Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Are you Like Us? Not Quite

Last weekend I had a nice afternoon at my old college where alumna Zarith Idris, now the Queen of Johor in Malaysia, came to speak about inter-faith toleration and understanding. The title of her talk was "We are Like You - Muslims in Malaysia". There were lots of pleasant people saying soothing things about how much we all have in common and there was a jolly good slap-up tea to follow.

Queen Zarith told us how much her family has in common with every Western family - chatting on their mobile phones, or glued to their laptops while sitting on the sofa in the evening. She spoke of how popular football is among Muslims in Malaysia, with many of them supporting Manchester United or other British teams. She described how horrified she and other Malaysians had been about the Japanese Tsunami, and how as a mother she was moved to compassion for the suffering of any other mother. All well and good.
But then, she alluded to the way she had been brought up, and muslim children in Malaysia are still brought up, to learn and recite the Koran in Arabic, even though they don't understand what it means. And she laughed mildly and gently in a well-bred way. I didn't laugh. At that point I parted company with her. I felt that she had revealed something that formed an insuperable barrier. Children should never be taught to recite things they don't understand. Such rote-learning is brain-washing and should not be called education at all.
If you call that my narrow, bigoted Western point of view, then I am proud of my narrow, bigoted Western point of view,and determined to keep it. I really do not welcome the "cultural enrichment" of having such practices imposed in the UK. In fact I would not call it cultural enrichment at all.
Sorry, Queen Zarith, we are really not just like you, and I hope we don't become so.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Slimy Ken Livingstone Gives Taxman the Slip

Red Ken, notorious ex-Mayor of London and Labour candidate to take the job back from Boris Johnson, is fond of denouncing Tory tax cuts.
He refers to "rich bastards" who avoid tax and snatch pennies from the bleeding mouths of the poor. Yet all the time it seems that Red Ken is a master of the art of avoiding tax himself. He earns hundreds of thousands of pounds for speeches and personal appearances, then gets it paid into a company rather than to his own bank account. Guess who the two shareholders of the company are? Ken and his wife. Doing it this way means they only have to pay the minimum rate of tax, instead of the 40% higher rate of personal income tax.
Mr Livingstone has pocketed £50,000 that would have gone in tax if he had paid the full rate.

There really is no end to socialist hypocrisy. When the Thatcher government reduced the top rate of tax from 85% to 60% there was an outcry of Labour faithful saying this was insufferable greed on the part of the bosses and rich. YET NOW IT SEEMS THAT EVEN 40% IS TOO MUCH TAX FOR RED KEN TO PAY.
The socialist attitude is always that tax is a good thing in itself - never mind how the money is spent, never mind if it is wasted, never mind if a company shuts because it is not profitable, "tax the rich bastards" is always their motto at least in public. When they are the rich bastards their attitude to tax changes significantly.
"Don't do as I do, do as I say" is Ken's way of looking at it. He doesn't give a damn about working people who have to pay tax even when they are earning £8,000 p.a.
Red Ken is not the only two-faced Labourite - Tony Blair avoids paying millions of pounds in tax by very similar methods, getting all his immense earnings from smirking in public paid into a series of companies. He is rumoured to have settled vast trust funds on each of his children, but of course I don't know about that and couldn't possibly comment.
Voters in London should think twice before letting Red Ken and his team of looney lefties, minority militants and Muslim ranters get their foothold back in the administration of London again.
There is only one party that has long advocated raising the threshold so that people can earn £11,000 per year without paying tax. THAT IS UKIP.
Let's hope the people of London have got the good sense to vote for UKIP candidate Lawrence Webb as their new Mayor.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

