibility. The common market and the euro make us strong. Thus we are able to shape the increasing globalisation of commerce, and ever growing competition in the international markets, according to our concepts of good practice. Europe's riches lie in knowledge and the abilities of people; these are the key to growth, employment and social solidarity.

Economic success? But the EU is declining massively in the global market and the only way it can think of countering it is by protectionism! And the Social Policy takes away the notion of responsibility from the indiviual and makes either the state, or an employer responsible. It erodes values like the instutition of marriage, of discipline. The Euro hasn't exactly made Italy stronger, has it? And countries like Ireland achieved economic success by ignoring the screams from the EU that tax competition was a bad thing. The EU is a bad answer to them. No doubt about it.
Together, we shall fight terrorism and organised crime. In the struggle against the opponents of freedom and citizens' rights, we shall thereby defend these things. Racism and xenophobia must never be given an opportunity again.

So you will counter racism and xenophobia by removing freedom of speech. It's not going to work. And anyway, xenophobia is an irrational fear. Hw can that be a crime? I'm claustrophobic. Am I soon to be locked up for discrimination against lifts? And fighting terrorism? Surely embarkation controls are a good way to start when it comes to combatting terrorism, along with the ability to actually say what is causing these attacks, rather than some book given to countries which tells them what they can and can't say?
We are determined that the world's conflicts shall be peacefully resolved and that people will not bet he victims of war, terrorism or violence. The European Union wishes to promote freedom and development. We wish to drive back poverty, hunger and disease. In this way we wish to take an even more leading role.

Oh dear god. First of all, if you want to combat poverty, then finish the EU and let's all have free trade. It's not a hard policy to comprehend. I am also thinking 'Balkans' and 'Darfur' when I read about the EU trying to stop conflicts. It's having enough trouble trying to get this shitty document signed, how is it going to deal with something as complicated as conflicts caused by faith?
In the politics of energy, and in protecting the climate, we wish to go forward together and do our duty, in order to avoid the global threat of climate-change.

Nuclear power is a good way of securing a reliable energy source. And Climate Change is driven by politicians who want more control and a way of raising more taxes.
The European Union will live on in the future thanks to its openness and the goodwill of its members, at the same time making firm, together, the internal development of the European Union. The European Union will also continue to promote democracy, stability and welfare beyond its borders.

The only way I want the EU to be in the future is an example of how not to do things. Want welfare beyond your borders? Trade with them, then!
As a result of European union, the dream of former generations has become reality. Our history warns us to protect this good fortune for future generations. For this purpose, we must renew the political form of Europe, ever and again, and in timely fashion. Today, therefore, 50 years after the signing of the Treaties of Rome, we have agreed on the objective of placing the European Union on a renewed, common foundation, before the 2009 elections to the European Parliament.

How is poor economic growth, a bad environment for business, no freedom of speech and poor democracy a good future?
For we know that Europe is our common future

It's bloody not. If there's no way of getting out of this hideous institution which will drive Europe into poverty after it's turned it into a quasi soviet then I'm on the next plane out of here. And sod my 'carbon footprint'. The only footprint I'm worried about is the one my fabulous shoes make. Shoes which would be cheaper if we had free trade, of course....

I don't love EU anymore

Dear John,

Your birthday might be a bad time to tell you this, but I don't love EU anymore. Our relationship was meant to be one of mutual benefit and companionship. Over the last few years it has become increasingly apparent that if there are benefits, they are all one-way. I feel taken for granted, and the time has come for me to tell you that I want out of this. You're within your rights to ask why, after a relationship spanning so many years, I have come to make this decision. So I have made you a list:

1) 75% of our laws are now made by the EU. Roman Herzog the former German President recently said that 84% of the laws in Germany are now passed in Brussels.

2) Democratic Deficit: The Commission are unelected and unaccountable. Turnout for the EP elections is less than 50% across the whole EU, despite voting being compulsory in some countries.

3) Common Agricultural Policy: Funding farmers for not producing (formerly wine lakes, butter mountains and now non-existent olive groves, dairy herds and vine yards), the farce of subsidy payments whereby DEFRA was fined £300 million for late payment of subsidies, paid from British taxes that had been sent to the EU and partially returned.

4) Galileo satellite system: Multi billion pound 'grand project' that is driven by delays, costs and technical problems. Will be superseded by competition. The need to pay for this project is the main reason for the hated road pricing scheme.

5) Retirement home and pension funds for politicians rejected by the electorate: Neil Kinnock, anyone?

6) Airbus: Business driven by politics, and a black hole for tax revenue.

Failing business model driven by EU politics not markets and business requirements, resulting in the collapse of the A400M which is supposed to provide heavy military lift.

7) ID Cards: The drive for ID cards the database state is coming from the EU. You can't buy cigarettes in Germany unless you use your computer chip ID

8) CFP: Destruction of European fishing grounds and wrecking the livelihoods of British fishermen.

9) Strasbourg: £250 million a year, for what?

10) Corruption: Edith Cresson employing her dentist as an advisor on developing world aid, Santer Commission resigning in disgrace, covered up accounts scandal within the Committee of the Regions, Eurostat being described by the House of Commons as 'a grand enterprise of looting'…need we go on?

11) OLAF: A anti-fraud body that arrests investigative journalists rather than criminals

12) Groundwater Directive: Desert Orchid could not be buried at Kempton Park

13) Weights and Measures: Unnecessary criminalisation of selling in pounds and ounces

14) Crowns on Pints: Replacement of 300 years of tradition for a wannabe super state symbolism.

15) Accounts: Have not been signed off for 12 years. The one time a professional accountant raised the problems with the accounts she was fired.

16) Cucumber Directive: what's wrong with them being bent?:

17) Ladders: The EU has ordered us on how we should and shouldn't use ladders. Why is our money being spent on legislation which we do not need. Do they think we're idiots?

18) Football: The EU wishes to decide who can play for British clubs, how much they can be paid:

19) Balkans: EU forces watched while 6000 were murdered at Srebrenica

20) Euro: One interest rate for 13 countries with massively different economies does not work. High inflation in some countries, stagnation in others. One size does fit all.

21) Immigration: not having the power to decide who can and who cannot come to live and work in a country is a basic requirement of a nation. The enlargement of the EU to include Eastern European countries has seen the highest level of immigration into Britain ever. The UK is not allowed to deny entry to people from the EU with criminal records, nor are they allowed to deport criminals from the EU once they have finished their sentence.

22) Regionalisation: The aim to rearrange police forces, ambulance crews and fire crews to a regional structure is driven by the regionalisation project of the EU, which has also brought in an extra layer of government in the form of regional assemblies which are unwanted, unelected and unaccountable to the people they are supposed to represent.

23) Habeas Corpus: The replacement of our Common Law and its protection of freedoms by the Napoleonic code which sees people as guilty until proven innocent. It would mean the removal of trial by jury and imprisonment without trial. The classic case of this is the Greek plane spotters.

