European questions for Ministers


          Mr Hague repeated his old burning building speech and explained things about the EU he does not like. As Foreign Secretary there is one very simple question for him. What is he doing about it? Why wont he get on with renegotiating the UK position? Most UK electors want a trade agreement but do not want to be bossed around by a high spending legislature poking its nose into our domestic affairs.

    At least Mr Grayling and Mr Duncan Smith intend to make a fight of the latest EU power grab. The UK has accepted the free movement of workers, allowing large numbers of EU migrants to come in to do jobs. The EU now claims the free movement of workers includes the free movement of benefit tourists. They want to stop us excluding  people from entry into the UK who want to live on benefits rather than work incomes. They think we should pay them if they turn up.

           This is an especially provocative EU interpretation of EU law. At a time when the government rightly wishes to cut the number of people on benefit and reduce the welfare bill, the last thing we need is a whole load more unemployed people turning up from the continent and claiming benefits here. Ministers will go through EU legal processes, and let’s hope they win. However, this issue is so fundamental, the UK government should simply say “No”.

            It’s bad enough the EU pushing its own budget up and sending us a disproportionate part of the bill at a time when we need to cut less desirable spending. It’s even worse that they now want to push our domestic budgets up through some strange interpretation of the free movement of workers.

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  1. Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    What do other EU countries do on when considering paying benefits to non-nationals? I think France and Spain, for example have a very different approach to the UK.

    A few years ago my wife, who is British, needed to ‘register’ with the local ‘commune’ in Brussels. The office was open, but no-one came to any of the booths (guichets). No phone call was answered. The office was crammed with people of a north African appearance. We left is disgust after half an hour, and my wife never registered. If she had been picked up for a motoring offence or something, o doubt a hefty fine would have been levied because she did not register.

    It’s amazing how other EU countries manage to avoid implementing EU regulations that don’t suit them. Our Civil Service, much less effective than it used to be, still tries manful to gold-plate EU regulations as if they are some kind of holy cow, rather than a set of mis-conceived diktats designed by highly-paid people with little apparent ability, knowledge or accountability.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      ” The office was open, but no-one came to any of the booths (guichets). No phone call was answered.”

      Sound like much of the state sector in the UK too. Rationing by inconveniencing and wasting the time of the public – it goes on all the time and all over the place. I particularly like the government phone lines that hold you for a long time on charged phone numbers then tell you to get lost and ring back later and then just hang up on you.

      All these great “services” we get from the state we should be so grateful.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        But presumably if they did man the phones you would regard this as evidence of overstaffing at the tax payers expense?

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          No, that would be regarded as efficiency-which it would be.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps “efficiency” but often even when they do answer they have not got a clue about the subject, have no information and often mislead you or suggest you ring yet another number.

            The also seem to like sending out letters with a name and number on but when you ring the number on the letter no one has ever heard of the person who “perhaps” wrote the initial letter.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Probably yes – the answer is for the state to do less and for its rules and procedures to be so blindingly obvious that very few phone calls are needed. That’s how mass markets work; Amazon did not grow by having a proposition that was so clunky that thousands had to phone their call centre.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            Indeed – exactly right.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          Since we pay for an army of (what is it now – 5+ million) civil servants and the state takes half our GNP we expect them to answer the damn phones and perform competently.

          Productivity in the public sector is a sick joke. We pay more and more and get less and less. For example – elderly relatives in hospital? Don’t expect the nurses to actually nurse them. They’re graduate professionals now, so they have to fill in forms rather than ensure the patient is fed or has his backside wiped. Want your bin emptied? Please put the crap in the correct one of the 4 receptacles you are forced to use – by the way, £1000 fine if you get it wrong – and we might collect it once every 2 weeks.

          The public sector is overrun with useless mouths like 5-a-day co-ordinators and global warming strategy people. We should fire the damned lot of them.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 7:02 am | Permalink

            “Don’t expect the nurses to actually nurse them” often not even feed them or give them water I see!

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            It’s worse, Sebastian, living in a filthy city where there is no enforcement. (That dosn’t mean no enforcement officers.) Our pavements are blocked by overflowing wheelie bins left out all fortnight by people who could get rid of most of it once a week by recycling, as that is all picked up with food waste once a week. But many households are too lazy to separate it, and prefer to leave it out unsorted on the pavement for a fortnight. They never get fined. Nor do the restaurants and bars who have fouled the streets with their mess and grease and leave huge indusrial bins out all the time.

            But the rats and foxes are happy. So are the cats and seagulls. And it provides camouflage for the litter louts and flytippers who never get fined either.

            We would love a bit of enforcement. Though I suppose it would be inflicted on comparatively harmless offenders, not the real miscreants who might cut up nasty.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          One is usually ringing to sort out some mess they have made in the first place or to try to make sense of an absurdly complex and nonsensical system they and government created. Or to find out why they have not answer at letter you sent months ago.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          If they are not going to answer the phone or have an answer phone on it then why do they bother paying for the line or advertising the number?

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
          If they are not going to answer the phone or have an answer phone on it then why do they bother paying for the line or advertising the number?

          ACTUALLY if you are paid by the public purse, then what you ARE paid for is to answer the damned ‘phone. Just doing it wouldn’t be a bad idea?

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      France and Germany have transitional immigration procedures in place the UK (Blair’s Labour) waved these. It is interesting to see that Osborne will break from the Tory conference to plead the Uk case about derivatives and the proposed transaction tax. I really think ti has come to the point where enough is enough.

      On the other hand Clegg gave a speech yesterday in Warsaw promoting greater political and fiscal union with Europe- will Cameron have the fortitude to make a stand- I think not. At home we are being asked to work longer and pay more taxes so Johnny Foreigner can receive benefits and a care home for free. Green helps the situation by failing to get a grip on immigration. An Oxford University Migration Observatory claim the Government’s target on immigration is not possible to achieve by 2015 and the Government target could only achieve half the number at best. In fact the birth rate is four times greater than it was in 1980 which is a direct result of immigration. The birth rate was 0.2% in 1980 and now it is 0.8%. This will grow exponentially as the population increases. For example the ONS reported, immigration also helped the number of women aged between 15 and 44, which incorporates those of child bearing age, increase by 200,000 to 12.5 million between 2002 and last year. Almost half the growth was due to a 239,000 net immigration, the difference between those moving to and those leaving the UK, over that period. The total number of births for the year was 797,000, the highest since 1991, and around one in four of those were to non-UK born mothers. Th UKs public services and resources can not cope with the volume of people that are already here and the increase from births of those who are here.

      I believe immigration is the real we are now being forced to work longer because those who come might not have paid anything in the UK pot or not enough in the UK pot before retirement. Disgraceful. The conservative ministers should be ashamed of their inaction on a host of issues since the election. Like John has written on a number of occasions they could simply say: “NO”.

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        You set out the threat well. A welfare state cannot be sustained with no borders. But the worst of it is not the economic cost of it all in extra benefits and services, but the sheer weight of numbers in a finite space, and no hope of escape from exponential increase, long after the welfare state has collapsed. That, and the disappearance from view of the original inhabitants, as they gradually succumb to depression and cease to reproduce themselves. Moreover, however bad things get here, it will still be more attractive to billions of people abroad than what they face at home, so they will just keep on coming. This aspect of the asylum and immigration problem is never, ever discussed by the no-borders enthusiasts.

  2. Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Can we not overwhelm the welfare systems of the warmer parts with our own pensioners and unemployed? How much longer will granny live if given that superior health care the French allegedly have? No need for winter fuel allowances on Portuguese or Greek islands. And Denmark supposedly pays nearly your full salary for several months if you lose your job. Great idea this. Maybe we should be early adopters.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      You are about 30 years behind the times. British retirees are taking advantage of the climate, lower property prices, less vulgar culture and many other perceived benefits all over Europe.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        I think the point was to get MORE of the older people to exploit the benefits. Please can someone publish a guide; if enough people go to the 2 countries that seem to run the EU, France and Germany will soon get the message.

        But why not be even more imaginative: contract out to Greece or Algeria or Morocco etc the task of looking after our criminals. The heating costs would be lower, they could all be put to work making flip flops and tee shirts, and the security would be no problem in the relatively uninhabited areas as their voices and appearance would stand out like sore thumbs.

        Actually, if they were required to work to pay back their debts they would have sore thumbs.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      If UK citizens could obtain benefits on the continent then there would already have been a mass exodus to the warmer corners of the EU. Truth is that people from these shores either can’t claim in places like France and Germany and are unlikely to try eke out a living on the 30 or 50 quid a month on offer to the unemployed in places like Romania and Hungary. By contrast, our comprehensive and generous benefits system will soon be open to millions of new claimants.. My own town, Rotherham, already has 2000+ Romanians, mostly Gypsies, who are overwhelmingly dependent on the welfare state, with many claiming tax credits and family allowance to support their large families. When Cast Iron Dave caves in yet again to Brussels we can look forward to many more new arrivals. The estimate that this new influx may cost 2.5 billion a year is nonsence- it will add tens of billions to the annual bill for benefits and social services.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        The unemployed can only claim £67.50 per week in job seekers allowance, so you’re unlikely to see a massive influx of people.

        If the parents could only claim family allowance for a maximum of 3 children people would stop having large numbers of children. Hopefully the Government will reform this.

        Also only those in employment can get tax credits.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          Tax credits are for both employed and the self employed. The unemployed also get rent paid council tax paid and other benefits are available. Which is often more than a basic wage.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          Not strictly true – Child tax credit is available to anyone responsible for children, working or not.

          Anyway, it’s not just job seekers, it’s housing benefit, council tax benefit, income support and the ‘liberal’ interpretation of disability for disability benefit.

          All these tanspire to make Britain the welfare capital of Europe. This is what does and will continue to attract Europes scroungers as well as it’s hard workers. Frankly, the UK has enough of it’s own scroungers.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            Of course unanime5, that’s right, we’ll only have to give them £67.50 x 52 each year in your fantasy land of incompetent benefit claimers. They all live in tents rent free I guess….

            Let me assure you that they can claim far, far more than that for accommodation when they have children. May I suggest a visit to your local council in your nearest large town and see what benefits are available. Have you not seen that it is quite easy to get the equivalent of £25,000 in benefits for doing nothing if you have a couple of kids.

            A lot of Eastern Europeans of a certain cultural heritage are past matters at extracting the maximum from the social security system.


