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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

SCOTTISH VOTE COULD SURPRISE MANY !

There has been more speculation on how SNP candidates will change the future of politics in Westminster, than the economic policies needed to improve life "north of the border" ! 

In Scotland, to represent a population of 5.2 million people, 59 MPs are elected to the UK Parliament in London where a total of 650 UK MPs represent a total UK population of 63.2 Million . 

In the last General Election in 2010 Gordon Brown, the Scottish born Prime Minister, was staunchly backed in Scotland where 41 Labour MPs were elected.   He took over as Prime Minister from Tony Blair in 2007 when the country was in dire straits !  

David Cameron has spent the last 5 years  revitalising the UK Economy and even gave Scotland the chance to vote on Independence or just more Local Governmental powers.  Voters opted for the latter solution which was the most prudent but greatly disappointed the SNP (Scottish National Party). 

The Leader of SNP and a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Nicola Sturgeon has played a leading role in whipping-up Nationalist sentiments, with the double aim of increasing the number of SNP MPs and then getting another Referendum or Vote for Scottish Independence, but she is not a Candidate in this election !  

More SNP MPs would largely be at the expense of the Labour Party and its 41 MPs elected in 2010, particularly as Gordon Brown has now retired and Ed Miliband, the new Labour Leader is not Scottish but an Englishman living in Hampstead !

Temptation lurks at this point !  Would Labour and SNP be prepared to form a Coalition if there is a hung Parliament ?  Miliband and Sturgeon have a "love - hate" attitude on this.  Anything could happen and nothing is clear !         

Scottish electors are prudent realists !  They proved this in the Referendum !  Will they massively vote again for Labour or now for SNP ? 

Or will they want to avoid unsure solutions by voting in several new Conservatives or LibDems who have been in office and proved that things can get better ?  

What is quite clear is that another referendum on "Independence" must wait !  The next Referendum will be after Cameron has negotiated changes to EU Treaties in Brussels ! 

The Scottish vote next week could change many things, for better or for worse ! 

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

FOOTBALL : BOURNEMOUTH "CHERRIES" JOIN THE ELITE - AT LAST !

After their 3-0 victory last night over Bolton, the Bournemouth "Cherries" will be playing in the Premier League next season for the first time in their history !

This moment has been awaited for a long time, ever since April 1948, when they came second in the old Third Division (South) and stayed at that level for a long, long time !  It was QPR who were  promoted after they beat Bournemouth 1-0 in a mid-week match !

I have always been a QPR supporter but I have also kept a eye open for Bournemouth, often wondering what might have been, had they been promoted in 1948 !  

QPR have had their "ups and downs", moments of Glory and Hell !   The irony today is that  Bournemouth will join the elite and take the place of QPR who will drop into the Second Division again, 12 months after being promoted !

Congratulations Bournemouth and I wish you luck ! 

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

IS NICOLA STURGEON SEEKING HIGH OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GLORY ?

What is becoming quite clear is that Nicola Sturgeon wants to become the Deputy Prime Minister either in a coalition with the Conservatives or with the Socialists !  

Of secondary importance are the conditions she would impose for her SNP party !  These seem to depend on who is Prime Minister !  Does this not display a certain amount of arrogance ? 

Should she not now be fighting first of all for her electors, in particular on the issues which need to be resolved and which are still in the domaine of the responsibilities of the Westminster Parliament ?  

She must accept that last year in the Referendum, Scotland voted against total Independence !  She must also accept that this question cannot eternally become an issue each time there is an Election !  

In fact with the increased devolution of responsibilities, do Scottish voters not want to see how Scottish SMPs acquit themselves in their Holyrood Parliament, before again voting "for or against" Independence ?  

The next time the Scottish Electorate "clammers" for such a vote, their then Leader must prepare a Manifesto containing all the hard Financial facts and figures (agreed with the Chancellor in Westminster) justifying the main arguments and effects of Independence (or more Devolution) !  To say the least, those calculations will be complex ! 