24) PC lexicon: The European Commission has issued a document to go to all member states informing them of the language they are able to use and words which are forbidden, in the event of a terrorist attack. They have refused to release this guide, but admit it exists.

25) Mandelson: Twice thrown out of the British government, and yet his new position makes him more powerful than Gordon Brown.

26) Europol: The fact that police can have immunity under the law breaches the basic idea of legal equality. They do not swear allegiance to the British Head of State and can therefore ignore the requests of our government.

27) EuroGenFor: A European paramilitary force designed specifically for the putting down of civil dissent

28) Working Time Directive: The EU, not the individual, decides how long they can work for. This has caused financial problems for some people who cannot do enough hours to earn a decent wage. High profile cases of Ambulance crews not being able to answer emergency calls because they have to take a break, meaning lives are lost. Yet, parliamentary assistants aren't covered by this.

29) Red Duster: Attempt by the EU to replace the red ensign with the EU flag, meaning that vessels are covered by EU law rather than British law.

30) Aid Policy: The UK pays about 15% of the EU aid budget, which, as Clare Short pointed out, is often used for political ends rather than to help those who genuinely need it.

31) Flight Taxes: The EU talks about the importance of free movement of people but is attempting to scupper its own plans by imposing extra taxation on flights. Against the wishes of their own President.

32) Education: The EU is trying to create a common history syllabus, airbrushing out most of our history. The World Wars become European civil wars and the EU will be the bringer of peace.

33) EU Constitution: Despite the French and Dutch rejecting the EU Constitution, the EU leaders are determined that it is ratified. This weekend's 50th anniversary Berlin Declaration is all part of this process.

34) Anti Americanism: The EU's main foreign policy objective is driven by contempt for Europe's greatest ally. The deliberate repudiation of the Marshall plan, and 50 years of defensive shield, like a teenager who resents their free rent

35) Climate Change: An unproven theory which has been taken up with some vigour by the EU who see an opportunity to increase their power. They are using the concern people have about global warming to increase their influence and how people view the institution and are opposing a fair and open debate on whether climate change is as devastating as certain organisations make out. In short, they have made denying it the new witchcraft.

36) EU 'open skies' deal: Despite the British Transport Secretary voting against the decision, the EU has decided that foreign airlines can bid for British take off and landing slots from Heathrow to JFK. This shows that we have so little power that we cannot even decide about our own airport slots.

37) Beef Ban: Despite being found guilty of every rule under the sun, France continued to ban the imports of British beef for ten years. The EU did nothing to make them abide by the law. It took the promise of a separate Parliament to make them lift the ban. (see ' Strasbourg')

38) Rapid Reaction Force: The creation of European Military capacity as a direct challenge to the NATO alliance. Understaffed, undermanned, under equipped and unnecessary.

39) Ruddy Ducks: The EU eradication plan for much loved bird in England to protect a Spanish duck.

40) Employment Law: Where to start? The new age discrimination laws are yet another reason against a small business employing someone, as these laws make them a liability. Gender discrimination laws and positive discrimination openly discriminates against women, and questions whether women in jobs are there on merit, or because of a quota.

41) Iran: The EU's Trialogue has allowed the Iranian authorities to continue with their nuclear weapon programme, providing a massive threat to the stability and security of the Middle East and beyond.

42) Hamas: A terrorist organisation now part funded by the British taxpayer via EU aid.

43) Propaganda: The endless drive to ensure that everyone learns to stop worrying and love the European Union. Essentially using our money to tell us what to think. The latest idea includes a film prize in which entrants must be subtitled in all official European Languages: Text only film.

44) Diplomatic Corps: The slow replacement of National diplomatic representation around the world and the creation of the EU Diplomatic corps, (External Action Service) despite their being no legal basis for such a thing.

45) Energy Policy/Russia: The EU is relying more and more on Russia for its energy sources despite Russia recent use of energy in its brinkmanship with the Ukraine and Georgia putting the EU's energy supply in great danger.

46) Lobbying: 50,000 lobbyists from big business, the NGOP sector live and work in Brussels, doing deals behind the scenes and affecting the rule making without any recourse to public debate

47) Transparency: The Council of Ministers still meet in private. 3,600 working groups meet in the European Commission, nobody is allowed to know who sits on these Committees.

48) Regulation: Estimates on the cost to British business of regulation are approximately £40 billion since 1998:

49) Misuse of Metaphors: Trains, tracks, on, off, back, forth, up, down.

50) EPP: The Conservative Party's friends in Europe are lead by a French farmer who is under investigation in a massive corruption scandal.

51) France: Plus ca change, plus le meme chose

I hope this answers your questions. You can see how it makes no sense for me to continue with this relationship but, dear John…can we still be friends?

With kindest regards

The people of Britain

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Budget

My short analysis of the budget.

The poor are worse off.

Incentives for workers on benefits to get out and get a job are diminished further

I will have to go abroad more often to buy cigarettes

Regardless of pennies here and there off the various rates of taxation, the tax system is still too complicated.

Gordon Brown has been pushed into a corner when it comes to international competitiveness and has made some cosmetic alterations. But it's really nothing more than that. If we want more FDI then we need to slash corporation taxes. And we need to simplify the tax system, which is why UKIP advocates a Flat Tax Policy.

And why do spirits never have duty increased on them? Is it because our dour Scots gobblemuncher is partial to a wee dram?

oh, and another thing. Am just listening to a broadcast by the gobblemuncher and he reminded me of another thing I am irritated by.

I don't approve of child benefits. I certainly don't agree that they should be increased.

Having children is not a right, and if you do decide to have them it's up to you and your partner should make sure you can afford them. Why should I have to pay more for your child when as a single, childless woman my taxes already go to paying its education. And because I am single, getting on the property ladder is a nightmare, so quite frankly I need every penny I can get.

The Independent

The Independent has decided to put a list of crap on the front page. 'What's new?' I hear you cry?

Good point. But this front cover irritated me more than most.

50 reasons to love the European Union
As the EU celebrates its anniversary, The Independent looks at 50 benefits it has brought, and asks: "What has Europe done for us?"
Published: 21 March 2007

1 The end of war between European nations

Hey hey! Start off with a cracker, why don't you! I think you'll find that it's NATO and trade which has kept the peace, along with most countries in Europe being tired of war and not having a reason to go to war. Which reminds me. At that lecture the other night, some silly woman called Sylvie Gouland said that if it wasn't for the EU then France and Germany would have gone to war. I happen to have a little more faith in these countries that she does, clearly.

2 Democracy is now flourishing in 27 countries
But not in the EU, where the guardian of the treaties, the European Commission, are unelected and unaccountable. I would also point you towards Eliab and his comment on this.

