Friday, 30 January 2009
Some senior UKIPpers think not and have sent a letter out to most of the membership saying so. The letter is signed by Sir Richard Body, Roger Knapman, Piers Merchant, Bruce Lawson, Martin Haslam, Tim Congdon, Dr Eric Edmond, Del Young and Dr David Abbott.
Del Young is a current NEC member, Congdon and Body are ordinary members and the rest are ex-officials. All should know better than to use membership data for unofficial activities which is, of course, illegal.
The account of the NEC meeting at which two NEC members and the deputy treasurer were removed is not an accurate one and the claim that it was nothing to do with the BNP is also false. However, the Knapman letter does make some valid points and it's a shame that the authors compromised themselves by putting misinformation in with their very valid points.
There is another letter - this one is an official response from the NEC to the Knapman letter and can be read on the UKIP forum (you must be a member to read it). This letter is signed by Nigel Farage, David Campbell Bannerman, Paul Nuttall, Rachel Oxley, Jonathan Arnott, Mike Zuckerman, Marta Andreasen, David Challice, Lisa Duffy, Bob Spink MP, Mike Nattrass, Godfrey Bloom, John Whittaker, Derek Clark, Gerard Batten, Alan Bown, Jeffrey Titford, Councillor Jill Seymour, Douglas Denny and Lord Willoughby de Broke. All these people are officials or elected politicians (except for Lord Willoughby de Broke of course).
This letter disagrees with Knapman's letter and claims that changing the way the disciplinary panel is constructed so that it is appointed from regional shortlists instead of elected at a UKIP business meeting will improve accountability because the business meetings are poorly attended. This is amendment 4. It also says that members' rights to vote on the party's accounts will not be removed as the Knapman letter claims but the vote will be moved from a business meeting to a conference or rally which is better attended. This is amendment 2.
I am inclined to agree with amendment 2 - more people attend conferences and rallies than business meetings so the accounts will be open to more scrutiny than they currently are. However, I am inclined to disagree with amendment 4 - appointment by committee is what New Labour like to call "indirectly elected" which is another way of saying "unelected" and is the favoured method of appointing yes-men to quangos. There may be more people present at the meetings to choose who to put forward for the disciplinary panel but that doesn't make the NEC any more accountable than the current system.
Details of the other amendments haven't been made public yet so I'll reserve judgement on the whole package but I hope we get to vote on each amendment in isolation because if not, there's a good chance I'll have to vote no to the whole lot.
The Thinking is forbidden conference this week in Brussels that was happily put together and attended By UKIP's very own Godfrey Bloom MEP and Nigel FarageMEP who also are members of the IND/DEM group that sit in the European Union parliament which was also attended and supported by TICAP campaign group.
Hairychestnuts who runs a U-tube channel and is a Anti-smoking ban activist attended the conference and gives his take on how he thinks the conference went.
Be warned of swearing in this clip.
Steve Fowler's Blog. is an author at Bloggers4UKIP.
Gordon Brown can't do a single thing to ensure that jobs in the UK are given to people from these isles because control of our borders was handed over to Federal Europe years ago.
Total has awarded a contract to an Italian company to put some new equipment into Lindsey Oil Refinery who are sending over 300 Italians to do the work instead of employing locals. Workers at the refinery walked out on strike 3 days ago and thousands of other workers in the energy industry have walked out in support of them.
The British government can do nothing to stop this except abuse anti-terrorism laws to break the pickets. They can't give Total or their Italian contractor a bung to employ locals because that would be illegal under EU law. They can't stop the Italian workers from coming over to work here because that would be illegal under EU law.
The LibLabCon are all committed to keeping the UK in the EU, we have to leave and UKIP is the only major party committed to leaving the EU and running our country by ourselves, for ourselves.
More on this story ...
British taxes for foreign workers - UKIP
British Jobs for British Workers? - More to life than shoes
These oil refinery strikes - Temporary UKIP Blog
Hundreds join refineries walkout - Steve Fowler
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Mr Campbell Bannerman said: “Peterborough has seen a rise of 20% in its population since 2004, mainly due to immigration and the European Union. 70% of new houses needed are for migrants. Whilst we welcome sensible immigration, the number of migrants has to be controlled and managed to prevent problems for local public services. This is about space not race.
"We are campaigning too on key local issues such as opposing wind turbines, which the EU is forcing upon us, saving post offices, fly tipping and reduced bin collections - all happening because of EU meddling in peoples' lives."
The Full Itinerary for the Action Day is below.
Journalists and photographers are particularly welcome to attend all three events when there will be opportunities to meet and put questions directly to Nigel Farage, David Campbell Bannerman, Professor Bush and other leading figures from UKIP.
ITINERARY FOR ACTION DAY
At 10.00am Mr Campbell Bannerman joined by an expert on energy policy and wind turbines, Professor Stephen Bush and representatives from anti-wind farm campaign groups will be visiting the wind turbine at King’s Dyke, Whittlesey Road. They will be wearing hard hats to illustrate the danger of flying ice from the blades, which recently hit a nearby house. UKIP has long campaigned against wind turbines on the grounds that the wind is too unreliable to generate power cost effectively and with any consistency. They also object to them on environmental and safety grounds.
At 12 noon, UKIP Leader, Nigel Farage MEP with Mr Campbell Bannerman, will be visiting Cathedral Square in central Peterborough to meet and talk to shoppers. Mr Farage will make a short speech about some of the issues of greatest concern to local people such as the consequences of too much EU migration, the credit crisis, closure of post offices and reductions in rubbish collections.
The day will culminate in a public meeting from 1.00pm at the Manor Farm Centre, High Street, Eye, Peterborough when Mr Farage and Mr Campbell Bannerman will make a major new policy announcement on immigration. They will share the platform with local PPCs Robert Brown and Frances Fox. They will also be joined by prospective MEP candidate Andrew Smith and BBC Question Time – Schools Edition winner, Michael Heaver and Professor Stephen Bush.
Josh O'Nyons is a former UKIP member.
Have you paid a parking fine recently? Got three points on your licence? Been formally warned by the council for your bin protruding on the footway? (yep, I have had the £1,000 fine threat on the last one) Been suspended from your Sunday football league for rough tackling? (yes, seriously) Congratulations! Your records could soon be added to a pan-European database of subversives. This EU Council decision of 20th January on the establishment of a pan-EU 'criminal' database includes the following 'offences' :-
All those of us who have ever accidentally spilled a cupful of diesel in the water when refuelling, dropped a piece of litter or called the EU circle of stars a fascist and totalitarian symbol are now, officially, criminals. Welcome to the club.
