(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...?
(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...*
Nick Clegg: "Fixed term parliaments will have a profound effect" - Mon, 13 Sep 2010One wonders whether they think it's still a good idea now. As the saying goes; be careful what you wish for:
“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.
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.
a few extreme nationalist politiciansThis, 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...
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.
“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:
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...
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?
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.
"...don’t despair, it’ll pass; and no doubt more quickly than it should.”
The European Court of Human Rights upheld a previous ruling that a blanket ban on inmates being able to vote was unlawful.
However, the court signalled that the UK government could decide which prisoners should be enfranchised, meaning serious offenders such as murderers and rapists could be excluded.
Judges may even be handed discretion to decide which criminals are allowed the vote. The Government now has six months to comply with the ruling or face a raft of challenges and huge legal costs.I'm liking the way unaccountable ECHR judges are helping us to decide our own law. At this point I feel it's worth repeating a quote made in 1977 from former Labour MP Tony Benn in his diaries:
...I was a member of the first British Government in history to be informed that it was behaving illegally by a court whose ruling you could not alter by changing the law in the House of Commons. It was a turning point...
In its usual self-important way, the Failygraph ponderously announces that "a document leaked to The Daily Telegraph shows that three proposals in the controversial Beecroft report were removed after being submitted to No10 before it was sent to the Business Department".
Well, in this exclusive report we can reveal that the europa.eu website has not leaked to EUReferendum.com the contents of Council Directive 2010/18/EU (above). Despite this, we can now reveal from looking at the website that it was approved in principle by the Council on 2 December 2009 (top) - Mr Brown's administration, I believe.
We can also exclusively reveal that we have looked at lots and lots of websites and, from documents seen by EUReferendum.com on those websites, we can reveal that employment law is an EU competence. Furthermore, we can reveal that, with this directive, parental leave (which includes provisions for flexible working) becomes an occupied field.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on bosses to stop "complaining" about the economy and work harder..
Mr Hague said: "There's only one growth strategy: work hard." He said the UK needed to "reorientate" itself, when it came to exports, towards expanding economies such as India, Thailand and Indonesia.Exhibit B
The complaints that David Cameron looks too comfortable in his job are utterly mystifying. Would you rather have the workaholic Gordon Brown? Or some awkward, uncomfortable Ed Miliband figure? Or another of those driven, bullied-at-school types who are so much more common in politics than in the general population? Does anyone seriously imagine that Cameron would be a better PM if he didn't make time for evenings with his wife?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." - Winston Churchill...so argues Ken Daly, husband of former Tory MEP Margaret Daly in the Euro crisis discussion on BBC's Sunday Politics (West) show below:
...the European Union represented one of the few examples in human history of the political classes of several nations acting selflessly and sensibly.
For myself, I had always been an enthusiastic pro-European and an unashamed believer in a federal European state. Like many English people of my tastes and proclivities, I rather fancied myself propping up zinc bars, sipping pastis and listening to the musical chink-clank of petanque.
I viewed an increasingly united Europe as a necessary counterweight to US world hegemony and Russian idiocy, while also being a handy cosmopolitan stick with which to beat the backs of uptight Little Englanders.
But times and opinions change: the continent's sixty year double-thinking reverie has turned the European dream into something of a nightmare: the quadriga's remaining obstinately faced to the East has resulted in an unfeasible extension of the EU in that direction also, while the attempt to reconcile national sovereignty with a single European economy has resulted in a bloated bureaucracy full of the wind of its own democratic deficit.
The European Union is working on an emergency Greek exit plan as the break-up of the euro looms, a senior Brussels official has revealed.That the euro cannot continue in its current form is pretty obvious - I just wish they would get on with it. So while we tire of the seemingly never-ending circus of crisis, it is inevitable that at some point a breakup or exit must come to pass - the tricky bit is gauging when.
(Reuters) - De La Rue (DLAR.L) has drawn up contingency plans to print drachma banknotes should Greece exit the euro and approach the British money printer, an industry source told Reuters on Friday.However, according to Business Insider:
Is Greece Already Stepping Back From The Ledge?
A couple of new polls have the conservative New Democracy party leading, and a report in Ekathimerini suggests that New Democracy is shoring up its coalition.In short no-one knows. Yes the Euro's flawed, and yes it will breakup but when is another question. My guess is Greece will still be in the Euro this time next week.
The Greeks want change, but they don't want to leave the Euro, and if it looks like SYRIZA's leader Alexis Tsipras is overplaying his hand, and risking a GREXIT, then he may get punished.
"One of [Cameron's] senior advisers says the PM spends “a crazy, scary amount of time playing Fruit Ninja on his iPad"How reassuring...
Vodafone’s top lawyer in India has quit after being tangled up in a four-year long tax evasion scandal. The row has seen the Indian government bullied by its biggest foreign corporate investor — but officials are not giving up on extracting $2.6bn from the company.One suspects that Political Scrapbook needs to learn the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion, or perhaps the loose interchange of the terms in the same article is deliberate...?
However, [William Hague] declares that a referendum now on leaving the EU is the “wrong question at the wrong timeWrong time for whom? And who is he to say when it's wrong?
(Reuters) - Isolated in Europe, Britain has little choice but to back down on its demand for changes to draft EU banking rules it had called idiotic.
European Union Chancellors meeting on Tuesday will seek to agree rules on the capital that banks across the 27-member bloc must raise in order to cover their risks, a measure designed to avoid another financial crisis.