3 Once-poor countries, such as Ireland, Greece and Portugal, are prospering

Well, actually Greece and Portugal aren't doing so well, but I might suggest that one of the reasons that the Irish economy boomed was the fact that they slashed corporation tax meaning that they had massive inward investment.

4 The creation of the world's largest internal trading market

With an external tariff and an organisation which stops global free trade which would increase global parity.

5 Unparalleled rights for European consumers

Why can't national parliaments do this? Or, why can't the market do this? Surely consumers can make the choice about where they buy from?

6 Co-operation on continent-wide immigration policy

Where? Do you mean the removal of embarkation controls which means we have no idea who is in this country? Or do you mean the plans for a Common Immigration Policy? As Milton Friedman pointed out, you can't have free movement of peoples with a Welfare State. Duh.

7 Co-operation on crime, through Europol

I'd rather not have Europol, thanks all the same. Something to do with police on our streets not being answerable to our state and the members and their families being immune from arrest. Nice.

8 Laws that make it easier for British people to buy property in Europe

Hasn't helped people in Valencia much, has it.

9 Cleaner beaches and rivers throughout Europe

As Eliab points out:

The blue flag scheme has been by and large a success. But it was a French national initiative that launched in 1985, years later it became something picked up by the EU and is now superseded by the UN Blue Flag Scheme. So an EU thing, nope sorry it doesn't stand up. You will be telling us that drinking wine is an EU success story, because it came from a European country, or television, or railways.

10 Four weeks statutory paid holiday a year for workers in Europe

I'm not that happy about the EU having control over employment law. Because when they do we end up with damaging laws such as the working time directive and these pointless discrimination laws which are harmful to the people they try to help, and which only benefit ambulance chasing lawyers.

11 No death penalty (it is incompatible with EU membership)

Surely that should be up to individual countries to decide?

12 Competition from privatised companies means cheaper phone calls

*smash* sorry, just fell over. Is the Independent saying that privatisation is a good thing? On the subject of roaming charges, the conferences I attended made it clear that if charges were limited by the EU, services would be reduced. Clever, clever...

13 Small EU bureaucracy (24,000 employees, fewer than the BBC)

I keep on hearing stupid phrases like this. Look. There are people in the British civil service who are carrying out the work of the EU through regulation. There are people who share an office with me who are paid by British tax payers to promote the EU in this country. There are Health and Safety officers, compliance officers, discrimination awareness sandal wearing officers....these are all because of the EU.
And that's on top of the 54,000 workers that are actually employed by the EU.
14 Making the French eat British beef again

If they don't want to, why should they? If we have control over our own trade policy, this kind of thing just wouldn't be an issue. And I raise the question: Why should we have the Strasbourg parliament, costing an additional £200m a year, because we wanted the French to lift their ban on British beef.

15 Minority languages, such as Irish, Welsh and Catalan recognised and protected

I recall being in the EP a few months ago and hearing the President of the Parliament cut the mike and order the interpreters to stop working after someone started speaking in Catalan. As for Irish and Welsh - why don't those countries protect them?

16 Europe is helping to save the planet with regulatory cuts in CO2

What fucking bollocks. No, I can't even bother with this one. Twats.

17 One currency from Bantry to Berlin (but not Britain)

No, and that's why we're doing better than the EU12. (or is it 13 now?) Ask Italy how much they like having the Euro. Or France, or Germany, or anyone who is feeling the pain of a single rate of interest for completely different economies. Keeping your own currency is a real no-brainer.

18 Europe-wide travel bans on tyrants such as Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe

And I've just heard Cameron pleading to Blair to ask the EU if they can continue with sanctions on Zimbabwe. Why should the EU control our borders and international diplomacy?

19 The EU gives twice as much aid to developing countries as the United States

Including to Hamas. Nice one. I don't agree with international aid. I believe in international trade. Why should my taxes go to prop up corrupt and murdering dictators and not to helping farmers trade their way out of poverty, and me getting cheaper things as well?

20 Strict safety standards for cars, buses and aircraft

hmm..okay. But would it have happened anyway? Do we need them?

21 Free medical help for tourists
Which I don't actually agree with. The NHS is in enough trouble as it is. When I ended up in a Belgian hospital (some nasty chap spiked my drink) I paid for it, and then claimed it back off my medical insurance. Why should the Belgian tax payer have to pay for me?

22 EU peace-keepers operate in trouble spots throughout the world

Most of which come from the British army. Where are the Germans in the Helmland?

23 Europe's single market has brought cheap flights to the masses, and new prosperity for forgotten cities

No, that was Freddie Laker. And don't the EU want to stop everyone traveling by air? And what about Ryanair?

24 Introduction of pet passports

As Eliab once again points out, this was initially a policy of the monster raving loony party, which was followed up by the British government.

25 It now takes only 2 hrs 35 mins from London to Paris by Eurostar

Or less, actually. But what does that have to do with anything?

26 Prospect of EU membership has forced modernisation on Turkey

Doesn't it rather say something that we have to bribe them to change? And I don't want Turkey to join the EU, and I'm quite happy for Turkey to remain independent and a secular state. It is globalisation which will change backward countries, not undemocratic organisations such as the EU.

27 Shopping without frontiers gives consumers more power to shape markets


28 Cheap travel and study programmes means greater mobility for Europe's youth

And British tax payers now have to pay for students from the EU to go to our universities.

29 Food labelling is much clearer

The British Food Standards Agency did that, and then the EU came up with another set of rules which are more complicated. And the FSA don't want. And also, can I mention Bowlands Dairies?

30 No tiresome border checks (apart from in the UK)

Tiresome? To have some idea about who is in the country? Hello? And soon I am sure we'll hear something about people trafficking, or smuggling, or illegal immigrants...

31 Compensation for passengers suffering air delays

Isn't that something of a consumer choice? But okay, I will give you that one.

32 Strict ban on animal testing for the cosmetic industry

Didn't we do it first ourselves? And I notice the author excludes REACH which will mean yet more unnecessary animal testing.

33 Greater protection for Europe's wildlife

Back to Eliab again: CITIES was an international convention.

34 Regional development fund has aided the deprived parts of Britain

It's OUR money in the first place! Just less of it, and the EU tell us how to spend it. And we have an extra layer of bureaucracy we have to pay for.

35 European driving licences recognised across the EU

Yes. Weren't they before?

36 Britons now feel a lot less insular


37 Europe's bananas remain bent, despite sceptics' fears

er....what? If you've run out of things to say, just stop! (and the regulation still exists)

38 Strong economic growth - greater than the United States last year

But it's not good enough. It could be so much better if we were free from the regulations of the EU which costs about EUR 600 billion a year.

39 Single market has brought the best continental footballers to Britain

And the EU are trying to stop that:
And the Ivo Belet report will stop us bringing in the best non Continental players (including Norwegians and Icelandics. Also it is the money in the British (particularly English) game that has brought them in, not the EU.

