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Saturday, May 31, 2008

EU Humiliation On Its Way In Ireland



Reported by Ireland's Indymedia.com on Friday 30th May, here is yet more street-level evidence that the NO vote is on the up in Ireland's coming referendum. See the story HERE. Fine Gael, a Party in Ireland's pro-EU coalition erected this voting meter in a Dublin mall. The effort has clearly backfired!! YES has logged 3643, while NO is on 7002!

See report from Daily Telegraph HERE

Hillary Thinks She Can Win!



hat tip to slate.com

Ireland: Another Unofficial Report Says No Will Win




This from Jonny -

Hi, I'm with a group called We Are Change who have been actively campaigning on the streets for a No vote since December. I firmly believe that No will win. The No side are putting in so much effort to educate the People. Most of the people I've come across while out in the street were going to vote No.

We've also been doing door to door work which have turned a lot of 'undeciders' into 'No voters' in the matter of minutes! We've handed out over 100,000 fliers so far and 1000s of Documentary. Our documentary End of Nations - EU Takeover & the Lisbon Treaty is now number 1 watched movie in Ireland on Google Video! Over 100,000 views!

The RED C poll RTE News has reported on where the Yes side are leading by 10% is nothing because in the same polls conducted under the Nice Treaty the Yes side were apparently ahead by 30% which ended up nearly going the other way in the actual Referendum! Anyway that's my 2 cents! :P Keep up the good work on the blog! :D


I checked Jonny's Youtube claim. They have had about 90,000 views over the approximately 15 videos that they've uploaded onto Youtube. That claim stacks up, so maybe his other claims do too. With a population the size of Ireland's - about 4 million, that's a significant number of hits. I hope these guys keep reporting in. They sound very buoyant.

The main group fighting Lisbon is Ireland are Libertas.

UPDATE - May 31st. Betting is moving in the NO direction a tad. As I posted on www.politicalbetting.com today

I checked out Paddy Power to see how the YES/NO betting is going on the Lisbon referendum. Betting has moved slightly suggesting YES is becoming less likely, and NO more likely.

YES was 1/4 on 26th May, according to Mike Smithson. Now it is 2-7. NO was 5/2, now 9/4. I think I’m reading right and should add that I’m not a great understander of betting markets. The move in the price is significant however two weeks out from the vote, and with unofficial reports from the NO campaign becoming increasingly bouyant.

I’ve posted a couple of these reports on my blog. Mike thought on the 26th that the vote will be close but resulting with a slight victory for the YES. One poster alleges that Irish polling is not all that reliable, so reports from ground level are interesting.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Unofficial Poll Indicates That Ireland Will Reject Lisbon.




An American called Robert Coillean left a highly emotive piece in the comments to a post I wrote on the coming referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty. I posted Robert Coillean's piece HERE as it was so well written, and that too has attracted many Irish commenters.

This morning a commenter called Bob, writing below Coillean's piece, says that he thinks the 'No' vote will prevail. He explains why he has formed that opinion -

Europe has been very good for Ireland but now I think they are taking it too far. I will be voting against Lisbon and am telling everyone I know to do the same. Wolfe Tone, Fr John Murphy, Paddy Pearse among countless others didn't die just to see us vote away our soverignty which took hundreds of years and thousands of lives to finally achieve. Soon we will be living under laws created by people in Brussels who are unanswerable and unaccountable to anybody. Judging by most people I've talked to I think theres a good chance that the 'No' vote will prevail.

Bob is not the only commenter that has expressed that opinion.

I should pass this 'Bob says so' polling method over to Mike Smithson of politicalbetting.com, an acknowledged polling expert, to evaluate its authenticity. But if Bob says Ireland's going to reject Lisbon, I, for one, am prepared to believe him!

EU Reduces Balkans To A Whitehall Farce



Chaos reigns in Serbia. Take the Serbian elections. Contrary to all the news reports put out for weeks by the EU, a coalition has been formed by the not-pro-EU parties, who will not join the EU unless Kosovo is still part of Serbia. This coalition has opted to run the City of Belgrade initially, and that means that they will also soon become the national government.

The EU-backed opposition are throwing a massive sulk, however, and are using a constitutional device to delay the commencement of the City Council by one month, so that Belgrade is left without a Mayor and a government.

In addition to this anti-democratic manoeuvre, the pro-EU parties are still making daily announcements that the not-pro-EU parties will not be forming the national government. They are stating publicly that the Socialists will break away from the not-pro-EU coalition and join their coalition, and so they are the ones, they claim who are now planning to form the next government. The Socialists, however are denying this, saying that the not-pro-EU coalition has a majority, and that the not-pro-EU parties have won the election. Like I say, chaos. See the full report from b92 Belgrade website HERE.

Then take a look at the state of Kosovo. The EU should be taking over from the UN on June 14th under an informal agreement, but the UN is unwilling to transfer over control of Kosovo without formal instructions from the UN Security Council. These instructions are not forthcoming due to successful Russian lobbying at the UN. In addition the EU is unwilling to deploy the full force of 2200 which includes police, and has instead sent only 300 staff to implement the EU takeover of Kosovo initially. They have asked NATO to carry out the policing role in the meantime.

NATO however say that they are in Kosovo as part of UNMIK, the UN Mandate In Kosovo, and their job is peace-keeping, not policing or protection of the EU delegation. They say that they are not willing to change their role without receiving clear instructions from the UN. See report HERE.

Finally the EU has offered Serbia the opportunity to apply for fast-track EU membership - the famous SSA - Stabilisation Agreement - but Belgrade says that confusingly the offer does not specify whether the offer is made to Serbia including Kosovo, or Serbia with Kosovo detached. Belgrade has asked the EU to clarify the offer, but so far has received no reply.

The EU has put out so much of a fanfare claiming to have won the election in Serbia, when the pro-EU parties have not won it, but lost it, that there is now a complete confusion throughout the world as to what the heck is actually going on.

To cap it all, Medvedev in his acceptance speech for his new office as President Of Russia said this week that the illegal occupation of territory and changing of borders without observing international rules, referring of course to what the EU is doing in Kosovo, will lead to destabilisation and warfare.

What a bloody cock-up the whole EU-Serbia-Kosovo thing has become, and that's before it has even started. Brian Rix would have approved of this total farce, if any of you know who he was....Picture below borrowed from www.retirement-rocks.blogspot.com gives a clue.

Picture at top - the sight that the EU apparently cannot come to terms with, the Socialists shaking hands with the Nationalists. This coalition means the EU lost the Serbian elections, and did not win them as it is still claiming!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gordon Brown Is A Leninist.


Looking back over the time that Gordon Brown has been the man primarily responsible for Britain's economic performance, many people are left wondering how one man, who claims to have been a great success story, can have done so much damage to Britain's economy in such a short period. In 1997 when New labour came to power, Britain had one of the most successful economies in the world, 4th in size and 4th in the ranking for most competitive. Ten years later we are respectively 6th behind Italy and China, and in competitiveness we have disappeared, now at 19th.

Brown made quite a few disastrous decisions. He taxed the receipt of income being saved into pensions. As a direct result, final salary pensions schemes which protected millions from poverty in old age have collapsed, and been replaced with the far less adequate money purchase pensions. Brown sold off half of Britain's gold reserves at the bottom of the market, losing billions as the price has since recovered. And to add insult to injury, he imposed extra taxation on North Sea oil companies on two occasions which has had the effect of driving them out of the North Sea, making Britain into a net energy importer, just as the price of oil hits record highs. This too has cost the country billions, and Brown is left pathetically begging the Saudis to pump more oil to try to bring the price down again. See John Redwood HERE.

Can it be mere coincidence that Brown has been so destructive of wealth? He seems to be determined to destroy the country's economic strength at every opportunity that presents itself. By turning National Insurance into a tax, he effectively converted a 40% top rate of income tax in 1997 into one of 65% in 2007. By not raising thresholds in line with inflation, he has made Inheritance Tax from a voluntary tax, paid only by the rich, into a compulsory one, paid by people of average means.

