Personally I do not need a Law Lord to determine for me, from all the readily available public information, whether Tony Blair, did or did not, tell a lie on the aeroplane to Hong Kong.
Reuters in their report of 26th January linked from here, provides this direct quotation:-
On the flight to Hong Kong, the strain was showing.
When a pugnacious reporter asked why he had sanctioned the naming of Kelly, Blair gave a rare, unmeasured response.
"Emphatically not. I did not authorise the leaking of the name of David Kelly," Blair said tetchily, leaning towards his interrogator.
Blair's opponents have seized on those words as evidence he has lied on the basis that a senior government official told Hutton's inquiry that Blair had chaired a meeting where a strategy was decided that led to the naming of Kelly.
Blair has said he stands by the "totality" of his remarks.
There can be no doubt whatever what "Emphatically not" actually means!
Now read this report dated 15th October 2003 from the Australian "The Age" here We again quote a small section:
Senior official Kevin Tebbit told an inquiry into David Kelly's death that Mr Blair's office - not the Defence Ministry - had been the driving force behind a decision to issue a statement clarifying the Government's position in the case.
That decision was taken at a July 8 meeting chaired by Mr Blair, Mr Tebbit told the final session of judge Lord Hutton's inquiry into the death of Dr Kelly.
That statement can be read in full from the Hutton Report linked here. It concludes with this paragraph:-
The MOD, with the individual's agreement, intend to give his name to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, in confidence, should they wish to interview him as part of their inquiry.
Now consider the evidence given by the Prime Minister himself to Hutton on 28th August 2003 also linked from here:-
Q. So you had understood, at this stage, that any public involvement of Dr Kelly was to be on the basis of his cooperation?
A. Yes. I mean, I think what was - look, right at the very outset, as I say, part of this difficulty was he had come forward. We were in receipt of this information. You know, the question was: what do we now do with that information, in particular in relation to the FAC, which was a concern; and I cannot recall exactly when I was told this, but I think there was certainly - it was said that he realised that he might end up having to give evidence.
Q. He realised he might end up giving evidence?
Q. Do you recall who said that to you?
A. I do not but certainly by the time we got to 7th July, I mean the basis of the meeting was that he had already realised his name would in all likelihood come out.
337. Referring to a meeting which had taken place in 10 Downing Street on Monday 7 July after the FAC had reported the Prime Minister said:
[28 August, page 65, line 8]
Q. The outcome of that meeting was, I think, to conclude what had already been provisionally decided, that he should have a second interview. Do you recall that?
A. Yes. I mean, I think, as I recollect it, it was already the fact that he was going to be reinterviewed and I thought: well, that at least takes care of this for the moment. So, it is only after the reinterview you then reach the point when you really have to take a decision. But throughout Monday I should say that I mean the two things that seemed to us very, very clear, there was some surprise we expressed to each other on the Monday morning that it had not already leaked, and I think were was no doubt in anyone's mind that if on reinterview it was clear that he was in all probability the source then we were going to have to disclose that.
338. Referring to a meeting which took place in 10 Downing Street on Tuesday 8 July the Prime Minister said:
[28 August, page 71, line 22]
Q. So in the light of those considerations, who decided to do what?
A. Well, we decided that the - how do we then proceed? We cannot conceal this information. What is the best way of proceeding? And I mean it was a discussion about it and I think the consensus was that the best thing was that David Omand should write to the Chairman of the ISC, copy it to the FAC for courtesy and then make public the fact that the source had come forward.
Q. Why was there a need to make public the fact that a source had come forward?
A. For two reasons really. I think, first of all, we were at any point concerned, as I said a moment or two ago - I think we were quite surprised on the Monday it had not already come out, but we thought that it was likely to come out at any particular point. And, secondly, because once you had copied it to the FAC - I mean, I thought there was a remote possibility the FAC might decide not to interview him, but I rather thought that they would.
Q. And that was the reason that it was decided to publicise the ISC letter?
A. Well, that you had to at least - in respect of the fact that there was somebody who had come forward, my concern was to get that information not concealed but, as it were, out there so that no-one could say afterwards: look, this is something that you people were trying to cover up or conceal from a House of Commons Committee. And that was the view of the meeting. Again I say this in absolutely no sense to say this was the civil servants' decision rather than my decision. I take full responsibility for the decisions. I stand by them. I believe they were the right decisions. But the advice also of Sir David, in particular, who was, if you like, the key person for me, was that it would have been improper to have withheld this from the FAC.
The parts of the Prime Minister's reply that show his personal involvement in the decision to out Dr Kelly, I have placed in bold print!
Lord Hutton in his Press Statement revealing his conclusions had the following to say on this matter:-
"Some commentators have referred to answers by the Prime Minister to questions from members of the press travelling with him on an aeroplane to Hong Kong on 22 July and I have read the transcript of that press briefing. As I have stated, I am satisfied that there was not a dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy on the part of the Prime Minister and officials to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly, and I am further satisfied that the decision which was taken by the Prime Minister and his officials in 10 Downing Street on 8 July was confined to issuing a statement that an unnamed civil servant had come forward and that the Question and Answer material was prepared and approved in the MoD and not in 10 Downing Street. The series of events and considerations which led to the decision in 10 Downing Street on 8 July to issue a statement was a complex one for the reasons which I have previously set out and I consider that the answers given by the Prime Minister to members of the press in the aeroplane cast no light on the issues about which I have heard a large volume of evidence."
Having considered all the material above, as Lord Hutton himself has clearly done; I come to an entirely different conclusion and find it difficult to understand how Lord Hutton could, in light of all that evidence conclude as quoted from this link in Paragraph 67:-
"I am satisfied that there was not a dishonourable or underhand or duplicitous strategy on the part of the Prime Minister and officials to leak Dr Kelly's name covertly, and I am further satisfied that the decision which was taken by the Prime Minister and his officials in 10 Downing Street on 8 July was confined to issuing a statement that an unnamed civil servant had come forward ........."
From time to time this blog has used the misspelt name of the Prime Minister as 'B.liar' when doubting some of his statements. We see no reason not to continue this practise based upon this alone:
"Emphatically not. I did not authorise the leaking of the name of David Kelly."
Which of course cannot possible ever be made to do anything other than totally conflict with these words of the Prime Minister to the Inquiry:-
I say this in absolutely no sense to say this was the civil servants' decision rather than my decision. I take full responsibility for the decisions. I stand by them. I believe they were the right decisions.
In a week in which the independence of the judiciary appeared to be further sacrficed under the jackboot of political control presently wielded by Lord Falconer, (see this linked Telegraph report of 27/01/04) notably the man responsible for appointing Hutton, senior legal figure in the land and reportedly close personal friend or guru to the Blairs, the following is truly notable.
This item taken from this morning's Independent at least gives reason to hope that there might still be some fighting spirit still left somewhere within the country's legal profession:-
Lord Hutton's final conclusions into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly were one-sided and were not supported by all the evidence given to his inquiry, lawyers said yesterday.
There was also disquiet among the legal profession that a senior and respected judge had been used as a political tool to settle what had begun as a dispute between the BBC and the Government.
