The US requires that personal details of airline passengers is provided to them within 15 minutes of a flight departing en route to the US.
The European Federation ruled that this was illegal under European Data Protection laws.
Airlines leaving the European Federation bound for the US may lose their landing rights or face prosecution for failing to provide the details and will be prosecuted by the European Federation if they do.
The details required by the US authorities includes names, addresses, credit card details and even in-flight meal choices.
Flights leaving the UK will not currently be affected because the British government has come to a temporary agreement with the Americans. When that agreement expires, however, the British government will have to make a choice – the US and the rest of the world or the European Federation.
Half a day a week for Welsh MPs would damage the Union, says Lord Falconer
STOPPING Welsh MPs from voting on English-only issues would mean they would be at Westminster for just half a day a week, a senior Cabinet minister suggested last night.
The so-called West Lothian question – the issue of what to do with Scots and Welsh MPs in a post-devolution age – has returned to the political agenda in recent weeks after the Tories suggested it needed resolving.
The Government is adamant that any changes would create a two-tier system and help break up the United Kingdom, but critics say Welsh MPs should not vote on health and education issues at Westminster which only affect England.
Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor and a key ally of Tony Blair’s, said yesterday people in Wales and Scotland felt “much more comfortable” after the formation of the Assembly and Scottish Parliament in 1999.
Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference, Lord Falconer said MPs could end up “perhaps attending half a day a week or one day a week. Is that a process that’s going to promote the Union? I don’t think so for a second.”
He added, “Scotland and Wales get a proportion of the money spent on English public services. If they can’t vote on these issues they can’t determine how much money is going to be spent in Scotland and Wales.”
Just a reminder – Lord Falconer is the unelected North British Lord Chancellor of England.
There is a simple way to address all of Falconer’s concerns about English Votes on English Matters – establish an English Parliament just like the one that he campaigned for for his native North British. The people of North British and West British might be “much more comfortable” with their own devolved governments but unfortunately, the 50m English people who are being discriminated against since devolution was introduced in 1997 are distinctly uncomfortable with MP’s that nobody in England elected or can vote out interfering with legislation that only affects England.
Even for Labour, Falconer is an über-tosser. He sits in the British government despite never having been elected. In the historic class system that Labour is so bent on destroying he comes only behind the royal family in the pecking order. Next to the Queen he is the highest legal authority in the land and outranks the Prime Minister in all respects. He appoints judges and can change the legal system without reference to parliament. He campaigned for the North British Parliament and West British Assembly and is very much in favour of the Northern Irish Assembly. Yet this man, this unelected cabinet minister who answers to nobody, says that to give England the same democratic rights that he helped to give to North Britain and West Britain will damage the union.
I have to stop now because if I don’t I’m going to start using some really traditional Anglo-Saxon words.
The North British Executive has pledged £9m in international aid to several African countries.
This is interesting for a couple of reasons, the first being that North British receives several billion pounds more than it contributes to the Treasury and therefore has no money to give to Africa and the second being that international aid is a reserved matter and should actually be the sole reserve of the British government.
The first campaign group in the West Midlands opposing regional government is launched on Monday 2nd October 2006.
The West Midlands NO! campaign is calling on local authorities involved in the proposed Birmingham, Coventry and Black Country City Region to hold binding referenda on whether to join the City Region instead of making the decision privately and behind closed doors. West Midlands NO! will also be urging local authorities throughout the West Midlands euroregion that are not involved in the City Region proposal to oppose the the City Region.
It is unclear exactly what powers will be handed from our elected representatives to the unelected City Region as very little information is being made public but it is clear that yet another expensive, taxpayer-funded regional government is not going to provide value for money. The West Midlands has had regional government in the form of the unelected West Midlands City Region since 1999 which has not only failed to make any significant impact in the region but has singularly failed to engage the public, most of whom haven’t even heard of the Assembly despite it having extensive and far reaching powers.