- Offences related to waste
- Unintentional environmental offences
- Insult of the State, Nation or State symbols
- Insult or resistance to a representative of public authority
- Public order offences, breach of the public peace
- Revealing a secret or breaching an obligation of secrecy
- Unintentional damage or destruction of property
- Offences against migration law - an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing)
- Offences against military obligations - an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing)
- Unauthorised entry or residence
- Other offences an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing)
- Other unintentional offences
- Prohibition from frequenting some places
- Prohibition from entry to a mass event
- Placement under electronic surveillance ("fixed or mobile" - eg: home, car, mobile phone etc)
- Withdrawal of a hunting / fishing license
- Prohibition to play certain games/sports
- Prohibition from national territory
- Personal obligation - an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing)
- "Fine" - all fines. inc minor non-criminal offences
I am, quite literally, speechless.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
The purpose of the meetings is to generate dialogue with local people about the issues that really matter. It will also be a fact-finding tour and an opportunity for UKIP to explain its views on the European Union as well as to highlight its policies on major national issues such as education, defence, energy and taxation. Norfolk-born Cambridge graduate Stephen Scott-Fawcett is a Chartered Surveyor by profession and adventurer by hobby. He is a recognised expert on polar matters and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
At the North Walsham meeting Scott-Fawcett was joined by UKIP District Councillor and local businessman, Michael Baker who gave an address on UKIP’s current education policy. Also with them was Norfolk farmer Stuart Agnew, who gave a presentation on how Brussels overrides Westminster. Both Baker and Agnew are UKIP prospective candidates (East of England Region) for the European Elections in June 2009.
Scott-Fawcett challenged sitting MP, Norman Lamb, regarding his position on British membership of the EU: "Norman stated back in 2007 that he believed the EU should be more democratic, more accountable and more decentralised. Such words sound good but where is the evidence it is actually happening? Once the Lisbon Treaty is finally squeezed through, the EU will be even less accountable and even more centralised!"
Focusing on North Walsham, Stephen Scott-Fawcett highlighted some of the major issues facing the town – its poor road and path infrastructure, its poor policing, the loss of retail and industry, the debate over relocating Paston College and the litter problem. He announced affirmative action on the latter. “There will be a Litter Picking Action Day in North Walsham on 8th February. Anyone who would like to join me, should meet in the Market Square at 2pm, in suitable clothes and gloves.” Norwich@ukip.org to get involved.
One person who has been at every campaigning day bar one is Steve Fowler, who is as keen as mustard to set up a UKIP branch in North Warwickshire - now it's our turn to give Steve a hand.
There is to be a North Warwicksire campaigning day this coming Saturday, 31st January, and as ever we are asking as many UKIP members as posible to come along and do their bit in the area. We will be meting at 9.30 am on the car park of the Colsehill Hotel, 152-156 High Street, Coleshill, Warwickshire, B46 3BG. For directions go to: http://www.coleshillhotel.com/directions.htm We will all meet up for lunch back at the Coleshill Hotel.
If you intend to come along and do your bit for UKIP and Steve's fledgling branch, please let me know in advance that you intend to join us to help me regarding numbers and the quantity of leaflets needed. You can either reply by e-mail email@example.com or give me a call: 07813 153897. I look forward to seeing you there.
Monday, 26 January 2009
When you consider that countries such as Ireland, Spain and Greece are in serious financial difficulties at the moment there is every chance that the UK government could be asked to "chip in" with substantial funding figures. Whether this luxury would be afforded to the UK if the economy continues to fall is unclear but this news will blow apart the Labour government's claim that the European Union treaty is not detrimental to the UK taxpayer.
As yet there has been no call for EU members to contribute to a bailout fund but with the situation worsening across Europe, and money tighter than ever, many expect plans to be put into action over the coming months. Quite how much the UK might be asked to contribute is a little unclear at this moment in time but interestingly, even though the UK has regularly used its veto for the good of the country, there are no vetoes available for this potential EU rescue funding requirement.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
I was a bit apprehensive because I'd already had a phone call asking for my opinion and telling me that a lot of people were saying it wasn't a great interview. I have to admit, it wasn't a great interview bit I really don't think it was that bad.
Nigel's choice of outfit wasn't great - he looked like a wannabe east-end gangster or even a posh used car salesman. But that's what he wears and if you watched the West Midlands edition of the Politics Show and saw what my MP, David Wright, was wearing you'd rather have Farage's trilby and donkey jacket!
One positive thing that came out of it was the interviewer saying that Farage was in it for the money to which he replied that he was earning more money when he was 21 years old and that becoming an MEP was a financial sacrafice.
The BBC stitched Nigel up and that's to be expected. Auntie Beeb gets millions from the EU propaganda fund and the whole corporation is infested with communists and eurofederalists.
The Beeb set out to portray Farage as a bit of a rebel, a bit of a joker, doesn't really take anything seriously and to be honest they're not far off the mark. He is a rebel and he does like a joke - loves them in fact. He certainly doesn't take the EU Parliament seriously and nor should he - it's a mickey mouse parliament for mickey mouse federalist politicians.
Farage is an experienced politician, he should have known better than to get screwed over by the BBC. That said, I don't think it was as bad as people apparently think it was. It probably won't have done him any favours but I very much doubt it put anybody off voting for UKIP that wasn't already put off.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
A filmed profile of Nigel and UKIP will include the leader's views on a wide range of subjects, including the European elections in June.
Friday, 23 January 2009
Bob got a meeting with the Prime Minister for local and national officers of Age Concern to get more help for all pensioners. As Bob said: “It is easy to simply grumble and score political points, but trying to get constructive action to help people is much more useful. It will be great to take local pensioners to No 10 to tell the Prime Minister, face to face, what really needs to be done.”
Bob tabled several amendments in the House of Commons to give greater transparency to MP’s expenses. The Leader of the Commons, the Rt Hon Harriet Harman said of two of Bob’s amendments: ‘That makes sense…. it is important for the public to be able to see year by year how things change’ The Deputy Leader of the House also appeared to agree to Bob’s move to stop a £14,000 ‘jobs for the boys’ MP’s pay rise.
And much more (for instance fighting for a better ‘Warm Front deal for pensioners)
Not bad for an MP who local Tories claim has no influence! They should stop bickering and work with Bob for the community. It is all on the record.
The German Constitutional Court is also holding an unusually long hearing into whether the EU not-a-constitution breaches the German constitution.
The anti-democrats in the EU are being hit with problem after problem with the EU not-a-constitution but still they battle on, oblivious to the mass opposition throughout the continent. The French voted no and the Dutch voted no so they repackaged the constitution into a new treaty and the treacherous French and Dutch governments ratified it without another referendum. The British government knew that we would vote no so they refused to hold the promised referendum. The Irish voted no so they have to have another referendum to see if they can come up with the "right" answer next time.
Our future as an independent nation lies in the hands of the Irish people, the Polish and Czech presidents and now the German Constitutional Court. And in the upcoming elections people will still vote for the LibLabCon coalition that has got us in this state in the first place.
Libertas has made a classic mistake, one which quangos make time and time again and which a professional (or wannabe) politician really shouldn't make - announcing their name before registering it!