          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

            past masters (predictive text sorry)

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            Zorro the £67.50 per week job seekers allowance is a benefit that only the unemployed can claim. Housing and child benefit is available to both the employed and unemployed. Though housing benefit for those in employment is called ‘Local Housing Allowance’.

            At present child benefit is £20.30 a week for your eldest child and £13.40 a week for each of your other children. So to get £25,000 a year in benefits or £481 per week you would need 2 unemployed adults (£135), 3 children (£47.10), and property with a weekly rent of £298.90.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            uanime5, no problem whatsoever in the South East (M25). There are countless families who are easily getting £1500 pcm in housing benefit. Thanks for proving my point.


        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          Would you rather be a poor Romanian with five children in Romania or Britain? Be honest.

          • Posted October 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            As you ask, I would much rather not be a Romanian at all !

  3. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    On top of all this nonsense we also have the agency workers directive coming in tomorrow.

    Why do the EU wants to handicap its member countries and all their businesses in this absurd way and why does cast rubber Cameron keep accepting all this self strangulation of the UK economy?

    Do you have any comments on the state of the NHS following the recent report by the Royal College of Surgeons and the large numbers of avoidable deaths every year?

    Reply: I do not have anything original or different to say on the NHS immediately. I will return to that topic when I do. I agree that the Temporary Workers Directive is another unwelcome exercise of EU power, which will probably lead to a lot of temporary workers losing their position after 11 weeks.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I am in favour of the proposed new 80MPH limit on Motorways – when conditions allow. Though the lack of good road space particularly in the South East mean you are often lucky to do 20MPH.

      Also as it uses about 20% more fuel at 80MPH than at 70MPH are the government finally giving up on the AGW exaggerations I do hope so. Or do they just like the fuel duty revenue stream rather more than the AGW agenda?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        I would happily agree to no limit on motorways if we could at the same time have a 20mph limit in villages, towns, and cities.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          20mph should only be considered where absolutely necessary. Outside schools for instance and only during hours when children could be at risk.

          There are already too many 20mph zones on through routes which are absurd and meaningless. They are being used as the ‘something to do’ approach to road safety.

          30mph is a safe speed on the vast majority of urban roads – especially through routes. Within a housing estate, maybe an argument for 20mph but lets not go mad and have them springing up all over the place.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

            I agree 20 mph is needed in modern housing estates. Due to the restriction in new build opportunities, many do not have sufficient parking spaces and play spaces, the knock on effect is invisible children on the streets.

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:27 am | Permalink

          On the no limits suggestion, I think this would cause to great a differential between a 56mph eco driver and a 156 mph sports car. I think many drivers and cars can just about react to a 24 mph differential, as they almost react to this and stationary objects around town.

          Also, although I would be in favour of 80mph, I would like to see an end to the intermittent use of slip roads as extra carriageways and I would wish to ban handsfree phones on motorways.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Yes, your point about the contrast between the eco-speeds and the racing speeds had occurred to me. But isn’t that what lanes are for? My hope would be that over time the sensible majority of motorists would discipline themselves to save fuel. If they take the decisions themselves, learning from each other by word of mouth how much they can save, they will be more pleased with the results than if they are compelled to save fuel by government.

            The point of the 20mph limit in built up places is to tackle the domination of traffic. Motorways are for the exclusive use of motorists, but cities and towns are not. People don’t realize how much the gradually increasing traffic has degraded our environment, and how much better life could be all round if that were reversed. Where pedestrianisation is introduced, no-one ever wants to go back to the hurly burly of traffic thundering through, and the aesthetic details of the streets are then attended to. In traffic-dominated streets, squalor and decay are ignored, and pedestrians not taken account of. As you say, children might just as well not exist. So a 20mph limit overall in inhabited streets is to achieve much more than preventing deaths: it is to improve the quality of life.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            I tend to agree on hands free phones point – many people are simply not safe on the phone in a car I have seen it many times – hands free or not. It is the conversation which distracts the brain which is dangerous not the lack of hands.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        It seems they are introducing more 20MPH zones too. In London 20MPH would be a dream most of the time as they have blocked most of the roads with environmental areas, bus & bike lanes, almost permanently red lights and interesting road mazes based on a cross between Hampton Court and a game of chess with mugging fines (I assume).

        I think 25MPH is slow enough really but will it apply to the bikes that speed up and down pavements, weave in and out and go through red lights and across crossing often at about 40MPH often with no light and bad brakes. Also with about 20 times the death per mile rate than cars.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        As the past idiotic government has agreed to silly binding carbon targets where will the save the additional carbon used by all these cars going at 80MPH?

        Hopefully by scrapping the targets.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        No the 80 mph speed limit just happens to be equivalent to the limits used accross the EU – this is just another example of John’s Tories doing as they are told.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Not exactly true, you can go at 78mph on a French motorway in clear weather, if it rains etc. then the limit is reduced to 66mph, but as happens in the UK most people go faster than the limit anyway.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          I agree with you on this – just as when they introduced much bigger lorries here because they had them on the continent, the difference of course being that there they restrict them intra muros.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t believe the 20% more fuel claim unless it’s backed up by independant stastitics.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          As an engineer I certainly do believe a lot more fuel is used at 90MPH. Energy use goes up roughly with the square of the speed (air resistance being the main factor). So if people do actually go faster they will certainly use more fuel. Also they tend to have to brake and accelerate more too using yet more if going faster when a jam occurs.

          But you are right I got 20% of the news – it actually works out at about 30%.

          Mind you with fuel duty and tax as high as it is many will perhaps stick to a steady 50MPH and save a lot of fuel so they can still eat and pay the mortgage when they get back from work.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        I don’t find that fuel consumption varies that greatly between 70mph and 80mph: perhaps 5% is more like it. This is likely a consequence of better aerodynamic flows as speed increases, eventually being overwhelmed when speeds exceed the optimal level for the body and transmission design (I suspect I might see a much larger penalty at say 100mph on a German autobahn). The real killer for fuel consumption is low speeds and stop-start driving.

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

          Tanks performance is limited by their transmission type ; caterpillar tracks .

          Boats experience less friction with the water if they can reach planing speed so their efficiency can increase at greater speeds .

          I’m pretty sure neither really applies to cars – unless you change something ; eg wind your windows up or close the sunshine roof .

          At very low speeds the increase in air resistance is proportional to the increase in speed , eventually at higher speeds it becomes proportional to the square of the increase in speed as Lifelogic says and at even higher speeds it exceeds the square of the increase in the speed .

          Air resistance is not the only place in which power generated by the engine is spent . Parasitic losses may not go up in proportion to the square of road speed :-
          – charging system loads ; discharged battery , having all lights and electrical items on
          – air conditioning
          – fluid pumping losses within an automatic transmission
          – coolant pumping losses
          – tire rolling resistance
          – gear tooth meshes , typically 1-2% loss per parallel mesh , 2-4% loss when transmitting power through 90 degrees (if rear wheels are powered) .

          The higher road speed and choice of gear can put the engine at a speed and load at which it generates power more efficiently .

          If parasitic losses are significant in comparison with air resistance then the increase in speed will be accompanies by a lower than expected increase in fuel but I’d be flabergasted if the difference between 70 and 80 mph was only 5% .

          It’s quite amazing to see how much more efficient cars are than those of only 20 years ago .

          In stop and go driving they should be much worse considering their weight (with passengers) has typically increased by 50% due to safety and luxury equipment .

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          It does depend on gearing, the shape of vehicle, engine but I think 30% is nearly the mark for most vehicles.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      What you call a business handicap most employees call additional rights. Unlike UK Governments the EU is supports workers rather big business.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        So they will all be supported until the become unemployed then.

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          The Government has to support them even after they become unemployed (welfare system). As the taxes businesses pay go towards these benefits businesses are indirectly supporting them as well.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

            How will the state support them when the tax revenue and borrowing have dried up?

        • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          You assume that the job will not exist if the pay is not low enough. Not true. Do you think it is right that a worker can still be considered ‘temporary’ after three years doing the same job next to a permanent worker earning more?
          The whole thing is a ruse to lower employment rights and pay less.
          Do you find this acceptable?

          • Posted October 3, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            The job might still exist just no longer in the UK.

        • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Is it right for a company to make large profits and pay low wages? So low that the state has to subsidise these wages?
          Not very good with specific questions are we Lifelogic? I wonder how you bluff in engineering?

    • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      There have been fears that some agency workers will simply be laid-off after 11 weeks so they do not benefit from the increased rights.
      A company must not employ these workers again for another six weeks.
      However, if a pattern emerged of an employer repeatedly only having 11-week jobs, then an individual could take a case to tribunal where fines of up to £5,000 could be handed out.
      Quite rightly. Maybe it could be explained as to why it is right to pay agency workers less for the same work.

  4. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What would happen if I, a person of advanced age in the 50’s category, were to nip off to France or Belgium and decide to just swan about, looking for casual work? Could I simply apply for the equivalent of their welfare-benefits? Could I get on their housing lists or simply walk into an office somewhere to rent a flat? Somehow I doubt it.
    Yet here we are in the UK, an open door for every bit of rubbish that crosses from the continent; free handouts at the taxpayers’ expense. Just noticed Davidb’s post, yes, why don’t we send ship-loads of British (volunteers and other) “over there” and start bashing their welfare systems? See how they like it!
    This country is being milked by Brussels for all it’s worth….why why why does no-one seem to have any effect or win any battles for us?

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      You are just as entitled to exercise your Treaty rights in another member state as for example a German or Irish citizen is in UK. Unfortunately the average British worker has no knowledge of modern European languages or any inclination to learn them and therefore could not imagine relocating to make a better life for himself.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        No problem; we are told it is the human right of viasitors here who do not speak English to be provided with translation services. Presumably the French would do the same 🙂

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        ACTUALLY, Mr Clever-Clogs Public Servant, my French is still pretty decent, would only require a general brush-up; AND I therefore claim to be above-average.
        Andrew; agree completely, I can’t imagine the French providing hundreds of different translations for their immigrants… many was it that we had on the recent census?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        The UK has a far more easily accessible benefit system than many European countries with services free at the point of use. It is not comparing like with like.


        • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          It is to simple to say the benefit system is the main attraction for immigrants. You assume they are all bone idle. It is really the ease of which they can obtain work often illegal work undermining the legitimate workforce. It is very difficult for them to find work in Germany or France and how could you stop them from entering Germany? A crackdown of rouge employers would be good start in preventing immigration, but you will not hear this from the pro business fantasists.

          • Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            I don’t disagree with anything you said there. The ease with which our benefit system can be exploited in tandem with the lack of enforcement of working conditions is a considerable pull factor to the UK.


          • Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

            An increase in regulations?! Lifelogic. We await your input!

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      To the new “Chris” who has just started posting on this site: I have been posting for a couple of years on this site and others as Chris. You may not agree with my postings and vice versa, and I don’t want there to be any confusion. Any chance you could add another initial?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        I’m not new either. However, I may have been forgetful and posted in the past under another title. I am sure I can create an appendage. Job done.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          Many thanks!

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Basically because the British Public Sector is on Brussels’ side and incredibly they will put everyone else’s interests first before British. They seem to want to do down their own countrymen. None of the Continental European countries act in this suicidal way and realise that Britain will pay almost anything if threatened so protecting their own. Another reason that has recently been revealed by tightening up incapacity benefit claims. is the almost non existent and incompetent checking of benefit claims that has existed for years.

  5. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Renegotiation means the other EU countries have to agree with what we want. Do you think there is any realistic prospect of this – eg of the UK obtaining an opt-out of any EU measure, as you have proposed, in exchange for our veto?

    Reply: Yes, if the government showed some political will over this.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      In that case I suggest focusing efforts on this in the new backbench grouping. Much better to push for specific measures which the public can understand & will like than be generally anti-Europe. If the UK really could opt out of any EU measure past or present we would get all the advantages of the free trade area without the socialistic baggage. Your idea of joining NAFTA as well should then be revived. The more free trade the better, as history shows.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        The new backbench grouping do not seem to have made any noises at all yet despite the target rich environment of EU mess ups and attempted bullying of the UK over the last couple of weeks. I had a peek at George Eustice’s blog page and it doesn’t have anything on the topic and hasn’t changed since 22nd September, this is odd considering his UKIP background. Chris Heaton-Harris does have an entry for 25th September but is more an explanation of some events, I get more from John and Finance sites.

        If it is a focus group why does it not have a web site, a channel to inform and educate the public. Why aren’t members burning the midnight oil to inform and sway others of their opinion and concern?

        I wonder if any individuals from that group was invited onto Newsnight. With its new found euscepticism/eurealism I would have thought the BBC would have been beating at their door.

        I wonder if the aim of the new group is really to attentuate or deflect action rather than amplify or focus it.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          Usefully tool for the PM to allow his former gofer to form a group to manage dissent a la Lyndon B Johnson.


  6. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Mr Green,
    Last time I checked the UK was a country governed by the rule of law. The proper way to contest the interpretation of EU law is through the ECJ. If we do not, as a nation, like the implications of international treaties to which we are signatories then the correct response is to renegotiate the treaties or withdraw. Simply to ignore our treaty obligations would put us in the category of states with no respect for the rule of law. I do not believe that most people would favour the option which you advocate.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      How quaint and sentimental but apparently hardly a trait shared in a lot of EU countries?

      How many EU laws are broken by the EU as long as it is deemed to serve ‘ever closer union?’ How many countries signup for the rules and see only the cash?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes public servant go tell the Germans and French about it. I see this attitude too much a work – public servants who are ready to strain the gnat but swallow the camel in relation to the EU.


    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      We should indeed renegotiate the treaties. Any court such as the ECJ that can make such mad ruling (such as for example the gender neutral insurance even for car and life and pensions) is clearly so detached for the real world and business and totally mad.

      Shifting risk and costs to the wrong people will cost many jobs and many lives. People need to bear the real risk and costs of their actions not have the ECJ forcing so called “equality” on them.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      ‘If we do not, as a nation, like the implications of international treaties to which we are signatories then the correct response is to renegotiate the treaties or withdraw.’

      Sounds good to me, especially the withdrawal option. 🙂

      I think you might be overestimating the EU’s legal system. Article 125 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union reads as follows:

      ‘The Union shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of any Member State, without prejudice to mutual financial guarantees for the joint execution of a specific project. A Member State shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of another Member State, without prejudice to mutual financial guarantees for the joint execution of a specific project.’

      It’s incredibly hard to argue that this provision has been followed, and yet that is what courts across the EU have ruled. The rule of law is a good thing; let’s have more of it, not subservient courts that bend the law in governments’ favour.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        How ‘specific’ does a project have to be in order for this apparently generalised prohibition on the Union taking on the commitments or liabilities of a Member State to take effect? I must have misread yesterday’s news about the new indebtedness being taken on by the EFSF to ensure that Greece does not default on its debts.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The UK is indeed governed by the rule of law-the UK parliament is still sovereign.

      We should quite simply say we do not recognise the right to the enforcement of that bit of the treaty.

      Treaties are mere agreements-not law-they are not enforceable in any practical way. It is entirely up to the government of a country whether it wishes to comply with the treaty. Naturally, there may be repercussions, but what these are depends entirely on the balance of power and economic advantage between the parties at the time. The EU is hardly a pillar of economic strength at the moment. Neither are we, but probably in better shape overall. That advantage should be used.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        The ECJ has ruled that treaty articles are legally enforcible. Also the UK agreed to act in accordance with all EU treaties.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          That’s my point-agreed. We can equally decide to change our minds.

          The ECJ cannot enforce its judgments. They are meaningless-like a judgment against travellers for example.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

            The ECJ can enforce their judgment by fining countries/companies for failure to obey the law and failing to obey their judgment.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Dear Public Servant

      I think you are conflating legal theory and administrative practice. For example, when a European court ruled that it was unfair to pay winter fuel allowance to women over 60 but men over 65, the UK government complied fully in law but made it as hard as possible for men of 60-65 to claim unless they were on benefit. This included for instance a requirement to send an original birth certificate (not copy) by post, something the Passport Office strongly advises against. Take-up was therefore satisfyingly low.

      Unfortunately, Whitehall insisted on setting up a completely separate bureaucracy with several offices round the country to police this, so savings were probably as low as the take-up.

      But if administrative measures can be taken to stultify the benefit of a European Court ruling for British men, it can be done in other cases too. Cynical but practical, much as in some of our sensible EU partner states.

      • Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        It seems the DWP will accept alternative forms of ID if the original birth certificate is not to hand: see [cols WA35 & WA36]

      • Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        If, after providing alternative evidence (see the examples given by the Minister in the link I provided yesterday), the DWP still demand the original birth certificate then you appear to have a good chance of success in challenging their decision.

  7. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Are they [EU] trying to pick a fight? I hear this is illegal even under their own rules.

    Of course, we could just stop welfare payments for everyone – then we might be a net exporter of benefit claimants, and other foreign undesirables. It’s an ill wind that blows no good!!

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      What do you mean by they? There is no they. The EU is a collection of member states.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        The proposal is by the Commission-a bureaucracy which, like all bureaucracies has evolved to represent itself, not those who pay it.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          Indeed nearly these state organisations are run for the benefit of their employees and organisation.

          Why else would there be so many more deaths in the NHS at weekends – because certain staff do not like to work at weekends and the need of the patients take second or rather third or tenth place – after all they have paid already anyway for the “service” or some have.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Hospitals don’t have the most experienced and expensive staff work weekends and at nights because they’d have to pay them more money.

            Also are people more likely to injure themselves on a weekend? If there’s a higher hospital admittance then it’s no surprise that there’d be a higher level of death.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            No this was people often already admitted, just not getting the treatment needed at weekends should if, for example, their condition deteriorated.

            Also four times the death rate for emergency abdominal surgery as compared to USA.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        “They” is the institutions of the EU which are unelected, unaccountable, act in secret and cannot be removed.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          So the UK should join them to have a greater influence on their decisions.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            You’ve added a spin to Andrew Smith’s argument .

            How would joining them make them any more elected , accountable or removable ?

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            ha ha ha ha

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

            double hahahahaha

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

            Simon it wouldn’t make them more ‘elected , accountable or removable’ but it would make these institutions more favourable to the UK.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        No, the EU is a group of bureaucrats who have names. I would like any demands from the EU to be accompanied by the names of the individuals responsible for trying to foist them on us. I would like to see whether their authority matches their actual responsibility and vice versa.

        I would also like to see the same happen with UK central and local government dictats, purely in the interests of transparency.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Just a Brussels inspired feign ( negotiating ploys) to give Cameron a small victory as he signs on the dotted line.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        I tend to agree.

        This is how we have consistently lost out in negotiations.

        Europe; in return for not doing something that they never had any intention of doing, will get our consent to something far more damaging to British interests.

        Europe has become an oppressive and unpleasant dictatorship, which no longer even pretends to govern in the interests of its citizens.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          It’s not Europe’s fault that the British are such poor negotiators?

          Also are there any other European countries who had the EU or is it just the UK?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Do’h !

        It’s obvious now you point it out, SM.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed we will have a choice of getting rid of or reducing benefits hugely in some way or getting out of/renegotiating the EU or having lots of benefit migrants.

      I am quite keen on doing the first one, to a degree, and certainly the second.

      • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Many are work migrants. How do you stop them?

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:16 am | Permalink


      As I understand it the EU are saying that we are not being consistant with claimants, and therefore our system is not fair.

      Some (those who choose to arrive) have to promise to reside here for years be self supporting, and looking for work before benefits are paid, some (who live here) can get it immediately with no such qualification.

      Whilst I agree we should tell the EU to stick it where the sun does not shine, like many other policiy directives, there is perhaps a way forward.

      Perhaps we could make it very simple, make the same rules for everyone and cure some of our problems at home at the same time.

      No Benefits, NHS free treatment for anyone, until they have paid in 5 years full contributions Then we are being consistant with everybody and have upheld the EU suggested directive of fairness for all.

      Let me make it clear I wish we would simply get out, but let us play them at their own game in the meantime, everyone else does.

      Also reported in the newspaper today (Telegraph) more possible fraud/waste, found within EU expenditure which may have reached 10% of EU budget spending in some Country’s. It lists all of the usual suspects with the UK near to the very bottom.

      Well there is a surprise, guess the accounts will not signed off yet again.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        The problem with this is that many young people will not be able to meet these requirements, thus making youth unemployment much worse and pushing more people into crime.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          so little faith in our youth uanime5?


          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            Well we do have 20% youth unemployment.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        I agree, 5 years till any benefit. So do we let the children starve?

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          I don’t agree and think subsistence level benefits should be universal , or at least universal for British Citizens .

          Non British Citizens should have no access to benefits or state schooling and should be required to buy approved health insurance as a requirement for entry .