40 Human rights legislation has protected the rights of the individual

I dispute that. It is the HRA which has had such a detrimental effect on sentences and seen all sorts of claims from criminals about their human rights, completely ignoring the human rights of the victims. Prisoners getting compensation and drugs?

41 European Parliament provides democratic checks on all EU laws
Have you been to the EP before?

42 EU gives more, not less, sovereignty to nation states

Hold on. The British government now only has 8% of the vote over about 75% of the laws which affect our country. Is the author a retard?

43 Maturing EU is a proper counterweight to the power of US and China

No, the EU is a declining influence which is stopping Britain from taking a proper and full part in the global market, which will damage our economy massively.

44 European immigration has boosted the British economy

Can I have some proof for that?

45 Europeans are increasingly multilingual - except Britons, who are less so

That's because the English language is so successful.

46 Europe has set Britain an example how properly to fund a national health service

Private medical insurance? I agree. Is the Independent advocating this?

47 British restaurants now much more cosmopolitan

True. I love a curry. Oh, hold on. India isn't in the EU...

48 Total mobility for career professionals in Europe

Which they had before

49 Europe has revolutionised British attitudes to food and cooking

And that's because of a supranational government is it? Prick.

50 Lists like this drive the Eurosceptics mad

All lists which are full of inaccuracies and lies drive me mad.

Budget day!

So I did the Sun's vice-o-meter

and I pay £1377.33 in tax for my 'vices'.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Miss Europe beauty pageant

Tonight I went to a debate organised by Intelligence Squared at the British Museum with the title: 'Thank God for Brussels'.

The debate by the people speaking for the motion was the typical naval gazing, 'EU has kept the peace in Europe', 'We need the EU for prosperity' backward looking rhetoric. It was just like a beauty pageant for 'Miss Europe'.

The argument against was slightly more factual, with speakers actually using facts and figures to back up their argument. The one exception was Ruth Lea, who is something of an idol for me, who used her allotted time to talk about the future. Fancy that, eh? Someone who wants Britain to withdraw from the EU not because she's a 'little Englander' but because she wants Britain to be a proper player in the global market.

Anyway, Trixy managed to get the first question in, and she asked:

'We are the third largest trading nation, yet we do not have a seat at the WTO and , despite imports making countries rich, the EU still imposes trade barriers. How is this either beneficial to our economy or giving us power?'

(Pro speakers had been talking about the EU giving us power and being beneficial).

The person who first answered this was former EU Commissioner Peter Sutherland, who is now a big knob at BP and Goldmann Sachs. He was around at the beginning of GATT, which became the WTO, and therefore spent a lot of time shouting at me from the stage saying that if the EU hadn't existed, then there wouldn't be a forum for international trade talks. He failed spectacularly to answer the second point of my question which was how can EU trade policy, which is protectionist, be beneficial to this country or, indeed, any other?

Thankfully, Ruth Lea managed to raise these points and as she pointed out, the EU was instrumental in ensuring that the Doha round was not successful over farming subsidies. (which they cannot, simply cannot remove because the EU is dominated by countries who don't want to adapt to globalisation and compete on a global market.)She also pointed out that the shoe-wars and bra-wars, which I have written about before in exasperated tones, were true indications of why we should leave the EU.

Chris Huhne MP said that the EU was going well about the CAP because in the 1970s the CAP was 78% of the total EU budget and now it is only 44%. He failed to mention these figures in real terms, which for someone who was a city economist I thought was rather poor. Considering that the EU budget has risen, it may well be the case that total spending on the CAP has not fallen significantly.

An MEP asked John Redwood MP how the Conservative Party were going to carry on with their green policies and still maintain a line that the UK needs to regain powers back from Brussels. Mr Redwood said that his constituents were more concerned with local issues, like green belt and planning permission, which doesn't really coincide with what Dave is talking about.

I would argue that Cameron can go full speed ahead with his green agenda, because hell will freeze over (wait until that next global cooling spell) before he regains any competences back from the EU, and with his 'we must all work together on climate change' line, he will be giving yet more powers to the Commission and the ECJ.

Which brings me on to my final point, which wasn't discussed during the debate but I spoke about with Ruth Lea afterwards.

People who talk about stopping the human effects on global warming through, for example, cutting CO2 emissions are rather like people who are pro EU. They are arguing for continued poverty in the developing world.

Just as the EU is a protectionist trade bloc which has policies which actively keep farmers in the third world at subsistence level, which have international aid policies which prop up corrupt and vicious dictators and which rapes the natural resources of these countries instead of allowing them to develop their markets and compete.

How dare we in the developed world tell the developing world that they should cut their carbon emissions, when the secondary sector is required in development for people to be lifted out of poverty? We are actively telling countries such as India and China that they need to look for sources of 'clean energy' but miss out of that nuclear, by far the best way to have a secure energy policy and reduce CO2, but we don't want them to do that because we don't want them to develop nuclear weapons.

We are telling them not to have geographical mobility of labour and to inhibit their communications by not wanting them to travel around the country or use technology which requires energy to function.

How hypocritical is it, of these politicians to in one breath talk about wanting to combat poverty and in the same breath say they want these countries not to develop.

Not that I am accusing them of stupid policies and rhetoric and political opportunism.


The sexy Mr Dizzy has nominated me for a Thogger.

Well, ta very much, dearie, but now I've got to nominate 5 people who I think are 'thinking bloggers'.

DK told me that I should nominate 5 people who cause me to question my own beliefs or some rubbish like that. I'm in politics, I don't do that.

Anyway, the 5 I have chosen are:
Timmy despite his habit of looking south
The Nameless One
Chippy (no one told me what I had to think of)
Sword in the Lake
Bruno Waterfield Who may not have written very much on his blog, but does when I communicate with him generally, and he has a blog. So there.

Oh, bugger. Am supposed to stick some logo thing somewhere in this post.

Can we all just pretend it's present and perfecly visible? Am off to listen to John Redwood talk bollocks perfectly and utterly non hypocritically about the EU.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I hate social engineering

I thought that I would be immune to the dire, damaging and downright dangerous policies of this government, but when I heard about the latest plans for higher education I was once again very angry.

Top universities are in revolt at controversial plans to force students to reveal how well-educated their parents are and what jobs they do.

For the first time sixth-formers will be asked detailed questions about their parents amid fears middle-class pupils may lose out to youngsters from more deprived backgrounds despite having better qualifications.

Can someone please tell me where is the incentive for 'middle class' children to study hard at school if, desite, whatever what grades they get, some kid whose parents don't earn as much, or didn't go to university, can leapfrog them in the race for a place at a good university?

Children cannot help who their parents are. So why are they being disadvantaged by this corrupt, venal government because their parents went to university, worked hard and perhaps, just perhaps, sacrificed new cars and foreign holidays to put their children through private school because successive UK governments have completely bankrupted our education system?
The move was condemned as "social engineering" and now eight leading universities - including Oxford and Cambridge - have said they will boycott the scheme.

