Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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Help free the Greeks from financial ruin

Let’s face it UKIP are still a one issue party and I would rather be a member of a party which can actually win Westminster elections and put into law the policies I agree with but the Conservative leadership is wrong on Europe, and, frankly, Nigel Farage is 100% right. I know those close to home won’t thank me for posting this video below but I feel a duty to help the millions in the southern Eurozone who are now living under the EU elite who are deliberately ruining their lives because of a political ideology.

History will judge Merkel very badly.


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Greece will leave the Euro in months

I’m no economist so I won’t get bogged down in the detail (I’ll leave that to excellent commentators like Andrew Lilico) but as a person who is very politically aware and also as someone who works in the private sector where real economics exist, I think we are now looking at Greece leaving the Euro within months.

Greece is now being run by Germany – fiscal occupation you might call it – who have installed a puppet technocrat as prime minister having disposed the elected PM. Some might call that invasion and occupation by fiscal means. Greece looks worryingly like a former Soviet satellite state but this time it is the EUSSR. The Greek elite – i.e. the politicians – are desperately trying to stay in the club, the Euro club and the EU club by accepting ever more draconian austerity measures from their German masters but with no currency devaluation to ease the pain. Meanwhile, the Greek people are being economically tortured to financial death. Unsurprisingly, the Greek public have started to rise up with Athens set on fire on Sunday whilst the Greek Parliament rammed through the German austerity package.

This can’t go on. Germany is not saving Greece’s economy, instead Angela Merkel is trying to save the EU political project which has nothing to do with sound economic thinking. Greece must now prepare and implement an orderly exit from the Euro within the next six months, which, as Andrew Lilico told me last summer, will lead to Greece leaving the EU.  Of course, there will be some pain for the Greeks whilst this transformation takes place but, boy, they will gain the rewards: exports will rocket (especially tourism), they will be able to devalue their currency (the New Drachma) and finally liberate themselves from German fiscal occupation.


Cameron says No to Europe

David Cameron said “No” last night and Sarkozy and Merkel told him to “get lost” (or words to that effect). As Tim Montgomerie has written on Conservative Home: “For a long time the debate has been about whether Britain should leave Europe. Overnight it appears that Europe left Britain.”
I congratulate our Prime Minister for actually putting into action his rhetoric that he would stand up for Britain.  He can expect cheers from Tory backbenchers when he enters the House of Commons chamber next week, and rightly so.

It was completely unacceptable for the European fanatics in Brussels to think they could put Britain’s most successful industry which gives employment to thousands of people in jeopardy. Today, David Cameron has proved his mettle and, for the time being on this issue, he will receive great support from the centre-right blogs and mainstream media. But when the Prime Minister gets back from Brussels he has got to go home to a certain N. Clegg, who must be seething today that Britain has effectively taken one foot outside the EU. As UKIP leader Nigel Farage said this morning on Sky News, “the touch paper has been lit”. The British people, on the whole, want to leave the EU, and it seems today that could just happen in the coming years.

The comments from French President Nicolas Sarkozy that it was all the fault of the United Kingdom a Treaty between all 27 EU member states could not not be reached to douse the flames of the Euro, which would have included an attack on the City of London through crippling financial regulations, will leave a sour taste in the “islanders” as the French like to call us Brits.

As I have written before, the EU is a club. UK Prime Ministers, past and present, feel the urge to belong to the club and its trappings: chummy one-to-ones with German Chancellors and French Presidents, fine wine and food. Very nice, I’m sure. The problem is the British people don’t get any of the trappings themselves but instead they are subjected to Brussels technocrats dictating our immigration policy, our employment laws, our agriculture policy and much more besides but with none of the benefits of EU membership: we paid out £10.5 Billion to the EU last year but got far less back.

Now, it’s not just the British people who feel like this. An example of this is Poland. Here, the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, is desperate to clamber aboard the Titanic: he still wants to ditch the Zloty and swap it for the Euro. But the Polish people are not so keen on the sinking Euro. I was speaking with my cleaner, a very hard working Polish national living in Ipswich, and she told me that her fellow Poles have looked at what happened in the 17 Eurozone countries when they adopted the currency and saw the prices shot up overnight: funnily enough the Poles don’t want to find it harder to buy their food and pay their energy bills. My Polish cleaner put it very succinctly: “Having one currency for all the different countries across Europe doesn’t work because each country has a different economy”.  Quite.
But that doesn’t matter to the Polish Prime Minister: he just wants to be part of the EU club and enjoy its trappings in Brussels.

