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When it was written, it was part of a front-page story:
Many MPs, appointed as guardians of the people's liberties, did not bother to attend the House when this measure, gravely affecting the liberty of the subject, was debated. Until the debate was ending, there were never more than fifty or sixty members in the Chamber. At times, even when vital points were being discussed, the number fell to barely thirty.
The answer to when it first appeared is here.

COMMENT THREAD

One hundred and fourteen days of continuous blogging on a single subject, the Battle of Britain. And now that is over. The Battle officially ended on 31 October 1940 and today is the 70th anniversary of that ending. With it should come to an end an interesting experiment in what is called "post blogging".

With some prescience, however, the headline of the Daily Mirror for 1 November 1940 warns after a relatively quiet night, "Don't think air war is over".

Of course, it was far from over. Coventry was still to come, in December London was to take its worst bombing to date – with worse to come - and the tragedy of Liverpool was yet to be played out. Bristol, Hull, Glasgow and many more towns and cities were to experience their own nights of terror.

And for me it is far from over. The experiment has spawned a book – still in the writing - to be published in September by Continuum. It will be called "The Many", reflecting the fact that the Battle of Britain currently celebrated is an artificial construct. The true Battle for Britain lasted much longer and was fought by the many, not the few.

The task is now to add to the existing 114 blog pages, layering in more detail, honing and refining the narrative until it is clean enough to be able to "lift" and shape into a book structure. But it leaves me with a conundrum. Should I continue the narrative on the blog, or leave it here? I would welcome observations.

BATTLE OF BRITAIN THREAD


And we're not referring to the Christmas panto ... although for all the use most of our gifted representatives actually are, that is all we should expect of many of them. Howsoever, as Booker explains, this "stolen kids" crisis has gone on long enough ... too long. It was MPs that created the mess. MPs must sort it out. They can't blame the EU. This one is entirely home grown.

COMMENT THREAD


David Cameron, according to the Press Association, has claimed a "spectacular success"  (in our time) in pegging the EU budget rise next year to just 2.9 percent.

But he hasn't - and there is every possibility that the budget will end up rising by the six percent or so endorsed by the EU parliament. To claim "victory" at this stage is like a football manager calling for his team at half time when he is a goal down, lacks a striker, has no goalkeeper and the referee is working for the opposition.

Far from being a "spectacular success", therefore, this is an example of spectacular stupidity. Or, as MEP and Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz tells The Daily Telegraph, "The negotiations have barely begun - it is not for Mr Cameron to announce their conclusion." His promise is "nonsense" and he is "setting himself up for a fall".

Now, Schulz may be a vile individual – in fact, there is no question. He is a vile individual. But, on EU parliamentary procedure, he knows what he is talking about. Cameron doesn't, as the picture shows (below right) – where he is caught describing his level of knowledge and understanding of EU institutions and their procedures.

And, if you are thinking it can't be that bad, you would be right. It's actually worse. Cameron has walked into a minefield, eyes wide shut, committing an act of quite extraordinary hubris. It amounts to almost suicidal stupidity. It really is spectacular.

His problem is, of course, that he has no power to deliver the goods. He is not even party to the negotiations. The European Council, which he has just attended, has no jurisdiction nor locus in the annual budget negotiations.

All he has managed to do is get the signatures from twelve other member states on an informal letter which simply re-affirms the Council (of Ministers) "common position" which was agreed last August, dropping the payments figure from €130.1bn to €126.5bn. But that is simply a negotiating position, agreed by not 13 but 27 member states. That "position" went before the conciliation committee on 27 October, and the parties have 21 days from that date to agree on a "joint text".

The Committee, not Cameron, has the baton. If it can agree, the final budget could be approved as early as mid-November - but not before. And it would be a very rash man who predicted the outcome.

The procedure, however, is arcane. In the final analysis, the initiative lies with the EU parliament. Here, its position is straightforward – and powerful. Its response to the EU Commission proposal for a 5.9 percent hike – and the 5.9 percent was a Commission, not a parliament proposal – was to increase the figure from €130.1bn to €130.6bn, bringing it to about six percent. That is its negotiating position. The difference is between the Council's €126.5bn and the parliament's £130.6bn.*

Not only is the parliament not going to accept the Council's 2.9 percent, if by some strange – and extremely unlikely – chance the Council actually stuck to its position, the parliament has a veto. It can pull the budget and force the whole procedure to start over, causing a humungous crisis in the EU, which can be laid at the door of the member states.

That ain't going to happen. The Council negotiating team is going to compromise on a figure somewhere between 2.9 and 6.0 percent, most likely at the higher end.

Cameron claims the letter he has got is a "guarantee" the rise will not be any bigger than 2.9 percent. "What we've done is guarantee, with the support of other member states, that this is 2.9 percent," he says. "They've given their word - 2.9 percent and no further. That's the word they've all given. That's the word I've given."

It is not a guarantee. The letter has no status whatsoever. His "word" is an empty promise. If Cameron thinks he has actually got a guarantee (or given one) - he is delusional. Moreover, his advisors should be fired. If he is listening to them, they are turning him into a laughing stock.

Even then, Cameron's other great "victory" is founded on sand. This, we learn of via The Guardian which headlines: "David Cameron secures link between EU spending and national budgets". From now on, the strap says, "the people who set the EU budget will have to take into account cuts that are being made at national level."

This is simply not true. What we get out the European Council Conclusions is by no means as firm as Cameron claims. Read it for yourself. It says:
Heads of State or Government stressed that, at the same time as fiscal discipline is reinforced in the European Union, it is essential that the European Union budget and the forthcoming Multi-annual Financial Framework reflect the consolidation efforts being made by Member States to bring deficit and debt onto a more sustainable path. Respecting the role of the different institutions and the need to meet Europe's objectives, the European Council will discuss at its next meeting how to ensure that spending at the European level can make an appropriate contribution to this work.
The "money quote" is that the European Council has agreed to discuss to how the EU can make "an appropriate contribution" to helping national governments reduce their debt. That is all – very far short of making a firm link, or any link at all between the EU and national budgets. At best, it is simply a commitment to discuss the issue in very general terms. Cameron is vastly over-selling what he has achieved.

Altogether then, we have a truly weird situation. Prime ministers very often grandstand at European Councils, but their posturing usually has a basis in reality. Cameron's positions have none. Effectively, he has climbed out on the most exposed limb he can find and now seems to be offering invitations to anyone who wants to saw it off.

I do not ever recall a British politician who has displayed such a poor grasp of the issues and put himself in such a [politically] dangerous and exposed position. With neither exaggeration nor hyperbole, one can truly say that the man is plumbing new depths.