One result of all these measures has been the largest emigration of people from Britain since the early part of the 19th century. Then the people who left, went because of economic hardship and lack of prospects. But the two million people who've gone since 1997 have left at the time of the longest economic boom the country has ever 'enjoyed'. They have been driven out, and the people going are invariably the wealthy, the qualified and the entrepreneurial, maybe even a greater asset than the oil, the gold and the lost pension savings combined.

Replacing those departing has been a torrent of low-skilled immigrants to carry out the menial tasks that Britons will no longer do, cosseted on a cushion of Brown's social security, making millions of people dependent on the state who could otherwise be working.

The disaster is so complete, and so unnecessary that you have to ask what could possibly have motivated an apparently intelligent man to wreak so much havoc on the 60 million inhabitants of Britain in so short a space of time, in the name of Prudence, and his continual claim to economic success.

New Labour told the people of Britain that it would no longer be socialist and neither would it be capitalist, and that it had found a Third Way where wealth creators would be allowed to create wealth, but that the wealth created would be distributed more fairly amongst the population. It all sounded just perfect. There was no mention of the fact that private pensions would be decimated, that Britain's gold reserves would be given away, or that Britain's oil industry would be driven out by erratic banana-Republic taxation, as well as 2 million of her more able citizens.

Nor was it suggested that mobile telephony would become effectively another source of government revenue, or that public transport wold be come the most expensive anywhere in the world.

So again the question has to be asked. What exactly does Gordon Brown imagine he is doing?

Does he have another agenda - one not to create wealth as he claims, but to destroy wealth, not to build a society which grows and builds trust, but one which drives out anyone who succeeds? Looking back at his record before he came to office, there are things which would suggest that this is entirely possible.

Well hidden by the minimal biographical detail he provides of his time as a historian, is the rather glaring (on closer examination) evidence that Brown was never a believer in the principles espoused by the New Labour that he created, at all, and indeed that the whole facade was created to deceive voters into believing Brown was something other than what he truly is.

It is often stated by Brownian biographers that, unlike other high-ranking Labour politicians, he was not taken in by Communist Party membership as a student, and that he remained loyal to the Labour Party from the very beginning. I guess they repeat the story they are given. But Brown clearly had one major fascination which has underpinned his political development right through from his student days and into his adult career, and that fascination is with just one character. This person is none other than James Maxton MP of the Independent Labour Party, who lived from 1885 to 1946. It sounds innocuous enough.

It's not a name that shouts out at people today, and 99% of them would never have heard of him, but Brown not only based his Glasgow University PhD on this man, but he also subsequently penned Maxton's biography, published as recently as 1986. Maxton's career speaks volumes to anyone who wants to look into the detail. Apart from being a conscientious objector who went to gaol in WW1, and who was still advocating pacifism throughout WW2, he took up the most extreme left wing positions at every opportunity. He was furious that the Labour Party formed a deal with employers after the General Strike in 1926, and as a result broke away to form the Independent Labour Party. He was the most extreme of the extremists.

Brown's own biographical pass over any detail about Maxton, leaving him as a rather anonymous character, worthy of interest only to those who have academic interest in political history. But not only was Maxton himself unable to see any practical reason why anyone should be able to create wealth and then be allowed to keep it as individuals, there is the evidence that he too had a political hero who inspired his actions, beliefs and words. Maxton too wrote a biography, and was clearly inspired and strongly influenced by the person whose life he described, one Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, or to you and me, Comrade Lenin.

Now it wouldn't do to admit that Gordon Brown, New labour Prime Minister of Great Britain was a Leninist, but if he was, and it seems he is in love with the notions of Leninism, it would frankly explain why he has destroyed our economy so conclusively and so stupidly in such a short space of time. Only a class war fantasist could imagine it was a good idea to lay waste the totality of the country's middle class savings for old age, or to throw away its gold reserves, and so on.

That said, Maxton's biography of Lenin seems very readable, and Brown's account of Maxton too. And how appropriate that the ideas of Lenin, which developed at his favourite thinking place, the Library of the British Museum, should, one hundred years later, be applied in London and Britain by an unreconstructed class warrior, and believer in the destruction of privately owned wealth.

Gordon Brown, Comrade Lenin would indeed be proud of you.

For a more detailed review see John Garton.

Serbia and Ireland Play At 'Eurovision'




While euro-eyes are all on Ireland and its upcoming vote on the Lisbon Treaty, which is getting too close to call, the 'Eurovision' movement is again getting that regular feeling of rejection that it suffers whenever an election of any kind is held. In Serbia the not-pro-EU coalition has just formed and is now about to govern Belgrade appointing a new Mayor. From this point, it seems highly likely that they will also go on and form a coalition to run the country, although with the EU desperately shovelling money and favours at anyone who wants any, it is clearly paying the negotiators to take their time!

The mood of the nation is well captured by an amusing article which appeared in the B92 Blog two days ago, the blog of the B92 Belgrade TV station. The second half of the piece runs as follows -

In essence, this country is suffering from a superabundance of Eurovision. Not the song contest anymore, but the visions of the future which both include and exclude Europe. Our Eurovision has defined the last parliamentary elections. Our Eurovision will define the next government. Having the annual Singing Kitch-Fest in the Serbian capital was just another symbolic nod to this all-important question.

I note, in passing, the uncomfortably symbolic triple-whammy of the Eurovision winning song: "Dreaming." In Serbia. By a Russian. Paid for by an American. All paths converge?

As a concept, I get the feeling that the preoccupation with Europe is somewhat overplayed here. The facts of the case are as follows: we have been offered to join the Euroclub of Eurovisionists. The population appears to be in a quandary about it - not about whether we want to join, but rather how, and under what conditions. Joining Europe, it must also be said, is not inevitable. It will be a conscious choice made either by the government or directly by the people in a referendum. How we decide and who decides is a subject of great indecision and will also be decisive in the decision on the new government. Confusing enough?

You decide.

A further Euro-wrinkle to be ironed is the EURO part of Eurovision in Serbia. Many millions of euros are staked all around the table on this issue, with many standing to gain and lose depending on the direction of the drift. While gloomy predictions of isolation and many levels of poverty (economic, diplomatic, and the like) are being cast upon the waters, problematically, it has yet to be clearly explained to the populus how a pro-Eurovision will translate into better times and fatter wallets for the people.

Therefore, I retract my opening statement. The fat lady is only warming up her voice here in Serbia. And her warbling may keep us entertained for quite a while.


It seems that Serbians are looking at standing back from the EU for now, and seeing what deals they can get from all sides, rather than locking themselves in one way or the other. Have they learned a thing or two from watching the Irish? Ireland has been the beneficiaries of large amounts of euromoney, but the Irish in their hearts never abandoned a feeling of national independence and destiny, and they have enjoyed large amounts of FDI from the US at the same time as playing along with 'Eurovision'.

The game for the small countries is to get all the perks, but not to really allow the EU, the USA or even Russia, to get into the driving seat (and the UK in Ireland's case, in the past). Serbia has already signed an energy deal with Russia, and could yet see more benefits from that quarter. Again, it's a classic 'let's play all sides' situation.

Medvedev in his acceptance speech of office as Russian President yesterday showed that Russia also sees vital interests in the Serbian game.

From EU Foundation Monthly Report -

He made what appeared to be a clear reference to the West’s determination to break up Serbia. Speaking of the desire for peace and for the need to avoid stimulating war and conflict, President Medvedev said, “We must take extremely seriously any attempts to incite racial or religious hatred, spread the ideology of terrorism and extremism, interfere with the affairs of other countries, and all the more so, attempt to revise borders. We cannot let the rules of international law go ignored. These laws are the fruit of the entire international community’s labour and without them we cannot build a secure life and a just world order.”

The big powers are playing out their competitive games, it seems, as if in pre-1914 mode. The little guys just try to hang on to what they've got and play the game for advantage.

