Monday, May 31, 2010

The Coalition Must Close Ranks And Fight Back

Labour seems to be scenting blood, with Lib Dem supporters from the left side of the party unwilling to switch their loyalty to the Liberatory coalition, looking over at voting Labour once more. Attacks on the right wing of the Lib Dems are coming in from all sides of the political spectrum. Traditional Conservatives are not comfortable getting into bed with those of the Yellow badge, and are trying to negotiate away their proposals for an increase in CGT, while left-wingers are merely outraged.

The coalition trenches are coming under sustained media fire, probing the backgrounds of the few remaining Lib Dem candidates from the Parliamentary Party who might be of Front Bench calibre. The thin Yellow Line is shrinking by the week.

With so many enemies appearing from the woodwork, the Lib Dems are no doubt getting concerned with the current state of affairs. Will their loyalty to the coalition crack?

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that their enemies delivering so much hostility will actually have the opposite effect. Conservatives will feel more sympathetic to the Lib Demmers who are copping the hostility, and there will gradually be an even greater feeling of brotherhood than would otherwise have been the case, with the heat driving the two sides closer together, and not further apart as it is clearly intended to do.

It is very early days yet, but one or two possible outcomes are starting to be conceivable. With many Lib Dem supporters proposing to change their loyalties as a result of feeling betrayed by Clegg joining the coalition, the electoral prospects for the Lib Dems are getting reduced, not increased, despite the surprising growing popularity of the coalition with the public, at least during its honeymoon period.

It would not be a surprise to find that after two years have gone by, or less, and the coalition survives in amongst the most gruelling of economic times, which are coming up, that the only way either Conservative or Lib Dem could conceive of holding onto the prospect of power, would be to amalgamate from a governing coalition into an electoral pact. Self interest would drive them closer together.

As my earlier posts show, in my opinion, the coalition came about purely as a result of Labour's attempts to rig the election with postal voting and other scams. By Labour using these techniques to hold most of the marginals, they inadvertently opened up the situation where a Conservative Lib Dem coalition became an inevitability, and now face a situation far harder to attack than would have been an outright Conservative victory, where blame for the pain of unravelling Labour's debts could have been directed firmly against 'Tory cuts'.

It is a miracle that the Conservatives were able to gain 100 seats in these circumstances, albeit that these were outliers considered less likely to fall, and the marginals are still red. It was a miracle that they left a combination of Lib Dem and Labour short of a working majority. This situation now opens the way to much greater cooperation.

David Laws demonstrated how well the coalition could be made to work. He had to be eliminated as quickly as possible to keep the coalition from settling. But while the media are used to calling the tune, with its tendency to do the work of The Conservatives' enemies on demand, the coalition could yet take on the dug-in power of the media, and return power to Parliament.


If Labour are defeated, and it looks as if they will be in the sidings for a while, the battle of media will come next. That is what the Laws battle in particular is now becoming.

Laws must use the new democratic method being introduced to return, no matter how hard the road. A byelection must be called in his Constituency with him as the sole coalition candidate with no Conservative standing. It would be a sign to the media that the game of trashing political leaders IDS-style no longer works. This is well overdue. A defeat of a media intervention would be heartening to the public which wants the coalition to work. Laws should be returned with extra meaning to his being in Parliament. Here would be someone who in the worst of personal circumstances, refused to bow to the media.

The coalition would in the process show that it is moving from an alliance of parties to an electoral pact, effectively a single party. The media should take note of these possibilities, and start to fear for their own position. The days of Alastair Campbell bullying all and sundry into line are not quite over. If the coalition wishes it, they soon could be. The Laws battle is Britain's battle. Are voters going to decide our future, or are media controllers going to? It's as simple as that.

Laws and the Coalition have to fight back. The media have, just for once, to be defeated. Their lesson is overdue.

Matthew Parris.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Campaign For Greece To Quit The Euro Gathers Pace

Recently issued Greek 2 Euro Special Edition coin celebrating 10 Years of the Euro. This will become a collector's item.

German tabloids have been campaigning for Greece to quit the Euro for two months now, and popular opinion in Germany is approaching 80% in favour of that happening. Today the campaign for Greece to quit the Euro came from another more 'educated' source in London, from the CEBR - the Centre For Economics and Business Reaearch.

The Greek currency would fall by a minimum of 15% as it leaves the Euro, it is estimated by the CEBR, and its debts would be increased overnight by that amount, from 120% of GDP to 140%. But, advises the CEBR, Greece should unilaterally default on these debts, converting them into local currency instantly, as she quits the Euro. That step would cost far less than the alternative of trying to keep Greece struggling along inside the Euro.

Greek exports could recover and the economy begin to work again. Locking Greece inside the Euro is costing billions to other Europeans and is a waste of time and effort.

With both the educated media of Think Tanks and the Tabloids now in full agreement about what should be done, it can only be a question of time before the penny finally drops for politicians. They've spent many Billions, promised Trillions but the facts of the case are that Greece's debts of £250 billion ($400 billion) will never be paid off, and that Greece has to default.

The sooner this happens, the less it will cost the world. That is the bit politicians don't get. Once a situation has gone past its point of no return, you cannot buy it back again with the political check (UK cheque) book. The cheapest solution in political and financial terms is QUIT and start again.

This must now be surely just weeks or days away.

Times On German Tabloids wanting Greece to quit the Euro. Greek and German democracy will surely triumph in the end.


Four professors who opposed the German signing of the Maastricht treaty in 1998 have announced their intention to challenge the Government in the constitutional court.

They failed to get the Maastricht treaty thrown out 12 years ago but the court obliged the Government to ensure that european monetray union would guarantee a stable currency. A central element of the court ruling was that there should be no bailout for weak members of the eurozone.

92% of Germans want Greece to declare insolvency and leave the Euro, but like good Germans with their culture of consensus and obedience, they do as their Chancellor is commanding - so far.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Merkel's Going Down With The Ship

Angela Merkel has stretched every political sinew of her being, overriding German Treaty obligations, ignoring her own Constitutional Court and the feelings of her own people, to put together the biggest rescue package she could possibly aspire to, in order to bail-out the governments of the eurozone who are unable to raise finance.

The sum being raised is $1 trillion, no small sum, nicknamed 'Shock & Awe', kinda letting Americans know that Europe can do big deal things just like they can.

So what has been the effect on markets? Do they regard Greek, Spanish and Portuguese debt as low risk now, and are willing to lend once more?

The answer is NO. They don't. Prices between low-risk and high-risk bonds are once more progressively widening, worldwide, not only in Europe, as stock markets and commodities go into a joint deflationary fall.

Money supply worldwide is falling. Credit is tightening, sending nearly all asset markets on a decline. European stock markets are falling equally as fast as American, regardless of the banning of naked short-selling by Germany.

Merkel cannot possibly counteract the effects of falling markets and shrinking money supply, no matter how much she tries to throw at them. The sums of money are simply too vast for a $1 trillion to make much difference to the big picture. And she only has $1 trillion to spare.

She says that the end of the Euro will be the end of the EU. That's to justify the maximum effort being made to try and turn around the inevitable collapse. But it's to overdramatise and is unhelpful.

The loss of insolvent countries in default from the eurozone, temporarily is only the end of the EU if there is not the political will to put it back together again. She can spend money any time she likes, but only political will can save the EU in the long run.

That is the question she is trying to avoid. Does Germany in its bones really want the EU? If so which countries are the core and which countries are expendable? Looking beyond the current crisis, what is the longer-term picture going to be?

Somewhere inside she knows the answer, but denial is her preferred option. Germany does not have the will to rebuild the EU, if its economy crashes and splits it up. But Merkel is not ready to look beyond the EU. She has invested her reputation and all the political capital at her disposal in maintaining the current status quo.

It will be the next generation of European leaders who will define the future. It will be another German Chancellor who will be the first to talk of a Europe of independent free-trading national democracies. Merkel's decided to go down with the ship.

David Laws - True Blue Liberal - Must Return Soon

This is a good website for Coalition members to visit, who are inspired by David Laws' performance in the House Of Commons.

True Blue Liberals.

Laws Resignation -

He'll be back in a fortnight. Here is Cameron's statement.

