Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stick that in your pipe...

Yes, the EU want to ban smoking everywhere.

Am I surprised? Not in the slightest. They can say it has something to do with the environment and thus have competence over it, and at the same time have creeping competence over health and education, which they clearly desperately want.

The Health Commissioner has said that there is indisputable proof that passive smoking causes deaths: about 79 000 a year according to the fat, former chimney.

I have recently given up smoking, which I am rather disappointed about. It wasn't a conscious decision, I just didn't like the taste of smoking anymore. However, I am calling on all smokers and libertarians out there to unite against the fascist EU and combat this ban on smoking which, as my father tells me, was first proposed by Adolf himself.

It's also being promoted by Pfizer, I understand, who just happen to have patented a new drug designed to help people to stop smoking.

My favourite comment on the BBC have your say website can be found Here

Monday, January 29, 2007

Only in Brussels

I have been getting a bit dewy-eyed and rose tinted specs about the land of the paperclip, so I am very grateful for a colleague out there for sending me this little tale of Belgian joy to set my mind at rest...

'Every day in Brussels is special. Some days are more special than others. Saturday was such a day.

I took my children to the pool at Poseidon. As we entered, Odette ran straight to the pool whilst George and I strolled hand in hand towards the toddler's pool. George, at 22 months, has never been to a swimming pool before, but he liked the look of it and became very enthusiastic as soon as he saw all that water and the little slides.

We were approached by a young guy. Now my French is not good, but I realised he was telling me that Bermuda shorts are not allowed in the pool. "Well you shouldn't be wearing them, mate," I replied, "there is a sign outside which clearly states that they are not allowed."

No, it turned out that he was a member of staff, and he was telling me I could not enter the pool because I was wearing shorts.

To set the situation straight, at this point I should explain that I was wearing swimming trunks. He was wearing Bermuda shorts.

We argued a bit, me expecting Jeremey Beadle to appear at any moment. Beadle did not appear, but another member of staff did. He was also wearing Bermuda shorts, and confirmed to me that shorts were strictly banned from the pool. I pointed to a guy on the diving board wearing trunks uncannily similar to mine and asked why he was allowed in the pool and I am not. At this point they both shrugged, lost the ability to understand English, and turned their backs on me laughing.

Irena had been observing this, and after I explained the farce that was unfolding here, she did a quick look around (from her seat in the poolside coffee bar) and counted 6 men wearing similar trunks.

Eventually I gave up arguing with these clowns and left the pool.

The cashier there speaks excellent English, and is usually most helpful. I discussed the matter with her, and she advised me to speak to the Director, who comes in on Mondays (but not too early, I suspect!) She could not understand why I was being discriminated against in this way.

Then the situation took a bit of a turn....

From where we were standing we could see into the pool, and I pointed out numerous guys wearing similar trunks. Then I asked, speculatively, "Perhaps it is because I am a foreigner?" This had an interesting effect, very similar to what we might call 'playing the race card'.

She went into a bit of a panic, called one of the staff members out, and they huddled together in her office. "May I see your trunks?" she asked. I showed her. "Ha!" she exclaimed, "they are the wrong material". There is a sign stating that Bermuda shorts are not allowed, this sign says nothing about trunks made from a mix of cotton and polyester being banned from the pool. I was not aware of other swimmers having the composition of their swimming costumes checked. Irena was totally incredulous, and appeared to have lost the power of speech. She could only look on in amazement and shake her head. At this point God intervened with perfect timing, and a guy came out of the pool to speak to the cashier. He had obviously been to Decathalon too, because his trunks were just like mine. "Look, look..." we implored her, both pointing at the bewildered Belgian's groin. Everything went silent for a moment, then she declared: "Ah, but his are tighter than yours...."

He was as fat as an ox. Surrey would have been tight on this dude.

I shall complain, in writing, to the director, but I have no doubt it will all be my fault. One thing I have learned in my 2 years here is that no Belgian will ever accept responsibility for anything.

This is how a family, just enjoying their day out together, can be treated in a closed down society like Belgium.'

Milliband proves his worth

Whilst walking in St James' Park today, a seagull flew straight towards me and banged into my head. This is clearly nature's way of telling me that, because I think that Britain should be out of the European Union, I am an environment-hating, 4x4 driving, poverty-in-third-world-loving, moonpig. Why do I think this? Well, As Milliband says in the Independent today:

The European Union is leading the way on this - one reason you cannot protect the environment if you are a Eurosceptic.


The European Union is leading the way on yet more excuses for civil continency bills which remove the need for Parliamentary debate (not that you'd get much of one in Westminster) and another convenient way to raise taxes.

Just, erm, what, er, argh, eeek.

I mean, what is the man on?

The catastrophic effects of global warming have not even been proven. They are widely disputed by most people with an IQ greater than a baby carrot, (oops, that's most of the government out of that one!), and as Mr Nestlé said the other day on the Today programme, should really not be our top priority.

(Prodicus covered that interview wonderfully: go have a read)

And is it me, or is this advice on how to dispose of bodily fluids perhaps taking the nanny state a little too far?:

You recommend not flushing the toilet as one way of helping the environment, but shouldn't we be manipulating the structure of all toilets so as to use less water? THEO ROWLEY, Stafford

Only when you pee


Bleugh, I say. (along with 'Lavatory')

At least we can all play a little game at the end of this wonderful interview:

What was your nickname at Haverstock school? GRAHAM ADAMS, London

I have blocked it out. Don't ask what they called me at university.


Was it a c.....

At least I know that nature has forgiven me for my hateful thoughts of wanting democracy and free global trade: a squirrel ate a monkey nut out of my hand and I don't have rabies.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The secret EU meetings

Tony Blair has appointed two senior officials to lead secret negotiations to breathe life back into the EU constitution.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, sent letters to group leaders in the European Parliament and other officials informing them of the German Presidency's plan to have the constitution sorted out by June.

The secret meetings will start this week in Berlin, and will take place on a fortnightly basis. Kim Darroch, Blair's adviser on the EU and Nicola Brewer, Europe Director-General at the FCO (the lady responsible, one presumes, for the lies and utter one sided presentation of 'facts' on the FCO website, including the EU quiz which may as well have been written by an EU Commissioner so distorted are the questions and answers).

Downing Street as refused to comment on this so far.

Fear not, for at least the Tories are coming out saying something incredibly strong about how they oppose this....

If they had been told, as they should have been, that Britain wanted no part in any EU Constitution then that would have been one thing. We might then be able to focus on what is needed in the EU - a reduction in over-regulation. The fact that the government is not prepared to tell Parlaiment or the public what they are doing inevitably raises suspicions. The majority of people in Britain think the process of European Integration has already gone too far - they would like to see powers coming back, not more sovereignty given away.

Right, Mr Brady. You do know that that is not going to happen, yes? Especially when people like David Cameron want the EU to have more control, such as over climate change, and your MEPs keep on voting for more regulation. I'm thinking, REACh, the Gender Equality Institute, MiFID....I could go on.

