Showing posts with label referendum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label referendum. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 January 2018


Happy New Year!

Made a New Year resolution yet? Money tight after an expensive Christmas? Well now is the time to resolve to live a bit more frugally in future and preserve just a few more resources to help your pocket and the planet! Here are a few tips from your friendly retired accountant!

When you go shopping make two lists. On the first list put everything you need and on the second list put everything you want. Then throw the second list away!

Go through your "needs" list and decide whether you really need them. For instance, butter in the UK has doubled in price in the last 18 months. Even English butter, so the exchange rate is no excuse. It's time we, as consumers, started wielding our power NOT to consume. So strike things you don't really need from your list or find a cheaper alternative.

Eaten far too much chocolate over Christmas and the kids drunk too many fizzy drinks? The UK government's latest propaganda campaign to distract you from their appalling cock ups is that children should not have sugary snacks of more than 100 calories. Healthy eating is in fact cheaper than unhealthy eating, which you will know if you have ever compared the price of an apple to a chocolate bar.

It's also cheaper to be a vegetarian than an omnivore....

Next: don't buy brands. I know you always buy that coffee made by a multinational company that has just moved its HQ to a tax haven overseas, but do you need to? If you go to a store they will probably have just as good a product marketed under their own brand. For instance, you can get 40 one cup tea bags from Tesco for just 25p (and the bag is not plastic and so therefore biodegradable).

Finally, and by no means least, don't buy the fudge being sold to you by the terrible Tories. Get out of the house and protest at the privatisation of the NHS, the fracking of our countryside or the failure to protect our population from floods and fires. In particular, whether you are in favour of Brexit or in favour of Remain, please get off your backside and protest about the fudge being peddled by May and Co. You know that policy of being in the single market (to ensure no hard border in Ireland) and out of it (as promised by Brexit) at the same time is totally impossible. We either leave the EU entirely or we Remain in the EU: there are no other viable alternatives!

The sooner we get this ridiculous minority Tory Government out of office, the better it will be for all us. So start THE revolution now, forget the shopping and get down to the barricades!

Friday, 22 December 2017

The Establishment talks to the Establishment

Have you noticed how it is always the usual suspects who appear on all the talk shows and write all the newspaper columns?

What the establishment says needs to be treated with such scepticism, as lies and half truths spew out of the TV and radio.

The BBC yesterday in parliament programme reported this week, for instance, that the Liberal Democrat former minister Tom Brake had claimed that the EU referendum result was in part because of Russian cyber terrorism. Then they reported the Tory grandee Edward Leigh saying that this was just sour grapes, because liberals could not accept that the working class rejected the left wing in the EU referendum!

Finally "Yesterday in Parliament" shamelessly reported, that "the UK democracy is the most robust in the world." Robust yes, democratic no. Just look at the makeup of the Houses of Parliament. The Lords full of unelected establishment yes men. The Commons full of brown nosed sycophants, who also owe their position to patronage and an undemocratic electoral system which allows a government to be elected by just one third of the electorate. No surprise that MPs do not reflect the views of the majority in the country on such a fundamental issue as Brexit. No, democracy to Parliament is voting to allow themselves to overturn the will of the people on Brexit if they disagree with the dog's breakfast being served up by this minority government.

There are many such examples touted as truth by the Ministry of Truth, aka the BBC and the mainstream media.
If you believe the establishment, there is no such thing as a left wing supporter of Brexit or a right wing remainer. How often do you see Labour Leave invited onto the talk shows and yet we hear from Tony Blair all the time, despite the fact that he has been out of office for almost ten years. As a member of Green Leaves, the organisation of Green Party supporters who support Brexit, I am not aware that any of our members has ever been invited by the media to comment since the EU referendum. Why are the views of Labour Leave or Green Leaves less relevant than those of Nigel Farage or Tony Blair? More importantly, why are the alternative paths to Brexit they propose not reported?

The establishment continues to have the same agenda that the BBC have had throughout its history. To limit the voices you hear through the establishment media to the people who control the selection of MPs, the appointments to the House of Lords and the rest of the ruling class.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Green and Economically Successful Solution to the UK Trade Deficit

It is one of the great ironies of this world that the most successful capitalist country of recent times is the communist controlled Peoples' Republic of China. The reason for this is not difficult to see. As Irwin Stelzer said in the Sunday Times (19/11/17), "subsidised Chinese Companies have an immense competitive advantage".

As Jeremy Clarkson was so fond of telling us, China has been making knock off copies of European cars for years. How many people realise that the new MG cars now being sold are made by a Chinese company in China? If a foreign company wants to sell cars in China, they must manufacture them there with a Chinese partner, or pay a 25% duty on imported cars.

And yet China has been a member of the World Trade Organisation since 2001, so presumably what it does is within WTO rules?

