Bodies

I’ve blogged about Labour MP Kerry McCarthy’s rather hypocritical views on music before. She took umbrage at an apparent ‘date rape’ message in a former boy band member’s song, something that he subsequently denied, and she suggested that the record should be banned.

Kerry is, however, happy to promote punk – that famous bastion of good taste. At the time when I pointed out, via twitter, the dubious Nazi origins of Joy Division’s name (her favourite band) and the nature of their followers, my complaints were labelled by her as ‘offensive‘.

And, as her latest post proves, Kerry doesn’t mind dodgy music lyrics per se; here’s her views on the rather robust Sex Pistols song on abortion:

…it was rather dodgy lyrically speaking and completely juvenile in its politics, although it’s still a great song.

I know it’s relatively trivial, but stuff like this winds me up – it’s MPs like Kerry that will censor our music, films and video games based on their own personal preference rather than adhering to the principle of free speech. The warped views of Ms McCarthy is the reason that I can buy black rapper MC Ren‘s blatantly racist album in a high street store but not a Skrewdriver one.

All music is equal but…

Big Success?

Following on from Autonomous Mind‘s wonderful exposure of Roger Helmer MEP as a Judas goat, Helmer unwittingly reinforces AM’s point by tweeting this today:

Apparently reducing the number of Strasbourg sessions is hailed as a ‘big success’. A genuine campaigner against the EU and our membership of it, of course, wouldn’t give a toss how many sessions Strasbourg has. All that matters is that the EU Parliament has no sessions at all in either Brussels or Strasbourg because it no longer exists or that it’s irrelevant because the UK is no longer a member.

Mr Helmer, however, thinks that making the EU more efficient at its job is something to be proud of. It isn’t.

Update: Ironies Too has an interesting post on another sidekick of Roger Helmer – the ‘fierce Eurosceptic’ Chris Heaton-Harris MP

Not Banning The Burka?

Before the last election one of UKIP’s manifesto policies was to ban the burka, it was a controversial move and one policy I fundamentally disagreed with (though I understood some of the concerns behind the move). I vented my frustrations on here at the time.

Now it appears, during a twitter exchange, that the policy has been dropped. No official announcement of course but good news if true. Anyway, it gives me an excuse to post one of my favourite Matt cartoons. Just priceless:

All Inclusive – EU Style

It appears via Wikileaks that the Belgians are whinging have expressed concerns to the US about a G20 “super group” within the EU:

Our[US] Dutch interlocutors have also noted some tension between EU members that are G20 participants and those that are not; the Belgians, for example, have expressed concern about a G20 “super group” within the EU that consults on the issues first before bringing the discussion to the larger EU community. As guests in the G20, the Dutch are trying to walk a fine line between wanting to punch above their weight with the big EU economies in the G20 and foster their usual spirit of inclusiveness and consultation with all EU member states.

Bless the Belgians feel a little left out. Though it would help their cause greatly if they could perform the relatively basic task of forming a Government first – 14 months and counting (leaving aside the fact that their real Government resides in Brussels anyway).

"War On Every Front"

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph writes that this coming month, or even next couple of weeks, will decide the future of Angela Merkell, Germany’s destiny, and the fate of the Euro:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer has enough coalition votes in the Bundestag to secure backing for Europe’s revamped rescue machinery, threatening a consitutional crisis in Germany and a fresh eruption of the euro debt saga.

Mrs Merkel has cancelled a high-profile trip to Russia on September 7, the crucial day when the package goes to the Bundestag and the country’s constitutional court rules on the legality of the EU’s bail-out machinery.

Mrs Merkel’s aides say she is facing “war on every front”.

There are ever louder concerns being aired in Germany about the lack of democracy in a fiscal union which the Euro survival depends on:

Christian Wulff, Germany’s president, stunned the country last week by accusing the European Central Bank of going “far beyond its mandate” with mass purchases of Spanish and Italian debt, and warning that the Europe’s headlong rush towards fiscal union stikes at the “very core” of democracy. “Decisions have to be made in parliament in a liberal democracy. That is where legitimacy lies,” he said.

