Labour Campaign Guru Sends Attack Six Months Late

Douglas Alexander, the Shadow Foreign Secretary / Sidelined Election Boss / Soon To Be Former MP has jumped on comments from Sajid Javid, who told a Lobby lunch that he would not shed a tear should Britain leave the EU.

Just as he said in an interview last week, and just as he said last year.

This is nothing new, yet here come the press releases:

“We already know that the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, would contemplate a British exit. Now the Culture Secretary has added his name to the list of Tory politicians who would be willing to put jobs and investment at risk by pulling Britain out of Europe.”

Now? Six months late. If this is the level of attention Wee Dougie is paying, then no wonder he’s up the creek…

Javid Joins Plain Packs Cabinet Split
Culture Secretary: We Shouldn’t Be “Frightened” of Brexit

Sajid Javid has joined the 80 to 100 Tory MPs considering voting against the government at Jane Ellison’s plain packs free vote. In his House magazine interview today, the Culture Secretary issued a thinly-veiled dig at the health zealots in his party ignoring evidence from Australia that the world’s toughest anti-smoking laws there ain’t working:

“I will be driven by the evidence. I haven’t decided yet which way I’m going to vote. What I’m taking into account already is that there’s a lot that’s already been done. I don’t smoke but people choose to do so, that’s up to them.

I think government has a duty to try and discourage people. We do that through the tax system at the moment, we do that through the recent rules that came in about newsagents putting tobacco products behind their covers. But also from April this year there’s a new EU directive that 65% of the pack has to be a health warning. When I lived in Singapore they already had that rule and they have some pretty gruesome, hard-hitting health warnings.

So these are big changes already taking place. I’m fully aware that Australia has been among the first countries to use the plain packs. I’m not sure if there’s enough evidence yet, given it’s quite recent, about the impact that can have. But I think that whenever one looks at these kind of changes, you need to be driven by the evidence.”

Saj also becomes the second top Tory in 24 hours – after Boris yesterday – to make Eurosceptic noises. On an EU referendum he says “if they [the public] decide to end that relationship then that is not something anyone should be frightened of”. Wonder what they both have in common…

Boris Backs Brexit (Possibly)

In every modern Tory leadership election the candidate who has made the most anti-EU noises has won. Ergo, here is Boris’ intervention in this week’s Time magazine:

“I think Brexit is possible … [Britain] would very rapidly come to an alternative arrangement that protected our basic trading interests. I must be clear. I think there would be a pretty testy, scratchy period … [but] it wouldn’t be disastrous.”

He’s said it before, but this time he’s said it a little louder. Over to you, Theresa…

Fate of Eurozone Rests in Hands of Videogame Expert

yanis

It was confirmed today that the finance Minister of Greece and thus by proxy the person charged with saving the Eurozone will be the economist Yanis Varoufakis, a self described “erratic Marxist” with an interesting recent job history – three years ago he was hired by the videogame company Valve to manage their real and virtual economies. Yanis has said that he used his time at Valve to sharpen up his understanding of how economies work and used Valve’s internal economies as a test-bed for “meaningful experimentation” on his economic theories. Valve keep their sales figures secret.

Just a couple of years ago Mr Varoufakis was writing in great detail on the Valve company blog about the intricacies of trading laser guns, keys and earmuffs in the videogame Team Fortress 2 – something he likened to Adam Smith’s “concept of an economy that sprang from a penchant for pure exchanges”.

It’s probably worth a shot…

EU Fan Boys: Euroscepticism = Anti-Semitism


To celebrate Holocaust Memorial Day, EU lobbying group British Influence have published a tasteful piece attempting to link anti-Semitism to Euroscepticism:

“It is no coincidence that rising anti-Semitism and warnings of a “Jewish exodus” from Europe come at a time when hostility towards the European Union is gaining momentum in the public discourse.”

Needless to say this has gone down rather badly. The editor of the Jewish Chronicle doesn’t like the juxtaposition:

A taster of how dirtily the Eurocrat establishment will fight any EU referendum. Straight out of the Better Together play-book…

EU Removes Hamas From Terror List Days After Rocket Parade

Another stunning intervention on international affairs from the European Union. The second highest court in Europe has today decreed that Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas be removed from the EU’s official terror blacklist, claiming the description of the group as terrorists is “based on conclusions derived from the media and internet, not sound legal rulings”. Just three days ago, masked Hamas gunmen marched through the streets of Gaza parading vehicle-mounted rockets supplied by Iran and burning effigies of Jews. Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq has praised the EU, saying: “This is the correction of an error and an injustice that was caused to Hamas“. Slow clap.

LibDems Spent £1.5 Million on Winning One Euro Seat

The Electoral Commission today reveals how much each party spent on their European election campaigns. The big bucks splashed by the Tories and UKIP meant they paid six figures for each seat won. Labour got best value for money, spending just over a million quid for their 20 seats, or just over £50,000 per MEP.

The LibDems blew £1.5 million with just one MEP to show for it…

Fois Gras Too Far: EU Bigwigs Debate Christmas Meal Bonanza

Good to see our EU overlords are dealing with the big issues this afternoon. Green MEP Keith Taylor has issued a stinging missive to European Parliament President Martin Schulz, demanding that fois gras is taken off the MEPs’ Christmas menu:

From: TAYLOR Keith 
Date: 3 Dec 2014 09:51:40 GMT
To: “SCHULZ Martin, President” 
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature 
Subject: URGENT: Request for removal of foie gras from JAN menu today

Dear President Schulz,

I’m emailing you in my capacity as Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s animal welfare intergroup because I’ve learned that today the Jan Restaurant will be serving MEPs a Christmas meal featuring foie gras.

As you will be aware,  the production of foie gras inflicts immense suffering on ducks and geese. The European Union’s own Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare – whose members include more than a dozen professors of veterinary medicine and animal science from across Europe – concluded that “force feeding, as currently practised, is detrimental to the welfare of the birds”.

Guido wonders if this call for a ban includes bloc de foie gras avec morceaux as well as the traditional and delicious pan fried stuff…

Poll: Public Backs Brexit if Cam Plan Fails

A poll for the Standard tonight finds Londoners currently want to stay in the EU by 45% to 37%, but the numbers reverse almost completely if Cameron’s renegotiation attempts fail. No pressure…

UPDATE: And a ComRes/ITV poll finds if […]

+ READ MORE +

Dave’s Brexit ‘Threat’

Dave is in the West Midlands for his big speech today, 46 years since the last time a top Tory chose that setting to crack down on immigration. Labour yesterday proposed a two year ban on new migrants claiming benefits, […]

+ READ MORE +

Who Is Tony Blair Trying to Kid?

Tony Blair, November 2014:

“And it was perfectly clear when it was taking shape in the late 1990s that countries were being pulled into it altogether on the basis of political will and that was always going to be

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Owen Patters On

Even when serving as Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson was plotting to be the standard bearer of the right. Inviting MPs over for weekends at his official residence, he would sound out potential allies. Since being sacked he has hosted […]

+ READ MORE +



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Rod Liddle:

“Family of 12 from Luton – including a baby and two grandparents who are suffering from diabetes and cancer – feared to have joined ISIS… yay – result! That’s saved us all quite a few bob, no? Carry on like this and we might clear the national debt.”

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