The media attacks on Laws going on endlessly are designed to hurt the coalition. Media are labour supporters for the most part, and felt very threatened by a Liberal Democrat spouting common sense in alliance with Conservatives. This is becoming an attempted fullscale reputation assassination job on Laws. Similar to IDS in October 2003.

Laws is very able and will survive in some form.

There seems to be an intense struggle going on inside the Liberal Democrats between the Orange Bookers and the Leftists like Cable. Expect more smoke in the days ahead from this quarter.

Laws' resignation is undoubtedly a victory for the leftists and a blow to Cameron. Danny Alexander doesn't sound exactly a great replacement, with his europhile views. Time will tell.

See Iain Dale.

EXTRACT - through his stellar performance as Chief Secretary to the Treasury during the first three weeks of the coalition, Laws made himself a target.

Firstly, he made public the private note left on his desk by his predecessor, Liam Byrne, which said: ‘I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.’

Secondly, he pulled out of Question Time last week after Labour refused to withdraw Alastair Campbell as its spokesman on the programme.

This accusation may be way off beam, but it wouldn’t at all surprise me if somebody’s tricks department had tipped off The Daily Telegraph about the nature of his relationship with James Lundie and it was that which provoked them to trawl through their expenses files again.

It sounds like 'infamy, infamy. Everyone's got it in fa me!'

Another point is why The Daily Telegraph? This is an attempt to split the coalition by firing a missile into the leading group from the inside track. Like many Lib Dems, Laws was not expecting to be in the limelight, and his affairs seemed sensibly arranged for a quiet role on the backbenches. Now he'll upgrade his affairs, come out as a gay, and be ready for his next assault on the bastions of power.

You would think the media would get exercised by Quentin Davies (above) being made into a Lord after his clock tower repair bill being presented to the nation. That was outright theft. But Davies is safe from the media sitting as a europhile on the Labour benches.

From Guido -

Ann Treneman wrote on Thursday…

“… as I watched Mr Laws, repelling insults, attacking foes, placating friends, bursting with confidence, I began to wonder if he was made of some impervious material such as Kryptonite.”

Laws must return. I insist on it.

The Telegraph -

Under rules to be introduced by the Government, if he is found guilty of serious misconduct he may be “recalled” by his constituents and face a by-election.

Those rules need bringing in as soon as possible and Laws can clear up his position at the ballot box. I suspect he'd walk a byelection, but we'll see. It would be a personal ordeal for him. Timing his attempted return will be the key.

Germany Must Lead

Picture - German policeman 1926. Is history repeating itself?

France and Germany are drifting apart. At the moment of EU seizure of political power, with the announcement of the bail-out expressly forbidden in all the Treaties, France is triumphant. Her idiotic ministers go on air stating that the bail-out is 95% on French terms, when they must know that 80% of Germans are furious at being made to pay up for the profligacy of the PIIGS.

The German people are wakening to what the EU really means for Germany. Their way of running their economy, their political culture is being overridden, and they are the ones being asked to pay for it. This almost goes back to the Treaty of Versailles, where Germany was humiliated by the allies. That was a foolish decision, it might be said in retrospect, as it went a long way in helping cause the next war.

Here again we find a decision which humiliates Germany being carried out by an alliance, of which Germany is a part, but with French leadership, acting with American support. All the terms of the Treaties agreed to by Germany forbade bail-outs. The single currency was to be the DMark or not at all in German eyes. Now it is becoming the Drachma. As ususal in the EU, the lowest common denominator prevails. Germans are more than furious.

The Economist's Charlemagne column argues,

"Anger and denial are hardly surprising. Germans were promised that the single currency would be the old Deutschmark in new clothes, backed by Teutonic discipline and a fiercely independent central bank. Arguably, that fantasy Deutschmark died early on May 10th, when a euro-zone bail-out mechanism was agreed and the European Central Bank started buying government bonds by the bucket load. Germans are now in mourning. How they recover is not just their problem, but Europe's".

A leader in the IHT argues, "Now, at the worst possible moment, Germany is turning to nationalist illusions."

Writing in the FT, Phillip Stephens argues, "Angela Merkel has begun to sound awfully like Margaret Thatcher."

Die Welt reports that a new poll for ARD has found that 78% of respondents are dissatisfied with Angela Merkel's performance as Chancellor, and only 20% are satisfied.

The political stitch-up of Germany in 1918 only needed an economic collapse to make it dangerous. I am not saying Germany will revert to militarism to solve her problems this time around, but a growing economic crisis seem assured, as all the bail-outs in the world are only going to be of temporary effect. The debts built up over the last twenty years are gradually grinding all optimism down. The financial crisis has years, not months to run.

Germany must take the bull by the horns. When Merkel goes, the next German political leadership will be far more nationalistic. There will no doubt be some kind of German Thatcher. But that will be OK. It will take strong leadership to undo the mess of the EU in triumph and yet unable to fix itself. Without Germany stating clearly her preferences, no settlement of Europe's troubled political economy will be possible.

No wonder David Cameron is playing the Europe issue cautiously. The EU is a German problem and only marginally a British one. If Germany moves towards EU separatism, there will need to be good relations between Britain and Germany. A new consensus would be the ideal way forward, not an unnecessary falling out over the failure of the EU. As for the French you can only guess at the bitterness in their political elites when their domination of European politics came to an end. The future course of events will be decided in Germany. London's wish to separate is part of the picture, but peripheral.

From Charlemagne, The Economist -

In Germany’s defence, some other EU leaders are hardly helping. When France’s Nicolas Sarkozy crowed that the euro-zone rescue plan is “95% French”, he was thinking of poll ratings at home, where voters like to hear that the French are running Europe. But this is a “very dangerous” strategy, says a politician from a third country, because it pushes Mrs Merkel into a corner.

Mr Sarkozy dreams of building a new power structure round the 16 euro-zone countries. But Mrs Merkel wants economic policy to be decided by all 27 EU members, precisely because she likes to balance “Club Med” members of the euro zone with more liberal countries, including Britain, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Poland. Yet David Cameron, the British prime minister, is adamant that deeper economic co-ordination in Europe must affect only the 16. That may be savvy British politics, but it risks pushing Mrs Merkel into France’s arms.

In this euro crisis, Germany’s leaders sound not so much indecisive as stuck. Their headache comes from trying to save the euro without enraging their voters. So far they have reacted with populist attacks on speculators and much angry rhetoric about discipline. But both approaches carry risks that they seem reluctant to acknowledge: that they may end up fuelling German voter rage as well as angering the rest of Europe.


Anger spills everywhere. Something will have to give. Cameron is right to keep separate on the crucial issue of economic governance, while using EU-loyal rhetoric to frame his move. This angers British Ukippers. It's a small price to pay.


On the international stage, Merkel, 55, has been criticized for dragging her feet for months over a bailout package for Greece and being too focused on German national interests.

"For months, Mrs. Merkel resisted all appeals – by other European leaders and Washington – to, well, be a European leader," The New York Times wrote in an editorial Wednesday.

On the same day, EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso criticized Germany for its role in the euro currency crisis and said it would be "naive" to believe that EU treaties could be changed according to German wishes without other nations wanting amendments as well. Barroso was referring to Germany's insistence that European Union treaties be changed to allow tougher sanctions for countries that have excessive government debt.

In an interview with the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Barroso said "our union needs Germany in a leading role" and added he wants to see Germany "speak up for Europe. Otherwise, we have a problem."

Concerned about German state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in early May, Merkel had tried to postpone a decision on the Greek bailout until after the election. In the end, her European partners pushed her into supporting the rescue package just days before the election – which Merkel's party then lost.

"This (behavior) shows a fatal German inclination for isolationism that one had thought belonged to the past," German daily Tagesspiegel wrote in an editorial Saturday. "This does not only make our partners suspicious of us, but is also completely senseless in today's globally connected world."

Now, like her colleagues in Greece, Spain, Britain, Portugal and Italy, Merkel is struggling to prepare a worried populace for budget cuts. The chancellor has already scrapped plans for promised tax cuts, but still faces a huge federal budget deficit. Her government is going to decide on spending cuts and, possibly, even on tax hikes within the next 10 days.

