Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


5 Comments

The irony of Cameron’s EU speech

The EU wants more of your money

Pro-EU: Ben Gummer MP

Despite the MP for Ipswich adding his name (as reported by Ipswich Spy) to a pro-European salvo dispatched a few days before David Cameron’s historical speech, Ben Gummer, ironically, might win a few votes off the back of the PM’s promise to give the British people an In-Out referendum on our membership of the European Union.

That’s if he doesn’t draw attention to his opposing letter and rabidly pro-European views…can he rein himself in?

But then Ben Gummer is a canny political operator as we saw with his anti-immigration leaflet during the 2010 General Election. If needs must, eh Ben?


Leave a comment

Will Cameron be able to deliver his EU Referendum promise?

Image

Finally: David Cameron delivering his long-awaited speech this morning

This morning was one of those seismic historical moments which changed Britain’s political trajectory.

Britain’s relationship with Europe changed irreversibly with Prime Minister David Cameron’s long-awaited speech on our relationship with and within the EU. That does not mean Berlin, Paris, Madrid or Rome were surprised but it does mean the semantic cartwheels and ambiguous description of where the UK’s position is in the European Union are over.

Britain’s view, through David Cameron’s big speech this morning at Bloomberg in Central London, has been made clear: we want to negotiate repatriation of a number of powers from the EU, which we will then put to the British people in an “In or Out” Referendum. If the British people like what they see after the negotiation, they’ll vote to stay in the EU; if they don’t, the United Kingdom will exit the European Union entirely – no Norway model, full exit. The choice will be made by 2017.

BUT. And it’s a big BUT.

The Conservative Party needs to win the General Election in 2015. Mr Cameron’s speech today has certainly improved their chances. But the EU is not the only issue which causes disaffected Tory activists to defect to UKIP. The Coalition Government’s continued policy of uncontrolled immigration, a lacklustre handling of the economy which may mean Britain is heading for a triple-dip recession, and still no plan from Cameron & Clegg on how to get the banks lending to small-business owners and prospective house buyers are, actually, further up the priority list for UKIP-minded people than the European Union.

There’s also another factor at play. As soon as David Cameron had finished describing his vision for the EU and offering an “In or Out” referendum, his yellow peril sidekick, Nick Clegg, was sniping at the sidelines that the PM was not “acting in the national interest” over Europe. This weight around Mr Cameron’s ankle will continue to cause immense harm to the Tories’ prospects of winning a majority at the next General Election – that and the most powerful indicator of electoral success: the economy. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has merely snipped at the Government department budgets when there should be wholesale slashing and burning of wasteful bureaucracy and pointless quangos to cut down on how much Government the taxpayer is forced to buy each month out of their decreased or stagnate wages. Above all, it is the state of an elector’s finances which will decide how they vote in May 2015. “It’s the economy, stupid”, as a former US president once said.

Credit where credit is due: David Cameron has done well today. He has grasped the nettle whilst confusing the hell out of Labour, which can only be good for Conservative prospects. I personally would like to see an “In or Out” EU Referendum before 2015 but let’s be under no false pretences: this can’t happen. The Liberal Democrats would not stand for it and would implode the Government and then there would be no majority to get the Referendum legislation through parliament. This post-2015 promise from Cameron is the only way of placating his Tory backbenchers and bringing some UKIP defectors back to the Tory fold. But will it be enough to give him the keys to No.10 in his own right. You know what? I’m not sure it is.


1 Comment

Last year’s predictions: how did I do? And 2013 predictions

Well, I got three out of my five predictions right.

At the beginning of 2012 I forecast the following:

1. One Eurozone country at least will leave the Euro and, shock horror, it won’t lead to the end of the world but instead that country’s exports will rocket.  I got this wrong. Greece is still hanging on to the Eurozone helped by billions of Euros from German taxpayers. How long will this charade go on to save the embarrassment of Angela Merkel and José Barroso? Greece WILL leave the Eurozone eventually, it’s just a matter of when. Other Southern European countries will then follow.