          Perhaps workfare , whether you have paid 5 years or not , should be a route toward enhanced benefits (and of course hopefully towards a job itself) ?

        • Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink


          “Do we let the children starve”.

          Not sure if this is satire or not ?

          But parents responsibilities are to look after their children.

          Children are usually described as being persons under working age.

  8. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    Presumably you would treat all EU citizens without fear or favour? There are plenty of Irish citizens taking advantage of free movement rights under the Treaty of Rome and of bilateral agreements between the UK and The Irish Republic. We obviously share a common language with these Irish immigrants, who are less obviously ‘other’ than our ‘continental’ neighbours. Personally I see no legitimate reason to differentiate.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      It would be nice if the Commission made it easier for all EU citizens to open bank accounts on other member states. It would be easier then for UK savers to take advantage of higher interest rates in the Euro-zone or other currencies.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Under the British nationality Act 1948 an exception is provided that citizens of the Republic of Ireland (ROI) can also hold British Citizenship and dual nationality thereby automatically allowing them the full rights of British citizenship.

      BTW in the ROI the ‘Live Register’ measures those claiming benefits. In August 2011 there were 390,000 registered of whom 18,925 were from the UK.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Ever since the treaty back in 1922 the Irish have been entitled to dual citizenship and to serve in our Armed Forces. This was due to fact that at the time about 10-20% of the population of what is now the Republic were Unionists (not all of them Protestant, by the way). Apart from speaking the same language there are ties of blood, culture and shared history between the UK & Ireland that do not apply in the case of (say) Romania.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        The protestant community in Eire has been virtually cleansed through religious and state persecution.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Yes, sadly Irish Republicanism ran a cold unwelcoming house. West Cork in particular saw wholesale murder of Protestants and Unionists. In the aftermath many moved to the north or to England.

  9. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    As someone who is in favour of our open borders EU policy I despair at this. It’s hard enough to portray immigration in a favourable light and this won’t help. It’s always been my position that immigration is a good thing but that immigration coupled with welfare is disastrous, that the two are mutually exclusive if no limits are placed on either.

    It seems we’re now going to test that theory to destruction.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      We’ve got over 63m people in the UK .

      Are you really saying that further immigration and population increase is a good thing ?

      Doesn’t there come a time when enough is enough ?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        ADS: “Doesn’t there come a time when enough is enough ?”

        Yes there does.

        I just posted a link to a talk about exponents and how they apply to human societies. It is very much worth while watching.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Talking about EU immigration (which we are, there has to be some controls) I do believe that further immigration is a good thing. We’ve had the initial increase from the expansion in 2004 or whenever it was, and it doesn’t seem, to me at least who lives in an area which has seen a massive influx of eastern europeans, to have done any harm.

        No doubt there is a lot of churn going on now with these same countries, and others we’d think of as more developed, and I’d like to think we that people from other parts of the EU and who want to come here, roll up their sleeves, and get stuck in would be made to feel welcome.

        Daily Mail headlines about ‘benefit tourists’ certainly won’t help that.

        As far as non-EU immigration goes I think everyone can agree that’s gone past too much a long time ago as that tends to be a one way street with little reciprocal benefit and due to chain migration tends to expand beyond the original intent.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          It doesn’t seem to have done any harm, Norman ?

          Are you already on the housing ladder perchance ?

          The state sector expanded by 1m, we have a housing crisis, 2.5m unemployed, we’re broke with a record deficit.

          Of course I’m not blaming the immigrants. And of course I don’t think there should be a ban on immigration. However the countries which aren’t broke have a rigorous points procedure for entry and a well controlled welfare system.

          BTW I’d gladly swap many of theirs for many of ours but that really wouldn’t be fair on them.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            And yet look at the uproar now when the coalition are trying to relax planning laws. I try and be consistent and I’m all for building more houses and relaxing planning restrictions if it means more mobility of labour and a lowering of prices. Even though it means my house will fall in price and even if the lovely field I can view from my front window becomes crowded with houses.

            And if services, roads, schools, etc. also get the attention they need, no good just shoving down a few hundred houses and saying ‘there you are’.

            I’m not talking about non-EU immigration, I think that we should be aiming for net non-EU immigration of zero. The EU is a big enough economic zone, with enough well educated professions, that we shouldn’t need to look outside.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          I think you’re outnumbered, Norman. Try telling a load of graduates who are still looking for work that immigration is a “good thing”. Try telling loads of British people, of all ages, that foreigners can queue-jump in the housing waiting-lists because they are—er—foreign and therefore in “greater need”. Try telling the taxpayers that more of their money will be forcibly spent on providing handouts for immigrants who plan to come here and do nothing.
          And you smugly claim that immigration is a “good thing”? The harm done is often invisible at the outset; it only appears after a period of time. No recent immigrant has ever been beneficial for my life and I doubt if they have been for many other people either.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

            I fully accept that the majority of the country has had more than their share of immigration so I’m perfectly happy for a harsher to be taken by the government even if it’s against what I personally think. And I wouldn’t say those people are wrong.

            I can’t be right about everything, unlike our wives!

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Would that be your position generally, in respect to all countries? For example, would you advocate an open borders policy on Israel to allow in those who are not ‘chosen’ or the Palestinians to return to their homeland?

      If you would wish to discriminate could you enlighten us to your proposed modus operandi?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I did say ‘open borders EU policy’ so basically EU members. A pool of 300+ million people should be more than enough to provide everything we need.

        Non-EU immigration should be aimed at net zero.

        As for Israel, I must be about the only person in the country who is completely indifferent about it. For what it’s worth (nothing) I’d say that Israel seems to be a functioning democracy that operates within the rule of law and within internationally accepted norms so I’d be quite happy to trust their judgement on whatever they decide is best. But I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other.

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:23 am | Permalink

          “A pool of 300+ million people should be more than enough to provide everything we need.”

          Everything we need? Every what thing? What on Earth are you talking about?

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

            Every profession that our economy needs. We shouldn’t have to be going to India to get IT personnel, for example. Or the Phillipines for nurses.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Norman is right to redress the balance on the immigration debate. For too long the guilty men have made out the problem is just a Polish one. The socialists are even now, in apologising for their immigration policy, saying they got it wrong on Eastern Europe. But the overwhelming numbers they allowed in, were and are, extra-European, and this they not only won’t discuss, or admit, but actually deny, repeatedly asserting that “80% of immigration” is coming from Europe. Many people now believe this falsehood.

            Not only have Poles been a blessing to us, showing it is possible for Europeans to work hard for not much reward, and be fit, polite, and well spoken, they didn’t even start to arrive in large numbers till half way through the last decade – 8 years after the socialists had opened our borders to the rest of the world. The reason people like to blame it all on the Poles is that they can’t be accused of racism. They know they mustn’t even mention extra-European immigration.

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

            Norman ,

            We don’t need to go to Europe for I.T. personnel .

            Even the UK Borders Agency has finally admitted that there is no shortage of I.T. developers except in the very specific areas of for computer games and computer graphics for the film industry .

            The reason why we’ve got so many Indians in on ICT visa is solely because they are cheaper . This is inspite of the fact that unemployment amongst British Computer Science granduates is according to University Bursars the highest of any main stream degree including social sciences .

            The jobs aren’t even advertised in the UK any more !

            Take a look at the EU-India free trade agreement and in particular “Mode-4” .

            The political establishment has decided that the destruction of the British I.T. Industry is a price well worth paying for getting our financial services industry access to the Indian consumer market .

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            I assume that for some reason you have ruled out the possibility that our education system could be adapted to serve the needs of this country and its people rather than act as a mechanism for grooming with Cultural Marxist propaganda?

            Or did you have in mind that in the wonderful EUSSR, all regions (post nation states) would have specialisms, so, for example, the Baltic region would undertake to supply us all with Chiropodists?

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            I wouldn’t mind, Norman, but we’ve already paid for the training of our own highly expensive nurses (and doctors)

            Is it really fair that we should get nurses from the Phillipines while ours are poached by Austraila ?

            We should also question why ours don’t wish to remain here.

  10. Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Most important thing here is TRUE LEADERSHIP – as opposed to GREASY POLE CLIMBING.

    A true leader will see benefit tourism as wrong – they will look at the system and see the system as being wrong – and will then try to understand why the system is wrong and will make every effort to change it. A greasy pole climber will look at a broken system and see a problem for themselves not for the people they are leading – they will make noises but let themselves be detracted.

    It is good to see Mr Hague start to make efforts to change the system.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      “EU ring through our nose but not led by the EU”


      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, wrong place.

  11. Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    JR: “Mr Hague repeated his old burning building speech ”

    Don’t forget Mr Hagues other drivel: EU ring through our nose but not led by the EU.

    So for everyone else reading John’s blog lately, it has taken on a significantly more Euro Sceptic* tone. And now I realise why! The Tory conference is upon us!!!


    *Note: don’t mistake it for patriotic. The Tory party doesn’t do patriotic anymore.

    reply: My site has always been Eurosceptic. I do not have to play to the Conference gallery and deeply resent your insinuation.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      JR: ” and deeply resent your insinuation.”

      And I regret causing you offense.

      BUT …

      I am sick and tired of being enticed by Tory blandishments: Cast Iron promises, Our brand new leader is the most eurosceptic in a million years, we are going to encourage business – at the same time as destroying business with the insane global warming tax, we are going to do something about immigration when everyone knows full well without leaving the EU the UK can do nothing sensible about immigration – by the way that was a argument you yourself made about fifteen years ago.

      But don’t worry, the Tory party will save us!

      It just isn’t credible John and then to quote that turncoat William Hague was more than any reasonable person could bear first thing this morning.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      “EU ring through our nose but not led by the EU”


  12. Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Not only for the EU but for the UK also this is playing out as the slowest motion car crash in history.

    We will be stuffed by the Tobin tax, and by all the EU regulations that heve been recently passed and by those imminent and yet we still find we are ruled by Europhiles anxious to do the EU bidding.

    We further disadvantage ourselves with a high energy policy in order to build windmills notwwithstanding adequate coal reserves, and we promote high taxes to deal with the budget deficit.

    We seem to be quite oblivious to the fact that only the largest companies can comfortably accommodate our system of taxation and regulation and yet our government still say they wish to promote new business which they seek to do with subsidies for established compaanies, which will increase the need to further raise taxes.

    We will continue to impose Keynesian/Monetarist solutions even though they have been roundly shown not to be effective by printing even more money and lowering interest rates even further.