At least someone is actually saying something clear cut and useful:

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, said he was "alarmed" by the latest development, particularly as Mr Darroch was a well-known inthusiast for the EU Constitution, who played a key role in drawing up the document. Mr Farage said he stronly believed Mr Blair would attempt to strike a deal before he quits. But he warned that Gordon Brown would face a huge political backlash if he tried to force the deal through Parliament without giving the British people the final say in a referendum. Mr Farage added "It now looks almost certain that Blair will sign up to a deal before he goes but he will not have time to get Parliamentary approval. Instead, he will hand the problem over to Gordon Brown - it is like handing over a hand grenade with the pin pulled out...


Well, I shouldn't have thought that Blair cares particularly about Brown, considering he's in the lead for the race to be the first EU President. Can you imagine. Donations for a one way ticket out of here please; send to Trixy, Westminster, London.

Thanks.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tackling climate change

By flying loads of people out to Spain!

The 18 EU countries that have ratified the bloc's draft constitution have urged the nine other members to help revive the entire beleaguered document.
Representatives of the states, meeting in Spain, called for the other nine members not to scrap the constitution but to help build on it.


Well, at least our government aren't having any of that. Oh, hold on:

The UK, Czech Republic and Poland want the constitution replaced by a new, slimmed-down mini-treaty.


So there will be a new treaty on the cards, oh wonderful government of joy? Were you planning on telling us, or was it going to be another 'tidying up exercise'?

Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told the meeting in Madrid the constitution was "a magnificent document" that should be "complemented rather than carved up".


Why not both? Carved up, and complemented with a sprinking of petrol and a lit match?

"Is the only way out of the constitutional impasse the wholesale dismantling of the constitutional treaty? By cutting it into little pieces?" he asked.


It seems to be the preferred option - back door smuggling in of possiblyillegal pieces of legislation (for is it not illegal for a government to take power away from our constitutional monarch and hand it over to a foreign power?) Preferred to democracy, in any case.

The new constitution was drafted to streamline decision-making within the growing EU and would create a permanent president and foreign ministry.


WRONG! Thank you for playing. The Constitution is all about a polical superpower. Do we not think that a permanent head with power over the UK Prime Minister and nop longer having our own foreign policy is perhaps a little more than 'streamlining?'

The conservative contender in the French presidential race, Nicolas Sarkozy, was the first to call for a mini-treaty that would be ratified by parliament, not through another referendum.


That would be the Sarkosy whose MEPs sit with the British Conservatives, then? Well, that's not such a big issue when you consider that Tory MEPs paid for 'YES' propaganda to the Constitutional Treaty.


A mini-treaty would cut the existing constitution into bits and preserve only the technical changes that would allow the EU to work more effectively and admit further new members


Like admitting Turkey? Like removing the powers of national veto so there is less debate and democracy, and more shoe/horning through of federalist, Communist anti democratic, anti national sovereignty laws? How convenient.

In a joint article published in a number of European newspapers, Spain's Alberto Navarro and Luxembourg's Nicolas Schmit say that in today's globalised world "a united and capable Europe is more necessary than ever.

Funny, but in India the only reference to any country in the EU in the newspaper I read was the UK w.r.t Big Bother. The trip by Gordon Brown was not covered in any way but to mention that he had condemned racism. What else can he talk about, I suppose? Not trade or commerce. On the other hand, the visit of Putin and his promised gifts of nuclear information and fighter planes was widely covered. But how right you are. We need to be in a backward looking, socialist trading bloc intent on economic and social policies which will drive us all into poverty to be a driving force in a globalised world.

Oh dear.

And for my hundredth post

Something cheerful. Holocaust memorial day.

I don't think anyone really needs me blathering on about the horror of the Holocaust, so instead I will have a quick rage about an aspect of it which really irritates me.

And it's the EU again.

A few weeks ago you may remember that Germany tried to push for an EU-wide ban on the swastika.

Germany, holder of the EU presidency, wants to make Holocaust denial and the display of Nazi symbols a crime.


How typical of that bitch Angela Merkel to completely miss the point. The Swastika has been around for thousands of years, used by Hindu's and Buddhists to name but two.

Just because Hitler misused the symbol, abused it and used it to propagate a reign of terror and racism and discrimination, it does not mean that its peaceful use should be banned."

The group said banning the swastika was equivalent to banning the cross simply because the Ku Klux Klan had used burning crosses.


When David Irving was imprisoned in Austria for being a 'holocaust denier' there were many of us around who questioned the direction in which 'thought crimes' were heading. Not Theresa Villiers, though. She stated loud and proud on Question Time that she thought that imprisoning someone because of what they believed was a good thing. I wonder why she stopped becoming an MEP: she was a perfect Tory example.

How much danger are we slipping into if we ban an ancient religious symbol because of the Nazis? It seems to me to be giving rather too much credence to that group of evil nutters.

And for those of you who question the existence of the Concentration Camps, here's a good book for you to read

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

They screw us over, we give them money....

a France appelle l'Union européenne à la rescousse afin de faire face aux restructurations en cours dans l'industrie automobile. Le gouvernement de Dominique de Villepin devrait déposer dans les prochaines semaines une demande d'aide auprès du fonds européen d'ajustement à la mondialisation, créé le 1er janvier 2007.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The French want money from the 'Globalisation Adjustment Fund' because their automobile industry is unproductive.

I remember having a small fit when I read the report on the GAF, although at least I can say, hand on heart, that I tried to change it through amendments, and at least I know UKIP voted against it. (for I did the voting lists).

This piece of legislation is just a classic example of why we should run away from the EU, screaming whilst waving our hands over our heads. A fund, made up from tax payers money, to subsidise inefficient countries who can't be bothered to adapt to globalisation.

David Ricardo grasped the idea of absolute and comparative advantage in the 19th century, so why do the powers that be in the EU find it such a complicated topic?

Are you surprised, France, that you can't compete with the rest of the world considering that you only work a 35 hour week? When reforms for combatting youth unemployment are met with riots in the streets? When over half of the population works for the state? When unemployment is considered low when it is under 10%?
Words fail.

And what's even more annoying, is that British tax payers will have to pay for large amounts of the subsidies to go to France, even though they have chosen to vote with their pockets and not buy French cars, as have consumers the world over. It's market choice. Why should their decision not to buy French cars mean that they have to pay for at least part of them regardless, because a group of people in France and the EU haven't quite gotten to grips with economics?

You want people to buy your cars? Get investing, get innovating, get price cutting: GET OFF YOUR BLOODY ARSES.

But the bit that really irritates me is that it was a French automobile company who fucked over the workers of Ryton. Peugeot had a factory in Ryton which recently closed, with the loss of 2300 jobs. Now, if it was all closed down fair and square, because the factory was loss making, then that's life. Not great for the people of Coventry but surely a signal to our beloved government that we need greater geographical and technical labour flexibility, presumably brought about by a decent education system.

However, it was not fair. Peugeot was enticed to move their factory to Trnava in Slovakia with a handy EUR 105 million state aid provided by the Slovakian government. The European Commission can provide no paperwork for the granting of permission for this state aid, which they have to approve under EU rules. At the same time, they cannot explain why it took two years for the Commission to reach a decision on state aid from the British government to Ryton of a much smaller sum of GBP14.4 million.

