Category Archives: RDAs

A musing

There’s been a subtle change of tactics from the EU; instead of just overt directives and regulations announced in its name we now also have inter-governmental agreements with no reference to the EU’s role.

The most obvious example is defence & defence procurement where we see what’s called “closer co-operation” or “co-ordination” between countries:

Eurpean Air Group (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK)
European Airlift Centre (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK)
Sealift Co-ordination Centre (Netherlands and UK)
European Amphibious Initiative (France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK)
Standby High Readiness Brigade (AU, DK, SU, IRL, I, LIT, N, NOR, PL, P, SLOVENIA, E, SV)
SE Europe Brigade (Greece, Italy, Slovenia)
Nordic Co-Ordinated Arrangement for Military Peace support (Finland, Sweden, Denmark)
EUROCORPS – Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, France, Luxembourg
EUROFOR – France, Italy, Portugal, Spain
EUROMARFOR – France, Italy, Portugal, Spain
Source

What prompted this musing was Osborne’s announcement of having negotiated “an historic deal” on tax evasion with Switzerland.  The talks were said to be held in secret, yet it’s been known about for ages and even mentioned here.

What rankles with me is that the impression given is that this is something negotiated between two countries without EU involvement when, in actual fact, it’s at the behest of the EU and to comply with directives.  Not only that but so far as I’m able to make out, the British government needed prior permission from the European Commission to open negotiations with Switzerland.  No doubt we can expect future announcements from the Chancellor regarding ‘historic deals’ done with Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino.

Another annoying example today is the reporting of the creation and development of  Regional Development Agencies as John Prescott’s ‘dream’ when we all know he was merely following orders.

To sum up, it looks as though the way forward is to give the appearance of independent inter-governmental agreements rather than EU diktats.  I just wanted to get it off my chest!
EU Savings Tax Directive
EU Savings Tax Directive2

UPDATE: See also Wall Street Journal

PS: There’s something else going on here; wheels within wheels, but I haven’t figured it out yet. If you have, let me know.  Do Osborne & Cameron really have something up their sleeves?

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A Musing

There’s been a subtle change of tactics from the EU; instead of just overt directives and regulations announced in its name we now also have inter-governmental agreements with no reference to the EU’s role.

The most obvious example is defence & defence procurement where we see what’s called “closer co-operation” or “co-ordination” between countries:

Eurpean Air Group (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK)
European Airlift Centre (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK)
Sealift Co-ordination Centre (Netherlands and UK)
European Amphibious Initiative (France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK)
Standby High Readiness Brigade (AU, DK, SU, IRL, I, LIT, N, NOR, PL, P, SLOVENIA, E, SV)
SE Europe Brigade (Greece, Italy, Slovenia)
Nordic Co-Ordinated Arrangement for Military Peace support (Finland, Sweden, Denmark)
EUROCORPS – Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, France, Luxembourg
EUROFOR – France, Italy, Portugal, Spain
EUROMARFOR – France, Italy, Portugal, Spain
Source

What prompted this musing was Osborne’s announcement of having negotiated “an historic deal” on tax evasion with Switzerland.  The talks were said to be held in secret, yet it’s been known about for ages and even mentioned here.

What rankles with me is that the impression given is that this is something negotiated between two countries without EU involvement when, in actual fact, it’s at the behest of the EU and to comply with directives.  Not only that but so far as I’m able to make out, the British government needed prior permission from the European Commission to open negotiations with Switzerland.  No doubt we can expect future announcements from the Chancellor regarding ‘historic deals’ done with Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino.

Another annoying example today is the reporting of the creation and development of  Regional Development Agencies as John Prescott’s ‘dream’ when we all know he was merely following orders.

To sum up, it looks as though the way forward is to give the appearance of independent inter-governmental agreements rather than EU diktats.  I just wanted to get it off my chest!
EU Savings Tax Directive
EU Savings Tax Directive2

UPDATE: See also Wall Street Journal

PS: There’s something else going on here; wheels within wheels, but I haven’t figured it out yet. If you have, let me know.  Do Osborne & Cameron really have something up their sleeves?

