Monthly Archives: December 2013

EU legislation watch: european defence technological and industrial base (Vote 21/11/2013)

This is my first post regarding european union legislation. I hope to post about more EU laws being passed that are not covered by the main press in the UK on this blog.

The first I have chosen is the european defence technological and industrial base. Here are the important points about the proposed legislation:

  • A strong European defence technological and industrial base (EDTIB), constituting a key element for Europe’s capacity to ensure the security of its citizens, protect its values and promote its interests.
  • Calls on the European Council to launch the development of a European capabilities and armaments policy (ECAP)
  • It regrets the fact that, while a certain level of concentration has been achieved in the European aerospace industries, the land and naval equipment sectors are still overwhelmingly fragmented along national lines
  • Make the coordination of national defence planning processes at EU level a reality
  • Harmonised equipment acquisition among Member States
  • To create employment in defence industry accross the EU

This is how MEPs voted:

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What can we take from this? The new european army is on its way folks. The text in red signifies the fact that the EU will use this army to protect its own values and to promote them too, one wonders how this will all end up!

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Is Ukraine an example of the tyranny of the status quo?

There have been many protests recently in Ukraine because the public want to live in a democratic country, free from Russia’s grip. Yet what they are calling for, is closer ties with the undemocratic EU. Am I missing something here?

Why can’t the people call for an independent Ukraine, who can be competitive and trade with the rest of the world, instead of transferring their powers from Russia to the EU? Surely after everything the country has been through, this is their best option. 

As Milton Friedman once coined: The tyranny of the status quo. Ukraine has become unsettled with russia, but don’t want to suffer too much change, so instead they want to go with something they’re used to, being governed by a foreign body, the EU.

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At least no one has to vote for me

One wonders, how a politician who has never been voted for in her entire career, landed the role of the head of the European External Action Service. Catherine Ashton.

She is in the news again today because her service costs £420m annually. The EEAS was set up because of the new powers the Lisbon Treaty granted the EU. The purpose of this organisation is to bribe foreign countries and leaders to do as the EU says and to merge all of the european state armies into one massive army.

The EEAS has 3,417 staff and 500 of those earn more than the British Prime Minister David Cameron. Additionally, the majority of the employees only pay 15% tax on their salaries.

To add to the waste, it has emerged that the EEAS has spent £130k on teaching children cricket, and £1m on wind turbines and biofuel plants which have not been built.

Catherine Ashton has done remarkable well for herself ever since she passed the Lisbon Treaty through the UK house of lords without a referendum. Hmmmmmm………

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A nationalist view of the EU

The word nationalist is often thrown about when a europhile argues against those who oppose political union in europe. In fact, when the french, dutch and irish had referendums and all rejected the lisbon treaty, some MEP’s called the results nationalist, as to mean being nationalist is something bad!

A nationalist is someone who believes in democracy, who believes in one-man-one-vote and believes that government should be carried out by and for the people. However, he also raises the question: what people?

Representative government works best within a population whose members feel enough in common with one another to accept government from each other’s hands. After all, a policy functions best when there is a shared identity.

The unelected president of the European Commission, Jose Barroso, has argued that nation states are dangerous precisely because they are excessively democratic:

Governments are not always right. If governments were always right we would not have the situation that we have today. Decisions taken by the most democratic institutions in the world are very often wrong.

The EU now treats public opinion as an obsticle to be overcome rather than a reason to change direction.

Marxists used to contend that, if only the workers were in full possession of the facts, and free rationally to advance their own interests, they would vote for socialist parties, but in practice they were led astray by bourgeois interests. It was therefore necessary for good communists to act in the real interests of the majority.

This is the same argument the eurocrats support. Because they think people are unable to make an unclouded decision, eurocrats are entitled to disregard their desires in pursuit of their own preferences.

Even Tony Blair thought this: 

The British people are sensible enough to know that, even if they have a certain prejudice about Europe, they don’t expect their government necessarily to share or act upon it.

And finally, the EU has so much power, that to save the dwindling euro currency in 2011, it effectively halted democracy in italy and greece ‘for their own good’ through brussels appointed apparatchiks.

A nationalist, is someone who wants what is best for his country, through democracy. Not someone who thinks they know what is right for everyone.

The fact is, if the EU were a country applying to join itself, it would be rejected on the grounds of being insufficiently democratic by its own rules. 

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ps. please read Dan Hannan’s book:

A Doomed Marriage: Britain and Europe

The faux-conservatives and the squishy tory-liberal coalition

Now I know I like to cite Dan Mitchell from the CATO institute a bit too much. But he has correctly pointed out that the UK is a good model for showing how the laffer curve works.

A funny thing often happens on the way to soaking the rich: They don’t stick around for the bath. Take Britain, where Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs service reports that the number of taxpayers declaring £1 million a year in income fell by more than 60% in fiscal 2010-2011 from the year before. That was the year that millionaires became liable for the 50% income-tax rate that Gordon Brown’s government introduced in its final days in 2010, up from the previous 40% rate. So, the total number of millionaire tax filers plunged to 6,000 in 2010-2011, from 16,000 in 2009-2010. The new tax was meant to raise about £2.5 billion more revenue. So much for that. In 2009-2010 British millionaires contributed about £13.4 billion to the public coffers, or just under 9% of the total tax liability of all taxpayers that year. At the 50% rate, the shrunken pool yielded £6.5 billion, or about 4.4%.

