ECHO - The EU's Humanitarian Aid Organisation - Nil Points!
The EU's Aid page 'ECHO' linked here and last updated on 28th December, three days after the Tsunami wave disaster first hit - has as its 'Latest News' Headline ........ " O Professor (The Teacher): “I am so happy today” says Maurice Simao, a 45 year-old teacher I met at the reception centre in Huambo in the central highlands of Angola" an item from Angola.
Elsewhere on the site we can learn what the EU is doing about Aids and various other well intended projects. Only under 'Quick Links' is there any mention of the huge human tragedy underway in Asia - which will yield only this 'Pop Up ' window:-
The EU Constitution, European Court of Justice - Who Rules? etc.
Anne Palmer has kindly drawn my attention to some fascinating and important exchanges in Parliaments European Scrutiny Committee on 8th December, the uncorrected version may be read by clicking here. Highly recommended here is a very small sample:-
Q87 Mr Heathcoat-Amory: Could I continue with the issue of the horizontal clauses? We are constantly told that the EU law will effectively limit and closely define the Charter rights and their application. Professor de Búrca, you have written that you think they may have some effect but in time will be overridden by other considerations. Certainly I as a layman cannot make head nor tail of, for instance, the distinction between rights and principles. Perhaps you can throw some light on that. In general terms is this simply window dressing to satisfy politicians and will they in any sense constrain what is obviously a highly activist court in this area?
Professor De Búrca: I would be tempted to say yes, they are just window-dressing, but I do not think that would be quite fair. I would say that there is a certain amount of satisfying or mollifying of the British and the Irish contingent within the Charter working-group, undoubtedly because that was the real crux issue during that working-group on the Charter. .......
EU Aid for Tsunami Victims will be like the Hurricane Mitch missing millions!
The EU is sometimes so comprehensively inefficient, incompetent and heartless that it appears to be deliberately aiming to make itself absurd.
Of all the botched aid delivery packages any government, NGO or other multi-national organisation has ever created the EU's pledge of 250 million dollars worth of aid to Central America must top the list. Two years after the event Chris Patten the EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs as good as admitted that none of that package had ever been delivered. Read a report from Namibia linked here.
Incredibly, the press statement put out by the almost invisible representatives of the excremental European Union had the gall to liken their Tsunami aid package to the very same Hurricane Mitch fiasco. The item may be read in full from this link, but the truly crass quote is this:-
"Michel recalled that the international community is now confronted with a situation very similar to that of Hurricane Mitch in 1997 which devastated countries in Central America."
This spokesman for the putative next evil empire then had the nerve to continue as follows:
"In such contexts, coordination is crucial to ensure that relief efforts are as effective as possible," he said, adding: "Relief efforts should be followed up promptly by a comprehensive rehabilitation package."
And what does the huge EU and its Commissioner for Aid then plan? Again I quote:
The commission added that Michel plans to visit areas affected by the tidal waves "in the near future."
Presumably when he has finished feasting and gorging himself with all the benefits his fat EU unearned salary and perks can buy over his extended, probably close to three week, Christmas and New Year holiday break.
And in the case of the Hurricane Mitch disaster, was the pledged 250 million ever delivered? We shall probably never know!
The European Union a certainly CALLOUS possibly even EVIL Empire?
The website of the European Union, several days after probably one of the greatest natural disasters to confront mankind for many years - the Tsunami waves in the Indian Ocean, remains untouched since two days before Christmas.
Read the 'Latest News' linked here and question for yourself just what it is that the citizens of Europe gain for the billions of Euros they pour into this dreadful organisation year after wasted year!
The top five items reported by the EU since 23rd December are as follows:-
The Daily Mail linked from here, reports on the scandal of Labour's Election supremo (not for long if Alistair Campbell has his way, I'll wager), drawing an annual salary from the public purse of more than one hundred and thirty thousand pounds annually while fulfilling few (if any) public duties! A quote:
Prime Minister Tony Blair appointed his close ally Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in September, with a Cabinet minister's salary of £130,347 and a brief including co-ordination of Labour's election campaign.
This look back over the past year for the EU provides a good summary of most of the low points and predicts an even worse year ahead - Good! It is from the Inter Press agency and may be read from here.
The Sunday Telegraph 'Christopher Booker Column' highlights the ongoing problems for John Prescott's EU-ordained Balkanisation of England through the Regional Authorites. Read the report from here.