Italy On Line this morning carries this report of pressure for yet mor federalisation in EuropeAGI Italia Report. We quote:-
"more Europe: less unanimity and more majority voting". Thus said foreign affairs minister, Franco Frattini, on the occasion of the 5th Dialogue Forum Italy-Spain, after a bilateral meeting with his Spanish colleague
This report linked here from the BBC shows how eroded once cherished British freedoms have become. I never believed that I could be found nodding my head in agreement with a statement such as this from a Russian official:-
Mikhail Lesin compared the apology issued by the BBC with those of Soviet writers criticised by the Communist Party during the years of "stagnation".
Ominous Evidence of Blair's further Selling-out of Britain to the dEUopoly
Euractiv, linked here, carries this extremely worrying report of the further subjugation of Britain to the EU by Bliar:
The leaders of Germany, France and Britain will meet on 18 February to co-ordinate their positions and enhance their cooperation ahead of the next round of EU enlargement, the Financial Times reported on 29 January. Ministers responsible for foreign policy, the economy, finance, employment, education, and social affairs of the three countries will also sit together to discuss EU policy issues. The meeting will prepare common positions for the March European Council at which a report by the EU Presidency on the state of play of talks on the EU Constitution will be discussed.
Is it not time that the so-called main opposition party at least demanded a parliamentary enquiry or debate as to exactly what authority or absent that subsequent parliamentary review is to be exercised over the ministers attending these potentially treasonous 'secret society' type gatherings?
Linked from here the British portion is as follows:-
"Great Britain: George Galloway received 1 million barrels. Fawwaz Zreiqat received 1 million barrels. Zreiqat also appears in the Jordanian section as having received 6 million barrels. The Mujahideen Khalq  in Britain received 1 million barrels."
The headline and quote below are from this linked article from IOL South Africa:-
"Lord Hutton does seem to suggest that is not enough for a broadcaster or a newspaper to simply report what a whistleblower or someone like Dr Kelly says because they are an authoritative source. You have to demonstrate that it's true," Dyke said. "That would change the law in this country."
"I think it's not only the BBC who should be concerned if that line is followed, it is every journalist, every broadcaster, every newspaper in this country should be concerned," he added.
Hutton, in other words, exonerates the government of something of which they were not accused.
The wider issue this raises involves the further erosion of public trust in the mechanisms of liberal democracy leading to an ever increasing need for the Blair government to use all possible means of deception and spin to maintain power in the face of a deeply sceptical electorate. Blair appears not to recognise the magnitude of the allegations against him claiming that 'there could not be a more serious charge' than that of 'deception, duplicity or deceit'.
The full comment by David Miller on the US web site Counter Punch may be reached via this link
Patten's Latest Posturings on his lavish EU Employer
We quote from the latest speech from this one time Conservative Party Chairman:-
The respected columnist Peter Riddell wrote the other day that there did not seem anymore to be a pro-European political party in Britain. Certainly the pro-European argument has been thinly deployed. If Mr Blair still shares his initial well-expressed enthusiasms as I believe he does I hope he will risk the wrath of Wapping and send his ministers out day by day to spread the word.
The speech titled 'The Existential Question Will Britain Ever 'Actually' Join The EU?' will be delivered tonight in Cambridge and has been issued appropriately enough by the EU. It can be read in full from this link.
French Corruption scandals are, of course, a frequent theme of this blog, mainly as it is the French model of government that seems to be used for the structuring of the non-democratic EU conglomerstate. We can now provide this link with details of Chirac's close ally's conviction and avoidance of jail:Party funding scandal, of which this is a small quote:
The decision dealt a major blow to Chirac, who with Juppe's disappearance will lose a close political ally.
Juppe -- an institution on the political right and one of Chirac's closest allies -- was seen as a likely presidential candidate in the 2007 election.
European Parliament votes for EU Security Council Seat in UN
Yesterday the Parliament adopted an own-initiative report with 367 votes in favour, 62 against with 14 abstentions calling for the European Union to strengthen its co-operation with the United Nations.
As well as calling for its own seat as if it were already a 'nation' MEPs stressed that multilateralism was still the best way of promoting peace and security. Totally disregarding, as is their wont, all the evidence of history to the contrary! Read the whole depressing report from this link. from which I highlight this particular point:-
MEPs believe that the future EU foreign minister, provided for in the draft Constitutional Treaty, should represent the EU on the Security Council. The House considers that the elaboration of the common foreign and security policy towards the UN should be characterised by the participation and joint influence of all the European Union’s Member States.
It would be nice to believe that the MEP's have not read Article 4, Chapter 2, United Nations Charter which states:
"Membership in the United Nations is open to all peace-loving states which accept the obligations of the Charter and, in the judgement of the Organization, are willing and able to carry out these obligations."
However it is only successive untruthful British Governments who pretend to their citizens that the EU is not, nor ever will be a State in the sense of the UN Charter namely a 'Full and Sovereign Nation State' Europe's powerless parliamentarians know full well what is planned and happily gorge themselves at the expense of the gradually disenfranchised European taxpayers, while passing motions such as this.
In Radio Fours "World at One" on air as this is typed, the BBC quoting Hutton is emphasising the restricted nature of Hutton's brief and that the 'dust may not yet be ready to settle.' Greg Dyke's concerns head the news at every hour.
Alistair Campbell was approached by the BBC to comment upon Greg Dyke's comments but was not available.
Margaret Thatcher's press spokesman Sir Bernard Ingham has also come to the Corporations defence, and veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has been on screen and air to lament the abject apolgy and public grovelling that has been required of the state broadcaster!
While the manner of the departure of the BBC Chairman and the Director General carries grave implications for the future freedom of speech in Britain and the independence of broadcasting from central government interference, to my mind, these become even more severe when recalling the background of widely perceived cronyism which accompanied the two men's original appointment.
This BBC report dated 17th April 1999, highlights a contribution by Greg Dyke of fifty thousand pounds to the Labour Party and other suggestions of cronyism: BBC candidate in 'cronyism' row. We quote from that linked article:-
'Multi-millionaire Greg Dyke gave the party a donation of (pounds) 50,000, according to The Times newspaper.
The paper also says Downing Street encouraged Mr Dyke to put his name forward for the job.'
Similar charges were of course levelled at the departed chairman Gavyn Davies as can be found in this BBC Report dated 19/9/2001 from which the following is a quote:-
'But the appointment has been criticised because of Mr Davies' strong links to Labour - he is a close friend of Chancellor Gordon Brown and his wife is Mr Brown's private secretary.'
If two very senior 'possible placemen' can thus be so arbitrarily disposed of, for one slight misreporting by a junior correspondent at the little-listened hour of six in the morning, what hope can there be for the license-paying British public to believe that their broadcasters will ever again be free to employ any independence of thought or speech when reporting on the increasingly intrusive, arbitrary and authoritarian activities of those now ruling them?
Gilligan's misspeak must be but a tiny percentage of all the hours of pro-government spin, to which I have found myself listening while the BBC was controlled by these two now departed New Labour Party apologists!