Of course, Slovakia was wanted in the EU club, so they are allowed to break state aid rules. Britain, on the other hand, has a goverment which will happily rim each and every EU commissioner and their lackies just for the opportunitiy to be able to pay a bit more money to the EU coffers.

I am unimpressed. Surprise, surprise.

http://www.ukip.org/ukip_news/gen12.php?t=1&id=2114

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

Who was it who said that the truth never dies? Did anyone? Whoever it
was or wasn't, they were certainly right in the case of Alexander
Litvinenko. Who can really be in any doubt that the man was poisoned
for what he knew, and what he was prepared to tell?

The former spy kept in touch with many people from his former life,
including the former head of the KGB in London, Gordievsky, I am told, along with that the two met in London to discuss their knowledge of European links with the
KGB: the case of the former EU Commission president and Italian Prime
Minister Romano Prodi was not the first issue that was discussed.

The posthumously released video reiterates what Mr Litvinenko said
about Prodi: that the man was the KGB's 'man in Italy'. My sources
tell me that Prodi was in the USSR as was around the time of the fall
of Communism and told the powers that be, 'not to worry... for what we
are doing in Europe is the same as you have done in the East.'

Well, it doesn't take a genius to work out the direction of the EU
now, does it? Forcing satellites together into a superstate, run by an
undemocratic group of men and women whom the population of their
respective countries have openly rejected as suitable political
figures, and ensuring that they are not accountable to the very people
whose lives they are ruining.

One only needs to see how anyone vaguely on the right is pilloried in
the EU when, in stark contrast, the head of the Communist party in
Germany leads a group of like-minded socialist nutters in the European
Parliament and no one bats an eyelid.

How is this continual drive towards a federalist, socialist state
permitted by national governments? Well, I suppose it helps when
people in the government have previously cast a favourable eye on the
work of the USSR, and in particular the KGB. The British government
is certainly no different from the Italian government when it comes to
politicians within its ranks having somewhat interesting links with
the dark side of a Communist superpower.

Indeed, the first case which Gordievsky and Litvinenko went to discuss
was that of Charles Clarke. The peevish guppy fish was, it seems, not
always so enamoured of the New Labour ways. Oh no, there was a time
when that jug-eared monstrosity—a man who would make Medusa look
like a candidate for Miss World—was rather more interested in
the world of Communism.

I am told that the fat wingnut, in possibly not the smartest move,
allegedly called up the Soviet Embassy in London to enquire about
becoming a spy for them. Unsurprisingly, they hung up on him. Charlie
at that point hadn't quite got to grips with international espionage.

Not that that deterred him. Gordievsky, who at that moment was
planning to come over to the West, was allegedly told that he was to
be Clarke's handler. I have been told that this came from the lips of
the man himself, but not having spoken to Gordievsky, naturally I
cannot confirm this—I am sure you'll agree—highly unlikely
story...

More's the pity, I suspect, that Gordievsky chose the time when the
alleged incident was occuring to transfer his allegience to the West,
never indulging the exciting chance to work with such a talented and
promising young man as Charlie Clarke. Also, it would have been
amusing to obtain the paper proof that would no doubt have existed had
Clarke started wearing a brown mackintosh and meeting, at ponds, with
men speaking in strange accents of "ducks flying to Moscow."

Mind you, it wouldnt surprise me if the quality of Clarke led to
Gordievsky's defection in the first place...

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Come fly with me

Well, don't actually. I normally snore and kick the people around me when I fly.

Am off to India for a week, to do lots of yoga, snorkelling, sunbathing and laughing at the Devil when he goes pink after spending 2 minutes in the sun covered in factor 350 suncream.

I shall not, however, be running people over in a CCO minibus

And just incase you were worried that I was going to be staying in some shanty town doing charity work, here are some pictures of where I am staying:



Ghoulish spectre of the EU Constitution returns

Were you all rather relieved that our high powered and influential Minister for Europe told us that the EU Constitution would not be coming back? I would have been, had I believed him. Even his comments in Strasbourg late last year that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would be drawing up a document based around the euro-elite's 'need' for a new charter did not particularly please me, as I knew that they would use the fact that it was written by the civil service to distract from the EU element.

I, and many others, have been proved right.

As Angela Merkel addressed the European Parliament today, she made it perfectly clear that the EU Constitution was back.

No more waiting ghoulishly by the side of the grave, waiting for signs of life after the French and Dutch killed it (or so we thought) with their 'NON'/'NEE' votes last year.

No more whisperings in corridors, like relatives waiting by the bedside of a cancer patient, trying to grasp at snippets of news from others about if it will survive.

IT'S BACK, BABY!

Complete with all the gadgets you've ever wanted, like an EU foreign minister, pointless environmental targets, the relinquishing of Justice and Home Affairs matters to the EU: you name it, you've got it. You even get that crap cuddly toy they always have on the conveyer belt of the Generation Game; although since it's the EU there are probably spikes in it's eyes or something.



That's the bitch vision of beauty there. No doubt she is shovelling starving children into her salivating gob, and will use the hacked off paws of kittens to clean her teeth with afterwards.

It's the Treaty of Nice all over again. Ireland said no. Oops! Our survery says en engh. Try again, and this time vote 'yes'. France and the Netherlands, you didn't mean to vote against the Constitution, did you? Oh, you did! Tough shit, mate. Try again, and if you vote against it this time (presuming that you actually get a vote) then we'll just ignore you. We don't actually give a sh*t what you think!

And as for Britain. You think you might get a say, eh? Ha ha ha. You haven't had a say since 1975, and even then we lied when we told you what it was all about. You think your Conservative governments stood up for you, when in fact they signed away more and more of your power and still have the audacity to say they are Eurosceptic, even with the Boy Blunder in charge.

When will people wake up to the realities of the EU? When it attacks them in the middle of the night?

If you don't want to be part of this gang bang of failing nation states, then vote UKIP. Or shut the f**k up.

George Pascoe-Watson gets it very wrong

The political editor of the Sun has made a few errors in his article about Cameron and UKIP....oops!

DAVID CAMERON has proudly declared himself a true blue Thatcherite – to snuff out the threat of the United Kingdom Independence Party. UKIP could be the one hurdle standing between Mr Cameron and the door to 10 Downing Street.
Jumping up and down and saying "I'm a Tory, I like Thatcher" does not a convincing argument make. Don't tell me, show me, I say. Especially when every speech you make points to the opposite.

Thousands of EU-hating Tory diehards could ditch Mr Cameron at the next election. And they risk handing power to Labour by default.
Well, if you don't like the EU, why would you vote for David Cameron? He is PRO EU, after all. And handing power to Labour by default? It's not one or the other, George.

So now Mr Cameron has left no one in any doubt by shouting from the rooftops that he IS a Tory.
Well, no, he hasn't actually. He's left plenty of people in no doubt that he's worried about UKIP, and is desperate to try stop yet more people defect to UKIP. Actions speak louder than words, as I said.