Without entering into any of the details in this short article, there are two Acts of Parliament which both sides must also take into account !  They are the Act of Union of England and Scotland in 1603 and the Act of Union 1707. 

If or when there is another "Referendum" should all electors in the UK not have a right to vote ? The "Manifesto" must specify what assets Scotland would obtain in the case of Independence.  Will Scotland get North Sea Oil assets for example ?  They cannot be allowed to "cherry pick" some assets without considering connected obligations !

Timewise would it be reasonable, or even possible, to plan another Referendum within the next 15 years !  

In the current election, Nicola Sturgeon is jumping the gun and confusing voters !                                                                                                          
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Friday, 24 April 2015

EU : MORE FEATHER DUSTERS TO STOP IMMIGRANTS !

At a hastily convened Summit of all the Heads of State of the EU yesterday in Brussels, it was decided to triple the Budget allocated for the protection of the Frontiers of the EU ! 

The object is to curb the number of desperate would-be immigrants arriving at the Mediterranian ports, but also to reduce the number of immigrants currently drowning in their capsized boats by hundreds every week !

The immediate question is whether this solution will really change anything in the short or long term ! 

These miserable "immigrants" are in fact "refugees" !  Their homes have been destroyed, their families have been destroyed, they are destitute and had to flee, to save all that they had left, - their lives !

Oppressive Muslim Extremists have stolen their lands by force and aim to establish an Islamic State in the Middle East and, if possible, in Africa as well !  The more refugees that leave, the faster the Islamic "Utopia" can be achieved !   And even then it will not be big enough !

This problem cannot be solved by the EU alone ! Muslim Extremists are already operating "under cover" in countries all over the world !  There are new stories in the media every day ! Nothing really concerted has as yet been decided to combat such Terrorists. 

Should the United Nations not lead the way ?  Economic Unions like the EU can help but NATO and its WARFARE is really needed to fight-off  attacks by belligerent Muslims !  Countries which want to recover their lands and save their people,  would certainly help but are useless alone ! 

Where are the real Leaders in this World ?  There is no longer any time left for diplomacy !   The time for decisions and action has arrived !

                      .    

IMMIGATION MASSIVE : LA FAIBLE REPONSE DE L'EUROPE !

Tripler les moyens alloués au sauvetage en mer des migrants, envoyer plus de navires et d'hélicoptères, telle a été la réponse apportée ce jeudi 24 avril par les dirigeants européens confrontés au drame de l'immigration massive et clandestine.

Une décision humanitaire mais qui ne peut qu'encourager les migrants à tenter leur chance, en ayant maintenant l'assurance de parvenir à bon port ...  Pas de solution donc pour réduire le flux migratoire ou pour accueillir correctement ces nouveaux arrivants.

Certains "esprits malicieux" suggèrent même que les navires aillent chercher directement les migrants, au lieu d'attendre pour intervenir que leurs embarcations soient en perdition... !

DML





 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

FIFA : NO NEWS = NO NEW PROBLEMS ?

The 65th Congress of FIFA will take place on May 29, 2015 in Zurich.   The Accounts will be presented and the President of FIFA for the next four years will be elected ! 

Has anything changed since the resignation on December 19, 2014 of Garcia after which Blatter tempored criticisms by promising to publish a redacted version of his Report ?  Since then there has been nothing !  No redacted report has been made available, probably because certain issues are "sub judice" !  This, however, is not an acceptable excuse !  

There are four candidates for the presidency but no public, televised debate has taken place.  Blatter has refused point blanc on all occasions to participate in a debate.  This does not mean that even now the three other candidates could not join a world-wide televised discussion of all matters which merit a public airing !

Blatter could be re-elected for a fifth term of four years because section 30 (2) of the FIFA Statutes  expressly permit the re-election of the President. Other sub-sections have been modified during the last four years, but not sub-section (2) ! 

One cannot say that the reputation of FIFA has not been tarnished during the last four years.  The unpublished Garcia Report has provoked much unsavoury speculation and even allegations of wrongdoings which could lead to criminal prosecutions ! 