Merkel therefore faces defeat which would surely start the unravelling of the Euro. But I wonder if, despite their reservations, the Germans really will put their concerns above the EU knowing what the ultimate consequences will be? Would they be prepared to take the inevitable blame over the fall of the EU?

I doubt it. The German Constitutional Court has a track record of wriggling rulings out in favour of the EU on these issues (it will do so again) and then there’s the boundless stupidity of the German Government as AEP acknowledges (my emphasis):

While the bill is likely to pass, the furious debate leaves no doubt that Germany will resist moves to boost the EFSF’s firepower yet further. Most City banks say the fund needs €2 trillion to stop the crisis engulfing Spain and Italy.

It’s important to appreciate the almost limitless determination to keep EU and the Euro going come what may. So a bumpy September awaits the Euro but I suspect it will continue albeit in an even more crippled state than before.

"I Agree To Everything I’m Opposed To"

I struggle to add anything meaningful to Autonomous Mind‘s posts, exposing so-called euro-sceptic Roger Helmer MEP as yet another Tory Judas Goat, largely because the whole process has became unbearably tedious in its predictability. Decades of the same ol’ Tory mantra – “in Europe, not ruled by it”, “Tories are really eurosceptic” blah blah blah takes its toll. As Richard North wonderfully puts it:

Turning then to the Speccytwat, we then find a variation of the Tory theme, with the young Forsyth pontificating about how – on the basis of yet another inane an expensive EU law – Dave and his merry men need to “tackle Britain’s relationship with the EU”.

…Britain does not have a relationship with the EU – Britain is part of the EU. This country can no more have a relationship with this body than can we suggest that our own left feet have relationships with our own bodies.

The problem with which we are confronted, therefore, is that the Tory commentators are so incredibly thick that they cannot even get past first base.

Rather like the pesky pigeons that sat on my roof this morning at 5am – waking me up by cooing incessantly. Pompously sat there, sticking their chests out as if they’re important, cooing the same dull notes over and over and over again. It’s enough to drive me insane. Brainless and stupid, there’s no point arguing with them, nope, the only solution is to get the airgun out.

That Nice Mr Cameron

Note to the Daily Telegraph; if you’re going to write a ‘puff piece’ at least make it vaguely plausible. This one on Cameron is so magnificently ludicrous (apparently one of Cameron’s faults is that he’s too nice for his own good) it’s not even one worth frisking – just reading the first two sentences is enough:

It is odd, but undeniable: a lot of people still underrate David Cameron. There are parallels with Margaret Thatcher.

See what I mean? Just those 19 words would take a whole blog post to frisk! Quite frankly anyone who thinks Cameron is underrated needs to find a very large saucepan, fill it with water, bring it to the boil…and then stick their head in it. But oh no, the deluded article goes on, praising Cameron’s handling of the riots:

Again, the Prime Minister struck exactly the right note: reassuring but firm. He displayed the most important quality which a political leader needs in difficult circumstances: grip. He took a grip on the crisis and in so doing, set the terms of the debate: that while social problems must be addressed, there is no excuse for criminality.

Reassuring but firm? Took grip on the crisis? Or another way of putting it: announcing a number of half-baked, unworkable measures and also propose ones that already existed. One example was the shutting down of social networks during a riot (a move even praised by China):

Mr Cameron told MPs: ‘Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organised via social media.

‘We are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.’

So how’s this well-thought out, carefully considered and ‘firm’ proposal going Dave? Er not well:

David Cameron’s plan to shut down social networking sites to prevent disorder was ditched in a humiliating U-turn yesterday.

Humiliating eh? Still at least we can take comfort in the Telegraph’s analysis that Cameron is underrated.