Sunday, May 31, 2009

bring on the clowns

The European Elections, although mainly remarkable for not really having a debate about the EU, have also been notable for bringing to our attention how little politicians actually know about the thing.

It's a pity that the few weeks where we should have been debating the EU: talking about how much control they have, what it costs, who your MEPs are and, of course, who the Commissioners are since it's always good to have an idea who controls the country, has just been ignored by the expenses scandal.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad that MPs are being brought to book for feathering their nest with our cash. Sod two homes, I can't afford one and it's because I'm paying for them and their children to be Laura Ashley'd up to their eye balls.

It's just that I do wish in between all the stories we could take time out to discuss the elections being held. Hey, we could even have a compromise and debate how much MEPs cost and all those jollies they like to go on. It could be 'whoops-a-daisy' all over again!

At least when it comes to expenses MPs actually know what they are talking about because they really don't have a fucking clue when it comes to the EU.

Take Caroline Flint on Question Time last Thursday. She's Minister for Europe and the woman appears to be so dumb she can't tell the difference between a regulation and a directive. She keeps on pushing this 'only 9% of laws come from the EU' and I can't help but think it's a combination of malevolence and ignorance. No, sweetcheeks, it's at least 75%. The Government themselves have admitted that at least 50% of major laws and 75% of all it's laws come from the EU and yet glamourpuss Flint hadn't quite read that bit.

Perhaps it's all part of this strategy they have of telling us how absolutely vital our membership of the EU is, how we need it in this global world (yes, yes I know that we know it's protectionist) and all the amazing things it does whilst at the same time telling us it doesn't cost us very much and it has very little influence...

From the Lisbon Constitution:

"The Conference recalls that, in accordance with well settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Treaties have primacy over the law of Member States, under the conditions laid down by the said case law".

Someone else who doesn't know his arse from his elbow when it comes to the EU is the great David Cameron. I'm not sure the Tories have actually drawn up their EU policy yet but they're trying to cover it up by calling for an election and bitching about UKIP.

Dave's pre recorded interview on Sky this morning was another classic. From the party that said they wanted to withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy without realising it requires unanimity in the Council, comes the astonishing accusation from Cameron that UKIP voted for Spanish fishermen to have access to 60% of our stock!

This is based on a vote a couple of years ago which the Tories voted for which increased the access our fishermen had in the Shetland box to 40%. UKIP voted against it because they would rather we had 100% control of our own territorial waters but the Tories obviously don't think that way. Even so, to say that UKIP voted for Spanish access because they voted against this measure is highlighting that Dave appears not even to know that the Common Fisheries Policy which gives access to all and bloody sundry, was brought in under a Conservative Government.

It's important to have UKIP MEPs in Brussels - they haven't 'been doing nothing' for the past five years you massive foreheaded PR obsessed hollow man - because you need to vote against legislation which Labour, Tories and Lib Dems support and often write. Legislation like fortnightly bin collections and rules on waste which Conservative MEP Caroline Jackson wrote whilst she was in the pay of a company which stood to gain. Home Improvement Packs come from the EU, Post Office closures stem from Maastrict and post office legislation, the European Arrest Warrant which could see you shipped off to Romania because your name popped up and the police can't be bothered to investigate the crime.

Now, whilst the power for referendums on Lisbon and our future in the EU stem from Westminster, it's good to have as many people correcting the integrationalist voting patterns of the other parties just to keep head above water.

Because let's face it, they've been talking about 'reform' for the past few decades and we're further away from governing ourselves than we ever have been.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kevin Maguire and the tales of hypocrisy

There can hardly be a more hypocritical journalist than the Mirror's Kevin Maguire. One only needs to look at the part he played in the 'Red Rag' affair to hold the opinion that this is a man who might not be in journalism to ensure the truth will out.

Today is no exception, with another nonsense piece of hackary as the media try to attack UKIP to save themselves the bother of working out what happens in the European Union:

The anti-Brussels party's ridden the Euro gravy train like few others.

Leader Nigel Farage cheerfully admits "pushing £2m" in expenses since 1999. MEP Ashley Mote was expelled from the party and jailed for fiddling benefits.

No, Farage kicked Ashley Mote out as soon as he found out, just as he risked the wrath of former party leader Roger Knapman for insisting that action be taken against Tom Wise as soon as details of what he'd done emerged.

He hasn't 'ridden the gravy train', he's a man who has given 10 years of his life and the chance to watch his children grow up to tell people across the country about the EU: a job which is harder work than it should be because the media can't be bothered to write about it. It's the ultimate elephant in the room.