The 65th FIFA Congress promises to be explosive ! Will Blatter be re-elected ?   Will the accounts be signed by independent auditors without any reserves ?  Will sufficient provisions be made for ongoing legal problems ?  Will Blatter get all the usual promised votes to ensure his re-election ?

FIFA has become an undemocratic Totalitarian  entity !  If after this Congress nothing changes in FIFA once again, one must hope that someone among the 206 member associations will have the courage to propose fundamental and radical changes !

The game of football belongs to no one person or country or organisation ! 

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

SHOULD THE VOTING RIGHTS OF SCOTTISH MPs BE CLIPPED ?

If the SNP party seeks an increase in the rights  delegated to Scotland to govern its own internal affairs, this must necessarily lead to the cancellation of Scottish MPs' rights to vote in the Westminster Parliament on these same issues, if they do not concern Scotland ! 

This clearly highlights the difference between "just more local government rights" and "Total Independence" !  To be absolutely clear, this  concerns ALL Scottish MPs, not just SNP MPs !  This same principle must also apply if powers are delegated to Northern Ireland or Wales !

This issue could well become a rising problem in coming years !  

The Knock-on effect of this Principle would also be seen when regionally elected MPs participate in Coalitions !   After all, you can't have your cake AND eat it !   

                               .
 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

INDEMNITES DE RUPTURE : DES MODIFICATIONS EN VUE ?

Sur la chaine "Canal plus", dimanche 19 avril, François Hollande a indiqué que les indemnités en cas de rupture du contrat de travail et notamment du CDI, seront fixées selon "un barème précis par la loi Macron et seront donc connues avant l'embauche".

De quoi s'agira-t-il ?  l'indemnité de licenciement due au salarié est déjà très précisément définie par la loi : à partir d'une année d'ancienneté, le salarié licencié a droit, sauf faute grave ou lourde, à une indemnité égale à 1/5 ème de son salaire mensuel par année d'ancienneté;  après 10 ans d'ancienneté, le salarié perçoit en plus 2/15 ème de mois par année d'ancienneté après la 10 ème.  Les conventions collectives ou le contrat de travail prévoient souvent des barèmes plus favorables au salarié, barèmes bien définis également.

Si le licenciement est sans cause réelle et sérieuse, autrement dit abusif, des dommages-intérêts sont dus au salarié : au moins 6 mois de salaire pour les salariés ayant au moins deux ans d'ancienneté dans les entreprises d'au moins 11 salariés.

Dans les entreprises de moins de 11 salariés ou pour les salariés ayant moins de deux ans d'ancienneté, c'est au juge de fixer le montant des dommages-intérêts pour rupture abusive. Est-ce à cette situation que répondra la loi Macron ?  On attend avec impatience d'en connaître les dispositions ! 

DML

 

JETER DES MEGOTS A TERRE:QUELLE SANCTION?



Déposer, abandonner ou jeter des déchets sur la voie publique est strictement interdit sous peine d'une amende dont le montant maximal vient d'être porté de 150 à 450 euros (décret du 25 mars 2015) . Tous les types de déchets sont visés : mégots, sacs plastiques, déjections canines ...

Si le contrevenant est verbalisé sur place, une amende forfaitaire est prévue: 68 euros en cas de paiement immédiat ou dans les 45 jours, 180 euros au delà.

Ces sanctions suffiront elles à dissuader les salariés fumeurs  qui prennent leur " pause cigarette" sur les trottoirs parisiens d'y écraser leurs mégots ? Encore faudrait il que des réceptacles soient mis à leur disposition!

DML

UK : A SOCIALIST + SNP COALITION ?

The current stand-off relationship between Ed. Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon (I love you not !), could dramatically change on May 7, 2015 and turn into a forced marriage, if, the total MPs in their two parties would give them a ruling majority in the House of Commons !  

Would they then not "see reason"' and agree to get hitched in a "Coalition" to grab the reigns of Governmental Power ?

Nicola Sturgeon seems to have one ultimate aim for her Party, which is Scottish Independence.  Should her party not be called the SNIP (SNIndepenceP) ?  Whether another vote could be organised so shortly after the "NO" vote last year is the real question ! 