Sometimes the sheer stupiity of this government outmeasures even its disingenuousness and deceit. The situation over University variable top-up fees seems an excellent case in point. Yesterday's The Times had a hint of the likely problems with an article entitled, 'Taxpayers face 900 million pound bill for students from EU'. The article which we regret we cannot link, points out that whereas today EU students pay the same fees as those from the UK, under the new proposals the government will have to pay the full amount which will be impossible to recover from the EU students' future EU employers.
That, of course, is the merest tip of the likely problem. The effect of the government's plans will be to drive all UK graduates, especially British ones to employers beyond the fiscal reach of the British state. With equal rights to employment guaranteed across the EU and almost certainly with growing globalisation, elsewhere across the world, tens of thousands of individual graduates will almost certainly take individual decisions to start their careers debt free in climatically less challenged corners of the increasingly globalised world. Britain's taxpayers will thus receive ever less return for the still huge subsidies they will be providing to the institutions for tertiary education.
Even non-commercially minded students will be inclined to give their services elsewhere. A newly graduated doctor will hardly be inclined to devote his services to a cash strapped NHS, burdened by debt and consequently reduced living standards, when opporunities to help the severely deprived of the third-world, debt free and with substantially lower living costs might be an alternative.
Private enterprise employers operating in this country, desperate for qualified staff will have to turn to foreign graduates, or introduce elaborate schemes where British graduates are ostensibly employed by overseas affilliates and then seconded back on short term contracts.
The whole thing is a complete farce dreamt up by insular minds that seem totally unaware of how the world now runs.
Some even see Lord Hutton’s report as ‘risible’. It has been suggested jokingly that the law lord deserves to be made a duke for his pains. The contents of his report were mysteriously leaked when the prime minister was in a tight corner, busy fighting to defeat a rebellion by party MPs.
It seems hard to resist the view that the judge’s reading of the case was much too narrow, so much so that every turn in the evidence that called for an interpretation went in the government’s favour and against the public service broadcaster.
According to a poll in the Evening Standard 82 per cent of Londoners believe it was the Government who leaked the Hutton Report. Of course we will never know as if there ever is an inquiry, a friendly law lord will be appointed who will blame it all on.....lets see.....ITV perhaps? Read the report here.
Conservative legislator and Daily Telegraph columnist Boris Johnson said Blair had been "sprayed with more whitewash than a Costa Brava timeshare". (from Reuters)
An opinion poll finds half those asked believe the Hutton Report is a Whitewash see this link to China's News Agency, probably as accurate a source on British affairs as we will shortly be likely to get: Opinion Poll Results
Meantime ITV.com provides a summary of most of these itemslinked here
Such is the Cover Story of this week's The Spectator written by Rod Liddle, concluding with this sentence:-
"I think, as a country, we've had enough of law lords."
The apt cartoon can be seen and the article may be read in full by clicking here. Peter Oborne the magazine's political editor describes the Hutton report as a disaster for British Public Life in his piece linked here.
A view with which we concur as can be read in the post below.
It is a terrible indictment of this government's lack of tolerance of the concept of the freedom of the media in Britain that the Chairman and Director General of the BBC have both been forced to resign, having presided over the most sycophantic and one-sided pro-Government broadcasting coverage that most people over fifty could have ever imagined they would live to see or hear.
The BBC was indeed heavily biased against the Iraqi action undertaken just under a year ago, but to many observers certainly including myself, no more so than they had become, in favour of the new labour administration on almost every other major issue of public policy.
This state influence on the majority broadcasting organisation based upon the extraordinary reasoning of one retired law lord, apparently appointed by one close personal friend of the Prime Minister seems to me to be now in danger of severely compromising all UK media coverage on the most critical debate this country has faced for generations, namely that regarding the ongoing negotiations and fate of the oppressive EU Constitution.
Ony three papers have the courage to report the huge doubts any thinking person must harbour regarding the Hutton Report. These three are: The Daily Mail, The Scotsman and my favourite with this front page:-
On 13th July last we re-posted a discussion on the above topic whiah had mysteriously disappeared from our archives, while its link to the EU record had become no longer available. We link the lengthily re-typed posting once more: European Parliament Emasculates Politics.
CNN Reports Gadaffi has revealed Weapon and Sanction Busting Countries
Following our earlier post regarding the possibility of French involvement in Iraqi oil sanction busting, CNN International has just screened a report hinting that even more startling revelations are about to emerge direct from the 'Colonel's' mouth! We will of course post details here as they emerge.
The Hutton inquiry revealed the Government’s ruthless attempts to protect its own image. If Tony Blair continues to ruthlessly push ahead with English policies which rely on Scots MPs, he should realise the damage that may be caused to the UK constitution.
So thunders The Scotsman reporting on the fact that Blair's five vote victory yesterday evening on English students in future having to pay variable top-up fees depended on the vote of 46 Labour MPs. Quite correctly described by this Scottish paper as as a DISGRACE
Read the full Opinion piece from The Scotsmanhere.
Le Figaro reports the French recipients as follows:-
Quatre noms de Français ont été cités par le journal irakien: Charles Pasqua; l'homme d'affaires Patrick Maugein; Michel Grimard, président de l'Association d'amitié franco arabe, et l'ancien diplomate Bernard Mérimée.
Former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua issued this denial reported in the Calgary Sun:
"That's far-fetched," said the conservative hardliner who headed France's Interior Ministry in the late 1980s and early 1990s. "First, I was never interested in oil. Second, I am not a friend of Saddam Hussein and I do not see how my name came to be in this," he told Europe-1 radio. "
It seems to me unlikely that the significance of this matter is far too large to involve a gift or bribe as being suggested elsewhere but at about one and a half million tons of oil, seems far more likely to be a possible case of sanctions busting.
Boris Johnson Conservative MP for Henley on Thames and editor of The Spectator has been the first person I have heard to use the expression that must have been in many peoples minds as they watched this afternoon's events unfold in the Hutton Inquiry ....Whitewash
The Franco/German Axis, which for simplicity this blog will in future refer to as the dEUopoly, once again seems able to ride roughshod over other members of the European Union, the EU Commission and the established rules and procedures. On this occasion it is over the Volkswagen Golden Share, as can be read in this report from The Times from which the following is the opening quote:-
THE European Commission is suspending plans to sue Germany over a law that protects Volkswagen from takeover.
Fears that a legal confrontation over the VW “golden share” would enrage Gerhard Schröder, Chancellor of Germany, have prompted the Commission to adopt a more conciliatory approach.
A quick review of the other main European press also shows absence of comment on what is surely an extremely grave development for the EU and its supposed dedication to the concept of human rights! For the German side of the new dEUopoly's attitude to China an informative link is here from Taiwan News.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana faces a sensitive choice between candidates from the EU's two biggest military powers -- Britain and France, who are bitter rivals.
Precisely the reason why the agency is such a terrible idea!! Common Defence Procurement makes sense only between eternal allies, events over Iraq in the last year alone must surely have disproved any such illusions! Let alone our entire national history!