"For weeks, you've tried to sit on the fence and not get involved," opposition leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the left-leaning Social Democrats scolded Merkel during a parliament debate about the Greek rescue package. "You've let things slide and now that everything is ablaze, you're calling for the firefighters to solve the problem."

Domestic critics have noted repeatedly that her new coalition has accomplished little in the seven months since it took control. Her popularity among Germans has plummeted by 10 points to 48 percent – her worst showing since late 2006.

Opposition lawmakers accuse the chancellor of lacking any vision or leadership when it comes to essential issues like an aging population, integrating immigrants into German society or tackling the question of whether to continue using nuclear energy.

Merkel has not responded directly to the criticism and her office could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.

The chancellor's unilateral ban earlier this month on naked short-selling of eurozone government debt and shares of major financial companies received praise – but also criticism, because she made the decision without consulting the 15 other nations that share the euro currency with Germany.

"Germany is still the most important economic power on the continent," Tagesspiegel wrote. "But while other powers used to look at Merkel for orientation ... today she seems to be confused and changing her position according to the influential powers around her."

Full Article

Germany might be inclined to isolationism, but even more so, I would say to denial of reality. If Germany wants to be called a modern state, she has to look ahead to the post-EU scenario, and set up new structures for European international relations. Merkel is quite obviously not going to look beyond the current structures, and think ahead from where we all are to where we are now going.

Come to that, neither is Barack Obama on the right track here. They all have to think of a post-Euro, post-EU scenario. It's not impossible.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The End Of The Euro Will Be The Biggest Write-off In Human History.

PICTURE - The Pound stops here. In the coming crisis, people will reach for symbols of national security. Where will the Euro go?

One of the main arguments used to stop countries quitting the eurozone is that their debts are in euros and their currencies will fall after they leave, raising their national debt levels from say 200% of GDP to 400% of GDP.

But that argument fails to address the fact that markets can move.

The US managed to save their financial economy just in time when the Lehmans moment arrived. It was a near run thing, by all accounts. Letting Lehmans go was a grave risk, but it showed everyone that this crisis was getting more than serious and that all players needed to get themselves ready to face a downturn of unparallelled proportions by reducing their debts. In the USA M3, the statistic of the money supply, is no longer published, but those that reassemble statistics say that it is in free fall, as debt is no longer so freely available as it was pre-crisis. I can imagine that being an understatement.

Anyone who imagines that QE makes that much difference is not thinking. The QE is a fraction of the scale of the fallback in the money supply taking place, and even then governments will face limits to how much they can borrow and in turn lend or spend, as lenders tire.

The same influences are being felt in Europe. So far the banking crisis has been contained, and the sovereign debt crisis, but the willingness of Germany to act as a bulwark for all the debtor countries is already running out. The EU wants to press ahead without a Treaty and enforce a role for itself as the effective economic government of Europe, but the EU has no money. It's not even a paper tiger.

The EU will only survive if Germany is willing to save it, and while Merkel wants to do that, her position depends on a coalition, and both her coalition partners are getting cold feet about more and more bail-outs, and her position is eroding fast, not to mention that the German Courts are insisting that the EU cannot act as Germany's government, but must pass key measures such as bail-outs, which are not permitted under EU Treaties, through the German Parliament.

The first bail-out went through the German Houses of Parliament without a problem. But as time goes on, German bunds are now failing to sell to full value as the lower interest rates on offer from the German government to lenders is lowering demand. The noose is tightening.

If events spiral out of control, one thing is certain. The Euro will crash. While Greece currently talks of devaluing the currency and relaunching the Drachma, what would be the situation if all her debts in Euros became effectively worthless - not because of inflation, far from it, but because all fiat money is paper, based on a promise. What if the ECB was unable to trade Euros and there was nowhere for people to go to claim all their money back, or exchange it?

That would be the situation to be faced by the world, although no news channel dare say it.

Greece's Euro debts would be effectively zero. She could relaunch the Drachma, totally broke but debt free. The world would lose about 20% of its reserves overnight, which is why China is now reviewing her sovereign funds placed into European government debt. She fears default. But if China started withdrawing her funds, that would precipitate the very crisis she fears.

The end of the Euro will be the biggest financial write-down in human history.

Get ready. Greece should be getting the Drachmas ready now, and others. There might only be three more months left before this actually happens.

If nothing else is made ready, the dollar will overnight become the effective currency of Europe, as there will be nothing else available. The US government would not be willing to assume responsibility for all this mess. Each country would need to launch its own currency and establish an effective dollar link. But are they ready with all their politicians still making Euro-speak? That is the problem. European politicians are not aware of what they will be facing and are not making preparations.

It must be with these thoughts in mind that David Cameron is pulling his punches when it comes to dealing with the EU. He fears the meltdown, and knows that delaying the crisis is the only current tactic, unless somehow Barroso persuades Germany to permit the ECB to issue funds backed by Germany. But that looks like creating an even bigger hole. The more people who get sucked into saving the Euro, the worse the crisis gets.

The only solution to this crisis is default. The sooner it is realised and people get their heads around it, the better. An organised and agreed programme of defaults would be better than facing the possibility of total meltdown. Greece, for example, should be sent on her way with the Drachma and her sovereign debts substantially written off.

This crisis could be dealt with intelligently, but all political leadership is facing the wrong way. That is the problem.

UPDATE - China and Kuwait deny they are pulling out of Euro-denominated sovereign debt.

What else would you expect them to say?!!!

PLUS - a comment from

Spain orders banks to come clean on debts to restore shattered faith.

“Spanish accounting was completely out of line with the rest of Europe,” said Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas. “It had reached a point where investors no longer believed in Spanish balance sheets because equity ratios are distorted by overvalued holdings of real estate. This move was absolutely the right thing to do. You can’t camouflage bad debts any longer. Those days are over,”

by The Ghost of Harry Flashman May 28th, 2010 at 9:37 am

That's a great comment. The same applies at national level. Debts require two things, an admission they exist first, and a decision as to what to do about them second. The days of denial are closed.

The best way to save the 'northern' euro, is to shuffle off the 'southern' euro. The longer this move is delayed, the greater the danger of an economic collapse of gargantuan proportions. As for sterling, the government needs to make as many moves as it can towards lowering the country's debts and boosting its growth rate. Raising taxes is not the way to do that. Cutting government spending is.

See when will the euro collpase? from the Adam Smith Institute.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Labour Postal Vote Scams Blocked Out Tory A Listers

Fears that the Commons would fill with Conservative MPs selected to type have not been realised.
Those who remember the results coming in on May 5th, election night, might recall that Labour held on to many of the top 100 Tory target seats, but strangely lost many outlier seats, which they might have been expected to hold. This was indicative of a different tactic being used in the closer seats, which was effective in stopping the Conservatives. That tactic was undoubtedly postal and other voting 'efforts', which were used only in seats that were expected to be lost otherwise.

The effect has been unintended. It did not stop Cameron becoming PM, of course. There could, however, be another more interesting effect.

Cameron had carefully selected the candidates going into the top 100 targets, imagining these seats would be the ones that were most likely to fall. A tendency not to rebel, and a likelihood to tow the party line was a quality high on the list of criteria for A List and other approved candidates for these seats considered the most likely to be won.

Yet these selected candidates are not the ones which made it to Parliament.

The outlier seats had candidates who were not expected to win, and who were not so carefully selected by Francis Maude and the A Listers. These were therefore more independent-minded candidates, no doubt more eurosceptic and willing to demand that common sense be observed rather than the needs of party machine and PR politics.

It is no surprise to find the newcomers, hatched as a rogue batch, as it were, are becoming active in seizing positions in the 1922 backbench committee, and demonstrating a streak of independence, which Cameron imagined he could easily suppress.

From Iain Dale on the 1922 elections which took place earlier this week -

I always said that the new intake of 148 Conservative MPs would want to do things their own way and so it is proving to be. I've just found out that no fewer than 12 of them are standing for election to the 1922 Executive tomorrow. An interesting figure that, considering there are exactly twelve vacancies. Anyone might think that someone was encouraging them... If I were a conspracy theorist I might also believe that their colleagues might vote for then en bloc to send a signal of real change.

