Three Months On …… and the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) seems to be working as intended; for the EU that is. From sausages to shellfish to snowdrops, some UK exports to the EU have faced bans or found EU regulations interpreted in the most prejudiced way possible by local officials. What was good to sell to the EU three months ago, is not now. Germans know a thing or two about sausages and they like Britain’s artisan products. They will know who to blame if our sausages are no longer on their shelves.
Meanwhile the EU continues to export unhindered to the UK even though some products don’t meet our standards. We are experiencing a little of what developing countries face in their efforts to trade fairly with the EU. Regulation is the EU’s weapon of choice. The cost of complying with the EU’s labyrinthine regulations is beyond the means of most developing countries. Instead they have to endure neo-colonial trading conditions, where the EU dumps its subsidised surplus on their markets and keeps them in poverty by denying them the chance to export their goods fairly. Even some Remainers now realise that the EU is a protectionist racket against free trade.
None of this needs to be ‘the new normal’. It is the consequence of Boris Johnson’s failure to negotiate proper safeguards for UK exporters as part of ‘Brexit’. Trade is the UK’s strongest card being the EU’s No.1 market; they export far more to us than we do to them. So it is time for the government to take the gloves off. For the EU to be served notice that if their attitude doesn’t change fast, the UK will scrap the TCA and trade with them under WTO rules.
The Good News …… is that UK exports to the EU are only linked to about 10% of our GDP; a share that is dwindling as EU productivity declines and new markets open up to the UK around the world. Services, not goods are where most future economic growth lies.
Meanwhile citizens in Europe are having their eyes opened by the EU’s behaviour. Die Zeit (27th Jan), one of Germany’s most pro-EU newspapers, wrote: ‘In the dispute over the delivery delay of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the EU Commission is making the best advertisement for Brexit. It is acting slowly and bureaucratically and is resorting to protectionism. And if something goes wrong, it’s everyone else’s fault. This is how many Britons see the EU. ‘Now I understand
Brexit better,’ an AstraZeneca employee said’. Comments echoed by German MEP, Dr Gunnar Beck (28th Feb): ’The vaccine chaos has crystallised the true nature of the EU … it is quite clear that Germany could have done much better on its own, without the dead hand of the EU. The Brussels true believers are hell-bent on sticking to their project …. even if it means spreading damaging rumours about a life-saving vaccine in the midst of a public health crisis with catastrophic economic consequences .… And why Britain freed of its chains, can finally take decisions in its own national interest’.
Boris Johnson continues to flounder in the trap set by the Northern Ireland Protocol. The province is now an EU hostage, stranded on the wrong side of a new EU/UK border in the middle of the Irish Sea. Key exports from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland now face the EU’s high regulatory wall, damaging the supply of essential goods to part of the UK and making it more dependent on the Republic. Local officials are refusing to build the new customs posts and there are ominous signs of a return to violence by loyalist paramilitaries. As the UK’s territorial integrity is threatened, IRA/Sinn Fein are encouraged and Ulster Unionists are resentful. Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Arlene Foster has urged the government to ‘stand up for Northern Ireland’ and to ‘ditch the intolerable Northern Ireland Protocol’.
Out of the EU, Into the World …. ’A new direct shipping route between Poole and Morocco will bring fresh produce to the UK quicker … the link to Tangier will help importers and exporters get around the delays caused by having to send goods via the EU. The weekly route has been established by United Seaways and will cut journey times on Moroccan goods to fewer than three days, compared with more than six via the current road routes …. Captain Brian Murphy, Port Director at Poole said: ’This is an exciting opportunity for UK, Moroccan and African importers and exporters, who are looking to develop existing and establish new business relationships’ (Daily Echo, 4th March)
‘Britain plans to lead a major drive to create a global trade agreement for selling services around the world, in a move that could add billions to the UK economy and enable the UK to export services such as banking, insurance and legal advice to fast growing economies. An agreement could open up Africa, Asia and the Middle East to City firms and other British companies ….. The move has been made possible by ‘Brexit‘; leaving the EU has unshackled the UK from other countries with different priorities, clearing the way for UK representatives to launch negotiations later this year at the World Trade Organisation. About 80% of the UK economy is based on services, with around 50% of UK exports being service based, whereas most countries in the EU are more reliant on trading goods‘ (Financial Mail, 7th March)
‘The Union Jack is to be flown from Government buildings in the UK on every day of the year, under a new scheme to celebrate Britain’s heritage and pride … Government ministers are to outline plans this week to allow the Union Jack to be displayed all year. Currently the flag is flown on government buildings only on designated days, such as the Queen’s birthday. The new plans are part of the Government’s aim to protect the Union. The new plans will also see managers of public buildings in England having to apply for planning permission if they want to fly the EU flag’ (Daily Express, 22nd March).