All the same problems remain to be solved before any new vote: 

1) Does Scotland want only more Local Government or does it really want TOTAL INDEPENDENCE ?
2) Real Independence means adopting a new currency, because Scotland will not get an open Credit Card from the Bank of England to pay its Bills !  Will it be the "thistle" or the EURO ?
3) Adopting the EURO as its currency means Scotland must abide by the stringent rules of the EUROZONE !  If they are infringed drastic sanctions are imposed !  Greece is an example !
4) Liberating Scotland from British "domination" means agreeing an economic cut-off  at an agreed date and time !  Pensions costs, Health Service costs, Defence Costs, Tax responsibilities, Embassy costs abroad, EU costs,...etc !

Scotland has a population of 5.3 million people which represents 8.4% of the total UK population of 63.2 million (2011 census figures).  Nine countries already in the EU have a smaller population than Scotland ! 
 
Ed Miliband must be warned and realise that in a Coalition with SNIP he will not be alone ! He will not always get his own way !
                         .   

      

Monday, 20 April 2015

WAVES OF IMMIGRANTS : ACTION IS REQUIRED !

With increasing frequency, one reads again and again that another boat full of desperate, would-be "Illegal" Immigrants, have perished trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach the shores of the EU ! 

This must now be stopped by a concerted effort of all the "international organisations" which until now have always talked, even preached, with "hope" but have never done anything concrete, to solve and prevent this well known catastrophy. 

The EU alone, without the active help of other Countries or Worldwide Organisations, cannot solve its immigration problem !  Are Extremist Muslims not creating emigrants by mercilessly  exterminating peaceful "non believers" or destroying the country in which they used to live ? 

Besides just talking what has the United Nations Organisation (UNO) actively done to end all the current conflicts in the Middle East and Africa ?  Just "Words and a few Feather Dusters" will achieve nothing and will certainly not stop further outbreaks of pure genocide. 

NATO also is a "mute" powerblock !  Who would dare to oppose NATO if it chose to use the force necessary extinguish these outbreaks ?  Does NATO not pretend to be the "policeman" of the world ? 

Let us not forget that refugees are not happy to be obliged to abandon all their possessions and  loved ones just to save their lives !

Also the EU and the EUROZONE must now, at last, put their house in order.  This implies strict controls at the point of entry, based on Treaties which must be more precise.  The EU today comprises 28 very "National" countries, many of which prefer selective immigration only !

To summarise, UNO, the EU and NATO need to get together quickly and decide how to stop this mass displacement of refugees against their will !   

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

U K ELECTION DEBATE BY THE OPPOSITION

In the televised Election Debate, (Thursday evening April 16) without the participation of the Government Coalition Leaders (David Cameron and Nick Clegg), all the leaders of the Opposition had the chance to seduce electors by explaining how they would run the UK with more efficiency for the benefit of everyone !

Logically this would entail identifying the major faults of the Coalition Government during the last five years and the proposal of alternative policies for the future.

The debate did not really fulfill this expectation !  All the leaders explained what immediate benefits electors could expect, after the recent improvements in the UK economy, but they did not say what current political policies would change.

There was never a real reference to the improvements achieved since to the Economic "mess" which the Socialists (Blair and Brown) left after their electoral defeat in 2010 ! 

Should the UK leave the EU or not, was raised but the expected economic effect was never debated.  Likewise Immigration, Migration, negotiating changes in EU Treaty principles were all "touched upon" but without any indication of the expected economic effects !

They all, in particular Ed Miliband, lamented the absense of David Cameron and Nick Clegg !  How many times recently have electors seen the lamentable slanging matches between Cameron and Miliband at "Prime Minister's Question Time" ?  

Does Miliband really need more such chances to get his policies across to electors ?  The Socialists are traditionally the best alternative party which could govern in the UK.  They now clearly want the support of the Scottish National Party (SNP) but probably only because the new SNP will now win many of the seats won in 2010 by the Socialists in Scotland !  