EU Apologists are Politically Illiterate

Of course UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall did brilliantly when he appeared on BBC's Question Time last Thursday evening (23rd Feb 2012). Even David Dimbleby refrained from any of his usual scornful or patronising asides. After all, it is obvious that the crisis and desperate hardship across the eurozone are exactly what UKIP always predicted would be the outcome of this foolish and pointless scheme, the single currency.
Not only is there immense suffering in Greece because of the austerity measures suddenly being imposed, but two countries have been openly subjected to puppet government by the EU commission. Greece and Italy, former democracies, have both been told they cannot have a general election, cannot choose their rulers, cannot influence their policies, and must submit to dictatorship from puppet rulers, Monti, and Papademos, put in place by Mr Barroso, Mrs Merkel and M. Sarkozy.
For years when UKIP predicted this, we were dismissed as absurd, laughable, wildly bigoted etc etc - and now it has happened. Even David Dimbleby cannot deny that what we predicted has come to pass. When Nigel Farage stsood up in the EU parliament and said that Herman van Rompuy would be the "quiet assassin of European democracy" he was prophesying the absolute truth. And now riots in Spain, where there is 50% youth unemployment, indicate that the crisis is spreading, it is growing. The europhiles have no answer to the problems they have created. Even Simon Schama (not yet a UKIP member as far as I am aware) said that there may be a breakdown into violence when democratic solutions are denied.
There was one journalist on the panel from the Daily Telegraph, Cristina Odone, a political commentator who should understand the basic facts about economics and constitutional matters. Yet she apologized for the way that the EU commission has swept away elected government in Italy. Laughingly, she asserted that it had to be good to get rid of Berlusconi. Surely the EU had a silver lining if it had rid Italy of that notoriously corrupt and sleazy clown. She even used her own Italian descent to support her assertion. Ms Odone is just politically illiterate, like all the rest of the EU apologists. She cannnot understand the difference between getting rid of one particular prime minister and getting rid of the electoral system. What the EU has done is not just replace Berlusconi, it has denied Italy the right to hold a democratic election. Barroso and Co have overturned the Italian constitution, and violated the rights of every Italian citizen. It should be the Italian voters who choose the replacement for Berlusconi, not the EU commissioners. The man they put in place is an unelected career eurocrat of the worst kind and deeply implicated in the schemes that led Greece into its present mess.
There will be no more elections in Greece or Italy until the EU is overthrown. Let's not hang around waiting for them to install puppet governments in Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Hungary. They would love to make a certain Mr Smegg prime minister of the UK. Let's not give them a chance to do so.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Currie makes me Cringe

The trouble with Edwina Currie is that she thinks she is a "celeb". When she is not cavorting on Strictly Come Dancing in an utterly tasteless fashion, she is airing her views on radio, and determined to prove that she can offend as many people as any MP of the younger generation.
It seems she has recently reduced a woman to tears by telling her that it's your own fault if you are struggling to bring up children on a low income without getting into debt. Mrs Currie seems unaware that there is a recession - she thinks that all people need is some stern advice to live within their means.
She certainly picked on the wrong person for this condescending advice. The woman she spoke to 24-year-old Haley Sanderson is exactly the sort of person we need in this country. She works at a care home for the elderly, and only earns £400 per month. We are desperately short of care workers and nurses for our aging population in this country. It is disgraceful that so many old people now suffer neglect or abuse, or have to pay indecently high fees to get the most basic help. While most young people look for jobs they enjoy or find congenial, Haley Sanderson is doing a job that needs to be done. She is not hanging around saying she is qualified in media studies and hoping to earn a fortune choosing locations for film companies: she is one of those who have truly asked what they can do for their country.
Haley has only two children, aged 4 and seven months. Her partner works hard to support the family, and his job as a window-fitter is a strictly utilitarian one too. Nobody fits windows for a hobby. Everybody wants double glazing but most people don't want to pay over the odds for it. He only earns £700 per month. The reason this couple have debts is not as Mrs Currie assumed, that they have run around buying luxuries with credit cards. It is simply that they have fallen behind with the mortgage payments on their 2-bedroom terrace house. The mortgage is £450 per month, nearly half of what they earn, and that leaves only about £130 per week for everything else. She and her partner could get more money if they stopped working and lived on state benefits, but they don't claim anything at all.