Those reading down the column can learn the full facts of the recent near midnight arrest of our fellow anti-EU blogger Dr Richard North who is the main contributor to EU Referendum linked here, or the piece may be reached directly from here.
Britain's far from truthful Prime Minister faces fresh public allegations this Boxing Day on his past receipt of holiday hospitality. This time it concerns a stay at a French Chateau as guest of a tobacco industry big shot. The report may be read from this link.
The Independent highlights the absurdity of a governmental system that permits the destruction of hundreds of thousands of documents on the eve of the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act. Read their report from here.
A report from BBC News, linked here makes for worrying reading indeed. When the organisation representing the interests of the police themselves issues such a warning we surely must all pay particular concern and immediately relay our worries to our elected representatives. A quote:-
We are fearful this is the first step towards political interference and control of policing in this country Police Federation
Winston Churchill - message to the newly liberated Italian people, dated 28 August 1944:
"It has been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. The question arises - what is freedom? There are one or two quite simple, practical tests by which it can be known in the modern world.namely:
Is there the right to free expression of opinion and of opposition and criticism of the government of the day?
Have the people the right to turn out a government of which they disapprove, and are constitutional means provided by which they can make their will apparent?
A quote from Melanie Phillips, many thanks to the reader who brought it to my attention:
"The issue is no longer economics and the market. It is no longer tax rises or reductions, God help us, or a bigger or smaller state, or the dire condition of the public services. It is, quite simply, the threat to our civilisation, our nation and our democratic values and traditions from a decadent British and European nomenklatura that no longer has the stomach nor the moral compass in order to uphold them from within, let alone fight to defend them against the threat facing us from without. It is the great issue of our times. Nothing else matters like this. Where are the politicians who have the ability and the moral courage to grasp it?"
If one of the former East European Communist-controlled new members of the EU were to announce the appointment of a former member of the Communist Party to one of the top three most important politcal positions in their country then one would have expected some form of comment in their newly liberated press.
The same seems no longer to hold true in Britain, which once used to pride itself on the independence of its media. If his rumoured membership of that party is indeed true then I cannot find any coverage on this crucial fact - yet it was only at the end of last month, mere weeks before his elevation all kinds of hints to that effect were being reported. Try The Register, linked here (read also for his ideas for x-rays in schools) of which this is a small quote:-
Memory lane Charles Clarke, The Register and law and order go back a thunderous long way. When Charles was president of the National Union of Students, your writer was gigging for National Student at the NUS premises in Kings Cross. We heard a cross stamping noise in the doorway. It was Charles on a mission of mercy. "F*ck f*ck f*ck", he said to nobody in particular. "That f*cking f*cker Andy Strouthous has got himself arrested. Now I've got to go and f*cking bail the f*cking Trot f*ucker out, and I f*cking hate him." Andy Strouthous, we recall, was at that time president of of North East London Poly. We have always treasured Charles' moderate and humane reaction to his predicament. ®
Here also for another example at the end of last month Charlie Whelan gave us this snippet on the new Home Secretary in the New Statesman, linked here:
When Charles Clarke called Prince Charles a stupid old buffer, my immediate reaction was that the Education Secretary had just returned from one of his legendary long lunches.
Is this report from The Independent the closest the public is likely to be informed of the full political background of our new Home Secretary:-
Independent, UK -26 Nov 2004 ...CharlesClarke, Secretary of State for Education Former Broad Left president of NUS
If so what exactly is BROAD LEFT? Here is a hint from a Guardian article of 2001, linked here which also highlights a trip to Cuba by Clarke and the youthful new British EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson:-
As a student radical he fought with communists as well as Conservatives, working with Peter Mandelson, Paul Boateng, Fiona Mactaggart and even Nigel Evans, now a Tory frontbencher, to block extreme leftwing motions. Alongside Mr Mandelson, he visited Cuba to organise a world youth festival. For both it was a potent training ground for their later political careers.
Maybe the hidden agenda of New Labour and their Tory (read here for a wry chuckle over how he feels politicians lack the respect they deserve!) and LibDem allies is to deliver Britain to a Fidel Castro type of totalitarian dictatorship within the EU, with enough controlled private corporations to feed their own desires for wordly wealth of course, rather than the old Soviet system that many have up to now presumed is the ultimate objective. What matter as long as they are in charge, eh?
Back behind their closed doors go the EU's anti-democratic Heads of Government
This report of Blair's arrival for the latest EU Council meeting, linked here, will be all we hear until our leaders deign to release which of their decisions and dirty dealings they wish the ctizens of the European Continent to know! How much of anything they then report each of us chooses to believe is of course a matter of individual choice. In the case of the British Prime Minister, shabbied even further by his recent support for the resigned David Blunkett, I wager the majority of his countrymen would decide very little.