Some Stories You Won’t Hear On The BBC ….
‘Donald Trump was acquitted last night in his second impeachment trial ….. In a short statement he called the trial ‘a sad commentary on our times‘, and ‘the greatest witch-hunt in our country’s history‘. He claimed that Democrats ‘had been given a free pass to transform justice into a tool of political vengeance and to persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with which they disagree. I always have and always will be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement and the right for Americans to peacefully and honourably debate the issues of the day without malice or hate’. Donald Trump is enjoying record popularity among Republican voters. In a recent poll, 87% said they approved of his actions. He is already considering a 2024 run for President’ (Mail on Sunday, 14th Feb)
‘Police have recorded more than 120,000 ‘hate-speech’ allegations, yet cannot identify a single crime that has been prevented by the exercise. In response to a Freedom of Information request, none of the 43 police forces in England and Wales was able to point to any crime that had been prevented by such claims ….. Police ‘hate incident’ guidelines were recently updated so they can apply to schoolchildren and now include ’Ill-will’ spite, contempt, prejudice, unfairness, antagonism, resentment and dislike’. Harry Miller, co-founder of campaign group FairCop, said: ‘These reports have allowed the police to become weaponised by woke activists who seek to attack and shut up people if they dare to express any views that they do not agree with’ (Mail on Sunday, 14th Feb)
‘Students being taught at home increased by 130% between 2013 and 2018, from 24,824 to 57,132. Some local authorities saw far larger rises than others, with Barnsley Borough Council reporting a 772% increase; the biggest in the UK.’ (Oxford Home Schooling) ’75,668 children and young people were being home educated on 1st October 2020; an increase of 38% from the same day in 2019’ (Association of Directors of Children’s Services). It is no longer a few oddballs making an anti-establishment lifestyle choice …. with ‘wokery’ capturing the school curriculum, some may regard taking their children out of school as the surest means to defend conventional beliefs .… ‘The demographic has changed,’ says Hannah Titley, (Home Schooling Association), ‘It has become more mainstream, more respectable. It might be those who can afford school fees but don’t like what is on offer, or they might want to avoid the pressure of the school environment.’ (CapEx, 19th March)
‘The BBC licence fee has come under attack after a ComRes poll revealed that over half (51%) think it bad value for money. A third describe it as ‘very bad value’, with only 8% saying it is ‘very good value’. 34% of Britons feel that the BBC is ’too woke’ and nearly half complain that it represents London views more than the rest of the country’ (Mail on Sunday, 7th March)
CCP: Beast From The East ……
‘Hundreds of independent schools left in dire financial straits by the Covid pandemic, are being targeted by Chinese investors …. Experts anticipate a ‘feeding frenzy’ as firms, some run by high ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), seek to expand their influence over Britain’s education system. 17 UK schools are already owned by Chinese companies, but that number is set to rocket ……. The revelations will add to concern about the growth of Confucius Institutes at 29 British Universities and Confucius Classrooms at almost 150 schools …. They claim to promote Chinese language and culture, but critics say are a vehicle for Beijing to spread propaganda and curtail free speech ……’ Mail on Sunday, 21st Feb)
‘TikTok’s threat to the US goes beyond the surreptitious collection of data and censorship; China has used the app’s algorithm to inflame American public opinion. Engineers working for Douyin, TikTok’s sister site in China, manage TikTok’s algorithms, including those determining which videos are shown to users. That access allows the Chinese government to ‘boost the signal‘, in other words, to select content to get people to act in certain ways. TikTok is addictive, because through the world’s most sophisticated artificial intelligence software, it knows its users’ preferences. That makes the app especially handy for those with malicious designs. Radio Free Asia reported last August that a People’s Liberation Army intelligence unit, working from China’s now-closed consulate in Houston, Texas, was using data to identify Americans likely to participate in Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests, then sent them ‘tailor-made‘ TikTok videos on how to organize riots …’ (Gordon G. Chang, Gatestone Institute, 17th Feb)
‘Chinese government statistics reveal a huge drop in the number of old people receiving state payments in Hubei, the province containing the city of Wuhan, in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic’s eruption. The data, which shows a fall of more than 150,000 people receiving benefits in the first quarter of last year, will fuel fears that the death toll from Covid-19 in China has been far higher than the government has admitted‘ (Mail on Sunday, 21st Feb)
‘The WHO’s inquiry into the source of the pandemic is ‘a charade’ to appease China, leading experts on bio-security and infectious diseases have told. Colin Butler, former WHO advisor and epidemiologist at Australian National University said: ’The WHO’s findings appear to boil down to something like: ’We spent 3 hours at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, we talked to the people there and we formed the opinion that they are honest and competent. When they said the virus had not leaked, we believed them’ (Mail on Sunday, 14th Feb)
The End of the World Is Nigh ……..
