Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Football tears

Paying 50% tax above £150000 per annum income is so unfair on premier league footballers struggling on a mere £2million a year AFTER tax - or so they would have us believe. They might even go & play overseas. Hooray. Then we might just get enough English players in the league to allow us a decent National team. And the ticket price at premier league matches might just possibly become affordable by ordinary fans. What a disaster!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 18 May 2009

EU Elections 2

Most Liberal Democrats will find this message tells them what they already knew but it is clear that there are millions in Britain who have no idea how the EU works & readily believe all the lies. There is so much misinformation about the EU put about by those who delude themselves that if we were to leave it some fantasy life of happiness & prosperity would suddenly occur, that it is hard to know where to begin. Let's start with 'undemocratic' & 'unelected'. EU Commissioners are appointed by the ELECTED Governments of the Member States. Their actions are supervised by a Council of ELECTED Ministers from the Member States & scrutinised by ELECTED members of the European Parliament. That is why it is important to vote in the forthcoming EU elections, and to vote Liberal Democrat. Our MEPs, and especially Chris Davies in the NW region, are amongst the hardest working, most transparent in their expenses, and in the forefront of reform.

EU Parliamentary Elections are at fixed terms – not like our General Elections which are held at the whim of the Prime Minister whenever he/she thinks it is most advantageous. In Westminster, once we have elected a Government with a working overall majority there is no democratic way the behaviour of that Government can be controlled (unlike the EU). That is why Blair was able to take us into an illegal war despite the biggest public protest in living memory. Nobody elected Rupert Murdoch, to whom our Prime Ministers seem to need to pay court. Nobody elected the financiers whose greed & incompetence have brought the country to its' knees.

Liberal Democrats do not pretend that the EU is perfect. The Lisbon Treaty is an attempt at improving how it works. Liberal Democrats have been accused of breaking a promise of a referendum on this treaty. We did not promise any such referendum. It would be a futile waste of taxpayers money. If every country in the EU voted against it, the EU would still exist & would carry on operating as it currently does. Liberal Democrats argue that any referendum should be about whether Britain should leave the EU or not. That is sufficiently fundamental & important to warrant a referendum.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Convoluted Cameron

During a debate on the issue of MPs expenses on 3rd July 2008 David Cameron's troops defeated an opportunity to go some way to fix the problem. Now that the issue has massively blown up in his face he presents himself, (during his hijack of his own European Election party political broadcast on 15th May), as the standard bearer for honesty, truth and righteousness. He must arguably be in the running for the title of greatest political hypocrite of the decade.

The all party House of Commons Members Estimates Committee were asked in January 2008 to review MPs pay and allowances following the censure of Conservative Derek Conway for excessively paying his son for limited services. This Committee reported on 25th June 2008. Motions were tabled by Harriet Harman for debate on 3rd July 2008. The section on Expenses was introduced by Liberal Democrat Nick Harvey which essentially recommended strict tightening of the auditing procedures. Don Touhig, Labour, tabled an amendment which took most of the teeth out of the proposals and the Tories trooped in to support it. Shortly afterwards Nick Clegg wrote to Cameron and Brown suggesting joint talks to fix the problem. He was ignored.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

European Elections

Election material is now beginning to plop onto the doormat. I once got a letter published in a National paper suggesting that I had come to the opinion that we should pull out of Europe because the rest of Europe would be so much better off without us. It's about the only letter I've ever had published that got a reaction - most of it abusive & anonymous. But one dear chap did sign his name & his concern was loss of our national identity. So I wrote to him in a friendly fashion & asked if he found the French any less French, Gerrmans less German etc. He replied that he'd never been abroad. The 19th century quotation "Fog in the Channel, Europe cut off" is still alive & well. Being pro-Europe is a tough ask.

MPs Expenses

In all the smoke & thunder surrounding MP's expenses we should not forget that there may well be a substantial majority of the 646 Members who have NOT abused the rules. Liberal Democrat, Sarah Teather MP, has never claimed her second home allowance. She lives just half an hour from Parliament and, under the idiotic rules which are still in force, she would be allowed to claim up to £24000 . There was a chance to overhaul the system last summer which was not taken. Immediately after that failure Nick Clegg wrote to Brown & Cameron proposing joint talks about reform. He was ignored. Now we have to endure the Brown & Cameron (aka Tweedledum & Tweedledee) yah boo spectacle as each tries to outdo the other in their passion to 'do the right thing' which is code for digging themselves out of a hole that is entirely of their own making.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

None so blind as those that will not see

Since the collapse of the financial system there has been a veritable deluge of information about how & why it happened. One cannot hope to study it all. However one does not have to give the matter too much study, or be a financial expert, in order to gain enough understanding to see clearly that those Bankers, Politicians, & others who were in a position to know, who said that "--- it could not have been foreseen" are either liars or incompetent or both. The truth is that they didn't want to foresee it & we should remember that when we talk about remuneration, taxes & elections.

Not just the Gurkhas

Now it is the unedifying spectacle of the Government abandoning those heroic Iraqis who put their lives at risk by acting as translators for us. Mind you there is an impeccable precedent for such disgraceful behaviour. Once the Spanish Armada had been safely defeated Elizabeth I declined to pay the sailors.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Messages not messengers

Just about every faltering Government has found some senior politician to bleat that "We are not getting our message across". This is a coded statement. In the current case Hazel Blears knows perfectly well that it is NOT the presentation that is the problem. It is the "message" itself that is wrong but she dare not say that. So New Labour goes on treating the electorate like they were idiots & will duly get trashed.