The twelve new MPs standing are Harriet Baldwin, Gavin Barwell, Angie Bray, Jackie Doyle Price, Charlie Elphicke, Lorraine Fulbrook, Rob Halfon, Andrea Leadsom, David Nuttall, Priti Patel, Mark Reckless and Alex Sherbrook.

I am not good at the knowing or explaining any detail of the seats and the candidates to support my theory of the new Conservative MPs being more independent-minded than intended. But maybe this is one effect of the (On this occasion) unsuccessful Labour electoral fraud campaign - to bring in a livelier bunch of Conservative MPs to sit in The Commons than the control freaks wished. If it's true, and there is a little evidence of this being the case, it would be a kind of karma.

Cameron clearly wanted an army of MPs obedient to his command. What he has got is starting to look something very different, a bunch of MPs who are made angry by course attempts to suppress their independence of mind. The intended Notting Hill clones have been conveniently screened out by Labour's electoral methods.



EXTRACT - if Brown believes that Glenrothes-style tactics are capable of pulling off an election 'victory', Britain is indeed in big trouble.

With no democratic system in place capable of getting rid of him, Brown, in denial of all realities, shut off inside his one world government bunker, and dreaming messianic dreams of saving the world, will, without doubt, lead us on to financial and political disaster.

There are few words adequate to express the seriousness of the situation. All I can think of at this moment, is this -

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Gordon is convinced of Gordon's rightness and his date with destiny as the world's saviour, at the very pinnacle of the bureaucratic elite. As the Labour MP says, reality has to bite sometime. The problem is that with Gordon Brown, it never does.

Just the little matter of 100 ballot boxes and a few pieces of paper, and his journey to the very roof of the world can continue on to its inevitable conclusion. It seems that there is no one on this planet who is going to be allowed to stop him.

I was wrong. Roll forward David Cameron, assisted during the election campaign and after by Nick Clegg, who borrowed votes from Labour's electoral hotspot, women aged 25-35, with whom Labour, despite Clegg, still had an 18% majority at the election. Conservatives had a majority of plus 11% with men of the same age. The result was nothing short of miraculous leaving Labour and Lib Dem combined well short of a working majority. Whatever we have now is by no means perfect, but think of what we have just escaped from - certain economic meltdown with Gordon Brown, to possible economic meltdown now. Things are moving in the right direction, at least, but the world has yet to face the real crisis which is now fast approaching.

Our escape to Conservative economic government is not one second too early.

Will Conservative Backbenchers Go With Redwood?

From Open Europe -

Cameron dodges question on repatriating powers in negotiations on new EU treaty

On the BBC Today programme, Evan Davis asked the Prime Minister if an EU treaty change to the rules of the eurozone would require a referendum in the UK, and whether Conservative MP John Redwood was right to call for such a treaty change to be used to negotiate a repatriation of powers.

In response David Cameron said: "I think we're all getting slightly ahead of ourselves here. I mean, even the eurozone doesn't have any unanimity about whether there should be a treaty. They clearly are looking at rule changes and things that need to be changed to make the eurozone work better, and we should encourage that because we want a working eurozone. The issue of the treaty hasn't yet arisen properly, and it may do, it may not do. The rule for us is very clear - that we don't support treaties that transfer powers from Westminster to Brussels."

If the eurozone manages to successfully argue that EU-wide economic management can be introduced and carried out without a Treaty change, but under the terms of Lisbon, presumably Cameron would not feel that he objects to anything the EU demands of Britain. At least his words permit that interpretation.

Barroso is clearly intending such a course of action, from his suggesting Merkel was 'naive' in seeking a new Treaty, as the British would use their veto, or might use its use as a bargaining tool, as indeed is proposed by John Redwood in The Times.

Inevitably, in these circumstances, the EU will do anything to avoid a new Treaty, and equally will do anything required to achieve economic management of the EU.

But if German political opposition prevents Merkel from agreeing to greater responsibility for Germany in bailing out the rest of the eurozone, and she is compelled to demand a Treaty change by German Courts and their interpretation of Lisbon, Barroso and the EU will not find a way through to economic management without Cameron's assistance. If Germany has tired of carrying the Euro, it is as good as over, regardless of the legal niceties.

From that point of view Cameron is right not to seek an unnecessary confrontation with the EU. If the Euro is holed beneath the waterline by the political situation in Germany, Britain need not earn a bad reputation as the country which caused the EU to fail. Cameron maybe rightly perceives that the Euro will founder all by itself without any need for Britain's encouragement.

But if Germany reverses position and the coalition supports Merkel in pushing for a new Treaty, and the Courts' legal objections are squared off by Parliamentary authorisation, the ball will be firmly in Cameron's court.

The question will then be will he play hardball when the moment comes. John Redwood is right to get in early in proposing that Cameron uses Britain's veto of a new Treaty as a negotiating device, if one is brought forward. The 118 Conservative backbenchers will no doubt not support Cameron if he backs down and his new coalition government could fall. Redwood is demanding the repatriation of social and employment policy as his minimum position for agreeing to a new treaty. He will have enough backers to bring the government down, but would obviously prefer not to.

What about the Lib Dems? Will they want an end to their day in the limelight terminated by the issue of the EU. I would doubt it to be honest. My money would be on Redwood getting his way with Cameron as events unfold, but, as Cameron says, why take up a theoretical negotiating position? The real situation will descend soon enough.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Euro Crisis. Time Is Running Out.

Cameron is digging in over Merkel's proposed new Treaty which would seek to permit and authorise a bail-out of the weaker eurozone economies. It is being suggested that he is doing this in order to adopt a negotiating position in order to push his EU agenda of repatriating powers.

This possibility has not gone unnoticed in the corridors of Brussels.

Open Europe -

The The Telegraph reports on Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's comments yesterday, that it was "naïve" of Germany to push for an EU Treaty change when Britain could use its veto to demand the repatriation of some powers.

Barroso is clearly suggesting without actually saying so, that the EU should press on with bail-outs without bothering to get a proper legal basis.

That would be Brussels' solution.

Ignore Britain and ignore the German Constitutional Court. But Merkel is already under intense political pressure, losing her coalition's majority in the German Upper House in recent elections, due to anger with the smaller scale bail-out of Greek debt already put into action.

If Cameron is going to block any proposed new Treaty, Barroso's effort to bypass all political and legal objections would be the only way the EU could put together a bail-out which might, and only then might, save the Euro.

Britain, for now, is treading gently around the EU, not issuing a strong negotiating line, but merely saying we don't need to repatriate powers at the moment actually. We, ahem, want the EU to reform itself.

Open Europe -
Business Secretary Vince Cable, on a trip to Brussels yesterday, ruled out taking powers back from the EU, saying the coalition Government would pursue a "deregulation agenda" at EU meetings and summits, adding: "It is a way of making European processes work in a less cumbersome way, rather than reopening treaties. We are not at the moment specifying powers that need to be repatriated. We think we can operate within the framework we've got."

That's the view that Brussels wants to hear, which is saying in effect,'please don't rock the boat right now. Help us to stabilise this awful crisis (Of our own making), and we'll pretend that we all like Mr Cameron a while longer.'

But Mr Cameron, who is obviously keen not to pick up the blame for the Euro crisis, has to face two ways. His own backbench MPs are unlikely to take an abandonment of repatriating powers lying down.

Open Europe Director Mats Persson is quoted saying that

Conservative MPs may rebel if David Cameron did not use the "ideal opportunity" for Britain to repatriate powers: "Cameron will come under massive pressure from his own ranks but he should not fear going down this road. If successful, Cameron would set an important precedent for Europe by which powers can be brought back to member states as well as handed over to the EU."

It seems that on this occasion, Britain has the sympathy of German politicians, who are also looking down the barrel of a democratic gun, and can see that doing the EU's bidding as regards putting together a bail-out will be terminal for their careers. Feelings are running strongly against saving the Euro in Germany. For once it is Brussels that is isolated.

OE - The IHT quotes German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle saying in a statement that he was "surprised at the criticism" from Mr. Barroso, adding that the "current process of economic policy coordination cannot prevent problems arising in the member states and the euro zone." CSU MP Thomas Silberhorn added that Barroso should set an example in budgetary discipline: "If someone tells others to drink water, he should not drink wine himself", reports Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung.