I did something similar when my local authority announced that it was selling itself to the city region that Birmingham was setting up. Myself and a couple of fellow city region sceptics registered their company name on the weekend before they said they were going to do it. The media loved it, the local authorities were less than impressed. It didn't stop the city region project but it held it up for a while and got some publicity.
LIBERTAS HAS hit an unexpected hurdle in Britain because a close associate of a rival political party has already registered Libertas UK with the electoral commission.
Bridget Rowe, a friend of UK Independence Party chief Nigel Farage, is listed as the leader of Libertas UK on the electoral commission’s website. The party was registered on December 19th, 2008 and is expected to field candidates in England, says the commission.
An electoral commission spokesman said yesterday one of the criteria for successfully registering a political party in Britain was that no party with the same name already existed on the commission’s list.
It is now unclear whether Declan Ganley’s Libertas, which wants to field candidates in Britain in the upcoming European elections, will be able to compete under its Libertas brand.
A Libertas spokesman refused to comment on the registration issue yesterday. Mr Ganley also moved quickly to distance himself from controversial Czech MEP Vladimir Zelezny, who last week registered Libertas as a party in the Czech Republic.
Mr Ganley, who wants to set up Libertas branches in all 27 EU states ahead of the June elections, issued a press release yesterday stating that he had not “recruited” Mr Zelezny.
Mr Zelezny is a controversial character in the Czech Republic, where he has been convicted of tax evasion and is the subject of several investigations by the authorities. He told a Prague radio station last year he is a “fierce eurosceptic”, adding that the EU’s “over-regulated environment strongly resembles what we know from our communist past”.
A Libertas spokeswoman in Brussels said this week the former media mogul Mr Zelezny had registered the Czech branch of the organisation “with the knowledge” of Libertas, a comment that was published by The Irish Times.
Mr Ganley said yesterday this was not true and accused this newspaper of trying to attach his name to “a Eurosceptic agenda”.
“Mr Ganley said that while Mr Zelezny had registered the name Libertas in the Czech Republic, this action was not done on the request of Libertas in either Dublin or Brussels, and indicated nothing more than the enthusiasm of support for the Libertas project being expressed by people across the continent,” said the statement.
“Mr Zelezny had not, as implied in the report, been asked to stand in the European elections by Libertas, or in fact been the recipient of any specific request from Libertas in relation to its campaign, nor had he been the subject of any announcement made by Libertas, as reported,” it added.
Asked to clarify what relationship Libertas and Mr Zelezny currently enjoy, or will have in the future, Libertas refused to comment yesterday. The party also refused to speculate on whether it would run Libertas candidates under the party registered by Mr Zelezny. Mr Zelezny also refused to return phone calls made by The Irish Times yesterday.
I liked this quote in the Libertas statement:
Mr Ganley said that while Mr Zelezny had registered the name Libertas in the Czech Republic, this action was not done on the request of Libertas in either Dublin or Brussels, and indicated nothing more than the enthusiasm of support for the Libertas project being expressed by people across the continentThey're either very deluded or incredibly stupid if to think that people will see what are obviously two separate instances of someone registering their party name as a spoiler as a show of support. It's been done to stop Libertas from setting up under that name in the UK and the Czech Republic, it's nothing to do with supporting Libertas!
I don't know how much involvement Farage had in registering Libertas UK but it was a stroke of genius.
Thursday, 22 January 2009
It was obvious at the time that UKIP was being unfairly targeted - the Electoral Commission used UKIP to test the law on donations that had been brought in following the fraud and corruption of the LibLabCon coalition even though the Tories and Lib Dems had been investigated for much larger and more dubious illegal donations around the same time. In other words, UKIP was made a scapegoat, most likely because they thought the party could be bankrupted by the legal action.
For those of you that don't remember the case in question, I wrote about it at the time on my own blog - click here, here and here.
The Electoral Commission said that it would appeal the decision and it has finally got permission from the High Court to appeal the case back to Westminster Magistrates Court. UKIP has no debts, increasing membership, a number of wealthy supporters and a projected vote-share in the upcoming EU elections that will give the LibLabCon coalition a run for its money. You'd have to be a real cynic to draw any conclusions about the timing ...
Walsall resident and long serving UKIP activist, Tim Melville, said: "I was very sad to learn of the loss of Councillor Micklewright, I know she did a lot of very good work for the people of Rushall Shelfield and many charities around Walsall, and if elected it will be a great privilege to serve in her place."
Tim Melville is a self employed dental technician running his own business which he has built up of several years. He has stood for UKIP in two previous local elections in the St Matthews Ward in Walsall.
If anyone can help leaflet, canvass, help on a stall, or donate anything we would be really grateful! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
As well as members of Telford & Wrekin branch, Mike Nattrass MEP, Nikki Sinclaire (prospective MEP), Malcolm Hurst (PPC), Derek Bennett (West Midlands Regional Organiser) and Roy Wood (Stafford Branch Chairman) came along to lend their support and welcome our newest member, Councillor Denis Allen.
Denis (who was, until recently, Chairman of Wrekin Conservative Association) addressed the branch on why he had decided to leave the Tories and join UKIP instead, on the duplicity of the Tories and the big con on their supposedly eurosceptic credentials. In the time-honoured tradition of our branch, Denis was thrown in at the deep end and elected as Chairman!
One ever-generous member volunteered to pay for twelve (expensive) billboards for the election campaign in the West Midlands which Mike Nattrass said he will match fund out of his own pocket. The branch also agreed to fund one out of branch funds which Mike Nattrass will also match, which means Telford & Wrekin branch has secured 26 billboards for the election campaign. The bar has been set for other branches now, Mike will match-fund whatever is pledged for billboards - drop him a line for more details.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Wayne Harling is an author at Bloggers4UKIP.
Be under no illusion, this represents the biggest threat to our sport ever and we must stand up and fight!
The plan is to put sea angling on the same, discredited, quota system as used by commercial fishermen. It will mean that every private boat, yacht or kayak that wants to drop a line over the side will need a license. All fish landed will need to be reported whether caught from boat or shore.Once the quota for angling is used up, any fish taken could result in a fine of £50,000! Without an army of officials, the likelihood is that many sea anglers will just become criminals, as bad laws are always treated with contempt. The odd person will be unlucky though and face massive fines.
What is at stake here isn’t just the sport we love, but one of the last freedoms that we enjoy – It must be stopped! . Over the Christmas holidays I worried about the plan and I had plenty of time to do so as the easterly winds killed the cod fishing stone dead. On my return to Brussels I was even more alarmed to see the plans to put these measures through at breakneck speed.
We have to act now, as the final vote by the European Parliament is likely to be in April. I would strongly urge everyone in the angling community to oppose this proposal. There’s no point in writing to your local MP as all power over fisheries has been given to the European Union.