He said yesterday: “We believe in freedom under the law, personal responsibility, sound money, strong defence and national sovereignty.
Yet we want to remain in the EU, which has taken away huge amounts of our national sovereignty, and makes 75% of our laws, his concept of personal responsibility is to do what he says you should do, he doesn't want to cut tax, wants to keep state spending high and is happy for the EU to keep a Common Foreign Security and Defence Policy (it was Major who signed up to Maasctricht after all. )

“Those who ask whether I am a Conservative need to know that the foundation stones of the alternative government that we’re building are the ideas that encouraged me as a young man to join the Conservative Party and work for Margaret Thatcher.”
Alternative how? What does Cameron actually want to change?

The Conservatives must win more than 125 more seats at the next election to form a government.
Then they had better start fighting for them. Some policies would be a start, instead of all this window dressing and empty rhetoric.

Mr Cameron needs many more than that to give him a fighting chance of staying in power for more than one term. Every single marginal seat must turn blue.
Although it will be faux-blue. Because the Conservative Party under David Cameron is not a traditional party of low tax and small state.

A few hundred hardline Tories voting UKIP on the night could prove the difference between success or failure. Their supporters have given up on Mr Cameron sticking to traditional Conservative values.
That would be because they have given up. People will vote UKIP because they feel that UKIP are the party who represents them. If that is the case, why should they vote for any other? Why should I care about the Tories getting in when they don't represent me?


He has spent an entire year rebranding the party as a modern-day force interested in the environment and public services.
Without actually bothering to look at the science behind climate change, either. He's pushing full steam ahead with this 'save the planet' bullshite that I think is just a convenient way to raise taxes and demand more state control. And I do wish that people would stop holding up our public services as some kind of indication of excellence. They aren't. They are shit.

In trying to bring his party screaming into the 21st Century, he has left many feeling they no longer belong.
Presumably because they don't. I used to think I was a Tory, but I ain't!


And so UKIP have already enticed two Tory peers and one of Iron Lady Mrs Thatcher’s most respected economists to their ranks. Conservative funder Stuart Wheeler might even follow suit. Yet UKIP have absolutely no chance of ever winning a Commons seat.
Is there some kind of ban on UKIP holding seats that I haven't heard of? Or is this just a fatuous remark? If enough people vote UKIP, then they can win a seat. Simple.

They won just 2.2 per cent of the vote in the 2005 General Election yet cost the Conservatives around 30 seats.
In a very bad year for the party, when the politicians and media made sure that the EU was not mentioned during the entire campaign.


UKIP’s uncompromising “quit Europe” message still appeals to large numbers of dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives.
Like your dad? And Labour, and Greens, and Lib Dems, and people who don't vote. People like your father actually, George. People who don't want to be ruled by Brussels, people who want free trade, who want low taxes, low state interference. Those are the people who want out of the EU.

UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage has himself cost one Conservative candidate a seat. Mr Farage contested Labour marginal Thanet South for UKIP, coming fourth with 2,079 votes. If just 667 of those had voted for Tory candidate Mark MacGregor, he would have taken the seat from Labour.
Considering that Norman Tebbit told people not to vote for MacGregor, I think it's a pretty clear indication that voting for Mark would have been the same as voting for Ladyman. Why should the people in Thanet South not have the chance to vote for someone who represents their views?

UKIP are trying to blackmail Tory MPs by promising them no opposition if they sign up to a campaign to pull Britain out of the EU.
Erm, no they're not. They're just saying they are not going to stand against people who stand for the same things they do. Seems sensible to me.

Mr Cameron is furious and has warned his troops not to touch the UKIP offer with a bargepole. He has already declared he would pull Britain out of the EU’s social chapter, which saddles firms with job-destroying costs.
George. The Social Chapter does not exist. The Social Chapter was a protocol of the Maastricht Treaty, signed by John Major, which he secured an opt out to. Since Labour signed it in 1997 (and let's not forget that you supported the Labour party then) we no longer have a choice about opting out. The clauses are now contained in Articles 136 - 145 of the Treaty of Amsterdam, which David Cameron does not want to withdraw Britain from. This is just another example of Cameron saying anything to get elected, like the Tory promise to withdraw from the CFP, when to do so would have required leaving the EU altogether as it is contained in the Treaty Establishing a European Union.

He has vowed never to scrap the Pound or sign up to an EU constitution. And he has already pulled the Tories out of cosy links with pro-EU parties in Brussels — which predecessors William Hague and Michael Howard never did.
Wrong again. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

He has promised not to sign up to thisConstitution, but not any.
And as for saying that he has pulled the Tories out of the EPP, where have you been? They are still quite happily sitting there, being led by a man who may soon face criminal charges for misuse of public funds, unless MEPs vote to allow him immunity. Please, if you must write, get your facts straight.

The irony is this: If UKIP are to blame for a hung Parliament, the pro-EU Lib Dems will hold the balance of power.
Why would UKIP be to blame? What, for having the audacity to stand in an election because the other political parties do not represent them? Naughty, bad UKIP. How dare you have a voice in politics.

To me, it matters not one bit if Labour, Tories or the Lib Dems are in power - they are all the bloody same.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

More Daul

I was rather amused by the first e-mail Joseph Daul sent out to the staff of the EPP group, which started:

Chères Collaboratrices, chers Collaborateurs,

And thanks to Eliab for pointing out to me that Daul is a Frenchman from Alsace who only ran for the presidency of the EPP because the outgoing leader, German Hans Gert Pöttering, told him he would have his backing as a candidate.

Pöttering, who is of course now the President of the European Parliament folling a collaberation of his own between the Socialists and the EPP over who got to president of this committee and that.

Oh, European Politics. It's so corrupt.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The European Parliament: making us angry since 1957

Or whenever the fuck it was.

'The Equal Opportunities Unit would like to remind you that the process of proposing candidates for the Equality Awards 2007 is still ongoing. This year you can propose candidates for two award categories - "Role Model" and "Best Practice".

A candidate for a Role Model award could be any colleague who, either through their professional work, or through having overcome obstacles associated with gender, disability, age or any other factor that could give rise to inequality, has helped to promote equality and/or diversity. For example, a woman working in a male-dominated environment, a colleague who has overcome difficulties associated with a disability in his/her professional work, etc.

A candidate for a Best Practice award could be any colleague or department/unit/DG having devised and implemented one or several initiative(s) aimed at promoting equality and/or diversity. For example, a department/unit/DG that has taken steps to reduce the gap between men and women in its management team or to encourage a better balance between work and family life, or again to integrate disabled colleagues.

The Selection Committee will make the final decision on the awards winners based on the motivations, so it is worthwhile to argue for your candidate's case well! Please take your time to fill in one of the attached candidate proposal forms (EN, FR, DE). When you open the form, click "Enable Macros", fill it in and press the button at the end of the form to return it to the Equal Opportunities Unit. The deadline for sending in your proposals is 5 February 2007.

For further information see the Newshound articles

http://www.europarl.ep.ec/inside/newshound/articles_arch/prix_egalite_061212_en.htm

http://www.europarl.ep.ec/inside/newshound/articles_arch/prixegalite_interview_061219_en.htm


We look forward to receiving your proposals.