Admissions tutors insisted they would admit pupils on academic merit, whether or not they were the children of graduates.

Well done those universities. But doesn't it rather say something, that these universities famed the world over for their academic excellence are rejecting this direct social engineering from the government because they don't want to be outlets of the DfES. They want to remain at the top of their game by taking in the brightest and best, and so they should.

It makes me sick that the government could do something so obviously geared to get the left back supporting them regardless of how much damage it actually causes. Sorry for Trident, but hey! You're child isn't that bright, but we'll fuck up the system so they can go to university and that should keep you happy.

Their ethnic group will also be passed on to admissions departments for the first time.

WHY? If people are selected to go to university on the basis of the colour of their skin, then that strikes me as being racist. And therefore, surely, illegal under the EU discrimination employment laws? Although I guess as long as they're not white, then that's okay.

I hate these people. Who the fuck do they think they are?

For note:

Bruno Waterfield, Telegraph Correspondent in Brussels, has started up a blog.
Read it here.

I think it will be one of the most important blogs reporting on EU affairs. This guy is sharp, and he can write.

His first post is so illuminating and I look forward to more posts like it.

It's a shame, I suppose, that the Telegraph decide to edit so many of the stories from Brussels, or just leave them out, because they are rather inconvenient for the Tories.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No bloody smoking day

Why? leave me alone! I'm not walking around making you smoke, am I? No.

It'll be no having any bloody fun day next.

There are so many more important 'no' days we could have. No wearing bloody awful shoes day. No being a bloody boring old fart day.

Where are they on my calendar?

Socialist Workers: never at work?

I had some difficulty walking across Parliament Square today because there were a lot of Socialist Worker protesters holding up signs saying that Bush was the world's No. 1 terrorist. Well, I personally don't think that's true at all, and I was someone who wrote their dissertation on why the conflict in Iraq was illegal and unjust.

But what struck me is how these people are also environmentalists (who,according to their high quality paper are in favour of solar panels and eco friendly council houses) and yet they have spent an entire day blocking up a major traffic route in London causing congestion and therefore more carbon emissions.

How did they also manage to get so many of them there, instead of being at work? They hadn't just come from some office as they were all in track suits and other delightful items of clothing not conducive to a professional career. They seem to manage to get large numbers of people to all their events. Do they, despite being called socialist workers, actually work?

Strictly Come Hopping?

An online gambling site is taking bets on whether Heather Mills' artificial leg will fall off during her upcoming appearance on "Dancing with the Stars."

Read the rest ...tis rather amusing

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Polly and the Bow Group

Went to hear Polly last night at the Bow Group meeting in the House of Lords with DK, Jackart and The Nameless One.

She's a silly old bat who thinks that money is a finite resource. Wouldn't know a decent economic policy if it pooed on her head.

Spent most of the evening giggling with TNO and predicting her next statements. Which we managed to do rather well, mostly by predicting 'Sweden' and 'Sure Start'.

Sent a text to the former chairman of the Bow Group informing him of where I was, and this morning he replied in an e-mail:

Bloody disgrace

To which I replied there were Tories there who I suspect could be wetter than her, particularly if it meant they could be an MP and thus not have to get a real job.

The EOC: Do they hate women?

An article in the Telegraph this morning had a usually sedate Trixy jumping around the office in outrage....

Nothing for it, but to vent anger and frustration here...

Thousands of working mothers who fall behind in the queue for promotion because they have taken maternity leave will be able to sue their employer for sex discrimination, a High Court ruled yesterday.

Why? They have taken time off work. Why should they be able to gain a promotion with less working hours and less experience than someone who hasn't taken a career break to have children?
It said that the time a woman takes on maternity leave - which can be up to a year from next month - must count as continuous service and be included where it affects her promotion. She is also entitled to be fully consulted about any changes to her job while she is looking after her baby.

But they haven't been continually working! They haven't provided continuous service unlike, say, a woman who has not taken a break to have a child, and carried on going to work, gaining experience and knowledge and increasing their human capital. How is that fair? Far from stopping discrimination, this ruling allows them to openly discriminate against people who play by the rules.

In addition, the court ruled that a woman harassed by a customer can take legal action against her employer for failing to protect her.

Well, that's going to make people really keen to employ women, eh? In one move, this judge has made women employees a liability.

Yesterday's ruling follows a case brought by the Equal Opportunities Commission that argued that ministers had failed to apply the European Equal Treatment Directive properly. The directive is the piece of legislation that implements sex discrimination law in Britain. Mr Justice Burton agreed that women in Britain did not enjoy proper protection.

Another supid directive from the EU which will hurt those it claims it wants to help? Who would have thought it?

He has told Alistair Darling, the Trade Secretary, that he has until March 16 to inform the EOC and the court how the Government plans to remedy the situation.

What can they actually do? EU law is above UK law. Basically, our impotent government have to do what they are told. Great.

Jenny Watson, stupid bitch the chairman of the EOC, said the court decision was a triumph for vulnerable women.
"It should also come as good news for employers, who now have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities and won't find themselves tied up in expensive and time-consuming cases seeking clarification of regulations that are incompatible with European legislation," she added.

Jenny Watson clearly couldn't run a bath. Yes, sweetie, these employers know exactly where they stand. They know if they employ someone who is a bit pathetic and takes a "hello dearie" as some kind of sexual innuendo, they can end up getting taken to court. As for saving them time and money, don't make me laugh. I am sure the only people who like the EU are compliance officers, because companies need more and more of those to deal with these stupid pieces of legislation.

Pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment affect thousands of women each year. A recent EOC investigation found that almost half of pregnant working women experience some disadvantage in the workplace as a result of pregnancy or maternity leave.

I suspect the companies also find disadvantage in a woman going off to have a child. After all, they have to pay the woman for not being at work, full time for three months and half pay for the next three months, and at the same time they have to employ someone else to do her job, who will need training up, meaning that there is more pressure on the other members of staff. And the woman on leave does not even have to tell the company whether or not she is coming back to work, but they have to keep their job open for her. Yes, I would say that was rather inconvenient.

Having children is a priviledge, not a right. And it's also a lifestyle choice. If you want children and a career, then there are sacrafices which need to be made. And one of those is that if you take 2 years off work, why the bloody hell should you expect to be in a position when you return as if you hadn't?

Sexual harassment cases comprise almost a quarter of all successful sex discrimination employment tribunal claims and sexual harassment remains one of the top five reasons for calls to the EOC's helpline. The High Court said the current definition of harassment was too narrow and failed to ensure that women at work were not subjected to any "unwanted conduct related to their sex which violates their dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment".