Visit the UKIP website, www.ukip,org and sign the petition to have Article 47 dropped.
Contact the MEPs for your area, they can be found at www.europarl.org.uk/uk_meps/MembersMain.htm
Tell them that you want Article 47 of the 'Council Regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy to be deleted. Clearly tell them you will not vote for them in the June 4th European Elections if they let you down.
Contact UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies at www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/huw_irranca-davies/ogmore and urge him to get Article 47 dropped.
If tens of thousands take the trouble to lobby, you will be listened to. MEP’s need your votes to secure their next five year term. You can put pressure on them.
I am appealing to angling groups in France and Holland and urging them to do the same.
Don't let Brussels bureaucrats ruin our sport and our industry.
Stand up and fight!
Nigel Farage MEP, UKIP leader
Monday, 19 January 2009
Calling all Tories!UKIP is what Conswervatives want the Conswervative Party to be - a centre-right party, conservative, eurosceptic party and not the flip-flopping eurofederalist mess that it is now. They've already lost a well-respected Councillor over Clarke's appointment from a council that the Tories are clinging on to by the skin of their teeth. The way Camoron is going, the Lib Dems are going to be giving them a run for their money.
Ken Clarke has returned to the Tory Frontbench as Business Secretary. The pro-European Conservative former Chancellor of the Exchequer has sent a very important message to the Tory Party - "We are supporters of the EU Project".
I say to all Conservative Eurosceptics, "Come and Join UKIP". David Cameron has sent an important message to his membership, and that message is to remain involved in the EU Project. Don't be fooled by Mr Clarke's comments that he and Cameron will 'agree to disagree' on Europe, this is nothing more than a smokescreen to mask the real truth from Tory members.
UKIP is ready to go to war over Europe and traditional Conservative values, we are your last hope - join us or bust!
I often ask myself, "Are the Tories really Eurosceptics?", if so, why was it the Tories who signed the Single European Act? Signing the Maastrict Treaty, or even having done little to oppose the European Project insofar as to refuse to pull out of the Euro-federalist EPP group? The fact is, the Tories aren't really Eurosceptics, they simply create a facade to keep their dwindling membership happy, and stop the real Eurosceptics from winning. In essence the admission of Ken Clarke to the Tory frontbench, is a warning the Conservative membership - Cameron is Pro-Europe, he doesn't listen to his membership and now is the time for Eurosceptic Tories to join UKIP.
We welcome you with open arms.
Mike Nattrass, UKIP MEP for the West Midlands said "Only UKIP is firmly committed to leaving the EU so that we can be free and independent once again." "Tory MEPs consistently transfer power to the EU and that Tory policy is confirmed by Clark's return."
The first defector in the West Midlands is Denis Allen. A former Mayor of Wellington, a town councillor in Wellington, a councillor on Telford and Wrekin Unitary Authority and former cabinet member there. Denis has also been the Chairman of the Wrekin Conservative Association. After service as an officer in the RAF Regiment Mr. Allen went on to become a Lt. Colonel in the Light Infantry TA.
"I was already uncomfortable with the way that David Cameron fudged the issue of the Conservative membership of the EPP group in the European Parliament. But the appointment of such a strong europhile like Ken Clarke to the front bench was the last straw. We can see that we can't negotiate from within: they ignored the Dutch and the French referendums and they're ignoring the Irish now. We have to leave so that we can rule ourselves." said Denis Allen. "That's why I joined UKIP, the only party advocating that Britain should be ruled by the British."
Mike Nattrass added " Tory MEPs put their Group allowances into the "Yes" campaign and that says it all."
The European Commission has predicted that the eurozone economy will shrink by 1.9% in 2009 and will grow by only 0.4% in 2010. Estimates for the UK economy range from anywhere between 1% shrinkage to 2.9% with the economy predicted to return to full growth in the second half of 2009.
Of course, it's the Tartan Taxman that is doing the predicting for the UK economy so it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt but even if the UK were to experience the full 2.9% shrinkage of the economy, the early return to growth will put the UK on the road to recovery that much earlier.
Over the last week, the Euro has dropped against, amongst others, the Albanian Lek, the Angolan New Kwanza the Cuban Peso, the Gambian Dalasi, the Kazakhstan Tenge, the Moldovan Leu, the Rwandan Franc, the Somali Shilling, the Tongan Pa'anga and the Zambian Kwacha (source: oanda.com). In fact, the only currency the Euro seems to have rallied against in the last week is the Zimbabwean dollar which went from €21.5m to the Z$ to €22.8m to the Z$.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Dublin has nationalised Anglo Irish Bank with its half-built folly on North Wall Quay and €73bn (£65bn) of liabilities, moving a step nearer the line where markets probe the solvency of the Irish state.
A great ring of EU states stretching from Eastern Europe down across Mare Nostrum to the Celtic fringe are either in a 1930s depression already or soon will be. Greece's social fabric is unravelling before the pain begins, which bodes ill.
Each is a victim of ill-judged economic policies foisted upon them by elites in thrall to Europe's monetary project – either in EMU or preparing to join – and each is trapped.
As UKIP leader Nigel Farage put it in a rare voice of dissent at the euro's 10th birthday triumph in Strasbourg, EMU-land has become a Völker-Kerker – a "prison of nations", to borrow from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
This week, Riga's cobbled streets became a war zone. Protesters armed with blocks of ice smashed up Latvia's finance ministry. Hundreds tried to force their way into the legislature, enraged by austerity cuts.
"Trust in the state's authority and officials has fallen catastrophically," said President Valdis Zatlers,
who called for the dissolution of parliament.
In Lithuania, riot police fired rubber-bullets on a trade union march. Dogs chased stragglers into the Vilnia river. A demonstration outside Bulgaria's parliament in Sofia turned violent on Wednesday.
These three states are all members of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2), the euro's pre-detention cell. They must join. It is written into their EU contracts.
The result of subjecting ex-Soviet catch-up economies to the monetary regime of the leaden West has been massive overheating. Latvia's current account deficit hit 26pc of GDP. Riga property prices surpassed Berlin.
The inevitable bust is proving epic. Latvia's property group Balsts says Riga flat prices have fallen 56pc since mid-2007. The economy contracted 18pc annualised over the last six months.
Leaked documents reveal – despite a blizzard of lies by EU and Latvian officials – that the International Monetary Fund called for devaluation as part of a €7.5bn joint rescue for Latvia. Such adjustments are crucial in IMF deals. They allow countries to claw their way back to health without suffering perma-slump.
This was blocked by Brussels – purportedly because mortgage debt in euros and Swiss francs precluded that option. IMF documents dispute this. A society is being sacrificed on the altar of the EMU project.
Latvians have company. Dublin expects Ireland's economy to contract 4pc this year. The deficit will reach 12pc of GDP by 2010 on current policies. "This is not sustainable," said the treasury. Hence the draconian wage deflation now threatened by the Taoiseach.