Best regards,

The Equal Opportunities Unit

DG Personnel

KAD 01E018

L - 2929 Luxembourg

tel: +352 4300 23715

e-mail: egalitédeschances@europarl.europa.eu´

I think I should get the award: I managed to get into work on time despite wearing heels that, as a woman, society dictates I wear. Now, who is going to nominate me, eh? I have the forms on my computer just waiting to be filled in....

This is what my money goes on. These bunch of PC wankers..fucking equal opportunities Unit: I hope there are exactly the same number of men and women working there, unlike the Lesbian Commission*, which employs 80% women.

*okay, so it's not actually called that, but it may as well be.

Tories: shitting their pants?

Trixy has managed to get wind of a very interesting e-mail via a selection of people I have never met before in my life. I thought the comment was very telling about the current real world* Tory attitude to all these defections to UKIP over the last week:

07:20 Lord Kalms has joined UKIP. Stuart Wheeler has met Nigel Farage. Stuart Wheeler, big Conservative donor: I think DC has done well for the Conservatives and part of me doesn’t want to wreck that but the party hasn’t done enough on Europe. I want the Conservatives to form the next Govt and UKIP won’t be doing that. Nigel Farage’s view is that he’s got to force DC’s hand to make him be a lot tougher. What the EU costs us: 40b for the average family is £2000 a year.


So despite the Boy Blunder standing by his comments that UKIP are 'fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly...' his loyal party workers are slightly more worried than he.

Or maybe he is worried, but the snake oil salesman just turns up looking like nothing bothers him? Still, I suspect that The Anaconda's shoulder may be a little damp with tears of a crying Tory leader at the moment. Thank heavens he has some friends....

*i.e not the wankers in Notting Hill

Friday, January 12, 2007

First there was Barrot

and then Toubon and now Joseph Daul!

For those of you who don't remember, Jaques Barrot was the Commissioner who Nigel Farage revealed had received a two year suspended jail sentence for misuse of party funds but who had been granted a presidential amnesty by Chirac because...well, just because. M. Toubon was the MEP from the same party as Barrot who, during the speech by Farage, started running up and down the Hemicycle saying that it shouldn't be spoken about. (Kilroy told him to sit down and told him to "speak English" so people could understand him). MEP after MEP stood up and denounced Farage for telling the truth, including the effortlessly kickable Toady Watson who never apologised, of course.

Anyway, now there is a new chapter in the 'how many French politicians can threaten to sue Nigel Farage for telling the truth' feature. On Tuesday night, Joseph Daul was elected to be President of the EPP group in the European Parliament, which is, of course, where the British Conservatives sit.

All well and good, you may say. Can anyone be worse than that nasty little fucker Hans Gert Pöttering? Well, at least we are fairly sure that Harry Pottering wasn't facing any criminal charges in the near future, unlike M Daul who, as reported in the financial times today, may be having a bit of bother in the future.

Even more amusing is that even though the UKIP team were in touch with the lawyer involved in the case, Daul has threatened to sue Farage for his 'lies'. Nothing to do with the fact that Daul has parliamentary immunity, and like M Barrot, it will probably be a crime to mention the case in public.

Le Monde picked up on a rather nice angle to the story: the misuse of funds which Daul is charged with (yes, you are) is to do with agriculture and the unions involved were hoping to get support for their case from the EU Agriculture Committee.

And guess who their chairman?

Well, I am sure that the British Conservatives will have a lovely new time with their President, and will fully support Hans Gert in his coronation to be the EP President, even though he expelled Roger Helmer from the EPP for doing what he was elected to do....

And, of course, they can join the delightful Lid Dims, Labour and Greens in voting through huge amounts of legislation and then conveniently ignoring it so the news doesn't get reported over here where the people who elect them can read about it.

Ah, I love politics.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Things that annoy me

1) The failure of people to grasp that the Consumer Price Index isn't just some nasty thing dreamed up by Gordon Brown, but is the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices which was forced on us from the EU, and which was supported by the major UK political parties, including the Tories. (I have sat in plenty of committees and heard this said)

2) People not getting their facts straight over the Plymouth / West Dorset 'mass resignations'. There weren't any mass resignations. A couple of, erm, members decided to go and to cause as much trouble as they could. Political commentators such as Iain Dale reporting that hundreds of people have resigned from all over the country is not true and is not clever commentry.

3) David Cameron: So many things

a) how to save money on food is a classic example of how little the Boy Blunder actually understands. Want to save money on food? Withdraw from the Common Agricultural Policy which raises food prices by an estimated £20 a week for the average family

b)The Three P's: People, Planet and Poverty. Or as I like to call it, Piss Poor Policies.

"'And pushing for a WTO deal to reduce tariffs will help reduce poverty in the developing world.'" said Dave.

How are you going to do that? We don't have our own seat at the WTO and instead have to rely on that prat Mandelson, who thinks it's a good idea to impose EU wide tariffs on shoes and clothes. Oh, and bikes, ironing boards, and anything else he can think of. This is exactly what stops the developing world developing. Free Trade increases global parity, and we should be abolishing all of these ridiculous trade barriers. Alas, that will not happen whilst we are held back in our policy by other countries having a say. France, Spain, Italy to name but three have not adapted to globalisation and don't want to. They want to stick to unproductive, highly regulated industries which can't compete with the rest of the world.

So here's an idea for reducing poverty. Take back our seat at the WTO and let's get on with free trade.

Planet: Well, my first suggestion to Mr Cameron would be trying to get some scientific proof about the impact of global warming, instead of encouraging people to walk around with windmills attached to their heads. Oh, and how about investing in nuclear energy? intead of rushing blindly to meet the EU renewable energy targets for 2020, which are for 20% of the UK's energy to come from renewable sources? I don't want to live in a country covered with windmills, and with any kind of flowing water dammed up for HEP, thanks. A couple of efficient nuclear power stations would do me nicely.

But, oh no!: ''Cooperation on the environment and the Emissions Trading System to reduce carbon emissions would help improve the environment of the planet.'

People: Well, seeing as Dave and his crew think that Polly Toynbee is talking sense on social matters, clearly he has no idea about social matters. Maybe the best way of helping people would be to cut taxes, stop interfering in every aspect of their lives, make small government and cut regulation. Of course, this would be much easier if we withdrew from the EU, since the most harmful social legislation comes from there. Examples? Age discrimination laws, the working time directive, the harmonised accounting procedures, MiFID, immigration policy, continual push towards higher taxes, including a miminum of 15% VAT and a limited number of exemptions?

However: 'Mr Cameron reiterated his backing for positive engagement with Europe at the Christian Social Union (CSU) party conference in Bavaria today.'

And of course, no to the EU Constitution which will just fuck this continent over.
'The Conservative Party will not support a Constitution that is about transferring more power to the EU.'

But you haven't ruled out a Consitution in principle, then? Well, I suppose that tallies up with the Built on Sand Built to Last pledge from a few months ago which again did not rule out the Conservatives supporting any EU consitution. Presumably they would only not support one which the media found out about. He's been very quiet about the FCO writing up the new document, for example...