This is 'let them eat cake' language. Only Sarkozy stands between the Euro and oblivion politically-speaking, if Merkel is neutralised by her rebelling coalition partners.

With the Euro approaching self-destruction, it might only need the merest puff from Cameron and the Liberatories to send it on its way. Yesterday, one threat to the EU was removed, however. The Carswell Bill demanding a referendum on the 18 MEPs Treaty amendment was scotched in the Queen's Speech.

But a new one was created.

OE - Meanwhile, the Queen's speech yesterday revealed that the Government will introduce a bill for a 'referendum lock', to ensure that any future EU Treaty which transfers powers from the UK to EU will be put to a referendum.

Last night, Graham Brady was elected as the Chairman of the 1922 Committee. Cameron's options for backing down to Europe are set to become increasingly limited, as far as his backbenchers are concerned. The Lib Dems, on the other hand, might be willing to threaten the coalition over the issue of supporting EU bail-outs. It is hard to tell.

Everyone wants this crunch to go away, and give them time. It is unlikely to do so.

Liberatory Coalition Is A Child Of Electoral Fraud

Electoral Criminals planning the dismantling of democracy in Britain. Their shadow will hang over us another five years.

David Cameron is doing his best to put together and keep going the coalition with the Liberal Democrats. What choice does he have?

But going back to the election results, they were a bit odd. No sign of any consistent national swing was discernible. Seats that Labour should have lost with ease, they held, but other outlier seats that needed large swings against them were lost.

To my mind that is evidence that the postal voting programmes which were put into use taking the numbers again into record territory were the cause of these strange statistical outcomes. I said so at the time on Political Betting comments, when challenged by other commenters to substantiate my claims that labour were planning a wide-scale programme of electoral fraud to swing the result of the election, just as they had done in 2005.

The overall statistics were consistent with my theories for the 2010 election, but today I read that there is already one seat which looks as if the result, saving a Labour MP in a marginal constituency was obtained by fraud. This looks likely to be true from the report in today's Independent on the marginal constituency of Halifax.

The Independent Report.


Police are investigating allegations of electoral fraud in Halifax after thousands of postal ballots were delivered by hand to polling stations on day of the general election.

More than 4,000 ballots arrived in the West Yorkshire town on 6 May, with the majority being delivered directly to polling stations. Although there are no rules forbidding the delivery of postal ballots by hand, such a large number arriving on the day of the election itself is considered unusual and risks overwhelming the already-stretched safety checks aimed at minimising fraud.

Local Tory officials raised questions over the validity of some of the postal ballots after they discovered that a number of empty and derelict addresses in one particular ward had voters registered to them. They allege that Labour Party activists spent the days before the election "farming" postal ballots to deliver directly on 6 May and have asked both the police and the Electoral Commission to investigate.

I would hazard that this was not an isolated case. If another twenty seats were similarly fixed, as seems most likely, that means the election result was obtained by fraud.

We are living in banana republic. The judge was right.

Officials at Calderdale Council, which covers Halifax, say the signatures of every single postal ballot that arrived on the day of the general election were checked throughout the night. But Philip Allott, the Conservative's candidate who lost to Labour, says the current vote-checking system cannot tell whether someone has voted multiple times using more than one postal vote.

"It is possible in Calderdale to apply for multiple postal votes because although the signature of the application form and security slip when the person votes are cross-checked via scanning, the scanner does not check whether the person has voted twice or more," he said. "We can't say for sure whether fraudulent voting affected the outcome but I do believe there is enough prima facie evidence to show that fraud happened. It's simply not good for democracy when this sort of uncertainty exists."

The Conservatives in Halifax say that they cannot afford to launch a legal challenge which would need to be submitted by tomorrow. Mr Allott said the rules stating that complaints have to be launched within 21 days of an election meant there was not enough time or money to gather evidence.

"Just to launch a challenge would cost around £100,000 – or £200,000 if we lost," he said.

So none of it will come to light. Perfect.

But if Cameron sorts this out, and equalises the constituencies, that must be worth 100 seats next time round. He wouldn't need any partners.

That said, in the meantime, he's managing to decontaminate the Tory brand by the biggest dose of Liberal Democrat love-bombing imaginable. If The Lib Dems were to storm out of the marriage, however, claiming that the partnership was over, Cameron will need all the votes he can get.

It would be nice if British elections were once again decided by voters and not by targeted and systematic fraudulent electoral practices. 2005 was little different with 4 million postal votes, doubling previous numbers with no controls, but no one dared squeak that Blair's third term was cheated. The media were entirely compliant and under the Campbell cosh, which they don't seem to be now. Having Cameron in Downing Street seems to be loosening their pens once more.

For that we must be grateful. He sprung the trap set by New Labour 'election planners' by the narrowest of margins. In many ways 2010 was a miracle. With all the dice loaded against him, Cameron somehow pulled it off. The Lib Dems would undoubtedly have teamed up with Labour if they had held a joint majority, and that was stopped by the tiniest of margins. Clegg would be singing a very different tune, and fraud would no doubt remain as the basis of the way that Britain selects its governments. I take it as a given that next time the game will be up.

My comments on Conservative Home re poor Conservative performance in London marginals -

QUOTE - As one Labour activist told me, the plan was to cling on by dragging their supporters out by hook or by crook

COMMENT - more crook than hook, I'd say. Postal voting fraud was widespread in London and other marginal seats. Labour lost outliers where they didn't bother with 'by hook or by crook', but won marginals where they did.

Just tidy up the postal voting cheating system which decides the results of British elections, and otherwise keep going. No need to pay another media guru a fortune.

Reply May 27, 2010 at 09:43

Tapestry said...
There are 5 million British citizens living overseas, of whom possibly 3 million are eligible to vote but only 20,000 voted in the election or thereabouts. These votes could be encouraged to come home and help us in our hour of need. Most would be Conservative.

Reply May 27, 2010 at 09:46

Tapestry said...
By the time the constituencies have been equalised, postal voting and proxy voting are brought under control, and you encourage the overseas vote, Cameron would win 100+ seat majority with a vote as in the latest election.

Reply May 27, 2010 at 09:47

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

UKIP, You're In..

..The House Of Lords at any rate.

Queens Speech today -

a reformed second House (the House of Lords) would be wholly or mainly elected on the basis of proportional representation

So that might be 20% UKIP then.

Lord Farage anybody?

PICTURE - Nigel Farage. Who's been adapting his latest book cover? I agree about the self promotion bit, but stupidity? No evidence of that as I can see.

Loyalty Is Always Conditional

Graham Brady MP Altrincham & Sale West
The 1922 Committee survives. The backlash of anger against Cameron's proposals that Ministers should be allowed to vote in backbench decisions has caused him to withdraw his primary demand. However his second proposal that Ministers should be permitted to attend and speak at 1922 meetings, survives.

The Times -

Mr Cameron’s allies said that on reflection it did not make sense for ministers to vote in an election from which they were barred from standing but they will be allowed to attend 1922 meetings — his other key demand.

He faces claims that he lost an early trial of strength with his internal critics after being warned that he could not stop the election of a vocal opponent.

Graham Brady, who resigned from Mr Cameron’s Shadow front bench to speak in favour of grammar schools, remained on course to be elected 1922 chairman tomorrow night, friends said. He will put his case to Tory MPs at a hustings tonight where his rival, Richard Ottaway, will seek to overcome the tag of loyalist favourite.

The coalition partners will be satisfied that Cameron tried to take away his backbenchers' traditional powers to retire a Party leader through a vote of MPs, initiated in the 1922. The fact that he failed indicates how strong this section of the Parliamentary Party has become.

In its relative silence over four long years, which was maintained while Cameron ran the Opposition from a small group, winning nearly every PR battle he took on, including the election, does not signify weakness. Loyalty and weakness are easy to confuse, but should not be. Loyalty is never absolute. It is always conditional on sufficient loyalty in return, and if Cameron ever doubted it, he need no longer.

If Cameron fails to satisfy the right wingers or the traditional Conservatives in his party, they will undoubtedly stand fast and oppose him, and could bring an end to his leadership if he were to sell out to Europe for example. There will be no whipping of Maastricht Treaties possible with the 2010 generation of Conservative MPs.