Whispers reach my tiny ears that all papers are trying to do a hatchet job on UKIP for no other reason than they just don't like them. They've ensured that there hasn't been a proper debate about the EU, they've pandered to Cameron's complete inability to come up with a policy on the EU, they haven't taken Labour or the Lib Dems to task over their position on the Lisbon Constitution.

How unsurprising that a hack who gets to drive around in a chauffeur driven Mercedes attacks someone who drives around in a K reg battered old volvo for milking expenses. It's the same car which has taken him around the country speaking in venues as diverse as village halls and sixth form colleges to BBC Question Time.

The rule with MEPs is quite simple: if you work hard, you don't make money. If you work as hard as Farage, it costs you money.

But that's probably a little to hard for our Kev to grasp:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shambolic Cameron

Notice how quick the newspapers and bloggers were to pick up McShane's quick quip re Nigel Farage's expenses but there was nothing about how shambolic Cameron was with Andrew Marr?

He truly highlighted how dire the Tory policy is on the EU and how much they really want to keep quiet about it, which is why today he's been blathering on about 'reform' and 'bringing politics closer to the people' without of course mentioning the EU and how it drives one hundred coach and horses between the legislative and the voters. Even in the middle of the EU elections he can't bring himself to talk about the EU.

For those of you who missed it, enjoy:

A peck on the cheek for anyone who can tell me what his policy actually is...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

nutter alert

They're at it again. Clearly concerned that their years of mud flinging, defamation and reporting innocent people to OLAF then calling up journalists saying that these MEPs are under investigation hasn't done the BNP et al much good, they're back on the coup path.

It's not really a war when it's only a handful of people, even if they are the last people you'd want to be stuck in a lift with.

Still, here they go again, calling up journalists at the News of the World with their predictable twaddle.

If they were so sure about the other parties they must support why don't they promote their policies?

If they were so sure of abuse and fraud why do they have to keep making false accusations to the police and OLAF?

Grow the fuck up, guys. Please.

Are you so jealous and bitter you'd rather lies made it into the paper?


Friday, May 22, 2009

Never one to be outdone

So we've had weeks of revelations that MPs have been using our money to feather their own nests and most of them don't see anything wrong with it. And the others who don't think there's anything wrong with what they've been doing and have resigned still did it in the first place and probably would be if they hadn't been caught.

But this story in the Telegraph really takes it to new levels.

Eighteen "phantom" MEPs will be elected on full pay and perks next month despite not being able to start work for up to two years due to Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty...

The deal will mean they can draw full salaries and allowances at an annual cost of over £6 million without any legislative duties to carry out.

Let's just set aside, for the moment, the fact that we will be having an additional 18 MEPs elected who won't be doing any fucking work but will be living off the tax payer: they are so determined and confident that they can get this treaty through that they're even altering the legal system to accommodate it.

The current treaties don't allow for these additional MEPs, the Lisbon Treaty has not been ratified and is not in force because Ireland said no and so there shouldn't be these additional MEPs.

Why oh why do they hate democracy so much and despise the will of the people that they bulldoze through any opinions except their own? You can imagine them reading GCSE history books about the Nazis and making notes. Not for the exams, to make guidance notes.

Can we have photos of all those who are elected as phantom MEPs and monitor exactly what they do and exactly what they spend? For if they were any decent kind of people they'd not take the salary, not take the position and not waste the money.

Fucking duck islands look pretty lame in comparison to an entirely made up job and staff.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's a truth universally acknowledged...

The swivel-eyed loons and assorted nutters of hate have been on full rant about this supposed 'Nigel Farage claiming £2 million in expenses' without seeking to qualify it.

There are two reasons for this, I suppose.

1) They don't understand (this itself can be expanded)
2) They don't care because they just want to push their negative messages

Nigel Farage made that statement at a debate at the Foreign Press Association in order to open up the debate again about MEP expenses and how much Brussels costs this country. The £2 million figure being thrown around as an example of 'snouts in the trough' is a combination of about 7 other people's salaries over the last 10 years, not just his, along with travel and office expenses.

Yes, MEPs cost the tax payer a huge amount of money because on top of their salary (the same as a British MEP) they get paid for traveling to Brussels and Strasbourg and staying over night. This is going to cost more than travelling around Britain although the system still allows for people to claim an amount far more than their ticket.

For MEPs who change their ticket because they make speeches, visit schools or need to actually change their plans because they don't just sit around eating, this also means that they can end up worse off.

It's a truth which should be universally acknowledged that the harder an MEP works, the worse off he will be.

I don't know of many MEPs who don't live in their constituency apart from Richard Corbett who I was told has a house in Antwerp. They get given the amount of a business class fare, an allowance for signing in and money to run their constituency office and pay their staff. That goes through an agent - or it's supposed to but events of last year proved that that wasn't always the case.