It is one of the great mysteries to me that the UK does not do the same thing. A 25% import duty on cars would reduce the number of imports and encourage manufacturers to make the cars in the UK. With all parties committed to facilitate the switch from petrol and diesel to electric cars, now seems an ideal time to introduce the measure and ensure the new factories are built in the UK to service our 60 million+ consumers.

Of course, such a tariff is contrary to EU rules, which are designed to help the multi-national companies to source their goods from low wage economies. With 30,000 lobbyists in Brussels, the multi-nationals have ensured that their economic growth is enshrined in EU law. But the UK has voted to leave the EU, which brings forth a multitude of opportunities to have much greener policies. And there is nothing greener than reducing the number of vehicles and the miles they have to travel to get to the customer.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

BBC Lying on UK News

THE BBC ARE LYING TO THE BRITISH PEOPLE ON THEIR NEWS BROADCASTS IN SUPPORT OF THE REMAIN CAMPAIGN. The BBC News at 10 last night (Monday 20th June 2016) gave the "Remain" propaganda message that imports from the rest of the EU were roughly the same as UK exports to the rest of the EU. THIS IS A BLATANT LIE!

They also gave the Remain statistic that only 6% of EU exports came to the UK. That is also a blatant lie.


The balance of payments deficit with the rest of the EU in 2014 was £104 billion. In 2015 it was £106 billion. The balance of payments is made up of the balance of trade and then other payments out to the EU, such as dividends from assets sold to them by Tory privatisations etc., such as the railways, now mainly owned by other EU governments.

So in 2015, the total trade in goods and services showed exports from the UK to the EU (from the UK Office of National statistics) of £223 billion. Imports from the rest of the EU were £291 billion. So the net trade deficit (not including dividends etc) with the EU in 2015 was £68 billion (in 2014 it was £59 billion). That is over 30% more than the UK exports to the EU. Not the same as the BBC reported. 30% more.

According to Wikipedia, the last figures we have for EU exports to the rest of the world were $2259 billion (£1526 billion). But of those, £280 billion were UK exports to the rest of the world, so the remaining EU exported just £1246 billion. If we add the exports to the UK of £291 billion, that makes total remaining EU exports to UK and the rest of the world of £1537 billion.
The UK proportion (£291bn) of the total (£1537 bn) is 19% of all the exports from the rest of the EU, not 6% as reported by the BBC. The BBC are just regurgitating the Remain propaganda without checking their facts.

And remember this is a percentage of a much larger figure than the percentage of UK exports that go to the EU, so comparing these percentages as the BBC did is misleading.

The fact is that the rest of the EU exports far more to the UK than the UK exports to the rest of the EU.
Import Tariffs would be much more disadvantageous to the rest of the EU than to the UK.
By leaving the EU we could focus on boosting UK trade worldwide, including the EU, without any fear (falsely engineered by the BBC and their Remain friends) of punitive tariffs from the EU. The same threat was made to Norway when it had a referendum in 1994 and proved just as false.



Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Case for Green Party Supporters to VOTE FOR BREXIT

I am deeply disappointed with the Green Party over the lack of opportunity to discuss the referendum on Europe. Ever since the referendum has been called, the Green Party has refused to debate how we should campaign in the referendum. Indeed the Green Party broke its own rules on emergency motions to push through a pro-EU vote at the Autumn 2015 conference. A vote in which the vast majority of the 66,000 Green Party members were excluded. Fewer than 1% of members voted for the emergency motion and ever since all debate on whether or not to campaign for or against Brexit has been stifled by the leadership. There was a time when the Green Party refused to have "leaders" and I now understand why. This official censoring of debate is undemocratic and dictatorial.
Mainly because of the more democratic voting system, it is clear that the greatest success that the Green Party of England and Wales has had, has been at the European Elections. The Green Party now has three times as many MEPs than the Liberal Democrats. It does mean, however, that this Europhile tendency does tend to dominate the corridors of power within the Green Party, grouped as it is in the South and East of England.
However, I do feel that in their Euro-enthusiasm, our leaders do tend to forget their own rhetoric.
Perhaps I could remind you of some of the things mentioned in the Green Party manifesto in 2015.
• "We have lost half the wild animals on earth in the past 40 years.
• We lose between 20,000 and 100,000 species every year. This is between 1000 and 10,000 times faster than the natural extinction rate.
• We are causing a ‘sixth extinction’. The other five occurred naturally. This one is down to us.
• We have increased CO2 concentrations from a pre-industrial 280 parts per million (ppm) to about 400 ppm.
• Global temperatures are due to rise between 1.5 and 4.8 degrees C by 2100. And that’s just the internationally agreed range without feedback effects. Many experts are predicting rises as high as 6 deg C.
For the first time in the history of the Earth one species is changing it forever – the human species. They call this new era the ‘Anthropocene’. We now have our very own geological epoch."
Now, such Armageddon type predictions suggest some pretty drastic changes are needed quickly to avoid a global disaster. But:
• you do not get change by voting for the status quo;
• you do not get change by being part of an economic union with economic growth as its over-riding ambition;
• you do not get change by voting for trade agreements like TTIP whose only purpose is to encourage unsustainable economic growth and further domination of the world economies by the increasingly avaricious global conglomerates;
• you do not get change when alternatives to unsustainable growth are not even on the European Commission agenda.
The EU as it is currently constituted is run for and by big business. The European Parliament continues to be dominated by right wing parties, paid for by big business. Even the UK "Remain" campaign is organised and paid for by the bankers and financiers of the City of London. The BSE campaign is financed by Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan and led by the former chair of M&S Lord Rose.
Even the "Vote Remain" campaign material being given out at the Green MEP stalls at Harrogate was paid for by British taxpayers via the EU levy, upon which British people have no vote and no say.
What we need, as the Green Party said at the General Election, is nothing less than a Green Revolution. Again from the 2015 manifesto:
• Make achieving international agreement on limiting climate change to within 2 degrees of warming a major foreign policy priority.

