It is encouraging that there now seems to be a growing awareness within the Coalition that we, the tiny minority of swivel-eyed xenophobic extremist anti-Maastricht bastards, have not only been right all along, but that we are in the majority too.
For the sake of clarity let me repeat once again what I have been saying for the last 20 years. No currency can have more than one Chancellor of the Exchequer. Monetary union requires fiscal union which in turn requires political union. I believe that our masters in Brussels have known all along that the peoples of Europe would not willingly accept political union. Instead they created the euro knowing that it would, sooner or later, cause a crisis of the sort necessary to force through a fiscal union and in turn lead to a political union and the founding of the European Republic.
However, while David Cameron and George Osborne appear to be willing to accept this (although not to acknowledge that they should have done many years ago) there is a lack of clarity over the new policy of the Coalition. Clearly it is not within the gift of the United Kingdom to impose a*solution on our friends who have become mired in this Brussels-confected swamp, but they have a duty to set out the facts and the options which are open both to the United Kingdom and to our fellow members of the European Union. Of course, the first priority is not to be sucked into the swamp. That means we must resist entreaties to throw life lines which would be used to pull us in, rather than to help the others get out.
Then the Cabinet – not the Quad – must agree a policy, seek the support of Parliament for it and then, at an appropriate time, the endorsement (by referendum) of the electorate. Our government must make it clear that it is in our interest for Western Europe to be both prosperous and politically stable but that we have concluded that a political union across the eurozone would be economically ruinous and politically unstable.
Chancellor Merkel is right. Germany would not put up with the electors of other nations having the power to vote themselves huge transfers of wealth from the Germans. Nor within the foreseeable future could the less successful economies within such a union overcome their long and deep seated problems to become wealth creators on the German scale.
Indeed, we might say quietly to our own people, it would not be in our national interest to have a powerful united European Republic just across that blessed moat, the English Channel.
Instead we should offer our assistance in designing a viable architecture for a new European structure in which there might well be a North European Republic centred on Germany, a possible federation of southern European states and a number of national states forming a single market, but without either a European Parliament or an executive central commission. Within that structure there should be mechanisms for the discussion of matters of mutual interest such as cross border environmental issues, but not defence which would remain a Nato matter.
It might be that we would be unable to achieve a structure which would give us all that we wanted, and indeed, we might be unable to persuade our friends to extricate themselves from the swamp. But in any event the option of either accepting whatever structure was on offer or of leaving the European Union should be put to the British people.
Neither procrastination nor knee jerk spasm are sensible policies. If the Lib Dem junior partners are unable to go along with such an approach Mr Cameron should not hesitate to seek a vote of confidence, with the prospect of a General Election should it be denied.
I think it fair to say that the great mass of those who posted on the subject of the All Party Group's proposal to make references to 'body image' a potential crime alongside 'racism' and 'sexism' under the Equality Act took much the same view as I did.
Of course Genghis Khan took a different view but I would have expected that from someone who hides behind that name which had a rather unpleasant reputation for authoritarianism, violence and brutality. Then rogerhicks chose to criticise me for not supporting Enoch Powell and was firmly corrected by bersher. It really would be better if the old advice to engage the brain before opening the mouth was more rigorously followed on this site.
That brings me back to the unpleasant matter of gilzean, who demonstrated the difference between reciting a fact and understanding it. Fresh from Wikipedia he recited the means by which judges are appointed to the ECHR, but completely failed to understand that it is neither the British people nor their representatives who have the unfettered power to select, or reject, those judges who rule on our affairs. His complaint that I was wrong to say that members of the House of Lords are selected by those who are selected by the people has an element of truth in it, in that the 92 hereditary peers and the 26 bishops are self selecting, but in each case that is under the powers granted to them during the pleasure of Parliament.
His characteristically rude and vulgar attack on crown armourer as 'congenitally thick' and 'can't even read' added nothing to his argument which seem to suffer from an inability to comprehend. Sadly justincanham followed gilzean's error of mistaking abuse for argument too and I am grateful for the support of madness and mrsmo in this matter.
I have no power over, nor responsibility for Disquis, nor for the proprietors of The Telegraph, but it does not seem unre`sonable to ban personal abuse or comments of the kind normally to be found only on the walls of lavatories used by adolescents and elderly men in dirty raincoats from Telegraph websites. Those who find satisfaction from such stuff are free to tweet, start their own sites or use those lavatory walls. We have no need of them here.
I thought darkseid was about right to remind us of that old saying about sticks and stones whilst sircomespect was somewhat over the top to say that calling someone fatty displays the attitude which led to genocide in Serbia.
There was some discussion around the concept that when a word is banned new euphemisms are invented which slows down the progress towards 1984, but the vicious aspect of what the APG proposes is that whatever euphemism were employed, the hate crime might well be held to have been committed. In the meantime as tore blue pointed out it seems to be OK to wish Margaret Thatcher dead, or call the Queen a scrounger, and as sodit observed the distinction between good and evil is being lost.
In several posts roark, sparkflashand others were as irritated as I am by the 'text cleansing' of books, especially those for children, with the loss of The Fat Controller following the purge of the golliwogs and the name change of Guy Gibson's dog.
A good many of you questioned whether the costs of the APG on Body Image's work was a good use of public (or in the case of the YMCA, charitable) money. Clearly the members of the group think it a higher priority than trifling matters like our national debt or weakening defences for example, while ploppi wanted to know who are the members of the group. He will find them listed on the Parliament website, where all such things are set out.
Clearly there has to be some law governing insulting behaviour. As Joe Walker put it, ' free speech can enter the realms of the horrific with some of the nutters', or in reagun's question, do we have PC laws or a free for all? So I should meet pretty polly's challenge and set out my solution. First of all I agree with cartimandua that we need to get back to teaching good manners, but more is needed than that. We should go back to doing what worked. That is using that fine old law against 'using insulting words or behaviour whereby a breach of the peace may have been occasioned.'
I was asked by dinton observer if I approved of a free market in labour. First of all I doubt if it could be achieved, but I am in general against tariffs and quotas on the movement of goods although opposed to a general right of free movement of labour into this country. Secondly he asked me about Margaret Thatcher's record on grammar schools. He should read 'The Path To Power, pages 157-9, 167, 170-3 and 188-9. I supported her in those matters.
There were some interesting posts on the failure of our prison service to maintain discipline in prisons and its consequences, perhaps the subject of a blog at some time.
Lastly I should thank you (almost) all for your contributions and assure james1 that the matter of halal meat is not forgiven but the loss of my secretary and some problems in providing adequate care for my wife have led to it being shelved at the moment.