It really didn’t have to turn out like this. You’d have thought the Germans and French would have learnt from the last century on what happens if you try to harmonise Europe under one Government. Unlike on the previous two occasions, Europe is not going to be rescued from it’s own folly by the British. Therefore, it is now up to the French and Germans to arrange an orderly exit of the Euro for countries that need to devalue their own currency to survive.

Meanwhile, Britain will start moving to the other exit.

UPDATE: Excellent post from Neo-Guido on the fallout from the Cameron veto:  What a lovely morning indeed.

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Newsflash: The birthplace of democracy wants to hold a referendum

Greece’s prime minister, George Papandreou, threw an almighty spanner in the works of the Franco-German fix for the Euro crisis and announced last night he intends to put the deal to the Greek people.

The only slight problem with this is it goes against the European Union way of doing things. That great undemocratic institution doesn’t like the slight matter of the people getting in the way of the Project.

Markets have nosedived today as a result of the referendum announcement but the Franco-German sticky plaster fix only serves to kick the Euro crisis a few months down the track. It’s time Greece put itself out of its misery and left the Euro immediately and also seriously considered leaving the EU.

That way Greece can get back the Drachma (supposedly its Central Bank has already printed billions of Drachma in expectation), devalue its currency and then export (i.e. tourism) its way back to growth.

Pass the Ouzo.


Euro burning but let’s ask for the time

Those with dubious Europhile tendencies – Tim Yeo, Nick Clegg etc – want to diminish Britain’s standing in the world further by ending our alignment to GMT for half the year and switching us to Berlin Time. GMT, of course, stands for Greenwich Mean Time. That’s the same Greenwich in South London and London being the capital of Great Britain. I can never understand why subjects of Her Majesty hate Britain so much and still they are not charged with treason.

The latest person to raise the issue of us never living aligned to GMT again and would also like us moved to Berlin Time is Vince Cable – hmmm, now what does he have in common with the two MPs above? Mr Cable, who is obviously easily distracted from his day job – i.e. trying to help British business (which he is exceptionally bad at) – wants us to be one hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead in summer. This would mean come late December the sun would not rise in Ipswich until 9am – that would be great for our collective mental health and wellbeing wouldn’t it? We are, of course, aligned to GMT for half the year because of our position on the globe and therefore to ensure we gain the maximum light possible across the working day but I suppose Europe fanatics don’t care about basic physics.
Here’s how the Daily Telepraph Leader put it today:

Our reaction is one of astonishment that Mr Cable has resurrected this scheme when the Government is so preoccupied. May we suggest a compromise? While the rest of us rise at our normal time, let Mr Cable get up an hour earlier. That way he might actually get some productive work done.


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The European issue hasn’t gone away

Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a moment to reflect on Monday night’s EU Referendum motion vote and the resulting rebellion by 81 Conservative MPs, double the number who rebelled over the Maastricht Treaty during John Major’s premiership in 1993. 19 Labour MPs also voted for David Nuttall’s motion.

Many of the Conservative parliamentary 2010 intake are Eurosceptics and they also put principle before a potential ministerial career. They know who the real boss is: their electorate.
My MP, Ben Gummer, is a Europhile (like father like son) and that is no shock: we knew this when I, along with the people of Ipswich, selected him as the Conservative Party candidate in 2007. As I tweeted a few days ago, there is more to candidate selection than their view on Europe.
My fellow Tory blogger, James Spencer, has his own take on Ben’s decision to vote with the Government here.

It has become clearer since the vote that the Cabinet was not exactly wholly united on the issue of the three-line whip with Iain Duncan Smith (one of probably only two real Tories still left in the Government) making it known he told the Conservative Chief Whip, Patrick McCloughlin, never to ask him again to vote against a referendum on our continuing membership of the European Union. I just hope IDS saw that the motion would not be binding and consequently fell in line behind Cameron but would never consider voting against legislation to provide for a referendum on this vital of issues. Not just vital to over half the Conservative parliamentary party but a vital issue for the public at large. The polls have shown the public want their say on Europe and by plebiscite.

Last night’s BBC Question Time had on the panel the UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. IDS looked uncomfortable at times as Farage launched into his usual rhetoric. I believe IDS agrees with Farage on Europe but finds he is held back by the Liberal Democrats and a liberal Conservative prime minister. At least in the 1990s it was just a liberal Conservative PM!