‘Little Ice Ages recur in cycles. Pioneering studies by Professors Rhodes Fairbridge and John Sanders of Columbia University, show that our climate oscillates in a dependable, predictable cycle, becoming much cooler and wetter every 178.73 years. The cycle is caused by the sun’s retrograde, or clockwise, motion around the centre of mass, the barycentre, of the solar system. Called the solar retrograde cycle, the cycle involves changes in both solar spin rate and solar output, which then declines abruptly. The retrograde motion is produced by the gravitational pull of the planets; primarily Saturn and Jupiter. When Saturn and Jupiter are both in the same quadrant of the solar system they exert a greater pull on the sun. The cycle is undeniable. They concluded: ‘Solar cyclicity must now be considered as being a fact of life‘.
‘The solar retrograde cycle triggers fluctuations in geomagnetic-field intensity while causing extreme changes in climate. The changes are so severe that at every other beat of the cycle, approximately every 360 years, the earth plunges into a Little Ice Age. This cycle has plagued our planet for hundreds of millions of years ……. Unfortunately, the last beat of the Little Ice Age cycle occurred almost exactly 360 years ago. “If this pattern holds,” said Fairbridge and Sanders, “then a comparable Little Ice Age can be expected to begin in the twenty-first century.” (Ice Age Now, www.iceagenow.info, 24th Nov. 20)
‘US power shortages are showing the folly of eliminating natural gas and coal. Gas and power prices have spiked across Central US while Texas regulators ordered rolling blackouts as an Arctic blast has frozen wind turbines. Here is the paradox of the left’s climate agenda: The less we use fossil fuels, the more we need them. A mix of ice and snow swept across the country this weekend as temperatures plunged below zero ……. Yet the power grid is becoming less reliable due to growing reliance on wind and solar, which can’t provide power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While Texas is normally awash in gas and oil, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the state’s wholesale power market, urged residents this weekend to conserve power …….. rationing gas for commercial and industrial uses to ensure fuel for power plants and household heating. Blame bad government policies ….. Coal and nuclear are the most reliable sources of power. But competition from heavily subsidized wind power combined with strict emissions regulations, has caused coal’s share of Texas’s electricity to plunge by more than half in a decade to 18%.’ (‘A Deep Green Freeze’, Wall Street Journal, 15th Feb 2021)
‘Germany is held up as the world’s solar and wind capital but Germans are freezing through winter due to millions of solar panels blanketed in snow and turbines sitting idle. But as we speak, millions of solar panels are blanketed in snow and 30,000 wind turbines are sitting idle because there’s no wind. Freezing Germans are desperate for coal fired power’ (Sky News Australia 14th Feb 2021)
Tales From Europe ……..
‘The EU Court of Justice has ruled that Hungary violated EU law when it prevented illegal immigrants from seeking asylum. Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga, vowed to continue to protect Hungarian sovereignty. On Dec 17th she wrote: ‘We will continue to protect the borders of Hungary and Europe and will do everything we can to prevent the formation of international migrant corridors. Hungary will only be a Hungarian country as long as its borders remain intact. Therefore not only our thousand-year-old statehood but also the future of our children obliges us to protect our borders.’
The ECJ’s ruling comes a month after the European Commission unveiled the ‘Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion‘ which aims for EU member states to accept a ‘fair share‘ of migration based on their GDP and population. Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have been vocal in their opposition. Zoltán Kovács, spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, wrote that Hungary’s stance on migration remains unchanged: ‘The EU’s Action Plan seeks to bring some 34 million migrants to become EU citizens; 8% of current EU population. That is 34 million migrants granted citizenship and the right to vote. Who says this is what Europe wants or needs? When have the citizens of Europe voted for this? As the Prime Minister said in Parliament earlier this week, Hungary will oppose this plan with all its might and will not compromise.” (Gatestone Institute, 20th Dec)
‘Poland is to protect its citizens free speech against the censorship agenda of Big Tech. The bill will forbid tech giants from deleting material that doesn’t violate Polish law, with users having legal redress if muzzled by the Silicon Valley firms. Polish citizens will be able to complain about ideological censorship, and will have the right to sue if the server provides an unsatisfactory justification for censorship or if they fail to reply within 48 hours. The law will empower the Polish state to levy massive fines on the tech companies if they fail to restore wrongfully deleted posts and accounts.’ (Foxhole News, 13th January 2021)
‘Denmark’s government has announced plans aimed at fighting ‘religious and cultural parallel societies’. The plan includes capping the percentage of non-Western migrants and their descendants living in any given residential neighbourhood. The aim is to preserve social cohesion by encouraging integration and discouraging ethnic and social self-segregation. The announcement comes after Denmark approved a new law banning the foreign funding of mosques. The government has also declared intent significantly to limit the number of people seeking asylum. Denmark, which already has some of the most restrictive immigration policies in Europe, is now at the vanguard of European efforts to preserve local traditions and values in the face of mass migration and runaway multiculturalism .…’ (Gatestone Institute, 23rd March) .
