DARKEST HOUR ….. There is something demeaning about Mrs May’s desire to appease the EU, which goes well beyond the usual diplomatic niceties. The EU is not going to be Britain’s friend; it never has been and it certainly won’t be now. The EU is an expansionist, ideologically driven construct with no point of return, so we can expect its aggressive enmity towards Britain to persist. An independent Britain will be a rebuttal of all the EU represents and a positive example for other European countries to follow. Two completely opposite visions of politics will be on offer (National Democracy or Euro-Federalism); one or the other will prevail.
‘The New Europe of solidarity and co-operation among all its people will find rapidly increasing prosperity once national economic boundaries are removed’ (Arthur Seyss-Inquart, ReichKommissar, Netherlands, ex.1945)
Our position post-Brexit will echo that of 1940; or Tudor England after Henry VIII’s break with Rome, or Pitt the Younger’s Britain facing down Napoleon‘s Continental System. We will need to find new friends outside the EU and re-connect with some old ones. We must neutralise the enemy within. We must support those captive nations still trapped inside the EU. The sooner we develop our nation’s policy accordingly, the better.
‘(Hitler) knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward onto broad sunlit uplands‘ (Churchill, 18th June, 1940)
FAKE NEWS …… The increasing desperation of the ‘Remainiacs’ is evident in their attempts to try and derail the EU Withdrawal Bill by numerous ‘wrecking’ amendments, such as the one debated in Parliament on 23rd November. The amendment put forward by Green MP Caroline Lucas, attempted to transfer into UK law EU protocols on animal cruelty, which recognise animals as ‘sentient beings’. The amendment was easily defeated by the Brexiteers. This prompted a piece in the ‘Independent’ (sic) newspaper, claiming in effect, that Brexiteers had voted against animal welfare. In turn, this was picked up and eagerly recycled by the celeb-twitterati. What actually happened was that the EU protocols were rejected because they’re woefully inadequate in spite of all their fine words; by allowing (for ’cultural’ or ‘trade’ reasons) such gross abuses of animal welfare as bull fighting, donkey beating, force feeding geese (foie-gras) and puppy farming. We already have some of the most stringent animal welfare legislation in Europe, most of it ‘home grown‘. Once we’re free of EU law, we will be able to do even better, being able to outlaw such barbaric practices as live animal exports. The Dogs Trust has welcomed our coming ability to deal with such matters; ’Brexit provides a crucial opportunity to ensure that puppies entering the UK are healthy, not underage and are not being sold to the unsuspecting public’.
POSTCARD FROM THE USA … One year as President and Donald Trump is beginning to deliver his election promises. But you might not hear it from our ‘mainstream media’, who continually amplify the hysteria of a minority of demented left-wing banner wavers. Whatever one thinks of him personally, there is no doubt he knows how to get things done. Part of Trump’s appeal to US voters is that he is a highly successful businessman, so who better to run USA plc than someone who knows how business works ? Certainly better than the Clinton Democrats or the rest of the US political class, who like our own elite, seem to have very little real-life experience beyond politics.
Unemployment is down to 4.1% (lowest in 7 years); the US stock market is booming, interest rates are climbing back to normal levels and growth is set to pass 3%; more than Obama achieved in 8 long years. Trump had pledged to scrap 80% of Federal red tape by axing at least two existing regulations for every new one introduced. So far he’s well on target, with an estimated scrappage ratio of more than 20:1 (Mrs May note; this should be Britain once we’ve left the EU). The ‘secure barrier’ along the Mexican border is already well underway, with about one-third already constructed.
Trump’s most significant reform has been the cut in US Corporation Tax, from 35% to 21%. Although the UK reduced Corporation Tax to a similarly low level (19%), very little of George Osborne’s tax cut seemed to find its way into the pockets of ordinary people. In the USA it is different. Walmart, the US’s largest private sector employer is already passing on the benefits of the tax cut to its employees. Their minimum wage is set to rise from $9 an hour to $15 by 2020. Workers with more than two years in the job will get an immediate one-off bonus of up to $1000 (£738). The length of paid maternity is to be increased and staff adopting a child will receive up to $5000 to cover expenses.
