Following on from the Leveson Report, Newsflash from the UK has nicely spotted this from the European Commission political officer Marie-Madeleine Kanellopoulou, based in the EU’s office in Westminster (ex Tory HQ) reported as saying,:

“We are following the Leveson inquiry to see the outcome. In the UK we have to deal with a very euro-sceptical British public and that’s not helped by the hostile audience in the British press.

We want to engage with the media, with stakeholders and non governmental organisations…. but repeated mis-representation in the media was making communication of the true facts about EU policy difficult…

We are trying to rebut EU myths in the press but it is not easy because the Press Complaints Commission has a limited remit”.

Apparently it’s all the newspaper’s fault we’re Eurosceptic, if only they could make the media more compliant, we’ll all be happy Europeans. Funny thing also about so-called Euro myths is the EU’s rebuttal of them are ironically myths, we’ve been here before.

But then this has never been about establishing the truth.



I’ve received more than a few observations that changes by Google to the word verification process when attempting to comment is becoming increasing more difficult to read …something I have experienced on other blogs.

I have attempted to play around with the blogger comment settings, but simply removing the word verification lands me with more spam than I can cope with. So in the absence of any practical solution via Blogger, to try to balance the ease of commenting while limiting spam, I’m searching for imbedded third party options.

I have used intensedebate before with mixed success. So if the comments field changes in the next couple of days, but doesn’t quite work…bear with me (hello) I’ll merely be trying a few things out, sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.

Update: I’ve imbedded Disqus. It seems to have removed all other comments on this blog – unless I uninstall it. However it seems to behave much better on Blogger than ‘intense debate’. If you want to post anonymous comments simply make the email address up if it requests it – that seems to work.

Any problems let me know, unless obviously the problem is that you can’t comment…

A Bun Fight

Today some report by a Lord, a member of the establishment, will recommend legislation by other members of the establishment, to regulate the press – also members of the establishment – who will then moan that fellow members of the establishment shouldn’t tell them what to say.

Despite that, members of the establishment known as the press who have for years self-regulated themselves on behalf of other members of the establishment, known as the government, preventing the consequences of many polices entering the public domain, or at least limiting the damage, in publicity terms, will complain that their right to ‘bias by admission‘ should not be regulated by other members of the establishment.

Other members of the establishment, aka Cameron, will defend members of the establishment known as the press because it is in his interest to do so on behalf of the establishment known as the Government.

Further members of the establishment, will gloat in the demise of another membership of the establishment even though they employed a rampant peadophile, and were defended by other members of the establishment. Phone hacking, being a complaint brought about by members of the establishment, will complain that the establishment infringes on their privacy but also uses the said same establishment to further their careers.

But at least the comforting factor is that all members of the establishment agree with membership of another establishment.

Meanwhile the rest of us are fucked….

"You’re Stealing Our Votes!"

Dan Hannan is not quite silly enough to actually say it (yet), but the tone of his blog pieces certainly alludes strongly to the above Tory sentiment. However one of the comments underneath has him bang to rights (borrowed from Richard North’s forum):

I am a member of UKIP as are quite a few of my old friends from Labour Party days of yore. Funnily enough the only parties that I have ever voted for are Labour, CPGB and UKIP. So much for the notion that UKIP are a party of the right…

People like you are really little more than the dogs who have been given leave to yap a little louder than the rest. All the employers’ organisations, as well as the Tory party as a whole, are in favour of the EU. The Tories under Heath took us in, under Thatcher and Major they then marched us down the federal road towards greater political unity. The only party that had withdrawal from the EU in its manifesto was Labour in 1983 and 1987. (Would you care to remind people how you voted in those elections, Dan?)

I joined UKIP because Labour has now been taken over not by the left or the right but by a section of the middle class. It no longer even pretends to represent the urban working class. That said, the Tories are just nasty, so if push came to shove, I would still prefer Labour to them.

Then along you come and tell me that UKIP, my new home, may keep the Nasty Party out of office at the next election… Be still my beating heart…

Quite! After all the couple at the centre of the Rotherham foster parent scandal are ex-Labour. Yet Tory arrogance continues unabated.

They Got There Eventually

The Telegraph eventually notices the elephant:

The European Commission has sent a nine-page legal opinion to the British Government warning that minimum prices are illegal – and that the Treasury should increase duty on alcoholic drinks if it wishes to raise the price.