>Running Scared

>No, not the title of a song by Johnny Somebody-or-other about an Indian Maid and her lover who died in a river and neither is it based on Longfellow’s poem* but it’s what tptb are at the moment.  Everything they’re saying is bluster and hubris and they dare not change the Lisbon Treaty enough to trigger referenda, particularly in Britain.

They know they’ve been found out and they’re worried the news will spread and resonate with more people.  You only have to look at the comments in the online Guardian, Telegraph or Mail to see how angry people are.  The comments range from ‘string ’em up & hang, draw & quarter ’em’  to ‘we need a new money system’, let’s march on Parliament’ or  ‘we need a real people’s democracy’.  This issue really does cross party political allegiances.

A  ‘tweak’ to Lisbon  = one giant leap for mankind.  Merkel has agreement to add a line or two to the Lisbon Treaty in order to introduce a CRM and retrospectively accommodate the bail-outs to Greece, which, as it stands, are illegal.  That’s why it has to be re-written.  However, Germany’s full proposal to include sanctions against member states who don’t adhere to EU economic guidelines via withdrawal of voting rights have been dismissed as being ott, ie it would mean re-writing Lisbon and trigger referenda throughout Europe.

Everything else: Galileo, surveillance projects, euro-zone going down the drain, inter-dependent military, the closure of British Embassies under the guise of cost-cutting and the growth of the EEAS and so on, I’ve already written about and I’m not given to telling people twice so I’m left with little to say this evening except to ask: what’s going on with the BBC?
“The idealism, the grand projects, the dreams of ever closer union have lost their appeal.”  After decades of being so pro-EU and funded by them, why now?  Food for thought.

LEPs replace RDAs
Ennbeeobee Syndrome.

van Rompuy has a problem: Belgian daily Metro reports that ‘European Council President Herman Van Rompuy’ has presented his new book, called “Inside the World of Herman Van Rompuy”. Commenting on his Presidency at the book presentation, he is quoted saying “I don’t speak here as a politician but as a free man. I don’t have any voters and I also prefer readers to voters”.   How wonderful that not only is he a ‘free man’ but he also has time to write a book – you have to laugh…don’t you… …

We don’t need this NHS quango.  The EC has already said that language capability must be determined by the interviewing board and has expressed ‘surprise’ at the number of NHS staff who can’t speak English. Why is Westminster creating yet another quango?

European Union quangos triple in five years
How the ‘right-wing’ press reviewed treaty & budget Cameron’s sell-outs

We must keep up the pressure.

*It’s something from my dimly-remembered perambulator days that sprang to mind when I was thinking of a title for the post – and my memory isn’t what it was.

UPDATE:  YouTube does have its uses occasionally and let’s face it, we’d all rather listen to absolutely anything other than van Rompuy or Barroso:

Perhaps you’d prefer Mrs Thatcher: “No! No! No!”

>Insulting Our Intelligence

>

Again.

I know it’s just a small niggle in the greater scheme of the mess facing Britain at the moment but I’m heartily hacked off at all these ‘celebrity’ advisers the government insists on hiring (taxpayer-funded, of course).

The latest to be recruited is that well-known fount of wisdom, Ruby Wax, she of the towering intellect.  She’s been providing senior civil servants with workshops in leadership and communication, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship management and audience management.

“Her workshops include clips of interviews with Madonna and practical exercises to highlight the difference between talking at someone rather than with someone. Participants learn to be more aware of their colleagues, clients and partners and how to present a more human face using humour, empathy and honesty.”

If these senior civil servants aren’t up to doing their jobs without resorting to all this touchy-feely garbage perhaps their time would be better spent polishing up their CVs.  Mind you, in this day and age the more workshops you’ve attended the better your CV looks.

Many of the poor dears are also stressed out because they’re bored at work  so we’re paying for stress-relieving advice for them too.  “Breathe in and out heavily a few times and imagine yourself being successful,” it advises workers.  It absolutely beggars belief and they all need a good sound kicking up the derriere at the GE.