The Celtic Tiger has faced the test bravely. No government in Europe has been so honest. It is a tragedy that sterling's crash should have compounded their woes at this moment. To cap it all, Dell is decamping to Poland with 4pc of GDP. Irish wages crept too high during
the heady years when Euroland interest rates of 2pc so beguiled the nation.
Spain lost a million jobs in 2008. Madrid is bracing for 16pc unemployment by year's end.
Private economists fear 25pc before it is over. Spain's wage inflation has priced the workforce out of Europe's markets. EMU logic is wage deflation for year after year. With Spain's high debt levels, this is impossible.
Either Mr Zapatero stops the madness, or Spanish democracy will stop him. The left wing of his PSOE party is already peeling off, just as the French left is peeling off to fight "l'euro dictature capitaliste".
Italy's treasury awaits each bond auction with dread, wondering if can offload €200bn of debt this year. Spreads reached a fresh post-EMU high of 149 last week. The debt compound noose is tightening around Rome's throat. Italian journalists have begun to talk of Europe's "Tequila Crisis" – a new twist.
They mean that capital flight from Club Med could set off an unstoppable process.
Mexico's Tequila drama in 1994 was triggered by a combination of the Chiapas uprising, a current account haemorrhage, and bond jitters. The dollar-peso peg snapped when elites began moving money to US banks. The game was up within days.
Fixed exchange systems – and EMU is just a glorified version – rupture suddenly. Things can seem eerily calm for a long time. Politicians swear by the parity. Remember John Major's "soft-option" defiance days before the ERM blew apart in 1992? Or Philip Snowden's defence of sterling before a Royal Navy mutiny forced Britain off the Gold Standard in 1931.
Don't expect tremors before an earthquake – and there is no fault line of greater historic violence than the crunching plates where Latin Europe meets Teutonia.
Greece no longer dares sell long bonds to fund its debt. It sold €2.5bn last week at short rates, mostly 3-months and 6-months. This is a dangerous game. It stores up "roll-over risk" for later in the year. Hedge funds are circling.
Traders suspect that investors are dumping their Club Med and Irish debt immediately on the European Central Bank in "repo" actions.
In other words, the ECB is already providing a stealth bail-out for Europe's governments – though secrecy veils all.
An EU debt union is being created, in breach of EU law. Liabilities are being shifted quietly on to German taxpayers. What happens when Germany's hard-working citizens find out?
Peter BALL-FOSTER (Liberal Democrats)
Phillip FITZPATRICK (Labour Party)
Rosalind GAUCI (British National Party)
Angela McMANUS (UK Independence Party)
Nigel ROLLAND (Green Party)
John WELSH (Conservative)
If you can help please contact John Cooke Tel. 07916 326176 or Angela Mc Manus on 07952 482114
Leaflets are already being distrubted by all partys see Tameside Citizen for a update.
You will already have seen testimonials from Nigel and others on Sir Dai LLewellwyn who departed this world last week.Sir Dai lived in the fast lane and lived his life the way he wanted to live it.
He laughed a lot and he drank a lot and he gave others an amazing lift with his carefree style and believe me he had style.
His smile and laughter were a tonic to others and if you play the attached interview you may see a little of what I mean. He was a good chap but perhaps never would have been accepted as a candidate for Pope.
I know that he would be laughing now if he knew of the tributes he is getting ..... he probably is.
Sir Dai file to download. Click on the video clip link below. Forward this email to anyone else who wants to download it, or copy the link.
Sir Dai file
Saturday, 17 January 2009
After Nigel's speech he received a smug email from a smug Greek MEP:
From: VARVITSIOTIS IoannisGovernment bonds are basically an IOU issued by a government to private investors who loan the government in question money in return for a promise to pay them back with interest at a specific date in the future. But that's not actually what the Greek Treasury has sold. What they have, in fact, sold is shorts.
Sent: 13 January 2009 15:57
Subject: Message by the Greek EPP-ED Delegation
Following today's attempt by Mr Farage to attack the EURO through provocative statements on Greece's membership to the EMU -during the plenary debate on the 10th anniversary of the EURO-, the Greek EPP-ED Delegation (Nea Demokratia) would like to inform you that today's tender of government bonds yielded a total amount of 2,550 billion Euros at an average rate of 2,51%, well below the Euribor rate of reference. The final result covers more than 6 times the amount targeted by the Greek government.
This offers a tangible response to any Member seeking to establish the truth regarding the credibility of Greece's performance as a trustworthy member of the Eurozone.
Mr Farage was really unlucky to attack Greece on the same day that markets proved their confidence to the Greek economy.
Short selling is a type of gambling, like the futures market. On the futures market you buy something that doesn't exist yet, such as the future production of a diamond mine, and hope that what you've bought is going to be worth more when you get to sell it. With short selling you borrow some security (such as a government bond), sell the security that you don't yet own and hope that you can buy the security you've sold at a cheaper price in the future to make a profit.
Raising €2,550bn from short selling government bonds might sound like an excellent achievement but the problem with giving out €2,550bn worth of IOUs is that you have to pay it back and when the Greek economy is hit harder than most of its fellow Eurozone members, the chances of those private investors not getting their money back are higher than if, for example, they had bought US Treasury Bonds.
Now, just as you and I have a credit rating which banks and credit card companies check when you ask them for credit, so do countries. The de facto authority on a country's credit rating is Standard & Poors who have been rating corporations and treasury's for well over a century. On the announcement that Greece had landed itself with €2,550bn of dubious debt, Standard & Poors downgraded Greece's credit rating to A- which will make any future attempts to borrow money by the Greek Treasury will be difficult and expensive.
All of which prompted this reply from Nigel on Wednesday:
From: FARAGE Nigel [mailto:email@example.com]That's another point to UKIP I think.
Sent: 14 January 2009 14:53
To: VARVITSIOTIS Ioannis; MEP
Cc: HELMER Roger
Subject: RE: Message by the Greek EPP-ED Delegation
Dear Mr Varvitsiotis
As Mr Helmer has pointed out, today, the transactions, which you thought were Greek-government bond-issues, were, in fact, issues of "short notes", which bear no relation, in terms of credit-worthiness, to bonds.
Moreover, this afternoon, Standard and Poors have downgraded Greece's credit-rating to A-minus, with Spain, Italy, and then Portugal, likely to follow. No credit-rating reduction of this magnitude has previously afflicted the desperately propped-up eurozone, which, I think vindicates my remarks of yesterday morning, in full.
UK Independence Party
Friday, 16 January 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
But more importantly, Ms Wark questioned Lord Mandelson about the government's intention to sell off part of Royal Mail, most likely to the Dutch company TNT. Lord Mandelson warbled happily along, smiling and preening, and explained that things in the Royal Mail were jolly well not good enough and that the government were determined to change that. If it took the presence of a "partner" company to improve the service then so be it. Lord Mandelson said that he was "passionate" about the universal service obligation.
