Monthly Archives: January 2020

How To Make Money Without Doing Anything But Talk

On Brexit night it seems appropriate to relate news of David Cameron and how he earns a crust or two after his swift departure from No 10.

Wrote “How much do you think Cisco’s paying erstwhile Brit PM David Cameron?
In July 2018 “He’s set to headline networking kit firm’s CIO golf-a-thon. Fearless scarperer-in-chief David Cameron is all set to dispense nuggets of Brexit wisdom to Cisco’s October CIO conference – making us wonder how much he’s earning for the stunt.

“The former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is billed on Switchzilla’s CIO Exchange conference website as giving the keynote speech.

“Curious folk will note that day one of the three-day conference begins at 07:30 with golf, and that the ex-PM doesn’t kick off proceedings until 5pm. Which is entirely reasonable; after all, you wouldn’t want to spoil your time on the links by letting Cisco chief Chuck Robbins interrupt your perfectly perfected putting with a sales pitch.

“Cameron – who famously ragequit British politics altogether after committing himself to keeping the UK inside the EU, only for the vote to swing the other way in June 2016 – his potted bio runs to six full paragraphs puffing up his political achievements rather than the handful of sentences all the other speakers supplied.

“Oddly enough, old Call-me-Dave’s boasts to Cisco about offering “lessons in leadership at an extraordinary and turbulent time in global affairs” do not explain why he snatched up his toys and ran away from the Brexit mess he created, leaving such modern political titans as current prime minister Theresa May and Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to pick over the political nuclear wasteland left by the referendum’s fallout.

“Cameron, along with his former Chancellor George Osborne, is a member of the Washington Speakers’ Bureau

an agency that helps “Greatest Minds” ie ex-failed politicians, earn exorbitant fees for public speaking. The agency helped Osborne net a reported £500,000 in two months.

“With that in mind, then, dear readers, how much do you think Cameron is earning being paid for playing golf and recounting funny stories about his time at 10 Downing Street? More or less than Osborne, or fellow Washington Speakers’ Bureau members such as erstwhile Aussie PM Tony Abbott, former US NSA Peeping-Tom-in-chief Keith Alexander, Tony Blair (for it is he) or Gordon Brown?”.

Well, The Office Of David Cameron Limited. Company number 10421190 reports “Incorporation Statement of capital on 2016-10-11 GBP 100

Balance sheet at 30 April 2018 Fixed Assets. Tangible assets £6,350 and Other Financial Assets £119,395. Current Assets Debtors £239,395. Cash in bank and in hand £627,227 = £866,622. Creditors amounts falling due within one year (£209,580) Net assets less liabilities £782,787 Total Equity £781,580.

Balance sheet at 30 April 2019 Fixed and Tangible assets £297,856. Debtors plus cash in bank and at hand £758,394. Total Equity £873,821. The Company was exempt from audit under S477 of the Companies Act 2006.

Oh, don’t forget his fat PM pension we are paying for…pocket money?

Happy Brexit Day!

It’s only taken 1,317 days since the referendum was won.


We are so nearly there, writes Shanker Singham, who is Chair of Global Vision

CEO of Competere, Head of Trade at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a senior advisor to Huntsworth and Grayling and Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He also chaired the Technical Panel of Prosperity UK’s Alternative Arrangements Commission and was the author of a General Theory of Trade and Competition; Trade Liberalisation and Competitive Markets]

“After three long years, in which increasingly exasperated ordinary voters were pitted against the massed ranks of an establishment which seemed desperate to lock the UK into the EU, Britain is finally leaving. It is a testament to our fellow citizens’ indomitable spirit and the determination of the ‘little guy’ not to be bullied. Tonight will truly be an historic night.

“The key, now, is that we seize the myriad of opportunities which await us now we are free of EU institutions, regulations and bureaucracy and a political class which seemed unable to break free of its EU-mindset. By delivering a bright, broad, global Brexit, we will re-unite our country and ensure an outstanding future for everyone in it.

“That is what Global Vision is all about. As Chair, I want our mission as a news outlet to be two-fold: to cover Britain’s emergence back onto the world stage – including, we hope, trade deals with both the United States and our friends in the EU – but also to try and help shape what a global Brexit looks like. It’s about delivering for Brexit voters and holding our head high in the world. Positivity and optimism. But also responsibility and respect. For those who, like me, voted Remain and for those for whom 31st January will be a sad and not a joyous day, we want you also to contribute to finding the best solutions for Britain in the world so that we can create a truly aspirational society in which all boats can be lifted higher.