Ireland has played Eurovision and won big. She could well decide soon that it's time to cash in her chips and leave the Euro-casino. The bills to be paid could well start to mount, especially if the Irish allows the EU to seize full political control, as they are now trying to do via Lisbon. Ireland should play on, and reject the Treaty. Becoming an EU colony was never part of the Irish gameplan.

Serbia should be her inspiration.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Cry To Ireland From An American To Reject The Lisbon Treaty.


This piece was posted as a comment to my blog post 'Dublin Could Yet Torpedo The Lisbon Treaty'. It is too good a piece of writing to be left languishing in the comments file. I've titled it, and checked out a little to find who the author Robert Coillean might be. This is what he wrote -

As an Irishman of the diaspora (all four of my grandparents were of Irish descent) I am vitally interested in the present and, especially, the future of my home land. This issue of the Lisbon Treaty frightens me to death! I'm afraid that too many of my brothers and sisters do not realize that the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is in effect a decision equal to new elections in Ireland. The decision on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty is - upon transferring the current powers of the nation state of Ireland to the federal state in Brussels – it is a decision on accepting or rejecting the permanent construction of A NEW FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT OVER IRELAND. To do so will be to utterly discard on the rubbish heap of history all the sacrifices of our ancestors, both the suffering against British oppression and the fighting for freedom in which so many lives were lost.

This is a crucial time in Irish history - a time when you/we will decide whether to march on under your/our own strength and character and leadership or to surrender your/our rights, lives, and fate to others who have, upon every past opportunity, either turned their backs on Ireland in her need or swooped in to take advantage of her riches. Which is exactly what is happening now. Ireland (God bless her forever!) has risen, by her own strength of character and moral fortitude and by God's kind grace, far above her past of subjection and base poverty to a point where she is a jewel in the crown of Europe and the world. Ireland has earned all her scars and medals of valour and has come into her own - at last. (One might quote of Ireland as well, "Free at last, free at last! Thank God almighty, we're free at last!")

And now, in the time of finally enjoying the fruits of our hard-won, blood-bought freedoms and successes, Ireland considers handing over her self-mastery to yet another foreign dictator! God forbid it! Let Ireland be Ireland, not some small dot on the EU map. Let Ireland be Ireland, not another chattel within another kingdom - for such is the becoming EU/EC. Never forget the sacrifices made by our (OUR) grandparents for the possibility of self-rule for Ireland. We are Ireland! We are not Europeans - we never have been. We were at best pets, at worst slaves of Europeans. Ireland has suffered too long to throw away her freedom and self-sufficiency on yet another European master race. We are Ireland!

Look long and hard at America and learn from her mistakes. Under her own power, the United States stood together by choice. Today, we have given up the idea of mutually beneficial partnership among the member states and have become subjects to a dictatorial Federal Government who seeks to rip our choice from us - from freedom of religion to freedom of choice to freedom of speech. American is becoming what the EU would march straight into, from the beginning.

Ireland, my Ireland, whom I learned to pray for and to love from my mother's knee and my father's stories, remember the source of your strength in your tortured past - return to your faith and your moral sense of self. God lead you through 700 years of tribulation and abject slavery. Your/our sense of Irish identity apart from that of the rest of the world kept us unified and alive during years of deprivation and attempted genocide. Please, please, please don't give all that up now for a new, stronger master.

We, the children of your diaspora, are counting on you to safeguard our heritage and our home. Guard and keep them from another outsider who seeks to steal and destroy our culture. We are counting on you. Please don't let us down. Remain independent and free and self-governing. Please.


Robert Coillean also writes about the disappearance of the memorial to the 1798 Rebellion at Tara HERE. I borrowed the pictures to this piece from there.

Profligacy. Authoritarianism. What About Labour's Deceptiveness?




An article written by Telegraph Political Correspondent James Kirkup today, titled 'A tragedy is unfolding under Gordon Brown', makes it quite clear that James Purnell, the Pensions Secretary speaking through his recently appointed special adviser Phil Collins, is openly attacking Gordon Brown's record. Purnell, sorry Collins, writing in Prospect Magazine, talks of -

Gordon Brown's "errors" which have left Labour "vulnerable" and on the wrong side of the political debate.

The article is interesting as it particularly criticises Brown (coded as Labour) for being overly authoritarian, and it implies that Labour's current dire position in polls and elections cannot be ascribed entirely to the economy as Brown and his supporters are doing.

Maybe Purnell's onto something here, and it is Brown's authoritarianism that makes him so hated. If so. there has to be hope for Britain. If her people still have enough fight in them to hate the authoritarianism of Brown, then they will finally come to hate the EU, where much of the restrictiveness and dominating rules are coming from.

Purnell though is being just as deceptive as Dennis MacShane, who amazed all and sundry by advocating tax cuts and reduced government spending in yesterday's Telegraph. See HERE. Neither of them indicate that to deliver the changes they talk of, would require Britain to leave the EU. They avoid all talk of who is really governing Great Britain.

Inside the EU Britain will have a highly authoriarian, and a highly taxed regime, regardless of any fine words of recantation from Labour's politicians. Purnell and MacShane can add another thing to the list of Labour's failures - and to their own list. They talk of profligacy and of authoritarianism. How about a little admission of deceptiveness? When he was Europe Minister, MacShane was the past master at that.

The only potential candidates for the Labour leadership who can admit to the Party's past deceptions are the eurosceptics. We are still waiting to hear of a more definite statement from this quarter of being willing to join the leadership contest, and not just a series of winks and nudges. Only those MPs, who tried to back the referendum on Lisbon for example would have any real credibility.

The rest of the Telegraph article reads as follows -

Mr Collins is a former speechwriter for Tony Blair, and his remarks will be seen as the latest criticism of the current Prime Minister from inside his own party...

Writing in Prospect magazine, Mr Collins suggests that David Cameron, the Tory leader, has "got the point" about what voters now want from their leaders, whereas Mr Brown has not.....

He adds: "The key dividing line in politics is no longer between left and right but, increasingly, between liberal and authoritarian.

"The Labour government too often finds itself on the wrong side of this divide. One of the lessons Labour ought to have learned from 11 years in charge of the state is to be humble about the limits of that power."

Even as Mr Collins was raising doubts about Mr Brown's strategy, John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, has supported the Labour leader.

"You have got to remember that there is a transition into becoming prime minister. I have no doubt this man has the qualities to be a very good prime minister," Mr Prescott said on GM-TV.

He added: "I have no doubt he is the man to deal with the economic problems we have got, having had 10 years keeping our economy very successful.


Prescott's bulimia does not prevent him from gorging himself on lashings of sycophancy. No doubt he walks out of the TV studio and heaves up, as all his listeners are doing. One of the key eurosceptics who has challenged Brown about deceptiveness on many occasions is Gisela Stuart, MP for Edgbaston. See HERE

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How To Survive An Earthquake



Doug Copp is a controversial character, and has been challenged for many of the unlikely claims he has made about various rescues around the world, including events surrounding 9/11. However, this piece which explains 'How To Survive An Earthquake' appears on the face of it to be genuine and to make a lot of sense. Or has he just conned another few million people? Let you be the judge.


EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE ON THE: 'TRIANGLE OF LIFE'

My name is Doug Copp (pictured resting in his New York hotel room two days after 9/11). I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries.

I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones.. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to hide under something.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the 'triangle of life'. The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the 'triangles' you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building..

TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY

1) Most everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different 'moment of frequency' (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the
stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.


8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible -
It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone's life... The Entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!

'We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly'

In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did 'duck and cover,' and ten mannequins I used in my 'triangle of life' survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck
and cover.

There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the 'triangle of life.' This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe , and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.

Vaclav Klaus Ashamed By Czech Recognition Of Kosovo



There cannot be many more reasonable men in world politics than Vaclav Klaus, President of Czechoslovakia. He speaks with a beautiful soft voice, in perfect English, with a measured, steady pace. It is a real pleasure to listen to any of his speeches. But this quiet and reasonable man has made some extremely strong comments about the way Serbia is being treated by the EU supported by the USA, and that he is ashamed that his country has buckled to EU and US pressure and recognised the 'illegal declaration of independence by the Serbian province of Kosovo'.