Sorry, it’s a bit early in the morning for me (mmm, coffee!) but you know what I’m getting at: we elect MPs to represent us, they find it impossible to make decisions so they outsource to committees and quangos and take on celebrity advisers (Sugar, Winston, Vorderman, Hartley-Brewer et al).  Whether it’s because they’re afraid to take responsibility for their own decisions or they’re just incompetent I wouldn’t like to say.

There are just too many intervening layers of costly bureaucracy involved in the deliberation and decision-making process.  At a time when state spending has risen to 52% of GDP for the first time, ever, I would have thought these self-indulgent facilitation exercises would be first in line for the chop.

And all that’s even before I get started on local authorities, their quangos and advisors, the Regional Development Agencies, and the EU.  Happy days!

Btw questions will be asked in the House later about Cash for Influence that blew up over the weekend.  No time has yet been given but it could fall under Urgent Questions at 3.30pm.  Here’s a link to Live Parliament if you’re interested.

>The EU Housing Directive

>

Imagine the furore if this had been said by the Conservative Shadow Housing Minister: The housing minister came under fire yesterday for describing repossession as ‘the best option’ for struggling homeowners.

>Labour’s Car Boot Sale

>

Selling The White Cliffs & Port of Dover to Nord-pas-de-Calais regional council will make perfect sense to europhiles. Inter-Reg plans are far advanced and England has already been carved up.  Selling control of the port to the French will surely also impact on immigration into the country?

 

The government has already sold off Westminster to Brussels and if they can sell Dover to the French what’s to stop them selling the Falklands to Argentina, or Gibraltar to the Spanish?    They really are unspeakably low.

This is how regionalisation was sold to the people of Kent two years ago by an un-named  government spokesman: “It is about support for business, helping boost employment and turning around deprived areas… helping firms in Kent do business with people in Northern France or promoting joint tourism initiatives between different countries.”  Oh, no it isn’t!  Each region, which will be given taxpayers’ money to promote trade links, cultural ties, transport policies and tourism, is to be run by a “managing authority” of unelected officials overseen by a director.  None will be based in the UK, with Manche ruled by the French, Atlantic by the Portuguese and North Sea by the Danes.  The regions have legal status and Manche has a budget of £261million between 2007 and 2013, Atlantic £127million and North Sea £219million.  Every project funded by a region must have a publicity campaign which ensures “there is provision for flying the EU flag at least one week every year”.

It would be a logistical nightmare to untangle the EU’s tentacles and if British soil is sold to foreign countries, a legal impossibility.   This country has been destroyed and brought lower than any other simply because it would have been the hardest to persuade using soft political power.

England is not only being geographically fragmented:  one town, 150 languages

>Happy Mondays

>

There’s such a lot in today’s press that made me choke on my cornflakes so I thought I’d do a round-up and get the misery over with as quickly as possible instead of spreading it out over the day:

Troughiteering, racketeering Peers.  Labour Lord Peston of Mile End: “Having spent 10 years slogging my guts out on the opposition Front Benches at great personal cost, I do not think that, if I were the same age again, I would remotely consider it my duty.”  Good; p*ss off now then.

The feckless Baroness Adams of Craigielea  has spoken only once in the House in four years, her Maiden Speech, yet has claimed £200,000. On being asked to comment this expensive waste of space said: “I’m not interested.” Of course, she’s one of Blair’s Baubled Babes.

Regional Police Forces  via the backdoor are on the cards again.  When has this government ever done what it says on the tin?  Why are the British people always given a can of worms to open?  The Policing & Crime Act goes beyond encouragement of collaboration and gives the Home Secretary the power to compel joint working. It states that a Home Secretary “may give chief officers or police authorities directions about collaboration agreements or related matters”.   I’ve been mentioning this on and off since March; it’s all in the interests of EU ‘harmonisation’.  A supra-national body cannot function effectively unless its institutions are harmonised and uniform across all countries.  It’s worth noting that it’s supported by the Conservative Party.