2. Boris will win a second term as Mayor of London. I got this right. Well done Boris but may he never win the Conservative Party leadership!
3. The Olympics will be a success but paranoid security requirements will cause chaos in and around London (if you work in London and can work from home from July to September then do so!). The Opening Ceremony will be a bit embarrassing compared to Beijing but, hey, I guess that is the price you pay when you cannot force thousands of acrobats to train 18 hours a day, seven days a week (without pay) in preparation. I got this a third right. The Olympic Games were a success; in fact, they were more than a success: they were the best ever Games in the Modern Olympiad. I was wrong about the security: it worked miles better than any airport and the guards were polite (rather than acting like jailers at Belmarsh). The transport system also worked because hundreds of thousands of Londoners left the Capital for the entire period of the Olympics and Paralympic Games. I was very wrong about the Opening Ceremony: it was the best show I have ever watched. Danny Boyle should have been knighted for managing to encapsulate Britain’s glorious past so perfectly. It is a disgrace he did not get any New Year’s Honour. UPDATE: it has been reported, Mr Boyle turned down a knighthood to stay as “a man of the people”.
4. Obama will hold on to the Presidency, just! As we all know, he won. But he leads a divided America. Half the United States population did not vote for Barack Obama.
5. Ed Miliband will still be Labour leader by the end of the year (which will be great for the Conservatives). In fact, it was a good year for Ed Miliband. He has cleverly shored up his core vote before moving his tanks on to the Conservative lawns with his talk on “One Nation”. The Labour leader will desperately be hoping the British public will forget he and and his sidekick Ed Balls were on the bridge at the time of the financial meltdown in 2008.

I’ve had a think about my predictions for 2013 (six this year!). Let’s see how I get on:

1. One main prediction for this year is it will be pretty boring. But after the sporting and patriotic events of 2012, a change is as good as a rest. That’s not to say we won’t get a little excited about the Royal birth in the Summer. Hey, I’ll toss a coin and predict the baby will be a girl.

2. Both Coalition parties – Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – will perform very badly in the England County Council elections in May. Cameron and co. will put it down to “mid-term blues”. I will put it down to another nail in the coffin for the Conservatives’ chances of winning the General Election in 2015: Opposition and a leadership contest will be that bit closer for the Tories. On the yellow peril front, the sharks will start circling around Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg but he’ll be safe in 2013.

3. UKIP’s stock will continue to rise. The party will do well in the County Elections. Nigel Farage’s troops won’t necessarily win many seats but they will deny the Conservatives a bundle. This will be another milestone on their journey to European Elections victory in 2014.

4. The economy will hardly grow this year. The only thing which will change is more debt will be added to the already huge pile, which currently stands at over £1 Trillion!

5. Andrew Mitchell will return to Government (probably not until the year-end) and serving police officers will be charged with misconduct in a public office.

6. Chris Huhne will escape a jail sentence when the charge against him is watered down.

Happy New Year.