I'm sure there are plenty of cases of geniune sexual harrassment, but there shouldn't be any need for regulation on this. A sensible boss or HR department should be able to sort this out. These rules will just make 'no-win, no-fee' lawyers much richer, waste time and be an incentive for people who want everything handed to them on a plate, like a nice big cheque for not having to work.

Harassment by clients is a particular problem in the hotel and restaurant sector, which employs 670,000 women.

I was a barmaid for many years when I was a student, and a waitress before that. The locals down the pub used to consider it sport when some drunk tit made a comment at my friend or myself, as they knew we would eat them alive and tease them mercilessly. If you can't cope with banter, then don't be a barmaid. But then if you can't cope with banter, there's not much hope for you, really.

It also raises an important point about the EOC and how ill thought out their attacks are. 670,000 women is a lot of people. According to the ONS, in 2006 21.4% of women worked in the hotel and restaurant industry. It's an industry which attracts women workers, as there are more options for part time and shift work which means that women can have a family and still work. What this ruling will do is make women less attractive to employers since they will have to be continually worrying if the woman is the kind of woman who will be offended by some harmless remark and go running to some ambulance chaser of a lawyer.
Mr Justice Burton agreed that a woman should be protected against harassment if her boss knew of such conduct but failed to take any steps to prevent it. Women's rights during maternity leave were also unclear, he said.

I'm sure there are very few bosses who wouldn't take action. When I've been in a difficult situation (one of the regulars decided he loved me, it all got a bit awkward) I told the boss who had a quiet word, and it all sorted itself out.

Susan Anderson, the CBI director of human resources policy, said: "We will have to look at the details of this judgment carefully and fully consider its implications. "There should be zero tolerance of bullying and harassment within the workplace, but when it comes from customers or members of the public it can be difficult for employers to manage."

Bit of an understatement there, but I don't envy that Ms Anderson one bit...
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government, which has responsibility for policy on equality issues, said the Government remained committed to ending discrimination against women.
Unfortunately, the EOC and the EU aren't. They are very keen to make it as difficult as possible for women to get jobs, it seems.

"This is a case about the technical interpretation of regulations and the requirements of EU law and we will be studying the ruling carefully before deciding on the appropriate way forward. "We have delivered the largest ever package of practical support for women in the workplace, including a doubling in paid maternity leave and maternity pay since 1997."

And still it wasn't enough! I think these well-meaning but utterly useless women and men who think that women are so pathetic they can't get and hold down a job without some stupid law to help them really should just fuck off. No, really. Who the hell do you think you are, trying to make it more difficult for women like me to get a job? And when we do have a job, you think we need some regulation to make sure we don't fall down in a pool of tears everytime we get our period and someone asks us to put some more paper in the printer. And then you make us REALLY ANGRY when our female colleagues who go on maternity leave are still considered to be working for the company and so they get time off work whilst you've been working hard in your job, gaining experience, learning new skills, knowing what the latest trends and ideas are in the field you're working in, but that's not enough for you to get a promotion. Oh no! You can't overlook the woman WHO HASN'T BEEN IN WORK THROUGH HER OWN CHOICE!

Just who are these people, and where the hell did they put their brains, cos they sure as hell aren't in their heads....

I have just heard...

...That at a freedom association meeting tonight, Lord Tebbit decided to back the Better Off Out campaign...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wrote to my MP

to ask how he was planning on ensuring his constituents aren't completely done over by Dave Chameleon and his dangerous green policies:

Dear Mr Wilshire,

I read in one of your leaflets during the T5 debate which,
incidentally, I thought you handled very well, that 25% of the
population of Spelthorne are employed at Heathrow airport. Given the
new agenda of the Conservative party, which appears to be focusing on
the unproven and scientifically flawed notion that humans are
responsible for climate change, how are you planning to ensure that the
new idea of regressive taxation on flights and the airline industry
will not affect the livelihoods of people who need a strong airline
industry for their livelihoods?

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,


Will wait and see what the reply brings!

Gordon and the Donkey

A young man named Gordon bought a donkey from an old farmer for £100.00.

The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day, but when the farmer drove up he said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news... the donkey is on my truck, but unfortunately he's dead."

Gordon replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "I can't do that, because I've spent it already."

Gordon said, "OK then, well just unload the donkey anyway."

The farmer asked, "What are you going to do with him?"

Gordon answered, "I'm going to raffle him off."

To which the farmer exclaimed, "Surely you can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

But Gordon, with a wicked smile on his face said, "Of course I can, you watch me. I just won't bother to tell anybody that he's dead."

A month later the farmer met up with Gordon and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

Gordon said, "I raffled him off, sold 500 tickets at two pounds a piece, and made a huge, fat profit!!"

Totally amazed, the farmer asked, "Didn't anyone complain that you had stolen their money because you lied about the donkey being dead?"

To which Gordon replied, "The only guy who found out about the donkey being dead was the raffle winner when he came to claim his prize. So I gave him his £2 raffle ticket money back plus an extra £200, which as you know is double the going rate for a donkey, so he thought I was a great guy!!"

Gordon grew up and eventually became the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and no matter how many times he lied, or how much money he stole from the British voters, as long as he gave them back some of the stolen money, most of them, unfortunately, still thought he was a great guy ***

The moral of this story is that, if you think Gordon is about to play fair and do something for the everyday people of the country for once in his miserable, lying life, think again my friend, because you'll be better off flogging a dead donkey!

Blogger prizes

Lots of bloggers these days seem to have awards for other bloggers saying things which are quite amusing.

So I was thinking. Maybe I should set up a Trixy award for outstanding contribution to lovely shoes? Or the Marcos award for sheer numbers of shoes?

There is a flaw in the plan, however. I think I would just win all the time.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Biased media?

An e-mail from my father reminded me of a story I had been told a few weeks ago (but had to keep quiet about). The Speakout campaign is a non party aligned organisation who want people to know the truth about the EU.

One of their methods of highlighting the truth is through advertising in national newspapers. Now it is on their website I feel at liberty to be able to say which paper surprised me the most in their banning of an advert which did not seek to sell anything, or to mislead, but just to inform people.

The Daily Mail refused to take an advert from Speak Out. Why?

Well, I guess it's because it's rather awkward for organisations and companies who are still supporting the Conservative Party, and who feature stories about how uncontrolled immgiration is not good for our country, to then have an advert in their paper highlighting that these two features are entirely at odds with each other...

*by the way, the link from the Daily Mail was one of 2288 I could have linked to, just by typing in 'immigration'. So they write about it a fair amount, then...

Smoking ban could be delayed...

The libertarian group Freedom2Choose is preparing to launch an application for a judicial review into the smoking ban due to ruin the fun of millions on July 1st.

Well done them.

Why bother?

Am getting so sick of politics. Am getting really sick of political journalism.
I did rather hope that the European Council summit on Thursday and Friday of last week would maybe lift my spirits a little (not in the sense that I thought they would say anything sensible, like let's disband the whole thing, but that it might give me something to get angry about and start caring again) but listening to the utter tripe they were spouting, I just felt exhausted.