He now knows where he and the Liberatory coalition stand. Tomorrow the election of the 1922 Chairman will almost inevitably be Brady, who opposed Cameron's policy on grammar schools.

Brady's Bio -

Graham Brady was born in Salford in 1967. He was educated at Altrincham Grammar School and Durham University where he studied law. Graham first became active in the Conservative party when aged 16 he joined a campaign to save the local grammar schools. Prior to entering Parliament in 1997 Graham was Public Affairs Director at the Waterfront Partnership. He had previously worked at the Centre for Policy Studies and Shandwick Plc.

At Graham's election in 1997 he was the youngest Conservative MP at that time. In Parliament he has been opposition spokesman on employment, served as a whip and as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Michael Ancram when he was Party Chairman. He went onto become Shadow Minister for Schools; PPS to Michael Howard when he became Leader of the Opposition and then Shadow Europe Minister. He continued in that role following David Cameron's election as leader. Graham stepped down from the front bench on 29th May 2007 . Graham is currently a member of the Treasury Select Committee. He is also a member of the board of Manchester Metropolitan University and is a member of its audit committee.

He is the man for this moment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tory 'Far Right' MP Lists Out Laws To Go

PICTURE - John Redwood, Conservative MP for Wokingham

The 'right wing' of the Conservative Party is not dead yet.

Not only are there moves afoot to cancel Cameron's attempt to hamstring the 1922 Committee. See earlier post or Conservative Home for details.

Clegg invited proposals for laws which should be repealed, and John Redwood has responded, listing out 27 laws, he believes are ripe for the axe.

Redwood's List Of Laws To Get Rid Of.

OK Cleggie old chap, it's box ticking time. Yes Or No?

Here's John Redwood's list of Britain's most hated government interventions.

1. Repeal Working Time Regulations – people should be free to work overtime if they wish. This single item was the biggest extra burden on business in the last 13 years.
2. Repeal Data Protection Act. Keep a requirement on data haolders to look after data, and keep a citizen’s right to their data and its fair handling, but eliminate the quango and licensing regime.
3. Money laundering regulations. Make them less costly and ineffective. Requiring people to supply a passport and utility bill does not stop money laundering but does create a lot of extra cost in the system.
4. Abolish compulsory Home Information Packs – as planned by the Coalition government
5. Mortgage regulation – remove the last government’s detailed mortgage regulation which clearly failed, and strengthen cash and capital regulation of banks and other mortgage providers to avoid future crashes.
6. Remove Gaming licenses for charities
7. Abolish Mandatory horse passports
8. Remove recent over the top regulation of herbal medicines
9.Opt out of Food Supplements Directive
10.Restore statutory dismissal procedures to pre 2000 position
11.Restore social chapter opt out and define UK rules in these araes
12. Repeal compulsory metrication
13. Combine disclosure to the Inland Revenue and Companies House for smaller companies – one form fits all
14 Repeal IR 35
15 Abolish Best Value regime for local government
16 Abolish Comprehensive Performance Assessment regime for Councils
17 Abolish Regional Housing Boards and regional targets
18 Abolish Regional Development Agencies
19 Repeal Legislative and Regulatory reform Act
20 Amend Waste Incineration Regulations 2002 to allow more recycling
21 Amend Health and safety regime to make it more proportionate and effective
22 Repeal Digital Economy Act 2010 cl 11-18
23 Repeal Investigatory powers Act 2000 – too intrusive
24 Repeal Charities Act 2006 – too bureaucratic
25 Repeal Labour’s Terrorism Acts and replace with simpler system which damages the civil liberties of the innocent majority less.
26 Cut the use of surveillance cameras and design safer and less congested roads and junctions instead.
27 Repeal the SI requiring 11 million people to have CRB checks before helping children.

The Vulcan from the long-running TV series Star Trek

They sound mighty sensible proposals to me. Centre ground in fact. Maybe it's time the aliens took over from the humans.

Tesla Presages New Industrial Age

The greatest inventor of all time - Nicolas Tesla, far ahead of his time.
The future is arriving quicker than we hoped. Tesla Motors which manages to send its battery-powered cars over distances of 300 miles between a recharge, which in any case cost only $10, has teamed up with Toyota, is building a 1000 employee plant outside San Francisco, and is launching on the stock market.

Big deal.

Not really.

Tesla only started a year ago and is already confident enough from growing demand for its output to launch new vehicles lower down the cost scale onto the world market. The Tesla motor is incredibly efficient making all other electric cars seem irrelevant. The motor somehow sucks electricity from the environment making a 5 to 1 improvement on the actual power wired into the car.

This technology is approaching 100 years old. JP Morgan who was funding Serb Nicolas Tesla's research, 'cut him off' once he realised Tesla understood how to supply electricity without cables and wires, drawing power down from the ionosphere.

If these cars are allowed to sell, they will murder the market worldwide. That won't be all. Once people realise that electricity can be generated at 20% of the current cost, and distributed without cables, through resonance, a new industrial age, based on a limitless supply of almost free energy will be upon us.

The coming Depression will be cracked open from end to end, and a new industrial boom season will be here. I'm talking ten years time unfortunately. The next five years will be all about paring down debt and reducing the size of governments across the globe. The private sector will then surge back and reclaim its rightful place.

Tesla beckons to true believers.

Drive your car for nothing.

Could The Next Election Be UKIP's Breakthrough?

Most of my posts in recent weeks have been broadly hostile to UKIP. If they hadn't taken part in the election, the Conservatives would probably have had an outright majority. There would not be a Liberatory coalition in government, and the Conservative so-called 'right wing' would have been in a strong position. There would be more chance of the EU's advance of power being stopped.

My eurosceptic Conservative-supporting electoral strategy was based on there being two chances of eurosceptic success, not one. The first was that Cameron would be more strongly eurosceptic in his actions in office than he is in his rhetoric. He has indeed refused to bail-out the eurozone, and has said he would be willing to veto a bail-out Treaty. But doing anything else would have been politically fatal. Under Labour, Brown might have joined up in a bail-out, but for a Conservative to support an EU bail-out would have been terminal.

UKIP would have been catapulted upwards in the polls by such a step.

Cameron, has yet to really demonstrate that he has a eurosceptic heart beating in his chest. He still might have. Events will tell us soon enough.

The other chance was that if it came to be seen that Cameron was only a token eurosceptic, and not really up for seizing back the powers to govern ourselves once more, his leadership could have been ended by a 1922 Committee vote, and he could have been replaced with another leader.

This week, that second chance has been severely reduced. By the payroll vote being allowed to vote in any attempt to unseat Cameron, it will be very much harder to find a majority to remove him. It was encouraging that 118 of the backbench MPs voted against this change, but sadly a clear majority pushed Cameron's changes through. Why did MPs roll over so easily?

A lot depends on the new intake of MPs. Are they mere Camerclones, recruited off the A-List and type-specified by Central Office to be likely to do as required by the Whips? Or are they gutsy independent-minded folk with the strength of purpose to stand their ground and vote for what they believe in?

If they continue rolling over as they did this week ending or severely restricting their own power to remove and replace the party leader, then there is really not going to be much hope.

At this last election, it seemed crazy not to give the Conservatives a proper try, and to pack the House with as many backbench MPs as possible. Had there been another 30 backbench Conservative MPs from outlier seats, there could have been a lot more independence of mind in the House Of Commons right now. Cameron might have lost this vote, and the second chance of a non-Cameron Conservative government still a viable option.

But UKIP, for some reason which still defeats me, saw fit to restrict these sorts and effectively bring about coalition politics, strengthening Cameron's hand against his party's 'right wing' and weakening the backbench potential to influence events, which to my mind was a gross strategic error by UKIP.

But looking ahead from where we are, and not from where we'd like to be, where will we be next time, from the eurosceptic viewpoint?

If the coalition government turns into a popular and successful government, the next election might see a continuation of the coalition, even extending it into an electoral alliance, which is one possibility according to Peter Oborne in The Mail. If Europe becomes the internal bone of contention within the coalition, which seems likely, and the Conservatives emasculate themselves in favour of the coalition, the frustration would spill out UKIP's way.