‘Only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten can we create a bright future that is truly shared by all ……. To lift their burdens, share their hopes and empower their dreams ..’
Out of the EU; Into the World ……
‘British manufacturers are enjoying their longest unbroken expansion for more than 20 years ….. exports of British goods have hit a record high, with sales to countries outside the EU outstripping those to the EU. According to the ONS, UK factory output has increased for 6 months in a row, for the first time since records began in 1997. Record car production was the driving force behind the latest upturn … , (Daily Mail, 9th Dec)
‘Britain has been crowned the world’s best country in which to do business, in a major vote of confidence before Brexit. It is the first time the UK has taken top spot in the Forbes Annual Survey, after rising from fifth last year … the report comes just days after the pro-Brussels CBI said manufacturing order books were at a 30 year high…. the report, ranking 153 developed countries, said Britain had ‘brushed off siren warnings of economic collapse in the wake of the ‘Leave’ vote, with unemployment falling to a 42- year low and has ‘an attractive’ business climate .…’ (Daily Mail, 21st Dec)
Tales From Europe ……..
BULGARIA …… The capital plans to rid horse drawn carts from its streets, to ‘brush up‘ its image for their EU presidency. Sofia Council’s Simeon Slavchev said: ’the carts pose a serious risk of road accidents; they litter and no European capital allows them apart from attraction purposes ….. we plan to confiscate not only the carts, but the animals too ….’ (Daily Mail, 23rd Dec)
DENMARK …. is likely to be the next European country to ban the burka. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Bavaria have all imposed some restrictions on full-face veils. Most political parties in Denmark now back some sort of restriction on full face coverings. Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen whose Liberal Alliance had once been the staunchest opponents of a ban, said: ‘There will come a masking ban in Denmark; that’s how it is …’ (Daily Mail, 7th Oct.)
FINLAND …… Stumping up more cash to fill a post Brexit back hole in the EU budget would be ‘unbearable‘, Finland’s Europe Minister has said, as divides open up on how the bloc’s spending should be reformed. Sampo Terho said it was crucial the EU cuts its budget rather than relies on members to pay more: ‘When the EU becomes smaller, the budget should become smaller. That’s all there is to it. If the gap were to be filled with other countries payments, that is an unbearable solution. We must cut the budget ….‘ He also warned that using Brexit as an opportunity to push an agenda of deeper integration was ‘absolutely the wrong conclusion’ (Daily Telegraph, 25th Jan)
GERMANY …… ‘A new law which came into effect on 1st Jan, has introduced state censorship on social media platforms, requiring firms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online ‘criminal offences’ such as ‘slander, defamation or incitement‘, within 24 hours of a user complaint – regardless of whether the content is accurate or not. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50m Euro.’
‘Social media platforms are now expected to fulfil a new role as the privatised thought police of the German state. They will now have the power to shape the form and content of political discourse by deciding who can speak and what they will say. The new law was immediately enforced when Twitter and Facebook suspended the accounts of the deputy leader of the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), Beatrix von Storch, after she tweeted in response to a New Year’s greeting issued in Arabic by Cologne Police: ’What the hell is happening in this country ? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic ? …’ Meanwhile, Cologne police have filed charges against von Storch for ‘incitement to hatred……’ (Gatestone Institute, 25th Jan)
‘As free citizens, we believe in direct democracy, the separation of state powers, the rule of law, social market economics, family values and German cultural heritage. We commit ourselves to restoring these principles and to fundamentally reform our country in the spirit of freedom and democracy. We maintain an open mind towards other nations and cultures, but wish to be and remain German at heart. Therefore we shall continuously strive to uphold human dignity, support the family and maintain our language and traditions in a peaceful, democratic and sovereign nation for the German people’. (AfD Election Manifesto, 2017)
CZECH REPUBLIC ..… ‘The EU is at panic stations as anti-EU ‘populist’ Milos Zeman wins the Presidential elections and threatens to hold a referendum on ’Czech-xit’. Meanwhile EU28 pollsters reveal that the majority of Czechs would vote to leave the EU if a referendum were to be held’ (Daily Express, 29th Jan)
Stories You Won’t Hear on the BBC ……
George Orwell’s 1984 coined the sinister party slogan: ‘who controls the present controls the past; who controls the past controls the future’. The BBC must be aware of it, judging by their rewrite of history for ‘The People’s History of Pop’. Given a script that the 1970’s was all about racism, the narrator Danny Baker was asked to read: ’Being black in England meant being marginalised until the appearance (1973) of a certain maverick – Bob Marley‘. Baker complained: ’I can’t read this, it’s not true – do you know how many reggae records were in the charts in the 1960’s?’. But he was told; ’Just read (it) for the purpose of the documentary’.