This little item on biometric passport identifiers (for which thanks again to Anne Palmer) might form the basis of a useful question if we had a press corps for concerned to inform the public rather than simply regurgitate the government propaganda:-
Subject. Council Regulation on standards for security features and biomentrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States COM (2004) 116 Final. 9.12.2004. Delegates will find a unilateral statement from the United Kingdom.
"The United kingdom recalls that, under the Protocols on the position of the United kingdom and Ireland and on integrating the Schengen aquis into the framework of the European union, it has the right to take part in the adoption of this measure. It regrets that it has been denied that right.
The adoption of this measure is without prejudice to the united Kingdom's legal position, and its right to take such legal steps in accordance with that position as it considers necessary".
The following is the latest news update from another front devoted to ridding Britain of Blair:
At Westminster, Adam Price and his colleagues are hard at it, trying to persuade the authorities to grant a debate.
Please continue to push the case with MPs and in the press as much as you possibly can. Please make the argument that if David Blunkett is forced to resign for breach of the Ministerial Code for fast tracking a visa, then Tony Blair should certainly go for fast tracking a war by misleading the House and the people. When a senior political editor was asked why he did not make the connection he simply replied; "different standards apply, we want Blair to stay."
The latest news from the Liberal Democrats to try and fend off the growing pressure from within the party to join - and indeed take a leadership role in the impeachment campaign, involves some rather weak excuses.
They argue that impeachment is simply an anachronism - we agree - except that all the modern methods of accountability have failed and so we can and should use impeachment. Then they argue that Tony Blair would not get a fair trial in front of the Lords as his human rights would be violated. Well, this one took our breath away, but rather than sounding off, let's make two clear reasonable points. First, the Lords can delegate their powers to a panel of Law Lords, and since Tony Blair claims to have been cleared by Lords Hutton and Butler he can hardly object to other Lords judging him. And second and most important, any impeachment would begin by several votes in the elected House of Commons, and this would produce his resignation.
Thanks for all you are doing to help the campaign.
Blunkett Resigns - Will Blair, Straw, Hain or Hoon be next?
A growing and deepening crisis is now slowly engulfing the United Kingdom. The dreadful attempts to deviate around democratic parliamentary debate last evening in Westminster over a Bill that implied the 'State' would in future have the right to starve its citizens to death, has tonight been followed by Blair's 'friend' the Home Secretary (Interior Minister) David Blunkett's belated resignation.
Other senior ministers and cabinet members who are known to have lied will hopefully soon follow - among them are Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, Peter Hain, Leader of the House, Geoff Hoon, Defence Minister and of course the Prime Minister Tony Blair himself.
The Christopher Booker column in the Sunday Telegraph this morning concludes with an item on the disregard for their own referendum rules displayed by Government ministers during the recent campaign on Regional Assemblies in the North East. The comment is linked from here and concludes :
"Thinking of all the people I report here who face criminal prosecution for failing to obey so many footling laws for which these same politicians are responsible, does not the phrase "one law for them, another for the rest of us" come to mind?"
To which the answer of course is obvious! Still unconvinced, then read Neil Herron's blog archives for all the sordid details by clicking here.
CAMPAIGN FOR BALANCED INFORMATION President: Professor Antony Flew
CITIZENSHIP FOR 11-16 YEAR-OLDS
(Personal and Social, or Modern Studies, in some parts of the UK)
BRITAIN AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
We believe that a considerable amount of pro-European Union material from government and EU sources is being presented to schools involved in teaching the above course.
The Campaign is concerned to ensure that a balance of information is made available to
pupils which is factual and not party-political. As education professionals, we wish to redress what we believe to be a serious omission. In order to comply with the 1996 Education Act, Sections 406 and 407, schools are required to provide unbiased information.
Two education professionals, Joy Squire and Iris Binstead, have prepared a package which contains information on the Euro, Human Rights, democratic self-government and various aspects of the law. Accompanying this are four transparencies for overhead projection, which give a visual aspect to learning. Also enclosed is a video.
The package contains lessons which can be adapted for various age groups, much of the text being presented in the form of question and answer.
(a) The Euro – This lesson aims to show the pros and cons of joining.
(b) How and Why Laws are Made – to make pupils aware of the differences in law-making between our government and the European Union.