Also what the loons either don't realise or don't care to include in their nonsense is that, for example, the constituency of an MEP for the South East of England is bigger than most countries in the EU. It is represented by 10 MEPs and is tremendously difficult to get around. I don't know how they came up with it but most people would realise that Oxfordshire and Kent aren't very similar or particularly close.

No doubt there's some idea that the more detached people are from their MEPs then the more the EU can just push ahead, but for someone like Farage and decent MEPs like Hannan who make the effort to keep their constituents informed it's a mammoth task.

Not that I expect facts to get in the way of an ill informed, inaccurate rant by Libertas and their ilk. In my eyes they are bringers of doom and misery who haven't realised that there is no niche in the UK political spectrum for their views as they are covered by the Tory party. By this I mean saying no to Lisbon but staying inside the EU and not being independent.

They also don't appear to understand economics but I am happy to give lessons in international trade for people who think that we need to be part of a political union to trade with countries.

I find it deeply concerning that these people want to stand for a parliament but I suppose they're no different from the MPs in Westminster who think that we need to be part of the EU.

For my part, I suppose I must just have more faith in people to think that we should be an independent country with a proper democracy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

elevator music

I'm madly busy and to be honest a little bored with MPs expenses.

In the mean time, here's something my mother sent me which raised a smile.

I will be back shortly when I will have time to get onto this blog all the bile and vitriol I have been storing up over the past few weeks.

I'll leave you with a piece of advice: If you're a journalist calling up a politician it's best to know something about them else you'll piss them off and look like a dick head.

The Hair Cut

One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber goes to open his shop the next morning there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door..

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The cop is happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later that day, a college professor comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The professor is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber opens his shop, there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen different books, such as 'How to Improve Your Business' and 'Becoming More Successful.'

Then, a Member of Parliament comes in for a haircut , and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Member of Parliament is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the Members of Parliament.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Too little, too late

The scandal of MP expenses just seems to go on and on and the damage appears to be to the institutions rather than any one political party.

Leaders are now taking what they'd like us to consider to be 'tough action' but it's hardly the case.

Cameron and the Tories want a pat on the head for making someone resign a few days before they were probably going to be outed in some newspaper.

The chief whip of the Labour Party also wants us to believe that he only suspended an MP from the Parliamentary Labour Party when the story broke because it wouldn't have been fair to do otherwise. No, Nick Brown. I think the reason that, despite you knowing two weeks ago that one of your MPs had quite possibly been committing fraudulent acts, you waited until you had no choice. After all, what party already doused in shit from months of scandal would want to highlight that one of their own was maybe not just guilty of abusing the glutenous expenses system but possibly the law?

In any case, it's win win for the media. Normally at the first whiff of a scandal there is some kind of tabloid campaign. A missing kid, a badly behaved celebrity and the Sundays in particular become flooded with 'sign our campaign' coupons.

But not this time.

Why bite the hand that feeds them? A torrent of stories on a similar theme and a population resenting the political classes whilst scanning the pages each day for the latest name which will appear on news channels for that day.

I don't think it's good enough to pay the money back. It's an admission of guilt and if they're making laws then they should be fired for not sticking to them.

I also don't want a load of my money spent on some whitewash of an investigation. It's bad enough that for years MPs have been troughing whilst I see more and more of my money taken away from me to be spent on their moats, plugs and harmful policies.

It's just a way for MPs and the government in particular to portray a message that they are trying to do something. 'Enough is enough!' they shout.

But enough should have been enough years ago. They should have realised it when they could furnish their second homes, with mortgage interest payments paid for by us, with allowances from people who might not have been able to buy a starter home.

It's too little, too late and only done because they've been caught.

Still, just think about this. You can't even trace what allowances MEPs get because the fees office don't dare let anyone know how much has been paid.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A complete shower

Nigel Farage's final speech in this parliamentary term, with a run down of the last five years.

Which have mainly seen the federalists attack him for wanting referendums because they, in their own words, must not bow to populism.

No, the voice of the people is to be feared in the EU: they like totalitarianism, no opposition and bullying and threatening and fining of anyone who thinks differently to them.

Just remember that on June 4th

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Europerks plus

Via the excellent Berlaymonster, this wonderful story right slap bang in the EU election campaign:

14 EU fonctionnaires investigated for suspected injury benefit fraud have been awarded an extra 3000 euros each from the taxpayer, after it transpired the EU's fraud watchdog failed to tell the accident-prone civil servants that they were to face criminal proceedings in Italy.

The ruling is the culmination of investigations dating back to 2002 into suspected widespread benefit plundering at the EU's Joint Research Centre, based out of the Italian town of Ispra on the shore of Lake Maggiore.

