Sunday, July 16, 2017
You need to be reminded of the damage the EU HAS DONE TO OUR ONCE GREAT COUNTRY The EU has been systematically asset stripping British industry ..... OK,.. here's a short list of financial and industrial FUBARs from the EU then,.. (it was longer, much longer, but really tough reading. I have however edited this slightly due to those who have asked me to clarify some points. All of it has been fact-checked not only by myself but also many others.) Cadbury moved production of several brands to a factory in Poland 2011 with EU grant. Despite promising the workforce they would not. Ford Transit moved to Turkey 2013 with EU grant. Jaguar Land Rover has recently agreed to build a new plant in Slovakia with EU grant, owned by Tata, the same company who have trashed our steel works and emptied the workers pension funds. They have not yet said what UK plants will lose out. Peugeot closed its Ryton (was Rootes Group) plant and moved production to Slovakia with EU grant. That move was not wanted by Peugeot, it was forced on them by EU blundering and cost then dearly. British Army's new Ajax fighting vehicles to be built in Spain using Swedish steel at the request of the EU to support jobs in Spain with EU grant, rather than Wales. (Just assembly. They could have been built entirely in Wales with British steel, ah Tata, maybe not then.) Dyson gone to Malaysia, after an EU loan blunder. (I didn't believe this till I checked Financial Times) Crown Closures, Bournemouth (Was METAL BOX), gone to Poland with EU grant, once employed 1,200. M&S manufacturing gone to far east with EU loan. Hornby models gone. In fact all toys and models now gone from UK along with the patents all with with EU grants. Gillette gone to eastern Europe with EU grant. Texas Instruments Greenock gone to Germany with EU grant. Indesit at Bodelwyddan Wales gone with EU grant. Sekisui Alveo said production at its Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Park foam plant will relocate production to Roermond in the Netherlands, with EU funding. Hoover Merthyr factory moved out of UK to Czech Republic and the Far East by Italian company Candy with EU backing. ICI integration into Holland’s AkzoNobel with EU bank loan and within days of the merger, several factories in the UK, were closed, eliminating 3,500 jobs Boots sold to Italians Stefano Pessina who have based their HQ in Switzerland to avoid tax to the tune of £80 million a year, using an EU loan for the purchase. (Now sold on again) JDS Uniphase run by two Dutch men, bought up companies in the UK with £20 million in EU 'regeneration' grants, created a pollution nightmare and just closed it all down leaving 1,200 out of work and an environmental clean-up paid for by the UK tax-payer. They also raided the pension fund and drained it dry. (Joint CEOs charged with financial trading fraud, insider trading) UK airports are owned by a Spanish company. Scottish Power is owned by a Spanish company. Most London buses are run by Spanish and German companies. The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to be built by French company EDF, part owned by the French government, using cheap Chinese steel that has catastrophically failed in other nuclear installations. Now EDF say the costs will be double or more and it will be very late even if it does come online. Swindon was once our producer of rail locomotives and rolling stock. Not any more, it's Bombardier in Derby and due to their losses in the aviation market, that could see the end of the British railways manufacturing altogether even though Bombardier had EU grants to keep Derby going which they diverted to their loss-making aviation side in Canada. New trains contract awarded to German company. 39% of British invention patents have been passed to foreign companies, many of them in the EU The Mini cars that Cameron stood in front of as an example of British engineering, are built by BMW mostly in Holland and Austria and those parts assembled in the UK. His campaign bus was made in Germany even though we have Plaxton, Optare, Bluebird, Dennis etc., in the UK. The bicycle for the Greens was made in the far east, not by Raleigh UK but then they are probably going to move to the Netherlands too as they have said recently. Anyone who thinks the EU is good for British industry or any other business simply hasn't paid attention to what has been systematically asset-stripped from the UK. Name me one major technology company still running in the UK, I used to contract out to many, then the work just dried up as they were sold off to companies from France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, etc., and now we don't even teach electronic technology for technicians any more, due to EU regulations. Yes some companies are in the UK with EU funding, but have you noticed that many, like Tata, are planning to shift the production away again, as soon as they will not have to pay a penalty to the EU for doing so. Hundreds already did, just using British skills to develop products and then opt for lower labour costs, often with a serious loss in quality too like Bosch alternators. Many employ staff only on a part-time basis, minimum wage and even those sent by DWP to work for nothing, those get just their benefits. I haven't detailed our non-existent fishing industry the EU paid to destroy, nor the farmers being paid NOT to produce food they could sell for more than they get paid to do nothing, don't even go there. I haven't mentioned what it costs us to be asset-stripped like this, nor have I mentioned immigration, nor the risk to our security if control of our armed forces is passed to Brussels or Germany. The way companies abuse the EU commercial assistance system is not doing the EU, Britain or any other country any favours. It has massive loopholes that are simply exploited and no-one in Brussels has the wit nor sense to change it. Change in the EU is slow at best and in most cases, next to impossible due to the intense lobbying by companies with a vested interest in abusing this very broken system. I know Margaret Thatcher was not many people's favourite person, but she did get a number of measures agreed that have now been completely eroded and sadly, by her own party. Mr Junker has said that any more 'special status' for Britain will be difficult and will face legal challenges. In other words, we will not get most of them, if any. If the EU may break up in the event of Britain voting to leave as suggested by both leaders of the Bundesbank and European Central Bank, then in all honesty, we have as a nation been propping up a failed system for too long, It will probably fail anyway, taking anyone still 'in' with it. Thus, this vote you have is not exactly 'remain' or 'leave', it is more an issue of jumping off the sinking ship while we have a chance to swim ashore now, or waiting till it is in really deep water and going down with it. Either way, being brutally honest, we get wet and will have a struggle. Question is, do you want to survive or not? Find something that's gone the other way, I've looked and I just can't. If you think the EU is a good idea, 1/ You haven't read the party manifesto of The European Peoples' Party. 2/ You haven't had to deal with EU petty bureaucracy tearing your business down. 3/ You don't think it matters.