The legal opinion states that setting a minimum price is illegal under laws governing the free movement of goods.Thirteen European countries, including major wine producers such as France and Italy, are understood to be preparing to take the British government to court to stop the imposition of a minimum price.

One wonders, as this was so obvious, why politicians kept banging on about it when they knew it was illegal? All it does is show up their own impotence:

However, ministers appear to have decided to defy the legal warning and yesterday unveiled proposals to introduce a 45p minimum price for each unit of alcohol. 

Why bother? They will lose…there’s enough precedents by the ECJ to show this to be the case. Perhaps this will be one of mythical powers Cameron will claim that he will try to claw back.

The Judas Goat Strikes Back

Dan Hannan, he who without any sense of shame performed a U-turn so large it was visible from space (changing his views from an EU exit to a renegotiation position within a matter of days, after looking at his payslip) has yet again tried to argue that Eurosceptics should side with the Tories. Despite the massive historical evidence to the contraryapparently we should still trust the most europhile party going:

The tragedy is that it will come too late. By the time UKIP and the Conservatives accept Britain’s electoral logic, the damage will have been done.

It is now likelier than not that the Conservatives will offer an In/Out referendum. The danger is that my party will do so ambiguously, tardily or unconvincingly. Too unconvincingly, at any rate, for those in UKIP who are predisposed to disbelieve everything Tories say.

The two parties will end up fighting each other at the 2015 general election. UKIP won’t win a single seat, but will cause the Conservatives to lose dozens.

The arguments against the Tories, particularly Mr Hannan, has been made many times before, to the point of watching paint dry, but sadly it needs to keep being reiterated. Here’s the Tory record:

  1. Entered the EEC on a lie (read the 1971 internal document FCO 30/1048)
  2. Campaigned in the 1975 referendum for a yes vote, including Thatcher
  3. Passed the Single European Act
  4. Shadowed the Deutschmark in preparation to enter the ERM.
  5. Entered the ERM which directly lead to the early ’90s recession
  6. Passed the Maastricht Treaty
  7. Have become, in Roger Helmer’s words the most pro-EU government ever, since elected in 2010.

Actions speak louder than words and no amount of rhetoric can cover the fact that the Tories cannot wait to constantly integrate further. Here’s what I wrote in November 2011:

To use a football analogy; I have supported my team for over 25 years, in that time I’ve criticised players, managers and the board but every year I still renew my season ticket. That makes me a supporter not a sceptic. And the same is true of Tories, despite the criticism of some aspects of the EU, when that EU season ticket renewal comes up they gleefully renew. They are supporters not sceptics.

Dan Hannan is our enemy. Bollocks to him – the Judas goat – and to his attempted deception.

No Chance…

If you’re going to do a hoax, at least make it plausible. Whatever one thinks of Blair he would know better than to ‘campaign for an EU President’. No such position exists – it would be for the President of the European Council – currently held by Rompuy-Pumpy. (The EU has copious Presidents). Van Rompuy’s Presidency actually ends in 2014.

That said looking at Blair’s speech today, one should not be surprised that he is pitching for the vacant position in 2016. The position of President of the European Council is held for a once-renewable term of two and a half years, which means by 2016, if true that Blair wants to run he would be facing an EU approved incumbent. And that is not his only obstacle. He has others, which prevented him winning last time, namely:

  • Making the European Council a formal EU body in the Lisbon Treaty (meant only as a temporary institution in 1974 – what in the EU is temporary invariably becomes permanent) was a mistake in EU terms. It created a power conflict between itself and the EU Commission (the executive). Thus it’s in the EU Commision’s interest to ensure that any candidate for European Council does not pose a threat. In the appointment of Baroness Ashton they got it right, in Rompuy-Pumpy less so (still-waters run deep). Like it or not Blair has presence on the international stage, so no way will they allow him to upstage the EU Commission as a consequence. No chance.
  • Then there’s the legacy of the Iraq war – deeply unpopular in Europe, cheese eating surrender monkeys anyone? The EU is largely a French project, so again no chance.
  • Also, and very importantly in this instance, Blair is British. We’re the awkward partner, the outsider, the one who is not in the Euro the one who are not ‘good Europeans’. Given also that a referendum and frantic talk of ‘a new relationship’ is on its way – around 2016 – that the EU would want a Brit in charge of the European Council aint gonna happen? No chance.

I don’t normally give betting advice on this blog, but if Blair ever throws his hat in for 2016, lay against him winning with everything you’ve got on Betfair. It’s easy money – like taking candy away from a kid.