David Cameron said before the vote on Monday he was going to use the Euro crisis to repatriate powers from Brussels. But at the first opportunity he had to do this at a European Leaders summit in Brussels on Wednesday he bottled it. Eurozone leaders announced a package to delay the Euro crisis for another few months and then David Cameron flew off to Australia for the Heads of Commonwealth conference. But the problem with delaying an issue where a single currency and one interest rate is used in 17 different economies is that it will only get worse until it is solved. Now, this may mean the 17 Eurozone countries will, probably in the next 12-18 months, have to become a single fiscal entity with a single policy on tax as well as interest rates but that can’t happen without a new treaty and this is the moment Cameron must either side with Britain and his party and give the country a referendum or with the eurocrats in Brussels and his friends in the Liberal Democrat Party. If he chooses the latter, he risks a leadership challenge and several Tory MPs defecting to UKIP.

Time will reveal all.


The British people want an EU Referendum

Tomorrow would have been a day of interest in politics but it wouldn’t have been a watershed moment in the People vs. The Establishment if it wasn’t for the ludicrous decision made by David Cameron to enforce a “three line” whip on David Nuttall MP’s motion on an EU Referendum.

The reason there is a motion and debate for an EU Referendum is because over 100,000 UK citizens signed a petition demanding a debate in Parliament with a YouGov poll on Friday showing 67% of voters support Nuttall’s motion.

The European Union is not some side-show which supposedly the Right are obsessed with but it is a fundamental reason why Britain is no longer the economic power house it once was. Of course, there are a few odd-balls in the movement to have a EU Referendum but as in any large organisation there are always a few weird individuals, hey Ed Milliband! In 1997, when Ken Clarke (ironic I know) handed Tony Blair a golden economic legacy, Great Britain was the 4th largest economy in the world. We now hover around 7th and 8th largest but in terms of world competitiveness we have plummeted to 22nd. Over the last century, we had swapped our powerful empire for a powerful economy but all this was trashed by a) wasteful spending on a criminal scale by Gordon Brown and b) suffocating regulations from Brussels. As Bernard Jenkin in his Sunday Telegraph column tells us today, the British Chamber of Commerce calculates the cost of EU regulation to the UK economy introduced between 1998 and 2010 has been £60.75 billion. This isn’t just an attack on private sector growth but also on pubic sector efficiency – the working time directive (which deprives junior doctors of vital hands on training which in the end will save lives) costs the NHS £300 million per year.

George Osborne yesterday at a gathering of finance ministers in Brussels said the Eurozone crisis is a danger to our country and is putting Britain’s economic recovery in peril. That’s a currency we are not part of putting us in danger because we are a member of the EU. So when Government ministers and pseudo-Tory MPs suggest now is not the time to discuss our continuing membership of the EU superstate as we must concentrate on sorting the economy out, what planet are they on? Our membership of the EU IS the reason why our economy cannot take off again. When on earth would be a good time to discuss our relationship with Europe?

Not wishing to sound like a Sun columnist but Great Britain is not the same as the rest of Europe. We are different: our mother tongue is the world’s language used by every other country who wants to do business outside its own borders, we are an island nation with special defence needs as a result and by our nature we are more conservative and less socialist minded as a people. Labour tried to create a socialist state through the welfare system and by gold plating every EU directive that came our way but British people aren’t afraid of working long hours and don’t believe in a something for nothing society.

The EU elite wants us to stay but because of our money not because they have any affinity with us. We contribute more than we take out of the EU – each British household lost £299 to Brussels last year with the UK ploughing £10.5 billion into EU coffers. In contrast, Poland put in £2.9 billion and took out £10.2 billion. Why should we stay in a relationship where we give much more than we take?

The Europhiles tell us we could not survive as non-EU members as 40% of our trade is with EU countries. Oh so that’s why we can’t trade with India, China, the US – no, sorry, we do don’t we. This is an argument which does not wash. Now it is certainly true many southern or eastern European countries could not survive without being in the EU. And they know it – when I was in Sicily a few years ago, I could hardly see the sky for the fluttering of EU flags. The Italians certainly know who their paymasters are. As Britain puts in much more than it takes out, we are not in hock to the EU. If our leaders grew some balls and started seriously taking steps to leave, the eurocrats in Brussels wouldn’t be able to get to London quick enough to negotiate.

The motion isn’t binding tomorrow but I hope as many MPs (including Mr Gummer) as possible represent their constituents’ view, vote for the motion and send a message to the Government and the EU that we’ve had enough.