West Midlands NO! contends that there is little or no support amonst the public for regional government. In the only referendum on regional government in England, the people of the North East euroregion rejected an elected assembly with a 78% “no” vote two years ago. The North East euroregion was considered by the British government to have the most support for regional government yet only 22% of people supported it . It is therefore reasonable to assume that far less than 22% of people in the West Midlands support regional government and that the local authorities conspiring to impose yet more regional government in the West Midlands are doing so against the wishes of the people they are elected to represent. Nobody in the West Midlands has been elected to office on a manifesto of regionalisation and therefore nobody has a mandate to make such fundamental changes to local government in the West Midlands without first gaining the consent of the electorate via a referendum.
West Midlands NO! will aim to provide the public with such information that is available on the City Region in a clear and honest way to enable them to make an informed decision on the City Region. Local authorities involved in the project have shown themselves to be unwilling to do this by refusing to provide information on the proposals and producing press releases that mis-represent facts. A press release on 5th August claimed that central government had granted £5m to the City Region to tackle poverty and unemployment. The City Region does not exist and the money was actually granted to the Learning and Skills Council to be distributed around the whole country. The architects of the City Region have already resorting to misleading statements, censorship and propaganda in order to sell their City Region and the proposals still haven’t been finalised yet! 
In addition to opposing the City Region, West Midlands NO! will be calling on local authorities to withdraw their support and co-operation with the unelected and undemocratic regional quango’s that have already been established. Elections are held for a reason and we do not believe that people would be happy if they realised exactly how much power the unelected regional quoango’s have grabbed from their elected representatives.
Anyone wishing to find out more information on the City Region or to offer assistance to the campaign is invited to contact West Midlands NO! via our website (http://wmno.wordpress.com/) or by telephone on 07973296118.
West Midlands NO![ENDS]
Note to editors:
- The campaign is not affiliated to nor associated with any political party or campaign group.
- Local authorities refuse to provide City region documents including proposals, even when requested under the Freedom of Information Act, on the basis that they will be published in the future (ie. when all the decisions have been made and there is no time to organise any effective opposition).
- The blueprint for City Regions produced by the British government has them having the power to impose a levy on business rates.
- The term “indirectly elected” used to argue that regional government is not ”unelected” is simply smoke and mirrors and does not change the fact that nobody is elected to serve a regional quango, whether they are elected to a council that is signed up to it or not.
- The current regional quango’s – West Midlands Regional Assembly, Advatage West Midlands, etc. – are all exempt from the Freedom of Information Act even though they are a public service funded by the taxpayer.
- Information released early in the planning process of the City Region showed that scrutiny of the unelected City Region would be be provided by the unelected West Midlands Regional Assembly and that both the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council for each participating local authority would get a job in the City Region.
It was announced yesterday that the Home Office was going to introduce illegal on-the-spot fines for a range of crimes including assaulting a police officer (which is different to assaulting a normal person because …).
Magistrates and Police were, understandably, a bit upset that violent criminals were going to get nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a fine and the Home Office has backtracked saying that it was never the intention and the Home Secretary would never agree to such a proposal.
However, the backtrack is only for the violent crimes. The other crimes mentioned – possession of cannabis, petty theft, etc. – will still be punishable by illegal on-the-spot fines. The unelected North British Lord Chancellor of England said earlier in the year that he intended to flood the legal system with illegal on-the-spot fines. I’m wondering what is going to be left for the new British government-appointed Supreme Court when it is eventually formed.
Dr Crawford Gribben, a lecturer at the University of Manchester, has written an article for the Dutch newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad (Reformational Newspaper).
The article is a pretty good explanation of what is wrong with the Labour Stazi and the Ignorant Jock becoming Prime Minister but is spoilt by it’s conclusion that it has given rise to petty English nationalism.
This week, the UK’s governing Labour party has been meeting in Manchester for its annual conference. I am writing this column on Monday, before the main debates test the cabinet’s resolution to focus on policies, not personalities, amid ongoing rows over the timing of Tony Blair’s departure from office and the choice of his successor. One thing, however, is clear. The path to the premiership demands different qualities now than it did when New Labour won their landslide victory in 1997.