From www.serbianna.com

"It is not a secret and I cannot agree with the recognition of Kosovo’s independence," Klaus told Czech media.

Kosovo,
Serbianna writes, is a Serbian province that has been ethnically cleansed of Serbs by Kosovo's Muslim Albanian armed gunmen after Washington intervened on their behalf by driving off Serb troops from the province in 1999 allowing the Islamic separatists to kill and expel Kosovo Serbs who are Christian.

In the past, Klaus reminisced on the similarities between Hitler's break-up of his country to the imposed break-up of Serbia.


Pleas enjoy this video (19 minutes - so get a cup of coffee first) of Klaus Vaclav speaking to the Cato Institute in the USA taken before the Kosovo declaration in March 2007, in which he comments on the growing loss of freedom being caused by the EU and by various political ideologies, especially environmentalism.

He speaks of how those who lost their freedoms to other ideologies in the past, to Marxism and Communism, have a particular sensitivity to this. It is a beautiful speech, which will raise the spirits of anyone who sees freedom in their lives evaporating under pressure from these sources. When a man like this speaks out, the free peoples of the world should listen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

EU Assists Terrorists Into Europe

According to credible intelligence, Islamic terrorists are waiting to move weapons and personnel into many parts of the EU from the Balkans, as and when the countries they are operating from, are given visa free and open 'trading' access to EU countries. The rush to include countries known to harbour terrorists to join the EU and NATO seems to be decidedly ill-advised. And yet the EU seems hell-bent on expanding as far as it can and as fast as it can, regardless of the consequences for people who will soon become the terrorists' targets.

See this report from Balkan Insight -

According to Balkan Insight, citing the reports by the Nezavisne Novine (Banja Luka daily), which in turn took its information through anonymous intelligence sources “Muslim extremists are counting on Croatia’s fast-track European Union membership and expected liberalization of its visa regime, to move the weapons and explosives further into EU countries and use them for terrorist activities”.


Already 9 Bosnian Wahhabis are to be found in Guantanamo prison, and since 2001 there has been a continuous effort to disband the tens of Islamic NGO’s that were used to finance terrorist operations. The existence of an unspecified number of former Jihadi fighters that married local women, is still a major concern, since they were all recruited and operated under the aegis of organizations such as Al Qaeda and have formed Pan European support networks, especially in Central Europe and in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


In the former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, the Imam Bekir Halimi, was arrested recently by the authorities in Skopje due to his involvement in illegal funding by pro-terrorist organization. The Albanian descent Halimi received 2,115 euros payments from the Kuwaiti Organization "Revival Islamic Heritage Society" – RIHS-.

The Revival Islamic Heritage Society has been blacklisted by the United Nations because of their close ties to terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda", said Interior Ministry's spokesperson, Ivo Kotevski. The money transfer through a swift account was done via Kuwaiti and two German banks eventually ending up on Halimi’s account.


RIHS has been accused of financing Al Qaida in Afghanistan, as well as extremist groups in Pakistan, under the pretext of humanitarian care and since the 11th of January 2002 it was classified in the UN’s black list of international organizations.

The organization operated over the previous years in Kosovo, Bosnia and Albania, whilst it seems that it aimed at penetrating FYROM through Bekir Halimi’s actions. According to reliable information himself was under supervision by the local security forces and he was also about to complete his work by importing into the country, radical Islamic figures from the Middle East.


It seems that he was a part of a larger plan of destabilization in the Southern Balkans and it would not be improbable as to assume that the revelations by the Italian paper for Bosnia are connected with those in Skopje. It is widely known that the Italian security services are especially active in the Balkans due to the perils this region entails for the security of Italy and in the past various operations were conducted in order to prevent terrorist attacks against the major Italian metropolitan centers.


The Balkans remains a hot bed for the Islamic driven terrorism in Europe and it should be noted that they still remain a convenient entrance for the transfer of radicals from the Middle East. In addition organized crime and illegal immigration are another two dimensions that contemplate the overall picture and should be addressed by the security agencies as a triangle of critical attention well over the coming years.


Bush has tended to see that pushing NATO and the EU eastwards quickly while Russia was incapacitated, was a good move. And yet Russia poses no threat to Europe, while the terrorists that Bush and the EU are helping, certainly are. It seems that there has been a grossly incorrect assessment as to where the threat to European countries could come from. Serbia too has been reduced, and Albanian gangsters permitted to subsume Kosovo. Whatever Serbs have done in the past, they are not terrorists and present no threat to European countries. The whole of western policy in the Balkan regions seem to be 'arse backwards' as they used to say on my Dad's farm, and more about competing Empires than common sense.

Obama might have the answers.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cameron Will Need A Majority Of 400




If the Crewe/Nantwich result was replicated nationally, Labour would lose 200 MPs and Lib Dems would be down to 30. Cameron's majority would be huger than anything Blair got close to.

However if the public are serious about wanting taxes down, and a return of democratic accountability, Cameron will need to tackle the power of Brussels, and to do that, he will need such a majority, of around 400. Otherwise he won't have enough leverage to take Brussels on. Cameron is not boxing himself in with a defined policy on Europe, but is going ahead with phrases such as 'things cannot go on as they are doing'.

That is more or less what the people of Britain are feeling.

Brown may fall, but if it's to be Milliband, who is a eurofanatic, there will be no attempt to do anything on his part other than lick Brussels' boots. By the time Cameron gets into position as PM, the situation with the EU might be about as bad as you can imagine, with sterling gone and the country in total distress, overrun by immigration, drugs, crime, unemployment, high taxes and inflation.

There would hardly be a Labour MP left in the House Of Commons. Crewe & Nantwich will seem like a good score for Labour by then. Milliband would be hated even more than Brown. Change will have to come from somewhere, and it seems with Labour locked into a course running themselves over a cliff, it will have to be Cameron. But he will need the massive majority that voters are threatening to give him, if he's to stand a chance of delivering the Britain that people want to see. Maybe democracy will come back to life in Britain in two years time. We have to hope.

European Democracy Dying In Ireland

Richard North of EU Referendum, the parent blog to www.umbrellog.blogspot.com, says that euroscepticism has lost, and that he will be closing down the EU Referendum blog, now the Lisbon Treaty is being passed through Britain's Parliament without the promised referendum. There is though still an outside chance that democracy in Europe might survive this new dark age. Ireland has yet to vote on the Lisbon Treaty, in 17 days time.

The YES campaign, run with the full resources of the state, however, is ahead by 41 to 33 with three weeks to go. There are still 26 undecided, and the NO vote is growing faster than the YES. Most forecasters now believe that the YES vote will win, as the Irish realise that whatever they decide to vote, won't be allowed to make any difference by Brussels. If true, European democracy will soon be dead. Only the theatre of elections with no effect will be permitted to take place.

Europe which gave democracy to the world, will, for the first time in 2500 years become a democracy-free continent. Born in Athens, over four hundred years before Christ, Democracy's grave will be in Dublin.

COMMENT RECEIVED -

I received this comment from a Robert O'Coillean. I cannot vouch for it but pass it on. I approved the comment for publication three times, but each time it fails to publish. So I've decided to peg it on the bottom of my post. I guess it's -

A Cry To Ireland From An Irish American.

As an Irishman of the diaspora (all four of my grandparents were of Irish descent) I am vitally interested in the present and, especially, the future of my home land. This issue of the Lisbon Treaty frightens me to death! I'm afraid that too many of my brothers and sisters do not realize that the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is in effect a decision equal to new elections in Ireland. The decision on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty is - upon transferring the current powers of the nation state of Ireland to the federal state in Brussels – it is a decision on accepting or rejecting the permanent construction of A NEW FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT OVER IRELAND. To do so will be to utterly discard on the rubbish heap of history all the sacrifices of our ancestors, both the suffering against British oppression and the fighting for freedom in which so many lives were lost.