'UKIP would now be paying an incredibly large £3,800 removals bill' .....attendee at yesterday's UKIP London meeting. (See full reports on UKIPUncovered)
....when later somebody returned to the office, who should they find staggering under the weight of locked filing cabinets? None other than Roger Knapman, former Conservative MP and now leader of UKIP. Playing the role of Del Boy was Derek Clark, the Party Chairman....Illustration and text excerpt from 'The Sprout' January 2004 edition.
For a subscription to The Sprout email managersubs@theSprout.net
Spain's Gibraltar Grab to be included in EU Constitution?
Spain’s intentions to attempt to use the negotiations on the future constitution for Europe as a device to press its sovereignty claim on the Rock appeared to have been confirmed by Ana Palacio, Spain’s Foreign Minister.
Most British eyes and attention will be on today's Westminster Parliamentary vote on university variable top-up fees. Through incredible incompetence, breathtaking even by the standards of this shambolic administration, the mainstream media reports Blair being at risk of losing a vote in spite of his 160 odd majority.
Far more critical to the likely future of the country, in my opinion, is the battle now underway for control of the Telegraph titles.
The attempt to thwart the sale of the Telegraph titles to Britain's Barclay brothers is really heating up, as can be seen from reading the most recent report on the matter we have found in the Toronto Globe and Mail
The frequent links this blog makes to the Barclays' title The Scotsman and equally first-rate and realistic reporting on the EU of The Business, seems to this blog to be exactly what is now so desperately needed at the recently so woefully inadequate Daily and Sunday Telegraphs.
EU's Midday Express confirms Fisheries Cock-up and More Industrial Gloom
November 2003 compared to October 2003 : industrial new orders down by 0.3% in euro-zone ; EU15 down by 0.1%
The euro-zone industrial new orders index decreased by 0.3% in November 2003 compared with the previous month, Eurostat, estimates today. The index rose by 1.0% in October 2003 and by 2.9% in September. EU15 new orders also decreased, by 0.1% in November 2003, after rises of 1.0% in October and 3.0% in September. In November 2003 compared to November 2002, industrial new orders decreased by 1.3% in the euro-zone and by 1.1% in the EU15.
On Fisheries (see our ealier post of this afternoon) the Commission concludes:-
The EU will look at how to proceed in future negotiations to ensure timely consultation with its partners in the management of joint stocks.
In plain English, they seem to have belatedly realised that they cannot treat Non-EU Member States in the same arbtirary and high-handed manner as they do the long suffering and increasingly economically impoverished, once sovereign, but now vassal members!
The whole sorry story may be read from this link to the new-look? Europa website linked from here.
The much vaunted reforms to the MEP pay and allowance system have been rejected by the EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels this morning, according to a report in the EUobserver linked from here.
No surprise to this writer! After all, the Foreign Ministers represent political parties, who are the beneficiaries of the corrupt charade that apes democracy under the guise of being a 'European Parliament', thus rewarding those who are engaged in the destruction of the real democratic assemblies of hundreds of millions of ordinary European citizens!
Last week it was Portugese Public and French Transport Workers demonstrating their discontent with the consequences of the Euro's introduction and the not even fully enforced Growth and Stability pact. Today we start the week with this accusation of incompetence of the EU Commission from a Scottish Fisherman's Leader Hamish Morrison, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, who is blaming what he calls European Commission "chicanery" for the latest blows to hit the industry.
We have received this report from Neil Herron of NEARA (North of England Against Regional Assemblies) and Metric Martyr renown:-
Deputy Pie (and Fish and Chip) Minister...Johnny One Jag
The event at the Vermont Hotel, in Newcastle on Prescott's whistlestop tour was quite an interesting one.
An audience of businessmen and women (CBI and NECC in particular) and a smattering of the local political 'establishment' with Hilary Armstrong and Joyce Quin rubbing shoulders with the few council leaders who see a nice ladder to climb in the form of an elected Assembly.
Representing the No Campaign, and perhaps the only one in the room of a hundred or so who had firmly placed his flag in the ground (except for his three other associates), was a former market trader from Sunderland...name badge clearly stating 'Neil Herron.... No Campaign.'
A ten minute machine gun delivery of obfuscation and gobbledegook rattled forth from the DPM and this was followed by questions from a cynical and sceptical business audience, interspersed by sycophancy from the party careerists.
The ten questions and concerns raised by the CBI were not addressed in anything other than Prescottese, and there were no quotes about fish and chips or beer ( in Manchester he equated the cost of an Assembly to a pint of beer and fish and chips for every person probably not realising the escalating price of cod due to the CFP) for the local hacks to run to print with. In fact there was nothing which could grab a headline for the following days' press...except something which had everyone in the room shuffling uncomfortably to say the least, and cringeing with embarassment...but the locals never ran with it for some reason.
Prescott interjected when Herron had just begun, dismissing the observation about the location of the Assembly building being decided by central Government and not local people as being factually incorrect (the Journal corrected Prescott the following day...Nick Raynsford had said it! ).
The rest of the 'No' speech was delivered endorsing the sceptic sentiments of an increasingly suspicious North East public.
But after the anti, pro and business five minute speeches, Prescott had his ten minute reply. He refererred to 'the No Campaigner' as Neil in his first line and then referred to me as Joe (the Yes Campaigner). I looked at Joe. Joe looked at me.
"He must be nervous," I said to Joe.
And then he said it again. Obviously he couldn't read the name badge or the running order.
"I understand the concerns that Joe has about the Assembly," Two Jags went on.
Joe said, "I haven't got any."
"And I welcome the views from the No Campaign and thank Joe for raising them."
Joe crunched his mint.
At first the audience had accepted it as a mistake, but after four or five times there were a few laughs. Prescott thought they were for him and his jokes. After ten 'Joe's', the audience started to shuffle uncomfortably in their seats and look at the floor.
And then his final line taking up my point that no matter how much you polish a Reliant Robin it will never become a Ferarri, Prescott said," But Joe, I will still have a Jag...but not two Joe, like the press keep trying to say...and Joe, I only have one house !"
A collective laugh went round the audience...perhaps for Prescott...perhaps for the fact that my name badge carried the name (in felt tip now)... JOE Herron.
So the 'grey' man can keep the campaign running without any fear of reprisals (he would never find me using Google), such was the impression made on the DPM...but when the North East delivers a resounding No vote the press can run with the fact that it wasn't anyone from the political establishment who helped create the victory, it was just an ordinary Joe along with thousands of other ordinary Joes.
ps. good job he wasn't in charge of ordering the country to bomb Iraq...Iran would be flattened by now.
The following image has been issued from the 'Office of the Deputy Prime Minister', which seems to be the Department principally charged with the break-up of our nation. It shows the regionalisation planned for the Fire Services and will almost certainly apply to all future European Union Controls over the once independent peoples of Great Britain.