"Britain is now left standing alone and its reluctance to compromise has only served to strengthen the resolve of others to accept this deal," said one EU diplomat.
Despite being unable to win all the concessions it wants, there are signs Britain is ready to back down, according to another diplomat familiar with Britain's position.
Apparently there have been a number of complaints about one of the advertisements His Grace carried on behalf of the Coalition for Marriage. He has been sent all manner of official papers, formal documentation and threatening notices which demand answers to sundry questions by a certain deadline. He is instructed by the ‘Investigations Executive’ of this inquisition to keep all this confidential.Quite. I'm not sure how Cranmer will reply to the investigation, I would be tempted to give the 'Arkell v. Pressdram (1971)' response.
Since His Grace does not dwell in Iran, North Korea, Soviet Russia, Communist China or Nazi Germany, but occupies a place in the cyber-ether suspended somewhere between purgatory and paradise, he is minded to ignore that request. Who do these people think they are?
All the party leaderships are getting jumpier every week about whether one will secure a poll gain by breaking ranks and offering an EU refNotice, however, what's missing? Any pretence that this has anything to do with the national interest. Instead it's merely naked tactical positioning and political self-interest. Which doesn't bode well, to say the least, that a referendum when it happens will be based on anything other than very loaded dice in the establishment's favour. This is apparently from the Tories who wish to have a third 'renegotiation' option:
My understanding is that, at the moment, the favoured option is to propose renegotiation, followed by a referendum on the new arrangements within 18 months. During the campaign, the Tories would argue for staying in if new terms could be agreed but leaving if the rest of Europe refused to play ball.In other words they're going to fix it in their favour. We've been here before with Harold Wilson in 1975 on the then EEC prior to the last referendum:
"I believe that our renegotiation objectives have been substantially though not completely achieved"We should be governed on our terms not theirs and we can only do this by power not by trust or hope - by them being servants not masters. The forthcoming Old Swan meeting is more important than ever.
Mr Cameron singled out human rights law, reform of workplace rights and support for marriage as areas where Tory principles are being held in check but urged senior MPs growing tired of coalition not to ‘waste’ the next three years.And so continues the running theme that beneath that Cameron veneer is a real Tory waiting to emerge if only events didn't conspire against him. If only the Lisbon Treaty wasn't passed before the election he wouldn't have had 'to let matters lie there', if only he had won the election, he could have thrown off the 'cuddly Tory' coat and reveal his inner Thatcher, if only he wasn't 'forced' into a coalition with the Lib Dems, he could have done all those things he wants to do but can't. If only... The joke's wearing a little thin.
One of the reasons I backed David Cameron to be party leader early on in his leadership campaign was because I wanted to see a different kind of Conservatism. I still do – and I’d vote for him to deliver it if there was a leadership contest tomorrow.Even though Cameron is not:
...a secret patriot waiting for the chance to rip off his expensive tailoring and reveal his inner Thatcher. He is exactly what he looks like, an unprincipled chancer with limited skills in public relations".
A neo-Nazi party who advocate forcing immigrants into work camps and planting landmines along the border are today savouring unprecedented political success in Greece.As UKK41 says it's depressing. It's also inevitable:
Golden Dawn party will enter parliament with 7 per cent of the vote after the electorate shunned the main parties who they blame for plunging the nation into austerity.
The obscure extreme-right group are one of the biggest winners in a poll which has plunged Greece into a fresh political crisis.
Asked if he worries about that prospect, Thomas Nikolaou, an unemployed mathematics professor, who until now backed Pasok, said:
“This trick didn’t work now and it won’t work in the future. I voted for (the extreme right) Golden Dawn (party). I lost my job, I can’t feed my family and I have nothing else to lose. The only power I have is my vote and I will give it again to those who say no to this madness.
“All I can think of is revenge against the politicians who destroyed my life and millions of others.”So it's with deep irony that by trying to eliminate the nation state and democracy the EU will encourage precisely the very situtation it wanted to prevent.
The Prime Minister will produce a series of measures that he hopes will give “red meat” to Conservative backbenchers, who are calling for action to appeal to their core voters after poor local election results.And the measures via the Queen's speech apparently include:
It is sad that the situation presently exists whereby, we know [politicians are] lying, they know we know they’re lying, but they keep lying to us, and we keep pretending to believe them, because no system of democracy can last on such a basis – as history has demonstrated many times.
Agree or disagree with her, it is her job to appear on television and argue her case. It seems, however, that some people on Twitter do not agree.Er...no it isn't, Mrs Mensch's job is to hold the Government to account via Parliament, a 'job' she doesn't excel in.
European human rights judges have blocked more than 900 attempts by Britain to deport foreign criminals and terror suspects in recent years.It would help the Telegraph's case though, or indeed its diminishing credibility, if they showed the right building as the picture. The one in the picture above is the Strasbourg-based EU parliament - the tag underneath incorrectly says it's the "European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg". However the ECHR is not a part of the EU and the building, instead, looks something like this:
Official figures show that the European Court of Human Rights has thwarted more planned deportations by Britain than any other country.
The controversial “Rule 39” procedure was recently used by judges in Strasbourg to prevent Abu Qatada, the extremist cleric, being sent back to Jordan in case evidence obtained under torture was used against him.
It has also been used by Somali criminals and failed Tamil asylum seekers to remain in the country. The new figures disclosed in Parliament have renewed calls for the Government to pull out of the court and so ensure that British court rulings are upheld.