This is a crucial time in Irish history - a time when you/we will decide whether to march on under your/our own strength and character and leadership or to surrender your/our rights, lives, and fate to others who have, upon every past opportunity, either turned their backs on Ireland in her need or swooped in to take advantage of her riches. Which is exactly what is happening now. Ireland (God bless her forever!) has risen, by her own strength of character and moral fortitude and by God's kind grace, far above her past of subjection and base poverty to a point where she is a jewel in the crown of Europe and the world. Ireland has earned all her scars and medals of valour and has come into her own - at last. (One might quote of Ireland as well, "Free at last, free at last! Thank God almighty, we're free at last!")

And now, in the time of finally enjoying the fruits of our hard-won, blood-bought freedoms and successes, Ireland considers handing over her self-mastery to yet another foreign dictator! God forbid it! Let Ireland be Ireland, not some small dot on the EU map. Let Ireland be Ireland, not another chattel within another kingdom - for such is the becoming EU/EC. Never forget the sacrifices made by our (OUR) grandparents for the possibility of self-rule for Ireland. We are Ireland! We are not Europeans - we never have been. We were at best pets, at worst slaves of Europeans. Ireland has suffered too long to throw away her freedom and self-sufficiency on yet another European master race. We are Ireland!

Look long and hard at America and learn from her mistakes. Under her own power, the United States stood together by choice. Today, we have given up the idea of mutually beneficial partnership among the member states and have become subjects to a dictatorial Federal Government who seeks to rip our choice from us - from freedom of religion to freedom of choice to freedom of speech. American is becoming what the EU would march straight into, from the beginning.

Ireland, my Ireland, whom I learned to pray for and to love from my mother's knee and my father's stories, remember the source of your strength in your tortured past - return to your faith and your moral sense of self. God lead you through 700 years of tribulation and abject slavery. Your/our sense of Irish identity apart from that of the rest of the world kept us unified and alive during years of deprivation and attempted genocide. Please, please, please don't give all that up now for a new, stronger master.

We, the children of your diaspora, are counting on you to safeguard our heritage and our home. Guard and keep them from another outsider who seeks to steal and destroy our culture. We are counting on you. Please don't let us down. Remain independent and free and self-governing. Please.


Robert Coillean also writes about the disappearance of the memorial to the Tara Uprising HERE

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Is This The Stalking Horse?

Patrick Hall MP for Bedford is rumoured to be considering standing against Gordon Brown and proposing a leadership contest takes place. (Source - Politicalbetting.com today's comments from Barry Monk of Save Bedford Hospital Blog, candidate for The Save Bedford Hospital Party).

Here are the stats from the GE 2005. Patrick Hall has only a 3.57 % lead over the Conservatives, which would be wiped out by half the swing that occurred in Crewe. Self interest would explain why MPs like Patrick are desperate to get rid of Brown.


Hall, Patrick Lab 17,557 41.37%
Fuller, Richard Con 14,174 33.41%
Headley, Michael Lib Dem 9,063 21.36%
Conquest, Peter UKIP 995 2.35%
McCready, John Ind 283 0.67%
Lab Majority 3,383 7.97%
Electorate 67,103
Turnout 42,422 63.22%
Lab Hold (3.57% from Lab to Con)

His majority in 1997 was 8300. In 2005 it was 3300.

He has won the seat 3 times in a row. From wikipedia -

He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 General Election for the new seat of Bedford and Kempston with a majority of 8,300 and he has been the MP there since. He made his maiden speech on July 30, 1997.

He contested Bedfordshire North at the 1992 General Election, but was defeated by the veteran Conservative MP Trevor Skeet by 11,618 votes.

Here's an exchange between Patrick Hall and a local Conservative Borough Councillor who blogged it recently -

I was at the train station this morning, and guess who I bumped into – you guessed it Patrick Hall MP. After waving of his children, he came over to me and said “So don’t you want to talk to me” “not particularly” I replied “given the fact that you failed to support the community of Bedford by voting FOR the closure of post offices why should I be bothered to speak to you.”

He said "I did'nt support the proposal in Parliament to stop the current closure of Post Offices because the proposal was too weak” – this from a man who is rumoured for drinking skinny latte!

He went on and on, making himself look very stupid in front of commuters.

He asked me why I blogged about him, I said “ I think its called accountability, I was disappointed by his lack of support for our community; surely this is why you are our MP – someone who will stand up for the community. At this point a fellow commuter said to Patrick “So what’s you doing to stop the massive cuts in train services from Bedford”, his answer “erm” nothing - at this point he cowardly walked away.
. Link HERE

Labour Has A Great Opportunity

Labour has a great opportunity. The end of Brown presents them with the chance the Party has been seeking for 7 years. Blair wanted to end Brown in 2001, but shied away from making the break. He often talked of sacking him after that. In 2007, the Party shied away from challenging him as leader, even though many were on public record saying that he would be dreadful, including David Milliband. Now events have moved the situation to the point where a risk will have to be taken, despite all the cautious instincts of those who could have prevented Brown from getting this far.

Now they have to act.

It cannot be a minor reshuffle of the cabinet. This must be a fully open Pop Idol media-covered leadership election, with as many people standing as wish to do so. If the Party does that, it would win the respect of the people, who would be willing to give the new leader, elected democratically in full public view the benefit of the doubt, and a chance to show what they could do.

The Party could also do much to rebuild trust with the people by holding the referendum as promised in the manifesto on the Lisbon Treaty. It would show that the new leadership believes in democracy, and that they are listening to the views of the people. These two highly public events - first a Labour leadership contest, and second a referendum on Lisbon would reset the political agenda for all parties, and maybe, just maybe, save Labour from a crushing defeat at the next General Election.

The 29 Labour rebels who voted for the Conservative referendum amendment should provide one or two of the candidates. Kate Hoey, Gisela Stuart, Graham Stringer, Frank Field should select their leadership candidate, who should declare their intention to run. The end of Brown opens up great chances, but to avail themselves of this opportunity, Labour will have to take a risk, expose themselves to the vagaries of a democratic process, or drift into permanent Gordon Brown bureaucratised oblivion. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that Labour were fair demons at the democratic game. It was only when Labour reverted to Buggins Turn to protect Gordon's fragile ego that everything went wrong for them. Bring it on!

I don't see that THIS is the answer, just more of the same old New Labour!



PICTURE - Brown looks totally humiliated and furious. The Guardian says he is in total denial. That must make it very hard for anyone to do anything, but do something, they must.

(taken by Mike Smithson from the TV. hat tip to politicalbetting.com)

UPDATE - Jackie Ashley (Guardian columnist) agrees with me. Link HERE Including a bit of faux Brown loyalty just in case he survives for two more years and has her sent to Siberia!

But John Redwood gets it spot on, I'm afraid. It won't make any difference who the Labour leader is unless they have completely different policies, and admit that Brown has lead them to the electoral disaster they have become. See HERE.

TheTelegraph sums up the situation from the rational viewpoint, but is this merely a rational situation?

A leadership challenge is a non-starter. The rules were specifically framed to make it near-impossible to mount a challenge against a sitting Prime Minister.

A fifth of the party – that's 71 MPs – have to declare publicly that they have lost confidence in the leader for a special party conference to be convened.

Thereafter, two thirds of the party must give the leader the thumbs down. It's not going to happen.

What about a Cabinet coup? That's hard to envisage, both because there is no obvious heir apparent around which a mutiny could coalesce, and because it is hard to see more than one or two of them having the guts to confront Mr Brown.

Those who cite Margaret Thatcher's removal forget that the daggers went in only after she had failed to secure an outright victory in a leadership ballot.

But things are clearly stirring in the Westminster undergrowth.

David Miliband is said to be dusting off his hat to throw into the ring – though he will be regretting his failure of nerve last year when he toyed with the idea of challenging Mr Brown, only to back down.