Miliband is being judged by every voter in the UK !

                           .                    

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

HAS JUNCKER FORGOTTEN HIS ELECTION VOWS ?

When Jean-Claude Juncker was elected President of the EU Commission on July 15, 2014 he said :

"This time it's different !  Let us jointly show ... we are able to really change and renew Europe" !   

Yesterday Juncker reacted vigorously after David Cameron said he would hold a Referendum after negotiating changes to EU Treaties.  Juncker in fact made it quite clear, through his aides, that there would be no time available before the year 2020 at the earliest !

Has Jean Claude Juncker completely forgotten his job definition ?  He is President of the EU Commission which also includes countries not in the EUROZONE ! He is allowed to sit in as a non voting member at meetings of the Council of Ministers when the Heads of State meet.  

If Ministers decide that they want to make changes to EU Treaties, they will find the time for the necessary discussions !   Even before 2019, when Juncker must stand for re-election ! 

                              .



 

UN WANTS WORLD TO SAVE MIGRANTS, ...BUT HOW ?

The United Nations Assembly seems to have discussed the tragedy of African and Middle East Migrants who have perished recently while trying to cross the Mediterrnean Sea to furtively enter the EU. 

The UN "urges" nations to save the lives of more refugees !  The UN does not, however, say what should be done to attain this pious aim !

History has recorded that refugees have always tried to escape "oppression" with the sole hope of just saving their lives !   The refugees at present from Africa and the Middle East who perish when crossing the Mediterranean Sea to get into Western EUROPE, are trying to escape from Extremist Islamic State oppressors !

What practical solutions have been proposed against this oppression after all the debates in the UN ?  Have any UN observer vessels caught any Migrant Smugglers ?

The article published on April 11, 2015 in the Blog entitled "Migrant smugglers..." clearly says that accepting the attacks of the Islamic State without response will not solve anything !

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FORTE HAUSSE DES IMPOTS...LOCAUX !

François Hollande s'y était engagé:  il n'y aura pas d'augmentation d'impôts avant 2017...

Toutefois l'importante réduction des dotations de l'Etat aux Collectivités Locales décidée par le Gouvernement, 3,67 milliards d'Euros par an de 2015 à 2017, vient de contraindre les municipalités à faire voter une augmentation des impôts locaux à la charge forcément ... des contribuables !

Une singulière façon pour le Gouvernement de tenir son engagement !

Les maires ont d'ores et déjà grogné, les contribuables feront sans doute de même, lorsque à l'automne ils recevront leurs avis de taxe d'habitation et de taxe foncière...

DML

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

HOLLANDE FORCES MAYORS TO INCREASE LOCAL TAXES !

Local Mayors all over France are in revolt after Holland's Government cut their subventions  again for the second year running !

Michel Sapin, the Minister of Finance, justified the cut saying that there was still room for economies in the costs of Local Government administration !  This remark will surely come back at him like a boomerang !   One of the most evident errors in the Hollande Presidency has been that he has never dared to streamline any department of the Civil Service in France. 

Why ?  Because this would only increase unemployment and the consequent indemnities payable !  If Local Councils must now streamline, that will produce the exact same consequences !

The Mayors of major towns, of all political hews, have already reacted and said that local rates and taxes cannot but increase !   The Local Council of Toulouse has already voted an increase of 15% !

There was growing dissatisfaction before in France, over the way Hollande had failed to tackle unemployment and had not helped industry to recover. 

Then a few months ago he promised that taxes would not rise again before 2017, when the next Presidential Election is due to take place !  Now, by cutting the subventions to Local Councils, he has  increased taxes again, but indirectly ! 

He will never be allowed to forget this bitter pill !

                                                                                      .

   

Monday, 13 April 2015

UK ELECTION : SCOTTISH VOTE IS THE KEY FACTOR !

Opinion Polls indicate that the Scottish National Party (SNP) could expect 49% of the votes in Scotland on May 7, 2015 !  This confirms the recent impression that the SNP has become a real force to be reckoned with even though the Referendum on Scottish Independence was lost ! 

