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.


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.


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.

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It’s time to get out

Watching Question Time last night, from Liverpool (that no-go city for Tories!), it struck me how Euroscepticism really isn’t just the preserve of the Right. Full on Socialists were baying for the EU’s blood: they were furious with the faceless Brussels bureaucrats and the fact that our politicians here in the UK just blindly gold-plate all EU directives into law (70% of British laws originate in Brussels) without a moment’s scrutiny or thought. Contrast this to other European countries, as Janet Street-Porter eloquently (not a word used often in the same sentence as JSP) put it, where, for example, they decide how much ‘elf and safety’ really is necessary. Having just got back from Ibiza I can attest that anti-slip paths and barriers to death are merely optional requirements of business and councils – of course, back in Blighty, our children aren’t even allowed to play conkers!!!

And then I read this morning that Brussels wants Iain Duncan Smith to water down his new welfare rules which will save billions in the long term and re-introduce the incentive to work rather than vegetate all day at home on the X Box whilst the next door neighbour heads out early each morning and arrives home late after another hard day at work. Guess what. The EU commission says we aren’t allow to stop paying people to do nothing and in fact we aren’t even allowed to stop paying immigrants, who have never paid a penny in tax in this country, generous benefits as well.  Enough is enough.

For many years I was sure most of the time we are better of out of the EU but never 100% convinced as I was always slightly concerned about the trade implications and freedom of movement across European borders being an EU member state brings us. This year’s Eurozone farce has made me fully convinced – if it’s good enough for Norway and Switzerland it’s more than good enough for us. With the Eurozone in crisis, a building with no exits as William Hague recently said, the Right has won the argument in monumental fashion that Britain is better out of the EU. Of course, the Germans and French knew the Euro was merely a stepping stone to full fiscal and political union. The Germans and French are not stupid – they knew Greece couldn’t cope with not being able to control its own interest rates or devalue its currency to tame its basket case of an economy. They knew all along it would end in tears – and it has. But, they hope, not enough tears that a few billion Euros won’t wipe away. And Britain will not escape bailing out Greece, Spain, Italy, and the rest, as we contribute hundreds of millions of Sterling to the IMF.

Now, I am sure the Euro fanatics were hoping Britain would carry on as before the Eurozone crisis Armageddon, and just let Brussels carry on as if nothing had happened, writing more busy-body (aka Socialist) directives, driving the EU project further forward to a United States of Europe. Fortunately, they are wrong. The tectonic plates have shifted and it is becoming acceptable even to moderates that being out of the EU might not be such a bad thing.

Now is time to hold a referendum on our membership of the European Union. If this happened tomorrow, I predict the result would be similar to the AV vote (that other loony left infatuation), with 80% + voting for our immediate withdrawal from an organisation that is thoroughly un-British. It’s time we got our independence back and felt proud to be citizens of Great Britain again.

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New Ipswich politics blogger

Blogging has been light this week as I have been on a short break to Ibiza to get some sun as my honeymoon earlier this year, predominantly in Derbyshire, was distinctly lacking in fine weather! The major political issue of last week in the Balaerics for me was the dreadful Sterling to Euro exchange rate, another contributory to the Eurozone crisis. Tourism is a big export for southern Eurozone countries and I suspect Spain as well as Greece wishes it could devalue its currency at the moment. I certainly can’t afford to holiday in Europe again any time soon.

Whilst I’ve been away, there has been a new entrant to the Ipswich politics blogosphere. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Liberal Democrat Ipswich Borough Councillor Ken Bates who has begun blogging here.