SOS - heroes and villains
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For the last several years, Iris Binstead has been steadily publishing Save Our Sovereignty reports to alert the British people to EU threats to the privacy, freedom, sovereignty and prosperity of the British people. In her latest SOS she reports on everything from increasing travel restrictions to government deception to EU-funded pools in the Caribbean.
The heroes of this latest SOS are Dame Stella Rimington, former head of MI5, Dr Richard North of eureferendum.com, Lady Anne Winterton, Global Vision, a number of MEPs, Stuart Wheeler, the Economic Research Council, Julius Silverman, Campaign for an Independent Britain and the Irish people.
You will readily identify the villains.
Iris has asked us to publish SOS, and we are happy to do so. Here is the latest SOS report.
EU COMMISSIONERS RECEIVE MILLIONS
According to a research paper published by Open Europe, 23.3.09,
European commissioners leaving office later this year will receive more than £1 million each in pension payments and so-called ‘transitional’ and ‘resettlement’ allowances. If 20 commissioners leave after the European election, it would cost EU taxpayers £23 million.
Lord Mandelson is reported to have received a £1 million pay-off when he left the Commission last year. UK Commissioner Catherine Ashton, who replaced Lord Mandelson and has been in the job for less than a year, will qualify for a pension of £9,600 a year in addition to three years transition payments plus £18,700 resettlement allowance. (News of the World, 23.3.09).
In the Daily Telegraph, 31.1.09, Simon Heffer reported that,
in order to keep his lavish pension and allowances, Lord Mandelson must not criticise the EU and does not have to declare his financial interest. This ruling also applies to at least 11 other members of the House of Lords and a number of MPs.
EU REGULATIONS AND HIGH FOOD PRICES
According to an Open Europe report, which appeared on the Conservative Home Blog, 5.2.09,
the cost of regulation in the UK over the last ten years was £148.23 billion, equivalent to 10% of our GDP, almost £107 billion of it resulting from regulations emanating from the European Union. Since 2005, the annual cost of regulation has almost doubled from £16.5 billion to £28 billion.
Gerard Batten, MEP, has produced a cost assessment for the year 2008 and has compared the figures with those of the previous year.
In 2008 the net cost to the UK of membership of the EU, including regulation, was £55,775 billion. Net contributions to the EU budget were £4.7 billion, other payments to the EU £3 billion, Common Agricultural Policy £16.8 billion and the Common Fisheries Policy £3.275 billion. EU Regulation accounted for the remaining £28 billion. The cost to the individual British taxpayer in 2008, according to government figures, was £2,011.
The March bulletin of the Campaign for an Independent Britain states that the
high food prices imposed by the EU cost each family over £1,000 per year.
The Daily Telegraph, 12.1.09, reported that food prices are set to rise following the European Parliament backed plans to cut the use of chemicals. Farmers say that around 10% of chemicals will come off the market in the next few years, including many that are essential for the production of staple crops. They claim that the ban could halve potato crops, cause the loss of the entire carrot crop and reduce wheat yields by one fifth.
With his eyes wide open to hidden agendas, Dr Richard North, Eureferendum blog, 24.3.09, reports that the EU has appointed Lutz Meyer, a German advertising company, to manage a £28 million advertising account to persuade us to vote in the European elections on 4th June.
ROYAL MAILThe Government wants to part-privatise the Royal Mail. During Prime Minister’s questions on 4th March, presided over, in Gordon Brown's absence, by Harriet Harman, Deputy Prime Minister, (Lady) Anne Winterton, MP, asked for confirmation that: "…the real reason for part-privatising Royal Mail stems directly from European Union postal legislation, which forced Royal Mail to divest itself of its most profitable business, thereby handing it over lock, stock and barrel to European competitors". Harriet Harman responded that the "real reason" was "the analysis in the Hooper report, which we commissioned as long ago as December 2007".
The Hooper report states that
the part-privatising of Royal Mail results from European Union postal legislation and EU state aid rules.(Post offices are subject to regulations 97/67/EC and 2002/39/EC, Ed).