Posted by Charlie at 5:02 pm
Saturday, November 05, 2016
That the question posed to us on June 23 was about only the UK’s membership of the EU was endorsed by Nicola herself the moment she crossed the Border and sought to persuade the English to vote Remain. In doing so she legitimised Cameron’s claim that this was about the UK and the UK alone. Having started out on a false premise, her string of claims and demands have exposed someone whose tongue has run way ahead of the brain. There’s a fatal flaw in the SNP position. It is blind to the real nature of the EU run by an unelected elite who are contemptuous of democracy, and uncaring about people. SNP parliamentarians pour peons of praise on Brussels but never mention Greece and Portugal under their cosh of primitive austerity. Two weeks ago, Greek police tear-gassed OAPs, who were protesting about yet another cut in pensions by a left-wing government taking instructions from Brussels. In Portugal, a socialist government has been told to ladle on more misery despite there being 2.6million people in absolute poverty. Why would the SNP want us to join an outfit who do that to people? The EU that existed in the 80s, when I fashioned the party’s policy of independence in Europe is no more. Nicola should pay more attention to trade statistics than a daily headline, because whereas the UK exports some £228billion annually to the EU 27, they export £290billion to us, facts that make the chances of a free trade agreement outside single market rules a distinct possibility. Next time she goes to Berlin and Brussels, she might point out their £62billion trade advantage is not something they should throw away.
Posted by Charlie at 10:35 am
Sunday, March 06, 2016
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Minette Batters is up at 5.30am with her terrier, driving her tractor round her farm in Wiltshire, reversing horse boxes, manoeuvring diggers and enticing her favourite cow, Blackie, out of the barn before a coffee and the school run. Having been warned by her father as a teenager that farming wasn’t for girls, the slender, blonde 46-year-old single mother has just been voted the first woman deputy president of the National Farmers’ Union in 105 years. “Traditionally women didn’t farm but the more I was told I couldn’t do something, the more I wanted it. I grew up on this farm and was in love with it but my father, who was a tenant farmer, was very resistant about me taking over. He really struggled, he thought women should be in the kitchen. But my brother didn’t want to farm so I was determined to get the tenancy back.” Now there are 23,000 women in farming. “A lot of daughters are really keen.
This place was run-down when I took over in 1998. There wasn’t a fence. It was very fragile. There were only 30 acres so I had to diversify. I now have a 100-strong suckler herd, but I also trained in catering so I run a wedding business in our barn and we have a horse livery business and look after polo ponies in the winter.” Farmers, she thinks, have to embrace the global market. “There is a huge demand for British produce. If 2 per cent of China is prepared to pay more for our product n we must go there.” The British still spend less of their income on food than any other European nation, preferring cheap cuts of beef, cut-price burgers and bargain sliced bread to more expensive produce.
“We do live in a cheap food society but we also love animals so we need to convince people that they want their cows and sheep raised well and that costs money.” It has worked in the poultry industry, she says. “People want free-range and corn-fed now, they like to know that the animals have had a bit of a life; they have a naive image that the chickens are all running around in orchards but they do get to scratch in the dirt and fresh air. It’s harder with cattle: people don’t want to know the connection with their sausages and burgers.” Farmers seem to garner little sympathy even when their fields flood or their herds become infected with TB, unlike in France where they are seen as national treasures. “It’s much better now than it was,” Ms Batters says. “Programmes like Countryfile have made a massive difference.”