I turned up to listen to press conference at which that prize turd, Hans-Gert Poettering, was speaking at. He was telling us how the EU was going to save the world through a combination of healthy eating cookery lessons for newly conceived foetuses and 'binding targets' for CO2 emission reductions.


They don't get it, do they? The same night they were all blathering on over dinner (I hope it was raw - don't want to burn fossil fuels cooking food!) there was a programme on Channel 4 (watch it in full here) about how maybe all this climate change stuff isn't as cataclysmic as our dear politicians make out. Yet along with racism, denial of climate change and it's 'devastating effects' is the new witchcraft.

Not that I would ever accuse someone of political opportunism, but it does all seem rather convenient that the EU had a terrible year in 2005 and 2006 wasn't much better. Then, along comes Climate Change, which everyone agrees cannot be handled by countries individually, because the environment doesn't stop at borders, and voila! A new reason for the EU.

Now they have an excuse to talk about how essential the EU is, how we need to give it more power and we all need to cooperate otherwise we are all going to die. Horribly. Stuff the science behind it and let's all have meetings about how the EU needs to have criminal competence over environmental legislation. Lordy, if you've managed to get the leader of the so called Eurosceptic Conservative party going along with it, then it must be a winning idea.

Which is why I had to sit through not just the bullshit by Poettering, but also the press conference afterwards with Angela Merkel and her band of merry men. They're going to make sure that 20% of the energy supply in the EU is renewable, doncher know. They're going to cut CO2 emissions by 20%. Oh yes.

No actual mention of how they're going to do this, though. I mean, it's all very well saying something, but if it's unrealistic and ill thought out and essentially just an arbitrary figure to grab headlines then what is the point?

Sometimes saying things are or can be does actually make something plausible. For example: if a reputable bank such as the Bank of England says consumer confidence is high and we can look forward to a period of sustained economic growth, then regardless of whether at that particular moment that is the true situation, it doesn't matter. The fact is, that if the BoE says it, then because they are trusted and have a good track record people will believe them. Consquently, there will be more consumer confidence, which will increase national income by increasing the 'C' part of the national income equation.

Y = C + I + G + (X-M)

Companies will have more incentive to invest, there are more jobs, people have more money, and thus you get a lovely spiral upwards in national income. The forecasts of the Bank have been proved right.

So one could put that argument forward for these arbitrary targets from the EU. Except that the only thing the EU has a proved track record in is futhering its own aims. More power, more commissioners, more countries, more competences. What actual benefits have become the normal people of the EU? Food is more expensive, there is less democracy, economic growth is only just managing to be sustained (but mainly through sources external to the EU), people in Africa are dying because of the trade policies, and most importantly, their record in environmental matter is abysmal.

CFP anyone?

So why would anyone believe the EU when they tell us these targets? Well, they won't. And the targets won't be achieved. And they'll keep on moving the goalposts, telling us they need more power, making more rules and regulations until businesses in the EU can no longer compete. And this will go on long after any serious concerns about the end of the world being a week next Thursday are taken seriously.

But the devastating effects of the EU will live on to be seen for as long as we remain a member of this backward looking, socialist, destructive customs union.

So can we leave yet?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Women's Day

Last year, I wrote a rather dour post on this celebration of all things women, about the treatment of women in other parts of the world. So this year, I thought I'd write about something a little more cheerful than lawful beatings and unacceptable rape laws in Islamic countries.

So here is a truly hideous video about female genital mutilation.

My colleague could not watch this video to the end. I did, and I felt sick and angry and close to tears.

Watch it. Please.

UPDATE: naturally, the government has no idea whether their legislation has worked or not.

Chris McCafferty (Calder Valley, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many social service interventions have taken place relating to female genital mutilation since the introduction of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003; and what assessment he has made of the outcome of such interventions.

Parmjit Dhanda (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Education and Skills)
holding answer 1 February 2007
I have been asked to reply.

The Department does not hold this information.

Well, thanks for that.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just as well I am wearing trousers today

Because watching the latest work of genius from The Spine I laughed so much my tampon almost came out.

I've found another idiot...

The noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson of EU-lovin'

So there is also very important evidence about the work of OLAF. I notice that we did not hear too much from some of the UKIP members about OLAF. That might be because OLAF is currently engaged in investigating allegations of fraud by one of UKIP's members in the European Parliament. I am glad to say that, albeit belatedly and somewhat reluctantly, UKIP was forced by the pressure of public opinion to suspend that member from its party, thus reducing its membership by a substantial proportion.

Clearly Lord Tomlinson does not read in depth anything in the papers. Let me correct some of the comments he made in the House of Lords yesterday evening. UKIP was not forced by 'the pressure of public opinion' to suspend an MEP being investigated by OLAF. The public probably aren't too much aware of it, for starters, but the truth of the matter was that as soon as the leadership team of Nigel Farage and Dr John Whittaker were made aware of an OLAF investigation into Tom Wise MEP, they started the procedures to suspend him, which have now been supported by the party's National Executive Committee.

It also hasn't 'reduced its membership by a substantial proportion'. This is, to me, a rather ambiguous statement. If he means the membership of the party, then the UK Independence Party is still gaining more and more members as the day passes. Most people are aware that the attacks on the party in the Sunday papers are non stories or lies wish are being published in a desperate attempt to stop people leaving Cameron's Conservatives in droves for the party which is the true home of libertarian people.

The noble Lords, Lord Pearson and Lord Willoughby de Broke, are the only visible and tangible oasis of peace and calm in the current UKIP panoply, with the turmoil that we see in the European Parliament. I presume that they are taking time off from advising their party on how to deal with allegations of fraud by their MEPs, apparently including the purchase of motor cars. They threaten defections. An even worse nightmare, there is a rumour that Robert Kilroy-Silk might seek to rejoin them one day. I do not know how they would react to that. With the drastic reduction in their numbers in Strasbourg, the two noble Lords will presumably have considerable advice to give their colleagues when they next see them.

This is not exactly worth of someone who is supposed to be a peer of the realm. To enter a debate about fraud in the EU, including the debates on whether Lord Kinnock of Windbag lied in a committee about Marta Andreasen, and end up slagging off a small party for having a member who is a prat shows a certain level of desperation.

As for the actual debate itself, I myself am reading Hansard with my head in my hands. It's astonishing. More to come later....

2007 = 1983

I am going to tell the next people who tell me that voting UKIP splits the eurosceptic vote where they can shove Slick Dave's 'eurosceptic credentials'.

Because today, he is holding court in Brussels at a conference on 'reforming the EU' with a load of people who knit their own knickers. Like the head of Greenpeace.

Why so sceptical, Trix?