It is far too early to call the next few months, let alone years. My love/hate relationship with UKIP will go on a while yet.

John Rentoul in The Independent writes knowledgeably about the history of the 1922 and the future of the coaliton Here.

EXTRACT - the coalition will succeed and the Tories and Lib Dems will fight the next election separately in five years' time. Under the Alternative Vote system, they will each urge their supporters to give their second preference votes to the other party. Labour has further to go than it thinks to climb back against such opportunism.

I can imagine a number of second votes going to Minor Parties, if AV is brought in. Liberal Democrat and Green. Conservative and UKIP. AV might help keep Labour out in favour of the coalition, but it could let in some minnows.

LATEST - The 1922 Committee fights back.

From Conservativehome -

"The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that MPs on the ruling executive of the backbench 1922 Committee are planning to openly defy the Prime Minister by throwing out his attempt to change the group's rules... Mr Cameron forced through a vote last week to allow ministers to take part in the 1922, which normally acts as a forum for backbench opinion... However, executive members have told this newspaper that they believe the rule changes forced through by the Tory leader are invalid. The 18-strong executive is holding discussions by telephone this weekend to discuss throwing out the changes, and will meet in the Commons on tomorrow morning before announcing their position." - Sunday Telegraph

"There is anger at the change to the 1922 Committee that Cameron has forced through, which ends its role as the voice of Tory backbenchers. Such a move was bound to provoke opposition. But the way it was done with the parliamentary party bounced into an instant vote has generated considerable ill-will. Some 118 MPs, 39 per cent of all Tory MPs, defied their leader to vote against it. There is even one Secretary of State who is claiming, privately, to have cast his ballot against the measure. It is quite remarkable to have dissent against a new Prime Minister on this scale even before his first Queen’s Speech is unveiled. It will take a long time for some Tory MPs to forgive Cameron for riding roughshod over the rules of the Tory parliamentary party." - James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday

"As MPs trooped into the committee room to make their choice, it was clear that Patrick McLoughlin, the Tory chief whip, who is in charge of maintaining party discipline, was taking no chances. Two of his henchmen stood by the battered metal ballot box with their arms crossed, as MPs posted their voting forms. “It was supposed to be a secret ballot, but it was hard to fill in our forms without the whips catching a glimpse of where we had marked our crosses,” said one MP. “This was more like Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe than the mother of parliaments.” - Sunday Times

Come on, MPs. Let's see some real action for once. Send Cameron packing, or get a Ukip revival in your Constituency. It's called democracy.

Guardian -

The executive of the 1922 committee is likely to meet tomorrow and decide what to do next but is highly likely to bar ministers from a vote even if that was the intended wish of the high command, precipitating the fiercest battle of wills between the new government and its backbenchers so far.

Another committee source said: "It's like people who are not members of a members' club have come along and said it should change how it runs. They can't, because they are not members."

This is why we voted Conservative, to see MPs who will not act as mere lobby fodder to the executive.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Did Clegg Score With Brown's Women?

Brown had his young female admirers, Cheryl Cole, 'the world's sexiest woman' among them.

Apparently he did!

Look at the MORI age and sex breakdown of voting at the General Election. The striking thing is how many women voted Labour, compared to men in the 25-34 age bracket, with Conservative holding an 18 point majority amongst men, while they had an 11% deficit amongst women.

One commentator on Political Betting said -

Breakdown of marriage and families leads to the state taking the place of the husband. Hence cultural marxists waging war on the traditional family for 50 years as it leads to a dependent female vote.

That may be a little cynical, but there is no doubt an element of truth in the fact that the State favours women and children over men, who yearn for more independence.

The other point about the female vote is that the Lib Dems polled more votes amongst young women than Conservatives, with Clegg holding a majority in the youngest age bracket, level in the next and only a small deficit in the next, putting Clegg on a par with Cameron through the youngest three age brackets on 90 apiece, with Brown leading on 97.

Only older women gave a clear 2-1 majority to Cameron. They were also far more likely to vote than the youngsters as the turn-out figures show.

The question in many peoples' minds is why did Cameron agree to the TV debates in which he must have known that Clegg would score well, particularly with the young ladies. And he did seem to rather pull his punches in the first debate, many felt, almost allowing Clegg to shine to the maximum extent.

The figures tell you the answer.

Clegg does it for the girls, but the over 55s were not so impressed.

Brown's strongest suit is with young women, maybe for financial reasons preferring Labour's social security and support to Cameron's message of self-responsibility.

What a good idea to let Clegg loose on these voters on TV, and deliver a targeted Cleggasm into Brown's strongest sector of support.

With Brown leading with women, this was a shrewd move, and is probably why Brown is no longer in Downing Street, and Clegg and Cameron are. Lord Ashcroft is off the mark suggesting the TV debates were a mistake for Cameron. In a contest in which he stopped Labour by a wafer, this was the master stroke. It's all in the figures!

Cameron The Anti-Authoritarian Authoritarian

Philip Lardner, the sacked candidate from the lovely North Ayrshire And The Isle Of Arran

Cameron and Clegg have a liberty agenda, which includes the ending of the proposed national ID card system, and stopping of the centralising of personal computer files, in amongst other things contained in their coalition manifesto. They are refusing to allow Britain to come under effective EU economic rule,by refusing the Euro as a currency, naturally enough, but also by stating clearly that we will not be part of a Euro bail-out, and even, according to The Hindu, that Cameron will veto an EU bail-out if one is proposed in a New Treaty.

Here are liberty-loving anti-authoritarians you imagine, who will keep our country free, and end the years of Labour's kneejerk authoritarianism.

Yet within the Conservative Party, Cameron, at least is proving very far from anti-authoritarian, taking every opportunity to crush potential threat to his leadership from internal opposition, closing off threats from the 1922 Committee only this week, which allows the Payroll within the Parliamentary Party to block rebellions from the backbenches.

His handling of Constituencies has proved no less forceful, as candidate selection has been carefully controlled to ensure organisation-loyal and less rebellious or self-opinionated types have been elected.

Will the authoritarian within Cameron win, or the anti-authoritarian?

I met him for only twenty minutes at a House Of Commons constituency visit, organised by our MP Owen Paterson. I took away a feeling of a very excited and determined individual, who understood what the game of politics required, but not a person who wanted to crush freedoms.

David Davis will find it impossible to find a weak link, but the existence of Davis waiting in the wings, hoping a liberty agenda will pay off for him ensures Cameron will become the libertarian's libertarian. But there are some worrying signs.

From Roger Helmer today -

And the outrageous treatment of a Conservative candidate:

Philip Lardner is a friend of mine, and was Conservative Candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. He is also, as it happens, the Freedom Association’s point man for Scotland. Yet he was dumped by the Party as its candidate, during the course of the campaign.

His offence, it appears, was to say that while all citizens should have equal rights, he personally, as a Christian teacher, was not prepared to teach homosexuality to the children in his charge. To discipline a man for the simple expression of a conscientious view goes beyond mere political correctness.

It amounts to extraordinary intolerance. It is positively Orwellian thought-policing, and we should be ashamed of it.

In Cameron's Conservative Party, Liberty is 'as defined'. He will not win the affection of his own Party.

Goat Fell on The Isle Of Arran. One of the best views in the world from its peak.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cameron Euro-Wars Begin

The Hindu reports -
David Cameron vows to veto any eurozone bailout treaty
Times Online reports -
David Cameron made clear today he would not accept any attempt to force Britain to come to the aid of the eurozone through a new EU treaty.

I will write later with some details. But this looks like the moment of euro-truth. Chuck some nonsensical environmental stuff over, promising a 30% reduction in carbon output on 1990 levels by 2020 (obviously ludicrous), but when it comes to money, the real business of politics, Cameron says clearly to the EU, 'No Dice'.

No wonder Sarkozy was choking at their joint Press conference. (see previous post)

Now come on UKIP. Let's hear some approving noises, please.

I read it first in a Newsflash from The Hindu. This is the new of the season, so shocking it does not get reported in Britain as it should -

David Cameron has these words for the EU from Britain - 'The Euro Stops Here.'

These are the words again - David Cameron vows to veto any eurozone bailout treaty. Is there a catch? No. A Treaty is a Treaty. That needs unanimity. No mention of a referendum. Just simple NO. Much more satisfactory.