* As the Wall Street Journal blog points out, the EU budget is also reckoned on an accrual basis. This allocates commitments to spending to specific years, regardless of when the funds are disbursed. By the payment method, the EU budget in 2010 is €122.9 billion; by the commitments method it's €141.5 billion. The council wants a 0.2% increase in commitments and parliament 1.1%.

Chamberlain pic from Anoneumouse.

COMMENT THREAD


In The Daily Telegraph (with elaboration in The Guardian), we now read that French Rafales may be using the Royal Navy carriers. You did, of course, read it here first and then here.  Amazingly, after the debacle of the "carriers with no planes", we are now told that, trying to bridge the “capability gap”, ministers have said the new carriers will be redesigned to have catapults to launch aircraft. That "will allow them to carry planes like the French Rafale". Oh, what a surprise.

The beans have been spilled by French defence minister Morin, who has told a "Euronaval conference" that: "I've asked our military command to consider the feasibility of stationing British aircraft on our aircraft carrier and vice versa." He added: "The idea is an exchange of capacity and an interdependence. It's a new approach."

Is it b******s a new approach. That has been the plan all along ... even the BBC recorded it in 2003. It was picked up by The Daily Telegraph and on 4 February 2003, AFP reported that "Britain and France will use a joint summit to announce plans for a European naval force equipped with an aircraft carrier battle group on standby at all times ... ", all under the headline "Europe plans joint naval force".

And, of course, all this was agreed by the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 17 May 2004 and endorsed by the Helsinki European Council of 17 and 18 June 2004 as the Headline Goal 2010, where there was an undertaking to supply the European Rapid Reaction Force with an aircraft carrier, its associated air wing and escort. Do they think we are that stupid?

Anyhow, us poor little dimwits are told: "The British have decided to equip their aircraft carriers with catapults - we can have joint exercises, but also arrange to have a Rafale squadron make use of the British platform." The plan would give France "a permanent presence at sea" even when its single aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, is in dock for maintenance and cannot sail, Morin says.

And so we march on to the Euro-navy.  Dave the slime presides over the work of his predecessors, Blair, Major and Heath. The Royal Navy is being sold out on the altar of European political integration.  A more potent symbol of integration could hardly exist, and it's all but in the bag.

UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that Britain and France are discussing Britain's new fleet of tanker aircraft ahead of Thursday's summit on Anglo-French defence "cooperation". The Telegraph report also refers to the French supplying a maritime reconnaissance capability, to replace the scrapped Nimrod MR4s.

Thus does the pace of integration quicken, aided and abetted by the incompetence of the MoD – and previous Tory governments. Who was it decided on the Nimrod MR4 instead of a new-build?

The real irony is that, if we ditched the EU and put the money into defence, we would not – on paper at least – have the capacity shortfalls we are now experiencing. However, that discounts the MoD's gift for wasting our hard cash, which means that extra money would not necessarily yield dividends, even if money is better wasted on MoD (and new iPods for the Navy) than on EU integration.

Nevertheless, the real agenda of the Defence Review is coming clear - cut back equipment to create or intensify capacity shortfalls, which creates a need for further EU "co-operation" and legitimises defence integration, carefully disguised as measures to improve operational efficiency.

RAFALE THREAD

Two pieces from Autonomous Mind for your delectation - here and here. I haven't had a chance to read the rest of the blogs yet, but I will, and I'll post any interesting links here, during the day - such as this one ... not forgetting Cranmer. Never forget Cranmer. You would not want to do that.

EU-ROPE THREAD

Almost in the realm of "that's enough Eu-rope, ed", we see this snippet in the Hindustan Times, with the headline: "India, China to try and bury differences".

Last year, the Indian Army mobilised 40,000 troops on the Chinese border, where the two countries are more familiar with the concept of trying to bury each other. Funnily enough, I do not recall seeing any of that in the British media – but then, you don't actually expect news from that source.

If we really thought about it though, the idea of India and China getting together should be terrifying. Each is a formidable force on its own. If they worked together, they would be even more formidable. Fortunately, human nature being what it is, they will continue beating the shit out of each other for the foreseeable future, despite what the Hindustan headline says.

COMMENT THREAD


In any evaluation of a European Council meeting, we always have to be conscious that we have an ignorant media which cannot get its head round the fact that we are seeing the routine meeting of an institution of the European Union. It is never, therefore, going to report the proceedings intelligently or accurately. It is not capable of so doing.

At least, though, The Guardian has got some things right. It tells us:
Europe is in a mess. The European Union is in trouble. Today's summit in Brussels is unlikely to do much to help. David Cameron, like his fellow leaders, can only hope to limit the damage: and even as he does so he can hear the ghoulish sound of Tory Euroscepticism rising from the grave.
The problem is that only four of the first five words are really spot on ... it is not "Europe", but the European Union. And as for Dave's little games with the EU budget, had any one of the hacks so breathlessly reporting on the issue cared to look at the agenda, they would have seen this:
The President of the European Council intends to restrict the agenda to the items which will actually be examined by the European Council. The conclusions of the meeting will be brief and will focus on decisions and general policies approved by the European Council.
That's Van Rompuy calling the shots – and the budget is not on the agenda, because it will not be (and has not been) examined by the European Council. That is for the very good reason that it is not within its jurisdiction. Hence, all the hyper-ventilation about said budget is smoke and mirrors.


Even the BBC has the "decency" to mention that small fact. But that doesn't stop the hacks drafted in to cover the event turning up the volume of hyperbole, to give their equally ignorant London editors a suitable fairy tale to print in this morning's editions. This is precisely what the Daily Mail is doing. Dave "has won the backing ... " it warbles, complete with a picture of a suitably grim-faced Dave, walking into Justus Lipsius - and what a revolting sight that makes.

By such means, there is engendered  a sense of theatre and drama that simply does not exist. They are - politicians and media pack alike - taking the piss, as always.

Similarly, the talk of a new treaty is getting lost in the miasma of ignorance which so obscures these issues. In short, if the "colleagues" want a new treaty, there are various defined procedures. However, there is a now confirmed tendency for those same "colleagues" to make the rules up as they go along, and then legitimise them afterwards.

And we've now got a statement from Rompuy about how they're going to do it. Not one in a thousand who actually read the statement will fully understand it, and even less will actually care. Get your brains round this, if you are in a masochistic mood:
Further to the report of the task force and in order to ensure balanced and sustainable growth, heads of state and government agree on the need for member states to establish a permanent crisis mechanism to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and invite the president of the European Council to undertake consultations with the members of the European Council on a limited treaty change required to that effect not modifying Article 125 (of the Lisbon treaty) - the no bailout clause.
This is "slime talk", otherwise known as "Eurospeak". You are not supposed to understand it. You just weigh it and then slice it off by the centimetre. All it says – as it always says – is "you're gonna be screwed".  The detail doesn't matter. Stick to the high ground and you will never go wrong.