Well, yes, Lord Mandelson should be passionate about the universal service obligation because its his job, as a member of our provincial government, to carry out the instructions from our real government in Brussels, which is to ensure that that universal service obligation is provided within a steadily decreasing state service with all the rest sold off into the private sector to ensure that the market for postal services is "liberalised" in accordance with the two EU Directives that require it.
Why on earth is it that journalists like Kirsty Wark, and presumably by extension, the whole Newsnight team, are incapable of discovering the simple fact that the government is OBLIGED to sell off the Royal Mail and its nothing at all to do with Lord Mandelson? Its a simple, elementary fact to discover. Is it because they are the real Little Englanders and simply cannot see beyond Dover?
According to The Times £350,000 in funding has been given to this project, in part earmarked to pay the 27 different artists, each from the 27 EU Member States. These artists were meant to create a map of Europe showing what each country really feels about its place in Europe. However, the Czech presidency website states it is renting the artwork at a cost of €50,000 for the six months of their presidency.
Eyebrows were raised when the artwork ‘Entropa’ (all eight-tonnes of it) first appeared in the Council Building, most notably because the UK no longer appeared on the map, but it was only after Bulgaria (depicted as a Turkish lavatory) complained that the truth has been revealed.
It transpires that the organiser of the project, artist David Cerny, designed and created the whole thing himself and invented the names of the ‘up-and-coming’ artists who were meant to be responsible for the representation of their respective countries.
Mr Cerny had apparently described the UK’s omission from the map as resulting from the fact that Britain did not want to be part of Europe, and he has depicted France by covering it in a banner with one word placed upon it - ‘Strike!’
Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, said: It's wonderful, terrific: the designers are obviously forward planners because they recognise the fact that Britain will not continue to be part of this political union.
Whatever you might think about the art it is certainly symbolic of the EU’s attitude towards money!
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
24th February 2009: 7pm - 9.30pm Buckingham University, Chandos Road, Buckingham, MK18 1EG
Everyone welcome. Videos shown, refreshments available.
Meet all the Buckingham County Council UKIP Candidates. Every Seat filled for UKIP
For more info: Telephone Chris Adams on 0798 6543211
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Steve Fowler's Blog. is an author at Bloggers4UKIP.
Firstly, in the Financial Times, he has vowed to 'wreck the Lisbon Treaty', were there to be a general election in the Spring of this year. The FT continues: "Mr Cameron told the Financial Times that in such circumstances "we could have a referendum in October" on the treaty, in which he would lead the campaign for a No vote". The FT hits the nail on the head by stating that "The 'moderately eurosceptic' Tory leader expects to win that vote". Initial question Mr. Cameron - who gave you the right to 'lead the campaign for a No vote'?
In another article, this time in the Daily Mail, David Cameron states he would be prepared to cut the number of MPs by 60 as he feels the work done by the House of Commons could be done with fewer MPs and also to ensure that constituencies were of similar size in the number of electors.
A few points arise from both statements, which show that not only the Labour Party are prone to using 'spin' to achieve a favourable rating with the public. If one can believe Gordon Brown - difficult I know, given his history - he has stated that an election in the Spring is the 'farthest thought in my mind', consequently whilst David Cameron has stated what he would do, he knows it is fairly certain that is one promise on which he won't have to deliver. So why say it? Could it possibly be just to raise expectations in the mind of the public and in the hope it may help his party's vote at the coming European elections in June this year? (Sorry, me being cynical again!).
His second 'pronouncement', that he would cut the number of MPs also has a thread of 'not the whole reason why' behind it. Yes, it is a fact that with over 75% of our laws now emanating from Brussels the role of our Parliament is no more than that of an 'administrative centre' for our real government. Based on that Mr Cameron, why not cut 75% of them - in fact why not go even better and cut the lot as we are, more than likely, going to be governed by Regional Quangos anyway - who needs a middle man?
The other question that arises is how will these larger constituencies be formed. With the present government creating MAAs which conform to the Level 2 areas of the European Union's NUTS map of this country, what is the betting that any new constituencies will probably follow this principle.
Until David Cameron and his like from all the main three political parties accept one basic principle, which they will not do as it interferes with their continuing love of the EU project, they are being disrespectful and show nothing but contempt for the electorate of this country.
That basic principle is that we have the right to decide our own laws, our own way of life and therefore our own future and that of our children. We live in a democracy, supposedly, and if that basic right is taken away from us it leaves us in a new form of government - dictatorship with a democratic facade.
HT: Witterings from Witney
For anyone whos interested Dave's policy on Europe can be found here
David Campbell Bannerman, UKIP's lead candidate for the East of England in June's European election has attacked local Conservative MEP Christopher Beazley for saying he will always vote 'Yes' to new EU rules and regulations, regardless of how much damage it does to the people he represents.
When Mr Beazley complained his voting machine had broken down in the Strasbourg Parliament today (13.1.09), he informed the Parliament's President that he didn't really need to have his machine fixed "as I plan to vote 'Yes' to everything".
Commenting on his behaviour, Mr Campbell Bannerman said: "Mr Beazley is like the Man from Del Monte... he just likes to say YES! YES to everything the EU wants regardless of the cost for hard pressed families living in the East of England, YES, regardless of the impact on local businesses, YES, despite the damage to our country from yet more loss of control of our affairs. What is the point of Mr Beazley being in the European Parliament? - you might as well send his voting machine instead".
"This Tory MEP is letting down his country and his constituency. No wonder polls show that more than 1 in 10 Tories will back UKIP at the Euro elections, 45% of people think none of the three old parties represents their views on the EU, 71% of people want a referendum on continued membership of the EU, and an amazing 83% do not want EU laws overriding UK laws.* Only UKIP represents the true national and local interest. "
Josh O'Nyons is a former UKIP member.
That this House notes that a new poll by ComRes, a member of the British Polling Council, commissioned by the Campaign for an Independent Britain, reveals that British people believe the European Union is out-of-touch, unfair, corrupt and extremely costly for UK taxpayers and that UK politicians are hopelessly out-of-touch; further notes that 83 per cent. of those polled say British law should be paramount, 75 per cent. think UK politicians don't do enough to stand up for British interests in Europe and 71 per cent. want a national referendum to decide whether the UK remains in the EU; is concerned that the EU spent 2.4 billion euros of taxpayers' money in 2008 to promote itself and its overriding aim of ever closer union; and therefore believes that the Government should declare that it will not take Britain into the euro zone and accepts the need for a referendum on the fundamental issue of Britain's sovereignty.Write to your MP and ask them to sign EDM375.
Monday, 12 January 2009
Mr Campbell Bannerman said: “EERA is an undemocratic disgrace and an obscene waste of money in these hard economic times. This body reports directly to the European Union and not to the people it purports to represent. How dare they make such major decisions on planning and economic matters without true democratic legitimacy. It is one group of bureaucrats at home serving another group of bureaucrats in the EU. A bureaucrat's tryst!"