4 Comments

The Left want to abolish our free press

Envy of the world: British press
Why is anyone surprised the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party want to bring in state regulation of the media in the UK? For my international friends who consume news which hasn’t been preoccupied with Hugh Grant’s case for privacy or Steve Coogan’s protestations about the press writing stories about his latest girlfriend, unless of course he is trying to sell comedy show tickets that is, our illustrious prime minister in an attempt to distract the public from his own cosy relationships with news editors and proprietors decided eighteen month ago to have a judge-led inquiry into media ethics.
Anti-free press: Lord Justice Leveson
Well the said inquiry has now reported. And low and behold a member of the liberal judiciary – Sir Brian Leveson – decided state regulation of the media would be a good idea. Just as I suppose it is a good idea in Zimbabwe, Syria and Russia? Hmmm.
The biggest cheerleaders for Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendation are the Left. Naturally. Don’t people realise the core ideology of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats is the suppression of the masses so they, the elite, can lord over them. Just like Stalin. Just like Hitler. Both men of the Left.  
Now, I wouldn’t go as far as to say Nick Clegg should be compared to mass killers of history: he wouldn’t be capable of such organisation and leadership. No, but Nick Clegg is a socialist, who loves to keep the masses in their place, feed them welfare benefits with a little note telling the poor beggars who to vote for if they want the handouts to keep on coming. Clegg is the same as Labour leader Ed Miliband except Miliband and his political father, Gordon Brown, didn’t even try to hide their sinister ideology.
So, it is quite natural for them to want to suppress the press: it is an extension of their command and control of the people. It will make it even easier to ensure the public hear only what the liberal elite want them to hear. It all helps to keep you and I in our place whilst the “politburo” gets on with the business of power.
As you will have gathered I am wholly against Leveson’s recommendation that a “independent” regulator is set up and is “underpinned” by legislation. That’s a fancy way of saying the state should control the media. What was the point of Britain going to war twice and bringing down communism if we now have idiot politicians agreeing with such a dangerous recommendation from a not so bright judge? Got to be a bit careful haven’t I? In a couple of years time writing the last sentence might get me thrown into prison!
Privacy on his terms: British actor Hugh Grant
This is the reality of the Leveson Report. Politicians who are in bed with those poor little celebrities who want to be able to use the press when they have a book to sell but want them to go away when they are getting up to immoral activities are being pressurised by these same people into shutting down the free press in this country, a press which has been free for hundreds of years. This is how far our political system has sunk.
It was good to see David Cameron say he was against state regulation of the media because only the Government can table legislation in the House of Commons. But he has his hands tied as he is in Coalition with a political party who came eighth in a Westminster election last week: the last Party that happened to was the SDP and they were wound up shortly afterwards. So, the Liberal Democrats who have crashed out of the political mainstream are going to be able to dictate the law of the land?
Worried: Can Cameron prevent state regulation of the media?
If Cameron lets these yellow peril pygmies ruin our democracy by removing one of its core pillars – a free press – we are no better than Syria or Zimbabwe. 
We are living in dangerous times. Only true leadership and a party which stands up for Britain will save us. Which party is this? Considering the Conservatives came behind Ukip at the Westminster by-election in Rotherham last week, the public are not so sure.


3 Comments

The Left show who the real fascists are

Fostering row: Labour run Rotherham Council

The Labour Party in Rotherham didn’t so much shoot themselves in the foot today as put a pistol to their temple and blow their brains out. Ed Miliband couldn’t move quick enough to the nearest TV camera to disown his own Party at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. I haven’t seen such a rush to head off the incoming missile since Yasser Arafat sped to the nearest hospital to give his blood to the United States on 9/11.

In case you’ve missed the furore, Labour controlled Rotherham Council’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Joyce Thacker, ordered the removal of three children from their foster parents because of their membership of the UK Independence Party. This is not tabloid hyperbole. It is 100% true.

The ugly head of the Left in this country, who have been trying to destroy (and in many communities have succeeded) the traditional family for the past forty years forgot the first rule of running an oppressive regime: don’t make it too obvious you are running an oppressive regime.

The UK may be a democracy but let’s face it, as Winston Churchill said, it’s the least worst political system there is. Up and down the country we are run by hyper-politically correct fascists (otherwise known as Labour-run local government Councils) who wouldn’t be out of place in the higher echelons of the Stasi in East Berlin during the Cold War.

If you think I am exaggerating, let me repeat what a Labour council did in West Yorkshire, England: they had three children removed from their foster parents because they were members of a legal mainstream political party which doesn’t share the views of the Labour Party.

Mainstream: Ukip Leader Nigel Farage

The leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage, said it was “political prejudice of the very worst kind”. As politicians of all parties piled into attack this loony Left decision, including Labour leader Ed Miliband who said “being a member of a political party like Ukip should not be a bar to fostering children”, Rotherham Council started to backtrack in a very unapologetic way. The Council said they were still right to remove the ethnic minority children but they would allow the husband and wife to carry on fostering but only “white children” would be placed with them. It is if we are back in the 1930s when fascism was rife or perhaps fascism was defeated in Europe but then it was reborn in the Labour Party?

Indefensible: Rotherham Council’s Joyce Thacker

Joyce Thacker popped up on Radio 4’s Today programme to defend her decision and said Ukip didn’t agree with multiculturalism. Well, she should read a newspaper other than The Guardian every now and again because even Prime Minister David Cameron thinks multiculturalism is a failed policy which creates segregation not integration.

And talking of Dave, he moved this evening to retract his own comment from 2006 that Ukip were “closet racists”. We really are entering a new world of politics aren’t we.

Ukip could not buy publicity like this. The coming days will see their membership boosted.


