"Greece Won’t Leave The Euro?"

From the same chap who thought VAT was a Thatcher invention, we now have this

(hi Mum!) I’m going to stake what little credibility I have here: I don’t think Greece will leave the euro. Not now and probably not ever.

I’m saying nufink…*

*Can I have a job writing for the Telegraph being paid to talk bollocks…?

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Fixed Parliaments?

With the Lib Dems enthusiasm for fixed parliaments (click to enlarge)

Nick Clegg: “Fixed term parliaments will have a profound effect” – Mon, 13 Sep 2010

“Establishing parliaments of fixed-terms is a straightforward, but fundamental, change in our politics. It is a simple constitutional innovation, but one that will have a profound effect.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pledged the introduction of a five year fixed term parliaments will have a “profound effect” and lead to greater stability in the political system.

One wonders whether they think it’s still a good idea now. As the saying goes; be careful what you wish for:

David Cameron’s former communications chief, Andy Coulson, has been detained on suspicion of committing perjury during the trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan.

The 44-year-old was detained in London this morning by officers from Strathclyde Police.

Mr Coulson gave evidence in December 2010 at Sheridan’s perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The Streisand Effect

The superb Witterings from Witney has got himself into a little local difficulty over what appears to be a dispute on comments made on a 3 year old blog piece.

Despite the hugely flattering legal comments to WfW that his blog is read by a ‘large world wide target audience’ one wonders who would have noticed the comments otherwise on a blog piece that was written years ago, on his old blog. Well we have now…

Good luck WfW

The Great Pasty Man

Reminiscent of the villain StayPuft who bumbles about destroying stuff ad hoc in the film Ghostbusters:

…is Ken Clarke – the Great Pasty Man…

Ken Clarke (the archetypical old Tory) decides… that a referendum is not only “silly” but that the interest of our membership of the EU is only the view of:

a few extreme nationalist politicians

This, of course, is not the view of an outsider but a cabinet member who was invited into Cameron’s front bench team in 2009, and still the disillusioned voted for them in 2010. “Know a man by his friends” and then some…

And today Osborne has apparently retreated on the VAT on pasties and static homes. Naturally he has done no such thing as Bloggers4 UKIP point’s out:

The pasty tax was to add 20% VAT to hot pastry products such as pasties and sausage rolls and the caravan tax was to apply 20% VAT to static caravans.  The “climb down” will see 20% VAT applied to pasties if they’re served out of the oven and 5% VAT added to static caravans. Less than two months ago there was no pasty tax and no caravan tax, now we’re going to have a pasty tax and caravan tax and this is being called a u-turn. 

What a surprise that the great retreat is a fudge. Yet in difficult times Ken Clarke says:

….the Coalition like all other western European governments would struggle to be re-elected if a vote was taken now. 

Perhaps he should note that the coalition wasn’t elected in the first place – 2010 was a hung parliament, there’s certainly no mandate for the current Government. But hey let’s just bumble about, destroying stuff,  taking no notice of the electorate and carry on regardless.

The villainous Staypuft indeed – who still wants us to join the Euro – albeit fed with copious pasties.

Speed Cameras

Even though the trigger point was always reduced to catch more motorists;

“When you put a camera in, the number of speeders always reduces. Suddenly there’s no money coming in, so they drop the trigger speed from 38mph to 35mph to pay the bills,” says Reynolds. “What good did that do but alienate the public?”

And as soon as the Newbury by-pass opened, the speed limit was dropped from 40 down to 30mph on the incoming A4 – consistently used by commuter traffic – with very little notice. The Police knew they would catch lots of motorists one Monday morning because at the time, they choose a pub (pictured below) along the A4 for their speed trap, a pub which was noted for having a very large car park – so conveniently there was plenty of room to pull over copious motorists going to work early on a Monday morning:

…and Swindon is an experiment in proving they don’t’ work:

A Wiltshire town that decided to get rid of its speed cameras has the safest roads in Britain, a report has revealed.

…we now have this

Still, it’s about road safety don’t cha you know?

Being A Member Of A Club

One of the increasingly insidious ‘benefits’ of EU membership is a desire, largely because of a disconnect between the people and their government, to argue that the government should break the law, particularly where the EU (or the ECHR) legislates in areas we don’t agree with.

Often comments on websites or when campaigning in elections consist usually of the following; “Why don’t we do what the French do?”, “why don’t we tell the EU to get stuffed” or “other countries ignore the EU why not us?”.

While such sentiments are understandable, they overlook a universal truth. Democracy is, or should be based on the rule of law, – the EU is part of our law and government – so we have a duty to comply.

Arguing for our politicians to essentially break the law leads us down a very slippery slope indeed (“I wanted our government to tell the EU to go do one – great – but now it’s locked me up for 18 months without a trial, that’s not fair”)

Instead the answer is actually pretty straight forward – don’t belong to the club. Belonging to any club is always simple, whether it’s the EU, the WI jam making society or the East India Club:

  1. Accept and abide by the rules.
  2. Disagree with rules so change them from within.
  3. Or leave

So when it comes to our membership of the EU:

  1. Acceptance is the desire of our political class but they can’t cope with being honest about the rules. So they lie. Instead they should put up or shut up.
  2. Changing the rules is never going to happen and is virtually impossible, despite Tory lightweights trying to pretend otherwise.
  3. So in the event of disagreeing with the EU (ECHR) and complaining about rules you can’t change then that only leaves one option. Number 3.

 Which leads me neatly onto blogger Crash, Bang and Wallace:

So the European Court of Human Rights has once more trampled over our sovereign right to set our own laws – this time ruling to outlaw the extremely popular ban on convicts being able to vote.

Plenty of people would be delighted if the British Government simply ignored the ruling, and refused to pay any fines it might levy as a result. However, if the Government is really keen to ensure we obey the rule of law – even absurd Strasbourg law – then there is another solution.

Why not do as the ECHR asks, and abolish our blanket ban by allowing some prisoners to vote – but only those convicted of one very specific and very obscure crime which is unlikely to be committed and even more unlikely to be prosecuted?

A good example would be the offence of “Impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner” – a historic crime for which no-one is currently in jail. We would technically be ticking the box for Strasbourg, while in reality thumbing our nose at them.

If they can act ridiculously to thwart our intentions, then surely we can do the same in return.

 Or there’s another solution…leave. When will people grow up?

What Isn’t Said

The Spectator has an interview with Nigel Farage, on a subject that I commented on a previous post. However note another article in the same magazine and bear in mind the following quote taken from it when reading the post in full…

James Forsyth also provides an insight into his interview with Nigel Farage — who was keener to go the pub than eat — and his offer to run joint UKIP-Tory candidates at the next general election.