"This Europe Panel is ten times worse because it is obsessed with promoting the interests of the European Union, not those of the East of England. Wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on this quango is totally unjustifiable. It is taxation without representation."
"Our demonstration in Bury St Edmunds will let them hear the voice of the people. It is about time they listened." The protest will take place between 8.00 and 9.00am as delegates arrive for the meeting. If you would like to join please ring Tel: 01245-266466 Mobile: 07734-457390
Communities Secretary (whatever that means) Hazel Blears has been filling her obvious abundance of spare time by producing guidance to local councils that calls for "risk assessments" of park football games in case players or spectators get too excited.
The document says: "If not planned properly, football can be divisive and trigger conflict. Passions can get high and physical contact can easily lead to confrontations."
It advises that games should be banned if there is a danger of tensions between teams or fans. So much for encouraging sport in the run-up to the Olympics. Tiddlywinks players beware. You're next on the list.
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Of course, with the website being hosted on Planet Labour, you can expect the usual bizarre version of reality that Labour supporters and politicians inhabit. There are some amusing comments on the home page, such as:
This is a challenging but exciting time for Labour. Twelve years in office have brought huge advances to Britain, and we continue to be the party of ideas and innovation.... and ...
The distinction between the major parties has rarely been clearerThe blogroll in particular made me laugh. There's the "A-List" of blogs, a small selection of other sycophant Labour-supporting blogs and the "Z-List" of blogs, comprising the two most popular blogs in the UK - Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes - and ConservativeHome, the Tory grassroots website that the likes of LabourList can only look at with envy.
As well as the entertaining alternate reality stuff, there's a bit of naughtiness - a link to FixMyStreet in amongst other Labour buttons with the clear implication that the site, which was set up by the same charity behind the petitions.pm.gov.uk website, is a Labour initiative.
We're under no illusions as to how popular Bloggers4UKIP is likely to be - UKIP is a minor party and we wouldn't expect to compete directly with the likes of ConservativeHome but if the best "grass roots" website the Labour Party can come up is LabourList then we're pretty happy with what we've managed to achieve in our spare time with a budget of zero and without any help from UKIP.
Just a quick note to LabourList before I finish though: ministers and paid employees aren't "grass roots". Ordinary members giving up their spare time without being paid or otherwise rewarded - like us here at Bloggers4UKIP - are the grass roots of a party.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Location: Plough Hotel, Rufford Road ,Southport ,Merseyside PR9 8JH ,
Michael Heaver's Blog
UKIP Solihull Blog
Musings on Liberty Blog
UKIP Bradford Blog
Perhaps more important than all of this however, is that on top of the 16% who realise that leaving the EU is the only option, some 48% of those polled want a "much looser" relationship with the EU. This sentiment typically is a result of scare stories that talk of an independent Britain being a Britain that can no longer trade with our European neighbours. However a YouGov poll in 2004 showed UKIP's potential to bypass these mistruths. The poll firstly showed UKIP in fourth place when voting intention was asked plainly. However, when a second question was asked, which clearly stated that UKIP was the only non-racist party which would withdraw from the EU and scrap EU immigration laws, UKIP polled 25%, higher than any other party. UKIP came first.
In other words, if UKIP can put together an effective, well-funded campaign which clearly states that only our position can viably appease that 48%, the sky really is the limit. Only 22% of those polled wanted continued full EU membership - a position shared by all of the BigThree who are different only in their rhetoric. The media and political players in Westminster have all set out to ignore and discredit UKIP up until now. They better hope that they are ready for the beast which is about to be unleashed - a beast which is going to be representing public opinion on the EU like nobody else. Read more at ..
Michael Heavers Blog
To raise funds for the West Milands UKIP ''EU Election'' campaign.
Please join us for an enjoyable evening on Friday 20th February 7.30 for 8pm Feel free to bring a friend- I'm sure Nigel will be on top form!
Tally HO , Conference Centre , Pershore Road, Birmingham West Midlands B5 7RN Tickets available now at a minimum donation of £25 per person ,Send cheques to UKIP , PO Box 9876 , Birmingham B6 4DN OR Ring 0121 333 7737
Friday, 9 January 2009
Check out GoddersVision Launched today watch Pungent commentary from Britain's most controversial MEP.
Euro-MPs are calling for the creation of a European gas reserve, made up of British and Dutch supplies, which member states can tap into in the event of any future shortage.The transfer of ownership would be enacted under secret powers written into the Lisbon Treaty. It gives Europe the legal power to take over individual states’ supplies to “ensure security of energy supply in the Union”.
Ultimate control over Britain’s vast natural gas and oil fields – by far the biggest resource within the EU – will fall to Brussels if the new treaty, which has already been ratified by Britain, is adopted throughout Europe.
Last night, however, there were calls for Britain to stand firm against the seizure of our oil and gas. UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “Brussels has already stolen our fish. Now they want our oil and gas. These are vital resources to Britain and we demand that the British Government vetoes these proposals. This shows how vital it is that the UK holds a referendum on our future in the European Union.”
Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso is right to say that the EU needs to help eastern Europe with its energy security. But giving the EU control over our national energy reserves is totally the wrong way to go about it.
Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP for London, said: “Conservatives will continue to resist any moves towards EU common energy resources. The Common Fisheries Policy has already decimated our fishing industry. An EU common energy resource policy would do the same to what little is left of our oil reserves.
Russian and Ukrainian officials and energy firm executives were yesterday locked in crisis talks in Brussels in a bid to break the deadlock over blocked supplies that has hit power deliveries to 10 EU countries. Meanwhile, in a closed-door meeting with high-ranking European politicians, Mr Barroso said the current crisis showed the need for urgency in adopting a common EU energy policy. Mr Barroso added that he would soon have the legal auth ority to take over control of energy reserves under the Lisbon Treaty. He said the new powers were necessary because requests to national governments to detail what gas reserves they had available had produced no response.
MEPs also called yesterday for control over Britain’s dwindling natural resources. Austrian Hannes Swoboda and Dutchman Jan Marinus Wiersma said there was an urgent need for a European gas stockpile.Mr Swoboda said: “Some countries are not happy with the idea but it is absolutely necessary.”
Mr Wiersma added the plan would involve stockpiling gas from producer countries such as the UK and the Netherlands to tide over vulner able member states in the face of future crises.
His Lancashire pub the ''Swan With Two Necks'' in Chorley is offering customers a 3.5% brew called "With a Spoon" specially commissioned from the Barons Revenge Brewery for the pub. The pint will be served with a plastic spoon and customers who collect ten spoons will get a free pint.
The deal is the brainchild of well-known licensee Nick Hogan, famous for his stance against the smoke ban.
