Brexit is a win-win for Europe and the UK

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Britain’s vote to leave the European Union should be celebrated by all, writes Nikola Kaurin:

When you resign a job you’re essentially firing your employer.

It means that you’ve compared what you have against what you can get and you’ve decided that it’s in your best interest to go somewhere else.

The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union is no different.

On Thursday, British voters took a good hard look at the EU and they tendered their resignation.

What’s even more extraordinary is that the British electorate voted to leave in the clear absence of a defined alternative.

Or did they?

Contrary to popular wisdom, Britons voted for a very clear option. They voted for the option of successful European integration compared to the alternative of unsuccessful European integration.

But how is that possible? Simple. There’s no greater success story of European integration than the United Kingdom itself. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: UK Leftist Concedes, Left Was Wrong on Immigration

A UK based leftist concedes the Left was wrong on Immigration

A UK based leftist concedes the Left was wrong on Immigration. Quoted from the Daily Mail author David Goodhart says that he is "now convinced that public opinion is right and Britain has had too much immigration too quickly". Hopefully he isn't ostracised for speaking his mind. 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297776/SATURDAY-ESSAY-Why-Left-epic-mistake-immigration.html#ixzz2OWjGlPJy 

TWH, AME

David Cameron has a Mitt Romney Problem

Dan-WhitfieldDan Whitfield discusses the similarities between David Cameron and Mitt Romney – and how this spells bad news for Cameron:

After Mitt
Romney, the Republican nominee for President was defeated last November, British
political prognosticators predicted that the result was a good omen for David
Cameron and a warning for his opposite number on the Labour benches, Ed
Miliband.

They are wrong.

It’s easy to see
why the experts made such a mistake.  After
all, President Obama won reelection with unemployment hovering at 8% –
something no occupant of the White House has ever done before (the closest was
Ronald Reagan, who was reelected in 1984 with unemployment at 7.2%).  Obama won in spite of the gridlock paralyzing
Washington (for which he is largely responsible), contempt for politicians at
record levels, and smoldering resentment over his reform of the American
healthcare system.

President Obama
also won despite his opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney,
effectively stealing the mantle of change.

Such
similarities to the political situation in the UK will not have gone unnoticed
by Tory High Command.  That's why, on the
surface, President Obama's reelection is delightful news for Cameron.  Even now, perhaps, advice is being poured
into the Prime Minister's ear, urging him to follow the path blazed by the
President.  To win a reelection campaign
of his own, all David Cameron need do is remind voters of the mess he
inherited, emphasize the indicators which point to an economic recovery, and expose
his opponents glaring shortcomings. 
Follow the Obama recipe, and another 5 years in Downing Street beckon.

But a close look
at exit polling should have Conservatives nervous.  It shows that Mitt Romney lost for exactly
the same reasons that have damaged British Tories generally, and David Cameron
in particular.

The Fox News
exit poll showed that by a margin of ten points, voters thought Obama was “more
in touch with people like me.”  By a
whopping 81-18 margin people believed President Obama to be the more empathetic
candidate. Governor Romney did win majorities of voters who wanted “a vision
for the future” (54-45) and “a candidate who shares my values” (55-42), but was
undone by the fact that so many voters believed his policies would favor the
rich, effectively neutralizing his greatest strength: that he was the candidate
best equipped to turn around America's faltering economy.

Thus was
Romney's campaign was undone.  Much has
been written about the changing demographics of America – a worthy topic – but
the bottom line remains that people will not vote for a candidate they do not
like, irrespective of the colour of their skin. 
President Obama had a favorability rating of +7, while Gov. Romney,
suffering from millions of dollars’ worth of unanswered attack ads, had a
negative favorability rating of -3.

In the UK, there
are chilling similarities to Gov. Romney's position and David Cameron's, though
the Prime Minister does outperform the Republican in some crucial polling
questions.

An Ipsos-Mori
poll published just before party conference season in September shows Cameron
trailing by ten points on the issue of who “represents people like me.” And he
clings to a tiny two-point led when voters are asked to choose who “has the
right values.”

There is good
news for Mr. Cameron in the poll: by healthy margins he beats out Mr. Miliband
when voters are asked who is more “Prime Ministerial,” “likeable,” and “a good
person,” although Mr. Miliband does win on the question of “who will protect
British jobs.”