Foreign policy in the EU has been led by un-elected and unknown appointees like Catherine Ashton, who led us into the creation of conflicts in the Ukraine, Syria and Libya, but did nothing to foster international agreement on climate change.
• Invest in a £85bn public programme of renewable electricity generation, flood defences and building insulation creating more than 250,000 good jobs (in the UK).

Such a policy would not be allowed under current EU rules as it would create state subsidised unfair competition to the energy companies, now dominated by French, German and Spanish conglomerates.

• Support local sustainable agriculture, respect animals and wild places.

Again the EU rules do not allow the active support by member state of local food, at the expense of imports. An increase in animal welfare needs cross-EU support, as does the protection of habitats, so will take much longer to achieve within the EU, than if we just did it ourselves.

• Cut emissions by providing cheaper public transport, and encouraging cycling and walking.

The re-nationalisation and subsidy of the railways and bus services is not allowed under EU Directive 2012/34/EU.

The EU is all about economic expansion and enforced austerity, not public investment. Look what has happened to those countries faced with having to have a bail out to remain in the Euro. Massive levels of unemployment in Greece, Portugal and Spain. Even Ireland, touted as a success story, has effectively turned itself into a tax avoidance fiefdom of big business, emulating Luxembourg.
The Green vision for Europe is laid out the Manifesto for a Sustainable Society: the policy of the Green Party written by its members, not its leaders. This says:
EU110 To achieve the Green vision, Europe will need very different structures from those currently in existence. Europe should be made up of overlapping, co-operative, democratic, decentralised groupings of nations and regions.
This is not the EU and will NEVER be achieved with existing EU structures.
EU111 European institutions must be designed with care and with mechanisms for correction, to prevent the drift towards centralism that has repeatedly been seen in history.
The drift towards centralism has been a constant in the sixty year history of the EU and continues today.
EU112 Part of the way to do this is to have a multiplicity of independent bodies with clearly defined areas of responsibility, and with the possibility of membership by different groups of nations and regions. An example is the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe for conflict resolution.
Again, this is not found within the EU and is not part of any European Commission policy being considered .
EU113 Europe must not become a super-state or global power bloc.
But this is precisely how the "Remain" campaign define the EU: as a global power bloc: it is at the very heart of their rhetoric. But a power bloc for whom, comrades? For you? For me? Or a power bloc for the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about?
Why do you think Obama is actively campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU? A single European nation suits the US government, its multinationals and its military. One leader is a lot easier to deal with than many.
Finally, again from the Green Party manifesto (preamble page 8):
The Green Party knows that:
• It’s hard to be a citizen when life tells you that you are a consumer;
It is Green Party policy to persuade the UK to abandon consumerism and back conservation. Conservation of our environment by abandoning waste and the constant search for more and more "things" we do not need or really want. Never mind the quantity, look for the quality of life. Look for sharing the wealth we have, not concentrating it in fewer and fewer hands.
But concentrating power in fewer hands is precisely what the EU is designed to do. Getting change is such a slow process in the EU that in forty years of membership, the UK has failed to change any EU Treaty; absolutely essential if you are to change the EU in the ways envisaged by the Green Party.
So, please, Green Party members, do not just accept the propaganda put out and financed by big business and the EU. Please think for yourselves. Look at Green Party policies and decide whether you want a society dominated by the commercial interests across the EU or an independent UK, where we can campaign for that Green Revolution and the British people can decide for themselves whether to be consumers or conservers.