Charles Clarke is being talked about and shares in Alan Johnson are climbing fast, propelled by his answer yesterday when asked if there was any chance of his leading Labour into the next election: "None whatsoever, absolutely none." Watch that space.

Meanwhile, Jack Straw is increasingly being talked of as the wise old greybeard to lead Labour into an unwinnable general election.

He would be less caretaker, more undertaker, and that's a role that even the ambitious Mr Straw might not relish.

But a leadership contest is predicated on Mr Brown standing down.

Could he be mulling over that possibility as he spends this Bank Holiday in the bosom of his family?

It seems unlikely, for Mr Brown is not one of nature's quitters. But can he take two more years of this? We're about to find out.


Isn't it the last sentence that gives you the picture? Brown is total denial of the situation. He is universally hated and despised, and yet he has constructed an unassailable political position based not on popularity but careful manoeuvring and rigging of rules. It seems unlikely that any human being can survive the prison of power that he has built for himself. The hatred and contempt in which he is held will only increase until it finds breaking point one way or another. The pressures can only get worse until they are relieved. Just look at that face. It cannot go on.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shut Up Hillary. It's Over.

Last week Hillary penned an article published in Virginia saying that she still had the support of 'working class white Americans', and said later she regretted writing the words.

Now she's gone a step or two further mentioning the assassination of Robert Kennedy in an inappropriate manner.

From Stephen Collinson of AFP.

"We all remember, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California, I don't understand it," Clinton said.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton condemned her comment as "unfortunate" and said it "has no place in this campaign."

Clinton appeared to reference the Kennedy killing at the end of the 1968 Democratic presidential race to show that previous Democratic nominating contests have stretched well into June.

But referring to political assassinations is fraught with sensitivity, especially for supporters of Obama, who accepted Secret Service protection last year, long before the time it is offered to most presidential candidates, because of unspecified threats.

Clinton quickly launched a damage control effort, saying that the Kennedys had been in her thoughts, after Senator Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer this week.

"I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever," Clinton said.

"My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to, and I'm honored to hold Senator Kennedy's seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York."


Sometimes it's best to recognise when it's time to pack up. Hillary who has fought a great contest, is obviously not capable of seeing that she is now doing her Party, herself and her country damage by carrying on. Shut up, Hillary. It's Over. You've lost. He's beaten you. OK.

UPDATE - Barack Obama is hoping that Bill Clinton will play a key role in healing the divisions in the Democratic Party, once the Illinois senator is finally selected as the presidential candidate. According to a senior Obama aide, "Bill Clinton will give permisison for Hillary supporters to come into our camp." (Sunday Times)

The Prime Minister Who Never Should Have Bean

In Saturday's Telegraph - Simon Heffer joins the chorus -

The realists in Labour - of whom there are many - know what they have to do. Otherwise some of the present Cabinet will be lucky to end up as lollipop ladies in a couple of years' time. The thought of not just unemployment, but of unemployability, will, I fear, concentrate minds. "Pro bono publico, nil bloody panico", a wistful Labour MP said to me yesterday, quoting the late Tory MP Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles.

But panic, I fear, is precisely what is now required.


Oborne writes in Saturday's Daily Mail

Claims that there is no simple mechanism to replace a Labour prime minister are misleading.

Under party rules, 20 per cent of Labour MPs (that means 71) must publicly call for a leadership election. In practice, however, Gordon Brown would step down if enough MPs want him to go.

A delegation of Labour grandees - the most likely members of such a group would be former leader Neil Kinnock, Justice Secretary Jack Straw and the former acting leader Margaret Beckett - would advise Gordon Brown of their fears. It would be impossible for him to resist.

So Crewe and Nantwich has had a seismic effect on the Labour Party.

This weekend it is in a state of panic and moral collapse. Luckily for the Prime Minister, the timing of the by-election coincides with the Whitsun parliamentary recess, meaning that MPs will be away from Westminster for the next ten days and giving him time to consolidate his leadership.

But this is only a mild consolation. June and July are traditionally feverish months at Westminster, dominated by conspiracy and plot at the best of times.

This summer, with well over 100 Labour MPs fearing they will lose their seats at the next General Election, they could prove deadly for Gordon Brown.


And yet Oborne doesn't quite get it. He thinks that if Gordon calls in the Blairites - Charles Clarke, Reid and Milburn , and offers them top jobs in cabinet, that would save his Prime Ministership.

Brown is congenitally unable to rescue the situation - full stop. Oborne must realise that.

The Blairites might buy him time, but the situation will only get worse, the longer Labour leaves Brown in situ. Blair regrets not sacking Brown in 2001. Now the country lives in regret until someone does something and gets rid of the Prime Minister who never should have been.

The likes of Clarke, Reid and Milburn had their chance when Brown was awarded an uncontested coronation. All of them could have insisted on a proper contest to select the new leader. Had they done so they would have won admiration. Now in the public's mind they are all tarred with the same brush.

The only MPs around who are unsullied by Brown are the eurosceptics (See Stringer Shows A Bit Of Leg below).

Blair too will tend to be a hated figure until Brown goes, and so too the Blairites. The public will only be satisfied when Brown has gone, and all those associated with him and Blair, along with him. Any of the previous regime who want careers subsequent to Brown should keep their heads down until Gordon has gone, and make way for entirely new faces.

The next few weeks are bound to create an opening for some new blood from Labour's ranks. If the eurosceptics choose their best candidate, they would have a great chance of rebuilding the public's confidence. I have never met Gisela Stuart but I've heard great things about her, and admire her courage. She was the one Labour MP who told Gordon and the public the truth. Maybe it will be her.

(In the comments, another person proposes Kate Hoey)

UPDATE - Matthew Parris of The Times also says 'Brown Must Go Now' - but offers little of substance to explain how he will be got rid of, and what will replace him. See HERE. Brown will no doubt overestimate his strengths as he always has done, and make one more disastrous mistake which will be the end of him. We've heard of Lame Duck Presidents. We are now watching a very different proposition - the 'Dead Duck Prime Minister' now inevitably approaching his denouement.

As Charles Moore says in The Telegraph - The natural next step is a leadership challenge to Mr Brown., as if he knows that's logical but he cannot quite believe that it's true himself. One sentence on the topic is all he can manage.

Politicalbetting.com website also in unable to take it all in, saying that Brown will somehow last two more years.

Events are moving so fast that people cannot absorb them.

The Guardian makes it clear that the Labour cabinet is not yet ready to address the depths to which Brown has sunk, and it rather implies that Gordon Brown is also in denial.

Labour figures said it was significant that the only cabinet ministers to appear on the high-profile broadcasting programmes were key allies. "Where was the rest of the cabinet?" one senior party figure asked.

The unease about Brown surfaced after a meeting of the political cabinet on Tuesday. "People did not come out thinking they had seen a brilliant masterplan that was going to get Labour out of this," said one senior figure. Another source said: "The political cabinet was awful. The tank is empty."

The main criticism is that Brown appears unable to go beyond saying he is the best man to deal with challenging economic times, a message that failed to sway voters in the local elections and in Crewe and Nantwich. Labour source stress there is no appetite for a direct challenge against the prime minister. Cabinet ministers are said to be discussing what to do. The most they are planning at the moment is to persuade Brown that he needs to "change his script"."The cabinet is not revolting against Gordon Brown," one infuential figure said. "It does wish that he could work it out. The first stage is to move out of denial."


Maybe things will clarify for everyone next week, once some of the dust has settled. But with no initiative likely to come from the cabinet, that leaves it open for those not in the cabinet to initiate the process of removing Brown from office.

Guido sees a different outcome - see HERE.

The lumpen left of the Labour Party reckons the answer to voter disenchantment is to abandon the centre and turn back to the old ways. A fish rots from the head, the weakness of the party leader makes it more likely that this rot will take hold.