(c) Human Rights – This chapter aims to ensure that pupils are aware of the basic human rights which citizens of the UK have enjoyed for hundreds of years, as opposed to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
(d) The Treaties – This lesson shows many of the aspects of life which are now dealt with by the European Union.
(e) The Constitution – covers the main aspects of the EU Constitution.
The transparencies are as follows:
(a) The Treaties – These are Rome, the Single European, Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice.
(b) The New Order – shows a comparison between the structure of our government and that of the EU.
(c) Human Rights – This transparency deals with Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and trial by jury.
(d) The Constitution – which makes the European Union a legal personality with all that that entails.
We wish to acknowledge the very great help given to us by our researcher, the late Nina Cooper, who produced the notes and references accompanying the package and also the more detailed notes and sources which are available on request. Our thanks also go to the eminent educators who have endorsed this material:
Dr John Bradfield – Senior Fellow and former Senior Bursar, Trinity College, Cambridge
Professor Antony Flew – well-known author and expert on the ideals of improved
education and former member of the Centre for Policy Studies in
Professor Andrew Tettenborn, Professor of Law, Exeter University
Mr C M Woodhead – former Chief Inspector of Schools
To order a copy/ies (for which we would appreciate a donation of £8 each) or nominate a school/s in your area which you wish to receive a package/s, please telephone the number below. If you leave a message on the answer ‘phone, kindly state clearly your name and telephone number so that we can contact you. If you wish a package/s to be sent directly to a school/s, it is suggested that you first contact the head teacher/s to see whether they would like to receive the material. It would be helpful if you could tell us the name of the head teacher/s as well as the address/s of the school/s.
---------Click on the title above to read the Provisions, I recommend Part 2 Emergency Provisions--------------
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My honourable friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office has today launched the public consultation on the regulations and guidance in support of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which received Royal Assent on 18 November.
9 Dec 2004 : Column WS68
The Act and accompanying non-legislative measures will deliver a single framework for civil protection in the UK, modernising outdated legislation to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The purpose of the public consultation is to consider the suitability and content of the underpinning regulations and guidance for practitioners and is in accordance with the Government's commitment to launch the consultation shortly after Royal Assent.
Copies of the consultation document, the draft regulations and guidance will be placed in the Library of the House. They can also be viewed on the UK Resilience website (www.ukresilience.info). Click Here
<>The consultation period will run until 3 March and is being carried out in accordance with the Cabinet Office code of practice on consultation. The final regulations and guidance will be drawn up in light of the responses to the consultation.
MANY THANKS TO ANNE PALMER FOR THE INFORMATION AND LINKS FOR THIS POSTING.
EU Interference in World Affairs not of their Concern
From today's EU Press Report - Midday Express!
European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, together with the High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bernard Bot, representing the current EU Presidency, will meet for a Ministerial Troika with US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, on 10 December 2004 in The Hague, Netherlands. The agenda concentrates on multilateral political issues such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East, China, Russia, Ukraine and the Balkans. The ministerial plenary session will be preceded by a working luncheon dedicated to a general discussion on the future of the transatlantic relationship. Media advisory: the Ministerial Troika meeting will be followed by a press conference at around 16h45 ; EbS will be covering key moments.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Bernard Bot and Javier Solana!!!!!! a Ministerial Troika????
Anybody recall having voted for any of these - anyone got any faith in any of these? Anybody sane out there?
EU minnows stand up to France and Germany over China arms embargo.
In a welcome change from past rubber-stamping of all that the Franco-German axis powers propose, the EU has stood firm on relations with China. Read the Daily Telegraph report by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from here.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether they believe that the recently appointed European Commission is suitably composed to act as the initiator and executive of European Union legislation.
Baroness Crawley: My Lords, yes. The Government have every confidence in President Barroso's Commission. We can only applaud the new Commission's focus on delivery, reform and better regulation. We look forward to working with it to face some of the great common challenges—Africa, climate change and European economic reform—during our presidency next year of both the G8 and the EU.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for that admirably succinct reply.
But is she aware that the new Commission contains six former communists, an agriculture commissioner who benefits from the CAP, an anti-fraud commissioner who has been tried for fraud, Monsieur Barrot who was found guilty of fraud but who was pardoned by President Chirac, for fairly obvious reasons, not to mention that fine example of British political probity, Mr Peter Mandelson?
Does the noble Baroness further agree that the Latvian candidate did not make it on to the Commission because she favours member states retaining their tax systems and that Signor Buttiglione was excluded because he is a good Catholic and a thoroughly decent man?
