Invest In The Eurozone?

While reading in the Telegraph a report of the inept performance that was England last night, one is amused by the adverts that appear underneath (pictured above)

One wonders if it’s 5 days early, a Freudian slip by the pro-EU paper or the Telegraph’s odd way of mocking the Cypriots?



Perhaps it’s weariness on my part or the expectation that it wouldn’t be long before others clock Cameron’s speech on immigration as the nonsense that it is (and thus do the hard work for me), but I couldn’t bring myself to comment on Cameron’s latest wheeze.

And unsurprisingly unravel quickly it has:


So follows Cameron in a long line of Tories who in spirit is defined by the words of Labour MP Hugh Gaitskell, October 1962:

“…have been indulging in their usual double talk. When they go to Brussels they show the greatest enthusiasm for political union. When they speak in the House of Commons they are most anxious to aver that there is no commitment whatever to any political union.”

Cameron’s immigration announcement was always bollocks but he’s not even good enough to disguise it very well. He is taking the concept of the Peter Principle to a whole new level. As a consequence, as Richard North notes, the rats are now deserting the sinking Tory ship.

As it stands Labour are more than likely to win the General Election in 2015 and we go through the whole charade again – as per Ed Milliband’s recent article in The Sun:

And as a Labour Prime Minister, I will act to deal with people’s concerns. We know low-skill immigration has been too high and it should come down. We will put maximum controls on new countries joining the European Union.

Controls can only be put in place for a maximum of 7 years – Labour not quite lying but not telling the whole truth either. The 7 year limit is precisely the issue with Romanians and Bulgarians having their restrictions removed next year – their 7 year term is up.

Unsurprisingly another party had this policy of restricting immigration in 2011 (leaving unsaid that it was for only 7 years) – can you guess which one it was?

And so we go round in circles.

A Power Station Obituary

Today Didcot A will be thrown onto the scrap heap. No longer considered fit for purpose under EU law, it is set to be turned off after 14:00, even though it has many years of life in it yet. Its only job now is a lonely agonising wait for demolition of the cooling towers, chimney and turbine hall. Unhelpfully the closure is at a time when we are being warned of a looming energy crisis.

Odd as it may seem there are mixed emotions locally at its closure. One woman noted on local news that; “I’m sad ‘cos it’s a landmark innit…?”, a view echoed, albeit slightly more elegantly by Didcot Town Council leader Margaret Davies:

“The cooling towers are so large, and the power station has been such a big part of our lives that it’s hard to believe it is not going to be powering away any more.

The cooling towers have been a reassuring sight, a friendly giant, but the closure paves the way for when the cooling towers will be demolished and vanish completely from the skyline.”

A landmark it most certainly is even though it resides as comfortably and inconspicuously in the Oxfordshire countryside as Eric Pickles in a salad bar.

But many memories and fond thoughts. Once I was collared by a motorist as I was walking back from town asking for directions to the power station. My reply of; “take the next left, left again and it will be on your right – you can’t miss it” must have been one of the easiest directions I have ever given to a motorist. One can never forget either the windows rattling when it fired up or the conclusions of the environmental survey when you buy a house which noted that there is a power station nearby – as if you haven’t noticed.

We remember other quirks also. Despite being called Didcot Power Station, it doesn’t actually reside in Didcot, instead in the parish of a village called Sutton Courtney – more well known for the burial place of George Orwell and British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. Rumours have persisted locally for many years that underhand persuasion was used for it not to be called Sutton Courtney power station when it was built.

And despite being voted the third worst eyesore in Britain, it’s often forgotten that it won architectural awards when it opened. Designed by the British sculptor Henry Moore – his biggest piece- the cooling towers were positioned in such a way that all six towers could not be seen in their entire completeness from anywhere in Oxfordshire. A clever, yet subtle use of perspective, designed to limit the station’s impact on the surrounding environment.

The loss of history and ‘be careful what you wish for’ reminds us of the Blackburn Meadows Power Station in Sheffield, the two cooling towers which resided next to the M1, and was portrayed in the film The Full Monty, were only demolished 28 years after the power station closed – against much local opposition.

But it’s an end of an era, an era that once thought that keeping the lights on was more important than implementing a flawed ideology.

Didcot A leaves behind a wife (Didcot B) and 1000’s of children who live on benefits.

No flowers.

The Fatal Flaw

The theft of Cypriots’ savings without so much as by your leave is quite jaw dropping in its brazenness. As Zerohedge notes, bank accounts are private property so what has happened is effectively the confiscation of private property – the equivalent of the government driving off with your car on a whim.

Of course the situation is being described as “exceptional and unique”, as were the bailouts of Ireland, Portugal, and Greece. A precedent has been set and it’s not difficult to envisage that this will happen again (it’s a possible trial run) or that contagion, in the form of bank runs, will happen across Europe.

But it’s seems to be forgotten among the outrage that our own Government is not adverse to similar actions themselves, only it’s called something different.

If you want to raid savings accounts you can call it; quantitative easing, inflation or devaluation of the sterling. Different names but a similar effect. Or confiscate shares without compensation to shareholders that were still trading on the market at 90p at the time as per the nationalisation of Northern Rock. Or raiding dormant accounts. Or indeed bailing out a Eurozone country with taxpayer’s money, despite promises to the contrary, but calling it “compensating British troops”. When were we consented about this?

The EU’s fatal flaw is its openness on the theft, an openness that is necessary because, unlike a successful currency union like the one that exists in the UK, it cannot disguise it via other methods due to the inherent shortcomings of the Euro. It is hamstrung by a flawed currency of its own making. It is being hoisted by its own petard.

However we should not be under any illusions that anything would be any different should we leave without a sea change in democracy at home…