The only thing of even marginal interest, therefore, is precisely how and when we get screwed. We don't know that yet - or not all the details. And the media will never tell us until it's too late. Because they know so little about the EU, and understand even less, they only find out afterwards, if then.  Usually, the dogs have barked, the tents are folded and the caravan has moved on to another soap opera - there are always some buried miners, or something, somewhere, to keep the proles entertained.

So, for the moment, after a brief flurry of interest when the media have done their best to turn the European Union into a soap opera - with as much of a London tint as they can manage - we can all go back to sleep. We can try to convince ourselves that it is really a dream we're experiencing and not a nightmare, but sooner or later, there will have to be an awakening.

Sooner or later, the people - who knows in which country and when - will rise up and start killing these bastards.  That will happen, because it always does.  The politicians can take the piss for so long before people get sick of it and exercise some practical vermin control. And the media won't even see it coming - they never do.

COMMENT THREAD

The Daily Mail is on the case, and this will damage the posturing fool. David Cameron, the paper says, "has admitted defeat today in his bid to stop British taxpayers footing a multimillion-pound hike in the EU budget - prompting a new row with the Tory right."

"Despite demands the runaway bill be reined in," it then says, "No10 has acknowledged it is powerless to prevent the budget soaring by at least 2.9 percent - equivalent to an extra £429million from the UK - after failing to gain support from other EU members." Then we learn that the rise could even be as high as 6 percent, at a time when public services in Britain are being slashed in a bid to cut the deficit.

So much for Cameron's big, brave words yesterday during PMQs: "The greatest priority for Britain should be to fight very hard to get the EU budget under control. It is completely unacceptable at a time when we are making tough budget decisions here we are seeing spending rise consistently in the European Union," he proclaims.

It used to be said of people such as The Boy that they were "all mouth and trousers". That fits quite neatly, except one has also to take in the lack of tactical acuity. The last thing a politician should be doing is committing himself to something on which he cannot deliver.

But then, I've long held the view that Cameron isn't even a good politician. If he was, he would have found a way of keeping people like me on board and would have won the last election. But he can't even do that – even his own side is having problems. The man's a loser.

COMMENT THREAD

BBC "journalists" are going to go on strike. Given the quality of their output, it is very unlikely that the average viewer/listener will notice any difference ... or even care. I certainly won't.

COMMENT THREAD


Possibly, he said cautiously – because it is a close-run thing – the level of blind ignorance exhibited by that moronic excuse for a prime minister is exceeded only by the destitution of the cerebrally challenged Telegraph leader writer. This is the paper that has the headline "David Cameron softens on EU budget", which is hard enough to believe, as the man is so soft in the head that any softer and he would melt away.

But for incomparable imbecility, we have as a prize specimen, the breathless statement in the leader:
At this week's EU summit, our most instinctively Eurosceptic Prime Minister for 20 years faces a tricky set of challenges. The easiest to bat away will be the European Parliament's risible demand for a 5.9 per cent budget increase for the Commission next year.
There is so much wrong here, it is difficult to know where to start. First, it ain't a summit. And no, that isn't pedantry. It is a meeting of the European Council, an institution of the European Union. The European Council does not have any jurisdiction over the budget. That is handled by the Council of Ministers. Cameron can prattle away for all he is worth - the European Council cannot interfere in the procedure, which is laid down in the treaties.

Second, Cameron ain't a eurosceptic, instinctive or otherwise. He is a "One Nation" Tory, in the manner of Heath, which makes him dyed-in-the-wool euroslime. Third, the budget is not a European Parliament "demand", risible or otherwise. It is an EU Commission proposal, made in accordance with the Treaty procedures.

Fourth, Cameron cannot bat it away. It is now a matter for the conciliation committee, as I explained earlier, over which he has neither jurisdiction nor control, the decision in any event being QMV, with the final arbiter the EU parliament.

Thus, no wonder Cameron is "softening". He has no option, because he has no power. And the turds-for-brains in the Telegraph can’t even be bothered to learn the procedures before they write their unmitigated garbage. They and even darlink Hannan can't even apply their limited intellects to understanding the difference between a "summit" and a European Council.


Even The Independent has more brains – a measure of how low the Cameron/Telegraph axis has descended.

But when neither of them seem to have the first idea of how our government is run, there is every reason to be very angry indeed. It is fools like this who got us into this mess in the first place, and now we are having to pay for their stupidity and their venality. They treat us like fools, but they are the fools, and worse.

We really need to treat these malign pustules accordingly. I am sick to the back teeth of them, their posturing, their pretences, their vanity and the ease with which they feel they can take the piss and get away with it.  At a time when they have the unmitigated gall to call for austerity, these ocean-going d***heads are lumbering us with even more expense. 

The only thing wrong here would be to say that shooting is too good for them.  And that's because shooting is too good for them. Something much slower, and altogether more painful is called for.


Then you have dear little Norm wittering on about avoiding "Vichy-style" surrenders. He means well does our Norm, but he really doesn't get it. Oddly enough, Petain's final surrender to Hitler came almost exactly 70 years ago, but he surrendered because he had to. Cameron will surrender because he wants to. The approval of the "colleagues" means much more to him than the approval of the British people.

"Quislings" is probably better than "Vichy", says Autonomous Mind. He adds:
Cameron and his vichy Conservatives like to wrap themselves in the flag and waffle at length about patriotism. The problem is the flag is blue with gold stars that their loyalty is to Brussels rather than the people they are supposed to serve. As a result we are bound into a bloc devoid of democratic legitimacy or oversight and powerless to for as long as we remain part of it. We should feel nothing less than furious contempt for these sickening creatures who have dragged us into this situation and are working hard behind the scenes to keep us there.
"Furious contempt" is a phrase I like. It doesn't get close to the black hatred I have for these slime. But it'll do for the moment.

COMMENT THREAD


People don't like bird choppers. More than 230 separate local campaign groups against wind farms are operating across the UK, from Scotland and Kent to Norfolk, Yorkshire and Cornwall. These groups are scoring striking successes in defeating planned wind farms – even when faced with the weight of official recommendations.

This is Oliver Wright, the paper's "Whitehall Editor" – whatever that is. Note his incredulous tone: " ... even when faced with the weight of official recommendations". The Independent should listen to itself. "Official recommendations ... ". Hmmmm.