In those circumstances, can the noble Baroness tell the House why Her Majesty's Government are happy to see most of our new laws largely controlled by such people, as they now are?
Baroness Crawley: My Lords, the noble Lord is well known for his less than high regard of the European Union and its works. I was waiting for the corrupt octopus of Europe to make an entry. I would then have been able to say that it is not so much the corrupt octopus of Europe, but the tired tentacles of European scepticism which strangle coherent debate.
Vote for Neil Herron - Best Campaigner Great Britons 2004 Just a reminder if you haven't voted for Neil Herron in the Campaigning category the polls close tomorrow. There has been a fantastic response so far and we need to have one last push to get the recognition for the most emphatic No Vote delivered by the people against the arrogant, political class in the recent North East referendum. Please spare two minutes and cast your vote...
Then click on 'VOTE NOW' on the right hand side and then mark the 'CAMPAIGNER' category and follow the instructions.
North East No Campaign
To read the latest news on the Daily Telegraph's Great Britons poll please click here
...For campaigning, the most nominations have been received on behalf of Neil Herron, a former market trader from Sunderland who was a key figure in defeating John Prescott's plans for a North-East regional assembly. One supporter said: "He stood up for the idea that governments govern only with the consent of the people." Another said: "He epitomises the bulldog spirit."Philip Johnstone Filed (02.12.04)
To view the original nomination by Colin Moran please click here
Continuing our commentary on the recent speech by Jack Straw on the Constitution, the 'edited' version of which, as issued by the Foreign Office is linked below, we come to this quite extraordinary statement:
First, it (the EU - ed) would in fact still have most of the features to which the anti-Europeans most object: the primacy of EU law, the European Court of Justice, and so on. And it is misleading to claim that the British people didn’t know what we were going into, for those issues featured strongly in the debate on Europe at the time of our referendum in 1975.
I have the referendum pamphlet put out by the Labour Government in 1975 . It may be read in full from this link. There is of course no reference to the primacy of EU law, nor the European Court of Justice. If I recall any mention of justice during that campaign it was implied if not stated or was something to the effect that the European Court of Justice was separate from the Common Market arrangements and that our commitments under European law had been entered into as a matter entirely apart from the the Common Market. Any suggestion that EU Law would obtain primacy would have doomed any prospect of a victory for the lying 'Yes' campaigners.
The BBC reference guide on the European Court of Justice, linked here, states the following:
Before 1989, it dealt with cases referred to it by the Commission, Member States or national courts, which needed a ruling on the applications of EU law. But in that year, it also became a Court of First Instance - in other words, it was empowered to hear certain categories of cases such as those on competition law for instance. The Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance each have a President, appointed for a term of three years.
YET MORE POWERS WERE GIVEN TO THE COURT AS RECENTLY AS THE NICE TREATY, HOW WERE THE BRITISH ELECTORATE IN 1975 TO CONSIDER THOSE?
How can the nation's Foreign Secretary, under the auspices of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issue a statement indicating that the British people had a full oportunity to consider the matter of the powers and authority of this court in 1975, where the real powers did not even enter into effect until 1989?
The clear intention of this slippery and deceitful politician is to deceive, in this case he is being aided and abetted by the nation's civil servants within the Foreign Office. It is quite outrageous but will any MP call the Foreign Secretary to account - I am not holding my breath!
Beneath this will be found an "edited" version of a speech delivered by the serial lying British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. First he praises the new facilities of the law firm Coward Chance, no doubt mainly financed from the proceeds of advice proffered in respect of the EU and its never-ending regimentation, then he proceeds to the usual distortions:
"Let me begin with a paradox – perhaps one of many – in the position of the Constitution’s opponents.
That is the contention that Europe has pulled the wool over British eyes."
Such is not the contention of informed euro-realists! Our contention is, as can now be all too plainly seen, proven and demonstrated, that successive British governments have lied, dissembled and cheated the British people out of their democratic rights and historical liberties.
THE WOOL HAS BEEN PULLED OVER BRITISH EYES BY THE LEADING POLITICIANS OF THE CONSERVATIVE, LABOUR AND LIBERAL-DEMOCRAT PARTY DURING THE PAST THIRTY TO FORTY YEARS!