Oh dear, Cameron. You really have no clue, do you.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I went into

the newsagents yesterday to cancel my order of Cosmopolitan magazine. "Would you like to take anything else", the newsagent asked me. "Yes," I said. "I'll take menopause magazine."

"Does it come monthly?" the newsagent asked.

"There's no reason why it should do," I said.

(with thanks to Victoria Wood for that one. That, and helping me get through the uncontrollable itching.)

Eugh

I think I have leprosy. Woke up yesterday covered in hideous and horribly itchy rash. Even more annoying is that DK would not let me scratch myself until I bled - kept saying that it 'would make it worse'. Not quite sure, of course, how it could be worse: my plans for today were to go to a park and scare children since that is how ugly I look.

Still, at least I didn't have to spend 7 hours in hospital yeserday waiting to be diagnosed and given approproate drugs to deal with it. Oh no, I did. And I had to say the same thing over and over again to a variety of different medical staff who clearly didn't know what the fuck was wrong with me, whilst the whole time DK sat there and read his book.

And I still don't know what is wrong with me, although I do look like I have leprosy. Of course, if it was leprosy I wouldn't be able to feel how much my skin was on fire, which would be nice. I would still be able to see how hideous I looked, though.

At least I'm not as sick as the NHS, though. They really are in dire fucking straits. One pharmacist for the whole hospital for the weekend? An hour to see an 'urgent' case...the mad old bat in the cubicle next to me got seen to pretty quickly after she moaned and shouted a lot, but the one who sits there quietly? 40 minutes to pick up a fucking sample!

Am going to go scratch myself now until my skin falls off.

UPDATE: according to my father, I don't have leprosy but very bad German Measles. He - would know, he's in counter terrorism - they have to know a lot about rashes...?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Polly masturbates over windfarms

Nimbys can't be allowed to put a block on wind farms

Plans to meet renewable energy targets are being stymied by local councils - mostly run by the Tories and the SNP


Those would be the renewable energy targets which the EU has set out for us, yes?

This is crunch time. If Britain is to have any chance of meeting its target to generate 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2010, then a great leap forward is needed right now.

Yes, but it's only needed because the European Commission tell us so, based on no actual fact. If anyone actually bothered to look into it then maybe we wouldn't be saddled with such arbitrary targets.

So far only 4.2% of energy is from renewables and three years is not long to more than double it. Wind power is the clean energy closest to profitability, yet many projects - on or offshore - are being held up or rejected by local authorities. Forty per cent of all applications were refused in the past two years, most by Tory councils or the SNP.

Another reason why those EU targets are as helpful as a pekanese guidedog - they're simply unachieveable on any practical level. And why are local authorities rejecting planning applications? Maybe because they are a fucking eyesore and have damaging effects on the local environment, perhaps, as well as being incredibly inefficient when it comes to actually producing energy.

It is a hard target, running up a down escalator.

It's a fucking pointless target, my little darling.

As the nation burns up an extra 1% of energy a year instead of cutting back, so every year more renewables are needed to stick to that 10% pledge.

Or how about this, Polly?

The biggest and best project caught up in the planning quicksands is the London Array - the world's largest offshore wind farm, a £2bn Shell 271-turbine project in the Thames estuary - due to deliver 1,000 megawatts, enough to power a quarter of all greater London's homes. It has government approval but the local Swale council (Tory) has blocked planning permission for a substation to be built underneath existing pylons to service it. Local Tories are using the substation as a way of objecting to the wind farm, although it will be 12 miles out to sea and beyond their jurisdiction. They have compared it to defending the Kent coast against Nazi invasion.

Shall we just say it again, Pol?

THE NASTY TORIES WON'T LET WINDFARMS BE BUILT ANYWHERE! NASTY, NASTY, NASTY TORIES! BOO!

They represent the local area, they presumably have a greater local knowledge than you, darling. Perhaps, just perhaps, you should take into consideration their point of view, rather than some one sided rhetoric from your Labour Lovers who just see another opportunity to grab more taxes?

Wind farms now trapped in planning hell by local Nimbys amount to nearly the whole extra capacity needed to meet the 2010 target. Devon is a good case: the county has set itself a target of generating 150MW but so far has only approved 7MW of wind, as small local councils keep obstructing every proposal. Wales has set itself a target of generating 800MW by 2010, but local council refusals mean only 217MW are operating. Take Perth and Kinross (Lib Dem and SNP coalition): in terms of megawatts, a third of all wind energy refused in the last two years was by this one authority. Scottish Borders (Conservative) is responsible for 18% of refused wind farms. In Scotland, the SNP has been the main block.

Again, Polly: they presumably have a reason for not approving these wind farms. Let's not forget that the effect of carbon emissions is by no means cut and dry. It's not a proven theory and the Stern report was written by someone who Gordon Brown awarded a knighthood to and whose findings justified yet another tax opportunity, unquestioned by Westminster opposition.

Wind-farm objectors are getting strong support from the pro-nuclear lobbies and from an anti-wind outfit misleadingly called the Renewable Energy Foundation, founded by Noel Edmonds. It has been interesting to observe how an apparently non-ideological issue is turning strongly partisan. Rightwing commentators are rampantly anti-wind farms, with the same fever as they are pro-hunting.

Well, of course they are. Because if we get rid of these stupid ideas that we can save the world through windmills then perhaps we can have a proper energy policy by building a new generation of nuclear power stations. The pro nuclear lobby presumably overlap massively with the anti wind farm lobby: me, for example. As for the partisan angle, well it was rather obvious that would happen. Sensible, right thinking people realise what an absolute farce this whole renewable energy crap is.

For media would-be squires who voice old Tory passions, the wind farm has entered their hate list alongside such outrages to personal freedom as the seatbelt and the smoking ban. For some reason, most also harbour an emotional support for the nuclear industry.

Because it's the best option, perhaps? Unlike the smoking ban, which is a big pile of statist crap (she says, smoking)

It leaves Tory green credentials in disarray, since it is largely its rural seats that are blocking wind farms. David Cameron famously called wind turbines "giant bird blenders" when running for the leadership, needing Tory membership support. Now he is putting one on his roof (perhaps blending pigeons is not as bad as blending grouse). But he has a real credibility problem. His party hates wind farms, and in those Tory rural seats his people are not as green as their wellies and Land Rovers. His parliamentary private secretary, reporting to him last summer, revealed the depth of the party's hatred for wind farms. Caroline Spelman, his communities and local government spokesman, speaking in Scotland, called for a moratorium on all wind farms.

Yes, but the Boy Blunder is a moron. Of course Tory Green credentials are in disarray, because it's just spin and rhetoric.

If Cameron is serious about climate change, here is one really useful thing he can do while in opposition.
He's in opposition?

He can order his party locally to stop obstructing wind farms, on pain of excommunication.
Brilliant idea! More defectors to UKIP! And yet so typical for someone as statist as Polly to come up with: Thou must obey

Indeed all parties should do likewise, to make sure their Westminster rhetoric matches what their own people do in reality.
Oh honey, I wish they'd do that about more things. Tax, EU membership, immigration on top of renewable energy. Because I suspect then we would have fewer stupid decisions being made in Westminster / Brussels.