The Prime
Minister therefore is not in as near a bad a position as Gov. Romney, but his
polling numbers show they both share the same problems as a candidate: people
doubt their values, and question both their privilege, and their commitment to
jobs for the middle class.

The similarities
between Romney and Cameron go beyond mere polling.  Both come from what most people would agree
is “the 1%.”  Their upbringings
encompassed the very best schools and colleges, and they enjoy enormous wealth
beyond the means of most families.  Hence
why Mr. Cameron is so sensitive to attacks upon his background: deep down, he
fears they may actually work.  The
polling shows he is correct to hold such fears.

Mitt Romney's
candidacy fell victim to attacks on his character and background which he
inexplicably failed to rebut until the last few weeks of the campaign.  David Cameron, a far better politician, knows
to insulate himself against charges that his policies favor the rich and that
he is out of touch.  Hence the statement,
trotted out by his front bench team, that “we are all in this together,” and
the Prime Minister's reluctance to lower the top rate of income tax during the
negotiations over last year’s budget.

But these
solutions are only temporary.  What is
the answer to the long-term problem that people incorrectly associate
right-of-center parties with policies that favor the elite?  After all, it is parties of the left that
have destroyed state-education in their craven worship of the teaching unions,
thus harming the life-chances of those from the middle class.  And it was left-wing politicians who allowed
giant corporations like GE, Apple, and Google to pay obscenely low levels of
tax, foisting the tax-burden instead on middle class families not as well
connected as the CEOs of leading multinationals.

As in so much in
politics, there is no easy solution.  But
there is cause for optimism: the Republican Party is hungry for power, and its
hunger will compel it to confront the problems which beset the Romney
candidacy.  Already the conservative
media is abuzz with suggestions on how to improve the standing of the GOP.  Tories, with the election of 2015 inching
closer, should pay close heed.   After all, true leaders do not shed their ideology
and flee to the middle ground for safety; they bring the middle ground to them.

Dan Whitfield is a writer living in Washington, DC, specializing in the conservative routes of America’s founding.  Previously Dan worked for the Leadership Institute, America’s largest training organization for conservative activists.

Here’s one for Nanny Roxon.

Attack of the killer bananas: Posters put up around BBC's £1bn headquarters warning of the dangers of the fruit.

6Posters have been put up at the BBC's new £1bn headquarters warning staff to stop eating bananas after a colleague warned the fruit could killer her.

The posters feature a picture of the fruit with a cross scrawled over it, with the directive telling staff not to peel or eat it anywhere near the colleague, according to The Sun.

 A spokesman for the BBC said: 'The posters placed in specific areas of the newsroom have been put up by staff out of courtesy for a fellow colleague who has a strong medical sensitivity to bananas which can lead to severe symptoms.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257907/BBC-asks-staff-stop-eating-bananas-amid-health-fears.html#ixzz2HECRr11F 

OH & S doesn’t kill people, cowardly people kill people

Chris 
Actually – writes Chris Ashton – they both do!

 

Instituted in 1940 the George Cross, or GC, is Britain's highest civilian award – the lesser-known, peacetime equivalent of the famous Victoria Cross. The list of recipients is indeed distinguished, and apart from military personnel engaged in peacetime acts of gallantry, the next largest category is police officers from all over the UK, and indeed the Commonwealth.

But that category has been in decline of late – one suspects a permanent decline. As a former police officer myself, I am loathed to cast aspersions on the objective bravery of those who still serve, but I would submit that the culture in which they now serve is a hinderance to bravery. In fact – forget about brave and gallant acts – it's a hinderance to doing the very basics of the job they are sworn to do.

The most outrageous example is that of Simon Burgess who drowned tragically earlier this year. As horrible as any untimely death is (he was only 41), this is a death that evoked outrage throughout Britain as a veritable army of police, fire and ambulance personnel refused to enter a shallow model-boating lake in Gosport, Hampshire. Those that did seek to enter were cautioned against such rash behaviour in the terms of the occupational health and safety legislation. For more than half an hour, this group, sworn to protect and serve, did neither; rather they looked on as Mr Burgess' body floated face down a few metres from the lake's edge, and they waited for so-called level 2 certified officers from Hampshire Fire and Rescue. You see, it turns out that most of Hampshire's finest (all of whom, it was revealed at the Coronial inquiry, could swim) are not permitted to enter water higher than their ankles, and even then, not if the water is flowing. 

 

Hampshire's finest!
Bravely, they negotiate a 3' artificial lake, with the aid of depth measuring aparatus and spacesuits.