Anyhow, in the last 12 months to September, there has been a 50 percent drop in planning approvals in England, and approvals for wind farms in Scotland have also fallen. The number of new wind farms coming "on-stream" (becoming active) has also fallen by 30 per cent – partly as a result of the recession.

And shock, horror! The figures are revealed in a report on the state of the industry "cast doubt on the ability of the Government to reach its target of generating 20 percent of all our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020." This is followed by: "Changes to planning laws due to be announced later this year are expected to make it harder still to get planning permission."

You can detect the growing hysteria in the tone when Wright says, "Campaigners say that although wind farms maybe needed to combat global warming, the turbines – often as tall as the London Eye - are an eyesore in some of the most beautiful parts of the country". These (terrible) Campaigners say that they are " unacceptably noisy and can decimate local bird population. They suggest that all new wind farms should be built off-shore."

And against that, we get "environmentalists and industry experts". They say this is unrealistic. The time needed to build off-shore wind farms can be up to seven years, they are more expensive and the technology is still a relatively immature. If Britain is to meet its renewable targets, they say, it is vital that onshore wind farms continue to be built at a significant rate well into the 2020s.

So the Wright stuff laments: "The situation is typified by instances such as those in North Yorkshire, where local politicians recently vetoed plans to build seven turbines in the face of official advice that they should go-ahead after a concerted local campaign." Gosh! How bad can this get? Local politicians reject "official advice"! The world is coming to an end.

Poor Mr Wright. One can feel his pain.

COMMENT THREAD


An interesting development here with the launch of a campaign, ostensibly to overturn the Cleggeron "green" targets. Amongst other things, they are putting tests to the warmists, challenging them to prove ten points. Interestingly, one of those they want the warmists to prove is: "Data recorded by ground-based stations are a reliable indicator of global surface temperature trends".

Actually, I think we've all missed a trick here. How can atmospheric temperature ever be suitable for measuring global warming – i.e., increase in global heat? That is rather like putting a dipstick in your car tank, in order to measure the amount in the tank at your local petrol station.

The point, of course, is that temperature is only a proxy for heat if you are measuring a known, stable quantity. And since air only holds a fraction of the heat held by the oceans – and we have no reliable way of determining the average temperature of the global water mass, we have no way of calculating the total heat - much less the degree to which it has changed.

That alone rather stuffs the warmists, although such niceties will hardly bother them. This has never been about science.

COMMENT THREAD

"My point is that when governments go looking for solutions to problems, they frequently end up creating new ones. Biofuels, which cost a bomb, are sending food prices through the roof, and far from benefiting the environment seem to damage it even further, are a case in point."

So says Jeremy Warner. Or, as North Jr says, "without a grounding philosophy, all government is whack-a-mole".

COMMENT THREAD

Heffer, it seems, is tapping into the same mood that we're detecting. The Westminster slime, with their comfortable salaries and pensions, secure behind their concrete barriers and machine-gun toting cops, still haven't got it. But out in the country, there is a mood. You can touch it, feel it, cut it with a knife. It is there and it is growing.

Forget the Kermits. Les Anglais en ont assez.

COMMENT THREAD

No-win, no-fee deals are to be scrapped under a radical shake-up of the courts to stop "ambulance-chasing" lawyers from cashing in on frivolous cases.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced yesterday that he will scrap lucrative success fees which allow lawyers to double their bill at the expense of the person or organisation that loses the case.

But it isn't only ambulance chasers. It was also libel chancers, like Rajendra Pachauri, who exploited the system in order to conceal his lies.

The gravy train is running into the buffers now ... too late – and oddly, it will prevent me having a go at Moonbat, unless I can sneak in before the barrier drops. The PCC rules today on Amazongate and I should hear within a day or so. I am not confident, but it will be interesting to see how they rule.

COMMENT THREAD


Sad news from France, via AFP is that the Kermits' strike seems to be running out of steam. They can't even run a decent revolution these days.  Interesting though, how the banners are in UKIP colours.

The French parliament is expected to pass Sarkozy's unpopular pensions reform bill tomorrow and finance minister Christine Lagarde hails what she says is "a return to reason and dialogue." The union leaders, who have been leading the strikes and street rallies, admit they will now have to change tactics. They will "work to modify the final form of the reform rather than defeat it on the streets." Yeah, right.

As to the sick bag, listen to Marland if your stomach is strong enough - and note the dismissive reference to Christopher Booker. Then you get this sort of thing, where drought is highlighted in the Amazon, ignoring the earlier record rainfall. This is Nazi-style propaganda. But then, censorship comes easy to these people.

Denis Cooper, meantime, is amused by the report that Merkel wants a new EU treaty to put the eurozone bailouts on a "legally watertight treaty basis."

The main purpose of a new treaty, he says, would be retrospectively to legitimise bailout schemes which have been set up in flagrant breach of the present treaties. Saying that they need a "watertight" legal basis would be rather like saying that your boat is a bit leaky and needs some caulking when in reality it has capsized and it is now resting upside down on the bottom.

A letter to that effect has gone into The Guardian, but don't hold your breath. Meanwhile, one has to concur with the Independent's view of David Cameron, even if for wholly different reasons ... frame that cartoon in the context of the EU and you've got it in one.

Very much in the techie area, we have Mervyn King , governor at the Bank of England, saying that "Basel III will not prevent another [banking] crisis".

For those of us who believe that Basel II caused the crisis in the first place, this is not hard to believe. But what is sad and dangerous is that we are even allowing that failed component of world government to have another go at destroying the global economy. These people are just as dangerous as the "colleagues" - all the more so for being virtually invisible.

Elsewhere, Moonbat deigns to tell us what "Astroturfing" is. I suspect he's only just found out. "Nothing is real any more. Nothing is as it seems," he complains.

From his description of Astroturfing, though, he could just as easily be talking about the warmist movement. But then, according to Steve Goddard, The Guardian is getting rather worried about foreign influence in the US elections, while conveniently forgetting its own input in the last lot.

And as far as "quotes of the day" go, this one is probably unbeatable. It could describe so many people. In due course, it probably will.


Never let it be said, by the way, that we are solely the purveyor of bad news. According to the BBC, a wind turbine manufacturer which received £10m from the Scottish government to safeguard jobs has gone bust. The Danish company Skykon, which took over the Vestas wind turbine factory in Kintyre last year, has announced it is suspending payments to its creditors.

A total of 120 people are employed at the site just outside Campbeltown. In a statement Skykon said the company was in a very "cash-strapped situation." The Scottish government's financial backing was intended to safeguard 100 jobs at the factory and create 300 more.  But, when the company actually names itself, Sky Kon, why is anyone surprised.  But you have to love the slogan ... "part of the solution". Indeed.