Nine years and three general elections later, the United Kingdom has made significant progress in realising the constitutional revolution imagined by New Labour. The Bank of England has enjoyed over a decade of autonomous decision-making. The House of Lords has been substantially reformed. Most crucially of all, Wales, Scotland and, intermittently, Northern Ireland have been granted regional parliaments. England is now the only part of the United Kingdom to lack a regional parliament – and English resentment is growing.
Ironically, that resentment may be most troubling to the party that has done most to support these constitutional changes. The old Labour party, solidly of the left, depended for much of its support on the strongly working-class industrial areas of Scotland and Wales. This trend underscored the democratic deficit at the end of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. Scottish voters opted overwhelmingly for a Labour government, but ended up being ruled by Conservatives, who had successfully mobilised their southern base. Labour has always depended upon that Scottish support, even as it appealed to swing voters and disillusioned Conservatives in the run-up to the 1997 election. The ’Scottishness’ of Labour support was a mainstay of that Labour victory. Nine years later, the ’Scottishness’ of front-bench politicians has become a major electoral problem.
Middle England’s suspicion of ’Scottishness’ has been illustrated in several recent polls about the suitability of the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, to become the next Prime Minister. Brown has impeccable credentials. As the son of a Scottish Presbyterian minister, he entered the University of Edinburgh at the age of 16 and left several years later with a PhD in History and a network of useful political contacts. His early politics were clearly leftist, combining the Scottish labour movement’s class instincts with its traditionally Christian concerns. These early convictions have evolved. Brown has moved with New Labour towards the political centre. But he may now become the victim of English nationalist sentiments stirred up by his government’s preference for devolution.
The last few months have seen the collapse of the famed discipline of New Labour. Brownites and Blairites have briefed and counter-briefed. Old friends and enemies have released statements that seem designed to feed the controversy rather than move toward its resolution. But across New Labour’s political spectrum, activists agree that this is not the political landscape they inherited from Margaret Thatcher. Too much has changed. Scottish devolution has released the genie of England’s petty nationalisms.
The author is lecturer in Renaissance literature and culture at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
Three women confronted Patricia Hewitt on Wednesday at a Labour Stazi conference fringe meeting over the cancer drug Velcade being refused to English cancer sufferers.
The three women from Yorkshire are suffering from multiple myeloma, a rare bone marrow cancer, but are unable to have the only licenced treatment – Velcade – because it is not approved by NICE. The drug is, however, available to in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where their own national governments approve more expensive drugs because the English taxpayer is footing the bill.
When confronted over this, Hewitt said that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make their own decisions but we have NICE. She went on to say that NICE is excellent and being copied all over the world.
I wonder if these three women dying from a treatable form of cancer think that NICE is good. How about the women dying because they can’t have Herceptin or the people dying because they can’t have some bowel cancer drugs? These people would all get life saving treatment if they didn’t live in England but because they are English they are left to die.
A week ago West Mercia Speed Camera Partnership announced that they had bought a speed camera bike because people slow down for cameras and then speed up after they’ve gone past them. This was clear evidence that speed cameras generally catch people who are paying more attention to driving than their speedo rather than people who actually drive dangerously.
Now it emerges that only 5% of accidents have exceeding the speed limit as a contributing factor.
What is needed is less speed cameras taking pictures of people who are speeding and more police on the roads prosecuting people who are driving badly. Speeding isn’t dangerous, inappropriate speed and poor driving is the problem. A speed camera can’t make that judgement but a trained and experienced police officer can.
The Fat Turd yesterday apologised to the Labour conference for letting the party down over the past year.
I want an apology too for the last 9 years of being let down by this corrupt and inept ball of lard. Prescott’s career in government has seen him split England into euroregions, the imposition of regional government against the will of the people in those euroregions, the demolition of thousands of homes for his Pathfinder project and no end of gaffes, incompetence, violence and border-line criminality.
The Home Office has announced an extension to its policy of introducing even more illegal summary justice.
From early next year, various offences such as assault, theft and assaulting or obstructing a police officer will be punishable by a £100 on-the-spot fine.