In Scotland and Wales, devolution makes this more difficult,
Ha ha

but the same political principle applies. All parties competing to be the most localist should consider how often their own Nimbys stop developments of all kinds that are in the national interest. Wind power is only one example of how the dash for localism may be badly misguided.

But Polly, you are assuming that local activists want windfarms, just because you and your other chimps like it. Surely by definition, nimbys, i.e not in my back yard, are people who are local and who are actually being affected by it. Wind farms aren't a good thing just because you say they are, my sweet. What David Milliband and the Gobblin' King talk to you about in the throws of passion isn't generally what the man on the Clapham omnibus thinks.

The government has now promised new planning guidance and laws that will require local planning authorities to look favourably on wind farms without each one going through the pantomime of ascertaining whether there really is a need for renewable energy. (Denial of the efficacy of wind power is now in the same flat-earth category as climate-change denial.) New planning rules will weaken local residents' right to raise aesthetic objections to wind-farm applications, so long as they are not in national parks.
ah, more harmful legislation which will once again undermine local democracy for no other reason than meeting stupid EU targets. Lovely.

Labour may feel smug on reading the British Wind Energy Association's findings that show Labour councils are more likely to approve wind farms. But it turns out that the greatest blockage in the system is inside its own Department of Trade and Industry. Section 36 applications for the biggest wind farms go direct to the DTI. Here, 465MW of wind farms have been held up, some for as long as four years. The Labour-Lib Dem Scottish executive is even worse - 4,148MW of wind power is currently stuck in limbo. However, the DTI and Scottish executive say it's not their fault - they have to consult local councils, which trigger long public inquiries as a blocker.

They may feel smug, but that's because they as a group are as useful as a racehorse with callipers and can't quite grasp the importance of actual fact, nor how their legislation is harmful. Surely the issue that local councils are blocking these applications show that there is a high level of debate and contention surrounding wind farms. I'll say it again, Polly my love: inquiries and finding out the actual impact of planning on an issue which is no means cut and dry is not a bad thing.

Every year, wind energy gets closer to profitability. Every time I see those great white wings turning on the horizon, it makes my spirits soar.

As much as GK gets your heart pumping when he stands proud and upright, waiting for your juices to start running down your legs? I tell you what would get my spirits soaring: if you actually wrote something which made any kind of sense whatsoever. Because if you grasped it, then anyone can.

How do these country folk tolerate monstrous pylons needlessly bestriding their best valleys whose cables could easily be buried, yet object to these breath-taking beauties? Those who object to wind farms should remember how easy they will be to dismantle as other technologies succeed, their scrap value more than paying to grass over where they stood. In the meantime, no party should tolerate its own local authority Nimbys stopping the most cost-effective clean energy currently available.

Way to go, Pol. End with yet another utterly pointless argument. Yes, let's all put up fucking windfarms, because when it is finally realised that they are inefficient, unnecessary and a fucking eyesore then we can take them down fairly easily!

Wonderful.

Please, chop of your hands and never write again.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

cunning Tory plan?

Colleague to Trixy: "Has Michael Howard been knighted or something like that?"

Trixy: "No, I shouldn't have thought so. Why?"

Colleague: "just wondered."

Trixy: "I think it only happens to former Prime Ministers, not failed opposition leaders. Can you imagine? The entire House of Lords would be stuffed full of old Tory politicians."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Climb back in your tomb....

My little eyes glanced across this piece of writing yesterday, to which I feel duty bound as a women to comment on. It did take me a little bit of time to calm down, hence the delay. I am also not supposed to smoke in my office anymore, but I feel I may have to light a cigarette for the calming properties as I type....

So, anyway, Dr Infinite throws the London Paper down on the pub table, and the story says the killer may be "losing control". "Oh, d'you think? He's killed five people, for fuck's sake!" Yep, he's about to lose the shackles of civilisation and do something crazy. The misogynistic, prurient bile is not as salient as it once was, but it persists: prostitutes being described seriously as "vice girls" is one instance. And I don't want to be sanctimonious, but some of the contrived 'sick humour' going around (which I'm not about to republish), is another. And this insight into the psychology the killer brings you the expertise of Dr Ian Stephen who says:


"My worry is that his perception of women will change and he will see any woman who's out on the street at night on their own as a prostitute."


Oh, you mean he might start killing real people, then?



No, I don't think that's what he said, sugarlips. The point he may have been making, and which I certainly took from it, was that the killer has been killing prostitutes which I think you'll agree, reflects a certain pattern. Hence a woman walking on her own at night might be in more danger if she is considered to be a prostitute, than if not. Nothing to do with being 'real people'. Did Santa not bring you a plane to even out that chip on your shoulder?

For fuck's sake. Aside from the sinister implications of that offhand statement, there is the pointmissingness of it. Without getting into the crimmo psychology, the attack on these women isn't just an attack on prostitutes but is an act of violence against women as such.


erm, no. It's an attack on prostitutes pretty much.

Based on a bit of common sense and what the experts say, it looks as if the decision to target prostitutes reflects a) the choice of an 'acceptable' target for male rage


I think I would subsitute 'acceptable' for 'easier'. These are women who are out on their own late at night and who regularly get into cars with strangers, and consequently people don't always know where they are, who they are with or when they are due back.

and b) the attempt to discipline femininity, as in Thou Shalt Not.


So prostitutes in trousers would be okay? Glib, sorry. There may be an element of 'cleansing' I'll agree, especially since two of the victims were found in water. However, that could have been a clever way of removing evidence. I still think the easier target is the crucial part in all this.

Salma Yaqoob pointed out a while back on Question Time that the issue of prostitution is fundamentally one about the commodification of women, and the already implicit violence in that process (which is an extension of the logic of the commodification of labour, which is underwritten by the implicit violence of the state).


There is a certain 'buying and selling' aspect of prostitution, yes. But it's more of a 'hire' than 'own' aspect. I'm afraid you've lost me on the last bit, though. The implicit violence of the state? I guess the left ideal of the state is a body which forces people to do what they don't want to do, but if you don't like that idea, maybe you should embrace libertarianism?

It is a form of sexual slavery,


The Oxford English Dictionary says that a slave is:

One who is the property of, and entirely subject to, another person, whether by capture, purchase, or birth; a servant completely divested of freedom and personal rights.

So, not like prostitution, then, where people actually decide if, when and what they want to do. And get paid for it.

and not only because the vast preponderance of those who get involved start as children,


For fucks sake, do you have any evidence to prove that, or are you just writing any old bollocks? I think the majority of men who use prostitutes would rather not have a child, but a female who is a willing bedfellow and who knows what she is doing.

and are usually addicts to boot.


Very possibly. Also possibly a reason why they are in prostitution.

Even where the motive is pecuniary, you cannot seriously claim that people working in that trade are free.
you'd be right: From what I hear they are very expensive! I think I may rather need to emphasise again that many prositutes are not forced into it through violence.

That would be to take the bourgeois ideology of 'free labour' to an absurd conclusion - reductio ad absurdum, in fact.


fuck me hard. what?