Part of that solution also is the Danish firm Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer. It is to axe 3,000 jobs and shut some plants to adjust to weaker demand. The heart bleeds.


Do not laugh too loudly though. This website argues that certain types of climate scepticism are "crimes against humanity". It also asks whether US companies are guilty of a new kind of vicious crime against humanity that the world has yet to classify.

The author is Donald A Brown, from PennState – home of Michael Mann. And there is more here as Hansen warms to the theme (pictured above). The heads of oil and coal companies who knowingly delayed action on curbing greenhouse gas emissions were committing a crime. "These CEOs, these captains of industry," said Hansen during a briefing on Capitol Hill, "in my opinion, if they don't change their tactics they're guilty of crimes against humanity and nature."

Returning to Donald A Brown one notes his comment tha: " ... the longer one waits to take action, the more difficultt it is to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of climate change (sic) at safe levels." A correspondent reminds me that to become an "Associate" Professor you need no PhD or brains as the Associate could be the Professor's mistress, secretary, student, cleaning lady or his dog.

That reminds our correspondent of our secret wish in the company he worked for - to use the fast growing species of lawyers for toxicology testing rather than rats and rabbits. Who could disagree with that?

With all that, if you are short of something to read, there is always Mary Ellen Synon on the EU and its latest interference in our "justice" system. If you are short of time, I would recommend Mary Ellen Synon. Failing that, there is always Mary Ellen Synon. And yes, all three links are the same as this one to Mary Ellen Synon.


And some final thoughts before I get back to the Battle of Britain, where it is Day 109. The cotton crop in China is under threat after a spate of cold weather, and parts of Britain have suffered their coldest October night for 17 years. Says the article: "Britain has experienced some of its coldest temperatures in recent years. January 2010 was the coldest for 23 years after much of the country was engulfed in snow." The pic is Lake Derwent Water.

Funny how we "suffer" cold and "enjoy" warmth. So global warming is bad because ... ?

COMMENT THREAD

To admit to anything other than savage delight at the incontinence of the Kermits would make me a liar – not that one has anything against the breed. But as long as we are locked into the EU, with their government able to influence and direct ours, we wish them nothing but harm. If the situation was different and we were independent nations, my attitude would be very different.

But what is fascinating about the turmoil – apart from the huge costs of the strikes, at €400m (£355m) each day – is the use of the rubbish weapon. Workers – or non-workers, to be more accurate - are blocking waste incinerators as a tactic to maximise pressure on the government.

Thus, almost 9,000 tons of rotting piles of rubbish are becoming a health hazard in Marseilles, which has been hit hard on land and at sea. Striking dockers at France's largest port are also intermittently blocking ships trying to unload fuel and, although that part of the protest appears to be weakening, the rubbish strike is holding.

Non-workers at a Paris waste incineration plant, in their fifth day of a strike, were catching up with colleagues who have let rubbish pile up in Marseilles, France's second-largest city, giving the capital a more than usually intense bouquet. It now smells like its government.


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That, it seems, is what is behind the rubbish crisis in Naples - as the video explains. Local politicians and other rent-seekers, have been using the issue as a weapon with which to attack Berlusconi and embarrass him – caring little for the local environment or the needs of the much put-upon people.

None of these problems could arise, however, if systems were kept on a small scale and maintained locally. It is the gigantism, encouraged by the EU and its legislation, which is the root of the problem. But an even bigger problem is that people for too long have relied on others to take charge of their affairs. It is time they – all of us – took back control.

Come the revolution, though, one of the key targets becomes pretty obvious. Prevent the refuse collection fleet from operating and civilisation as we know it very quickly grinds to a halt.

COMMENT THREAD

You have to smile, even if it is through gritted teeth, at the confusion of The Daily Telegraph.

The poor darlings have turned to Michael Barone to tell them why American voters have gone so sour on Barack Obama's Democratic party. "It's a question that must puzzle many in Britain who – Conservative as well as Labour and Lib Dem – welcomed Obama's election two years ago and saw him leading America and the world into broad, sunlit uplands," he says.

Well, Mr Barone, it doesn't puzzle us, either readers or writer of this blog. And there is more to it than you seem to have worked out. We are not seeing politics here, but anti-politics. The rhetoric is changing and you need to catch up.

What is interesting, though, is how little of this applies to the UK. Here, in a one party state, the electoral system does not work – not that it really ever did. The politicians have screwed down the safety valve and there is nowhere for pressure to escape. The result, of course, will be "violent revolution Paris or Petrograd style" that Barone says "would not come to Britain or America."

It's coming ... it will just take a little time.

COMMENT THREAD


Greg Dyke, the former director general of the BBC, believes the public service broadcaster has damaged its standing at home and abroad with a series of self-inflicted wounds. Thus, we are told, Dyke "accepted some of the blame in an interview with the Observer".

He says - or so we are told - that "the BBC's fraught relations with government and the huge sums it has paid to top management and stars such as Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton had dented confidence in a media network that should be the envy of the world."

"The great strength of the BBC was how highly it was valued by the public; and government should recognise what a huge asset it is. But the problem with salaries started around 2005 and 2006 and was allowed to go on too long," he says.

The trouble is, this does not even begin to touch the depths of the malaise. There is so much wrong with the BBC – as just a glance at Biased BBC, which uses the above word cloud to illustrate the latest BBC view, would indicate - that you do not know where to start.

What particularly struck a chord recently was this fine piece of writing:
I'm getting bored with keeping track of BBC greenie/environment/climate alarmism nonsense - there are so many stories, so much rubbish, so many inane, insane claims, that each report I file here is looking and sounding like more of the same. Black, Harrabin (though he has been keeping a low profile of late) Kinver & co seem to be under instructions to provide a torrent of one-sided propaganda, so much so that I have no doubt that this is being coordinated. They are like the Terminator androids, capable of self-repairing and continuing with their pre-programmed, lunatic mission no matter what happens.
And then writes Robin Horbury:
Nothing will stop it. It's daily, it's there, it's relentless, it's a campaign to indoctrinate us. I have come to see the BBC as a gigantic Trabant, trundling on but oblivious to the parody it has become. Yet the stuff it spews out is dangerous. Our political class and our schoolkids are totally on board (as the normally mild-mannered Harmless Sky blog testifies today). It's a religion of divisiveness, of fascism and of hate (towards the human race); every bit as loathsome and cynical as Nazism.
One wonders, therefore, why Dyke a thinks that the BBC "should be the envy of the world." But then, that is also part of its world view. Despite that, though, the BBC has never had the reputation for itself that it has claimed (or believes it should have). It has always been low-grade, self-opinionated, ignorant and biased, with only the very occasional programme shining out like a beacon from the mountain of dross.

