EU Blows Cash on Racing Lithuanian Horse, Belarusian Tractor and Latvian Minivan

Guido was perhaps unfairly sceptical about the merits of ‘European Co-Operation Day‘ after watching their taxpayer-funded propaganda ‘rap’. Who can argue with what they spent their budget on previously?

According to their promotional literature, “Highlights from the past European Cooperation Day campaigns include a swimming marathon between Greece and Albania…”

“… a classical concert in a cross-border cave between Hungary and  Slovakia…”

“… 28 artistic companies, 140 performers, 40 acts and over 100 performances from France and the United Kingdom…”

And, best of the lot, “a race between a Lithuanian horse, a Belarusian tractor, and a Latvian minivan…”

Why do they do all this? The pamphlet explains:

“Does a bird know when it has flown over the border between France and Spain? Does a river change its course when it flows from Austria to Slovakia? Problems that we face nowadays —pollution, viruses, unemployment, storms, ageing population— are not limited by borders. Our ways of dealing with these problems should also overcome borders. That is why territorial cooperation is an essential tool for Europe”

When will the madness end?

How Welfare Spending Increased By £28 Billion Under the Coalition

Ahead of tomorrow’s Budget, Guido’s interactive chart shows just how well George Osborne did at cutting welfare spending during the last parliament:

The massively increased spending on pensions makes up most of the overall rise, though it is debatable whether old age ‘benefits’ should be included in the welfare budget.

That said, spending on sickness and disability benefits increased by some £7 billion.

The housing bill went up by almost £4 billion.

There was a small drop in the cost of unemployment benefits.

Overall, between 2010 and 2014, total spending on welfare increased by £28 billion.

Austerity? What austerity?

EU’s Taxpayer-Funded Rap, Graffiti and Skateboards Propaganda Video

To mark European Co-operation Day, your EU taxpayers’ money has been spent on this three minute long song serenading the “success” of the European project:

Lyrics include:

“It wasn’t always easy / 

But look at our success /

25 years and more to come /

Let’s celebrate this fact”

Presumably they have all the time in the world to skateboard and graffiti because EU youth unemployment is so high.

All together now: “Europeeeeaaaan co-operaaaaationnnn…”

Double Living Wage Hypocrisy Shocker

“Keep the living wage alive,” argues one of many articles published by the Fabian Society calling for a mandatory Living Wage.

It’s a bit of a theme: “a voluntary expansion of living wage employers” is not enough, they say.

“Time to make living wage a requirement,” insists another piece:

“We need politicians to make the living wage a requirement on public and private employers, not an optional extra. Leaving it up to voluntary schemes will never end the scandal of poverty pay. Government action is urgently needed, and the public support it. What are we waiting for?”

Well, the Fabians’ new Events and Office Assistant, based in London, will be waiting for some time before they are paid the London Living Wage. The advertised salary of £16,653 a year is well below the £18,080 the Living Wage Foundation say workers in the capital need. Seems they had a point when they said “Leaving it up to voluntary schemes will never end the scandal of poverty pay”…

The Fabians aren’t the only ones failing to practise what they preach. The Church of England says that “as well as encouraging other employers to pay the Living Wage, it is important for the Church to lead by example,” warning “it is morally unacceptable” for bosses to exploit low-paid staff.

This divine intervention clearly did not reach the Bishop of St Albans, who is offering a meagre £14,328 per year to be his parliamentary researcher, based in the House of Lords. What is it with these lefties and not putting their money where their mouth is…

Fabian advert spotted by @ajrmac

At Last! BBC Axe First 1,000 Jobs

An £150 million shortfall in the BBC’s licence fee income means 1,000 jobs are to be axed.

Back of a fag packet maths would point to these thousand employees being on £150,000 each…

UPDATE: The Beeb say this round of cuts will save £50 million, £50,000 per sacked employee.

Dave Kills Mood at Summer Party With Rant About Surveillance

Dave used last night’s champagne fuelled Tory summer ball to go off on one about terrorists and mass surveillance.

