The UK Independence Party faces a “wave of resignations” amid grassroots fury over the revelation that its new leader offered to stand down candidates at the next election and disband the party if the Conservatives agreed to hold a referendum on EU membership. Read in full in the Times.
“…America’s religious right is largely defined by divisive lifestyle issues such as gay marriage and abortion, the Christians influencing the Tories focus on social problems such as poverty and delinquency. Hence their attractiveness to the Conservatives’ largely non-believing strategists and policy wonks.” Read in full in the Economist
“There is one promise that David Cameron makes regularly that even the shadow Cabinet doesn’t believe he intends to keep: that he is going to end the era of ‘sofa government’ and bring back ‘Cabinet government’. Their experience over the past four years has taught them that real power in the Cameron Tory party rests not in the shadow Cabinet room but in the suite of offices that Cameron, George Osborne and their advisers inhabit. Read in full in The Spectator
Based on a report from the TaxPayers’ Alliance it has been reported today that, “Drivers had to fork out £328MILLION in parking fines over the last year, figures reveal today. Critics claim the massive bill proves local authorities are fleecing motorists to fill their coffers. Posh Kensington and Chelsea Council in London raised the most per resident – taking the equivalent of £85.29 for every man, woman and child. Nearby Westminster nabbed the highest total – £35.4MILLION or £62.46 a head in the last financial year. But drivers were not just clobbered in London – King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council trousered £3.5million, or £37.64 a head.” Read in full at The Sun.
“A Belgian man diagnosed as being in a coma for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time. Rom Houbens was simply paralysed and had no way to let doctors caring for him what he was suffering.”I dreamt myself away,” says Houben, now 46, who was misdiagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state after a car crash.
Doctors and nurses in Zolder deemed him a hopeless case whereby his consciousness was considered “extinct”. Read in full at the Telegraph
There has been the predictable uproar from the British Press at the appointment of the new EU President, but is he such a bad chap as all that? A man who is a devout Christian, who goes on a monastic retreat every month, enjoys Japanese poetry and likes nothing better than a camper van holiday with his wife can’t be all bad. With his modesty and centre right convictions maybe this Belgium was all of the things that his British rival is not. No wonder his friends and colleagues chose him.
Is he such a centralising European Federalist? He strikes me as being much more like Schumann and Monet who wanted to build a friendly and compliant Europe. And before we sneer too much at Sarkozy, Berlusconi and Merkel lets remember who we would have had at a European leaders conference seventy years ago. Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Deladier, Chamberlain. The Poles were trampled underfoot and soon to follow were the Danes, Norwegians, Dutch and Belgium. Maybe Europe could be in a worst state?
Just in case anybody thinks I am getting soft in the end I support a Europe which cooperates in free trade but does not interfere in our foreign affairs, taxation, education, criminal, employment or social policy.
I certainly don’t subscribe to the theory that foreign politicians are any worse than our own.
“The reason we use carbon-based energy is simply that it is far and away the cheapest source of energy, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Switching to much more expensive energy may be acceptable for us in the developed world. But in the developing world, there are still tens of millions of people suffering from acute poverty, and from the consequences of such poverty, in the shape of preventable disease, malnutrition and premature death. So for the developing world, the overriding priority has to be the fastest feasible rate of economic development, which means, inter alia, using the cheapest available form of energy: carbon-based energy.”
Lord Lawson also announces the launch of a new all-party think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (www.thegwpf.org). The Times