Leave a comment

The EU wants more of your money

EUSSR: You and I are being asked to give Brussels more money

I know – I am bit late to the party but I felt the need to at least say something about Wednesday’s vote on the EU budget in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening.

First off, I am not a sensationalist blogger unlike some of the mainstream newspapers who carefully forgot to mention Wednesday’s vote was not binding and was not even a vote on the EU budget at all. It was actually a “take note” vote on a report on the upcoming EU budget negotiations, with the catchy title Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020The report was tabled by the Government for the House of Commons to note the report but Conservative backbenchers took the opportunity to make a point about the profligacy of the EU and basically the corruption endemic in Brussels and Strasbourg by tabling an amendment to the report calling for a cut in the EU budget. The amendment was laid down by Tory MP Mark Reckless MP. Labour then duly backed the Conservative rebels as a text-book case of political opportunism.

In all, 53 Conseratives rebelled against the Government, and with Labour MPs voting with the amendment as well, the Government was defeated by 13 votes. Like I said, this was not a binding vote and therefore David Cameron and George Osborne can choose to ignore it but if they have the slightest political instinct they won’t.

53 rebels is a large swathe of the Tory Party and this will have worried Downing Street considerably. In fact, it would be fair to say the Government is in big trouble over it’s stance on Europe. The Prime Minister now needs to come back from the EU budget negotiations in Brussels later this month with some red meat for his restless backbenchers. He can’t veto the EU budget or the remaining 25 EU nations will just ignore the UK and instead of freezing the budget (plus 2% to keep up with inflation) they will increase it along with the UK’s contribution. This is just how corrupt and undemocratic the EU is. The sooner we leave the EU the better.

There is no way the Conservative parliamentary party, and for that matter the Labour Party, are going to allow any more money or power going over to Brussels – at least whilst this Coalition Government is in office.

Rebel: Mark Reckless MP

Let’s be sensible though. Labour haven’t suddenly become Eurosceptic – they would have abolished Britain as a sovereign state if they could have got away with it during their disastrous years in power from 1997-2010.  On Wednesday, they only backed Conservative MP Mark Reckless’ motion by traipsing through the No lobby with many Tory MPs to humiliate the Government and they will continue to do so as long as David Cameron and Nick Clegg are still in power. However, once Labour get back into power, which is likely in 2015, albeit in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, they will be back to their Europhile selves and will start the print run of cash to Brussels once again. Remember this when you come to vote in 2015.

I believe the Conservative rebels were speaking for the majority of the country. Brits are fed up with meddling from the EU. High energy prices are as a result of EU Co2 targets, 70% of our laws are made in Brussels, and dubious jurisdictions in far flung corners of Europe can have a British citizen arrested and extradited at the drop of a hat by deploying the European arrest warrant (police beatings are still part of the interview technique in some European states). To name but three.

The United Kingdom pumps £10 billion a year into EU coffers. Each MEP has the use of their own limo, they have special lanes at airports and for their cars on the roads of Brussels and Strasbourg, and the EU accounts haven’t been signed off for decades because so much money has gone missing. The EU parliament is a democratic front but our elected MEPs don’t even make the 70% of laws imposed on the UK: an unelected Commission does that – the same Commission Peter Mandelson once was a member of after he resigned from Blair’s Government for the SECOND time. A fiction writer couldn’t even make this up. Dictatorships are more democratic than the EU.

The UK economy may have its face out of the mud come the General Election in 2015 but she will still be on her knees. The best thing the Conservative Party can do is highlight the meddling and damage the EU does to our sovereign state during the election campaign, explaining how Labour gave back the rebate Margaret Thatcher won and how even more powers were ceded to Brussels by Gordon Brown sneaking into Portugal to sign the Lisbon Treaty. This campaigning strategy may be the only chance the Tories have of being returned to power.

