Saturday, 1 March 2014

EU's stupidity could bring civil war to its borders

In a silly puff piece for the Tories in the Speccy, by a scribe I didn't bother to identify, it's claimed as a British triumph the we persuaded the EU to develop 'wider' rather than 'deeper', i.e. to expand membership rather than consolidate integration. This is patently nonsensical; it's in the EU's genes to do both, and any expectation that one will exclude the other is naive to say the least. There are no limits to the arrogance, stupidity and hubris of Brussels when it comes to increasing its power.

The EU bought Ukraine an engagement ring, spoke to the vicar about booking the church and even started help look through the wedding dress catalogues, deaf to the warnings and opposition of the bride's father. He'll come around, they wheedled, just give him time. The EU led them right up the aisle - hoping a cheap brass curtain ring would pass for a wedding band with some sort of 'associate' status. And hoping the bride's father would continue to feed, clothe and house her at considerable expense all the while. 

Brussels can hardly claim to be surprised at events now occurring in the Ukraine. Events that may rapidly degenerate into a vicious civil war right on the EU's eastern border. Preventing this will take the UN, the United States, the IMF and all the efforts of Europe's sovereign States and their experienced foreign ministries. All to remedy the power-hunger and imbecility of the EU's unelected officials. To secure Europe's peace and security, the power of the antidemocratic Commission must be broken; if we don't, the EU remains the greatest threat to peace in Europe.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Merkel & Immigrants drive more voters to UKIP?

Yesterday was not a good one for Cameron. On top of the immigrant stats, which showed a substantial rise in EU immigration, came Angela proclaiming that Dave's Big Idea of renegotiating the UK's place in Europe was a no-go. Undoubtedly there will be voters who despite the evidence were prepared to give Cameron the benefit of superior knowledge - that he must have better advice than bloggers and pundits - whose support Merkel has just brought down in flames. Very well, they will reason, if it's really in or out then I'll go with UKIP - I least I know they won't lie about a quick referendum.

Events in Ukraine can also do nothing but highlight the EU's failures and inadequacies, and if Miliband seeks to stem the slow bleed of Labour supporters to UKIP by backing a referendum it won't be Cameron's referendum. All in all, this is news beyond the government's powers of news management; there is nothing I can see on the horizon that could boost Cameron's position on Europe with the voters. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sickening hypocrisy of the Guardian

The Guardian's hypocrisy over Harman and 'Big Black Cocks' Dromey's place as part of a team of fewer than a dozen running NCCL at a time when it was affiliated with a paedo 'rights' organisation is quite sickening. Zoe Williams writes this morning:
It was a turbulent era, when the taboos were not the same. The rights of children and adults, charges and guardians, were pitted against one another, and the whole thing hinged on defining that exact moment of transition, from minor to major. Inevitably, there were views in this debate that we now see as wrong, deluded and unpleasant. Most people saw them that way at the time. PIE were never more than a bizarre blip on the civil liberties landscape. Likewise, positions taken in debates today will, in the future, seem sinister and indefensible.
That's right, Zoe; so now will we see the Guardian advancing the 'Harman defence' on behalf of Dave Lee Travis, William Roache, Rolf Harris et al? No? Thought not.  

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Is Catherine Ashton completely mad?

I just can't believe what I'm reading in the Telegraph - that an unelected EU official of unparalleled stupidity has presumed to commit the EU to one particular potential candidate in the presidential elections of a foreign nation. As an act of diplomatic crassness this can have no equal; has no one ever explained to Ashton that it's never, never done to openly support one candidate or party in another country's democratic process?

Dear God, the women must be off her head - what does she imagine she's doing? Is she deliberately trying to undo all the hard work others have put into stressing that the West must give room to an inclusive solution in Ukraine, one that takes Russian interests into consideration?

Tymoshenko is a woman of immense wealth with no cogent explanation of how it was lawfully acquired - she is no different from the others of the Ukranian oligarchy who through fraud, corruption and political manipulation have amassed huge fortunes at the expense of the Ukranian people. She has declined to put her hat in the ring for the PM's job but hasn't ruled herself out for the Presidential top spot, even though the old 2004 constitution denies the President many of the powers wielded by Yanokovych.

There is no great groundswell of enthusiasm in Ukraine for Tymoshenko's candidacy; many want rid of her and her entire corrupt class. Yet it seems Ashton, a crass amateur playing at international diplomacy, is to commit the EU behind her. Unbelievable. Why that pig-headedly stupid undemocratic unelected failure of an EU placeman can't leave things to the experienced foreign ministries of old European states with centuries of experience at such matters is inexplicable. 

