Posts tagged ‘Member of parliament’

June 7, 2011

UK in revolt over creeping rise of EU Commissioners’ power as they impose stealth taxes on British families and reduce EU inward contribution to Britain

[Tonya Gillam, EU News Contributor]

Britain’s greedy EU masters in Europe have gone a tad to far this time with the British in a move that will involve British families paying more than £200 a year apiece directly into the coffers of the unelected Commissioners.

The move is part of another bid to save the troubled Euro, by imposing stealth taxes upon member states and also cutting contributions inward to those states.

Bill Cash, chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny committee  is reported to have said: ‘This kind of attempt to stitch up the British people can only be answered by the simple word: No. The veto must be used…the Prime Minister knows he is heading for a showdown which he can only lose now that the Liberal Democrats are so weak.’

Another MP, Douglas Carswell said: “Eurocrats simply don’t get it..we have been forced this year to increase massively the amount of money we pay to the EU, both in the budget and through the bailouts of eurozone countries, and still they want more…iIf people want good public services and reasonable rates of tax, we need to decide whether it’s possible to remain members of the EU. The time has come to ask: Is it worth all this?’  He is calling , together is a significant number of other MPs, for Britain to leave the EU as a matter of priority.

Well Britain, don’t say you weren’t warned – check out UK Independence Party Leader, Nigel Farage‘s video commentary on the criminal past of the incumbent EU Commissioners – viewer discretion advised as the video is shocking.

Related articles

May 23, 2011

UK media and MP John Hemmings defy UK judges on privacy injunctions

[Gillian Bilks, Privacy Law Contributor]

Following the prolific tweeting and publication of the details of a privacy injunction granted to a UK celebrity, footballer Ryan Giggs, by a Scottish newspaper, British MP John Hemmings has added fuel to the fire of the intense controversy surrounding the granting of such injunctions by UK courts.

It appears that the MP, John Hemmings, abused his ‘parliamentary privilege’ to deliberately raise the matter in the UK’s parliament in contravention of the injunction in such a manner that the name of the celebrity, the footballer was able to be published in the proceedings of parliament which in turn can be published by the media.

The MPs argument for so doing is that privacy law in the UK is unsustainable and anything deemed to be ‘private’ by a UK court, if Tweeted, or prolifically published on social media sites, or on the Internet, lose their court protection and can be freely published by British newspapers in contravention of the court’s order.

Referring to the recent tweeting of the footballer’s privacy injunction he had commented (according to the Guardian): “You can’t imprison 75  thousand twitterers for breaking the law”.  Presumably, this menace of a parliamentarian is using the same logic that applies to speeding offences in the UK – that as thousands of UK motorists break speeding laws each day, the law making them offences should be discontinued.

It seems that Mr. Hemmings has an agenda – which is one for the UK media who thrive on controversy and invasion of people’s privacy to support sales in these troubled times for print media. In that regard, the more of a celebrity you are, the more of a prime target you are to get special treatment by the media for your every indiscretions, or presumed ones.

Of course, the response to all this from ‘ironcast’ David Cameron, the UK prime minister who had reneged on his party’s election manifesto that once in power there would be a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty,  is that it seems that that the law seems ‘unsustainable’ and needs review. What about burglaries, speeding offences? Will he ‘legalise’ them too as there are certainly many of them taking place each day in the UK which makes them kind of ‘unsustainable’ too?

My feeling is that the media and MPs in its pocket should not be allowed to run roughshod over the integrity of the British legal system.  Laws are made to be obeyed and it is deeply embedded into the structure of the British legal system that it is nothing less than a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment, to flout a court order, such as an injunction. If the media get away with it, then where will it all stop – likely when there is a total breakdown of law and order in the UK.

Furthermore, when MPs try to break court orders by abusing parliamentary privilege, if their intention is to flout the injunction, then, by law, they are in contempt of court and lose the protection of their parliamentary privilege. Mr. Hemmings was warned of this by the British Speaker and it is likely that the judges will go for his head on this one.

In the wider scheme of things, it would be an idea for the judges to make privacy injunctions more amenable to all. At the moment, at a cost of some 100,000 pounds, only the rich can afford them. If they became considerably less expensive and were more, or less available to all, then the British public who see them currently as the ruling class’ way of silencing the masses, would be more tolerant of them and embrace their value.

The UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve, has been instructed by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, to have a joint committee review the recent controversy surrounding the use of the superinjunctions. He told MPs that his committee would would look to see how the current system was working.

May 15, 2011

Shock news – Greece on fringe of bankruptcy, IMF to inject a further EUR100 billion in bailout money

[Paul Letterhaur, European Union Politics Contributor]

EUObserver:  As Greece has indicated that it is unable to make the current bailout repayments, the IMF, as a last ditch measure, is going to inject another EUR100 billion into the country’s coffers to enable it to do so and also to stave off its bankruptcy.