EU INSTITUTIONS EXEMPT FROM TAXES
Private Eye, 2.4.09, reports that, thanks to an EU directive, the Commission is exempt from taxation, both direct and indirect, so EU institutions need not pay any property, regional or local taxes. The Commission can avoid putting out its contracts to tender for building in Brussels 'the second most important diplomatic centre in the world'. This was criticised by the Court of Auditors but was allowed by the Commission under its own regulations.
BBC POLLUnsurprisingly, a BBC poll revealed that
55% of those asked said that they would like Britain to leave the EU and have a looser trading agreement with it; 84% do not want any further integration.
According to Stuart Wheeler, the spread-betting millionaire who tried to hold the government responsible for its referendum promises in court,
The EU is an economic disaster worse than the recession. Whereas the recession will end some time, the EU may not.
Wheeler says the costs of EU membership are enormous and he can see no benefits from it that we could not obtain by normal agreements and cooperation with other member states or with the EU itself.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN?
According to the Daily Telegraph, 24,3.09, ContactPoint, the child protection database is in disarray after significant security flaws were discovered. This database is supposed to protect England’s 11 million children by giving authorities such as police, health professionals and council officers access to information on schools, GPs, etc.
Loopholes have been discovered in the system designed to hide details of the most vulnerable young people and the launch has again been delayed. Fresh calls have been made for the scrapping of this £224 million index after the third delay. The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, a civil liberties group, has already described it as "almost certainly illegal".
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO OUR PRIVATE LIVES?
Under Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), everyone has the right to respect for his private life and his correspondence. Public authorities may interfere with the exercise of that right only in accordance with the law and where necessary in a democratic society, inter alia, in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. Despite this our government, under EU Directive 2006/24/EC, is forcing telephone companies and network providers to log all our telephone calls, texts and emails, keep them on record for a year, and hand them over to the authorities if asked.
According to the Daily Telegraph, 17.2.09. Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has said that
the Government is exploiting the fear of terrorism to erode our civil liberties and risks creating a police state.
In 2005 she described ID cards as "absolutely useless". Last year she criticised the Government’s attempts to extend the period of detention without charge for terrorism suspects to 42 days as excessive. The plan was rejected by Parliament.
The Daily Telegraph, 25.2.09, reports that the Customer Information System, which is being used as a model for the controversial ID card scheme, has been accessed illegally 30 times. It was revealed by the Department of Work and Pensions, which shares information with councils, courts and government departments, that local authority staff had broken access rules on a number of occasions since August 2006
The Sunday Telegraph, 8.3.09, reported that the Government has been forced to make an embarrassing about-turn over plans to share large amounts of private data on individuals which it had hoped to push through under the controversial Coroners and Justice Bill, Article 152. Jack Straw has been forced by "strength of feeling" to rethink the plans. An attempt will be made to find consensus on a scaled-back version of this clause.
A report from Berlin dated 13.2.09 states that Peeter Altmaier, the German Interior Ministry's Parliamentary State Secretary, confirmed that
the German government is insisting on an expeditious broadening of police powers within the EU, which would give foreign authorities comprehensive access to national databanks, including the "exchange of photos, fingerprints or DNA data".The suggestion is that, in future, the exchange of data between individual EU states should be just as easy as "between North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, between Hamburg and Bremen". This statement was made following this year’s European Police Congress held in Berlin.
The Daily Telegraph, 14.3.09, disclosed that travel plans for everyone going abroad, even for a day trip, will be recorded and stored on a database for up to ten years. This will include
weekend sailors and sea fishermen, owners of light aircraft and even swimmers attempting to cross the Channel.Travellers will have to supply information such as home and email addresses, passport and credit card details. These checks are being brought in piecemeal by the UK Border Agency. By the end of the year, 60% of journeys out of Britain will be affected.
LIES AND DECEIT
Despite Edward Heath’s assurance that our membership of the Common Market, which we joined in January 1973, would not lead to any loss of sovereignty, it now transpires that many parliamentarians had been aware since 1961 that political union was planned. This is evidenced by Hansard reports, eg, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, 31st July 1961 (column 928) -
“This is political as well as an economic issue. Although the Treaty of Rome is concerned with economic matters, it has an important political objective, namely to promote unity and stability in Europe which is so essential a factor in the struggle for freedom and progress throughout the world”.