Europhile: Ben Gummer MP

My MP, Ben Gummer, told Ipswich Spy after Wednesday night’s vote: “Very sad that the Conservative Party continues to do this to itself”. Sad, I’m delighted. At least some MPs represent the real views of the British public. Those on the Tory Far-Left, including Ben Gummer and Ken Clarke (I seriously can’t think of any more), think Europe is an unimportant topic. It is probably the most important topic there is in British politics today. Basically Britain is run by the EU – 70% of our laws are made in Brussels. In the 1990s, the Maastricht rebels were more concerned about British identity; identity politics is very important but the economy is even more important. Back in the 1990s, the European single market along with the US market WERE the economic powerhouses of the world. Not any more they aren’t. Europe and the US are very sick economies indeed. But in 2012, it is the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so called BRIC countries) which are booming. Can the UK form a trade treaty with any one of these nations unilaterally? No. Only the EU can form a trading agreement. We have given away our sovereign power to trade with anyone we like to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

Therefore, frankly, Europe matters. It matters to every aspect of our lives: energy prices (which are going up because of make-believe EU Co2 emission targets), the right to a fair trial and humane treatment by police (which is not guaranteed because of the EU arrest warrant), jobs (Britain is banned for signing a unilateral trade agreement), and even the weeds growing in the pavement outside your house during the spring and summer are there because the EU has banned your council from spraying weed killer on them!

Like I said, the EU is the only topic in town. It will probably decide the next General Election.

Pretty important, eh?


1 Comment

Time to bust open the Energy Cartel

Profiteering: Electricity and gas prices are going up

Just as the Arctic blast arrives and we find ourselves reaching for the thermostat, the ominous white envelope  lands on the doormat. I wonder what that could be.

Ah, yes, it’s your “friendly” energy company. With all six energy firms trying to scrape every bit of profit off the bottom of the barrel, they ONLY ever spend money on writing to you when they are telling you your bills are going UP. Anything else: go online or wait three hours for a call centre agent to pick up the phone.

And so it happened this weekend when I received said letter from nPower telling me my electricity was going up by 18% and my gas was going up by 16%. But it’s not their fault you see. nPower even had three stock excuses for ramming my energy bill up by NINE TIMES inflation. The first one is the real killer:

“It’s costing us more in taxes and obligations to carry out government environmental and social schemes”

Pointless: the reason your energy bills are going up

What “government environmental” means is wind farms. The energy companies are being forced by law to invest in “renewable” energy, i.e. wind turbines that don’t turn because of a lack of wind or they turn too fast because it is too windy and therefore have to be switched off unless they break.

So instead of adding more energy to the network, wind farms add next to nothing and instead cost you and I more in additional electricity charges. This is all to meet EU-imposed Co2 emissions targets for non-existent anthropogenic global warming. This may be the wet dream of politicians like Tim Yeo and John Selwyn Gummer who are raking in cash from their various directorships of “green economy” companies but for us mere mortals all it means is a higher energy bill each month so our political elite can keep dining in Brussels. In fact, temperatures haven’t risen since 1997 and the last few winters have been perishing with the Met Office predicting another particular cold one this year.

On top of pointless green policies, which reek of a money-making exercise for the enlightened elite bordering on corruption, it is becoming clearer the big six UK energy firms may be in cahoots with each other. In other words, they may be operating a cartel. No real competition exists. Each firm puts up their charges by the same amount. If you switch, you might get an introductory bonus in the form of “cashback” but you will soon be dragged back into a punishing rate with the only option being to go through another painful switching process if you want to save a few pounds. Not worth the effort and the big six know this.

Of course, if any energy firm talks to another about their prices, they would be committing an offence under the Competition Act 1998. People can go to jail for breaking this law. My question is why are we seeing so little enforcement from the government regulator, Ofgem? Surely there is enough anecdotal evidence of wrongdoing. Ofgem did in fact start an enquiry into profiteering two years ago but since then they have gone very quiet.

Well the tipping point is coming as David Cameron saw when he quipped in the House of Commons energy firms will be compelled to give customers “the lowest tariff”. The PM then quickly backtracked when he realised the government hadn’t actually worked up a policy yet. But in any case, does he really think bills will come down if the big six are forced to offer the lowest tariff. All these profiteering firms will do is dump the majority of their price plans and offer one tariff at the highest charge they can with all six energy firms conveniently offering the same price: a big fat high price!

What we need is real competition. The market needs to be opened up to tens of more firms to dilute the influence the big six have. Currently, no free market exists and it is just another case of capitalism only working for the few, not the many.