"I've done this to highlight the stupidity of Wetherspoons," said Hogan. "Their 99p pint will not benefit the general pub trade — just their chain. This is at a time when the pub trade is in serious decline for a number of reasons — not least the smoking ban.
"This will not help the industry and will encourage the sort of drunkenness that the public is thoroughly fed up with. It is irresponsible and stupid."
The deal at the Swan With Two Necks begins this Friday.
Thursday, 8 January 2009
On the contrary, nearly all major fluctuations in economic activity are the man-made result of serious errors in economic policy. They can be halted if the right decisions are taken.In their classic work on A Monetary History of the United States Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz showed that the dominant influence on the slump in output and employment in the USA's Great Depression was a fall in the quantity of money. Between October 1929 and April 1933 the quantity of money dropped from $48,155m to $29,747m or by almost 40pc.
Money takes two forms, legal tender cash (mostly notes) and bank deposits. Holdings of deposits were much larger than those of cash in the early 1930s, just as they are today. Over the October 1929 to April 1933 period deposits slumped from $44,323m to $24,545m or by 45pc.In other words, the Great Depression was due above all to trauma in the American banking system. The virtual halving of the level of bank deposits meant that rich people had too little money in their portfolios, and they sold stocks and shares to straighten their positions.
As in a game of pass-the-parcel, such sales merely altered the distribution of money between different investors. Some sort of balance between non-monetary assets and the reduced amount of money was restored only by a crash in the prices of shares, real estate, farmland and so on, with catastrophic impacts on demand and output.
One lesson is that policy must at all times keep the growth rate of money – which means the growth rate of bank deposits, in practice – steady at a moderate rate.
In the 14 years from 1992, in which the UK enjoyed unusual macroeconomic stability, the annual rate of money growth was in fact similar to that of national income at about 6pc or 7 pc.
But in 2006 the Bank of England lost the plot. A large and violent fluctuation in money growth has occurred in the last three years, and the predictable outcome has been a large and violent boom-bust cycle. In early 2007 the bank deposits of British companies were 15pc higher than a year earlier, but in the last year they have fallen by almost 5pc. This lurch from easy monetary conditions to liquidity squeeze has been an important – perhaps the most important – causal influence on the economic downturn.
What must policy-makers now do? The answer is that they must raise the growth rate of bank deposits in the hands of genuine non-bank agents, such as companies and households. Over the last 20 years new bank deposits have been created mostly as a counterpart to lending to the private sector. When a bank extends a new loan, it adds the same amount to its assets (the loan) and to its liabilities (the deposit).
The loan typically stays inert on the bank's books for months or even years. By contrast, the borrower can write cheques against the deposit, moving the money into someone else's deposit. Whereas the loan is only one transaction, the extra deposit is money and can result in endless rounds of transactions. On this basis it is the money – the new bank deposit – that really matters to the economy, not the bank loan.
However, in the last few months the Bank of England has expressed the view that new credit to the private sector, not extra money, plays a vital role in the economy.
In recent speeches the Governor, Mervyn King, and the Deputy Governor, Charles Bean, have warned that – unless banks lend more to the private sector – the economy will not recover in 2009.
This credit-determines-spending doctrine is false and dangerous. The correct answer is for the government to replace the private sector in the credit process, and so to create new deposits by itself borrowing from the banks and increasing the quantity of money. Since the government has the power of taxation, its own credit-worthiness is not in doubt and it can borrow almost without limit from the banks.
In the first instance the proceeds of the banks' loans to the government would be credited to the government's deposit. But civil servants can then write cheques to the government's suppliers and add to the quantity of money. These suppliers may include some financially hard-pressed small companies, giving them immediate help. But the favourable effects of extra money should soon spread widely. Payments between different companies and individuals are on such a scale that all cash-strained companies ought to find it easier to improve their financial position.
We are of course opposed to an excessive rate of monetary growth, because that causes inflation, and favour sound public finances over the medium term. But large-scale government borrowing from the banks in early 2009 – of between, say, £50bn and £100bn – would be simple to organize given the enormous budget deficit now being incurred. That would quickly boost the quantity of money, easing the financial squeeze on British companies, and helping them to maintain jobs and investment.
Professor Tim Congdon is one of Britain’s leading economic commentators and the founder of Lombard Street Research. Between 1992 and 1997 he was a member of the Treasurer Panel of Independent Forecasters (the so-called ‘wise men’) which advised the Chancellor of the Exchequer on economic policy. In 1997 he was awarded the CBE for services to economic debate. Tim is currently a member of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee. His opinion and comments are frequently reported in the media and he is the author of a number of books – the latest being Keynes, the Keynesians and Monetarism. If you would like to come along to a public meeting with Tim click here
Josh O'Nyons is a former UKIP member.
So the 56-year-old is now flying a full-sized Union Flag upside down in protest - a historic military distress signal.
“I had consulted the neighbours and there were no objections whatsoever from them,” said Gordon, chairman of UKIP’s Teesside branch.
“Yes, there is legislation - but it’s just the pettiness of it. It’s at the rear of my house out of sight of any traffic.
“The biggest issue to me here is freedom of expression. We’re meant to live in a free country.
“But I’ve complied with the council’s wishes and I did write back to them.”
The council told Gordon he could apply for permission to nail his UKIP colours to the 18ft mast - at a cost of £95.
Councillor Bob Cook, Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: ““Under the advertisement regulations, flags such as the national flag of a country, the Commonwealth, European Union or United Nations flags, can be flown without the formal permission of the local council, subject to certain conditions. Outside of this, a flag is classed as an advert, and an application must be made for express consent, as in this case.”
Peter Harper, 42, who has been adopted as the new parliamentary candidate, strongly opposes the Human Rights Act and wants to see a return to “traditional” British law.
Born and raised in Aintree Village, where he was a parish councillor, Mr Harper has been active in local politics since 2000.
He said: “I strongly oppose the Human Rights Act and seek a return to traditional British law, under which criminals could be found guilty and treated appropriately and under which the victims of crime felt safe and protected from the criminals whose rights are now placed above those of their victims.
“I have been pleased to act on behalf of a number of local residents following their approaches to me to help them resolve issues they were experiencing in matters relating to Sefton Council and to various local and national organisations.”
UKIP’s policies include controlled immigration, a flat tax system, more independence for schools and teachers as well as the opportunity to call for a local referendum on major issues.His belief is that UKIP is “the party of common sense values, combined with the courage of its membership to stand up for the rights and traditions of the British people.”
The self-employed IT consultant has previously worked for Barclays as well as Royal Insurance and recently completed a full term of office as a Maghull High School governor.He is also a member of Sefton’s Schools Appeals Panel, is on Oriel Drive Youth Club’s management committee and is an ex-chairman of Aintree Ratepayers Association.
Mr Harper, who is married with two young children, said: “UKIP must leave the EU, which costs us more than £115 million net a week and cut business red tape, spending the savings on better schools, hospitals, pension and policing.”