Also: On 2nd August 1961 (column 1478) Julius Silverman drew attention to the fact that on the 28th June he moved a Motion about the European Common Market in the following terms.
That this House, being gravely concerned at the pressure to make this country enter a European Common Market and the consequent threat to subject its independence, its membership of the Commonwealth and its right and power to plan its economy in its own way, to a political union with Germany, France, Italy and Benelux, as well as a threat to the survival of the Commonwealth inherent in these proposals, urges Her Majesty’s Government not to enter into any negotiations concerning such entry until expressly empowered so to do by a conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers and by this House.
BRITISH JOBS - NOT FOR BRITISH WORKERS
Free Britain, March 2009, the newspaper of the Campaign for an Independent Britain, stated that: "'Free movement of labour' is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union. For this reason Britain has an 'open door' policy for millions of EU citizens who wish to work here."
There is nothing we can do about it as long as we remain members of the EU.
According to the Independent on Sunday, 1.2.09, protests took place because of the employment of Italian and Portuguese workers on the £200 million plant at the giant Lindsey Oil Refinery in North Killingholme, North Lincolnshire. Unions claimed that British workers were not given the chance to apply for these jobs. The Sunday Times of the same date reported that Gordon Brown would go to Europe to seek new legal safeguards for British workers in an effort to head off a fresh wave of strikes.. It also stated that European laws had been distorted by two rulings by the European Court of Justice in 2007, which appeared to water down the rights of British workers. . .
The Sunday Expess, 1.2.09, reported that the Government had bent over backwards to assist both workers from other EU countries and asylum seekers from third-world countries and had also 'scattered around work permits for non-EU nationals like confetti at a wedding'. Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, declared that angry British workers were 'entitled to an answer' from companies hiring foreign staff, although he was well aware that Government policy was to blame.
According to EUObserver.com, 14.1.09, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Japan have been negotiating a new on-line piracy treaty – the ACTA treaty. The process is being carried out under extreme secrecy and it is impossible for the public or the media to enter into the discussions. So far the EU has ignored IT businesses and other organisations who wish to participate. The purpose of the treaty is the highly controversial belief that stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights would benefit the economy. This concept is challenged by studies at Harvard and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
According to the Daily Telegraph, 12.3.09,
the French plan to build a string of 'mini Sangatte' welcome centres for illegal immigrants wishing to come to England The centres which are to be sited near Calais, will provide showers and food for asylum seekers and information on how to claim asylum on arrival in England.
The Daily Mail, 10.2.09, disclosed that only 35 of the 7,000 illegal immigrants involved in the Home Office security guard vetting scandal have been deported. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, had promised to take tough action against those wrongly cleared to guard government buildings.
According to the Daily Express, 23.2.09,
taxpayers are spending £1.8 billion a year on 36 quangos, which are 'not fit for purpose'.
The report states that many of these bodies are duplicating the work carried out at national level and in some cases are squeezing out private sector rivals.
Produced jointly by Global Vision and the Economic Research Council, the report looked at a range of quangos from the Community Plant Variety Office and the European Aviation Safety Agency to the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union and the European Fisheries Control Agency. The European Research Agency, set up to 'stimulate scientific excellence' was the most costly. The report claims that, if present trends continued, the number of taxpayer funded bodies could reach 70 by 2026.
One of these quangos is the European Institute for Gender Equality. In his newsletter Straight Talking, Roger Helmer, MEP, reported that MEPs had received a booklet advising them on
'appropriate language' when dealing with gender issues. The terms Miss or Mrs, Mademoiselle or Madame, Fraulein or Frau should not be used. Words such as man-made are considered discriminatory, synthetic should be used instead. No satisfactory alternative has been suggested for waiter or waitress, so these are still acceptable.
According to Mr Helmer, Philip Bradbourn, MEP, has informed the authorities that he will continue to use his language in his own way and Ashley Mote, MEP, has stated that, as a former journalist and now columnist and author, he was appalled by the display of ignorance and wilful misunderstanding of the English language.