I’m all for speeding up the legal process but summary justice is illegal. The Bill of Rights says that any promise of fine or forfeiture before conviction is illegal and void. Unless every police officer is going to be accompanied by a judge and jury (everyone has the right to a trial by jury remember) then the fine is illegal.
The Fat Turd has announced at today’s Labour Stazi conference that he is going to resign as deputy prime minister when Princess Tony resigns as prime minister.
Thank christ for that. If ever there was a reason for Labour Stazi members to press Bliar for an early departure this has got to be near the top of the list even for hardened Bliarites.
Just been watching my brother-in-law and his mates in a bar in Prague using their live webcam.
What on earth has posessed the makers of The Bill to put mood music in? Talk about bloody irritating – if it wasn’t such a good episode Mrs Sane would have turned it over.
The EU Serf would like to hear from Eurosceptic bloggers.
Tim Henman has beaten Andy Murray in the first round of the Thailand Open.
That’s a shame.
It was only a few weeks ago that John Reid was pulled up for ignoring the rules his own department sets out on flag flying protocol and flew the EU rag at a press conference in the position of honour signifying the UK’s subservience to the European Federation.
A letter to the Daily Telegraph questions why, with three flag poles outside the Labour Stazi Conference in Manchester, the EU rag is once again in the position of honour in the centre with the Union Flag relegated to an outside flag pole, again signifying subservience to the European Federation.
What was it one of them said at the conference the other day? Oh yes, we have to trust the government.
Lord Falconer, the unelected North British Lord Chancellor of England, has ruled out having a written constitution.
The Tartan Taxman has suggested that when he takes over from Princess Tony he might like to see a written constitution but the unelected Lord Chancellor has put a stop to that saying that he doesn’t want judges making decisions on constitutional affairs. He’s obviously much happier keeping those decisions in his own grubby unelected hands.
Princess Tony admits he’s finding it hard to let go. It’s easy Tony …
I regret that I am no longer able to discharge my duties as Prime Minister.
Please accept my apologies for abusing the royal prerogative in taking your country into an illegal war.
I acknowledge that I have lost the support and respect of my peers and that my position is untenable.
Your disloyal servant,
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair
See, that wasn’t difficult – it took me all of 2 minutes to type that up.
Romania and Bulgaria, both destitute Eastern European countries, have been formally accepted into the European Federation.
The British government has said that citizens of those countries will not initially be given full access to jobs in the UK. Presumably they will still get full access to our housing market and social security system as is the right of every other bankrupt Eastern European state.
I’m sure the Romanian and Bulgarian people are very nice but all they can bring to the European Federation is a big bill.
Poor Gordon, he’s about as popular as the Pope in Mecca at the moment and all he’s trying to do is subject 50m English people to minority rule and apartheid. I mean, where’s the problem in that? He is proud to be British after all.
The Tartan Taxman (like Labour) doesn’t stand a chance without the support of the tabloids. Most Labour voters are, shall we say, more comfortable with the tabloids than they are with the broadsheets, preferring stories about 14 year old single mums on heroin giving birth to triplets in the back seat of a Ford Cortina than stories about things that actually affect our lives or are actually real.
Unfortunately for Britishness Brown, the Mirror has decided to give him a kicking to co-incide with the non-launch of his not-a-leadership-campaign.
Paul Routledge has written a piece for his column in the Mirror explaining, in layman’s terms, why it is wrong for the Ignorant Jock to be Prime Minister. He also tells us that a recent poll in Yorkshire asking if Gordon Brown would make a good Prime Minister came back with a result of 3% thinking he would and 97% saying he wouldn’t. Yorkshire is a reasonably supportive are for Labour and the heir apparent to Princess Tony‘s throne can’t even muster up more than 3% support.
The article is mostly good apart from his parting shot which suggests that not supporting Brown because he is North British might be racist which, when he’s just gone to great lengths to explain that the issue is where he’s elected and not his nationality, is a bit weak and apologetic.
Hat-tip: The CEP