Baker’s protest did succeed in getting the script altered, but he could have added that between 1967 – 1972, pop acts fronted by black or mixed-race artists were No.1 in the UK charts for 44 weeks (14% of the total); including many classic Tamla Motown acts, plus ‘left-field’ reggae such as Desmond Dekker (1969) and Dave & Ansel Collins (1971). In the same period, black artists took more than 20% of the Top Ten places each year for singles sales. The top selling artists of 1968, 1969 and 1971 were respectively Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross (but they weren‘t ‘political‘, so in BBC-world that doesn’t count). The fact is that black artists were mainstream in early 1970’s Britain. We were the most open country for black music, certainly in Europe if not the world. Not bad for a nation supposedly ‘riven by racism’.
The BBC’s new Director of Religious Programming is an atheist ….. James Purnell (former Labour Minister), has defended the decision to appoint him to a role traditionally occupied by a person of faith …..’ (Daily Telegraph, 21st Dec)
‘In what could be a line from the comedy show W1A (which satirises its own corporate gobbledygook), the BBC is recruiting a £78,000 pa ‘Head of Change’. The job advert for the role is beyond satire, running to four A4 pages and using the word ‘change’ 77 times ….. Candidates who read the jargon laden document to learn what is expected of them, are unlikely to be any the wiser. The successful applicant must: ’influence the success of the Terms and Conditions program with far reaching results,’ while ’leveraging opportunities for benefits’ They will have to ensure ‘the change environment is understood’ and ‘engage with senior stakeholders to understand change impacts’ (Daily Mail, 21st Dec)
A Civitas report has found that over a 10 year period, just 3.2% of speakers (132 out of 4275) talking about the EU on the BBC’s ‘Today’ programme, were pro-Brexit. Since Article 50 was triggered in March 2017, only 6.5% of speakers on ‘Today’ have been pro-Brexit’ (go to: http://alturl.com/zzyo5)
Communists once monitored by MI5 are now among Jeremy Corbyn’s senior advisers. Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Dame Stella Rimington, (first female director-general of MI5), said: ‘I see in Momentum some of the people who we were looking at in the Trotskyite organisations of the 1980s. They are now grown up and advising Mr Corbyn on how to prepare himself for power ….. Our first job was to find out exactly who the members of the Communist Party of Great Britain were, and various subversive organisations that were identified as wishing to destroy the democratic system of this country. Now they advise Mr Corbyn. That’s quite an ironic turn of events. Certainly their names are familiar’ (Daily Mail, 14th Oct)
‘Wealth is shared more equally in Britain than in most other Western nations, according to the World Bank. Figures show that income inequality in the UK is less than in nations including France, Canada, the USA, India, China, Australia and Italy. Of the 157 countries surveyed, the UK came 39th. Among the G7 club of the wealthiest nations only two fared better, Japan (36th) and Germany (22nd)…’ (Daily Mail, 13th July)
Rotten Boroughs ……..