So by the time the more highly qualified variety of public servants arrived on the scene – greeted, as they were, by useless a cast of thousands: numerous emergency vehicles, good-for-nothing emergency workers, a rescue helicopter that had landed, and even an inflatable tent erected for the occasion – the rescue of Mr Burgess had become what every police officer wishes they didn't have to attend: a body recovery operation.

Chris Snowdon recently labelled Australia the world's number one nanny state. And while I do not dispute his thesis – and in fact, I live here, he doesn't, so I know it's true – I will say this: common-or-garden variety police officers in Australia can, and regularly do, enter water deeper than their ankles. Every few weeks one hears of a police officer somewhere in Australia effecting an aquatic rescue (only "level 3" officers in Hampshire are actually allowed to swim). But that isn't bravery – sorry lads, no GC – it's merely doing the job they are sworn, and paid, to do.

The sad death of Mr Burgess should cast a pall of shame over all concerned; from legislators and public servants of the Health and Safety Executive (which is responsible at least for a culture of regulatory legalism that suppresses even the slightest hint of bravery), to operational supervisors of the various agencies, to the very officers involved – or not involved as was mostly the case – in the incident. And it should be a salutary lesson to all of us that increased regulations – even ones in the politically correct name of "health and safety" – not only cost basic freedoms, but cost lives as well.

Chris Ashton is a post-graduate student in arts and theology. He lives in Sydney, is married, and has a delightfully red-headed two year old daughter. He tweets @ChrisAshton.

 

Fuel Poverty and Death – the Real Downside of the AGW Scam

Andys RantAccording to the UK Office of National Statistics, bitterly cold UK weather contributed nearly 26,000 deaths last winter. Also according to the latest official figures there are over 3.9 million UK households in fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is defined as when a household needs to spend 10 per cent or more of its income on maintaining an acceptable level of heating.

Naturally, the risk of fuel poverty generally increases with age. Over half of the 3.9 million households have someone aged 60 or over.

Fuel poverty is such a big problem in the UK that a nationwide appeal is again being run by the Community Foundation Network. The appeals aim is to encourage people to make donations to help older and vulnerable people affected by fuel poverty this winter.

Yet the UK government, just like our own ecotard ALP Green Independent rainbow alliance, is committed under their Climate Change Act to spend $18 billion pounds a year on cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

"To think of people dying of cold in this country because they can't afford enough heating is really distressing.” said Sir Bruce Forsyth who backs the appeal.

That is true Sir Bruce, but what is really distressing is the untold billions being spent to fight an imaginary problem – Anthropogenic Global Warming.

As the BBC’s Michael Buerk noted in his December 28 post – “I would like to hear a clash of informed opinion about what would actually be better if it got warmer as well as worse.”

What I do know is it’s a lot easier to live in a Mediterranean like climate than a bitterly cold one.

 

Follow Andy on twitter

The UK Economy in Serious Debt Trouble

Britain’s debt levels are dangerously high and are damaging the economy, according to one of the world’s leading financial watchdogs.

It means the country is in the danger zone following a ten-year borrowing binge under the last Labour government, a hard-hitting report from the Bank for International Settlements has revealed

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said government, corporate and household debt in Britain jumped from 223 per cent of gross domestic product in 2000, or £2.18trillion, to 322 per cent, or £4.68trillion, in 2010. That is the equivalent of £180,000 per household

In 2010, Britain had government debt of nearly 90 per cent of GDP, corporate debt of 126 per cent and household debt of 106 per cent.

UK PM David Cameron should seriously re think his commitment to phasing out the production of energy based on burning of fossil fuels as it is going to cost the UK economy at least £300 billion over the next 10 years to go renewable energy (which we all know works intermittently).

What is it with Labor and debt? They’re like junkies to a needle.

While our government debt of 15.4% of GDP is low compared to the UK, the trend is more concerning.

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

Wither The Union

Crb Craig Buchanan looks at the UK, the EU and Federalism:

The casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that Britain has been coming apart at the seams of late.  First there were the parliamentary scandals – resignations by the London bus load, and Members of Parliament arrested, while luckier colleagues were forced to pay back thousands in misappropriated (taxpayer) funds.  Then Scotland threatened to vote with its feet, electing the first majority government at Holyrood committed to eventual independence and the end of the Union.  And now the good people of not only London, but also Birmingham, Liverpool, and Bristol, are cleaning up after riots, looting, and a side serving of recreational arson.  As England mops up (and the Scots, Welsh, and Irish gloat quietly to themselves) it is tempting to paraphrase that most English of musical acts, Kit and the Widow, in punning “’Whither the Union?’ they’re asking, to which the answer’s ‘yes’.”