Downing Street/BBC EU Constitutional Cover-up Confirmed
The Independent this morning has the following sensational paragraph in an item on the BBC journalist at the heart of the Hutton enquiry, Andrew Gilligan:-
"The reporter's trouble with the Government began in 1999, soon after he joined the BBC, with a report suggesting that attempts to codify the various EU treaties amounted to a constitution for a European superstate. Downing Street attempted to dismiss him as "gullible Gilligan". His irritant quotient rose with further stories on the British forces' equipment failures during the Kosovo conflict, and on Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, going on holiday just before the Iraq war."
The full report which also appears to suggest that the BBC also deliberately cut sections of a Panorama programme at the Government's (or Alistair Campbell's behest) can be read from this link.
BBC World Television is screening several times this weekend a well produced documentary tracing the background to present day relations between Britain and Germany.
My work of fiction Millennium Blitzkrieg, mostly written in the year 1997, was set in the year 2014 to mark the defining one hundredth year anniversary of the outbreak of The Great War. Almost co-incidentally I recently finished reading Barbara W. Tuchman’s Pullitzer Prize-Winning history of the World War I's first month, ‘The Guns of August’, published by Ballentine Books New York (April 1994 edition) ISBN 0 - 345 -38623- X.
On page 310 Tuchman quotes Emile Verharen, a Belgian poet, writing on his country's invasion, who: before 1914, had a flaming dedication to socialist and humanitarian ideals that were then believed to erase national lines. He prefaced his account with this dedication: “He who writes this book in which hate is not hidden was formerly a pacifist….For him no disillusionment was ever greater or more sudden. It struck him with such violence that he thought himself no longer the same man. And yet, as it seems to him that in this state of hatred his conscience becomes diminished, he dedicates these pages, with emotion, to the man he used to be.”
The Great War was the defining event of the last century and consequently, to some extent surely has affected the lives of all those who have lived within the continent of Europe or its off-lying islands ever since. The curtain-raiser to that bloody tragedy was the Entente Cordiale between Britain and France whose one hundredth anniversary we celebrate this spring and summer.
The agreement itself (linked from here) seems an unremarkable historical document mainly concerning the assignment of interests in Morocco to the French and those of Egypt to the British. For this reader the main item of peculiar interest being the opening assertion that the head of Antiquities in Cairo should continue to be a 'savant’ of French nationality. The defining reality of a huge British shift of support in favour of the French on mainland Europe seems absent from its almost mundane terms.
Germany had been preparing for war for many years as Tuchman’s book and other historical records prove. On pp 311/312 she quotes a German Scientist saying to the US journalist Irwin Cobb: “We Germans are the most industrious, the most earnest, the most educated race in Europe. Russia stands for reaction, England for selfishness and perfidy, France for decadence, Germany for progress German Kultur will enlighten the world and after this war there will never be another.”
That statement was made during August 1914, when the pre-planned and meticulously executed atrocities against the Belgian population were being effected by the invading German army. (see pages 173-4 and 225-70 and 313-322).
A German businessman sitting with them had more specific aims. Russia was to be so humbled that never again could the Slav peril threaten Europe; Great Britain was to be utterly crushed and deprived of her navy, India, and Egypt; France was to pay an indemnity from which she would never recover; Belgium was to yield her seacoast because Germany needed ports on the English Channel; Japan was to be punished in due time. An alliance of “all the Teutonic and Scandinavian races in Europe, including Bulgaria, will hold absolute dominion from the North Sea to the Black. Europe will have a new map and Germany will be at the centre of it.”
“The gains Germany expected to gain were restated by Mathias Erzberger, Leader of the Catholic Centrum party, they were, to utilize victory to gain control of the European continent for “all time.” All demands at the peace table were to be based on this premise for which three conditions were necessary: abolition of neutral states at Germany’s borders, the end of England’s “intolerable hegemony” in world affairs, and the breaking up of the Russian colossus. Erzberger envisioned a Confederation of European States analogous to the later Mandates system under the League of Nations. Some states would be under German “guidance”; others, such as Poland and Baltic group annexed from Russia, would be under German sovereignty for “all time,” with possible representation but no voting power in the Reichstag. Erzberger was not sure which category Belgium would fit into, but in either case Germany was to retain military control over the entire country and over the French coast from Dunkirk down to and including Boulogne and Calais. Germany would also acquire the Briey-Longwy iron basin and Belfort in Upper Alsace which she had filed to take in 1870. She would also take the French and Belgian colonies in Africa. Morocco, curiously enough, was excepted as likely to be too much of a drain on Germany’s strength. No mention was made of England’s colonies, which suggests that Erzberger may have been considering a negotiated settlement with England. In reparations the vanquished nations were to pay at least 10 billion marks for direct war costs, plus enough more to provide veterans’ funds, public housing, gifts to generals and statesmen, and pay off Germany’s entire national debt, thus obviating taxes on the German people for years to come.” (quoted from pages 322/323).
Such was the vision of the future carried by the invading German armies as they ruthlessly breached Belgian neutrality and began the massacres of innocent civilians that later almost seemed to become the hallmark of the twentieth century.
How did these militaristic forces take hold in Germany? Was their inevitability as apparently recognised by the Entente Cordiale the only realistic course for France and Britain?
More importantly which tradition is the father to the dream of today’s European Union? The pre-1914 idealistic internationalism of those such as the Belgian poet Emile Verheren or the drive for German hegemony as detailed by Erzberger? The BBC television documentary, showing this weekend, although excellent in many respects, unhappily makes the answer to that question no clearer.
We shall, of course, regularly return to these questions on Ironies until some kind of answer can be teased forth. We believe the next few months will be crucial and that the centenary of the Entente Cordiale and its celebration could well provide some further clues!
France's Le Monde reporting from Davos, suggests that China and the United States might have entered a 20 to 30 year economic pact that could eventually undermine the interests of the eurozone, among others. Certainly a recently returned visitor to Beijing, encountered on our recent hoilday, made much of the strong pro-Americanism they encountered during their several month stay in that country! We link the article albeit in French The very large alliance between China and the US against the rest of the world
We are pleased to advise that following a re-invigorating break in the Alps, with plenty of snow, sun and exercise, normal postings will now resume on this blog. In catching-up on events this interesting item from the European Foundation Intelligence Digest caught my eye:-
WAS EU ABOUT TO ABOLISH ECB INDEPENDENCE?
As the Digest indicated in its last issue, concerns were raised in Germany in the run-up to the Brussels summit about a new simplified procedure, proposed in the draft Constitution dated 25th November, which would have enabled the Council of Ministers to abrogate the famous independence of the European Central Bank.
The German Bundesbank and some German politicians protested vehemently against this at the time, notably Professor Franz-Christopher Zeitler of the German Bundesbank, who gave an interview on the subject on 10th December. The governing council of the Bundesbank also issued a statement of that date. The new procedure, outlined in proposed Article III-79 (new paragraph 7), on page 13 of the draft [http://ue.eu.int/igcpdf/en/03/cg00/cg00052-ad01.en03.pdf] would have allowed the statute of the bank to be changed without any reference to the national parliaments. This would have almost definitely been unconstitutional
in Germany, which ratified Maastricht only under certain very strict conditions. It appears that the governments of the EU were laying the groundwork for a future 'coup d'état'? against the independence of the ECB.