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He also points out the three main points which explain why the laffer curve works:

  • When tax rates increase, sometimes people engage in tax avoidance, lowering their tax liabilities legally.
  • When tax rates change, sometimes people choose to alter their levels of work, saving, and investment.
  • And when tax rates go up, sometimes people resort to illegal steps to protect themselves from the tax authority.

Finally, I love how he refers to the current government as the squishy Tory-Liberal coalition. I now like to call the tory party the faux-conservatives. They could go much further with their tax cuts and reducing the burden of government but they seem to have lost their backbone.

Some Lisbon treaty goodness

The Lisbon Treaty is probably the most powerful bit of legislation that resides in europe. In an earlier post on this blog, I explained that the single worst thing about the european union is the fact it can bend or ignore its own rules at any time. The Lisbon treaty is another example of the bending of rules and ignoring of democracy by the EU.

The treaty was rejected by the netherlands, france, and ireland. But somehow the EU got away with rigging the irish vote so they eventually said yes and then passed the treaty without any other referendums in nation states.

Anyway, here are some cartoons for you to enjoy:

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And to finish off, Nigel Farage speaking about it in europarl:

A tribute to Michael Ramirez cartoons

Here are some of my favourites:

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My favourite alternative flag if Scotland were to leave the UK

My favourite alternative flag if Scotland were to leave the UK

I know Scotland are more likely to stay as part of the UK than to leave, but I have always believed that the devolution of power and state is a good thing.

I spotted this flag on the BBC website today. I love the inclusion of black and yellow. Particularly because you can believe that the black is from the cornish flag (which is by far the best county in England).

Those public sector workers…coming here, taking our jobs and our money

This is an example of how public sector workers are generally better off in the UK due to wasteful government spending.

A recent report has concluded:

A private sector employee working full time on around the median hourly wage, would be around £1,400 a year worse off than their equivalents in the public sector. In parts of the country where premiums are highest this rises to as much as £3,200 a year.

 

This premium exists even before the substantially more generous public sector pensions arrangements and other factors are added to the analysis.

With a humongous healthcare expenditure in the UK, the pay differences between the private and public sector employees hurt all taxpayers.

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With government spending increasing year on year, how can we seriously expect to get to grips with our debt?

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The golden rules

Dan Mitchell has come up with simple but effective rules which should be adhered to by every single nation on this planet.

Firstly, his golden rule:

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Good fiscal policy exists when the private sector grows faster than the public sector, while fiscal ruin is inevitable if government spending grows faster than the productive part of the economy.

Secondly, Mitchell’s law:

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This term, which I am modestly calling Mitchell’s Law, describes what happens when government intervention (Fannie and Freddie, for example, or Medicare and Medicaid) causes problems in a particular market (a housing bubble or a third-party payer crisis), which leads the politicians to impose more misguided intervention (bailouts or Obamacare).

The United Kingdom is no longer a democracy

The United Kingdom is no longer a democracy.

What is the definition of a democracy? I don’t normally cite wikipedia but I thought their definition was apt: 

Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.

Political self-determination. Such an elegant way of saying that the people of the country should determine their own destiny. 

So what if I told you that the UK is no longer a democracy. That it instead transfers the majority of its powers to Brussels (EU). You would probably argue that I am wrong because even though EU law overrides a vast number of UK laws, we do elect MEP’s who are our representatives.

What is the most important role of democracy? It is the ability for the people to remove any representative in power who they don’t agree with as a majority. The fact that not one single taxpaying citizen in the UK can remove any of the european commssion members is why we no longer live in a democracy. We have no control over the rule makers.

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Capitalism

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1billion people have been taken out of poverty in the last 20years.

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Brace yourself…obama says minimum wage increase will create jobs

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I do like to take the mickey out of obama on this blog, but this really is taking the mickey! How does he expect business to create jobs from a minimum wage hike! Is he really that deluded.

This is what he tweeted earlier today:

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It may raise GDP slightly but it certainly will not create more jobs.

Zero hedge has asked: ‘why not raise the minimum wage to $100?’ Surely by obama’s logic, this will create even more jobs.

 

The NHS has been making money, who knew!

The NHS is a taboo subject in the UK, even the most brave MP does not dare speak against it.

I saw a funny tweet earlier today from a labour party supporter:

The big tory lie: ‘We cant afford the NHS’. It has been in surplus for the past 5years and the treasury has clawed back £5bn

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What the left don’t realise is the fact that the NHS making a profit is good news for the UK taxpayer. It is also good because that money can be used to reduce government debt.

I know this may be an unpopular view, but I think the UK could benefit from a private health service if it was part of a true free market. Also obamacare is a disaster before it has even started!

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One big problem

UK debt reached £1,377bn in Q1 2013. Just think about that number for a second. Actually, its difficult to imagine a number like this in our heads because it is simply too large to compute. With debt forecast to reach 99% GDP by 2014, when will labour, conservatives and liberal democrats admit that government spending has not been cut by enough.

Here is UK debt in euros:

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As you can see we are catching up with France and Germany on total debt. What about debt as a percentage of GDP?

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As you can see our debt is spiraling out of control like it is for many of the eurozone countries.

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