    By now it should be pretty obvious to all what we need to do and, I suspect it will seem pretty obvious to historians also, however we are slaves of the left and they will continue into oblivion if allowed to do so.

    To suggest we should print no more; retreat from the EU; downsize government to a point where it lives within its means and reduce taxation; allow savings to be the sole guide to the extension of credit, and to allow banks with an unstable asset base to go bust, is to do no more than state the obvious.

    How we get there however rather than just talk about it is another matter entirely, and until something is done then the car crash will continue.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Waramess ,

      I agree with every one of your points .

      The only possible conclusion to draw is that the forces at the top are intentionally driving the UK onto the rocks to wreck it .

      On pretty much every issue they are doing the wrong thing . Not even Scully and Mulder could explain that as a coincidence .

      I do think you should show a bit more respect to Mr Keynes and not tarnish his name by associating it with people who selectively quote part of his prescriptions to justify irresponsible profligacy whilst ignoring other prescriptions that don’t suit them

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      EU laws has the same effect in all EU countries, so we suffer no more or less than other EU countries.

      Though we may have adequate amounts of coal it will be every expensive to get it because coal mining is labour intensive and the average salary for a coal miner in the UK is £20,000 per year.

      If you have a plan to downsize the UK Government then please post it. Make sure you’re specific about which departments should be reduced, rather than generic things such as ‘scrap all quangos’, and explain the benefits of doing this.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        As you are the one that likes spending other people’s money, why don’t you justify why they are necessary and why the state has mushroomed so much over time?


        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Define ‘state’. Are you talking only about those who are responsible for running the county, such as MPs and Civil Servants; or do you also include anyone employed by the state, such as police officers, social workers, fire fighters, doctors, nurses, and teachers?

          Also could the increasing population be to blame for a higher number of people working in the public sector, as well as the private sector?

          • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            At this point the fantasists have been talked into a corner. Are these all ‘Pointless jobs’ That could be done much better and cheaper by private companies? How would they do it? By paying less of course and everyone should work for less to give these profits. More efficient being code for on the cheap.

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        “EU laws has the same effect in all EU countries, so we suffer no more or less than other EU countries.”

        This proves not to be the case, generally or specifically. I won’t try to sully this blog with a reference to an EU website so I suggest you do a search for “notification of national implementation measures”. The process of applying EU law to individual countries is called transposition and there are some helpful graphs which indicate how much non-compliance goes on in each country by year.

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          I found the website. It seems France and Germany comply with far more laws than the UK, though Italy complies with far less.

          Do you know of any website that show how many countries modify their laws to ensure it complies with EU law?

          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know of such a site.

            The point is that benefits and penalties will never be uniform across the countries of the EU as is being amply demonstrated by the events in Greece.

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5, Larf, I nearly cried. But I’m sure you do it on purpose.

        Coal is too expensive, is it? Then allow the generators to decide what they wish to build to generate electricity and allow coal to compete fairly with other forms of generating material. We have vast reserves of coal and it would without doubt be highly competitive if the government would only get out of the way and subsidise nothing.

        We employ an army of politicians to think up ways of downsizing government so why should you want me to do it; or are you suggesting it is an impossible task?

        Save £13 billion by scrapping the ODA. This is equal to our gross farm production and I might suggest that it is ALL wasted money.

        Sit me down with a list and I will find you a great deal more: it will not be painless but it can be done. Yes entire departments would go.

        And the thought that we suffer no more than other EU countries. We do not need to suffer more, just look at how the other EU countries are suffering and they have not even started with austerity yet

      • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Many on this site believe that coal miners should work for minimum wage. In fact everyone should except themselves.

  13. Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Financial transaction tax, derivative clearing rules, “benefit tourism” … well I used to be, on balance, pro-EU (not euro) but I have now tipped the other way. I may be a statistical sample of only one, but I would dare to guess that the peak of anti-European sentiment might be being reached. I don’t know how this ‘opportunity’ could be taken, but I am guessing this ought to be worked out at the Conservative conference.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      I agree. It seems a great shame that the main question of this posting in the first paragraph of this posting “As Foreign Secretary there is one very simple question for him. What is he doing about it? Why wont he get on with renegotiating the UK position?” has been largely ignored by most commentators.

      If this is the flavour of debate for next week’s conference I truly pity those who will attend!

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Will delegates be allowed to mention the “E” word at this years Tory conference John ?

        Reply This one will

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          Not on the main stage, I would have thought, lest the Liberals flounce off and sulk.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Because to anyone who has followed these matters for any length of time they are rhetorical questions, and am sure were posed as such.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        It is precisely this lack of boldness/apparent lack of action by William Hague and others on the EU issue that has caused such disillusionment. There is a very real fear amongst Conservative supporters that the issue will not be properly addressed at conference as those at the top do not want ructions at the Conference – if they try to sweep it under the carpet they will be perceived by voters as weak, and not willing to appreciate the concerns of ordinary voters i.e. detached from grass roots.

  14. Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I’d like to point you to a blog “What Really Caused the Eurozone Crisis?

    Local Causes or Systemic Causes?” – “Profligate Peripheries” or “Capital Flow Bonanzas”

    Its very easy to slag Greece off but there may be systemic problems with the Euro as well.

    I’ll quote the introduction as a taster …

    “First, Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, from his recent piece in the Financial Times:

    Whatever role the markets have played in catalysing the sovereign debt crisis, it is an undisputable fact that excessive state spending has led to unsustainable levels of debt and deficits that now threaten our economic welfare.
    Next, here’s an excerpt from a statement recently made by Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Evangelos Venizelos:

    We should not be the scapegoat or the easy excuse that will be used by European and international institutions in order to hide their own lack of competence to manage the crisis and give a definitive and complete answer to the attacks against euro, the world’s strongest currency.

    These two statements capture the essence of two radically different views about the origins of the EZ debt crisis. Which one is right?”

    “If the crisis is due primarily to local causes, then we would expect the best predictor of crisis to be government deficits and debt. On the other hand, if the systemic causes view is correct, then a better predictor of the crisis would be large current account deficits, which necessarily happen when there’s a capital flow bonanza.”

    It turns out that

    “The factor that crisis countries have in common is that, without exception, they ran the largest current account deficits in the EZ during the period 2000-2007. ”

    In otherwords it was capital flows and not profligate spendnig that caused the crisis.

    “Capital flows (i.e. current account deficits) increased substantially in all the EZ periphery countries in the period after adoption of the euro. Meanwhile, the peripheral countries generally tended to have tighter fiscal policies after adopting the euro than before euro adoption.”

    This is an excellent read – BUT WHAT IS SHOWS is that even if the EURO DEBT CRISIS is fixed there will STILL BE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS with the Euro that means that this crisis will happen again.

    In fact the Capital Flows into the periphery were a “positive” advocated by the Europhiles. It turns out that the sudden withdrawl of capital from the peripheries was a better predictor of the crisis (and for those who read my posts know that prediction is king).

    This is an excellent article (and there is a part II) that has changed my view on the EuroZone crisis and I recommend it as a read. It means the problems of the Euro are far deeper than the present “fix” and integration must go extremely deep for the Euro to ever work.

    • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Dynamite stuff Javelin !

      Please keep bringing revelations like this to everyones attention .

      Does having a single currency make it more difficult to monitor these capital flows ?

      How does this analysis of capital flows apply to the UK ?

      Is a negative balance of payments the equivalent to death by a thousand cuts ?

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        PS ,

        If this is the real underlying reason then it looks like Mr Hague was right when he said any bailout would not be a one off and the Germans would have to keep subsidising the peripheral countries on an ongoing basis .

  15. Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    John, no implication to you personally, but would would you care to comment on the Rochard North’s observations made in the following text? What the the commission has actually done is “request” the UK to end “discriminatory conditions” on “the right to reside as a worker” which exclude from certain social benefits nationals from eight of the ten member states (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland) that joined the EU in 2004.

    According to the UK Worker Registration Scheme, nationals from these countries who stop work before completing one year with an authorised employer do not have the right to reside as a worker.

    This right to reside is one of the conditions of UK legislation to qualify for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Crisis Loans, and allocation of social housing and provision of homelessness assistance. Without this right to reside (“Right to Reside Test”) nationals from these member states are currently excluded from receiving these benefits.

    The commission considers that this is contrary to the transitional arrangements on the free movement of workers. These allowed the UK to restrict nationals from the 2004 enlargement group, refusing them permission reside in the UK until the end of April 2011.

    Crucially though, these provisions already apply to the nationals of other EU member states, and the seven-year transitional arrangements were ratified by the Blair government in 2003, as part of the accession treaties. Thus, if Iain Duncan Smith has cause for any grief, it is with Blair’s government, not forgetting that the Tories were in favour of enlargement and would have agreed exactly the same deal.

    However, on the eve of the Tory conference, it is essential that the Tories demonstrate that they are true “eurosceptics”, so here we go with faux eurosceptic stories pouring out of the woodwork, to keep the faithful happy. And they fall for it every time.

    Cynical maybe but it has the ring of truth with regard to Tory high command!

    Reply As I understand it the timing of this was chosen by Brussels, not by Ministers facing a conference. I do believe Mr Grayling is serious about resisting this. There are many Conservative MPs who think the movement and entry freedom relates only to people with jobs, so there should be no question of benefit entitlement for not working. Trying to establish this under EU law is of course another point, which underlines the dangers of remaining in the Eu on current terms.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I’ll go along with Richard North on this.

      While I don’t think it was actually arranged – that would be going too far – the Commission raising this now, just before the Tory party conference, has given Tory ministers a splendid opportunity to grandstand and dupe the party faithful and the general public into believing that they will stand up for British interests against the EU – but they won’t mean a word of what they say, will they?

      Oh, and I doubt that the UK government would win if it went to the ECJ, because of accumulated EU laws on the coordination of social security systems which go back at least as far as Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 before Heath took us into the EEC.

      Just to spell that out, Heath signed us up to a process which was already running, that process has continued to run under all subsequent governments both Labour and Tory, and what we’re seeing now is just the latest stage in that process.

      reply: The EU raised this in a press release this week. it relates to powers ceded by Labour in 2006.