Marrakesh Mandy plays the Puritan card. In its own impact assessment the Govt admits it will cost voluntary groups £20m a year and will be “highly detrimental”. Some organisations will “cease playing music” because they cannot afford a license, and it will hit a quarter of a million organisations – 140,000 charities, 6,750 charity shops, 66,440 sports clubs, 4,000 community buildings, 5,000 rural halls and 45,000 religious buildings.  However, the police seem to be able to find the money: they are paying hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to allow officers to listen to music at their desks, in canteens and even in cell blocks…Figures show that across the UK, forces are paying more than £800,000 a year for the licences, dubbed “iPlod”.

Two on Copenhagen, which must have resembled a Whitehall Farce: Latin American delegate slashed herself in protest at lack of progress and Danish PM said, “I don’t want to know what you do next”  to Brown, Rudd, Calderon & Co. Meanwhile, busy little beaver Brown is drawing up plans for the EU to be the world policeman on climate change. He feels we need a new global body dedicated to environmental stewardship to prevent a repeat of the Copenhagen deadlock. He thinks the UN’s consensual method of negotiation, which requires all 192 countries to reach agreement, needs to be reformed to ensure that the will of the majority prevails. Obama also suggested using spy satellites (as previously mentioned somewhere on the blog, the EU has a stack of them waiting to be used).  Bloody International Socialists.  They just do whatever the heck they want to do and to hell with giving people a voice about their own futures.

Somalia is moving up the radar.  As Islamic extremists find life more difficult in Afghanistan and Iraq, they’re setting up shop in Somalia and the Yemen, though the latter isn’t mentioned, yet.  How much money will the West throw at Somalia in order to quieten them down and instigate building and educational projects for the benefit of the people?  And, when that fails, how many more wars?  I’ve got a better idea – all their sympathisers in the UK should be deported to Somalia and our borders should then be closed against them, implacably and forever.  Perhaps that way at least the UK could live without the type of warning put out yesterday by the Met Police (see 1st item, Sunday round-up).

Perhaps we could make a small start by sending this Egyptian back to Egypt?  Walid Salem boasts, “The law can’t touch me.”   He’s the chap who, with two other scumbags, broke into a house, tied up the occupants and threatened to kill them for which he got a two-year suspended sentence while the householder was jailed for two and a half years for using ‘excessive force’ in self-defence.

There’s more on the Great British Quangocracy .  Some are earning up to £5,000 per day, part-time, jumping from state job to state job with the help of Government patronage.  The TaxPayer’s Alliance said: “Our study suggests that instead of serving taxpayers’ interests, some non- executive members and chairs may put their quango’s interests first.”  I like the ironic use of the word “may”.

A new watchdog is being set up by Ed ‘So What’ Balls which will give pupils the right to complain about any aspect of school life or if they suffer an injustice:  “Injustice can be defined as hurt feelings, distress, worry, inconvenience and a detrimental effect on their education or happiness.”

A Council apologises: ”An issue in relation to bin deliveries was attributable to the educational background and literacy of some of the crew members.  It appeared that they did not read maps or addresses and that they relied entirely on visual memory.”

One in three violent crimes receives a Caution.  Data disclosed in a parliamentary answer showed that many crimes go unsolved by police, and even when offenders are identified, they are often dealt with by “out of court” penalties like cautions and fines.  Last month, it was revealed that more than half a million serial criminals have been let off with repeated cautions.  

That should make for interesting reading when the Quality of Life report cards are published in England.  I wonder if this scheme could in any way be tied to the re-jigging of the Council Tax which was proposed a while back – the one where you pay extra for the view, the terrace, the schools and bus route etc.  There’s a post somewhere on the blog about it – probably under Return of the Window Tax or something similar.

Finally, it seems that the proscribed organisation Hamas are behind attempts to prosecute Israelis for war crimes in Britain.  Now, there’s a surprise.

So there you have it; I hope you’re as thoroughly ticked off with the whole damn thing as I am.

“The Saxon is not like us Normans, His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow with his sullen eyes set on your own,
And grumbles, “This isn’t fair dealings,” my son, leave the Saxon alone.