The above was published BY THE EUROPEAN FOUNDATION, 62, BROMPTON ROAD, LONDON SW3 1BW TEL. + 44 20 7590 9901, FAX 7590 9975, EURO.FOUNDATION@E-F.ORG.UK
An astounding tour de force from Greenspan at the Bundesbank yesterday evening, an hour and quarter without commercial interruption thanks to the professionalism of CNBC....find a trancsript and read it in full if you missed any!
EU Commission will shape up to the European Council in Court over the G & S pact according to my French edition of The Times, interesting times indeed.
Those missing 'Ironies' more frequent EU updates are pointed towards 'EU Facts Figures and Phanatsies' which has the monthly update published this afternoon AND is linked from our side-bar or from here.
The ski slopes call so posts will be rare over the next two weeks. Please consider the idea set out on the new blogspot linked below, and e-mailing us your thoughts or suggestions. We have to find some way of conveying our dissatisfaction to our Rulers:-
We thank The Sprout for permission to reproduce the cartoon that accompanied their article on MEP Expenses, which appeared in their September edition.
WE HAVE AN IMPORTANT POINT TO MAKE ON THIS SUBJECT. PLEASE VISIT AND CAREFULLY CONSIDER OUR NEW BLOG 'WE WON'T GO'.
The snowy mountains call! It is time for my main annual skiing break. Unless more major set-backs to our freedoms and democracy are encountered in the next week or two, expect postings to be sparse to non-existent (unlike the powder - I hope!).
While the entire front page of this morning's Financial Times is taken over with the story on the illegalities of the EU Finance Ministers buckling under French and German pressure to break the law and allow the destruction of the Growth and Stability pact, in order that the two ruling axis powers can continue their prohibited excessive deficit spending, evidence arrives of similar bullying tactics elsewhere. As reported last evening on Ironies.
In EUBusiness we read here of Chirac calling Ahern yesterday "assuring him of French support; next thing we find, to no surprise whatever, that PM Ahern has been on the telephone to guess who: the PMs of Poland and Spain and that the former will be visiting Dublin before the end of the month! Read the report from RTE News.
What a delicious thought, worth thinking just for the pleasure of typing the headline. Inspiration came from this morning's Daily Telegraph. Read the story: Blair promises to quit if Kelly report shows he lied to MPs, by clicking on the title, which to me indicates his departure would be a certainty were he a man of his word which we all know........
Boris Johnson also has his say. Read his column from this link.
Reuters brings bad news for the Franco/German pact busters in this report that the EU's Finance Ministers acted illegally in not applying sanctions, read here.
Solbes told a news conference that Commission lawyers had confirmed that ministers had acted "outside the spirit and the letter of the Treaty and the Stability and Growth Pact". A court ruling could be useful "to clarify the framework in which budgetary surveillance is conducted in the future", he said.
Read my quotation and things seem straightforward, read the linked article and chaos seems to reign!
Violence seems determined to rise to the forefront of matters today. The BBC in a report here state that a Swede of Yugoslavian origin, (who has undergone psychiatric tests?) has been charged in that incident which ultimately seemed to have little impact on the Swedish Euro Referendum.
EUobserver yesterday evening gave this report on the pressure Prodi was applying to advance the EU Constitution during the Irish Presidency which had previously committed to proceeding slowly:-
Following a meeting with the European Commission, the recently-started Irish EU Presidency has stressed the need to move quickly on the stalled talks on the Constitution.
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said it is "urgent that we take stock [and] that we move forward as soon as possible".
This complete change of tack is confirmed in this morning's Irish Times in an article linked here, from which we quote this:-
Speaking in Dublin Castle yesterday after a meeting between the Cabinet and the European Commission, the Taoiseach said this consultation process was "now urgent" and that he would try to resume full negotiations in the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) very quickly. "Just to be very clear: we want the IGC to succeed as soon as possible," he said.
Several postings have been made, within the last 24 hours, on the subject of the recent letter bomb campaign directed against EU notables on our sister blog UKIP Uncovered, it therefore seems unnecessary to further debate or link the press coverage from here.
I do feel, however, that I should repeat a comment that I made on an internet forum when debating this subject, which was:
How can any violent or terrorist act be justified or understandable? Who can comprehend the minds of those who could send such a package, designed to explode in the hands of the recipient, his wife or even children?....
The perpetrators of these actions will cause further restrictions and eventually
the repression of us all! Ask yourselves "Whose side can these people be on?"
All the recent acts of murder and violence within the swirling controversy that now surrounds the advancement of the EU, in my opinion, have tended to be most damaging to the cause of those seeking to defend national parliaments, national democracies and individual freedoms as best guarantored by the nation state!
While not on the scale of the treachery detailed in our posting immediately below, evidence of the sell-out of the nation's sovereignty to the duplicitous duopoly now trying to consolidate their control over the old continent continues to abound.
Yesterday, for example, the Government announced that before future EU summits, Blair would be summoned a day early to receive his intsructions on how to vote from the Franco/German axis. Blair argues that this is a meeting of equals! Ha ...Fat chance! It was France and Germany acting jointly that smashed the finely balanced and German conceived Growth and Stability Pact! It was Schroeder and Chirac who bi-laterally hiked agricultural spending from 2007 to 2013 behind the scenes in October 2002, leaving Tiny B-liar looking like a gob-smacked schoolboy! It is these two nationalistic bully boys who are now insisting that the finely wrought compromise they jointly cobbled together at Nice be scrapped without so much as an apologetic gesture or statement to the other score or so of its signatories. Their present behaviour and tactics over the voting weights in the proposed constitution are reprehensible and should be unacceptable! Why are the mainstream european media not saying so?
Blair might fool himself that he is being allowed to sit at the Adults' Table at such pre-summits, in truth he will be like the Dormouse in 'Alice in Wonderland'. Remember the scene: ...the March Hare and the Hatter, were having tea..a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it and talking over its head. "Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse," thought Alice, "only its asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind."
Very apposite as Blair is as good as asleep, blithely unconscious (apparently), of the potential consequences of his actions!
Today another even more frightening example can be read from this Daily Telegraph report on Naval Cuts, where it seems Blair with storm clouds gathering around him, is perhaps concerned he will possibly not be able to continue in office to see his task of his country's destruction completed. He, therefore, seems ready to take any steps to ensure that we will be nevertheless effectively defenceless by the destruction of our Royal Navy, which for centuries has been the main bulwark of our nation's independence and the freedom of its peoples! We quote from the article which has the title: ' Warships are first casualty as spending cuts hit Navy':-
The Royal Navy is to lose at least four destroyers in the next three months, taking the number of surface warships to below that of the French navy for the first time since the 17th century.
It will now have only 28 escort ships compared to the French navy's 32 and will no longer be able to mount major operations unless it is fighting alongside either the Americans or the French.
This is immediate. It is happening NOW. Great Britain is being dismantled TODAY in January 2004. We are being sold out to an oppressive, non-democratic tyrannical police state which is in turn at risk of being taken over by two economically struggling and increasingly desperate powers at its centre. Delay in expressing your individual disquiet is not now an option.
