Tuesday, 29 September 2009


The Czech Republic will lose its commissioner if it does not ratify the treaty, Barroso has said. The Commission must be smaller than the number of member states, so apparently the Parliament will reject the Czech commissioner - no basis on merit at all.

This act is sickening. It is trying to force a nation into signing an undemocratic treaty by threatening it with loss of power - so ensuring they will be punished for not losing power through Lisbon.

The Commission wants this Constitution, Lisbon Treaty, call it what you want, so much that they will stop at nothing. This deliberate act of aggression should be challenged. The Czechs know better I hope than to give in to this - it worked in 1938 and is potentially the reason to hold up the treaty.

The European Union democratic? Let's be realistic here.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

What does it have to do with the state?

Ofsted has ruled that looking after your friend's children for a "reward" is illegal.

I realise that there is a big media scare, all of the time, about paedophiles and the like, but is it really any business of the government to tell parents whether they can pay for their friends to babysit their children?

It's all built on trust - as is the market - that one person's friend will not harm their child, and that both sides will fulfill their sides of the deal (A babysits B's child, so B babysits A's child later in the week) otherwise they'd lose the benefit of a friend babysitting their child (or even lose a friend). It's about what's best for both sides - and indeed what's best for the child.

Mothers could work part-time without this Ofsted judgement to cater for their child better, their child could socialise (in a way) with the friend's child, and not to mention the increased income tax (and VAT) returns for the government.

Not to mention, what problem is this solution a response to? Has someone's friend abused another child? Not that I've heard of. And also a decision made by an unelected quango, not Parliament or even the courts.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The BBC is factually wrong

This in a report about the English Democrats:

The party wants to end subsidies from Westminster to Scotland and Wales and abolish the regional assemblies supported by the three main parties.
No, the Conservatives don't support regional assemblies, in fact Cameron has said he'll scrap them if he wins the election.

The BBC should sort out its sources, and stop presenting the Balkanisation of Britain as some sort of "common direction".

Friday, 25 September 2009

Giving it away?

He was told that the MP for Newport West after May 7th next year was almost certainly at the meeting.

Is Paul Flynn giving the next general election date away? Since the 7th is a Friday, May 6th general election?

Read also James Delingpole in the Telegraph a couple of days ago.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Quote of the Day

Hoard of Anglo Saxon gold found ...... reports the BBC.

Don't tell Gordon Brown. He'll nick it, before swapping it for foreign pieces of paper.

Like he did last time.

Douglas Carswell says it how it is.

Why markets cannot be perfect, but government is worse still

It's ever so simple - humans aren't perfect. Since markets involve human transactions, they cannot be perfect.

However, that's no reason for government to intervene, for us to cry "market failure" etc etc. It is not a failure of the market, it is a failure of humans to transmit information properly. Government is even worse at transmitting information, since it doesn't rely on its own money (though yes there is the issue of democratic accountability) and tends to go with what looks nice rather than what's right.

Financial crashes, housing bubbles, etc are caused by either government and central banks having too loose monetary policy (then tightening them too quickly, circa 2007) or simply by human expectations being wrong (dotcom). And generally humans realise and adjust quicker, resulting in the market adjusting quickly.

Markets adjust. They supply more of a product when it's needed (although yes, they may misinterpret information beforehand, but that's just humans). Governments don't do it as well. They might, but they don't always notice.

Markets aren't perfect. We should accept that, but realise that government cannot do a better job, since it's a human creation rather than human consequence.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Eurofederalists support a Lisbon referendum?

Really? I doubt it.

Cameron, as far as I can see, is no EU sell-out. Obviously when and if he gains power, it'll be something to watch, but I don't think the party will let him - it's generally too Eurosceptic.

"Hand the decision to the BBC"? Sounds far too conspiracy theory-type for me. British people are generally fiercely independent, we know about BBC bias.

And it is a necessary referendum, as I explained in my last post - it involves transfer of political power. Not only that, but 70% of the population want it. As well as this, the general call for a referendum was because that was what the three main parties promised (and only one kept to) - there was no "wrecking amendment" in the manifesto.

I think the important thing will be to withdraw ratification, then hold the referendum, then re-ratify or withdraw altogether depending on the vote. Otherwise some funny things could be done in other countries to make the referendum practically invalid.

Cameron and the EU

Ireland could still vote either way (despite the propaganda the EU has flooded them with) but there could be another way that Lisbon is taken down: with the help of Vaclav Klaus. David Cameron has written a letter to him in support of Klaus' position of not signing the treaty, promising to hold a referendum if it has not been ratified.

If Klaus and Cameron pull this off, could it be a modern day Thatcher-Reagan pact? In fact I'm quite interested in Ashley Fox MEP's comment on ConservativeHome that the Czech MEPs in the ECR are saying that Klaus is simply going to refuse to sign it. For the UK to withdraw ratification of the treaty would surely be its death knells, due to the UK's sheer economic weight. It should have been put to the people in a referendum across Europe anyway; it is about the transfer of political power (and we had referendums for elected mayors).