Paul Mason, Newsnight's shop steward, could barely contain his excitement last night reporting the prospect of a battered Brown introducing higher taxes on high earners, windfall corporate taxes and the expected soon to be announced "equality agenda" - in other words leveling down. This will be kamikaze left-wing stuff. Britain is already sliding down the economic competitiveness league, the Irish are welcoming FTSE 100 companies making the taxodus from HMRC's demands. Gordon will now be weighing up a shift leftwards, to shore up his position within the party, giving some red meat to the activists and pundits like Polly Toynbee. It will be a change of policy direction based entirely on self -preservation.


The Toffs campaign was done just to appeal to the left wing activists. Now the whole country will be run around class bitterness, Guido thinks. Either that, or they just get rid of Brown. The latter will be the line of least resistance for Labour MPs who wish to keep their seats.

Prague Tory writing in the comments on Guido points out a story from Bloomberg -

He who pays the piper calls the tune? Personal donations to Labour have fallen by 90% in a year. 88% of their donations now come from trade unions.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stringer Shows A Bit Of Leg

Reported by The Ghost Of Harry Flashman on politicalbetting.com at 12.02 pm-

Labour MP Graham Stringer called for a leadership challenge to save Labour from electoral “disaster”.

He told the BBC News Channel: “It is the responsibility of senior members of the cabinet to say we are going in the wrong direction” - and he said one of them should declare their intention to stand against Mr Brown.

“Without that we are heading for electoral disaster at the next election and I desperately want the Labour Party to win,” he added.


Graham Stringer was one of The Gang Of Four who stood up against the Lisbon breach of promise by Labour and rebelled, openly backing the I Want A Referendum Campaign. The others were Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart. They were savaged by Geoff Hoon for their efforts. See SKY report HERE

It would be an interesting development if these four reassembled to promote a bid for the Labour leadership. Stringer's comments suggest that there is some serious thinking going on to try to move Labour into a eurosceptic Party once more, as it was until Blair changed Labour's tack on the EU before winning power in 1997.

If McDonnell is the most likely Left Wing stalking horse, then Stringer is the first sign of an attempt to swing the Party against Europe. The BBC will be delighted, of course! Stringer gets all of a sentence in the Beeb report 'The End Of New Labour' HERE.

UPDATE - A third Labour MP, Alan Simpson has opened up on Gordon Brown, as reported by the BBC at 13.22 pm HERE "Brown Faces Leadership Concerns".

Interestingly, all the three who have openly questioned Gordon Brown's leadership come from the 29 who voted in favour of the Conservative amendment to the Lisbon ratification debate in the Commons, proposing a referendum.

The 29 Labour MPs who broke ranks over the referendum issue were as follows -

Colin Burgon Elmet Lab aye
Ronnie Campbell Blyth Valley Lab aye
Frank Cook Stockton North Lab aye
Jeremy Corbyn Islington North Lab aye
John Cummings Easington Lab aye
Ian Davidson Glasgow South West Lab aye
David Drew Stroud Lab aye
Gwyneth Dunwoody Crewe & Nantwich Lab aye
Frank Field Birkenhead Lab aye
Mark Fisher Stoke-on-Trent Central Lab aye
Roger Godsiff Birmingham, Sparkbrook & Small Heath Lab aye
Kate Hoey Vauxhall Lab aye
Kelvin Hopkins Luton North Lab aye
Lindsay Hoyle Chorley Lab aye
Lynne Jones Birmingham, Selly Oak Lab aye
David Marshall Glasgow East Lab aye
John McDonnell Hayes & Harlington Lab aye
Austin Mitchell Great Grimsby Lab aye
Anne Moffat East Lothian Lab aye
George Mudie Leeds East Lab aye
Denis Murphy Wansbeck Lab aye
Alan Simpson Nottingham South Lab aye
Dennis Skinner Bolsover Lab aye
Graham Stringer Manchester, Blackley Lab aye
Gisela Stuart Birmingham, Edgbaston Lab aye
David Taylor North West Leicestershire Lab aye
Paul Truswell Pudsey Lab aye
Mike Wood Batley & Spen Lab aye

Is this the most threatening zone for Gordon Brown after Crewe & Nantwich? Here he is defending himself, I would say, nervously, wouldn't you? VIDEOLINK.

UPDATE - Could he be closer to falling than people think?

What about this suggestion from a PBer 5 minutes ago?

Does anyone else think we could be a lot closer to a general election than most people assume? The big question is whether Gordon can survive, and it has be be said the chances are looking increasingly slim. Labour MPs know that its almost impossible to launch a formal leadership contest, and yet they have a golden opportunity ahead in the 42 day vote. If Gordon loses this, surely its game over? To lose a vote on the government’s flagship anti-terrorism legislation would be catastrophic, I can’t see how he could survive. If/when he has gone, there will be a leadership election and a new PM - but could Labour really go on until 2010 with a second unelected leader? I just don’t think its feasible, and the public simply wouldn’t stand for it.

I dunno, its just a hunch I have… Anyone else thinking along the same lines?

by Henry C May 23rd, 2008 at 3:37 pm

If enough Labour MPs publicly express disloyalty day by day, and progressively weaken Gordon's position, then the Commons vote might be used as the mechanism to unseat Brown. But it would need a head of steam building up first.

UPDATE - Saturday - Simon Heffer joins the chorus -

The realists in Labour - of whom there are many - know what they have to do. Otherwise some of the present Cabinet will be lucky to end up as lollipop ladies in a couple of years' time. The thought of not just unemployment, but of unemployability, will, I fear, concentrate minds. "Pro bono publico, nil bloody panico", a wistful Labour MP said to me yesterday, quoting the late Tory MP Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles.

But panic, I fear, is precisely what is now required.



And Oborne in Saturday's Mail

Claims that there is no simple mechanism to replace a Labour prime minister are misleading.

Under party rules, 20 per cent of Labour MPs (that means 71) must publicly call for a leadership election. In practice, however, Gordon Brown would step down if enough MPs want him to go.

A delegation of Labour grandees - the most likely members of such a group would be former leader Neil Kinnock, Justice Secretary Jack Straw and the former acting leader Margaret Beckett - would advise Gordon Brown of their fears. It would be impossible for him to resist.

So Crewe and Nantwich has had a seismic effect on the Labour Party.

This weekend it is in a state of panic and moral collapse. Luckily for the Prime Minister, the timing of the by-election coincides with the Whitsun parliamentary recess, meaning that MPs will be away from Westminster for the next ten days and giving him time to consolidate his leadership.

But this is only a mild consolation. June and July are traditionally feverish months at Westminster, dominated by conspiracy and plot at the best of times.

This summer, with well over 100 Labour MPs fearing they will lose their seats at the next General Election, they could prove deadly for Gordon Brown.


And yet Oborne doesn't quite get it. He thinks that if Gordon calls in the Blairites - Charles Clarke, Reid and Milburn , and offers them top jobs in cabinet, that would save his Prime Ministership.

Brown is congenitally unable to rescue the situation - full stop.

The Blairites might buy him time, but the situation will only get worse, the longer Labour leaves Brown in situ. Blair regrets not sacking Brown in 2001. Now the country will live in regret until someone does something and gets rid of the Prime Minister who never should have been.

Dublin Could Yet Torpedo Lisbon



This is the banner on the home page of Libertas, the Irish organisation running the 'NO' campaign prior to the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, coming up next month. The leader of Libertas is 39 year old Declan Ganley (pictured below), and he's doing a storming job, catching out Irish government Ministers who are misleading the people about the terms of the Lisbon Treaty (click on Libertas for details), especially as to the loss of Ireland's veto to QMV over any terms that the EU agrees to in WTO negotiations.

Farmers are worried. In Ireland farming carries political clout, as it is a far bigger part of the economy than in Britain, for example.

'Stop lecturing us and telling us how grateful we should be,' said one farmer.

'Why would we support an institution that's taking away our livelihood?' said another, according to today's WSJ.

The WSJ lists out the areas of concern as follows -

Farmers are concerned that they will be forced to compete with cheaper imports, as well as seeing their EU subsidies reduced at the same time. Trade Unions fear that the Treaty will weaken their members' rights. Peace activists say that the Treaty will force Ireland to beef up its military, and anti-abortion groups worry that the Treaty will force Ireland to alter its anti-abortion stance.