If you have yet to do so, we urge you to read the post that follows, if time permits using the links provided which illustrate the absence of real protest or even information obtainable from the mainstream media!
On Friday 13th June last year under a title, Blair's Coup d'Etat, linked here, we wrote:-
By proposing to scrap the Lord Chancellorship without prior consultation with the judiciary, peers or the Opposition, Mr Blair shows his contempt for the rule of law, as it has evolved in Britain over the past thousand years and more.
That post continued to demonstrate that circumstantial evidence pointed to this decision clearly being at the behest of the EU. Ironies returned to this critically important matter for the nation here, and here.
Last evening an eleven page open letter to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton was circulating on the internet. It is written by Anne Palmer, hard hitting, well researched and absolutely terrifying in its implications for our country.
Printing out at eleven pages, it is too long to post here. Those wishing to read the entire letter should e-mail this blog and we will send it on to them, copied elsewhere as they may wish.
We offer a couple of extracts to provide the flavour:-
From Page 4
There then comes the duties of the Lord Chancellor, his taking of the Oath, the returning to sitting on the Woolsack etc, which also causes me to think about one of the reasons for getting rid of the position and title of the Lord Chancellor for great are his duties, his duties to his Queen and the serving of writs of summons. If there was no such person as the Lord Chancellor, then this Government in one fell swoop does away with the traditional long history of serving writs to the hereditary peers. I have learnt much about this present Government from these papers and I pray to God for forgiveness for all those that took part in the proposed destruction of the great Parliamentary process of this country, and for those that simply stood by and let it happen.
Was there not an expression of 'dark forces' at work somewhere? I have no doubt at all that if citizens of this country were to read the documents I have just read, they would never vote for anyone to sit on those Green benches again. It would be quite possible that anarchy would reign.
From Page 6
Lord Hope of Craighead also reinforces that same argument when he repeats the words of Sir Hersch Lauterpacht's observation in Oppenheim's Peace, 8th edition 155-156: 'A state ceases to be an international person when it ceases to exist?By voluntarily merging into another state, a state loses all its independences and becomes a mere part of another'. I will add, that the people that continually sign away-permanently, our rights as a country to govern ourselves, the people involved will have to live and remain among the very people that they have told we are simply pooling sovereignty, sharing sovereignty, simply tidying up, etc, just a single market for trade etc. They will find no comfort from the majority of British nationals in these Islands. No comfort at all. (Ironies emphasis - ed.)
11 February 2004
THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION IS A SETBACK FOR DEMOCRACY
For the motion: Bruce Anderson, The Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory MP
Against the motion: His Excellency the German Ambassador Thomas Matussek, Professor Anand Menon.
Debates will take place at The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 (entrance to the debate is on Exhibition Road)
Tickets: £20 per ticket
Bookings: Tel: 020 7494 3345 or email
My wife, friends and I have attended other debates in this series which were interesting, well attended and conducted.
Just before Christmas the UK Independence Party's three MEP jointly signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph of which the following is an extract:-
Re: Gobbling the income
Date: 22 December 2003
Sir - D Haller (letter, Dec 20) may well be right to calculate an MEP's gross income as £249,000 a year. This is quite a gravy train, and helps to explain why all mainstream MEPs continue to promote the EU system. But the cost to the taxpayer is, of course, much higher.
When we take into account the duplicated parliaments in Strasbourg and Brussels, each with its attendant fleet of limos, banks of interpreters and hordes of bureaucrats, the bill is more like £1.25 million per MEP. Then we must remember to allow for the income required by the numerous fraudsters within the system, and for the vast extravagances incurred through incompetence.
The Telegraph Home Affairs Editor, Philip Johnston on 2nd January wrote the following on the same subject:-
The mother and father of all bureaucracies operates out of Brussels.
The European Commission has 20,000 staff and has become a by-word for profligacy and cronyism. Some of the tax-free perks, generous salaries and allowances have been targeted for reform and some have been scrapped, including the Economat, a supermarket exclusively for European Commission staff and journalists, stocking luxury goods ranging from fine wines to foie gras.
MEPs receive an allowance of £8,620 a month without having to justify the expenditure. They also get the equivalent of a full air fare plus 20 per cent regardless of how they actually make the journey.
There is a general expenses allowance worth £2,540 a month which is meant to cover petrol, postage and the like but can be paid directly into the MEP's bank account.
In addition, there is a £180 daily attendance rate which is meant to pay for accommodation and meals even though most MEPs have flats in Brussels.
MEPs recently awarded themselves an additional perk of £35 a week to pay for any taxis that they may be forced to use when the limousine service laid on for them stops running at 10pm.
In 2003, MEPs' allowances cost a total of £52 million out of the European Parliament's total budgeted expenditure of £663 million (£568 million last year).
The total cost to the taxpayer of an MEP is £1,059,000 compared to £425,000 for an MP and £96,000 for a peer.
This is a topic to which we will return, in view of the next European Parliament elections being now only six-months away. The venal tactics these obscene and unwarranted payments cause amongst some political parties are only too evident as can be quickly determined by a visit to our sister blog UKIP Uncovered.
The damge to all national democratic political structures is not so evident, but will in future, be illustrated regularly on this blog. The mere fact that our two main political parties receive such huge subsidies from their own cossetted MEPs cannot help but influence those parties' attitudes towards the thoroughly corrupt and undemocratic organisation which is today's European Union. Can the disgraceful thirty year sacrifice of this nation's sovereignty, justice system, democratic rights, individual liberties, fisheries, independent defence soon to be joined by oue North Sea Oil and Gas etc., etc., etc., be considered entirely separately from this evidence of the wholesale purchase by the EU of our national political parties? It becomes ever more diificult to believe anything else!
Give Me Referendum or Give Me Death is the title of an article from Tech Central Station that seems a fitting theme for the first real working day of 2004 for many of us (others have tomorrow off for Epiphany).
The Irish press has been full of reports all weekend of an early split between Prodi and the new EU President Ahern. As blogged earlier Schroeder has an ultimatum to his so-called "partners" to get things back underway by year end with no concessions to be expected from Germany. (For concessions on this matter read "adherence to the signed sealed and delivered Nice Treaty!")
So the EU Constitution is not about to disappear so nor should the pressure for a referendum! If you have not yet done so, we suggest as a New Year's resolution: Register now with Referendum2004 AND Vote2004! and get active!
First: The Eurofighter dubbed Eurofarce in this article in today's Sunday Telegraghlinked here and from which we quote:
The Eurofighter is 10 years overdue, has split its design partners and cost the British taxpayer £20bn. David Lomax reports on the project's political dogfighting and costly mishaps
Second: The European Space Agency site linked here seems to hide very successfully any reference to this disaster:
It took the European Space Agency 10 years and $7 billion to produce Ariane 5, a giant rocket capable of hurling a pair of three-ton satellites into orbit with each launch and intended to give Europe overwhelming supremacy in the commercial space business.
The whole article may be read from here. I wonder how long it will be before the brief reference to the missing Beagle 2 will similarly be secreted away.