Meanwhile, just across the Channel, Merkel and Sarkozy are busy proposing a single European government with France and Germany at its heart, ala Charlemaigne, while Britain, once the defender of European independence, looks on through the smoke.

Of one thing there can be no doubt, however.  David Cameron and his Conservative-Liberal coalition government seem committed to preserving their almost mythic Union at any cost.  Unionist to the core (the full title of Cameron’s party is, after all, the Conservative and Unionist Party, even if the Union in question harks back to the Irish Union of 1801, long since defunct, and beloved of almost no one), they have pledged to fight to preserve what they have in the face of all comers.  But are they in danger of allowing those who wish to see the break-up of the United Kingdom the upper hand?  Exactly what sort of Union should the Unionists be looking to save, or perhaps to salvage?

It may now be time for the right-of-centre, Unionist parties in the UK to take the lead, and declare exactly which parts of the Union are worth saving, and which parts they might be willing to cede to make that happen.  If Scotland’s Nationalist First Minister, Alex Salmond, can talk of Independence Lite (a plan whereby Scotland would gain 95% of the objectives for which the SNP has stood for almost a hundred years, while at one and the same time managing to avoid two or three of the most obvious pitfalls of complete sovereign status), then might it not be time for Cameron to step up to the crease and propose a Union Lite alternative?

And what better model for such an alternative than the federal structures already in place here in Australia?

Since 9/11 it has been increasingly difficult for nationalists in Scotland (the Welsh, to give them their due, have never seriously tried) to propose independent armed forces, to the point at which the SNP has fallen back for some years now on a ‘defence pact’ model, wherein Scotland and England would continue to share bases, troops, and command structures towards a common defence.  Meanwhile, in spite of strong republican leanings amongst some of its members, the SNP continues to support the retention of the Queen as Scotland’s head of state post independence.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, and (to a lesser extent) Wales already have their own devolved parliaments, their own laws, and their own levels of fiscal autonomy.  If Cameron and his Unionists want to get a lead on their detractors, they have to take the bold step, recognise that lethargy and inaction will doom the very Union they claim to love, and voluntarily cede control of those areas which are peripheral, in the name of saving that which is central and good. 

In other words, they need to come out in favour of a federal state.  Give the constituent nations fiscal autonomy.  Let them raise and spend their own taxes on what they like, and pay into a central pot to maintain defence and foreign policy commitments.  Let them run their own education systems (they already do anyway).  Let them maintain their own hospitals (ditto) and roads (ditto).  And, in the name of sanity, let them establish an equivalent body in England – a fully fledged English Parliament – to look after all those concerns south of the border, and to give the downtrodden Englishman a voice and a forum, taking the debate off the streets, and putting it back where it belongs.

And Westminster?  Let it sit three days a week, rather the way Canberra does, and let it focus on defence, border protection, and foreign policy.  In the process, it will cost the British taxpayer less, as well as allowing more time for it to do what it arguably should have been doing all along – promoting Britain, not holding it back; giving people a common voice, rather than stifling individual identities.

Union Lite, anyone?  Oh, and do pass the Pimms …

 

[Craig Buchanan is President of the Nedlands Branch of the WA Liberal Party.  A British ex-pat who migrated to Australia in 2003, he stood as an approved candidate for the Scottish National Party in the early 1990s, sitting slightly to the right of that party’s centralist norm]

 

London Riots: No wonder these kids think stealing trainers is OK. Everyone makes excuses for them.

Teacher and UK blogger, Katherine Birbalsingh writes at the London Daily Telegraph:

The reason your house is not regularly robbed is not because you lock your doors. It is because most people don’t steal. Sure, locking is a deterrent used to deter those on the fringes of society, but the main reason you are not attacked on the street, shops are not constantly looted and burnt down, and we all don’t take things that don’t belong to us is because someone, when we were little, taught us the difference between right and wrong.

Put a child in front of an insect and he will take great delight in making it suffer until his mother or father tells him that causing pain is wrong. Children need to be brought up properly with parents who care enough about them to say no, with a school system that cares enough to admit when behaviour is out of control, with a community that recognises that we are ALL responsible for our children.