Tuesday, April 08, 2014
12-year-old speaks out on the issue of abortion
In her own words
Quitting the EU would be good for Britain... and could spark a great national revival
The idea of Britain becoming independent again is anathema on the British Left. They like the all-pervasive and undemocratic powers of the EU
It is not yet clear what effect the Nick Clegg versus Nigel Farage televised debates will have on their respective standings, but they have put Europe squarely in the centre of public debate. Is our country better off in or out? Can we even manage our own problems (such as immigration) within the EU? And can we negotiate a deal that eradicates these problems?
These are not just issues for the European Election in May, which everybody seems to be assuming UKIP will win anyway. They are critical to the Government’s strategy to renegotiate our relationship with the EU and the eventual referendum, if and when it happens.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already made it clear that she is not going to help David Cameron secure a deal that will remotely satisfy anyone. Of course she wants Britain in Europe. We add economic, political and cultural clout, without being a threat to Germany’s leadership role within the EU, and are a major export market.
But Mrs Merkel will not fundamentally alter the architecture she believes has given Germany peace, stability, power and prosperity, unless we give her strong and clear reasons to do so. And if Germany will not, neither will France, Italy, Spain, Poland, or any of the other big players. So we must press home our demands with coherence and clarity.
We have to start by recognising that leaving is a real possibility, and make our partners recognise that. This starts with realising exit from Europe is not something to be afraid of. It could be a huge opportunity, and is less risky than scaremongers would have you believe.
They say that, outside the EU, Britain would be isolated, European allies would refuse to trade with us, and it would be a one-way street to declining employment, waning influence and decreasing prosperity. They say it would endanger our security. Nonsense. A new relationship with Europe could trigger a bright new future for the UK.
We have always exerted clout far beyond Europe’s borders, with the world’s sixth largest economy and fourth largest military budget.
We are members of the G7 and G20. We are on the UN Security Council, belong to Nato, the OECD, the Commonwealth and the World Trade Organisation.
We have a global tradition and speak the most important global language. Our influence and reputation are greater than any nation of 60 million has a right to expect, and little, if any, depends on the EU.
Far from spelling the end of Britain’s international influence, EU exit could be the catalyst for an intellectual, economic and political liberation. It would give Britain the chance to forge new relationships, pursue a new strategy reflecting our historical connections and global standing, and exploit our language, law, scientific, cultural and commercial creativity, and even our time zone.
This would be a revolution of expectations and ambition. But if we are going to seize that chance, we have to decide what sort of Britain we want to create.
We need courage and confidence to deliver a low tax, low regulation, high growth economy. We must banish the idea of accepting terminal decline, slipping down league tables and becoming a quiet backwater. The qualities and characteristics that made us a global power are still present, and only need to be harnessed once again.
So before we consider how we would negotiate to stay in, just consider how we would negotiate our exit.
First, we should retain access to the EU single market. Many countries trade successfully with the EU without being members. In 2012, almost three-quarters of Norwegian exports went to EU member states. Per capita, Switzerland sold more than four-and-a-half times as much to the EU from outside it as British businesses did from inside.
The remaining EU members have a massive vested interest in ongoing free trade with the UK. If a British exit happened tomorrow, we would be the EU’s single biggest market, accounting for 21 per cent of its exports, so our negotiating clout would be enormous.
In the unlikely event the UK was denied access to the single market, being outside the EU would not present the economic difficulties it would have done when we joined. In 1973, the average tariff on world-traded goods was around ten per cent. Since then, trade barriers across the world have fallen.
In some industries, EU external tariffs would have a significant impact on British exports. For example, Cheddar cheese would face a tariff of €167 per 100kg. But in 2012 France exported 115,000 tons of cheese to the UK, so what goes for Cheddar would also apply to Camembert, and it would be easy to achieve a tariff-free trade in dairy, as Switzerland has.
Likewise, Britain has the second-biggest car market in Europe, with Volkswagen, BMW, Audi and Mercedes taking a quarter. No car producer in Europe could afford a tariff war with one of Europe’s biggest and fastest-growing markets.
