Saturday, 23 September 2017

Florence speech verdict; steady as she goes

Reactions to Theresa May's Florence speech are predictable. Nigel Farage and Guy Verhofstadt have both slated it, politicians have created varieties of weasel words of semi-approval but the majority in the middle asked of the much-hyped landmark "was that it?"

The avoidance of a cliff-edge and extending our leave date until the end of the current EU budget cycle both make some sense. However, what I was looking for were Mrs May's words on what is to me a critically important part of leaving; re-establishing the supremacy of UK courts. What she said is this:
I am clear that the guarantee I am giving on your rights is real. And I doubt anyone with real experience of the UK would doubt the independence of our courts or of the rigour with which they will uphold people’s legal rights

But I know there are concerns that over time the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens overseas will diverge. I want to incorporate our agreement fully into UK law and make sure the UK courts can refer directly to it.

Where there is uncertainty around underlying EU law, I want the UK courts to be able to take into account the judgments of the European Court of Justice with a view to ensuring consistent interpretation. On this basis, I hope our teams can reach firm agreement quickly.
In other words, after Brexit the UK supreme court will revert to being fully independent and the judgements of the ECJ will have just the same comparative weight as those from the common law jurisdictions of the Commonwealth and the US, which have long been considered by our supreme court. In fact, the UK has always been more open to the use of comparative law than any of the Code Napoleon nations of the EU. It is therefore the EU that risks isolation from evolving international standards, through a rigid belief in its own politicised court, and not the UK. 

In the field of human rights in particular there has been an international convergence between first-world jurisdictions, and human rights cases in the UK have frequently been argued using foreign case-law; a report for the US congress in 2010 quoted the decline of the US supreme court in leading international law and praised the UK, and the then leadership in the Lords of the UK's supreme tribunal;
The House of Lords has, where relevant, used decisions from foreign courts in these cases to compare how the rights have been interpreted. This applies for not only the European Convention on Human Rights, but also for a number of other international treaties. For example, in A v. Secretary of State, foreign cases were used throughout the opinions of the Law Lords, which was considering the use of evidence that may have been obtained by torture. It noted how the Torture Convention had been implemented into the law of France, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States. During this case, numerous foreign decisions were referred to—three from the Supreme Court of the United States, twelve from the Supreme Courts of six other countries, and others from international courts and tribunals. Some commentators have noted that the use of so many foreign cases was a “conscious attempt to put the practice of the UK within a global context and to upgrade the common law to modern international standards.” In fact, the approach of Lord Bingham was highly commended by an article in the Law Society Gazette, which provided:
Lord Bingham has performed brilliantly in the job for which he was specifically selected in defiance of the principle of “buggin’s turn”, which would have given it to another. He has stitched the Human Rights Act into the fabric of our domestic law and, in doing so, aligned our jurisprudence with that of an emerging global approach. The breadth of the approach of the House of Lords under his leadership throws into stark relief the decline of its US equivalent … this was a conscious attempt to put the practice of the UK within a global context and to upgrade the common law to modern international standards.
That puts the politicised 'court' of the ECJ in its place, I think. Brexit means our courts will again be free to develop law in line with humankind's continuing social evolution, using the wisdom of the US supreme court and of our Commonwealth cousins, unconstrained by the narrow and primitive world-view of the parochial and somewhat corrupt ECJ.  

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Yvette Cooper and Lily Allen

In the wake of the tube bomber suspect and his chum both having been child migrants lodged in UK homes, I'm wondering how those saintly, selfless givers Yvette Cooper and Lily Allen. who both undertook to house migrant children in their own capacious homes (in Yvette's case more than one) are getting on?

Oh. They didn't actually house any migrants, did they? That was left to ordinary folk, many elderly, whilst our gobby heroines just reaped the kudos.  

 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Why Boris' £350m a week is about right

It's extraordinary that folk who can't read a P&L a/c or balance sheet are suddenly experts in accounting, but the media is full of remoaners who are striving to shoot down the figure, referenced by Boris Johnson in his post-Brexit vision paper.

Amongst the remoaners is some bloke who says he is head of statistics. I've read his silly letter - which has been shot down by Boris. His basic error was in answering the claims made during the referendum rather than what Boris had written, and not actually reading what Boris had written before writing his own fatuous missive. The rebuttal from the Orwellian BBC Department of Truth shows that in fact the EU is paying the UK £50m a week, and that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden. 

Folks, for the truth go to the EU budget pages. Not what the BBC or the remoaner statistics manager thinks the figure should be, but the actual EU official figures. 

For anyone who works for the BBC, let me explain. Our gross contribution, before the rebate, is £24,337.2m€. We get a 6m€ rebate which brings the contribution down to a net 18,209.4m€ a year, or €350m a week. 

We also collect €4.27bn a year in VAT and duty for goods landing in the UK but passing through to elsewhere in the EU. You could argue that some of this would remain after Brexit and that this should be added to the €18bn. 

Either way, what Boris actually claimed about the £350m a week was broadly true - the figure was close, and yes, we will regain control of how it's spent.