  16. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    the political class support the free movement of workers from anywhere not just Europe, as can be demonstrated by the uncapped vast numbers of ICT visas issued to Indian nationals, many of who go onto gain indefinite leave to remain and benefit entitlement, many of who bring in kids who get a free education here, many of who bring in a spouse who gets an unrestricted work visa and free healthcare, and all get massive tax and national insurance discounts compared to what brits have to pay

    im a bit more relaxed about europeans because i have worked in italy and belgium and never had any hassle over there (granted i have never tried to claim benefits there) but it would be impossible for me to get a work visa to india and i see no reason why our country is flooded with indian nationals here primarily to undercut the domestic workforce

    im actually fairly relaxed about benefit tourism in europe, however probably best if the claimant is paid by the country that issued their passport rather than where they happen to be

    but really europe is not the issue, indian very much is

    india and china are the commercial foe we need to fight, and we need to lift our blinkers and see through their multi dimensional campaign they are very much winning against the uk

    the uk political class needs to wake up and fast

  17. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    This benefits proposal and the one for a financial transactions tax are more than provocative. They are good pretexts for the government to go to the country and ask it: do you still want to stay in this abusive relationship?

    The Liberals have never looked less relevant, and now is the time to call their bluff.

  18. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    “However, this issue is so fundamental, the UK government should simply say “No”.

    Well, I hope that both IDS and Grayling – and Osborne, who’ll have to find the money – will grab Mr Cameron by the lapels of his nice suit and shake some sense into him. Physically, if necessary.

    Any negotiations with the EU should state unequivocally that this isthe line in the sand which cannot be crossed. If the EU weasels out and doesn’t accept our ‘No’ – then they need to be told we’ll leave. And we really must mean this.

    On the back of the € scandal, and after Mr Barroso’s speeches about having a EU (not €-zone) finance minister, depriving Parliament of its fundamental role of checking our own budget, it should dawn on even the most ‘phile’ of Europhiles that enough is enough.

    I hope you can convince your colleagues that we, the people, will not acquiesce any longer.

    Oh – and it might be worthwhile to ask Trade Union leaders how they like having the incomes of their members reduced so that European benefit tourists can … benefit.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      The leader of the TUC is even a member of the Bilderberg group , whose membership also includes those arch Eurosceptics Hague and Cameron .

      The Trade Unions kept quiet about mass immigration .

      What evidence is there to suggest they will act in the interest of their members any more than MP’s will act in the interest of the electorate ?

  19. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    There is a lot more legislation coming from Europe than is ever reported because our media find it very dry and technical stuff which only impacts on certain speciialist industries and not directly on the public.

    Much of this legislation enters quietly as directives from Europe, which is then routinely passed into UK law without proper srcutiny or debate in Parliament.

    Two recent examples I can give you which are creating great amounts of work for me and impact negatively on the business I am involved in are:-

    1 The Waste Framework Directive which came into force in the UK on the 27th March 2011 as the Waste Regulations 2011 (England & Wales)
    One of the main features of the Waste Framework Directive is the Waste Hierarchy Policy. Anyone disposing of waste must consider the Waste Hierarchy and use the route highest up the table before agreeing a disposal route.
    Waste Producers have to sign a consignment note to now declare they have considered the Waste Hierarchy before agreeing the waste disposal route and have proof to show they are correct.

    2 The REACH Regulations -the Registration Evaluation Authorisation and Restriction of CHemicals, which has spawned the uber quango, The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which employs thousands
    There is a legal requirement to register, pay big annual fees and send in regular accurate statistical returns to the agency who will come and inspect and audit you just like the VAT agency do.

    Non compliance will leave you open to court appearances and fines often in units of tens of thousands of pounds.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      They are making life intolerable .

      Big business wins again .

  20. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    A country that cannot prevent people moving here isn’t sovereign.

    I remember when Mr Hague went into the election telling us that we only had a couple of days to vote Tory and thereby save the country from the EU. Possibly that was his twin brother.

  21. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Who’s typing your blogs up now? Worryingly high volume of spelling errors.

    reply: I type it up, often in haste, and do make typing errors.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      I always kindly try to make more errors in mine just in order to make his look good in comparison.

      Single, centrally dictated, spelling for words is a gross socialist (all must be equal) imposition on peoples freedoms – just as forcing a single accent on people would be for the spoken word. Especially one so irrational.

      I list a few Shakespeare spellings below – long live freedom and variety not a centrally dictated one size fits all from head office.

      Shakespeare, Shakespere Shakespear Shakspeare
      Shackspeare Shakspere Shackespeare Shackspere
      Shackespere Shaxspere Shexpere Shakspe~
      Shaxpere Shagspere Shaksper Shaxpeare
      Shaxper Shake-speare Shakespe Shakp

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        I think that you are implying that JR can’t spell, but it’s ok, really. So far I’ve found grounds for imputing no more than typos which no doubt could be eliminated with addition expenditure of unnecessary effort.

        • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          Not at all. JR certainly spells far better than I do – (which is not hard I admit). Anyway uniform spelling is clearly a socialist evil imposition. Spelling very, very rarely causes any genuine confusion (though you can contrive examples) also constant checking (especially with american spell checker software) is both time wasting and very annoying. If variable spelling were to be more acceptable the irrational spelling (right, rite, write, there, their, yacht and countless similar) would evolve to something more sensible. Evolution in spelling has been frozen by the arbitrary dictionaries assuming they know best.

          Evolution is a wonderful thing do not kill it with evil socialism.

          reply|: I agree that spelling matters and apologise for not always proof reading my typing sufficiently.

          • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

            Haha…. lifelogic liberal to the end even when discussing spelling. There I am afraid that we differ…. Speling duz mater an dont yu furgit it loggic!


          • Posted October 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

            Then by the same logic (but applied to the spoken word) we should impose one accent and pronunciation on everyone through schooling and perhaps even the law. Clearly the EU/World must also work towards one language.

            How can spelling evolve and ever improve if it is to be fixed for evermore in historical aspic by an arbitrary dictionary.

            Soon you will have a computer pronunciation dictionary forcing me to say my (far preferable) short “a”s as “ar” so my grass will be my grarss and my ass will become my arse.

  22. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    JR: I have posed the hypothetical scenario on your blog previously that the coalition/IDS welfare reforms may be vulnerable to the wider EU interpretation of the rules regulating entitlements to welfare benefits. This latest news that you relay seems to support the concern that many of your readers have that welfare immigration for the economically active will now be expanded to include the economically inactive. Furthermore the latest case would seem to say that a person who had not paid into our pension scheme can nevertheless relocate to the UK and enjoy the fruits of others labour.

    Given that we have had 2.5 million EU immigrants move to the UK does that now mean that we must factor in the probability that they may be entitled to bring their retired relatives to join them at the expense of the UK taxpayers?

    Reply: That is why the Uk has to assert her own borders policy and insist on no benefit payments to benefit tourists.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      Remember there are going to be a lot of economic refugees within Europe soon…guess where they will be heading for the benefits.


  23. Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    There is obvious indignation over this, but I am intrigued by a posting I have read which I suspect would rouse even greater uproar against the EU imposing its will. See the quote below from “Mirthio 9.50 am” in response to an article in the DT on the current EU crisis.

    “….One of the issues being intensively discussed between the troika team
    and the Greek government is the issue of the uniform pay scale for civil
    servants and wider public sector workers.

    According to reports in this morning’s Ta Nea, the measure envisages a maximum monthly salary of 2,200 euros (£1,920) and a minimum of 780 euros (£680) for the country’s public servants.

    High ranking state officials could lose up to 1,500 euros (£1,300) a month under the measure.

    What would the Whitehall mandarins make of that?”

    John, is there any truth in this?

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      If true expect to see Parliament working to oppose the EU like never before.

  24. Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t think we have any top level politicians or civil servants who are capable of real hard negotiation and bargaining. All we have are talks, friendly and with no pressure.
    With the public feeling like they do at the moment, all Hague has to do is to tell the EU exactly what we want, and threaten to hold a referendum on pulling Britain out of the EU if we don’t get it. Simple and straight forward, they either agree to cutting our contribution, don’t impose any more costs on Britain and allow us to throw out scroungers, or we hold an immediate referendum. I don’t think they’d risk a referendum!

  25. Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    1 It would be interesting to know the actual figures, UK citizens claiming in the EU vs. their citizens here. I suspect our greater problem is non-EU citizens coming through, “studying” and moving onto the dole.
    2 Equally how many UK students are studying abroad in the EU and paid for abroad vs. the opposite case?
    3 How many UK citizens are working overseas for half the year but still paying tax here under the 91 day rule?

    Why are English students discriminated against in Scotland and Wales?

    EU rules aren’t the only ones to be out of kilter with common sense.

  26. Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Dear Public Servant,are you all now a persecuted minority,dear oh dear BOO HOO BOO HOO
    BOO HOO THERE I cried for you all,perhaps you all now need special parking bays as well,
    never mind that it takes an army of private sector workers earning and paying taxes to keep you in the manner you have become accustomed to.
    As for your snide remark about Brits leaving for sunnier climes,those that have sufficient funds or good jobs stay BUT those that say for instance lose their jobs are forced to come back because they have NOT the same recourse to unemployment benefits,that the eu expects us to give as per the gist of this article,friends of ours have had to return from Murcia in Spain for that very reason and many others have too,and WHAT a rigmorole
    to then register and claim back here,stuff like Habitual residence spouted to born and bred
    English people,the husband served 28 years in the forces final rank RSM served in the Falklands shot at as well,finally and this is not racist the person asking about habitual residence was from Hong Kong,my poor friends lost it and went completely berserk in the offices they told me. Words once again fail me if I carry on I will be Ed. again,but rest assured I will terrorise any public servants I have to deal with as I have done in the past.

  27. Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    There is more chance of John Redwood running naked round Parliament Square than Cleggeron telling the EU to get stuffed.

    For a start Acquis Communitaire does not permit as he very well knows. The only way it could be done would be to leave which won’t happen under the LibLabCON!

    A cynical piece of pre conference sabre rattling to perpetuate the pretence that the Tory pary is eurosceptic.

    Actions speak louder than words and meekly rolling over to increase the IMF contribution by 90% to bail the Euro out, scrapping our independent aircraft carriers in the interests of an EU Army (initially branded French partnership) and reneging on the Lisbon Referendum promise tell us all we need to know about Tory MPs.

    We already have health and benefit tourists from the EU we are about to get many more!

    Our MPs see EU as their country NOT UK.

    Reply: Conservatives did not renege on the referendum promise – we voted for one and lost.

  28. Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I don’t think people realise just how much worse these issues will get once restrictions on Bulgaria and Romania end very soon.

  29. Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Since when is someone on benefits called a ‘worker’ ??

