Saturday, 7 November 2015

Chaos, confusion and splits show in German government

On Friday afternoon, the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) was instructed by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière that the status of Syrian migrants was to change from full refugee status (initial 3 year right to remain plus right to bring family into Germany) to a subsidiary status which would give them only an initial year with no right to bring their families. 

By early Friday evening the German Federal Government had backtracked, announcing there would be no change in the law. Whilst the Indie only has the early story at time of writing, the Guardian has picked up the later reversal. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, to whom the Interior Ministry confirmed the initial announcement, also picks up on the reversal but offers no explanation as to the seeming chaos at the heart of the German government.  

Hey ho.

Friday, 6 November 2015

'Safe Space', Victor Orban and Guido Fawkes

Yesterday was a reminder to us of the bloodiness of pre-enlightenment differences in belief.

It started with the popes of course. They created in the Catholic church of the day a 'Safe Space' in which the tired old orthodox ideas were safe from challenge; thus Galileo could not challenge the notion of the Sun orbiting the Earth without violating the Safe Space then, any more than he could do so in one of today's universities, those that have banned all novel ideas and any challenge of orthodox dogma on the basis that students may be offended. Galileo would today be banned from speaking at the University of London. It is a matter of some shame that today's students are as restrictive and reactionary as pre-Enlightenment popes but there you are. 

Hungary's Victor Orban spoke yesterday against George Soros and his ilk - the global corporates, supporters of a melding of the entire human race into one homogeneous, featureless mass of workers and consumers without any ties, bonds of loyalty or identity beyond those associated with global corporate branding. Orban spoke passionately about national identity and its importance, and about the anti-democratic illegitimacy of the unelected satraps of Brussels, the puppets of Soros and the boys, and against their tactic of using uncontrolled mass immigration to Europe to destroy our final and stubborn nationalism. It was a fine speech, and would certainly earn him a ban from the Safe Space.

Amongst the global corporates is of course Time Warner, the company that earns a royalty from every Guido mask sold in the UK, as a correspondent pointed out yesterday. The 5,000 mask march in London yesterday will not have earned TW an eye-watering amount, but no doubt the astonishment of many the anti-austerity, pro-open borders rioters at their financial and policy support of the global firm and of Soros and his ilk will give them need of rest and recuperation in their Safe Space against the notion that their heads are full of bollocks. They are actually protesting in favour of everything the global corporates want.

It does though speak of a certain lack of originality that the 'V' masks have been adopted both by the street anarchist urchins and scions of rock-Gods and our notable far-right bloggers and angry groups. Perhaps they all belong together in the Safe Space.  

Thursday, 5 November 2015

3m more EU migrants in 2016? Count the UK O U T

Even the BBC is finding it hard to spin this one; what the website is saying, in an item hidden well down the page under news of Burgess leaving Bath, is "EU expects 3m migrants by 2017" 

The news is sneaked out in a Commission Autumn economic forecast - which adds speciously that the increase in migrants is expected to boost GDP in the host nations by up to 0.5%

Of course high levels of migration will always increase national GDP in the short term - but as the UK has found, if the balance is towards unskilled economic migrants who are tax sponges rather than tax contributors, the net result is a decrease in per capita GDP. You won't find the EU commission warning Germans that overall they'll all be poorer in 2017, but that's the truth of it. 

Frankly, if there were one document more wounding to the UK 'stay' campaign, it is this. Eastern Europe has also had enough, and attempts by the EU commission to persuade Austria, Slovenia, Italy and Hungary to welcome 3m economic migrants next year is away in the realms of fantasy. It simply won't happen. It's enough to dethrone Merkel and cause chaos in the EU. 

And one thing is for sure; they can count the United Kingdom O U T. 

Sorry, but my advice to Russia is simple

Many years ago in the Lebanon, before 1989 anyway, when Beirut was beset with kidnappings and hostage-taking of foreigners as part of the seemingly interminable civil war, even diplomats were vulnerable. One day a Russian embassy official was kidnapped. By the end of the week he was dead, but so were his kidnappers - their bodies found with their amputated genitals stuffed into their mouths. It was commented at the time that this was the work of the Spetznaz. And that Russia never again suffered a kidnap attempt in the Lebanon. 

As it seems increasingly likely that ISIS put a bomb aboard the Russian jet, my advice to Russia is unequivocal; kill ten Islamists for every Russian who died on that flight. Use thermobaric weapons in Syria to bomb the bastards back to pre-Islam without harming the archaeology if you like. But make sure ISIS gives you 2,240 corpses before you bury the last of your people. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Merkel admits she may have just caused a second Balkans war

In an extraordinary speech, Merkel admitted yesterday that any attempt to reverse her open invitation to the economic migrants of the world to come to Germany may cause another war in the Balkans. Since not only Bavaria but Hungary, Austria and Slovenia are set to fence their borders before 2016 to stem the flood of migrants, Merkel's admission is a frank and honest acceptance of her personal blame for causing an imminent second Balkans war. The question is, is it now too late to avert it?

Economic migrants on our Sovereign base in Cyprus, meanwhile, who imagined they could blackmail the UK into giving them fast-track entry into Britain, threw a juvenile temper tantrum and burned their tents yesterday as the UK authorities stood firm on their real choices - claiming asylum in Cyprus, or the UK returning them to the Lebanon. One even pretended to hang himself yesterday - but carefully in front of cameras. The migrants are however suffering from a shortage of crying babies to wave at news crews, and have appealed for donations. 