Friday, 15 September 2017

OECD's grip on £13bn of UK tax must be severed at the wrist

Following the post below on the £13bn a year DFID budget, it has become clear that Priti Patel can't use any of that money for Irma relief however much she wants to - because the OECD forbids it. She can throw as much of it as she wishes at nepotistic and corrupt UN agencies run by third world spivs and crooks, at risibly crooked development schemes from North Korea to Pakistan, but can't spend even a fiver on fuel oil for the old Andrew's warships to task to the disaster zone.  

The £13bn DFID budget is fully one-third of the UK's defence budget, but we can't spend it to help our overseas territories because of the petulant edicts of a bunch of shiny-arsed globalists. 

There can be only one response to that. Transfer 40% of the DFID budget immediately to the MoD and another 40% to the FCO. The OECD can pick the bones out of the remaining 20% until it fades away. 

The United Kingdom will NOT be dictated to in this manner.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

'EU is not a benign force' says Herr Juncker

In an extraordinary speech yesterday in which he admitted the full anti-democratic malignancy of the EU Empire, Herr Juncker, the Federation's senior unelected official, finally put paid to the hopes of UK Remainers. As Nigel Farage in the Telegraph points out, after yesterday, there is simply no-way now that the UK 'Remain' bloc could ever win another referendum. In a series of coming power-grabs that emasculate Europe's nation-states and disenfranchise a population of over 400 million, Herr Juncker set out his plans -
  • A single, unelected, Federation President, with full powers
  • A standing Federation army
  • Full Federation tax and fiscal control over the 27 satrap states
  • Federation alone to determine foreign policy
  • Funding block on all anti-EU parties, but generous funding for Federations own 'tame' parties
  • EU immigration policy compulsory for all members
  • Euro made compulsory - robbing nation states of the last vestige of independence
British politicians who claimed during last year's referendum campaign that warnings of these EU ambitions were 'fantasy' are now left looking very foolish, and Soros-funded shills and Brexit saboteurs now stand revealed as the anti-democratic agents of a most malign and dangerous totalitarian force. 

Whether Europe's people will acquiesce in their own disenfranchisement and the destruction of their nation-states is another matter. But the UK will now never regret making the decision to leave.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Blair excoriated in withering dismissal

For those of you who have not yet read Matthew Norman's shredding of Bloody Blair in the Indie, I urge you to create a quality ten minutes with the tipple of your choice and savour the flaying of any shred of political credibility from Blair's permatanned hide. Turn away now to avoid a brief extract, as they say ...
For most of the past year, he has been attempting to use the issue of Brexit and the resentments it has unleashed as the catalyst for the formation of a new centrist political party, which he could control from offstage. Any doubt about that was removed by the movement of his lips when he denied it to Marr.

The glib vagaries that served him superbly in the mid-nineties boom times – the cultivated vagueness evident from his vacuous witterings about conjuring up some magically EU-friendly immigration constraints – are out of vogue. Theresa May could have told him this, but there is no appetite for bland reassurance and vapid rhetoric when people in full-time work cannot afford to feed their children, let alone to buy or rent a decent home.

If Blair is a kind of tragicomic Napoleon gazing across the sea from Elba, he is no longer a good general. He isn’t even the bad general of cliché. He isn’t fighting the last war. He isn’t fighting the war before that. He is fighting no war at all outside his own narcissistic head. The war he is fighting is the one against his own irrelevance, and that was lost a long time ago.
Exquisite. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A good time to stop wasting 0.7% of UK GDP

If you're a UK taxpayer, don't bother donating to the British Red Cross for the relief of Hurricane Irma. You're already giving. About £13bn a year of tax. Not all to the Red Cross of course - they get only a fraction of this. The bulk of it goes to teaching Ethiopian nomads how to play electric guitar, setting up pedicure shops in Sudan and sending top British hat-designers to Basutoland to show the natives how to fashion Crêpe De Chine and ostrich feathers into women's headgear. In other words, the bulk of this money is wasted on hopeless schemes that don't develop anything by one iota. 

However, it's the use of this money to fund disaster relief that interests us. It seems the Foreign Secretary, the man tasked with organising aid and relief to Brit islands in the Hurricane path, doesn't have a budget worth talking about for this sort of thing. However, some 17% - some £2.2bn annually - of the IDF is earmarked for this very purpose. DFID - independent of the FCO since Blair, and its current SoS Priti Patel  - is in charge of the purse strings. 

Oh good, you may think, the government already has a pot to pay for tents, water, C130s, medical teams, hospital ships and the panoply of disaster relief. How reassuring. Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. You see, that £2.2bn mainly goes to UN organisations - organisations that undermine European efforts to control economic migration, that openly criticise our elected government, that work to subvert the efforts of our elected politicians. WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, UNHCR and WHO are not friends of the UK - yet UK taxpayers are funding their bloated and corrupt organisations. 

And what about the costs to the poor bloody Navy, down to 17 warships and cut off at the knee by spending pressures? Who pays for the fuel oil, the maintenance, the supplies, the emergency aid they are distributing in the Caribbean? Well the Treasury will just tell them to find the costs from within their existing budgets. They always do. 

It's high time to reform that humanitarian / emergency aid pot. It should take a bigger share of the ODF for a start. And instead of paying a cabal of corrupt UN agencies who are determined upon our destruction, why not fund our own Navy, Royal Engineers, RAF transport  command, volunteer police officers and the like to respond fully and effectively, unconstrained by the swingeing cuts to their operational budgets?