Oh well, said Edwina, maybe it's time to declare yourselves bankrupt. What a pointless suggestion. If they did they would lose their house and never be able to buy another one. And they would still need to find the money for rented accommodation which might be even more expensive. Sooner or later they would end up becoming a burden on the state.
I think Mrs Currie owes these people an apology.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Regulations Make Housing Shortage worse

If Labour cares at all about the housing shortage, how come our Labour-run Oxford City Council is the first in the country to introduce a compulsory licence for landlords, costing £362 per year?
Landlords of all houses in multiple occupancy will have to pay this in future to get their property inspected for "health and safety". Of course councils are already entitled to inspect rented properties to ensure they are safe, but until now they did so without charging the owner. After all, the council tax is supposed to cover that isn't it?
Desperate for a way of upping the council tax despite government capping policy, councils across the country are slapping all sorts of charges on this and that - parking charges, rental licences, you name it. It is just a form of disguised taxation.
If you wonder why councils are so desperate for money, many of them face huge bills for housing benefit claimed by floods of people arriving here from Romania, where 12% of the population has in the last few years upped and departed for richer parts of the EU (see last blog). Will the last person to leave Romania please turn off the lights?
When courts tell councils here that they have to pay, then they have to find the money somehow.
The impact of this new tax, sorry licence, on private rented accommodation will be bad in every respect. First of all, it will make renting more expensive because landlords will pass on the cost to the tenants. Labour regards all private landlords as baddies who make huge profits though that is far from the truth in many cases. A lot of landlords will struggle to find the extra £362 out of taxed income every year. Secondly, it will make rented accommodation scarcer. The licencing applies to houses with three or more occupants, so if the licence is not granted the landlord can simply chuck out one tenant and rent the house to two instead. Or rent it to a family with children, which counts as only two occupants.
It will also of course create stress and hassle. Probably quite a few houses will be denied a licence and the tenants evicted because some inspector regards the place as unsafe. Either that or the landlords will be dragged through the courts for not having fire-doors or something.
Labour's motto is still "If it moves, tax it."

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Corrupt Politicians

When people are desperate for some mud to throw at UKIP, they wheel out the tired old accusation that UKIP members are somehow more corrupt than other parties. Even after the shameful episode of the MPs expenses scandal here in Britain, which landed several MPs such as Derek Conway, Eric Illsley and James Devine in gaol, some people still think that they can make self-righteous remarks about fraud or fiddling.
Who are the masters of fraud and fiddling? Certainly not UKIP. Funnily enough when the Conservative MEP Den Dover was convicted by a court of wrongly claiming £345,000 in allowances (ten times as much as Tom Wise) he was not sent to gaol nor was he sacked as an MEP.
An EU court charged him with fiddling £545,000 originally. But everybody knew that there was nothing unusual about that.
When the Libdem cabinet minister David Laws was exposed as cheating on his expenses claims and paying the proceeds to his partner, in 2010, he was not sent to gaol either. Why not? Is there one law for Libdems and another one for UKIP?
In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Mr "Laws(so long as I make them)" will soon be brought back into the Coalition cabinet.

At this very moment, Libdem minister Chris Huhne is facing criminal charges for perverting the course of justice. He could get a stiff gaol sentence. If he does, he would only be following in the footsteps of Jeffrey Archer, who was gaoled for the same reason, and still sits as a Conservative peer in the House of Lords.* Huhne claims to be aged only 57 although he left Westminster School in 1969 (when he would have been fourteen or fifteen according to his own reckoning).

The truth is that there are countless scandals relating to MEPs of all countries and all parties, who are facing corruption charges right, left and centre.
Most of these charges are far more serious than those brought against any UKIP MEP. Bribery, for instance, which is in a different category.
Here are another two cases, this time liberal social democrats from Romania and Slovenia:-

At the same time, in March 2011, an Austrian MEP was forced to resign for taking bribes:-

Why did these cases not get more attention on television here?
One of the guilty three defended his behaviour by saying that there was nothing unusual about it!
He was quoted as saying, "“I didn’t do anything that was, let’s say, illegal or against any normal behaviour that we have here.”
Dear, oh, dear.
Those people who are not suffering from total amnesia may recall that in 2009, three Labour peers, Lords Truscott, Taylor of Blackburn and Snape, were proved to be willing to accept "financial inducements" in return for adjusting a few laws here and there. They didn't sell themselves short either - the fees they demanded were in the region of £120,000. No money changed hands, but the peers in question were found in breach of their parliamentary Code of Conduct. A fourth Labour Peer, Lord Moonie, mixed up in the same business, was heard to say "There's nothing they can do to you if you break the rules." []
That was certainly shown to be true in the case of Tory cash-for-questions MP David Tredinnick who was not kicked out as MP for Bosworth despite the revelations about him published in 2009.

