February 2014

Somerset gives way to Ukraine

The EU, no money and no diplomacy!

Russian tank memorial in the UkraineRussian tank memorial in the Ukraine
So floods and why they happened and the role of the EU are yesterday's news. It's ironic that they were pushed off the front page by events in the Ukraine. In the Telegraph Liam Halligan wrote -

These protests began relatively peacefully back in November, when Yanukovych refused to sign a trade deal with the European Union. Again, many Ukrainians opposed this deal, not least because it demanded full market access for EU goods, without in turn granting Ukraine permission to export much of its farm produce to western Europe.

So far the EU and its apologists have managed to convince many people of the simplicity of the crisis in the Ukraine. Some Ukrainians are good, they want the EU while others are wicked, they want to remain aligned with Russia. This gross over simplification has been helped along by the usual suspects. Both the BBC and the Guardian seem only able to find quotes from Ukrainians who follow this line. But then it was much the same when the reports of unrest from Ireland and Greece came in. The problems, according to those interviewed by the media were many but only the lightest criticism of the EU was broadcast.

Floods for all?

Let's pretend the EU had nothing to do with this!

Pumps from Holland, and the carbon footprint is? Pumps from Holland, and the carbon footprint is?
When it comes to something tricky you can't beat an expert. As for the floods alas experts to help us prevent them seem to be in short supply. But the flooding of the Somerset Levels has been watched over by Christopher Booker and his vantage point has been his home, he lives in a Somerset village. So not only is he our man on the spot but an acknowledged authority on the EU. The flooding of the Levels is one of those EU ideas so we are in good hands with Booker. Who very often teams up with Richard North and it is the North blog that gives us what we need. North has pulled together the work of Booker and others, added his own and it is an ideal starting point. Naturally technical so heavy reading lies ahead but well worth the effort.

The MSM have done a different job, as they do. Pictures of elderly people in rubber boats being taken to safety by the authorities tell their own story. But what of the various organisations involved? Leo McKinstry had this to say. Naturally the supporters of big government, and the Environmental Agency is huge, are in a quandary. How to help the likes of Chris Smith, now Lord Smith of the EA, but without getting the wrong side of public opinion?


The political manifesto

Promises or hype, how can we tell?

It does what it saysIt does what it says.

The Ronseal company has always been proud of its advertising slogan 'it does what it says on the tin'. However, this sort of integrity does not extend to politics. It takes a great deal of effort to research, create and then promote a coherent manifesto.

But if it no longer has any value would it be such a bad thing to get rid of it? Perhaps it would be sensible and not a sign of politics dumbing down. For if the political parties are no longer bothered about the manifesto then this brings direct democracy a step closer.

Because small local groups could form with a view to taking power and would be spared a great deal of effort. In other words a political party is no longer something so special because of its huge resources.

So why bother with a manifesto at all? Tradition has it that a political party seeks credibility by
making a promise and then carrying it out. This brings trust, support and loyalty and so the party grows. The manifesto today is an altogether different thing. Not least because credibility is deemed old fashioned.

Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats made promises about student tuition fees that could not be kept.