Speaking to a 850 strong crowd at a packed Hurlingham Club, Cameron said he was all for Muslims who call out and condemn terror, but argued that he sees it as his mission to tackle any violent ideology.

First in his sights who those that say things like “I don’t condone terror, but a caliphate is a good thing” or that we bring terrorism on ourselves and it’s all our fault because of Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel, or poverty in Muslim countries.

An emotional Cameron got things stirring by declaring that we can’t sit idly by as even if we left them alone they’re not going to leave us alone, they’ll come and destroy us and our way of life using the only methods they know.

Witnesses report he then went on a passionate defence of data gathering – having a dig at those who think the government is overreaching/turning into Big Brother.

The PM’s shaky justification for mass-surveillance was that we have always tapped phones and intercepted letters of organised criminals and the IRA, now that technology has moved on, we need to react.

Iffy: bugging Seamas O’Bomber’s landline is somewhat different from reading everyone’s emails.

It’s safe to say the civil liberties lobby were not out in force at the £450 per head event.

IDS Should Face Benefit Sanctions

welfare

Awkward, via PA:

Iain Duncan Smith had his official credit card suspended after running up more than £1,000 in expenses debts, it can be revealed.

The Work and Pensions Secretary was among more a dozen MPs subject to action by the Commons watchdog after failing to show spending was valid.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) issues MPs with credit cards for to pay for items such as travel and accommodation.

The politicians then have to prove the spending was genuine by the end of the month, or they build up debts to the watchdog.

What would the DWP have to say about such a flagrant breach of the rules?

  • 3 categories of sanction – ‘higher’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘lower’ – depending on the nature of the offence

Seems pretty serious: Higher.

  • different levels of sanction for first, second and third offences

Hardly the first time that the words ‘IDS’ and ‘expenses’ have been heard in the same sentence…

Certainly a case for suspending hand outs.

UPDATE: Team IDS get in touch:

“Iain has not had his card suspended. IPSA have confirmed twice in writing that this issue was an error on their part. To be clear no money is owed”

Yet IPSA still insist the credit card was switched off and that they stand by their original claim entirely. So who’s telling the truth?

Another Double-Jobbing Broadcast Boss Channel 4 Could Grill

Cathy Newman gave BBC Trust chair Rona Fairhead a going over on Channel 4 News last night for earning half a million quid from her second job at HSBC. On top of the £110,000-a-year she trousers from her 3 day week at the Beeb.

Tune in tonight where Cathy will surely be grilling another taxpayer-funded broadcast boss. Terry Burns is paid a salary of £100,000 for five days a month, which, like Rona, is topped up with a six figure second job as a director at a bank, Santander.

Except Cathy isn’t going to be grilling him this evening, because Burns is the chairman of Channel 4…

Neck an Ouzo, Save a Greek

greece indigogo

A 29 year old Londoner is trying to raise a bailout fund for Greece on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

Kind hearted well wishers are receiving Greek delicacies in exchange for donating to the fund. Grecian treats include:

  • Pledge €3

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Half a Million Sign Petition Against MPs’ Pay Rise

Looks like one poor sod has not taken the election result very well. They think they’ve worked out what went wrong over at 38 Degrees:

A RIGGED GENERAL ELECTION.
TO: HARRIET HARMAN.

Harriet Harman must force an enquiry into

[…]

+ READ MORE +

New MPs Already Have Their Snouts in the Trough

They have barely been in their jobs for eight weeks, but our new Honourable Members are already learning how to milk the system.

In addition to their imminent public sector pay freeze-busting 10% pay rise, these new MPs have already […]

+ READ MORE +

UKIP Introduces Foreigner Fee For Party Conference

The invitation arrives for journalists to attend UKIP conference in the autumn:
“There will be free registration prior to the 14th of September 2015, afterwards there will be a charge of £500 per person. However, please note if you are

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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William Hague on Tony Blair…

“To the political law that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time he added Blair’s law – that you can make a very serious attempt at it.”

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