“A comprehensive free trade deal with the United States is something we can all champion. Ignore the scare stories about chlorinated chicken; we already eat chlorinated salad and it is harmless. The risk of campylobacter and other diseases is much higher in the EU than it is in the US. Moreover, a million British people work in America and a million Americans here. Our defence and security is uniquely intertwined. We are partners in trade, partners in security – but also cultural partners too. Deepening our friendship benefits the UK, benefits the US – and benefits both our many shared allies and the wider world too. Let us build a truly transatlantic marketplace in financial services, in defence and in the key area of technology, from bioscience to the future of the internet.

“Re-connecting with the Commonwealth

will be key too. For too long, while we have turned our focus to the EU, we neglected our oldest allies, but we are now forging FTAs with Australia and New Zealand. The Commonwealth is an alignment of nations, a powerful network which shares our commitment to the rule of law, sound commercial policies and economic democracy. We must re-embrace them; and work together to boost our shared prosperity and security.

“We need to work with the fast-growing markets of Asia by acceding to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership which includes eleven of these nations, many of them Commonwealth nations. We must also reach out to Africa, both in terms of new development policies that actually stimulate growth and opportunity in those countries, too long mired in conflict and poverty, and in terms of genuine Economic Partnership Agreements that are not hand-outs but really involve us opening our markets to these countries on the basis of equals.

“We must not neglect Brexit voters at home. Repatriating our fishing rights, reinvigorating our fishing industry and supporting our fishermen is not just important for our economy, it has symbolic importance too. Our coastal communities must be rejuvenated; our fish must again be our own. We must also ensure we’re dealing with people’s concerns on immigration. Our country is by any reasonable measure one of the most open and tolerant in the world. Introducing a sensible, points-based immigration system will ensure it stays that way, whilst attracting the brightest and best from across the globe.

“And we should not be afraid to innovate. Our economy is in good shape – happily outperforming the EU, even during recent avoidable but extended periods of “Brexit uncertainty”. It’s time to turbo-charge our economy. Yes, that will mean making the most of our opportunity to improve our domestic regulation and make it more competitive. We should embrace a tax policy that rewards our hard working people and allows them to keep more of what they earn. But it also means boosting small businesses; saving the high street and ensuring there’s the money we need to smarten up our schools and history-proof our NHS. Let’s be ambitious: Britain outside of the EU should be the best country in the world to live in, a country where no matter from where you have come your aspirations can be realised and your dreams can become real.

“In December 2019, the public returned Boris Johnson to Downing Street with an 80-seat majority. The Withdrawal Agreement Act received Royal Assent and Britain leaves the European Union at 11pm on 31st January 2020.

Together, we are embarking on an extraordinary journey. The Prime Minister and the Government have our very best wishes as we move into this crucial new phase. We at Global Vision intend to be a supportive, though if necessary critical, friend”.

Railcard For Military Veterans

From the UK Department for Transport

You may have heard the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport, announcing there is to be a railcard for military veterans to provide discounted rail travel to veterans and their families.

Veterans are Individuals aged 16 and over who have served at least one day in the UK Armed Forces. This includes those of us who were conscripted to undertake our National Service.

Snowflakes may not know that National Service was a standardised form of peacetime conscription. All able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 30 were called up. They initially served for 18 months. But in 1950, during the Korean War (1950-53), this was increased to two years. Between 1949 – when the National Service Act came into force – and 1963 – when the last National Serviceman was demobbed – more than 2 million men were conscripted to the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force.

UK Armed Forces veterans residing in Great Britain will be referred to as veterans throughout this report. Retirement age veterans are aged 65 and over.

“‘At the age of seventeen I received through the post an official letter inviting me, well, not exactly inviting, but summonsing me to register for National Service”. Private Gordon Kell, Royal Army Medical Corps, 1952-54

“Our military personnel are rightly valued throughout their service in HM armed forces. They make sacrifices and put themselves in danger to protect and serve our country. It is only right that we continue to show how much we value their efforts once they leave the armed forces too.

“In our manifesto we promised to introduce a railcard for veterans. I am delighted to announce that we will make it available from 11 November this year (2020). This railcard will extend discounted train travel to the more than 830,000 veterans not covered by existing discounts.

“We expect our service personnel to live and work all over the country, moving wherever they are needed to serve our great country. This often leads to service families, and former service families, living far away from friends and family and the communities they grew up in.

“Therefore, I believe it is important that our veterans have access to this railcard, supporting their access to vital work prospects and retraining opportunities, and making it easier for former members of the armed forces to stay in touch with friends and relatives.