Update 16.40
============
The Telegraph have now pulled the piece reporting that Ashton gave the EU's full backing to Tymoshenko .... curiouser and curiouser

H/T Witterings from Witney

Hat Tip to Witterings from Witney and This Link

Neuberger LJ's text (via Edward Spalton, whose comments frequently add to the quality of debate on this blog) is a model of clear, concentrated, waffle-free legal reasoning and I commend it to you. Comments please on WfW's blog rather than here. 

"We're cutting your bonus, Hargreaves"

"Ah, Hargreaves, do sit down. I'll come straight to the point; the EU bonus cap on our banking sector means we can no longer pay you the usual £3m bonus on top of your £0.5m salary. We're having to cut your bonus back to the bone, I'm afraid.

However, in order to maintain productivity incentives, we're also moving you onto a new annually appraised fixed salary. Your salary for next year will go from £0.5m to £3.2m. We'll fix it again at the end of the year for another year depending on how you've done. 

I realise this will be quite a financial blow, but we must comply with regulation. That's all, Hargreaves."

Monday, 24 February 2014

Roundup

No polemic this morning, just links to three stories that have caught my eye.

Head of Ukraine's central bank flees to Vienna reports Kronen Zeitung, something yet to be picked up by the UK press. Krone reports how members of the corrupt Ukranian mafia have acquired kitsch villas in Vienna's bling belt and are arriving by private jet to escape the chaos - presumably with suitcases stuffed with 500 Euro notes.

The Indie expands on the anti-semitism of the right wing groups forming the hard core of the Ukranian opposition; one gang leader had vowed to fight “Communists, Jews and Russians”, another claimed that a “Muscovite-Jewish Mafia” was destabilising the country, and another gang that had taken knives to opponents was named "Oplot" after the country's main battle tank. Not an attractive bunch. 

Viviane Reding, an unelected EU official, continued her self-promotional tour of Europe in Barcelona, where she faced questions on Catalun separatism. Unlike Barosso's comments on the Marr programme, Reding retreated behind the same mantra she used in London on the Scots referendum - that this was a matter of national competence for Spain.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Don't be fooled by Ukraine

With no apologies for another post on Ukraine - a large country just three hours away by aircraft. Times and technology have changed beyond understanding the distance to eastern Europe as Chamberlain saw it. And contrary to expectations, it's the Mail that carries the most prominent narrative counter to the fairy-tale being told by the BBC.

Wicked, cruel and corrupt President outed by righteous populace and beautiful princess rescued from prison; democracy reigns, prosperity arrives, the Sun shines and all the people are happy runs the myth. The truth is rather more grey, much murkier and full of those inconvenient moral dichotomies that intrude into real life. Yulia Tymoshenko is is no Madonna; Viktor Yushchenko felt so betrayed by her that he was the star witness in her conviction for corruption. Rather than uniting the opposition, she is more likely to divide it. And the opposition itself is united only in its hatred of Russia. They don't love the West any more than they loved Himmler's SS - but as with their enthusiastic alliance with the Third Reich, they value us as allies to achieve their own ends. As Mark Almond writes in the Mail "Many Ukrainians want to join the EU and Nato – not for reconciliation but to recruit allies against their old enemy". 

Later this year the BBC will show Unsere Mütter Unsere Väter, retitled as Generation War. The anti-semitism that led many Ukrainians to become Nazi Germany's most willing Auxillary Police and Extermination Camp guards has not gone from many of the most extreme - read loudest and best armed - members of the opposition on the Maidan. Unlike Polish protests about Polish anti-semitism in the series, I have heard none from the Ukraine about the way they are depicted - as in the scene in which the AP round up a Jewish family for the camps. 

I've no doubt that there are many people of sense and goodwill in the Ukraine - academics, merchants, doctors, scientists - whose desire for an open Ukraine at the junction of east and west is sincere. However, the lesson from every revolution every time is that such people are trampled in the rush of the fanatics, the militants and the zealots to take control. 

European states must work closely with Russia in securing a peaceful and prosperous future for Ukraine. This will not satisfy the hatred that still seeks revenge for Stalin's Holodomor, but they will have to pick the bones out of it.

Scene from Generation War as Jewish child is captured