ONLY in Britain were these lies perpetrated, because only in Britain is mealy-mouthed accomodation with ones neighbours unnecessary - because our borders are the sea. iF WE DO NOT LIKE WHAT WE FIND AT FIRST LANDFALL (UNLIKE OUR LAND SURROUNDED CONTINENTAL NEIGHBOURS) THEN WE MAY CHOOSE TO NOT CALL THERE AGAIN. The Continental Nations know the OTHER game and the way it is played. Their politicians and parliamentarians cannot therefore be stood accused of treachery and lies.Lying and treachery run deep through their veins, how else are they to protect their vital perpetually landlocked national interests?
The same may not be said of Britain's guilty men and women who knowingly sold out their nation e.g: Heath, Ripon, Wilson, Healey, Callaghan, Thatcher, Home, Hurd, Rifkind, Major, Blair, Straw etc.,etc.
The EU did not betray, dupe or pull the wool over the eyes of the British - WE WERE BETRAYED BY OUR OWN COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN. THAT BETRAYAL IS BEING CONTINUED TO THIS DAY BY THE LIKES OF JACK STRAW!
Washington Times details economic pressures on Blair
An interesting item from United Press that was published in the Washington Times is linked from here. This is its opening paragraph:-
British prime minister Tony Blair is said to be aiming Britain's General Election, (which must be held before June 2006), for May 2005, about the earliest he can reasonably hold it without attracting a storm of criticism. For the sake of his re-election, he'd better not delay it -- because the British economy could be looking pretty sick by the end of the year.
Read to the end if you really wish to get depressed with a Liberal Democrat election victory mooted.
One item missing from this gloomy scenario, however, is the growing probability that a new force might yet arise on Britain's political scene. This came closer last evening when the UK Independence Party, National Election Committee refused to grant the party its properly requested Emergency General Meeting to call for a Leadership Contest.
The time required for any legal challenge of this apparently unconstitutional decision seems to throw the ball firmly back to Robert Kilroy-Silk, who will now have a golden opportunity to grab the moral high-ground, free himself from the stigma of his past association with this widely accepted corrupt and very nasty party and take the great mass of decent members in a new direction which will shake the present British staus quo to its very foundations.
Drake he's in his hammock an' a thousand miles away,
(Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?)
Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay,
An' dreamin' arl the time O' Plymouth Hoe.
Yarnder lumes the Island, yarnder lie the ships,
Wi' sailor lads a-dancing' heel-an'-toe,
An' the shore-lights flashin', an' the night-tide dashin',
He see et arl so plainly as he saw et long ago.
Drake he was a Devon man, an' ruled the Devon seas,
(Capten, art tha' sleepin' there below?)
Roving' tho' his death fell, he went wi' heart at ease,
A' dreamin' arl the time o' Plymouth Hoe.
"Take my drum to England, hang et by the shore,
Strike et when your powder's runnin' low;
If the Dons sight Devon, I'll quit the port o' Heaven,
An' drum them up the Channel as we drumm'd them long ago."
Drake he's in his hammock till the great Armadas come,
(Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?)
Slung atween the round shot, listenin' for the drum,
An' dreamin arl the time o' Plymouth Hoe.
Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound,
Call him when ye sail to meet the foe;
Where the old trade's plyin' an' the old flag flyin'
They shall find him ware and wakin', as they found him long ago!
In 1918 as the German fleet steamed into the port of Scapa Flow to surrender, the eerie tattoo of a kettle drum's victory roll began sounding below decks in the British battleship Royal Oak. Twice the commander sent officers to search out its source. When nothing was found the commander himself made a search of the ship. But every man was at his station and still the ghostly drummer continued his sonorous vigil.
The moment the ship dropped anchor the mysterious drum rolls ceased - Drake, it would seem was at rest once more.
The Englishman Sir Francis Drake, was a man of many talents, his naval career extended from an apprenticeship on a coastal vessel to the rank of admiral during the invasion by the Spanish Armada.
During his life he was an explorer, (the first Englishman to see the Pacific ocean) and as a navigator he twice circumnavigated the globe (the first, by an Englishman). As a privateer under the secret commission of Queen Elizabeth I he attacked Spanish ports at will and at one stage brazenly sailed into the Main Spanish harbour of Cadiz where the Armada was being assembled for the coming invasion of Britain. After sinking 10,000 tons of shipping (a considerable amount in those days) he laconically reported that he had just "singed the King of Spain's beard".
When the Spanish Armada finally sailed, Drake was in the middle of a game of bowls and was most put out when told of the imminent arrival of the Spanish fleet. "Don't worry," he coolly informed his comrades, "there's plenty of time to win this game and thrash the Spanish, too!"