Well. Because I have been hearing the same line from the Tories ever since I was born, and yet we're still in the EU, and they now make an estimated* 80% of our laws.

Let's have a look through their past manifestos, shall we?

1983: Opposing Brussels bureacracy

Meanwhile, with the help of Conservatives in the European Parliament, we shall continue to try to shift the Community's spending priorities away from agriculture and towards industrial, regional and other policies which help Britain more.

We shall continue both to oppose petty acts of Brussels bureaucracy and to seek the removal of unnecessary restrictions on the free movement of goods and services between member states, with proper safeguards to guarantee fair competition.

1987: Safeguarding national interests

This Government has taken Britain from the sidelines into the mainstream of Europe. But being good Europeans does not prevent us from standing up for British interests. The agreement we negotiated on the Community Budget has saved Britain £4,500 million since 1984.

We will continue to work for strict controls on the Community Budget.

Shame the Tory MEPs vote through the Budget each year, eh? Now estimated to cost us £12bn a year.

1992: Reform of EU finances
We have played a decisive part in the development of the Community over the past decade. It was a British initiative which launched the Single Market programme and our insistence which reformed the Community's finances. Britain has promoted co-operation on foreign policy and in combating terrorism. Britain has also persuaded our partners to welcome new countries who apply for Community membership.

The Maastricht Treaty was a success both for Britain and for the rest of Europe. British proposals helped to shape the key provisions of the Treaty including those strengthening the enforcement of Community law defence, subsidiarity and law and order. But Britain refused to accept the damaging Social Chapter proposed by other Europeans, and it was excluded from the Maastricht treaty.

not forgetting:
We will work to strengthen the Western European Union as the European pillar of NATO. We will press for a European reaction force.

Which has contributed towards
The total size of its armed forces has shrunk from 305,800 in 1990 to 195,900 today, leaving it No. 28 in the world, behind Eritrea and Burma. This downsizing has reduced the entire British army (107,000 soldiers) to almost half the size of the U.S. Marine Corps (175,000). Storied regiments such as the Black Watch and the Royal Scots, with histories stretching back centuries, have been eliminated.

From the Los Angeles Times, 28th Feb 2007.

: Flexible Europe and 'In Europe, not run by Europe I'
The government has a positive vision for the European Union as a partnership of nations. We want to be in Europe but not run by Europe. We have much to gain from our membership of the European Union - in trade, in co-operation between governments, and in preserving European peace. We benefit from the huge trade opportunities that have opened up since Britain led the way in developing Europe's single market. We want to see the rest of Europe follow the same deregulated, enterprise policies that have transformed our economic prospects in Britain...

We will argue for a flexible Europe which fully accommodates the interests and aspirations of all its member states and where any new proposals have to be open to all and agreed by all. We will not accept other changes to the Treaty that would further centralise decision-making, reduce national sovereignty, or remove our right to permanent opt-outs.

: In Europe, not run by Europe II
The guiding principle of Conservative policy towards the European Union is to be in Europe, but not run by Europe. We will lead a debate in Europe about its future, promoting our own clear and positive vision.

The European Union has, with the prospect of enlargement, reached a fork in the road. Down one route lies a fully integrated superstate with nation states and the national veto disappearing. The Government is taking us down this route.

The alternative is a Europe of nations coming together in different combinations for different purposes and to differing extents. In other words, a network Europe. If Britain leads the debate, we can make this alternative a reality.

We will insist on a Treaty 'flexibility' provision, so that outside the areas of the single market and core elements of an open, free-trading and competitive EU, countries need only participate in new legislative actions at a European level if they see this as in their national interest.

At the same time, we are willing to support the principle of 'reinforced co-operation' in Europe, under which small groups of countries can become more closely integrated if they wish to do so, providing it does not damage Britain's national interest.

The next Conservative Government will keep the pound. We will maintain our national veto on European legislation. Giving up either would put our ability to govern ourselves at risk. We will not ratify the Nice Treaty but will renegotiate it so that Britain does not lose its veto.

We also propose to amend our domestic law to include 'reserved powers'. This will prevent EU law from overriding the will of Parliament in areas which Parliament never intended to transfer to the EU.

This policy will be reinforced with a determination to veto further transfers of power from Westminster to Brussels. Should any future Government wish to surrender any more of Parliament's rights and power to Brussels they should be required to secure approval for such a transfer in a referendum.

We intend to press for the single market to be completed and for competition laws to be stronger so that British businesses which play by the rules are not undercut by other companies that do not.

We will also press for Europe to tackle fraud and maladministration as a matter of priority. If the EU reduced waste and abandoned ill-considered programmes, it could make significant reductions in the overall size of the European budget.

2005: Repatriation of power
Conservatives support the cause of reform in Europe and we will co-operate with all those who wish to see the EU evolve in a more flexible, liberal and decentralised direction. We oppose the EU Constitution and would give the British people the chance to reject its provisions in a referendum within six months of the General Election. We also oppose giving up the valuable freedom which control of our own currency gives us. We will not join the Euro.

In a reformed Europe, the restrictive employment laws of the Social Chapter will have to give way to more flexible working. We will ensure that Britain once again leads the fight for a deregulated Europe by negotiating the restoration of our opt-out from the Social Chapter.

The common policies on agriculture and fisheries are unsustainable, damaging to free trade and conservation, and waste huge sums of money. The CAP needs further and deeper reform. And, because fisheries would be better administered at the national level, we will negotiate to restore national and local control over British fishing grounds. We are determined to ensure national control in this area.

We will also build on the success of enlargement, making Europe more diverse by working to bring in more nations, including Turkey.

It's all looking rather samey to me. Since 1979 there have been talks of reforming this, reforming that...let's make the CAP work, let's get back rights over our territorial waters, let's not integrate anymore, social model isn't working, enlargement is good, single market is good, but we want control of our borders (which doesn't work with the first two..)

So what do we have here. Basically, given these manifesto promises and the state Britain is in within the EU, we have three possibilities of what has happened:

1)British Conservatives say one thing in the UK and vote quite differently in Brussels. On harmonising the tax base for businesses, for example.

2)The EU is unreformable and will continue to forge 'ever closer union' because that was the aim of it in the first place, and they won't let a country which essentially ignores European politics to stand in their way.

3) Both of the above.

I'm opting for the latter.

So, today, we have David Cameron and his band on Knicker Knitters talking about what the Conservatives would do if they were in power.

And basically, it's the same as the last 24 years: claiming to be able to reform the unreformable, more broken promises and Britain getting further and further into the EU quicksand, with the chances of escaping in one piece looking less and less likely.

That's why I'll be voting UKIP. They don't bullshit. If Slick Dave wants to action those policies he's talking about, such as deregulation, removal of articles 136-145 of the Treaty, ending poverty and embracing free trade, then he's going to have to have a policy of withdrawing from the EU. Because until he does, he's just spouting nonsense.

*According to an ongoing German study