Analysts are saying that Greece’s situation is a striking example that EU bailouts are not working and that EU/IMF austerity programs aimed at forcing baileout countries to drastically reduce public spending when more prosperous countries are increasing theirs, also are not working.

Greece’s position is grave. Last week the country experienced a major general strike against EU-IMF austerity programs which have brought the country to desolation. Police and demonstrators in the streets of 14 cities all over Greece, last Wednesday, were in battle mode with demonstrators throwing stones in retaliation against police tear gas and stun grenades.

Workers of all classes including teachers, stevedores, government administrators and medical professionals were on the streets and schools, public transport, hospital and airports were all affected, with some services stopping to function entirely.

The protests coincided with the government’s announcements of a EUR 26 billion cuts measure and massive tax increases coupled with government sell-offs to the tune of some EUR50 billion at a time of 15% unemployment in the country.  Greece is in chaos, that is sure, as government ministers, MPs are showing increasing disaffection with the EU/IMF program bailout/ austerity program which is proving to be Greece’s poisoned chalice par extraordinaire.

As if all that was not enough, the Greek Daily newspaper, Kathimerini has reported that the IMF, upon request of the government, is going to put in another round of bailout money – this time to the tune of some EUR 100 billion into Greece to save its debt to the Eurozone and its reported inability to meet its current bailout repayments.

Economists are saying that Greece’s position is untenable as it has reached a stage when only bankruptcy would be a feasible option. However, the EU is not keen for this to happen as Greece’s debts are spread over most European Union states and its bankruptcy would result in some of the countries which are its creditors collapsing as well.   In addition, Greece’s demise would surely end the Euro because of the collossal amount of debt which would would need to be absorbed by the European Central Bank.

My guess on futures? Greece will default on the bailout, go bankrupt, or leave the Eurozone within 12 months from now.

March 30, 2011

UK courts leads the way for the rich to protect their private lives

[Tom Hendrics, Law & Courts Contributor]

UK courts are taking to applying privacy laws  for the benefit of those who can afford to claim them, like ducks to water. Under UK common law rules, decisions  of courts that have interpreted human rights laws can be and are  being applied outside laws passed by the country’s Parliament.  What this means is that now in recent times, the courts can and are preventing information from being published about private citizens even though the information is true and does not comprise state secrets, or state security.

Those rushing out to take out the so-called ‘super-injunctions’ include sports and TV celebrities who mostly seek to hide sordid details of their sex lives. Those celebrities and the rich who rely on having ‘super clean’ images, are rushing out to get the ‘gagging’ orders from UK courts to stop the publishing of details of  their private lives. The trend is good business for legal experts who charge more than £700 an hour for their services.  However, whilst the usual argument  for the ‘gags’ is that the disclosure of the details would breach the privacy of those seeking them, this has been criticized by those affected by the gags who are saying that it is all about the gag seeker’s ability to close high-value business deals that rely on them having squeaky-clean’ images and as such the British courts are being used and abused in that way.

[Photo source for Sir Fred and MP Hemming – MailOnline]

In a recent and related development, MailOnline reports that Sir Fred Goodwin, the bandit banker who took the Royal Bank of Scotland for all it had and beyond, recently obtained a British High Court ‘super’ injunction to stop anyone calling him a banker. Specifically, the order bans anyone to mention the specified things in it that the disreputable former banking chief wants to keep secret. However, the existence of the ‘gag’ was made public this week by a British MPs use of parliamentary privilege as the ‘super-injunctions’ cannot apply to Parliament as this would constitute interference with the right to free speech by its members.

The MP, John Hemming said that the injunction stopped people from identifying the banker and as such was an abuse of freedom of speech. He said, during a debate in the House of Commons: ‘In a secret hearing, Fred Goodwin has obtained a super-injunction preventing him being identified as a banker… will the Government have a debate or a statement on the issue of freedom of speech and whether there is one law for the rich, such as Fred Goodwin, and another law for the poor? The Leader of the House of Commons commented that the matter would be raised with the government.

Prior to the MPs statement, it was not permitted for anyone to name Sir Fred – whose nickname ‘Fred the Shed’ was gained for merciless cost-cutting whilst he was the bank’s chief – by the terms of the gagging order given by Mr Justice Henriques.

‘Fred the Shred’ has been pushed into resigning his post as CEO of RBS in 2008 as the then world’s largest bank went to into an acute downward spiral. RBS was then ‘bailed-out’ with over £20 billion of public money by Mr. Gordon Brown’s government.  Fred left his post with a lump sum payout of £3 million and a pension of around £400,000.