The UNHCR are reported to have responded to a wave of criticism over mismanagement and squandering funds by headhunting a New York PR firm to 're image' the organisation; the contract could include a multi-million pound TV ad campaign together with celebrity endorsements for the embattled Agency's senior managers.

Merkel is also beginning to realise that with France's precipitous economic decline into a Euro cripple, only Germany and the UK are rich enough to subsidise the rest of Europe - and if we leave, Germany will have to pick up the tab alone. Given the scores of billions at stake, expect a covert onslaught of secretly funded publicity from Berlin for the 'stay' campaign - and explicit support for Cameron from Merkel, for as long as she remains in power. 

Autumn is set to stay interesting ...

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Rotten Heart of the UNHCR

Back in the '70s and '80s when the UNHCR was properly managed by logistics people who were focused on the tasks at hand, the agency was effective at rapidly deploying vast functioning refugee camps complete with standpipes, drainage ditches, sewerage, medical tents and Sawyer stoves at the drop of a hat. Within 72 hours of a flood of displaced persons arising somewhere, the UNHCR was on the spot with tents and fresh water. 

Since then of course it has become absolutely rotten, corrupt and ineffective. Recently, instead of building refugee camps in Greece and Italy, its junior staff whine to news reporters about the shortcomings of democratically elected governments such as that of the Republic of Hungary whilst they watch thousands of untended migrants walk past their own air conditioned hotel rooms. 

Small wonder then that R4's File on Four has found evidence of the most shocking waste and financial incompetence amongst the UN agencies; the UNHCR, instead of deploying tents, spends £7m a year of its budget on its own Press Office, and half the remainder on its own petty officials and bureaucrats. Waste, corruption, fraud and lack of transparency and proper accounting amongst the UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF are endemic, and the UK and other donor nations are being denied any proper accounting for the hundreds of millions poured into these bodies. 

It's time we either cleared out the top three or four management layers of this Augean stables and put in place the sort of effective logicians we had in the past, or time we ceased funding the whole rotten, unaccountable, shoddy pile of corruption altogether.

Airport security & Frau Merkel

There is a small international east European airport I know well, of the sort with a sparse gather of Ryan Air, easyjet and GermanWings A320s on the tarmac and a single contiguous terminal building. The security area has two lines, one of which works. 

To be fair, they only use the line with the non-working scanner when, say, three flights are scheduled for the same hour. And they've turned the sensitivity up on the detector arch to compensate, so that anyone with a full load of haemoglobin in their red blood cells will set it off. But watching them pretending to look at the blank screen of the inoperative scanner when carefully assembled trays of cabin bags, laptops, belts, coats and little plastic bags of toothpaste pass down a conveyor belt and straight through the useless box does make you wonder. And in particular it makes me wonder if they make any effort at all to scan the hold luggage, hidden from view. Or whether they check all bags and packages brought airside by their own staff.

As is the way with such things, when an international airport security inspection is scheduled, working scanners and additional staff are no doubt shipped in from the capital and everyone obeys the rules for a day.

Frau Merkel's people
===============
Der Spiegel carries a comprehensive piece on the domestic damage to Frau Merkel  from the migrant crisis. The conclusion seems to be that she has been holed below the waterline and has a 10deg list which has stabilised, and that engines and pumps are holding. With careful handling and some dock time she can be saved; she is safe from sinking unless something catastrophic happens. 

I'd be tempted to continue the Tirpitz analogy except I'm not sure whether having her in place if we vote to Leave will be a good thing or a bad thing. What seems clear, as I predicted previously, is that Germany is now full and she can do little herself to keep the borders open into 2016, putative Nobel gong or not. Which means that very shortly several tens of thousands of Afghan economic migrants who have started their journey are going to be piling up somewhere. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Cameron's deal is simply not enough

On the one hand we have a European Federal State, headed towards economic, financial and political union, with its own foreign ministry, embassies, armed forces, in which national parliaments will continue only as bodies as vital as the Minnesota State Legislature, which has its own House and Senate, passes Bills and runs a select committee 'commission' system. Every US state still has some sort of rump parliament, and they still exercise some sort of control over matters such as tax credits, child protection and the State Lottery. On the other hand we have the United Kingdom, with a people antipathetic to foreign control and with all the instincts towards secession of antebellum Baton Rouge. 

As Simon Heffer writes, back in his proper place at the Telegraph, open borders and freedom of movement without discrimination, let or hindrance are absolutely fundamental for the European Superstate whereas we want to allow in the young French professionals who are making London so attractive whilst excluding unemployable elderly Romanian peasants with chronic health conditions who drain our resources so deeply. Currently we can't choose. It's not an issue on which it's possible for the EU to compromise. Dave can't have it on his list.

The Fear campaign will portray the post-secession UK border controls with terror. In reality, with so many Brits in Europe and so many useful, welcome and life enhancing Europeans in the UK, changes will be slow and incremental. There will be no mass forced deportations of 600,000 Poles from England or 500,000 Brits from France. And I suspect that for many Brits who previously regarded the hard-working, Christian Poles with disfavour, dislike may turn to love at the prospect of half a million Afghans, Pakistanis, Kosovans, Albanians and Syrians, not one of whom knows how to use toilet paper, replacing them. 

For me, it's control of our borders, exclusive rights over our fish and implementation of the 200 mile exclusive economic zone limits, our own armed forces, foreign and defence policies, our own embassies across the world and a Parliament that is something more than an obscure State Legislature. And all of those things Dave cannot deliver - the EU cannot concede.

So we must leave, and continue to build our strong bonds of trade, travel, friendship and common interests with all our European partners outside of the Federal Superstate. And yes, of course we can do it.