'ELF AND SAFETY
Firemen, who are trained to climb 300 ft ladders, have been ordered by Health and Safety
not to climb up small step ladders because of safety concerns. Instead they have been told to use a special telescopic rod when checking and fitting smoke alarms rather than using step ladders. The move has been 'blasted' by firemen and one said: "It is preposterous. Climbing a ladder safely is an integral part of being a fire-fighter." (Daily Mail, 6.4.09).
During the last Irish referendum campaign against the EU's constitution (also known as the Lisbon Treaty), my son spent some time in Ireland helping the NO campaign. One of his contacts was Roger Cole of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) (www.pana.ie).
It is illegal for Irish political parties to receive donations from non-Irish people, but anyone who would like to support the NO campaign for the second referendum expected to take place in October, can join PANA by paying an affiliation fee of £45 (waged) or £15 (non-waged).
Cheques/postal orders should be made payable to PANA and sent to PANA, Dalkey Business Centre, 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co Dublin, Ireland.
British supporters can also set up a British Friends of Ireland Group to seek to mobilise support for their campaign for a NO vote. Ireland’s fight for democracy is also ours and a victory for democracy in Ireland would be a victory for Britain.
WORKING TIME DIRECTIVE
According to the Mail Online, 22.1.09, Britain announced another massive rise in unemployment figures. The European Court of Justice has ruled that employees, even those on long-term sick leave, possibly years, are entitled to holiday pay when they return to their jobs. These 'rights' are being created under the Working Time Directive (93/104/EC). The Confederation of British Industry reports that long-term absences already cost business £5.3 billion a year.
Negotiations on Britain's opt-out from the EU’s 48-hour week began on 17th March after the original agreement preserving the opt-out was voted down in the EU Parliament last December. The Daily Telegraph, 12.3.09, reports that,
if these 'insane' European rules are forced on this country, NHS patients will be faced with longer waiting times.
The extension of the European Working Time Directive would result in the loss of thousands of doctors' shifts. The Royal College of Surgeons says that trainee surgeons should work a 65-hour week in order to become properly trained. Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, said: "NHS staff have been absolutely clear that if the 48-hour working week is imposed
it will leave many junior doctors with insufficient experience. . . .Open Europe states that the Working Time Directive as it stands costs the British economy between £3.5 and £3.9 billion each year. If the Government loses in the negotiations, costs would rise to between £9.2 and £11.9 billion by 2011.
PARENTAL LEAVE DIRECTIVE
In a move which will adversely affect small business, the UK Government has agreed to end its opt-out under the Maastricht social policy agreement at the end of 2009. Under the EU framework directive 96/34/EC, either parent may take three months unpaid leave within the first two years of a child's life in addition to maternity leave.
EU FINANCIAL REGULATOR
The Daily Mail, 16.3.09, reports that the Conservatives have called on the Prime Minister to veto plans for a European Systemic Risk Council which could intervene in national financial markets. The Sun of the same date reports that a document from the European Commission states: "It’s not in the interests of the City (of London), which must be submitted to greater regulation, that we repeat past mistakes". George Osborne is quoted as saying the fact that the face that we need greater international co-operation on banking shouldn’t be an excuse for another power grab by the EU.
SWIMMING POOLS IN THE CARIBBEAN
The EU has spent almost £20 million of taxpayers money from development funds destined for poorer countries on swimming pools in the Caribbean. This money has be used to 'improve, renovate or build' pools in fairly prosperous French Guadeloupe. (Daily Telegraph, 16.3.09)
HOW MEMBERSHIP OF THE EU HAS CHANGED THE FACE OF BRITAIN By Tom Wise, MEP
In 24 easy-to-read pages, Mr Wise outlines the changes which have taken place in Britain since it joined the Common Market. He describes the changes to farming and the fact that prices of food are kept artificially high for the benefit mainly of French farmers. The Channel Islands are cited as an example of how well even a small state can adequately run its affairs outside the EU and mentions that the islands are exploring the potential of tidal power, harvested by equipment installed on the sea bed. Mr Wise discusses the fishing industry and says that the consumption of fish is increasing in the UK but we are relying increasingly on imports, and yet there is unemployment in the fishing industry due to the CFP quota system. The booklet also covers the problems caused by immigration and he concludes by saying that the UK had a little corner of earth of which it could be proud, or were able to, until the political elite decided to throw it away.