Drake's landfall accomplishments were nearly as spectacular as his seaborne ones. Besides his knighthood; in 1582 he was made mayor of Plymouth, and in 1584-85 was elected to represent the county of Bossiney in parliament.
As the saying goes, you can take the man out of the sea but you can't take the sea out of the man, consequently Drake teamed up again with Hawkins and the two old sea-dogs set sail for the Spanish Main.
After capturing the fort of Nombre de Dios Drake sailed West and during the voyage became ill with fever and was too sick to remain on deck. On the night of January 27, partly delirious, Drake struggled from his bed insisting he should don his armor and die like a true knight.
He died before dawn the next day. His body was placed in a lead coffin and given to the sea off Portobello. Whilst on his deathbed he ordered that his drum be taken and hung in Buckland Abbey near Plymouth where it hangs today. He vowed that if England should ever be in danger from a foe and someone were to beat upon the drum he would return again to defend her shores.
It is said that while Napoleon, was being held a prisoner in Plymouth after the battle of Waterloo the drum was heard to give a low `growl'.
Apparently it has been heard three times this century, first in 1914 when the first world war started, four years later on the battleship Royal Oak and again in the second world war during the retreat from Dunkirk.
"Take my drum to England, hang it by the shore,
And strike it when your powder's running low;
If the Dons sight Devon, I'll quit the port of
heaven, and drum them up the channel as we
drummed them long ago."
Sir Henry John Newbolt 1862-1938 Will Drake's drum ever be heard again?
All Europe to share Britain's shame as disgraced ex-Minister Mandelson to meet China's PM!
The following item is taken from the EU's midday press release today. At least we presume President Barroso will for once feel comfortable mentioning the missing section of his CV covering his years as a Marxist student with the Chinese premier.
Such people given such imagined power is truly shameful, by what right can a trading group discuss the lifting of arms embargoes once imposed by Sovereign States? A quote from the press release, linked here:
Prior to the Summit, Commission President José Manuel Barroso commented:
“We are at a dynamic moment in our relationship with China. Our Chinese partners have acknowledged the importance of the EU as a strategic partner and our relationship is growing in the political as well as trade fields. Developing this relationship will be one of our top foreign policy objectives in the years to come”.
Not if the people of Europe come to their senses and stop the Constitution in its tracks they wont!
Twice disgraced and resigned British ex-minister Mandelson still manipulating the BBC from Brussels
Readthe stomach churning, sycophantic crawling by the licence fee financed BBC who describes the man who has pulled their strings for so long and looks set to continue to do so as follows:-
Peter Mandelson is now one of the most powerful men in Europe.
The European Union is, by some measures, the world's largest trading bloc.
Member states have handed the European Commission pretty much sole responsibility for all the international trade deals, which gives Mr Mandelson more clout than most UK Cabinet ministers. First meeting of the day is with his cabinet - his team of senior advisors........
Readers who can take more of this guff may do so from here.
A report from CBS newswatch, linked here is as follows:-
EU to end BSkyB's monopoly on live soccer matches - rpt (UK:MNU, UK:BSY)By Kabir Chibber HONG KONG (CBS.MW) -- The European Commission will end U.K. broadcaster BSkyB's (UK:BSY) monopoly on showing lucrative live soccer matches on TV, according to The Observer newspaper. "After 2007 there will be at least two broadcasters of live matches," an EC official told the paper. "We have already reached a provisional agreement with the League about this." England's Premier League soccer clubs, such as Manchester United (UK:MNU) , stand to lose millions in revenue. The EC has estimated a reduction of around 12.5 percent in the value of the Premier League's domestic TV contract, the paper said.
It is to be hoped that this interference in the routine pleasures of daily life will alert more and more people to the insidious threat the non-democratic, non-accountable and non-removable that the EU institution now poses.
Pressure of other developments has left me short of tine to visit the EU's Europa pages to monitor the decline in their own words. Being Sunday and fairly quiet I took the chance to see what had been happening - I only had to go to the first entries for this classic:-
In October 2004, compared to October 2003, the volume of retail trade fell by 0.2% in the euro-zone
The side to be on in any war is the one that will win.
Christopher Booker in his Sunday Telegraph column today discusses the EU's GPS system they call 'Galileo'. Read his comments from here. This blog has always opposed setting up a competing system to the longstanding American satellite navigation one which is freely available for all civilian purposes. The only reason the EU could need its own system, being citizen control or that it anticipates at some point in the future being in a belligerent stance against the USA.
