The ayes to the right 304, the noes to the left zero…
The ayes to the right 304, the noes to the left zero…
James Wharton gave an assured performance on his big day, though it was William Hague who delivered the killer blows:
Poor wee Dougie.
“Why won’t Labour offer a say to the British public on Europe?”
James Wharton is having some fun with Ed Miliband this afternoon, mailing the Labour leader badges declaring support for a referendum:
“I was interested to read in the Mail on Sunday on 4 June that half of the Shadow Cabinet supports this move.
I am grateful for their support and hope you might relax your whip requiring them to stay away on Friday and instead allow them to attend and back the Bill.
Sheryl Murray, the excellent MP for South East Cornwall, has produced campaign badges that can be worn by supporters of the Bill. I am afraid though that the Mail on Sunday article did not identify who in your shadow cabinet supports and who does not. I enclose 14 badges with this letter, enough for half of the Shadow Cabinet, with one extra for you to wear should you decide to lead on this issue rather than running away from it! It might help you to put the accusations of weakness that have dogged your leadership behind you – I know this would be helpful.
Please let me know if you require any more, I would be happy to ask Sheryl to make them and hope to see you on Friday.”
At the beginning of the last decade over 60% of Britain’s goods exports was to EU countries. Over the last twelve years that percentage has fallen to 50%, as our goods exports to the rest of the world has increased from under 40% to 50%.
What’s more, Britain’s trade deficit with the EU is far greater than its deficit with the rest of the world. The idea they wouldn’t trade with us if we leave is farcical.
Thirdly, Europe is becoming less important in world trade. In 1990 the EU was 27 per cent of world output. By 2016 it will be just 18 per cent of world output, a pretty significant fall.
Food for thought come Friday.
Great work from Dutch journalist Tom Staal, who has exposed the shameless MEPs turning up to claim their €300 allowance at the European Parliament only to leave without doing any work. Every British man, woman and child makes a net contribution of €74.53 to the EU a year. This is what you get for your money.
Olive oil, conkers, baby pictures; it was only a matter of time before the next crazy diktat from the ban-obsessed EU. Now hectoring health ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg have agreed a prohibition on menthol cigarettes to try to stop younger generations from smoking. It now needs to go through the European Parliament, who can no doubt show just how joined up they are given they have just bunged hundreds of millions of pounds worth of subsidies to tobacco farmers. Absolutely menthol…
The smallest of mini-reshuffles announced at PMQs, with BT chief executive Ian Livingston replacing Stephen Green in December. Livingston will be trading his £9.1 million pay package, chauffeur rides to work and holidays to Martha’s Vineyard for a seat in the House of Lords. He is hated by the Communication Workers Union, though one detail will please the Tory backbenches in particular:
According to the This is Money back in 2008:
“His commute now is by chauffeur-driven car. He is picked up at 6am for delivery to BT’s HQ near St Paul’s at 6.40am. He eschews the business lunch and tries to avoid all but the most important of evening engagements. He will do business breakfasts ‘so long as they start promptly at 7.30am’”
He’s in for a surprise moving to the public sector…
“Weak” is the word Tory spinners want their MPs to repeat over and over (and over) again this morning following Miliband’s decision to duck the EU referendum vote. One particularly jubilant CCHQ source tells Guido “we are literally punching the air”. They will want to be wary of complacency though. Ed may well look weak now, though when the dust had settled in the run up to 2015 he has left himself in a position where he can still kill the Tories on Europe.
It isn’t impossible that this is part of a coordinated strategy to overtake the Tories on the inside and pledge a referendum in 2015. It is certainly no coincidence that abstaining leaves Miliband room to do so, as the Labour For a Referendum campaign will be arguing for the next two years. Indeed one of James Wharton’s greatest fears has been that they would spring a surprise and ruin his fifteen minutes. Guido wouldn’t even rule out Labour and the LibDems turning up on Friday, July 5. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition…
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Judging Blogs By Their Comment Threads | Dan Hannan
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The Belgravia Gallery reports:
“Having been asked by Nelson Mandela’s art publisher to represent his work,drawings mainly of Robben Island, we had the privilege of spending a morning with Mandela when he was signing the lithographs at his home in Johannesburg in December 2002. He delighted us with stories about a number of well known British personalities over the years when he was president. Perhaps the most surprising was his description of Margaret Thatcher as “Motherly” and he remembered how she had poured him tea and they had discussed various ailments and how after he returned home, she had sent him herbal remedies.”