But what if it is ratified when Cameron comes to power? I will ignore UKIP and co's arguments that Cameron doesn't want a referendum as scaremongering, but would it actually be possible for revision after ratification? This being the EU, probably not, but it would take a strong man to stand up and withdraw ratification unilaterally (and potentially be acting illegally). A more sensible promise would be to promise a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has not been ratified, and a referendum on EU membership (since they have ignored the will of the people) if it has been ratified. Not only would that get the Eurocrats worried, but it might stop Lisbon too.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Lib Dems: personal attacks and empty promises

The Lib Dems are just proving themselves, time and time again, to be a complete joke of a party. They know they aren't going to get elected, so they come up with stupid policies and personal attacks.

I won't waste time talking about personal attacks, which are generally a sign of losing the argument, but the 'mansion tax' proposal is so poorly thought out that it would be completely unworkable. The main problem is based on ability to pay, what brought down the poll tax. People can (generally) afford to pay income tax, since obviously they are getting an income. Corporation tax is a tax on profits, and companies will move around if need be. Sales taxes are based on being able to afford a product. Obviously if any are too high, there may not be an ability to pay, but that's another issue.

A tax based on the value of a house ignores who lives there, and their income. Can a pensioner pay £2,000 a year just for living in a nice house? With their income already low (and reduced potentially further due to Brown's raid on private pension funds), probably not. It just becomes a jealousy tax, saying that success in life is some sort of bad thing. Perhaps it isn't even due to that; they've just been caught up in the housing bubble.

How do you measure the value of a property? How often? Assuming a tax is collected annually, that involves independent valuations of many houses, including some that will be below the £1m threshold. Would the threshold be raised with inflation? Would the valuations be made by the private sector, or would government officials do it? Would the council give the valuer a bonus for saying it is valued at over £1m? Hayek's Road to Serfdom comes to mind once more.

When you sell a house, you have to be optimistic at first, then pull your price down until you find a buyer. That's the nature of the housing market; in no market is information perfect. If I was to sell a house, would I have to get a state valuation, or even possibly an overpriced valuation due to the huge increase in demand? As usual government intervention distorts the market.

I'm sure there are many other ways that this proposal could be ripped apart. But it's simply an unworkable proposal that brings back the pre-Thatcher view that generating wealth is bad, and should make people question whether Vince Cable is that economic guru they thought he was.

None of this actually matters though, because the Lib Dems will never gain power to implement this crazy idea.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Ireland to vote no again?

According to England Expects, this is a definite possibility with this new opinion poll. The methodology is being brought into question, so the poll may be flawed, but it could be good news for all those who believe in stopping the rise of the EU's power.

From reports I've heard Ireland has been flooded with Europhile propaganda, all paid with by our money, and the No side has had very little coverage. This Europhile nonsense includes "the economy will suffer if you vote no" - the economy will suffer if you vote yes because Ireland will have to increase its corporation tax rate in the name of harmonisation. Seems they've thrown the equal coverage rule out of the window then.

With this, and Poland and the Czech Republic (where it has been referred to the Constitutional Court again - 6 month delay), it looks like it may be the British public, courtesy of David Cameron, who destroy the consti-treaty once and for all. Let's just hope he keeps his promise.

If, however, the Irish happen to vote yes, that conference will be quite tense.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Just completely wrong

The government is introducing proposals to blame all crashes on the larger vehicle. So it's the car's fault not the cyclist's, the cyclist's not the pedestrians.

All this goes against the whole idea of a fair hearing, if we assume the car must be at fault. What about the cyclists that pull out, the ones that pay no attention to red lights, that don't use junctions properly - is it really the driver's fault if they are breaking the rules of the road? It's all peculiar, and really should be left to courtrooms not politicians.

I also see a proposal on the report to introduce a blanket 20mph limit on residential streets. First of all what is a residential street (there are many that could be considered for this category, but could easily be 40mph streets) and why introduce a speed limit that will just be broken and is often unnecessary? It's for local councils to decide, not central government.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Currency should be chosen by the market, not the UN

The UN's plans to create a new global supercurrency to replace the dollar are back in the news, this time with the reason given being anti-Americanism. From Fox:
According to Flassbeck demand for the US dollar is “irrational.”
Is it really? Are humans not naturally irrational? Isn't it more likely that one human (Flassbeck) is likely to be irrational than many who demand the dollar?

If I'm willing to pay you in dollars, and you're willing to sell me something in exchange for dollars, so be it. If we are both willing to use pounds, euros, yen, blue tack or livestock in exchange for a product, why should government, or indeed a supranational body like the UN tell us we cannot use it? It's a means of exchange, not something that government needs to get involved in.

And perhaps if there was a bit of competition in currency, they wouldn't swing about so much, or lose their value so quickly. Hayek was probably right.