But then, if you are a propaganda outfit, your first priority is self-propaganda – seeking to convince the world that you are as good as your own estimation of yourself. To this task, the BBC devotes an extraordinary amount of effort and, by and large, it succeeds. And assailed by the sheer repetition, there is no end of muppets out there which still believes the BBC is a "good thing".

Dyke, though - as you would expect - is just another propagandist. No wonder his words find a comfortable home in the Observer. In getting to the roots of the inadequacies of the BBC, he is not even close.

COMMENT THREAD


When we were working on a headline for Booker's column, I ventured that there might be an "n" missing from it somewhere. Sadly though, this is a family column so the headline went unamended.

Only in polite society, therefore, was the most overworked word of the week the enless "cuts" - although the ineffable "fair" was never far behind, says Booker. George Osborne may have been hailed by one newspaper front page as the "man who rolled back the state" as he "reverses 60 years of recklessly rising public spending" – but of course last week’s supposed curb on state expenditure was nothing of the kind.

Picking up on page 17 of the Treasury statement, we see that, far from cutting Government spending, Osborne's own projections show that over the next four years it will continue remorselessly upwards, by larger jumps each year, from £696 billion to £739 billion.

Thus, for all the dramatic talk of 25 or even 35 percent cuts in the spending of some departments, such as the Foreign Office and the Home Office, these are more than offset by massive percentage increases in those areas of spending which top the list.
This much you've all read before on the blog, but it can't be repeated often enough.

And the increase which has rightly drawn most flak is the colossal 47 percent jump in our spending on overseas aid, due to rise from £7.8 billion to £11.5 billion. This includes, for instance, a further rise in the £800 million a year we already donate to India, one of the world's fastest growing economies.

This will be spent, inter alia, on promoting gender equality, assisting the Indians with their space programme, and of course on climate change (such as the £10 million free gift the Department For International Development is making to Pachauri's TERI).

This includes, however, only a part of the £2.9 billion that will be spent, along with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), as part of an EU scheme "to help developing countries pursue low-carbon growth and adapt to climate change". DEFRA and DIFID are also throwing dosh at this fund.

What I didn't realise is that the Jungle Bunny Carbon Fund is an EU-mandated scam so this £2.9 billion is another consequence of our membership of this delightful club. So, while grannies will be blocking up the hospital system, the Bunnies will be getting rich the proceeds of our taxes.

The money itself is a hefty part of the 27 percent rise in the DECC budget over the next four years. A good case could be made that almost all spending on overseas aid and climate change is money chucked down the drain.

Booker's favourite politically correct DFID project was building a Ferris wheel for the female inhabitants of the Afghan town of Lashkar Gah. I asked Dannatt about it, and he hadn't heard of it! That's one of the advantages of being there, I suppose.

Anyhow, another item – which, intriguingly, Osborne completely omitted from his statement, though it would be fourth on the list of fast-rising items of public expenditure – is the £16 billion a year we already contribute to "EU institutions". This will be boosted by the EU Parliament's decision, last week, that the EU Budget should rise by a further 6 percent.

But all these increases are dwarfed by what is now by far the greatest drain on taxpayers’ money – the skyrocketing interest we pay on the debt run up as the cost of Gordon Brown's years of reckless overspending. This runs to about £190 billion in four year's time, making it by far the largest single item of public expenditure.

Even at today's low interest rates, servicing this debt would then be costing us the equivalent of £60 a week for each household in the land. But, if rising inflation eventually necessitates a doubling or trebling of rates, the cost in a few years’ time could be unthinkable.

It is not implausible, says Booker, to project that simply paying interest on our debt might cost as much as our entire current annual government spending. That will be the true price of Gordon Brown's crazed boast in 1998 that he intended to all but double Government spending within 10 years – and why he will be remembered as the most disastrous manager of the public finances in our history.

But behind him is the Cameron-Osborne duo who, given the chance to reduce public spending, have completely fluffed the exercise. Instead, they have managed the perfect storm, putting up taxes, putting up expenditure, cutting services and essentials like defence, and increasing wastage on unnecessary projects.

You have to be real political geniuses to do that ... yet this pair have managed it.

COMMENT THREAD


Cameron is pledging that he will block the six percent rise in the EU budget which is set to cost us an extra £900 million this year. Can he do that? Well ... the short answer is no. Only the EU parliament can do that. And the long answer? That is here in the consolidated treaties as amended by Lisbon – Article 314.

Basically, what happens is that the Council looks at the proposed budget and agrees a "common position". This is Cameron's first hurdle. If he wants to block the budget, then he has to get a majority on the Council under the QMV procedures.

Supposing by some miracle he get his majority ... not that he will ... the next move is up to the EU parliament. The Council decision is put to the parliament, which decides whether to agree with it. If not – which would be the case - it draws up amendments and forwards them to the Council.

A conciliation committee is then formed to hammer out a joint text. This must be approved by the committee, the Council component by QMV, the parliament by a majority. But then comes the killer:
If the European Parliament approves the joint text whilst the Council rejects it, the European Parliament may, within fourteen days from the date of the rejection by the Council and acting by a majority of its component members and three-fifths of the votes cast, decide to confirm all or some of the amendments referred to in paragraph 4(c). Where a European Parliament amendment is not confirmed, the position agreed in the Conciliation Committee on the budget heading which is the subject of the amendment shall be retained. The budget shall be deemed to be definitively adopted on this basis.
In other words, if the conciliation committee comprising the parliament and the council (the latter acting under QMV) agree the budget, even if the full council then rejects it, the parliament's vote is decisive. It can still approve the budget, without the approval of the 27 member states - of which the UK is but one.

Basically, the power has shifted to the EU parliament, through the Lisbon treaty ... the one Cameron wouldn't give us a referendum on. It is very difficult for the Council to block the budget. As for any member state, without a supporting majority on the council, and again on the conciliation committee, that cannot be done. So, without the support of the other member states, there is nothing Cameron can do.

But then, in the small print, Cameron is not saying he will block the budget. He is actually saying he will "lead a rebellion" against the budget increase. He can "lead", but it is unlikely that any – or enough – will follow. Therefore, this, as always from the Boy Dave, is so much hot air. The "rebellion" will fail, but he can say he tried, knowing all along that any attempts will fail.

When you think about it though, it is more than "hot air". The boy child is taking the piss again. His advisers must have told him the chances of stopping the increase are nil. So he is concocting this elaborate little charade, so he can prance around looking as if he is doing something. But even the muppets on Tory Diary seem to have got that point.