There have been several failed attempts by the EU to curb the pre-eminence of the City of London. It is a unique critical mass of talent that owes little to the EU for its success, and is easily defended from outside, if necessary. There will be lots of sabre-rattling by the EU along the way. It used to be hostile to the Swiss, but Europe’s economic interest prevailed and forced a deal, as it would with us.
The free movement of people is one of the EU’s fundamental freedoms but was not designed to cope with the massive disparities of income engendered by the accession of poor Eastern European states. This is UKIP’s most powerful argument.
We should follow the Swiss, allowing EU citizens to take up residence in the UK (and vice versa) with the same employment rights, subject to having a job, health insurance and British immigration limits. Nor would an exit spell the end of cross-border action against drugs smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism. Interpol’s 190 members co-operate perfectly well without harmonising laws.
In short, we can get a good deal from the EU, and the EU knows it.
Exit is neither high risk nor frightening. Just as the ability to walk away means you can strike a better price for that house or car, so having an attractive alternative allows us to get a better deal in Europe. Any deal to stay in should be much more ambitious than anything the Government has so far suggested.
We should not sign up to the justice-undermining European Arrest Warrant or give the European Court a say in our justice system. We should revamp the EU regulatory machine to cut the thousands of rules that pour out of Brussels every year. And we should exempt every small and medium-sized business that does not sell to the EU from all single market regulations, freeing them to compete in China, Brazil and India.
Most important, we must win back control of our destiny and democracy – with a permanent right to opt out of EU proposals against our national interest.
The choice in the referendum should be between exit, which offers opportunities for growth greater than we currently enjoy, or a radically reformed Europe in which Britain can shed the job-destroying red tape while recovering control of matters vital to the very nature of our country. They are two attractive futures – both better than where we are now.
Flashman author's tirade from beyond the grave at 'fascist' political correctness
Sir Harry Paget Flashman couldn’t have put it better. George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels, branded political correctness an ‘insidious’ and ‘dishonest’ evil as big a threat to free speech as communism and fascism.
The author of 12 books chronicling the further adventures of the sadistic bully from Tom Brown’s Schooldays, launched his tirade in an unpublished memoir just discovered by his family.
MacDonald Fraser, who died in 2008 aged 82, wrote: ‘My chief concern is the kind of prejudice rooted in the fear of being thought illiberal. Such attitudes are dangerous and intellectually dishonest.
'But then, political correctness is by definition dishonest and is, I believe, the most insidious doctrine to plague the Western world since those abominable soul mates communism and fascism with which it has more in common than its dupes seem to realise.
‘It cannot face truth; it rejects what is, simply because what is does not suit what the politically correct thinking ought to be.’
The comments are likely to delight fans of his books who love the character’s bad behaviour.
Flashman’s womanising, heavy drinking, casual racism, bullying and outrageous cowardice make him one of the most un-PC characters in the whole of English literature.
MacDonald Fraser, who wrote several Hollywood film scripts, also recalls how he was forced to remove a scene based on real events where unscrupulous white whisky traders peddled alcohol to Plains Indians for fears scenes of drunken ‘Native Americans’ would upset their descendants.
He writes: ‘They wouldn’t like to think that it happened, so it musn’t be shown happening, even though it did. God help history.’
His family discovered the manuscript, called The Bug Of Senachie, six weeks ago while sorting out his collection of papers. A Senachie is a teller of tales from the Scottish Highlands.
The manuscript is not dated but the author’s reference in it to having written 11 Flashman books means it was written between 1999 and 2005.
His daughter Caro Fraser, who found the manuscript, said: ‘It hasn’t been published anywhere and I think he wrote it with an eye on posterity.’
The author’s family are selling his extensive working library of 2,500 books through the Mayfair bookseller Heywood Hill, which will publish the manuscript at the end of May to coincide with the sale of the books from June 2.
Soviet Sweden? Model Nation Sliding to Third World
When President Barack Obama visited Sweden last year, he expressed his deep admiration for the Swedish model. But that should make Americans a little nervous.
One U.N. report says Sweden will be a third-world nation in about 15 years, below Libya and Bulgaria. Sweden is a society that believes it is racing into the future, but critics warn that it is racing to the bottom.