“This railcard will also allow their family to travel with them, potentially saving military families hundreds of pounds a year. I am sure that you will agree with me that this is a welcome measure, alongside a much wider set of commitments which are being announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office today in the government’s consultation response to last year’s consultation on the Strategy for our Veterans.

“This new railcard is one of the first parts of this government’s commitment to make the UK the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. My department is pleased to be supporting this ambition through this new railcard”.

It’s 17 million “Flag offs” From The EU!

From Facts4EU

It’s 17 million “Flag offs” from the EU, in a shocking final act of hypocrisy as the EU silences Nigel Farage, yet EU-loving MEPs are allowed to wave pro-EU banners.

Brexit triumphed over a day of nausea-inducing, maudlin, EU-speak from Rejoiner MEPs. Yesterday the EU Parliament approved the exit agreement of the UK from the EU. The vote (621 to 49, with 13 abstentions) had already been decided the week before, as we reported last week. The real news was that the EU also inadvertently chose this day to give an award-winning display of its breathtaking hypocrisy and totalitarianism to the British people and to the World.

Putting aside some typically-uninspiring speeches in the massive and very expensive hemicycle that is the EU Parliament in Brussels, the headlines were all about Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.

Below we expose the staggering and suffocating hypocrisy which infects the EU from top to bottom, exhibited yesterday in one afternoon in Brussels. The EU cuts off Mr Farage for an invented offence, but allows blatant propaganda which IS an offence.

Yesterday Nigel Farage was finally allowed to speak in the EU Parliament’s debate on the Withdrawal Agreement which sees the UK formally end its membership of the European Union tomorrow (Friday) evening at 11pm GMT. As was to be expected after 20 years’ at this institution, Mr Farage delivered an excoriating speevch in the four minutes allotted to him. Towards the end of his speech Mr Farage waved his small Union Jack flag

in a gesture of farewell, upon which his fellow Brexit Party MEPs followed suit. The Anti-British Irish Vice-President of the EU Parliament cut off the leader of the largest single political party.

The Irish Vice-President of the EU Parliament promptly cut the sound from Mr Farage’s microphone. She then said the following. “If you disobey the rules you get cut off. Please sit down, resume your seats, put your flags away, you’re leaving, and take them with you” Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-President of the EU Parliament, Brussels, 29 Jan 2020.

Another example of how the EU makes up rules as it goes along. Brexit Facts4EU.Org took a look at the “Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament”. [More correctly the EU Parliament – Ed.] Rule 10.3 under “Standards of conduct” for MEPs states:- “Members shall not disrupt the good order of the Chamber and shall refrain from improper behaviour. They shall not display banners”.

So, banners are banned, flags are not – yet anti-Brexit banners were allowed everywhere yesterday. There are pictures of anti-Brexit British MEPs in the chamber yesterday, clearly waving banners. This below is prominent Labour MEP Richard Corbett.

Observations

Just when we think the EU can’t get any worse, it does. There is a serious point here apart from the blatant hypocrisy of the EU and its totalitarian and bureaucratic structures such as the EU Parliament, Commission, Council, and the EU’s hundreds of agencies.

Just think for a moment about the arbitrary banning of national flags in the EU Parliament – something which is not written in the rules but which exists in practice as readers can see above. The reason for this is simple. The EU is quietly airbrushing out the very concept of national identities from the minds of the citizens of all its member states. Thank goodness we are leaving this dystopian nightmare tomorrow evening – albeit in name only.

 

Burscough Flood Records Report

Executive Summary


On the 8th June 2016 Burscough Parish Council agreed that a residents’ group should be set up to collect flooding evidence and produce a report for a future Parish Council meeting. In response Burscough Flooding Group formed on the 12th July 2016 and subsequently collected evidence from witnesses and victims, contacted through leafleting, advertising and by knocking on doors.

It has met with, and made freedom of information legislation requests from, Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council, the Environment Agency and United Utilities. Evidence collected has revealed that large amounts of flooding occurred in 2012, 2015 and 2016 with a peak of 73 internal and over 100 external floods occurring in Burscough in 2015. Information provided by residents about the long-term history of flooding showed that a significant number of areas were suffering long term repeat flooding.

The Group has found that the causes of flooding were predominantly water discharging from United Utilities surface water and foul sewers in the urban areas; and inadequate capacity of ordinary watercourses, fed with urban surface water run-off, in the downstream rural areas. In the course of the investigations the Group found that United Utilities surface water sewer network drains the un-attenuated surface water flows from several large housing estates into watercourses and believe that this is the primary cause of flooding in Higgins Lane, Crabtree Lane, Orrell Lane and the Truscott Estate.