    Dave Cameron promised us a referendum if the EU substantially altered the terms, or if there was a new treaty to be signed. He is way past the stage where he should have called that referendum, to continue to avoid the issue is dishonest.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      When he’s on Job-Seeker’s Allowance?

      Or when she’s not, in the case cited by the EU Commission in its press release.

      “For example, a non-UK citizen from another Member State came to the UK from Italy (where she had lived since 1989) to work for an Italian company. She worked in the UK from April 2007 until April 2009 when she was made redundant. All throughout her employment in the UK, she paid taxes and national insurance contributions, yet her claim for income-based jobseekers’ allowance was refused on the grounds that she did not have a right to reside in the UK. If the UK had applied EU social security coordination rules, those citizens confirmed as habitually resident in the UK would enjoy the same protection as habitual residents in other EU Member States.”

    • Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      lojolondon: “Since when is someone on benefits called a ‘worker’ ??”

      In this brave new world a benefits worker is a single universal unit of production, comrade.

  30. Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Anyone watch question time last night,Overwhelmingly ANTI EU audience in LIVERPOOL
    a patriotic labour city,an articulate man in the front who got huge cheers for shouting we must LEAVE the eu,in my comment from 12.34 am on the previous thread I said watch labour’s high command look at all these labour voters being so ANTI,embarressing Caroline
    Flint who did not know what HQ ‘s line was on this so she Waffled like a PUSH ME PULL YOU from Doctor Doolittle.Just to prove how partisan labour this audience was listen to the JEERS Peter Oborne got when praising Mrs Thatcher.A calculation will be made that the anti’s are worth millions of votes and a Referrendum will be offered THEN your party John will be following not Leading on this.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      I think this is one of the most encouraging remarks on this thread. I turned off while they were still on the mind blowing excitement of going very fast down the motorway when they all use the train or a chauffeur anyway.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Bernard is right. The partisan unreconstructed Labour audience was all but baying to get out of the EU. If the conservatives aren’t quick, the two Eds will pip them to the post on this. Remember Trollope’s Mr Daubeney daring to disestablish the Church to outwit Mr Gresham?

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        No, this is the real deal.

        Ed Milliband will U-turn against the EU. Watch QT in Liverpool. These people will vote for an anti-EU Labour Party, which is also offering a moral solution to banking and other so-called predatory business.

        The EuroConLibDem Coalition will be forced to either follow suit, with the LibDems capitulating on 90% of their principles, or stay as they are and die looking as daft as a brush when the EU acts like the taxation vacuum cleaner it is becoming.

        Other Eurosceptics will, like most folk on this site, be voting UKIP.

        Cameron’s “be nice to all folk” Blairite middle way just won’t wash in a harsh, extreme world.

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 3:18 am | Permalink

          An election winner is to promis a vote on EU membership

  31. Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    How do you get the non Eurozone EU members to bail-out the bankrupt economies of the PIGS and other southern Eurozone nations? Fix the rules on benefits , force the Eurozone countires to slash their own welfare payments and export your benefit dependents to the non-Eurozone countries. Its underhand despicable and totally in tune with the modus operandi of the parasite political classes in Brussels.

    Its time we found a way of ridding ourselves of those parasites, democratic or otherwise. Enough is enough!

  32. Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps we shouldn’t get our knickers in a twist over this; just tell the EU Commission we’ll see them in court. It will probably take 3 or 4 years to resolve the matter and who knows how things will be by then? The EU may have collapsed, we may even have a Conservative government!

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      If we are still a sovereign nation we should not definitely not allow this to be decided in court .

      Just tell the EU to F*** off .

      Surely the worst which can come of it is that they reciprocate .

  33. Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how long it will be before we have enough government hand-wringing about the restrictions the EU imposes, which amounts the the ‘final straw’, and they at last declare enough?

    Probably never as they all seem too deeply committed to the EU agenda.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I’m going to stick my neck out here and say a week either side Nov 11th will be the final straw for the Euro.

      I’m expecting a fall of the order of 20-25% on the equity markets over a week in that period.

      I expect the Italian bond auctions to keep failing and they are currently at 5.86% – and getting dangerously close to 6.2% I estimate will not be affordable. I think they will struggle through the mid October bond auctions and will have to face up to reality in November. I think Greece can be bailed out on a show string but the reality of the crisis will reveal itself by mid November.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, anytime between Mid November and Christmas. The crunch will finally hit the Euroland Policians when Berlin Judges declare that political bail out funds from Germany to the PIGS, needing a “Pot” of $2 to 3 Trillion, is against the German Constitution and ILLEGAL. Merkel would be forced to face the German People in a Country wide vote. She would lose and lose badly. The Trillion Dollar “Bail Out” fund would fail, Greece would fall, then possibly a few French and German Banks would fail too.

        I am sure that JR and a few other intelligent people have made our Government aware of all this. The reason the Coalition is playing a waiting game os that they KNOW that Unite and other big Unions will soon force a National Strike, giving the Government an open goal..

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        Javelin ,

        The International community did not get together to ban practices like short selling and synthetic CDS which enable parties to profit directly from crashes (rather than any subsequent recovery) .

        If the finance houses knew they stood to loose at least something , wouldn’t there be more incentive for EVERYONE to try harder to stop them happening ?

        Or is that too naive ?

  34. Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I understand from Dan Hannan that MEP’s and other European officials do not pay National Income Tax on their enormous salary and expense packages.

    The Greek MEPs and officials are therefore selling their countrymen into poverty, and imposing penal taxation on them, (to which they themselves are not subject), in return for an extremely large European bribe.

    Under these circumstances the Greeks have every right to with hold their taxes from the corrupt officials of a corrupt regime.

    Reply: that is not what their law says, and does leave them open to imprisonment if found guilty

  35. Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    This debate between Keynesianism and austerity is begining to look rather narrow because it is context dependent on the continued non-sensical European economic landscape.

    Changing the context now needs to be the order of the day.

    It’s clear capital flows slushing in and out of the Eurozone countries caused crisis, as well as excess Government spending. In the same way the Herald of Free Enterprise was sunk by sea water sloshing around its decks. The volatility today is *not* a symptom of the problem it is part of the problem. Volatility today is from the same rough sea that brought this crisis on. Capital flows represent the seas and the bow door represents the open and uncontrolled Eurozone. The volatility represents the sea sloshnig around the decks. QE3/4/5 is simply throwing more water into the hold to try to stabilise the ship. Pumping water out the ship doesn’t shut the bow door. Moving forward with the bow door open is mistaken. It’s time to start discussing the nature of the refit not whether we should pump water in and out, or whether or not we should go back to port.

  36. Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood: on the benefit tourist thing, I think you are missing the point.

    The EU is preparing the way for the mass influx of Greeks into the UK – they will of course pass quickly through France and Germany – after Greece crashes and burns.

    This will de facto transfer the need to bail Greece out from the eurozone onto the British as punishment for all our naughty ways, not believing in the EU and not hamstringing ourselves with the euro.

    To complete the ruin the Tobin Tax will be forced through to destroy the UK as the prime financial centre.

    In order for France and Germany to rule Europe, first Perfidious Albion, the perennial fly in that ointment, must be done away with.

    I pray for fog in the Channel – Europe cut off.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Why would the Greeks come to the UK when most other European countries have far more generous welfare systems?

      Given that the entire financial industry contributes less than 0.1% of the UK’s GDP even if it’s completely destroyed it will only have a minor effect on the UK.

      Fog won’t cut of Europe due to the Channel Tunnel.

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5, where is this fabled, generous, easily accessible benefit system in continental Europe? Have you seen it in action? Probably not, because it doesn’t exist. You do not get benefits so easily (at least the vast panoply available in the UK) and you have to contribute.

        Why do asylum seekers queue up at Calais to come to the UK? Why do immigration agents all over the World publicise the UK as such a welcoming place to live in…?



    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I have to agree – it is difficult to avoid thinking that Britain, and in particularly England has been deliberately undermined step by step by the EU. Our civil service gold-plates every directive and edict of the Brussels dictatorship, much of which Parliament either see not or rubber-stamps through into Law.
      We are no longer sovereign, Blair and Prescott carved the UK into separate countries and agreed to the removal of England from the EU map and its division into meaningless areas, each with a huge number of useless quangos and agencies.
      Labour then deliberately added unrestricted immigration to the pot and they and others have managed to sell every possible utility and manufacturing company to foreigners. It seems to me that the UK and England in particular has been subject to a EU neutralising programme to ensure that never again can it rise in opposition to European dictators as so often in the past. A strong UK is the biggest fear of the EU commission and no effort has been lost in ensuring it become impotent or, worse from their perspective, lead other nations in opposition to the dictatorship, for that is what the EU appears to me to be. What price democracy when the EU Parliament MEP are allowed only a minute or two to speak on an issue and have in any case accept that which descends upon them from the unelected EU commissars? I confidently expect the SS Titanic to arise gracefully feom the sea bed before seeing Parliament bite back, despite the rhetoric, spin and puff emanating from our leaders. I hasten to add that JR is firmly excluded from that remark. Please keep it going, John….

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        sorry – for either read neither!

        • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:49 am | Permalink

          Sadly the evidence speaks for itself .

          Our politicians have been completely complicit in it .

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      John B

      I recall a similar thing happened in Eire with the ‘travelers’ or gypsies as they were known then. The public had enough of them flouting the law and not paying taxes. The Garda used news laws concerning the proceeds of crime. The Garda stopped each traveller and requested proof of purchase for their expensive vehicles. Most could not account for their assets and had them confiscated ( the vans were crushed). Very soon after that the Irish travellers moved en-mass to ‘lite-touch’ UK.

  37. Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Don’t we have enough benefits scroungers of our own?
    We’re even paying housing benefits to the “travellers” at Dale Farm!
    Work that one out!

    reply: They have settlement rights here, going back a long way I believe. The issue there is planning permission, not benefit entitlement.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Irish travellers were recognised as a distinct ethnic group in the 2000 Race Relations Act. This has produced an explosion of quangos and State funded groups, mostly run by neo-marxist types, to cash in on their new found status and use them to further their political ideals. The Conservatives started the rot in 1989, when they recognised the woolly term ‘Gypsies’ as an ethnic group. Ireland, ironically, does not recognise them as a separate ethnic group and give them special rights, as we do. Hence, large numbers have come over in recent years, attracted by the opportunity of the 2000 RR Act. This is why Labour made councils provide so many new ‘permanent’ traveller sites.