In an initial 2002 audit, 230 JRC eurocrats - one fifth of the total headcount there - were found to be claiming a permanent partial invalidity.

5.7 million euros were disbursed to the accident-prone staff between 1996 and 2002.
On average this worked out at around 25 000 euros each.

Go read the rest.

On the subject of the EU and fraud, South East candidate for the UK Independence Party, Marta Andreasen, will be appearing on Question Time on the 21st May. You might remember her, she used to be the chief accountant of the EU who was fired by Neil Kinnock et al for doing her job. Former chief accountant and now she's standing for UKIP.

All of you who want to send a message, who want to stop fraud, or try to, in the EU, who want someone strong to take on the bureaucrats and commissioners couldn't do better than vote for Marta. They don't want her to be there holding them to account, telling it how it is and so it's your duty to ensure that it happens.

Even if you're not that political you must see how that would annoy them.

ID cards: the plot thickens

Possibly not so much the plot thickening...

Pharmacies and post offices could act as enrolment centres for the Government's identity card scheme, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said today.

Anyone who wants an ID card or biometric passport will go to their local post office or pharmacy to have their fingerprints read and stored along with a face scan.

The card will cost £30 and the shops could charge another £30 to collect the data, which will be stored on a Government database.

I would suggest that those people wanting to be tagged, monitored and essentially property of the state couldn't do better than go to a pharmacy. Possibly after they've got the slip of paper from their GP first.

But doesn't it show the ingrained authoritarianism of this bunch: the budget showed what a mess this country was in, there are genuine uses for public money like, I don't know, Armed Forces Housing, and they push ahead with this unwanted, unnecessary and downright dangerous ID cards scheme.

This bunch shouldn't be trusted with an emery board, let along records of the population's finger prints.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

another Downfall

Via IndHome another Downfall spoof:

I can see the Tories jumping up and down over that. It's okay to do it to the others, I should imagine, but not to them as they're really nice

Telegraph gear up their anti-UKIP campaign

It's hard to tell these days which party the Telegraph supports: Tories or Labour. A glance at private eye points thirsty and his crew firmly in the socialist pit but it's still strewn with people who think the Tory party are the way forward. One must congratulate them on noticing any conceivable difference for I certainly can't.

At least they're pretty determined on one point: UKIP bashing.

This piece for example, based on fuck all but tittle tattle from bitter incompetent has-beens, is a prime example.

What they've done is ignore the polling results which show UKIP on double where they were this time in 2004, ignore the meteoric rise throughout the campaign when the anti debate crew in Westminster didn't get their way for a few weeks, and just decided to write what they think will encourage their readers to either vote Tory or Labour.

It's where the old and the new at the ToryLabourgraph can actually meet: Labour are so shit and have fucked up so much that UKIP could maximise on those Labour voters embarrassed by their previous party of choice particularly on the cringe making subject of the referendum. Tories always lose votes to UKIP because many Tories don't like the EU whereas, bizarrely, their leadership do: Look at the cult status of Dan Hannan if you don't believe me.

Of course, this year it's even more convoluted because no one is exactly sure what the Tories are going for this time round. Apart from their dye in the wool voters and people who mistakenly think they're going to 'bring power back from Brussels'.

I hope they both lose voter because they want this country to be ruled by pen pushers rather than politicians and, whatever the many faults of politicians, at least we vote for the bastards and that means we can get rid of them too.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

the battle bus rolls into town

The decidedly biased BBC has been rather anti UKIP as the campaign trail for the European Elections starts.

However, that's hardly surprising given the EU fanatic Simon Hicks of the LSE, doing their election analysis.

It's a wonderful opportunity for the blustering buffoon to make up for his embarrassment in 2004 when he was adament that the party which would be his bete noire - anyone listening to his language on the European Parliament not being a talking shop and 'environmental protection can guess - would not make any inroads.

He was proved wrong in massive style and perhaps he'll try use his undeserved influence to try to be correct 5 years later.

Alas, I doubt it will mean there will be any economic sense from Labour and Lib Dems. Denis MacShane talking nonsense about national sovereignty being against British business is a prime example.

If we're allowed to have a proper debate it will be very interesting, particularly watching the Tories trying to establish any kind of coherent position. Anyone watching the politics show today would have seen the hilarious juxtaposition of Dan Hannan being personable, sensible and likeable followed by MEP leader Timothy Kirkhope who, in one fell swoop, swept away any notion that Tory EU policy was interesting, hard hitting and in line with the views of the grass roots.

And, as Nigel Farage said, if UKIP beat Labour that would really damage Gordon Brown. And wouldn't that be fun...