What this really meant was that Scottish voters were not convinced that all the conditions of Independence from the UK had been negotiated !   They really only wanted more local government ! 

In 2010, 59 MPs were elected (41 for Labour, 11 LibDems,  6 SNP and 1 Conservative).  The swing to SNP could see at least 30 SNP MPs being elected !  Labour could lose 20 if not many more !

SNP would dearly love to hold the balance of power between the Conservatives and Labour and then negotiate more favourable terms for Scotland !  Higher pensions for Scots has already been mooted, but not for the Irish or Welsh ? 

Labour and Miliband are prepared to offer anything and everything for a Coalition with SNP, but at present they are bereft of any sound ideas of where to find the Finance for any of their promises !  

Blair has given his unreserved backing to Miliband saying that he is the Saviour the Socialists need ! This may in fact become a timely reminder to  Electors of the bankrupt mess that the Conservatives inherited from the Socialists in 2010 !  

Since then it has taken David Cameron 5 years to clean up the mess with the help of the LibDems Coalition !   Enough is enough !          

                                       .

 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

MIGRANT SMUGGLERS - HOW MANY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT ?

It is admirable that Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is to operate a ship called Phoenix, to rescue illegal immigrants which have been abandoned at sea by People Smugglers !  It should be noted that MSF is not sponsored by the EU !

What would really be very welcome is news that some "People Smugglers" had been caught and would soon be prosecuted for crimes against humanity ! 

Is there no one in the EU who is responsible for the efficient protection of the EU borders ?  Is there no one running a spy ring in Mediterranean Ports to catch the People Smugglers before Ships full of refugees leave for EU destinations ? 

There is an EU financed organisation called "Frontex" but does the definition of their functions include catching and prosecuting "Pirates" "red handed" at sea ?  

There must be someone who knows what is going on in ports around the Mediterranean !  If not, then a serious discussion needs to take place in Brussels at the next meeting of the Heads of State of EU countries !  Jean-Claude Juncker should put this problem on the next Agenda ! 

What every taxpayer in the EU would like to know straight away is how many People Smugglers have been caught and prosecuted during the last five years ?  

Is there an MEP in the EU Parliament who could raise this issue to ensure something is seen to be done and that official information becomes available for everyone, particularly EU taxpayers ?

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Friday, 10 April 2015

PUTIN KEEPS A LOW PROFILE... !

For the last month Putin has been keeping a low profile.  Then suddenly he is seen with his long standing friend, Tsipras, in Moscow !

The first immediate announcement was that they did not discuss the possiblility of Financial "help" for Greece !  That is absolutely standard.  Has Putin ever admitted being involved in doing anything ? Has he not always denied everything ? 

What this does remind us of is that Putin did suddenly "disappear" for about 15 days last month !  Speculation was rife !

Suddenly catching and prosecuting the murderers of Nemtsov has been forgotten !  The crumbling Rouble Fortunes of Putin's Oligarch henchmen is no longer discussed !  After all they do still own large slices of leading Russian industrial companies even if some of their fortunes have been impounded in the West. 

The Sanctions the West has imposed are however an inconvenience, just like the low Oil and Gas Prices !  With the warm spring weather sales will not pick up for at least six months ! 

How long will the Russian reserves of Foreign Currency last to preserve the Rouble ?  Is it still quoted on the Exchange Markets ?  Will Russia try to annexe the East of Ukraine just as it did with Crimea last year ?  How can Putin achieve this without any Russian troops in Ukraine ? 

Last year all hell broke loose after the calm of the Sotchie Games !  What can the West expect this year ?

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Thursday, 9 April 2015

DES "SALLES DE SHOOT " BIENTOT EXPERIMENTEES !



L'Assemblée nationale a adopté mardi 7 avril l'expérimentation de salles de consommation de drogue à moindre risque , appelées communément "salles de shoot", dans le cadre du projet de loi de modernisation du système de santé.
Ceci a inspiré notre ami caricaturiste MARIN.


"Une triste perspective mais , hélas, dans bien des cas, proche de la réalité."