      As Irish travellers have become tools of the far-Left, there is a lot of lies perpetuated around the Media. They did not come here on mass after Oliver Cromwell forced them off their land , which seems a favourite of the left-wing liar, at the moment. They are descended from travelling tradesman, often ‘tinsmiths’, hence, the familiar name, ‘tinkers’. For some reason, in Ireland, they formed a separate social class. They have not been here in any significant numbers; maybe a few hundred pre-war. In 1995, they were estimated to total 19,000. The CRE (not a wholly reliable source, I admit) reckon there are now 300,000 in the UK. They are possibly the newest created ethnic race in the World. Maybe, in 100 years, ‘white van man’ will be officially recognised as a race.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      John, You seem to have missed my point?

      Travellers getting Housing Benefits? Do you see the irony? Houses are for the “settled community”, travellers are by definition not part of the “settled community”, hence the special treatment they receive.

      They build illegal dwellings, rent them to each other and then claim housing benefit for them. Does the treasury bother to find out who they are paying the rent to? and if the landlord is paying tax on the income??

      • Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Should read “…does the treasury even bother…”.

  38. Posted September 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    JR you know as well as I do it’s all about conference and after that it all gets forgotten and nothing changes.

    reply: Mr Hague did not promise any action – he was just giving an interview before conference. Mr Grayling is promising action, and is responding to a serious assault on UK independence in certain areas of welfare policy. Whether he wins or not is another matter, but I am quite sure he is serious about taking up the fight.

  39. Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Given that the unemployment benefit is £67 per week I doubt that there are going to be large numbers of people from other countries coming here to claim it. Especially since most Western European countries have far more generous benefit systems.

    Maybe we should encourage the unemployed UK citizens to move to other European countries to take advantage of their welfare systems, since under EU law these countries can’t refuse them.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just unemployment benefit though.
      Add on the plethora of other handouts, child benefit, housing, healthcare, education, carers allowances, etc etc., plus the ease of accessing the welfare system and the lax enforcement of laws, making it easier to make a few extra tax free bucks in the black economy. The millions of migrants who transit through the EU to get to the UK are not coming here for the weather, are they?

      Wait until Greece lays off 100,000 unskilled public sector workers, and see where they head for.

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        All these benefits are available in other European countries and many have more generous provisions. So why would the Greek come here rather than Norway, Spain, or Germany?

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Are you being ironic?


  40. Posted September 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    After my comments to you yesterday re Peter Oborne, do I detect a bit more animation in the tone of today’s blog ? If so, good, it’s worth getting excited about, and coming from you it will be appreciated. More please.

  41. Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    The EU benefits proposals.

    This will be the last straw if it goes through.

  42. Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I believe there is some sort of provision to suspend free movement in the event of a refugee crisis. I think we should tell Brussels we are not accepting any more refugees from their policies.

  43. Posted September 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    The answer to your question is in an interview this week in the Spectator. Mr Hague, who has had a very disappointing career in politics, has obviously given up. His answers to the same questions were lily livered and half hearted. It is quite obvious that he has been told to go along with Nick Clegg and his Spanish Missus and shut up. He plans, apparently, to save it all up for the next election.
    By which time it will be too late, of course. But he will escape.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t the missis thinking of entering Spanish politics herself? (Presumably on the conservative side.) If so he will resign here, and then we may come to miss his comparatively harmless preoccupations.

  44. Posted September 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I would have some sympathy with Mr Duncan-Smith if benefits in the UK were linked to contributions. Pity that most governments went down the way of means testing which is biased against UK residents who pay NI contributions.

    • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:57 am | Permalink

      For those people who have not had the chance to make contributions it should still be possible to claim benefits – through workfare .

      Benefits should be set at subsistence levels rather than entitlement .

      I’m confident that IDS and Frank Field would like to implement a universal pension which pays out at a realistically high level so that most means tested old age benefits could be scrapped .

      It makes a lot of sense but how the heck do you get from where we are now to where we need to be ?

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        So the state would provide you with a minimum wage job instead of welfare? Will there be enough work for the 2.5 million unemployed people?

        • Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          What if they refuse to work for these benefits? This is just another Tory fantasy.

          • Posted October 3, 2011 at 1:01 am | Permalink

            I’m not a Tory thank you Bazman .

            If unemployed people refuse to work for enhanced benefits they should just get subsistence level benefits .

            Here is an example .

            People who cannot afford to buy a house themselves are expected to contribute towards paying the mortgage interest of qualifying unemployed mortgage holders .

            If the unemployed mortgage holder refuses to do a day or two workfare in exchange for this substantial enhanced benefit , provided in large part by the less afluent , then I am saying the benefit should be withdrawn .

            What is unreasonable about that ?

            Uanime5 ; 1 day/wk workfare could be created for 2.5 million .

            No welfare system will work properly when unemployment rates are as high as they are now .

  45. Posted September 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    To UANIME5
    If you had listened to LBC this afternoon Julia Hartley- Brewer’s programme there was 2 hours on the subject 99% very vocal and anti good cockneys mostly,also there were many many instances of people illustrating that our citizens in Europe DO NOT GET what you indicated at all PLUS PLUS PLUS they have to serve a QUALIFYING period of working and paying taxes,before they get anything ,you obviously did not read my comment about my two friends who came back from Spain as well.Your comment bears NO relation to reality,you
    seem to chose stuff in all your comments that suit YOUR circumstances.Europe forces us through their fellow travellers in our ruling class to do what they themselves do not,we are the patsy of all as well as being a laughing stock.I urge any of you who have relatives in our former colonies to ask them their TRUE opinions of the current GB,you will all be shocked
    and as for the BOERE where my wife comes from,they have UTTER CONTEMPT for us,
    IMHO with justification.If I was to tell you what I know of our companies’ corrupting of the NEW South Africa in the ARMS deal of infamy you would be shocked especially of our
    Government of the time and what it KNEW.

    • Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Bernard Otway,
      Tell all, or tell what you can,or else its empty.

  46. Posted September 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    We are now at a “Tipping Point” with the social, economic, financial and global warming issues, World- Wide. We are all very concerned, as to the future and the consequences on ourselves, families, particularly children, Old People, our Friends.

    The Economists and the Politicians KNOW that there is no solution to a Capitalist System of competition, that fights on growth and markets, when we are rapidly approaching “Peak Oil”. In other words, when Households and Industry simply has to cut back drastically on their useage of Energy, due to higher costs. The growth game in the West is a “Busted Flush”

    We are in constant political and social crisis, which has moved down to individuals.
    Humans are made up of Mind, Body and Spirit. We live by either Fear, or Greed, or simple dilusion. What is our way out? Clinical Depression and suicide in the Young is accelerating, whilst Depression and Obesity are only just below Heart Disease, as the biggest Killers in the Western World. The UK is bust.

    We have got it all radically wrong. We have ignored our “National Pride” and the Community Spirit” which have all fallen on the Alter of Political correctness. Ed Milburn or Ed Balls have absolutely NO CHANCE of getting us straight, whilst the Coalition are just enjoying being Politicans in Power. They too, have no clear strategy to deal with what Cameron also calls “Broken Britain”. He is off in his head playing War Games in Libya and elsewhere where he meets “Very Important People” who can do him good in the future.

    We all have to search much deeper, consider much deeper questions of ourselves, first. What do I really need and what do I want? What is the true purpose of my life? Why do I continue to live amongst “Collective insanity” when I know there must be another way, to be simply happy, and to be at peace? In almost seven decades of life, living amongst many peoples and cultures, I am always reminded of the decent human beings that I have met in Tehran, in Lagos, in Europe, London( plus the sticks) and in Cairo. I have also meet a lot of decent Americans too. I am comfortable with my fellow man in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. But I would never feel comfortable with any man or woman calling themselves “Honourable Member of Parliament” when their words can easily be shown to be spin, untruths ,or down right lies.( JR plus a few exceptions here|)

    Politicans need to find the “right way to do God” or the Spirit, the Silent One. The Buddha or the Christ, these energies exist in every human heart, but are seldom expressed for fear or ridicule or censorship. Blair’s Office “Did not do God” yet Blair managed to play even that game and became a Catholic. I met him on the Scilly Islands at Harold Wilson’s funeral when Lord Tolapandy gave the Eulogy.
    He was an Ex Speaker of the House of Commons and “Boy” Could that man speak. The Church was electrified by Lord Tolapandy’s words. Even Blair was outshone on that day. You only find your true heart and true intentions in your own “Spirit” or your own “Conscience”. Few Politicians today, even understand these words.

    I just hope that someone like Jon Redwood does and gets his chance to take power and run our Noble Country as it should be run, for the “People” by the “People” The rest can go away and enjoy their “Gold Plated Pensions” which I would cancel , given the chance. There are major Players who should go to jail for fraud over this ghastly mess. Yet our Politics is still playing “Pass the Parcel” JL Time to get real and get tough. BE PASSIONATE – Fight Them, we are with you…..

    We are all part of the same Planet and the same Universe. We ashould and need to find a way to work and live and play together in a fair, transparent and compassionate way. Nature finds harmony, why cannot we?

    • Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I recently went in search of God and found the Flying Spaghetti Monster who advised me to wear a pasta strainer on my head. Should I stick with this God or should I try to seek out another God?

      • Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Mockery and silly comments, are always the first response of those who feel very uncomfortable about discussing, Old Age, Sickness and Death, especially when it may be their own. We think only what we can grasp, outside of ourself. Are you truly happy and content with your life? Does it have a sence of fulfilled purpose? Do you not like such questions? The World may continue as it is, for possibly another 100 years, not more. Does that not interest you?

  47. Posted October 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    So why are you not mounting an anti-EU campaign in Parliament? It really is no use repeating that the Federalists are a majority in parliament. The Irish Nationalists a century or more ago were a minority in the UK parliament but they paralysed the place because they did not think of themselves as British and did not accept the legitimacy of the majority.

    The attitude of mind you need is the one articulated by Enoch Powell immediately after the 1966 election defeat. “Now is the time for Words not Action ………………… They will be harsh, destructive, nay saying words, designed to ridicule men and measures that we hold in contempt ……………………”

    My message is very simple: YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS. I really wish that I was in Parliament right now.

    Reply: We do move motions, amendments etc at every opportunity

  48. Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    JR . The mystery remains . Why are you still in the anti-British party that is called Conservative ? UKIP IS YOUR NATURAL HOME .

    • Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      He is Conservative.You are retards and like the NF will have us all more poor.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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