In addition, the Group has found that groundwater flooding occurs around Martin Mere and Yew Tree Farm and that the infiltration of groundwater into watercourses and sewers is highly likely to have been a negative factor in the severity of flooding when it occurs.

Maps and photographic evidence of the nature and extent of the flooding in Burscough follow with the flood records at the back of the document containing a comprehensive recent record of the locations, frequency and causes of flooding in Burscough. The report can be seen in full, on request 

Copies are available on the Parish Council website, http://www.burscoughpc.co.uk, or to view at the Parish Council Office. We include the Burscough Flooding Group email address BFG@FullStopLtd.co.uk  and if the public email a request for a copy of the Flood Records Report for Burscough, they will be emailed a pdf copy of the report, just include full name and Town please on the email.

The “Complete Burscough Flood Records Report for BPC Rev 16 28012020.pdf” is an amazing document, both as narrated and its technical content, that will rival any and all official works and is a credit to those involved in it.

What Price ‘Localism’ Now?

Martin Goodall

is a Solicitor who has specialised in planning law for more than 30 years. A member of the Law Society’s Planning Panel and a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute, he practises as a Consultant Lawyer with Keystone Law. He’s raised a case that should interest us all, and especially local politicians.

He wrote “I expect most of you will have heard by now of the controversy surrounding the South Oxfordshire Local Plan. This plan got as far as its formal examination in March of last year, under the former Tory administration in South Oxon, but was the subject of furious opposition by local residents who were horrified at the huge increase in housing development that was proposed across the area. This may well have been a factor in the defeat of the Tories in South Oxon in the May 2019 council elections, leading to control of the council being taken over by a coalition of Lib Dems with the Green Party.

“The new council withdrew the draft plan from examination in October, because of concern over the increased housing target in the new plan, coupled with the issues raised by the climate emergency, which they felt had not been given sufficient weight in formulating the plan. Most of all, the decision reflected the serious concerns of local electors, which had been expressed through the ballot box in May.

“The government had been attempting to bribe Oxfordshire authorities with a promise of more than £200 million in infrastructure grants if they would accept a substantial increase in housing in the county. The proposed withdrawal of the Local Plan promptly led to the government threatening to withdraw this funding. But SODC was not deterred, and made it clear that they would nevertheless persist in their intention of withdrawing their local plan.

“Having failed to bribe the council, the government then resorted to threats. A holding direction was issued by the Secretary of State in order to prevent SODC from carrying out their intention, and he followed this up with threats to call in the Local Plan, and then to hand it to the Tory-controlled Oxfordshire County Council to handle. (Unfortunately, it seems that MHLG did not warn OCC of their intention beforehand, and the County is still in the dark as to where the resources are to be found for taking on this task!)

“Robert Jenrick (Secretary-of-State-for-the-time-being-pending-Boris-Johnson’s-pleasure) demanded that South Oxfordshire Council should write to him by the end of this month to explain themselves. This they have now done, making a number of very reasonable points, and taking an emollient line (including a request for face-to-face talks with Jenrick, if he’s still there after the pending cabinet reshuffle).

“Perhaps the most important point in the letter, in addition to the need to address the climate emergency was the fact that the councillors now in office were elected on the basis of their opposition to the draft local plan, and that they therefore have what they believe is “a clear electoral mandate given to us by the residents of South Oxfordshire”. As the council leader pointed out in her letter, the proposed course of action threatened by Jenrick would be a dangerous precedent that would undermine local democracy. It is a great irony that John Howell, the MP for Henley whose constituency covers a large part of South Oxfordshire, was the author of the Tories’ ‘Green Paper’ before the 2010 General Election, which introduced the concept of “localism”, coupled with a commitment that the level of development should be determined at a local level, rather than being imposed from above.

“I am not trying to take sides in this dispute. Clearly there are arguments on both sides. The Secretary of State does have the necessary powers to take the action he has threatened, but he must act reasonably (in accordance with the Wednesbury principles). If the matter is taken out of SODC’s hands, an application to the High Court for judicial review seems a distinct possibility. At the moment, both parties seem to be circling each other warily, trying not to put a legal foot wrong. But I can’t help feeling that m’learned friends are already salivating at the prospect of a juicy case ahead”.

Ah, the power of opposition from local residents. Who among us, facing regular floods of sewage waste into our homes, or massive planned housing developments on prime agricutural village land, might envy the electorate of South Oxforshire for dumping out of office the nasty developers’ friends?