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

BLAIR GRABS THE LIMELIGHT !

In 2007, after 10 years at the helm as Prime Minister, having found a new job elsewhere, Tony Blair left a sinking ship !  When the Conservatives came to power in 2010 Britain was bankrupt and in a complete mess !

Now Tony Blair has suddenly re-emerged to help Ed Miliband and Labour in the General Election  fight against David Cameron's Conservatives ! 

Blair has endorsed Miliband 100% for his leadership and his policies which is normal for a former Socialist Prime Minister !  In particular he backs Miliband for his stand against Britain leaving the EU, but is this really a reason for voting against the Conservatives to win the Election ? 

Has David Cameron not made it quite clear that if he is re-elected next month, he intends to force changes in EU Treaties and AFTERWARDS hold a Referendum to let Electors decide if Britain should stay in the EU ? 

There are some stubborn Leaders in the EUROZONE and they sometimes forget that there are other member countries in the EU !  With all the EURO problems it is perhaps time to think about creating an independent EUROZONE within the Framework of the EU ! 

There are many things which need revising in EU Treaties as this Blog has already underlined ! They are necessary because the world around us is changing which Mr Blair, in his capacity as an Envoy in the Middle East, may have noticed !

The changes necessary are not only for the benefit  of Britain alone but for all member countries of the EU !  To be quite clear, Britain needs the EU and the EU has always needed Britain in the past ! 

This General Election should be fought on internal UK political policies and issues to decide which party and its leader is best to lead the country ! 

In the end it may even prove to be be much too early to hold a Referendum in 2017 to decide whether the UK should leave the EU or not ! 

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UK : 1st ELECTION DEBATE - MILIBAND JUMPS THE GUN !

Without wanting to judge the merits of any of the  seven political Leaders in the televised Debate last night, it seems that the technique used by Ed Miliband to get his message across is already well known in France ! 

He hammered home his message of what he would do if he became Prime Minister.  To do this he has simply copied the technique used by François Hollande in the now famous last minutes of the last Debate, against outgoing President Sarkozy in the May 2012 Presidentials. 

Hollande stunned Sarkozy when he said about 17 times in two minutes "I as President will..." and reeled off a series of promises ! 

Sarkozy was completely poleaxed and Hollande   became the new President a few days later !  That was three years ago.   Hollande reneged on his promises afterwards and at present France is in a complete mess for a number of reasons ! 

Ed Miliband seems to have got his timing wrong !  It is not in the first round of debates that this technique is best used.  It is right at the end of all the debates, when there is little time left to counter such an attack, that this technique is best used !

Ed Miliband seems to have jumped the gun !  Or, is he hiding something even better ?
                            .

Sunday, 5 April 2015

"GREXIT" OR NOT, EUROZONE MUST CHANGE TO SURVIVE !

It is not the small loss of 245 Billion Euros due to writing-off the Loans made to a bankrupt Greece that would break-up the EUROZONE !  It is the risk that other countries in difficulty may also choose to "exit" the EURO to avoid facing long periods of austerity.

If Greece is forced to adopt its former National Currency (the Drachma) it must then manage  its own "Balance of Payments" problems !   The European Central Bank (ECB) does this for all EUROZONE countries, but its policies are not  always appreciated everywhere !

This example is typical of the unease in the EUROZONE countries at present !  In spite of the ever changing world around the EUROZONE, it is stoïcally refusing to update even slightly, the principles and ideas enschrined in Treaties which were adopted more than 30 years ago ! 

Is this not retrograde ?
 
Here are a few examples of varying standards in the EU and EUROZONE which must be updated ;
 
  -  Immigration is not controlled
  -  Migration is not controlled
  -  Rights to Free Health services vary
  -  Retirement ages and conditions vary
  -  Taxation is not standardised
  -  A common Foreign Policy for Defence and Commerce is required !
  -  ECB banking principles must be controled by the EU Parliament.
   
All the 29 countries in the EU protect their National interests too much when legislation is proposed.  This is not abnormal but it does not enhance the EUROZONE nor the European UNION !