NASA has also had its disasasters over the years, not least in 2003 with the loss of Columbia, but this morning gives us our -
Third: The successful landing of the Mars Spirit which will launch an exploratory rover scheduled to explore for the next three months, read details from here
Lesson for British Politicians spending public funds- aren't joint European technological ventures a poor and risky business?
The answer is of course YES - but not half as costly as the political ones!
This report from NJ.Com written by Rebecca Goldsmith for the Star-Ledger titled One federation, divisible by faith is well worth a read. We quote this one paragraph, adequately illustrating the problems:
Lennart Sacrédeus, a Swedish Christian Democrat and representative to the European Parliament who is deeply religious, said Turkey should be willing to accept Europe's Christian heritage as a requirement to joining the union.
We post it here, not just because it is Sunday, nor that it throws much new light on the role of religion in the EU Constitution (although it provides a first class summary), but rather because of the curtain raiser it gives, towards the end of the piece, on the stresses ahead as Turkey's application is considered later this year...another tinderbox for the EU!
Ironies stance on Turkish Membership is clear. In the Free Trading Arrangement, that we believe the EU should become, Turkey has a logical place. A further renaming of the EU would be clearly necessary. We understand that those who wave the blue-starred banner, sing the 'Ode to Joy' and secretly connive at the creation of a kind of Holy Roman Empire Mark II will hold different views!
Religion cleary deserves no mention in a Trading Agreement!
EUBusiness carries a report quoting the German Chancellor stating that negotiations on the new EU Constitution MUST resume by the end of 2004 but that there was "no question of making concessions on the question of voting rights in the Council of Ministers".
These comments are apparently due to be more widely published on Monday but this short trailer can be read from here.
I was very kindly given Barbara Tuchman's magnificent Pullitzer Prize-Winning Classic book about the outbreak of World War I, 'The Guns of August' for Christmas, a quote from that seems appropriate:-
"what made the Schlieffen plan ( the launch of WWI through Belgium - ed.)...was the body of accumulated egoism which suckled the German people and fed on 'the desperate delusion of the will that deems itself absolute'
Is there not more than a hint of this same attitude, in the excerpt above? One that demands a resumption of negotiations, at the same time as re-iterating a refusal to consider movement on the main point at issue. Extraordinary, especially when recalling that it was just that issue which unarguably caused the earlier IGC and European Council meeting to break down! (The same attitude that prevented proper discussion during d'Etaing's convention as disclosed in the post immediately below!)
So the threat from Germany is clear! The consequences of not acceding to this bullying are then spelt out in the final paragraphs of the linked report:-
But Schroeder insisted that unless a compromise is reached by end 2004, a core group of nations should move forwards with the constitution -- even if it causes a split within the EU.
"I do not wish for it, but I expect that Europe may develop in that direction," the German leader said.
Let them go ahead, is my view!! What better opportunity than for Britain to withdraw from this growing non-democratic and frighteningly totalitarian monstrosity!
It is not just the Eurozone's Growth and Stability pact remember, that Germany and France have recently so selfishly and carelessly wrecked. The voting arrangements Schroeder is now trying to smash were those mid-wifed by his major ally Chirac at Nice and ratified as a Treaty by the German Chancellor's own Government among MANY others a mere three years ago. Yet now he uses these tactics to compel a change of course on 23 other countries. What kind of Europe does he really believe he is building and why does he imagine others would want to remain within it....Fear?
The Labour MP Tony Blair sent to represent his party at the Convention run by disgraced and elderly French ex-President Valery Giscard d'Estaing (remember the Bokassa diamond business!) has now called for a halt to further EU encroachment in The Times today.
Gisela Stuart New Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston published a critical pamphlet just ahead of the concluding European Council meeting supposed to successfully terminate the IGC. Ha! Ha! We blogged on this earlier, on which memories may be refreshed here from 8/12/03 and the Fabian Society Leaflet description by clicking here.
In the newspaper today, a somewhat over-effusive article by Melissa Kite, seems to ascribe the entire collapse of the IGC to this Labour MP, which seems a bit OTT to me, nevertheless these quotes are of interest, (we cannot link to The Times):-
Gisela Stuart said that a complete reassessment of the EU was needed and
that the Government should seriously question what the organisation was for
and what it should control. ....
"It became clearer that certain concepts were not allowed to be questioned."....
"After a while the no-go areas were so numerous that there was hardly anything to talk about. "
All the above descriptions of the workings of the Convention come from a British Europhile Labour MP who witnessed the events first hand and is now reported in the articles conclusion as follows:-
Passionately she wants the EU to work but doubts whether the current
structure is the right way. "Twenty-five years ago we needed strict rules and laws, it was the only way to order it," she said. "Now the world has changed and our priorities have changed and that is my problem with the convention."
Is there some light appearing for Britain at the end of this long, long tunnel??????????
Anybody like me feel just a touch sickened by Michael Howard's two page advertisement in yesterday's The Times stating all his 'motherhood' type beliefs? Reminded me a bit of this old hit number....perhaps we can suggest it to the Tories for a campaign theme:-
I Believe (For Every Drop Of Rain That Falls)
I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows.
I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come to show the way.
I believe, I believe.
I believe above the storm the smallest pray'r will still be heard.
I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears every word.
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry, or touch a leaf or see the sky,
Then I know why I believe!
Written by: Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Ervin M. Drake and Al Stillman
Unhappily, I do not believe that the Tories under Michael Howard have the slightest intention of reversing the surrender of our country's sovereignty to Europe. Therefore, this particular avowal of Michael Howard's cannot be believed:-
"I believe, that Britain should defend her freedom at any time, against all comers, however mighty".
Same old Conservative Contradictions leading to the further betrayal of their country....and that is truly sickening!
Below is a very much appreciated message of support (we trust it is sincerely meant!):
..... I always switch on to your column first when I come into the office and within a few minutes I am saying to myself that here is a guy who thinks like me. I believe your blogging is absolutely first class and long may it continue. I have vowed to give all my mates your internet address so that they to can appreciate some straight talking!!!!!!!
Regards once again
Roger the Brown Noser
The Financial Times has launched a reader's poll to pick the Greatest European of recent years and is this morning proposing Francois Mitterand. Read the recommendation for his candidacy from this link.
I have been unable to find details of the criteria. With Mitterand's Vichy political roots and known later corrupt conniving with Helmut Kohl and revelations from the Elf scandal, his candidacy suggests that perhaps the poll is for the most contemptible politician.
It will be possible to vote on line but we will wait to see the full list of contenders. Churchill would be our first choice, but if excluded by date I will probably plump for Gorbachev with consideration given to Thatcher, if it is restricted to citizens of the present or enlarged EU.
I apologise for this later than normal first post of the day. This has not been caused by an excess of champagne (downed in delight at there still being no EU Constitution) but rather some access problems at blogger. This editorial in the Daily Telegraph caused a wry grin and we felt a link to start the year is appropriate... in spite of a resolution to try and be more cheerful!!: A blissful New Year – without Labour