EU Furious at Taliban for Appointing Non-Inclusive and Unrepresentative Government

Today the EU has complained how quickly the Taliban reneged on their promise to form an “inclusive and representative” government. At least the Taliban are now merely engaging in a culture war…

In a statement released this afternoon, an EU spokesman said:

“Upon initial analysis of the names announced, it does not look like the inclusive and representative formation in terms of the rich ethnic and religious diversity of Afghanistan we hoped to see and that the Taliban were promising over the past weeks.”

“Such inclusivity and representation is expected in the composition of a future transitional government, and as result of negotiations.”

On Tuesday the Taliban unveiled its new ‘caretaker’ administration, which contains a grand total of zero women or non-Taliban members, while including a new interior minister who’s on the FBI’s most-wanted list. The EU’s plan to “engage” with them, provided they “respect human rights, the rule of law and freedom of the media”, lasted about ten minutes. Guido can’t see how the Taliban’s reputation can possibly recover from this…

mdi-timer 8 September 2021 @ 15:32 8 Sep 2021 @ 15:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Italian PM: Afghan Crisis “A Thorn In The Very Existence” of the EU

In light of the Afghan migrant crisis, Italian PM Mario Draghi is now questioning whether the EU is even fit for purpose, claiming “nobody has a clear strategy” on handling the influx of refugees, and criticising the bloc’s inability “to manage such crises”. You know the solution Mario…

Lamenting the fact both Austria and Hungary are refusing to accept more refugees, Draghi said:

“Europe, united by many principles, is unable to tackle the problem and this is a thorn in the very existence of the bloc… Nobody can claim to have a clear strategy at this stage. Nobody has a road map.”

Still, maybe an EU army will solve all their problems… 

mdi-timer 3 September 2021 @ 14:13 3 Sep 2021 @ 14:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Channel 4 Pushes Pro-Manager, Pro-Low Pay Report on ‘Labour Shortages’

Last night, Channel 4 News aired a report on labour shortages in Scottish fish processing plants. Unsurprisingly, it explained at length how a supposed Brexit horror show has made it more difficult for large firms to rely on cheap foreign labour. Sombre voiceovers and (unattributed) quotes from business chiefs animated over footage of empty boats conveyed the scale of the crisis: “The outlook is grim”, says one anonymous leader; “We have no applications coming in“, says another. They do at least interview one named factory manager on-camera, who laments how “the free movement has been taken away“, and blames his labour shortage “predominantly on Brexit“. There was just one thing missing from the report: any interviews with actual workers…

As Guido is repeatedly pointing out these days, managers and CEOs bemoaning their inability to undercut staff pay by importing cheap foreign labour isn’t likely to push the dial for most Brexit voters. Offer competitive wages, the applications will come in. Poorly-paid leave voters won’t lose much sleep over this report – their votes inevitably leading to better pay is exactly what the Leave campaign argued would happen, and what Leave voters bargained for. This genre of pro-low wage Brexit bashing may massage the egos of FBPE-ers, for many others it means thicker wallets…

mdi-timer 26 August 2021 @ 14:01 26 Aug 2021 @ 14:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Dowden Commits to Doing Away With “Pointless” Consent Cookies Requests

DCMS Secretary Oliver Dowden tells The Telegraph this morning that he plans to do away with “endless” cookie banners, the pop-up notices that plague our online browsing to tell us what is patently obvious, that websites store personal information about you. Some nerds will wet the bed at this news. Guido set this as a test of whether divergence from the over-regulation of the EU was real. We have long campaigned to get rid of the stupid box-ticking that is required countless times a day…

Iain Duncan-Smith’s Taskforce for Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform – the group investigating how the UK can capitalise on its new regulatory freedoms post-Brexit – explained why the ‘Accept Cookies’ request is a waste of time:

“Both behavioural science and common sense tell you that putting a ‘tick to accept’ box in front of someone at the point they want to access a website or service does not generate genuine informed consent, it just means people are likely to tick ‘accept’ without thinking…a good measure of whether reform is successful will be the end of pointless cookie banners.

Before data privacy fetishists get all angsty, here are some suggestions as to how transparency and privacy can be monitored less intrusively:

  • A toggle could be set at browser level by users one-time to “accept cookies”
  • Websites by default would presume cookie acceptance, whilst being required to allow those users who wish to reset cookie preferences on a standardised privacy page such as websitename.com/privacy
  • Websites could be just required to list cookie providers

Here at Guido, because we want to provide a free-to-air service funded by advertising, we drop advertisers’ cookies. Consequently, we take a militant line against people who want to loot our content without being exposed to the advertising that pays the salaries and expenses that go into producing that content. That is the bargain we make with readers.

Think of the productivity boost from not wasting time every day you are online clicking on irritating cookie banner pop-ups. This alone will make Brexit worthwhile…

mdi-timer 26 August 2021 @ 09:53 26 Aug 2021 @ 09:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cheapskate Meat Chief Bemoans Loss of Cheap Foreign Labour

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has claimed that a staff shortage as a result of the UK’s post-Brexit immigration laws is hampering food production, leading to an “inevitable” delay in the delivery of gammon roasts and pigs in blankets this winter. BMPA chief executive Nick Allen insists that a “12-13%” reduction in the number of European lorry drivers has meant that “some of the pig processors are having to cut down on how many pigs they are processing a week”, which will have knock-on effects for winter supplies because “it’s more difficult to time the supply of pigs in the same way that you can for Christmas turkeys”. Blaming a lack of gammon on Brexit will no doubt put the usual FPBE crowd in hysterics…

The solution is straight-forward: attract more Brits to drive lorries by offering them more attractive wages. Large retailers have already figured this out; they’re paying their drivers sign-on bonuses of up to £5,000 and having little trouble hogging supply. This isn’t a bug of Brexit, it’s a feature. While meat-headed industry bosses would rather wallow over the loss of cheap foreign labour than pay domestic workers more, soon they’ll have to accept that their ability to underpay staff is over. Too stub-boar-n to open the piggy bank…

mdi-timer 25 August 2021 @ 13:15 25 Aug 2021 @ 13:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
European Council President Explains Benefits of Independence

Guido spotted an interesting quote today from European Council President Charles Michel, who took the opportunity to reflect on the 30 years since Ukraine declared independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union:

“I will go straight to the point: independence means sovereignty, and it means territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders.”

Maybe Michel’s finally seen the light after his previous warning that independence has ‘consequences‘. In any case, Guido’s always pleased to find points of agreement with our European neighbours…

mdi-timer 24 August 2021 @ 17:00 24 Aug 2021 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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