And then they wonder why we look at their posturing with nothing other than undisguised contempt.

COMMENT THREAD


If anything can be taken to define the "European" experience, it is this amazing confrontation over the rubbish of Naples. Over this one issue, we have Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi vowing to put a stop to an ongoing dispute over whether to build another dump in a national park near Naples, after violent clashes between police and protesters.

As the rubbish piles up in Italy's third-largest city, Naples, and at least 20 police offers were injured in violent clashes with protestors. Thus is Berlusconi forced to say: "We expect that within 10 days, the situation in Terzigno can return to normal." And this at a news conference in Rome after an emergency meeting - about rubbish?  He needs an emergency meeting about rubbish?

What has triggered this is the government's plans to build a new dump in Terzigno, which is located 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Naples in Vesuvius National Park. This has for years met with fierce opposition by locals, who have repeatedly blocked access to the existing waste disposal site there. Then, on Thursday, police confronted around 2,000 demonstrators, who threw stones, marbles and firecrackers and used tree trunks to block access to the dump.

Berlusconi also announced he would release €14 million ($20 million) to modernize the existing facility, which the protesters say is overflowing and causing health problems.

The bigger problem, however, is that the site is overflowing with Camorra, the Naples version of the Mafia, who have taken control of waste management in the region. And while the current report refers to the crisis being a major issue for the Italian government for several years, with Berlusconi declaring a national disaster in 2008 – which is when we picked it up, also charting EU involvement - the problem goes back over 14 years. And still the Italians can't sort it out.

Despite this, as we noted in 2008, Italy is a member of the EU. It is charged with running the government of Europe, through the European Council and other institutions, alongside our own government. Yet you have a government which can't even sort out its own rubbish problems, and it is telling us, the British people, how to run our affairs.

In a way though, the experience is a more than adequate symbol of Europe – an expensive pile of festering rubbish, mired in corruption, surrounded by inept and impotent politicians, which is managing to piss of the local population so much that they are driven to rioting. We should be so proud to belong to such an exclusive club - and hope to share in the end game some time soon.

COMMENT THREAD

Thanks to Gordon Brown's profligacy, says Charles Moore, the public is about to have to pay more tax for fewer services. But the cost of green policies, he says, does not feature much in the latest debates, because most of it comes not through taxes, but through electricity bills.

It is programmed to rise. This year, the total levy adds £6 billion to our household and business bills. In 2015, it will be £10 billion; in 2020, £16 billion (which equals 4 pence on the basic rate of income tax today).

For the Government, Moore notes, and the generators, this is a beautiful way of doing things, because they get their money effortlessly. So it is ugly for you and me. We pay for the renewable obligation subsidies, we fund the Feed-in Tariff. We pay more and more for sources of energy which will not reward us with cost reductions for at least a generation.

For years, governments have gone on about the wickedness of "fuel poverty". Today, 4.6 million households are officially defined as living in it. The prevailing policies make it inevitable that fuel poverty will rise for as far as the eye can see. By 2020, our energy prices will be between 30 and 40 per cent higher than they would have been without them.

And so on. We are getting there, slowly ... but it is so slow.

COMMENT THREAD

It is not for me to intrude on private grief, but what the hell is going on in Tower Hamlets?

COMMENT THREAD


Sales of new electric cars in the UK plummeted by nearly 90 percent in 2009 compared with their peak in 2007, according to motoring trade association figures released this week. These tidings are brought to us by The Guardian, which tells us that just 55 of the "green" cars – whose fans include Boris Johnson, Jonathan Ross and Jade Jagger – were registered in 2009. That compares with 397 in 2007.

This is on the eve of the start of the government scheme to offer a subsidy of £5,000 to any idiot stupid enough to buy one of these machines - so it is possible that we will see an uptick next year. There is one born every minute, they say, and most are coloured green.

One of those is obviously Richard Dyer, transport campaigner at Friends of the Earth. He says: "The number of electric car sales are certainly disappointing. It could well be down to the recession, and the fact that they are priced at a premium over normal cars. But the government grant in January should mean a change in the fortunes of electric cars."

Somehow, I doubt it. Electric models which will be available include the £28,900 four-seater Mitsubishi iMiEV, a right-hand drive version of the unpriced Norwegian-made Th!nk City and the £28,350 Nissan Leaf, which Nissan claims is "the first mass-market electric car".

But with the prices of the Ford Focus starting at £12,731.91 (and hefty discounts available), Dyer is dreaming if he thinks the Great British Public are going to fall in love with his electric crappo. Five grand doesn't even dent the difference.

COMMENT THREAD


... Trafalgar Day. So the Royal Navy celebrates by grounding a £1.2 billion nuclear submarine. Here's one theory as to why it happened. My theory is that the navigator was distracted by trying to change the battery on her iPod. It's a little bit worrying, though, that we're going to buy even bigger boats for them. Perhaps it's just as well we're not buying aeroplanes as well and instead donating the money to the jungle bunny carbon fund.

COMMENT THREAD


... it's the earliest snowfall in Bergen, Norway, for 37 years or, as the Norwegians like to say: Tidligste snøfall på 37 år i Bergen. And those unutterable morons Clegg and Cameron are donating £2.9 billion of our money to the jungle bunny carbon fund? Doh!

COMMENT THREAD

Well, the Daily Mail is on the case, telling us that Boy Dave and his ghastly sidekick Clegg, "felt the full force of public anger over huge increases in the international aid budget - as it emerged the move will cost every family in Britain almost £500 a year."

Call me Dave was "forced on to the defensive over the controversial decision to lavish billions of pounds of taxpayers' money on foreign aid at a time when services at home are facing unprecedented cuts." A member of the public confronted him over the issue at a public meeting in Nottingham yesterday, telling him: "Charity should begin at home."

Certainly, she ain't far wrong, but forgot to point out to this dire pair that they are seriously, decidedly and absolutely barking mad ... so far off their trolley, the damn thing is still iron ore in the ground. They have totally and completely lost it.

Think of all the heart-searching on the carriers and the Navy cuts and these f***wits are giving £2.9 billion to their jungle bunny carbon fund - the international climate finance "to help developing countries pursue low carbon growth and adapt to the impact of climate change," and then increasing the already over-generous foreign aid bill by £3.7 billion.

Meanwhile (pictured) Clegg is giving dancing lessons to earn a spare bob or two – the only useful thing he will do this year. One would like to think he has assumed the position to relieve the pain from having his own brains shoved up his backside – although they are small he would hardly notice, I suppose.

COMMENT: CUTS THREAD

According to a TPA briefing, "one reason why cuts are needed is that debt interest payments are set to rise substantially in the coming years."