LISBON TREATY UPDATES
According to the Irish Times, 12.2.09,
judges at Germany’s highest court have indicated that they have doubts about the compatibility of the Lisbon Treaty with their post war constitution, the basic law. Five of the eight judges must approve the ratification Bill for Lisbon for it to come into force.
According to Euractive, 12.2.09, a ruling is not expected before May.
Open Europe, 18.2.09, cites a Die Zeit journalist who said that the
Lisbon Treaty is "unique in history" and does not, as it claims, increase EU democracy.
EU Observer, 14.1.09, stated that, in giving only half-hearted support for the Lisbon Treaty which he said was facing an uncertain future, the Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek had broken the EU's unspoken rule that presidency countries do not offer controversial opinions on sensitive topics. Mr Topolanek said:
"It's an average treaty, a bit better than the Nice treaty", and expressed annoyance about the pressure which member states were under to ratify it.
According to the Daily Telegraph, 25.3.09, the Czech government had earlier lost a vote of confidence, causing the Czech Republic to become the third victim of the economic crisis in a month after Latvia and Hungary. It is understood that Mr Topolanek will remain in post during the remainder of his six-month presidency of the EU. The next day the Daily Telegraph reported José Manuel Barroso, President of the EU Commission, as saying that the Czechs had an 'obligation' to pass Lisbon Treaty despite the government's collapse. Ratification is now thought likely to follow the Irish 2nd referendum, which is expected to take place next October. The Polish President has said that Poland will not sign Lisbon before the 2nd Irish referendum. (EU Observer, 21.1.09)
According to the Irish Times, 26.3.09, guarantees on the Lisbon Treaty were still under discussion. Taoiseach Brian Cowen reported to the Dáil that he was unable to report sufficient progress. He said that the government was working within a timeframe to have matters dealt with at the June European Council.
A report by Anthony Coughlan, Director of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre of Dublin stated that the German Ambassador had said that a second NO vote to Lisbon would have "horrific consequences" for Ireland. Professor Coughlan thought that the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty
would be hugely advantageous to Germany because it would base EU law-making on population size. Lisbon would double Germany’s voting weight on the EU Council of Ministers from its present 8% to 17% whilst Ireland’s voting weight would be halved from 2% to 0.8%.
A POEM FOR ST GEORGE’S DAY, 23RD APRIL(Author unknown)
Goodbye to my England, So long my old friend Your days are numbered, being brought to an end To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh that’s fine But don’t say you’re English, that’s way out of line.
The French and the Germans may call themselves such
So may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch
You can say you are Russian or maybe a Dane
But don’t say you’re English ever again.
At Broadcasting House the word is taboo
In Brussels it's scrapped, in Parliament too
Even schools are affected, staff do as they're told
They must not teach children about England of old.
Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw
The pupils don't learn about them anymore
How about Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem or Mons?
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons.
We are not Europeans, how can we be?
Europe is miles away, over the sea
We're the English from England, let's all be proud
Stand up and be counted – Shout it out loud!
Let's tell our Government and Brussels too
We're proud of our heritage and the Red, White and Blue
Fly the flag of Saint George or the Union Jack
Let the world know – WE WANT OUR ENGLAND BACK!
Once again many thanks to all who have so kindly sent donations. Despite these contributions, funds are running low and with postage costs going up, it would be greatly appreciated if those who have not contributed lately would consider doing so again. No amount is too small.
Please make cheques payable to SOS. 5 Battery Park, Polruan-by-Fowey, Cornwall PL23 1PT
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I am grateful to those who have already agreed to receive SOS by email and any more readers prepared to do so would they please send me their names, postal and email addresses. May I also thank those who have written to me or sent leaflets, articles and photographs etc. I apologise for not being able to reply individually. Iris Binstead
Copies of SOS being sent by post contain a leaflet from the Democracy Movement entitled 'Break Free from the Outdated EU – Vote NO – Don’t be Bullied'. Unfortunately it is too long to attach but, if you wish to support the Democracy Movement, please contact them at 72 Hammersmith Road, London W14 8TH.