Or is a bail-out possible without a Treaty? As I understand it, Article 122 Bail-outs are not compulsory but are only based on the bailing countries acting in a spirit of solidarity. In other words, Lisbon permits bail-outs in certain circumstances but does not make them enforceable. Enforceability of bail-out participation will involve a new treaty.

I am sure Cameron would not waste his breath, if he wasn't sure of his ground.

This is for real. 'The Euro stops here' David Cameron, Friday 21st May 2010.

It's reported as per on the BBC here. I guess Clegg is on board?

Clegg, where are you?

Sarkozy Shudders At Cameron's Strength

Watching Cameron talking next to Sarkozy yesterday gives an amazing scene. Sarkozy's body language is as awkward as could be imagined. He is swallowing hard in discomfort at every word Cameron utters, and is just desperate to not hear the things Cameron is saying such as, 'we were right not to join the Euro'.

Yet Sarkozy could not find any chink in Cameron's self-assured certainty of delivery, and realised that here was no easy meat like he had had with Gordon Brown. What an incredible difference. The formality and cool professionalism of Cameron contrasts cruelly with the Sarkozy-Brown love-in which was verging on pornographic.

It's only weeks ago, but Sarkozy must now sense that the easy days of getting Britain to sign up to almost anything that Europe wants, which had gone on since Blair grinned his way into Downing Street in 1997, are well and truly over. There will be no more pornographic opportunities to slobber all over this British Prime Minister in public. David Cameron at the helm means business only is required, not unwanted familiarity.

Will the Europeans now let loose the speculators to attack the Pound as they promised they would, in an attempt to bring this unruly and unruffled operator to heel? 'You'll see what we can do,' threatened a French Minister a week ago. I'm not sure Cameron will give even that threat the time of day. That too will be down to business, and let the markets find their level, as he carries his whirlwind leadership on and up.

Strong leadership is what we have in Britain once more. It's been twenty years and we're good and ready. The French though, it seems, are not.

John Redwood advises Cameron what to say to Angela Merkel -

We need a less expensive and less regulating EU to get Europe back on the road to prosperity. The Euro, the EU’s finest achievement to date according to its supporters, is visibly damaging growth and income levels.

The EU which demands spending cuts of its member states should lead the way by cutting its own spending. I am not expecting it to see the problems it creates, as its answer to everything is more European government.

BUT - in fact, the coalition supports raising costs of running industry through the roof -

Open Europe

Meanwhile, the new Government has released the full details of the coalition agreement. However, the sections on Europe contains no new details than those revealed in the initial outline released last week. On the EU's emissions reduction target, the coalition supports increasing it from a cut of 20 percent to 30 percent by 2020, based on 1990 levels. Controversial home information packs (HIPs) have been scrapped, with only the energy performance certificate, a requirement under EU law, surviving the cut.

The bullshit flows as strongly as ever at ground level.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Clegalomania Threatens The Liberatories

This morning's title being promoted by Amazon. The basic story never changes.

It is now possible to get some idea of the current state of the Liberatory coalition from reading around the media, and the prognosis right now is not good.

Stories of nil social contact between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in The Times today don't lend much encouragement, but, in themselves, are hardly fatal. But the effect of Clegg expecting to basically demand compliance with his economic and taxation policies, and the retention of The Human Rights Act, is, on the other hand, likely to keep relationships strained at the top. He is laying down a very hard line as regards policy compliance with the Liberal Democrat viewpoint.

This coalition came about through the results of a single election. It wasn't planned in advance and had to be cobbled together at great speed. The problem for its stability is that another election may not require its continuation. It is in reality, and will no doubt be seen as a temporary fix by all parties, but especially by Clegg.

Clegg already sees great advantage from it. He's been projected from a position of minority to the forefront of power, and can only see gain from hereon. If he acts as a totally equal partner, or even dominant partner, in the coalition, demanding and getting his way, his status can only rise, and that of his Party.

He needs to invest nothing in the relationship for the longterm, and in fact the less cooperative he is with Cameron, the more he will be seen as lionising the left wing's agenda, and the more he can shout off his mouth and make claim in future electoral contests.

Cameron on the other hand can only lose in the short term. The more he concedes to his junior partners in the coalition, the more he will be seen as weak, and the less he can present himself as a strong and reliable leader in any future contest.

That said, he must be pleased to have enough control of power to get some things tidied up, from the point of view of elections, and future voting. The constituencies are rigged heavily in Labour's favour, not to mention postal voting. These all need tidying up if democracy in Britain is to mean anything at all.

The trouble is that he might need to call Clegg's bluff to be able to settle this relationship down. It's no good conceding endlessly to Clegg, as Clegg is, apparently, not too worried about going to the wire on any issue, and bringing the government crashing down would not really bother him, one suspects. But the longer the coalition lasts, the more the advantages that will accrue to Cameron, and the less to Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. At the moment, with the Cleggasm fresh in peoples' minds, and Cameron keen to bed in the coalition, the LDs can play hardball, and get away with it.

Cameron will have to tread a very tricky line. He needs to keep the ship afloat longer, while suspecting that Clegg is just as likely in the game for short term advantage. Clegg nearly achieved a breakthrough in the general election, and he will be looking to see if he can bounce himself from where he's landed into a commanding electoral position at the point when the coalition fails, which it inevitably will. He does not give off the air of someone who's in this for the long haul, it has to be said.

Cameron knows his position is currently weak, and that he too must already be keeping an eye on any future electoral contest. He cannot play games of brinkmanship with the EU, or present Clegg with an ideal reason for a falling out, which he can take on patrol around the country.

If Clegg won't parley, standing firm on an issue is a risk Cameron will, at some point, have to take. It is impossible for Cameron to make a longterm partner out of a shortterm thinker. The scent of more power is in Clegg's nostrils, and he won't allow any advantage to land in Cameron's court if he can help it.

Clegg believes that by playing the EU's stool pigeon, he can outplay Cameron. It's going to be a very tricky patch indeed for Cameron. He needs to play a steady hand, keep the ship level, and wait for Clegg to overplay his hand, or to leave the public underwhelmed, compared to his impossibly perfect sales pitch for power. 'Cleggasm' is inevitably a short term game, and as the weeks slip by, the lack of depth should start to show, and, as the essential arithmetic of EU membership grinds us down, Clegg's EU loyalty will count against him.


German Finance Minister determined to go ahead with financial transaction tax without global agreement or the UK

AFP reports that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is pressing for the EU to go ahead with a tax on financial transactions if an agreement on a global tax cannot be reached.

He told a German parliamentary committee that "If we can get that through on the global level, then good. That would be ideal. If that does not work, then we must look to the European Union." He added, "And if we have a problem with Britain, then I think we should try it with the eurozone." In an interview with the FT, Schäuble said that it is "very likely" that there would be no agreement at the June G20 summit in Canada and "then the debate will take off again to see if it is possible to do it in Europe."

The frontpage of Handelsblatt reports that German Chanchellor Angela Merkel has made a dramatic U-turn on the introduction of the tax. The article notes that as late as Sunday she was still against but yesterday she said "taxation is needed, whether it is a financial activity tax or a financial transaction tax".

Can you imagine how far back this will send investment in Europe? I would immediately set up a company in another location and trade finance from there, as would millions of others. These EU folk are going round the bend, it seems.

Nick Clegg ought to take note, switch sides, and get onto the safe ground, if he wants his meteoric rise to power to continue. Cameron could afford to take a little more risk in that regard too. He might be surprised at how soft the Clegomaniac support of all things EU really is. Why would a power-hungry rat keep sailing on a sinking ship?

Peter Oborne in The Mail sees a different outcome -

The spending cuts which are now inevitable in the months ahead will prove deeply unpopuar and divisive.
Bitter arguments are certain to break out between the coalition partners over where the cuts should fall.
Meanwhile, both Cameron and Clegg are likely to face ever more mutinous party members.
Nevertheless, yesterday’s joint manifesto gets them off to the best possible start.
And the possibility that a new political party – the ‘Liberal Conservatives’ – will emerge from the stunning events of the last two weeks should not be ruled out.

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