The total cost of servicing debt interest, plus unfunded pensions and PFI will be even greater, as shown by the graph (produced by former Treasury and City economist Mike Denham).

By my reckoning, between this financial year and 2014-15, these liabilities increase by about £60bn. By then, however, the Cleggerons are only increasing annual public expenditure by £43bn – giving a deficit of £17bn on that year.

However, it seems that the cumulative shortfall over the period is about £130bn, whereas the cumulative increase in expenditure is about £90bn. That leaves a £40bn deficit, plus whatever departmental increases are given, such as to DFID and DECC - bringing the total deficit to about £50bn - which must be cut from the other departments in order to make the books balance.

In terms of the departmental increases, one item we are looking at is the £2.9 billion to DECC for international climate finance "to help developing countries pursue low carbon growth and adapt to the impact of climate change." Under the current regime, the only way this can be afforded is to claw it from the health, defence and other departmental budgets.

The same applies to the £3.7 BILLION increase to DFID for foreign aid – assisting the Indians to develop their space programme – which will also have to be clawed from health, defence, etc. That's £6.6bn which has to be withheld from hospitals, schools, police, roads, etc., etc.

Thus, as it stands, the premise that there are no expenditure cuts survives. Year-on-year, public expenditure increases. So what we have is a re-ordering of the budget to fund debt, pensions and the increases in the DECC and DFID budgets, amongst others. In effect, services are being cut because total public spending is not being increased to fund current service levels, the increases in current liabilities and Cleggeron spending priorities.

What this amounts to, therefore, is that we are going to have to pay more to get considerably less, as services get cut to make the books balance. But don't anyone pretend that overall expenditure is being cut. It isn't. Jeff Randall agrees, but you read it here first.

COMMENT THREAD

... about the cuts? If all the newspapers agree, there must be some truth in it?

The answer, of course, is yes - they can all be wrong, and often have been. And just because all the newspapers agree on something that is wrong does not make it right.

A classic example is this headline on The Daily Express from 16 September 1940, which records the air fighting from the previous day – a day which was to be celebrated as "Battle of Britain Day”.

The RAF is finally to claim 185 enemy aircraft shot down, so this early edition of the paper misses that and comes out with a "mere" 175. All the papers follow suit, faithfully recording the official claim – in its manifest variations.

After the war, when there is a chance to check the records from both sides, the actual "kill" is downgraded to 55, as against 27 aircraft lost by the RAF. This is a real enough victory, but so ludicrously high are the claims that they simply invite distrust (which was very much the case at the time).

The newspapers had some excuse for getting it wrong then – it was wartime. But it does underline the fact that newspapers do not actually report news. Largely, they report what they are told by some official source, or some other source they consider to be reliable or convenient, and represent it as fact.

The fact that they all do it, and all get it wrong, simply suggests that "consensus" as a measure is one of your least reliable criteria.  That was true then, and it is just as true now.

COMMENT THREAD

There are no cuts. I say again, there are no cuts. What the Cleggerons are talking about is a reduction in the rate of increase in public expenditure as compared with the June budget. This is helpfully summarised here (see left) and the source is here.

You will see that the current financial year expenditure is £696.8 billion. By 2014-15, the projected expenditure was to rise to £757.5 billion. Little George is now proposing that this increase is limited £739.8 billion. This now becomes a 17.7 percent "cut", albeit that expenditure is still increasing.

Thus, the language of public expenditure has been redefined. A reduction in the rate of increase is deemed to be a "cut". In fact, by 2014-15, annual expenditure will have increased by £43 billion, up 6.2 percent (not nine, as originally stated). By such sophistry, "cuts" are not actual reductions. They are lower than projected rates of increase.

To prove this, straight from the horse's mouth, page 17 of the full Treasury report (para 1.15) states:
Even after these spending cuts, total public spending (Total Managed Expenditure) in 2014-15 will be higher in real terms than in 2008-09. At 41 per cent of GDP, this will be around the same level of public spending as in 2006-07. Spending on public services in 2014-15 will be higher than 2006-07 levels in real terms.
Repeat after me: "total public spending (Total Managed Expenditure) in 2014-15 will be higher in real terms than in 2008-09". How do they get away with this? "Even after these spending cuts, total public spending ... will be higher ". By any real world definition, these cannot be cuts.

But now the spin machine goes into action. To disguise the fact that, in most of the public sector (such as defence) spending is to increase (mainly to service debt and unfunded pensions), officials – elected and appointed – are now going through the elaborate charade of cutting back highly visible public services, including schools, libraries and police patrols.

With the connivance of the media and the unions, the public is thus gulled into believing that expenditure is being cut. By this means, they hope to divert complaints about the progressive deterioration in public services, as the unproductive "tail" gradually eats up a greater and greater share of the funds.

Nevertheless, as we are overwhelmed by the media gush of ill-informed laments about "cuts", we need to hold onto reality and keep stating: "total public spending (Total Managed Expenditure) in 2014-15 will be higher in real terms than in 2008-09". There are no "cuts". They are an illusion.

COMMENT THREAD

It's always the next day that gets you, although sometimes the day after as well – and that's the downside of going up to the "smoke". With the "cuts" dominating the news, though, this day can't come to an end quick enough, as we tire of reminding ourselves that there are no cuts. Public expenditure is set to rise by nine percent over the next five years.

This, though, is the new language of public expenditure. Year-on-year, it rises and, when the administration trims back the expected rise to a figure less than initially demanded, this is defined as a "cut". And, of course, our gifted officials make sure that this is accompanied by highly visible deterioration in public services, while salaries for the privileged classes continue onwards and upwards.

But then, so do our EU contributions and foreign aid. The grotesquely wasteful Olympics emerge virtually unscathed, while the "colleagues" do their best to undermine our productive base and cripple our economy.

I've asked it before, but it loses none of its force with repetition – and the reason we should not rise up and slaughter them is? The day comes closer to when it ceases to be a question and becomes an instruction.

COMMENT THREAD

Britain was hit by freezing temperatures today as the first blizzards of the season hit the north. Overnight and during rush hour this morning much of the north of Scotland and parts of Yorkshire were hit by wintry conditions forcing drivers to slow to a crawl.

But, says The Daily Mail, forecasters are not predicting a prolonged early cold snap with temperatures set to climb back to the seasonal average by the weekend.

That is as maybe. It is only October and we have a long winter ahead. Even ooop North, in the frozen wastelands of Yorkshire where the sun never shines and they all have funny accents, to get snow at this time of year is not that common.

Already, though, we can say with confidence, "global warming" is on probations. A heavy drop of the white stuff will confine it to the dustbin.

COMMENT THREAD