Her greatest frustration now is that the farmer’s role as custodian of the countryside is being taken away. “I farm on the Avon valley, which is an SSSI [Site of Special Scientific Interest]. This environment was created by farmers who care about the environment. The knowledge base we have on waders and the biodiversity of the river is incredible and yet now you have outfits like Natural England who make up their own policies and don’t look to the local farmers for their expertise.” The recent flooding on the Somerset Levels and around Salisbury, including on her farm, has been exacerbated by certain quangos’ obsessions, she believes. “You have this desire now from Natural England for water courses to return to their natural state. I think the thing to go back to is that the water courseways in this country are artificial.
The water meadows by my farm were built by the Dutch in the 17th century, the river was always cleared, we had the weed cut. Then the Environment Agency took over from the local river board who dug out the ditches . . . and Natural England said they want a lot of rewilding and rewetting.” The result, she says, is that many farmers have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds that they spent last year reseeding their flooded meadows, only to see them under water again. “I am not saying the Levels wouldn’t have flooded, but not to the extent they did. It was a massive cost-cutting measure to do nothing. They just thought, ‘let it go’. It’s very narrow-minded.” It amazes her that while the Defra [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] budget decreases daily, the Environme nt Agency is now the second largest in the world. “Their budget is vast. Yet their view is, ‘Let’s allow the countryside to return to its natural state. Let’s ignore it and it will go away — it’s too difficult.’ Natural England is frustrating too. It hasn’t got enough farmer involvement. They are both unaccountable and they hide behind the European Habitats Directive yet Holland, which is absolutely manicured, is totally compliant with the directive. We all want the countryside to flourish but their policies are actually detrimental to the environment.”
The idea that areas of Britain could be abandoned to the elements horrifies her. “The Dutch are living below sea levels. We need land in Britain, we are a little island and here we are saying, ‘Oh, let’s just let some of it go, be submerged.’ It is disgraceful and short-sighted. If we could do it 300 years ago we can make it work now. People have been living in these places for generations. To say ‘just move’ is extraordinary.” Maintaining this countryside isn’t just for the benefit of people, she says. “There isn’t a bird who can nest anywhere on the Somerset Levels now. The animals, the water voles have drowned, their habitats have all been swamped.” The badger population, on the other hand, she believes has got out of control. “Cattle give TB to cattle, badgers give it to cattle and cattle give it to badgers. Yet we are culling all the cattle and we are not doing anything with the badgers. Look worldwide at TB and the only way anyone has ever got to the bottom of it is to address both sides . . .
If we wait for a vaccination, the wildlife will become riddled with TB for ever. To have poor calves orphaned is appalling.” Her own herd has always been TB-free. “But there is a terrible suicide rate among farmers and I think TB has driven people to the edge. They love their herds and the worst thing with TB is that when you get it, you can’t do anything about it. It’s devastating knowing that your life’s work is done for.” She worries just how far TB could spread if it becomes out of control. “I wonder how far off we are off a public health risk, a human health risk from TB. The student I had working for me last year, she hadn’t had a BCG jab.
TB is an airborne disease. That’s how badgers give it to cattle. It’s a virus. It’s crossing species — you’re now seeing it getting into goats, we’ve had it in pigs, it is a virus that’s mutated.” Foxes also need to be kept under control, she insists. “The hunting controversy was a strange one — it wasn’t really about the fox, it was a class war, it was about people on horses careering around the countryside enjoying themselves and actually how the fox died was secondary.” Women, she thinks, add a different slant to farming. “They are more aware of the consumer. People see a man running a farm and they think of it more as a business, but consumers relate more to women . . . they assume women will understand their concerns about food.” The new deputy president wants her children to have every opportunity to farm. “Holly wants to be like Mummy, George is less keen. I asked him if he would like to go into farming. He’s nine. He said: ‘Why would I do it, Mummy? You work really long hours and you quite often don’t smell very nice when we get home from school.’ He loves my new job at the NFU because I come in looking smart after my meeting days and I’m not covered in muck.”
Curriculum vitae Born May 28, 1967 Educated Godolphin School, Salisbury, and catering college in London Career She took over the tenancy of her farm in 1998 and became county NFU chairman for Wiltshire in 2008; elected NFU deputy president this year Family Nine-year-old twins Quick fire Wind farm or fracking? Both have to be considered The Archers or Farming Today? Farming Today Moors or mountains? Moors, I’m frightened of heights Riding or fishing? Riding Organic or GM? Both where appropriate Tesco or farmers’ market? We need both Animal Farm or My Family and Other Animals? My Family and Other Animals Hunters or Crocs? I wear wellies
Posted by Charlie at 8:34 am
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Posted by Charlie at 5:42 pm