The fact that the demand for prostitution is increasing tells us something about the parlous condition of gender relations in this country. The growing number of clubs like Spearmint Rhino opening up across the UK, the 1990s spurt in 'lads mags', the sexualisation of especially young girls in popular culture - all are an expression, through market transactions, of the oppression of women, of the massive, fundamental and daily material disadvantages that women face in this society.


Am, personally not a huge fan of titty joints, but I can understand why some men wish to pay money to, erm, see the money shot? And the pay is another reason why I understand that many women do it. Dance around a poll for a bit, exploiting the basic characteristics and desires of men? Whatever floats your boat, m'dear. I don't really see why this is the oppression of women, though, as they seem to walk away with the money. If they can still feel dignified and content doing what they do, then who are you to pass such harsh judgement and treat them as though they are victims? I suspect these dancers would probably laugh at you if you said that to them.

It isn't only the 30% pay cut you take for being a woman;

It's not even that, considering that that statement is a complete pile of shite. Payroll departments don't sit there going through who gets paid what and automatically deduct 30% for any female employees. If women get paid less (and I think you will find that the pay gap starts to show in later years) it's because women take a career break to have children, and thus if they aren't in work for the same length of time as male colleagues, and have less experience, then it's understandable they get paid less.

it isn't only the specific way in which 'labour flexibility' (the massive growth in part time, low paid, temporary work) and cuts to benefits affect women in particular;
normally taken up by women because they want to fit work in around their other commitments, such as their families.

it isn't only the huge burden of domestic labour.

I hope you are typing this with one hand, whilst at the same time doing the ironing...

These do explain in part why women are driven into sexual slavery,


No, they just show your complete lack of understanding and inability to grasp different points of view to your own

and into being objects of fantasy for young male consumers,


Sorry - are you saying that it's a bad thing for a woman to be considered attractive by men? Would rather halt the continuation of the human race if men and women didn't fancy each other, no?

but they are also expressions of something more fundamental. The social relations between men and women, rooted in a traditional family structure that is under real stress, condition every other relationship between them (between us, not to leave myself out of the picture). The family unit has been the chief way in which the reproduction of labour has been guaranteed under industrial capitalism.


Am I imagining it, or are you talking crap again?

The woman's subordinate role in the household and in society has ensured that the exploited male worker can go home from an exhausting, brain-numbing day, and have time to recuperate in a small, controlled environment in which he can consider himself the boss.


Speak for yourself, chappie! Just shown that to my mother who laughed her hollow laugh, as she told my father he was cooking the dinner tonight. The boss? I don't think so! In most marriages, a husband and wife consider themselves a 'partnership'. The work of both, whether the wife or husband stays at home, are very important. Being a housewife is not degrading in any way! Why should people not be able to choose what they do with their time, so long as they can afford to do so and do not harm others in the process?

By the way, have you ever been in a relationship before?

However, the breakdown of that structure, partially a result of real advances made by women, and partially the result of social atomisation and a disinclination of populations in late capitalist society to sustain these forms of comity, has not come about in a way that frees women. On the contrary, the entry of women into the labour market has, as noted, seen the reproduction of traditional structures of oppression through the market.


No. You're wrong. The entry of women into the labour market has seen an emancipation of women which is embraced by the majority of society. If women felt that they were not as well paid, respected or important as men in their jobs, then they wouldn't stay there. The advantage of market forces, you see. I love working. I am not treated any differently because I am a woman, except when my colleagues bring me in dairy milk once a month. I am not paid less for doing the same work. I am not treated like a skivvy.

This is global. It is emphatically not simply a matter of crazy fundamentalists, although conservative religious doctrine is an enabling factor. Only a short while ago, we had the spectacle of a man shooting up Amish schoolgirls, nominally because of a 20-year-old grudge. It wasn't so long ago that a man in Staten Island engaged in a custody dispute decided not only to kill the spouse with whom he was battling in the courts, but also another women with whom he had fathered a child. Just because.


Are you saying this man encapsulates all men? I agree that there are elements in religion which repress women - indeed it is a major reason why I am an athiest, but surely you can see that even in these religions nowadays, those stigmas are dying away because of globalisation and greater awareness?

The response of the father of one victim was to decry on national television the encroachment of liberals, the breakdown of Christianity, the anti-family agenda, and all the rest of it. This conservative reaction to murderous women-hatred was to insist that a return to traditional, 'organic' modes of oppression would protect women, which is structurally homologous to how religious conservatives in Afghanistan react when confronted with the rape of women there.


That is one man's view. And he could very well have a point that the breakdown of certain elements encouraged in religion such as 'thou shalt not kill' or 'love thy neighbour' may be a reason why people do have less respect towards each other. However, I don't think you can really link up a religion such as Christianity encouraging a family unit, where children are brought up by two parents in a loving environment, to a completely outrageous and unacceptable rule of law by another element of another religion.

And of course imperialism brings no liberation, at the very least because practically every imperialist adventure involves a massive escalation of sexual slavety,(sic) often child sex rings, whether in Bosnia or Kosovo or Haiti or elsewhere.


I suspect that these things are normally exploited by the nationals of that country / region and where is your evidence that this only happens under 'imperialism'? And where was the imperialism in Bosnia? Or Kosovo? Or Haiti?

The American military is sustained wherever it goes by the deliberate enslavement of women.


What completely incorrect and offensive shite. How do you manage it? I suppose it must be a talent of some form, but I can't quite find a use for it. What absolute fucking nonsense you are writing. Do you walk round in circles, since that chip on your shoulder is so pronounced it must affect your balance somehow. Some of us, it seems, are still fighting the cold war! Down with America! Why? erm...because! Because their style of government and commerce is more successful than nutty old communism? Green doesn't suit you, my dear.

More fundamentally, it is because US imperialism wants to reproduce and intensify the structures which sustain the oppression of women.
like freeing up women from the Taliban? Where is the oppression of women in America? Look at the Republican party - one of the most popular figures there is a black woman. And the Democrats - I think there is large support for Hillary Clinton, another woman!

The oppression of women, as I've tried to indicate, illuminates and intersects with every other axis of oppression and exploitation in society. And since prostitution, as an aspect of that oppression, is itself a type of commodified labour, the response should at least in part be to show solidarity with a vulnerable group of workers, to demand that they be protected by the law, not criminalised. It is outrageous that the police are begging for information but have not as yet offered any form of immunity from prosecution to sex workers who come forward.


They have, actually

The English Collective of Prostitutes is demanding an amnesty, and we as socialists should support that as a minimum. If you want to catch this bastard, stop criminalising his victims.
I, as a libertarian, am calling for that.

And more generally, legalise prostitution, recognise fully the unions formed by sex workers, and outlaw Page 3.


So women can get paid to have sex, but they can't get paid to show their breasts in a newspaper? hmmm, having trouble seeing how you reached that conclusion. I agree to a certain extent, the second I don't so much but that is because I am not a fan of unions, but why would you outlaw Page 3? Do you find breasts offensive?

I find you quite offensive, but I am not trying to outlaw you.

I hope that's not too obtuse.


Obtuse? I'm afraid so.