Last year, Robert Galvin, an internal parliament auditor, highlighted widespread abuse by MEPs of staff allowances. The report, revealed by The Daily Telegraph, remains under wraps.
And according to the article above, OLAF has 13 more ongoing investigations!

One of the experts on MEP expenses fraud is Dutch MEP Paul van Buitenen, who in March 2008 made public a previously secret internal EU report on the subject:-

EU officials were absolutely furious with Buitenen because they wanted a cover-up. He was intent on exposing the true situation, which is that the cases people make such a fuss about are really small change in relation to the colossal amounts of fraud going on. It's only the MEPs of unpopular parties who get publicly pilloried. The real, big-time crooks are still there, and they're laughing.

Only a few hours after that was written, the news emerged about Coalition ministers David Willets and Danny Alexander signing off a tax-avoidance deal for Ed Lester, an executive of the Student Loans company. It seems that Mr Lester thought it unnecessary to pay tax on his £182,000 per year salary, and the two Libdem ministers quite understood his point of view. I very much doubt if any of these high and mighty personages will end up in prison. After all, they're not UKIP MEPs are they?

*I hear that Chris Huhne has temporarily stepped down while standing trial. Yet he is getting a payout of £17,000 for doing so! I don't suppose even that will stop some people droning on about UKIP being a corrupt party. It's one law for them and another for everybody else.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Why I am grateful to Eastern European Immigrants

It seems that a Romanian woman who came to this country very recently thanks to the EU, has succeeded in claiming £28,000 per year in state benefits. Because Firuta Vasile sells The Big Issue magazine she is classed as self-employed and is therefore eligible for Child Benefit for her four children, tax credits, Housing Benefit, Council Tax benefit and goodness knows what else in our crazy system. To give the council credit, it did turn her down at first, but she went to appeal to a tribunal and guess what? They granted her Human Rights. And she also got legal aid.
Meanwhile her four children are getting free education in British schools.

This has naturally drawn some protests from the hard-working self-reliant people who earn half that amount or far less. Most of them never claim anything or get refused benefits after living here and paying their taxes and national insurance for a lifetime:-

I am always intrigued by the attempts of left-wingers to excuse this sort of case. One argument used in the Guardian is that the amounts paid in housing benefit for rented accommodation are no higher on average than those paid for mortgaged accommodation.
I can't imagine why they think that is any defence. Anyway, only a tiny percentage of housing benefit claimants have mortgages. The vast majority pay rent. The point is that they get accommodation that would be very expensive on the open market. Meanwhile other people, who do work, cram into small houses in inconvenient areas.
Another favourite left-wing excuse is that the rental money does not go to the claimants, it goes to their landlords. That is rather like saying that the vast bonuses of bankers do not go to them, but to their chauffeurs, cleaners, restaurant chefs, airline pilots, and the companies who build their luxury holiday villas!
Or like saying that the money paid to the landlords doesn't go to them, it goes to their wives and children, their supermarkets and the local petrol station. Yes, but they still get something for it don't they?
It is a sad fact that the Labour party, once the party of the workers, now seems to have become the Layabout party, always ready to defend claimants.
Of course I am not saying that all the 500,000 Romanians who have flooded to this country in the past four years are on the dole. In fact, many of them are taking jobs that people previously resident here could do instead of taking the dole.
It is estimated that 12% of the poopulation of Romania has left in the last few years since the EU borders were opened up. Some of them of course, have left for good professional reasons. The wonderful opera singer Angela Gheorghiu is one of these and I would not expect her to stay in one country. But surely she is an exceptional case.
Unless an economy is growing at a frantic rate, it could not possibly employ so many newcomers without creating unemployment in the existing population. Since our economy is in a very depressed state, with 8.4% out of work already, why are agencies advertising British jobs in Romania? It's not as if there are any jobs in Romania for British people to go and take. There is nothing to tempt us there, so the policy of "free movement of labour" is a one-way street. It would be sensible to take only those who are really needed to do a job nobody here can take on.
But let's be grateful to the East European immigrants for one thing. They have proved that we who still think that a country is entitled to regulate immigration are not racist. There is no race issue with Eastern European immigrants, so nobody can play the race card. Firuta Vasile is white.

Meanwhile, hundreds our war veterans are jobless and homeless when they return to this country and many are begrudged benefit payments too.