In principle the objective of an EU and EUROZONE powerblock is justified and absolutely necessary to confront other already well known geographical  powerblocks !  

The danger is that if all 29 countries will not bury their National interests, what could become the "Federated United States of Europe" will not "FUSE"!   It will disintegrate due to more "Grexits" !
                      .    

   

Saturday, 4 April 2015

LES TROTTOIRS AUX PIETONS !


Les amendes pour stationnement gênant sur les passages piétons, les trottoirs et les pistes cyclables, passeront de 35 à 135 euros à compter du 30 juin prochain a confirmé le Ministère de l'Intérieur.

La même augmentation devrait donc s'appliquer aux "deux roues motorisées" passibles également d'une amende de 35 euros actuellement en cas de stationnement gênant.

Le relèvement du montant de l'amende devrait  toutefois rester sans incidence pour les "deux roues motorisées" à Paris et n'améliorera donc pas la circulation des piétons sur leurs trottoirs !

En effet à Paris, compte tenu de l'insuffisance du nombre de places de stationnement, une tolérance existe en faveur des deux roues motorisées : le Préfet de Police dans une note du 13 mars 2008,  demandait à ses services de "faire preuve de discernement dans l'action de verbalisation" en appréciant "si le véhicule à deux roues occasionne ou non une gêne réelle pour le cheminement des piétons". Jusqu'à ce jour cette note n'a jamais été  remise en cause. 

Mais la tolérance est devenue laxisme et c'est en toute impunité que les motos   envahissent les trottoirs parisiens ...   Se frayer un passage sur les trottoirs au milieu de dizaines d'imposantes motos   est devenu périlleux pour les piétons !

Pour remédier à cette situation , des vœux ont été formulés, des promesses ont été faites: 

- Le 17 décembre 2013, à l'initiative de Christophe Najdovski, le Conseil de Paris a voté à l'unanimité un "vœu" contre le stationnement des deux roues motorisées sur les trottoirs.  Depuis Christophe Najdovski, élu de EELV au conseil municipal, a été nommé adjoint au maire chargé des transports, de la voirie et des déplacements...

- Par ailleurs Anne Hidalgo, alors candidate à la Mairie de Paris, s'est engagé à créer 20 000 emplacements de stationnement "deux roues motorisées" supplémentaires dans Paris en surface et non payants...

Quand les trottoirs parisiens seront ils enfin rendus aux piétons ?

DML


 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

UK : WHAT KIND OF COALITION AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTION ?

There seems to be only one unanswered element before the next General Election in the United Kingdom on Thursday, May 7, 2015 !  

"Which other Party will be in the best position to participate in a Coalition Government with the Conservatives if they alone do not obtain a working majority ?"

Skirmishes have already taken place as all the Parties and their Leaders try to "position" themselves.   In the end everything will of course depend on the number of elected MPs each party obtains in this "first past the post" election ! 

A Conservative Party majority is not at all certain  despite its competent resurrection of the bankrupt Britain they inherited in 2010 from the Socialists after their 13 years in power !  

There have been three significant events since the last General Election in 2010 :

1)  Scotland voted in the Referendum against Total Independence and to stay in the UK, but probably not against more delegated Local Government.  As a result it is expected that more than just 6 Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs will be elected  in May ! 

2) In Scotland 29 Socialist MPs and 11 Liberal- Democrats were elected in 2010.  Any large swing to SNP will be felt by these two parties !

3) In the 2010 Westminister Parliamentary Election no United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) candidate was elected.  However, in the EU Parliamentary Elections in May 2014, 24 UKIP MEPs were successful, as well as 20 Socialists and 19 Conservatives ! 

It would seem that in this General Election UKIP will win seats at the expense of the Conservatives and Socialists ! 

                     *        *      *      *      * 

The foregoing observations do not take into account any of the political promises of any of the Parties ! 
 
Theoretically a "hung Parliament" is therefore a distinct possibility !  However, as always, before Election Day anything can happen !  Mistakes will be made and as always, voters will have the last word !
                                            .