The Yes campaign denies that any of these fears are necessary. But all in Ireland are aware that the competitive tax regime in Ireland with the 12.5% Corporation Tax has done a lot to attract business and FDI into Ireland. If tax harmonisation policy becomes enforceable from measures brought in subsequent to Lisbon, again by QMV, which they will, then Ireland's economic competitiveness could start to seep away.

The country is already suffering from a property price downturn and rising interest rates, and the Irish are not so willing to suspend their doubts about the EU as they were. earlier in May a poll put the YES and the NO votes neck and neck, but with 30% undecided. All the big parties are backing the Treaty, as is the media, but the lone voices of Declan Ganley and Libertas, backed by Sinn Fein might yet pull off the vote. The battle is on.

UPDATE - Dan Hannan in this week's Spectator is upbeat about the chances of Lisbon being sunk by the Irish referendum HERE.

And his colleague Roger Helmer MEP East Midlands (Conservative) has this to say in his monthly newsletter -

The mood in Ireland is swinging against the Yes Campaign. A recent poll of small businessmen in Ireland showed 74% against. Ten thousand Irish farmers marched in Dublin against the Lisbon Treaty. They are worried about Peter Mandelson's world trade position. Recently Mandy called the Irish farmers "liars". This was headlined in Irish papers. You can imagine how such a comment from an English Commissioner was received. One Irish NO Campaigner called Mandelson "The gift that keeps on giving".

The Yes side are getting very worried, in Dublin and in Brussels. They can't move the vote to a later date, because they know that developments under the French Presidency (July/Dec '08), especially on tax and agriculture, will strengthen the NO vote.
It is difficult to see how the EU could respond to a NO vote in Ireland, but it would be a huge boost for our cause. Fingers crossed for June 12th..

An Irish Take on the Lisbon Treaty

In the (Irish) Sunday Business Post, Tom McGurk argued, "If you thought the Maastricht and Nice masterpieces needed a whole afternoon in a political seminar to understand, then try Lisbon. It is the Finnegans Wake of EU treaties, a master-class in confusion and obscurity. It would be funny if it weren't so serious; indeed, were any student in Europe to submit the Lisbon Treaty as an academic political thesis, they might well be thrown out of their faculty."


The last word should go to a thoughtful Irishman, Anthony Coughlan, who explains in simple terms what Lisbon would mean for Ireland, if it were to be ratified. Read HERE.

Crewe Says 'We Want Change'.

The Crewe & Nantwich result tells Labour one thing clearly. Replace Gordon Brown now. John McDonnell MP has already opened up on Gordon, criticising his leadership, since the result, and hinting that he's ready to start the bidding. Daily Referendum Blog says that McDonnell is unlikely to be the last.

But what about Nick Clegg? He made it clear last week that in a hung Parliament he would back David Cameron and allow him to form a government on condition of policy agreement. But with Conservatives hitting on the high 40s in elections and polls alike, the Conservatives are not likely to need him.

The Lib Dems make me laugh. Their share of the vote fell from 18.6% to 14.6%, but as Labour did even worse they can claim a relative statistical gain, that is a swing vis a vis Labour of 7%, which they are doing on their website libdemvoice.org. See HERE.

The fact is that the Lib Dems might have expected to pull in second, given their formidable byelection record, but they only achieved half the number of votes that went to Labour. With the Conservatives on the rise, powered by public anger at Labour's economic record, the Lib Dems are becoming invisible, or maybe they too are collecting some of the public anger for the mess that has been made out of Britain's once formidable economy.

People want to dump Labour and see change. The Lib Dems are not going to deliver that. They offer nothing the voters need.

The Henley byelection, the seat vacated by London Mayor Boris Johnson will be next. If the Lib Dems don't perform there either, Gordon Brown won't be the only party leader vulnerable to replacement. Clegg could soon be on the slide too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

EU Fails To Deliver Its Side Of The Bargain

An article in the International Herald Tribune, written in Berlin today by Judy Dempsey HERE covers the report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and compares it with a recent Italian report, both covering the subject of Europe's defence capabilities. The Washington report reveals a lot about American disappointment with its European allies.

From the IHT - The report coincides with a major American reassessment of EU defense and security policy under which Washington would support a more muscular EU, provided that European defense spending was sufficient for a radical improvement in military capabilities on this side of the Atlantic...

The report focuses on 2001 to 2006, a period when the EU was deploying soldiers almost every year in new places, from Macedonia in the western Balkans to Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this time, the total number of European troops involved in foreign missions - peacekeeping and other military operations - increased to more than 80,000, from 65,000...

But military spending by most European countries over the same period was "negative or slightly positive," the report says.

"Largely for political reasons, the EU member states cannot have any large increases in defense spending," Guy Ben-Ari, one of the authors of the analysis published in Washington, said in an interview. "There are other pressing priorities - for example, social welfare programs - and particularly against the background of aging populations."from 2001 to 2006, France, Britain and Spain spent more than 3 percent of gross domestic product on defense. But Italy spent 1.47 percent, and spending in Germany and Sweden sharply declined.

Giovanni Gasparini and Lucia Marta, authors of a separate report on EU defense spending published last month by the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, suggested that Germany had "had difficulties in respecting its commitments" as a result of the drop in spending and said that a 'feeble increase" in Italy's defense budget had "made it difficult to maintain operational levels."


The picture painted is one of complete inadequacy and failure on the part of the Europeans to live up to their side of the political bargain. America continues to deliver total political support to the EU and is getting zilch in return. The Italian authors try to offer as optimistic a view as they can about Europe, but really the counter-view they paint is laughable, as follows -

At the same time, while total troop levels fell by 12 percent across the bloc, defense investment per soldier rose by 26 percent.

"If this trend continues it may mean smaller, better-equipped European militaries in the years to come," the report says.


On the other hand, it may just mean smaller and higher paid militaries in the years to come. The Italian report continues,

Also, even though defense spending among some of the EU's big and medium-sized countries remains controversial domestically, security expenditures are increasing on police forces, protection of ports and airports, and developing new intelligence systems.

The Washington report doubts whether the low spending being made will result in improved military capabilities.

Ben-Ari said that public willingness to accept such increases may reflect support for a "soft power" approach to security preparedness and conflict resolution.

This raises questions of whether the European Union is more interested in strengthening its "soft power" profile than in projecting the image of a bloc prepared to use hard power as well, and of whether increases in security spending will ultimately result in improved military capabilities.


In plain English the Americans are saying that the EU is not interested in making any commitment to increased defense spending at all, and will not have anything to offer America in terms of sharing the defence load around the word. This leaves the Bush Administration's whole European policy which Bush has pursued for the last five years high and dry, and the world overly exposed to powerful new military operators such as Russia.

The report puts it like this -

...the Bush administration has backed the idea of a militarily stronger European Union. Victoria Nuland, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, in a speech in Paris three months ago, made this clear but added that it would require a radical improvement in military capabilities, with a far more focused policy on defense spending.

Well Victoria (Pictured). It ain't gonna happen.

Bush just doesn't get it. He was surprised when the Europeans failed to back his attempts to offer NATO membership to Georgia and the Ukraine, while he he gave full backing to EU requests to support the Kosovan independence moves from Serbia. With Europe and therefore the USA having inadequate military power to back up these strategies, Putin, who is spending 50% of his GDP on defence, and who pays his troops far less than Europeans and as a result gets far more bang for each buck, only has to issue the minutest military threat, and the white flags are flying in Brussels.

Whenever the next US President gets around to looking at the situation, surely he will find that America is wasting its time giving all its support to the EU, and that it is time to move on to pastures new. America would prefer dealing with the EU than with Moscow, but the realities of the situation are that America will have little choice but to change allegiances, and negotiate with the Russians. The EU is unwilling to defend itself, and so others who will accept the primary responsibility of government, that is to defend, will gradually usurp their power.