It has been a laboratory for all kinds of social experiments: Swedish leaders are trying to build the perfect society.
The country has been compared to two nations that also tried to build perfect societies: North Korea and the Soviet Union.
In Sweden, if you don’t like how utopia is being built, you won’t be shot like in North Korea, but your life could become very unpleasant, very quickly.
A Perfect Society?
A YouTube video shows a journalist from one of Sweden’s leading tabloids, Expressen, confronting a Swede at his home.
The man, a professor, made what he thought were anonymous negative comments on a website about immigrant problems in Sweden.
But left-wing hackers helped the newspaper track him and others like him down so they could be exposed before the whole nation as racists. Another man, a manager, was fired because of it.
Sweden’s leftist establishment and media believe a cornerstone of their perfect society is multiculturalism: large scale immigration from some of the poorest, most backward nations on earth. Swedes who disagree with that plan risk being labeled racist, fascist, even Nazi.
“Immigration is the starting point and the finishing point. It’s the most important point to prove you’re friendly toward foreigners, you’re friendly toward immigration,” Danish journalist Mikael Jalving, author of the book Absolut Sweden, said.
“It’s all about whether you can be said to be hostile to immigration. Once that is ‘proven,’ you’re out of the game. Once you’re ‘proven’ to be a racist or fascist or nationalist, which is almost as bad, you cannot have any legitimate positions or points of view,” he explained.
It doesn’t matter if Sweden’s immigration model is failing miserably, if test scores in Swedish schools are plummeting, or if crime in some areas has skyrocketed. Immigrants burned the Stockholm suburb of Husby for over a week last year.
Many Jews now live in fear of attacks by Muslim immigrants and are leaving.
Amun Abdullahi, a journalist for Swedish radio, left last year and returned to her native Somalia after she was attacked in the Swedish media over her news report about radical Muslim immigrants in Sweden.
She told Swedish television that Mogadishu was safer than then immigrant areas in Stockholm.
And forget about an American-style “melting pot” in which immigrants will someday learn to become Swedish. In Sweden, that’s a racist idea, too.
Jalving said Swedes are supposed to learn from immigrants, not the other way around. There is a demonstrated hatred of Swedish culture among the nation’s elite.
“Assimilation is completely out of the question,” Jalving told CBN News. “All mainstream political parties would laugh [at the word 'assimilation']. [To them] the word ‘assimilation’ is a Nazi word.”
CBN News talked to several journalists who described a Stalinist-style atmosphere in which Sweden’s citizens are now afraid of saying anything that might get them labeled in the media as “racist.”
“If they point at you and say you are a racist, then you will have no job, no career, you might lose your family. You will have no future,” Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist said.
Carlqvist and Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard run the online newspaper Dispatch International, which covers issues like immigration that the mainstream media in Sweden ignore.
But Carlqvist admits their plan for a traditional newspaper failed because Swedes were too scared to have the paper delivered to their homes.
“Because what if the mailman saw if you had this newspaper, or your neighbor saw it? Then they might think that you are racist or that you hate Muslims,” Carlqvist said.
“We thought we could make an impact. We still think we can make an impact, but it’s tough going,” Hedegaard said.
Dispatch International had to drop online subscriptions, too, after repeated hacker attacks because Swedes were again afraid of being exposed. The website now hangs on through donations.
A Third World Country?
Sweden has become a nation where some viewpoints are simply too risky to even read.
“What some Swedish parents advise their children nowadays is to not to interfere in the public discussion, not to express so-called ‘radical’ ideas about this or that that is critical of the consensus in Sweden,” Jalving said. “It’ll harm them in one way or another. The Swedes want to protect their children.”
“That is a very bad situation because you then live in a country where you cannot solve any problems. You do not even know what the problems are,” Hedegaard said.
Hedegaard, a Dane, was nearly killed last year in Copenhagen by an immigrant who came to his door and fired a gun at him.
Carlqvist, a Swede, has decided to leave Sweden because of the persecution of those who dissent.
Sweden is not going to become a third world nation tomorrow. But according to one report, one day it will.
“We had a perfectly good country,” Carlqvist said. “A rich country, a nice country, and in a few years’ time, that country will be gone.”
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.