Peter Mandelson's article in Friday's International Herald Tribune advanced that likliehood by his emphasis on multilateralism (now quite clearly code for continued confrontation). That item may be read from here.
Britain should not be involved in military systems that appear to be only designed to threaten the USA. Apart from the fact that in any armed confrontation the EU would be the certain loser, in any future argument between the two, America is now likely to be in the right. Democracies generally seek peace rather than conflict and the EU has now clearly no intention of developing along democratic lines.
The disappointment of much of Europe in the recent US Presidential result should re-inforce the awareness in Europe of what democracy means - the people endorsing or removing those who rule over them - a concept that now no longer exists within the twenty-five, once sovereign and democratic member states of the present EU.
Mandelson may blithely state, as he does in his comment that the EU and US " share a belief in democracy and individual freedoms, and in creating opportunity and economic openness". The facts on the ground show otherwise, as does the non-democratic and oppressive nature of the proposed EU Constitution and the actions and proposed legislative programme of our own government, much of it driven by pressure from the EU.
Withdrawal of Britain from the EU is rapidly becoming not just economically desirable; it is now becoming a burning necessity for the sake of democracy and individual liberty. We have democratic friends in the world, not just in the USA, but in Australia, Canada, India, the Caribbean and New Zealand and many of the other Commonwealth countries. Why are we turning our backs to them to court oppression and servitude under an increasingly economically crippled, and ever less free, mainland Europe?
Blair's Government has no cause nor right to sell the British people into European totalitarianism, as his close advisor and friend now so clearly inicates is his intent.
The EU should have no call for a competing GPS Satellite navigation system, the fact that it is prepared to squander billions in its development is one more clear sign that staying within this arrangement is extremely dangerous.
As this blog has repeatedly maintained over many months (see here and here for two examples), Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has habitually lied to Parliament.
The Observer confirmed this last Sunday in a report over a planned coup in Africa rather than the EU Constitution which is the subject of our earlier complaints. Once the precedent of lying is set, as Fairy Tales tell - it is often very difficult to stopm - or form some even to cease to be able to tell the difference where truth ends and lies begin. The paper, linked here, reported the following:
The new claims raise questions about Straw's recent parliamentary answers in the Commons. In August officials flatly denied any prior knowledge of the plot, but earlier this month Straw was forced to admit that the government was informed in late January. On 17 November he admitted his department had received 'confidential information' on the plan, but played down its significance, saying in a parliamentary answer that the reports contained nothing that 'significantly' added to rumours of a possible coup reported in the Spanish media.
Sir: The Government's reasoning in support of the introduction of ID cards should give us cause for great concern. When a product is advertised as a cure for everything from the common cold to cancer you know it's snake oil. When the Government says a policy will be effective against everything from terrorism to benefit fraud you know it's got to be too good to be true.
Why should we trust with such an important task a public sector that consistently fails to introduce efficient computer systems? Can you imagine the distress of finding out that your ID card database entry has errors? Given the significance of this information for public service access I can foresee many innocent people questioned, fined and perhaps imprisoned because of another monumental government IT cock-up.
Cllr CHRIS LENTON
(Liverpool Liberal Party)
As the online Webster Dictionary (US equivalent to our Oxford Dictionary) reports the most sought after word definition for this year was "Blog" a UK news item linked here, from mediaweek reports a tail off in newspaper reading and TV watching in favour of the world-wide web.
Maybe the mainstream media need to break free from those who control their output and start reporting and commenting on what is really happening in the world! As the web in general and the blogospere in particular gets ever more informative and interesting the fourth estate gets ever more mundane and quite frankly incredible. Honourable UK exception - The Scotsman.
French Socialists Vote in Favour of the Constitution
Preliminary and unofficial results indicate the Yes vot has it in France's Socialist EU Constitution referendum. The burden of saving freedom in Europe now looks once again to rest solely on the shoulders of Britain. This report is from the China News Agency, more will follow:-
Official results were expected later Thursday, but the Socialist Party said its early estimates pointed to the 'Yes' camp winning 55-60 percent of the nearly 95,000 votes cast Wednesday _ a turnout of around 79 percent.
In an earlier report in the FT linked here, this quote appeared:-
Andrew Duff, a British member of the European parliament and a key person in the drafting of the EU constitution, said yesterday that a rejection of the treaty by France or Britain would represent "a profound constitutional crisis" in the EU.
For which we British will no doubt get the blame, even were democracy to be saved!