And yes we have more rumbling over the Van Rompuy affair,
This time it's the Times where Rod Liddle comments,
Nasty Nigel 1 Belgium 0Whereas Atticus is a little more reasoned,
Nigel Farage, the former boss of UKIP, has been taking the mickey out of Belgium, a country famous for Poirot, chocolate and paedophiles. An awful lot of opprobrium has descended on him for the crime of dissing Belgium and also the Belgian European council president Herman Van Rompuy. But what is the point of UKIP if they are not to be, occasionally, nihilistically xenophobic?
The UK Independence party’s Nigel Farage enraged the European parliament by remarking that the EU president, Herman Van Rompuy, had “the charisma of a damp rag” (ooh, stop it Nigel, you’re such a caution). What sensitive flowers they must be in Brussels. Say what you like about our own MPs, but their skins are thicker and their insults more colourful. Here’s the late Conservative Sir Nicholas Fairbairn on women MPs: “They all look as though they’re from the 5th Kiev Stalinist machinegun parade.” Van Rompuy got off lightly.Quite.
The Telegraph letters page makes a pretty sane suggestion to Mr Cameron and his polling doldrums. Give us a referendum on Europe you wassock.
Ukip is presently hitting a consistent 5 to 7 per cent in opinion polls, mainly garnered from disaffected Tories. Were David Cameron to commit an incoming Conservative government to a binding "in or out" referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU, much of that Ukip vote would go his way. With 45 per cent of the vote, they would be weighing his majority on polling day, rather than counting it. David Cameron is presumably an intelligent man, so he must be able to see this. Thus his inaction tells you all you need to know about his covert support for the EU project. As they say up north: "There's none so blind as those that don't want to see."And in the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens, for the first time in my memory almost applauds a UKIP figure, this time Stuart Wheeler,
Swipe at the Tories hits right homeElsewhere the BBC are reporting that,
Stuart Wheeler, once the largest donor to the Tory Party, has been cast into outer darkness for supporting UKIP instead.
Now he has written an interesting and powerful study of the MPs’ expenses row, which among other things points out the terrifying centralised powers that party leaders now possess.
But I specially enjoyed this passage: ‘I have nothing against anyone who is fortunate enough to live in a nice house in the country. I do myself. But I cannot for the life of me see why, were I an MP, you should have to help finance that.’
Quite so. Which rather well-off party leader could he possibly be referring to?
The deputy mayor of Telford and Wrekin has quit the role to contest the parliamentary seat at the general election for the UK Independence Party.Good luck to you Denis.
Councillor Denis Allen will stand for UKIP for Telford and has resigned to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
And Nigel Farage's latest appearance on the Alex Jones show has been Youtubed here.
Other news of note
In the Times we learn that that paragon, John Bercow is getting a tax free pension,
Tax-freeThe same article blows the gaff on the fact that disgraced former MPs will reatin rights of access to Parliament, which was formerly a mark of distinction. Given that most are unemployable except as lobbyists this is a very valuable perk.
John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, is to be exempted from new taxes imposed on the pensions of high earners.
He is already allowed to claim half his Speaker’s salary as pension on the day he steps down from office, even if he stays an MP. It has now emerged that this “grace and favour” pension will be exempt from taxes announced in last year’s budget.
Bercow can claim £79,754 as Speaker on top of his MP’s salary, giving a total of £144,520. He has not claimed it in full and is paid £141,647.
Under the new measures, other employees earning more than £130,000 will pay tax of up to 30% on pension contributions from April 2011. The Speaker’s office has confirmed he will not pay taxes on his grace and favour pension.
It reports that the Polar bear is a recent development in evolutionary time, a development caused by climate change. It all rather goes to make Viscount Monckton's point (click on film in link).
The polls are getting very scary for Dave.
Harriet Sergeant hits the nail on the head about problems with the pulic sector. It is profligate in hireing, but finds it impossible to fire.