Opposition to Dorset Super-Councils continues to grow. In a referendum last month, 84% of Christchurch residents rejected the plans. Now, all 13 opposition Councillors on Borough of Poole (including UKIP’s Mike Fisher and Poole People’s Party) have signed a letter to Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid opposing the plans. They claim the public consultation over the scheme was seriously flawed, with leading questions and opposition members excluded from seeing or contributing to the wording of the paper. They say that 97% of households did not take part in the consultation and that it did not offer all the possible alternatives, including some sharing of services between Bournemouth and Poole:
‘Most importantly Future Dorset have demonstrated no clear benefit to the people of Poole from this proposal. We have simply been told that it would be financially unviable to continue as an independent unitary, with no detailed explanation or evidence and showing no actual benefits for the town’ (Poole Herald Jan 25th)
‘Council tax bills in Poole are set to rise more than twice as fast as the public were told when they had their say on creating the new so-called ‘super-Council’ with Bournemouth & Christchurch. Bills in Poole could rise by 10% when the new Council comes into being in 2019, to ‘harmonise’ the Council tax rates with the higher rates of tax in Christchurch …..’ (Echo, 10th Nov)
Concrete Hell …. It seems that the Highways Agency and Planners are doing their utmost to turn the once pleasant green approach to Poole from The Bakers Arms into a canyon of over-engineered roadworks and over-development. The density of the Policeman’s Lane development is completely out of character with its rural surrounds, but is typical of the many greenfield new builds sprouting all over England’s once green and pleasant land. At a time when we have nearly 1 million empty homes and ample brownfield land, it is madness.
Local Councillors may argue they are creating a few affordable homes, but the reality is there is no such thing as ‘affordable housing’. Average house prices are now 9 times the average salary of a working person (assuming they have long term job security; an increasingly rare thing these days). Even deposits are beyond reach for most younger buyers. In 1996, 65% of middle-income earners aged 25 – 34, owned their own home; now it is just 27% (Institute of Fiscal Studies).
It’s a fallacy to believe that we can build our way to lower house prices. Private developers have little interest in ‘affordable’ housing; they want expensive housing and will keep inflating their prices to meet the vast amounts of money that are sloshing around in the housing market. Unfortunately much of this money is in the hands of very few; British property is now a valuable international commodity with high rates of return; a sort of alternative to stocks and shares, and speculators from around the globe are queuing up to buy. Building yet more houses will only fuel demand. We could cover Lands End to John O’Groats with new houses, it wouldn’t make prices any cheaper, or provide homes for young local, working people who really need them.
A35 Upton by-pass: How many times have you driven down the A35 on a sunny day this winter, with half the lanes coned off and nothing going on ? The last set of works took around two months just to produce a couple of re-marked lanes and a short stretch of concrete wall (now covered in graffiti). Is someone taking the Highways Agency for a ride ..…..?
‘Bath & NE Somerset Council spent £870,000 bringing in thirteen 20 mph zones. However a report has found that the rate of people killed or injured went up in 7 of these areas in the 12 months after they were installed. In the others, the rate either stayed the same or went down slightly. The report claims the findings reflect a national trend and concludes: ‘there is little in the way of persuasive argument for continuing the programme in the future‘. It adds: ‘the rise in casualty numbers would suggest against the further expansion of area based schemes‘. Cllr Simon Marshall commented: ’when you’re in a 20 mph zone and it doesn’t feel like there should be one, drivers are looking at the speedo rather than the road. Cars are so much quieter these days, so pedestrians don’t necessarily hear them coming’. But Deputy Leader, Patrick Anketell-Jones ruled out any change, saying; ‘it would cost the same amount of money to reverse them – we just haven‘t got the money.’ (Daily Mail, 18th Dec)
‘Police Stations with front counters where the public can talk face to face with an officer have been cut from 901 in 2010, to just 510 now …… The counter at Dorchester is no longer open to the public, so those wanting to see an officer can only speak to a police volunteer, who is available two days a week at the local library …. Dorset Police commented: ’Officers remain based at stations that no longer have an enquiry desk, They can meet the public there when an appointment has been made’ (Daily Mail, 23rd Dec) (nb. if you intend becoming a ‘victim of crime’, make sure you book in with your local police station well in advance, ed)
AND FINALLY …. ‘The biggest threat to our prosperity, happiness and national unity is not Brexit, Trump, or Vladimir Putin. It is the corrosive culture of hysterical outrage, nurtured by the Left, amplified by social media and increasingly entrenched in our universities’. (Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail, 30th Dec)
Don’t forget to check the monthly Dorset Digest
(obtainable via e-mail) for up to date bulletins
of ‘What’s On’ locally, as well as checking our branch website www.ukipmiddorset.org
All items in this newsletter are personal views only and do not necessarily represent the views of the UK Independence Party Mid-Dorset & North Poole