‘Imagine Angela Merkel’s teenage years in East Germany (GDR); Soviet agents operated freely in the country and every second German was informing on neighbours to the Stasi secret police. But Angela Kasner as she was then, had few complaints, enjoying an upbringing which ‘was almost comfortable’. As she admitted, ‘Yes, we made compromises’. Such as pulling on the bright blue uniform of the Freie Deutsche Jugend (FCJ), the official youth movement of the communist state, to which she belonged at least until the age of 26. In 1970, when she was 16, she was awarded a medal reputedly for her ‘special commitment’ to the movement. According to witnesses later identified by her biographers, Angela Kasner worked in ‘agitation and propaganda’ for the FCJ. When questioned about these revelations, Merkel claimed ‘she couldn’t remember’. Today we see the plump, comforting shape of the Chancellor in the dull clothes of a German housewife. They are deceptive, for they hide the mindset of an early training in Marxist internationalism …. the young Merkel was taught to believe in a Soviet system that folded 15 republics into a single state; the USSR’ (Mary Ellen Synon, Mail on Sunday, 7th March)
‘Swiss voters have thrown out a law proposing digital ID. The result is a blow for plans by the government amid fears about data protection. 64.4% of voters rejected the planned law. The rejection rate among the cantons ranged between 70.7% and 55.8%. At stake was the creation of a digital identity verification system, to be licenced and controlled by the state but provided mainly by private companies. “Mistrust in private companies was dominant and helped to tip the vote,” said political scientist Urs Bieri of the GfS Bern research institute’ (www.swissinfo.ch, 7th March 21)
(nb.) The UK government wants a digital ID scheme, which could lead to a loss of privacy and a Communist Chinese-style ‘Social Credit’ system. See www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-digital-identity-and-attributes-trust-framework
Gogglebox ….. If the BBC’s mission is to depress the fragile state of the nation’s mental health, they are doing a fine job. BBC1 & 2 are almost unwatchable; non-stop news, politics, docu-dramas about serial killers, hospital soaps, endless coverage of Covid-19 and who’s to blame; sermons from Attenbro’ on ‘All Life On Earth Is Doomed Unless We Take The Knee to Worship St Greta‘; panel shows of lefty comedians trying to be politicians (or is it lefty politicians trying to be comedians, I get confused); revisionist historians claiming that our national story is a myth; woke ‘identitarians‘ grinding their axes in the name of ‘social justice’. No wonder BBC viewing figures are crashing.
Thank goodness then for ITV, C4 and C5, who have produced programmes worth watching. ITV still makes good dramas (The Drowning, Finding Alice, The Unforgotten, MacDonald & Dodds). ITV has the best quiz shows (The Chase, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire), some fine walking programmes (Julia Bradbury, Kate Humble); Joanna Lumley‘s Travels In My Own Land; plus ‘Devon & Cornwall’ (C4), ‘Susan Calman’s Big Day Out’ (C5), ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ (C4), ‘Greatest Hits of the 70’s and 80’s (yay!)’ (C5), ‘First Dates’ (C4), ‘The Undateables’ (C4), ‘Ben Fogle’s New Lives In The Wild’ (C5), and many more. C4 (joy of joys) put live Test Match Cricket on terrestrial TV for the first time in 15 years. The sun-soaked pictures from India looked lovely on frosty mornings, but sadly the England team don’t improve !
Local News …… BCP Council pushed back against the Cultural Marxists when a motion to enforce ‘Gender Neutral Language’ on all Council communications was thrown out by a large margin at full council on 23rd March. Meanwhile Diana, the ‘UKIP One’ on BCP, is busy organising her Green Team volunteers with litter picks in Creekmoor and Waterloo, as restrictions are set to be eased. She has been updating local notice boards and creating a garden at the local Community Centre, in preparation for re-opening in May. The CV-19 vaccine rollout in our area seems to be progressing smoothly and efficiently, with most residents reporting only positive experiences. The volunteers and stewards are doing a tremendous job. Let’s hope that Boris’s ‘roadmap’ doesn’t send us down another lockdown cul-de-sac !
And at long last we have some proper political action to get our teeth into, as two long delayed by-elections for BCP Council are to be held on 6th May. Mid-Dorset & North Poole Ukipper Vicky Spence is standing for Canford Heath. We are able to distribute leaflets (subject to social distancing), so there will be plenty of work to do !
‘Men it has been said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.’ (Charles Mackay 1814-1889, ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions‘ )
Don’t forget to check the monthly Dorset Digest (via e-mail) locally, as well as checking our branch website www.ukipmiddorset.org
e-mail: email@example.com 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