A senior non-executive director described some of the managers in her trust as “not up to the job”. This did not mean she could sack them. “The NHS”, she explained, “does not like facing noise.” A manager in social services remarked: “Time and time again I have said, ‘So-and-so is incompetent’, only to be reproved — ‘Yes, but they are awfully nice’.” A modern matron complained that discipline in the no-blame culture of the NHS is a “long-winded process”. Modern management is meant to “nurture” employees. The errant state worker is offered training and supervision and given another chance. This can go on for a year. “In the meantime,” said the former matron, “patients are going through her hands and suffering.”Of course promotions mean pay rises.
The easiest way of getting rid of “awfully nice” people is to promote them elsewhere. Special project work, “reconfiguring the system” or checking up on everyone else is always popular.
The News of the World gives prominance to reports that the Chancellor is considering doubling duty on booze! We can only hope that he and his boss are downed in a torrent of gin and beer.
It also brings attention to a Policy Exchange report that claims,
BRITAIN'S prisons will be FULL by the summer because the Government has scrapped its early-release scheme, a report will warn this week.Over in the Sunday Telegraph, Bruno Waterfield highlights the invidious position of Baroness Ashton.
By June 30 there will be 86,808 cons but just 86,681 prison places - a shortfall of 127.
And even if jail chiefs commandeer the 400 police cells available, all of them are expected to be filled by October.
The key point here seems to be that as some were saying beforehand, the Lisbon Treaty was never about giving power to the Nation States of the European Union, but always about centralising power with the Commission, the unelected bureacracy. The saga over the appointment of the EU's Ambassador in Washington has made clear to all what we were saying before. Of course now that we have ratified the Treaty - and dave has chickened ouut oof giving us a post ante vote, there is nothing - bar leaving the EU that can do anything about this.
My chum, Dan Hannan adds his tuppen'worth about this, but Dan has to recognise that no matter how good he is on the subject, he represents a Conservative Party whose failing leadership is at odds to his position. He merely grants then a fig-leaf of eurosceptic respectability on the corpulent mass of the pro-EU party. Why did Kathy have to go to Kiev and thus miss the Defence Ministers meeting in Spain?
In fact, as her officials and British diplomats have since observed, Lady Ashton had changed her plans, switching from Spain to visit Ukraine for the inauguration of President Yanukovych in Ukraine, on the explicit instruction of EU foreign ministers on Monday. Setting her up for the fall, both Herman Van Rompuy, the EU President and Jose Manuel Barroso, the Commission President, who would usually carry out such duties, had declined to travel to Kiev.Back to Climate Change, Chris Booker ploughs his (no longer so lonely) furrow with a magisterhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/feb/28/tory-immigration-rowial attack on the Bali meeting.
Ironically, Mr Van Rompuy's excuse was a Thursday night speech on EU foreign policy to the eurocrat training university, the College of Bruges. Mr Barroso begged off because he had a Brussels lunch date with Kenneth Clarke, the pro-EU shadow Business Secretary.
In the Observer Nick Cohen is very good on Falkands, whilkst Peter Hitchens at the above link has an interesting suggestion.
If the UK alliance with the US isn't good enough for Obama to support us in our created dispute with Argentina, then obviously they don't want our support in Afghanistan.
It's a thought.
Andrew Rosindell's constuency is caught telling porkies in his election literature,
Last night, the party's frontbench was forced to distance itself from the hard-hitting material, which was put out under the name of Cameron's home affairs spokesman, Andrew Rosindell. It bears a picture of both men, says that immigration has caused a population explosion, and declares "we simply cannot go on like this".We are in the EU, nothing can be done about mass migration until we lave. It really is that simple.
Circulated in Rosindell's Romford constituency, it also suggests that the Tories would impose new transitional controls on the right of nationals of the new EU member states to work in the UK. Such controls already exist for Bulgaria and Romania, but retrospective limits on other eastern European states, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, would be illegal under EU law.