Fainting in Coyles
An occasional letter from the Heart of Euroville

Wednesday, March 31, 2004  

Today's odd spam

If a chieftain or a man (common soldier), who has been ordered to go upon the king's highway for war does not go, but hires a mercenary, if he withholds the compensation, then shall this officer or man be put to death, and he who represented him shall take possession of his house.

This was trying to persuade me to buy bulk prescription drugs?

Don't undrstand

posted by Eliab | 6:10 pm

Thursday, March 25, 2004  

Hans Martin Tillack update

Today Hans-Martin has an amusing piece in the Wall Street Journal Europe. (Behind a pay per view firewall so I will not link).
In it he makes a few pertinant observations. First on the what they have taken.
"They not only confiscated the file they had initially sought but took away (almost) all my files. They needed 17 boxes and one container to carry all the material, which the daily telegraph calls "the greatestarchive of investigative files of any journalist working in Brussels." Now this archive is in the hands of the Belgian police"
I heartily concur with the Telegraph's summation of the information that they have illegally taken.

"they have been pushed by the EU's anti-fraud unit (OLAF). Two years ago Olaf insinuated that I might have paid officials forthe documents I used in my articles. That's despite the fact that an Olaf spokesman admitted in aan internal; email (which I was also able to obtain) that there was no evidence to back up these "rumours"."

And take a look and see if you hear the resemblemance to what he says about the press corps in Brussels to what I was told by the Chairman of the Budgetary control Committee a couple of months ago.

"But even more importanat is the basic Brussels rule: "Don't ask, don't talk about fraud£...even most of the journalists in Brussels think like that.

The arguement for sweeping dirt under the table goes something like this: talking about fraud harms the repuitation of the European Institutions, which only furthers the cause of the eurosceptics. That's why the true believers of the European project prefer to close their eyes. They don't ealise that it is precisely this attitude that allows the sleaze to grow and gives eurosceptics even more reasons to complain about the EU."

Hans-martin decent chap he is calls himself a "committed Euro federalist". Lord this town needs more like him.

posted by Eliab | 7:07 pm

First thoughts on the European Summit happening today and tommorrow

I wandered into a very nice pub called The Hack this afternoon (to get a coffee honest). It is the closest pub to the European Council building and the Commission. The very friendly Dutch woman who runs it told me a little story that took place today.

The police ae setting up the normal security barrier - great quantities of barbed wire block off the centre of Euroville and mid way throughthe afternoon as the diplomats, politicos and yes, hacks gather two of Brussels's finest wader into the pub.
"Two beers please - large ones"
Licensee, eyeing their handguns warily,
"Oh, finished your shift?"
"No no! We have just started it"

They proceeded to drink another two pints.
Security really is being taken seriously by the EU, no believe me they really do take it ... Oh alright it is a load of rubbish and they just don't get it.

posted by Eliab | 6:54 pm

Wednesday, March 24, 2004  

Grant Somaliland Independance Now.

OK, maybe not. How about, "Grant Somlailand the right to observer status at some international conference nobody cares about?". No too extreme. OK and my final offer, "Accept that Somaliland is the safest place in the region, point out that because it is safe we do not have to accept any refugees, send them home and then ignore their countries legitimate right to exist".

Today I had the pleasure of meeting the President, Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Information Minister of Somaliland at the offices of the IGC in Brussels. A couple of interesting statements.
They claimed that their salary as Government Ministers was $190 per month.
the Forign Minister and extremely eloquent woman by the name of Edna Ismail Egal, midwife and wife ofthe former President pointed out that the mass demobilisations in that country were the only ones that have taken place without international assistance.

But best was a quote from President Riyale, in reference to the way that the world looks to the country of Somalia and its non government while ignoring the democratic government of Somaliland.
"Has there ever been in the history of mankind a time when a country that exists been held hostage by one that doesn't?"

I've been pondering that one and cannot come up with an answer.

posted by Eliab | 6:59 pm

Hans-Martin Tillack update

Talking to people who were at yesterday's Mid Day Commission press briefing I was told that the Commsission was feeling rather put upon. It seems to me that Hans-Martin may well have been arrested illegally. Yesterday OLAF, who ordered the police action virtually admitted that they had no evidence for the action. Thus according to their own rules they are open to action. However the purposde of the exercise has already been acomplished.

Serious stuff, the nub is that Tillack, the journo was a meticulous German, and had all his files on over 50 investigative stories confiscated. All his contact details were in those files. There are at least 12 Commission sources that will be uncovered by this (possibly) illegal action. Those sources will be punished, and thus the job of a journalist in Brussels goes from hard to nigh on impossible. If the Commission can confiscate journalist's files without evidence of illegality who is ever going to talk to a journo?

This has to understood in the light of some leaked documents from last year, where the internal disciplinary procedures of the Commission were laid bare. In the document it was apparent that You get punished (hand slap - promoted sideways) for financial impropriety or sexual harrasment. But to get fired you have to do something serious, pedophilia is one thing but the other is to leak documents to MEPs or the press.

They have already won.

posted by Eliab | 11:21 am

Tuesday, March 23, 2004  

Public Service Announcement

A chum of mine seems to be down to his last few quid, why else would he be offloading this
For the simple price of Euro 950,000, you get a villa in Greece with three double bedrooms, a terrace, 15sq metre swimming pool and views to die for.

the good news is that it has been been "designed and built to withstand earthquakes".

Oh for a spare million

posted by Eliab | 11:34 am

Monday, March 22, 2004  

Somebody not happy about the new boss?

Niel Kinnock is the going to take over as head of the British Council when he leaves Brussels. Could that be why the Flash advert on their home page states...

Welsh Offshore Wind Farms

It seems to be one of a number of Flash ads that change each time you go to the site. Others are Talvin Singh and British dance music. British Industry trumpeting the success of Beagle 2 (Ouch you would have thought they might have taken that one down by now). Brick lane as 'English Language', the Notting hill carnival as 'British Tradition' and Paula Radcliffe as 'British Steel'.

posted by Eliab | 1:32 pm

Welcome to all of you lot who came in via The Corner,

Make yourselves at home, fill your pipe, put on your slippers, have a we dram and stay awhile.

posted by Eliab | 9:50 am

"The police said I was lucky I wasn't in Burma or central Africa, where journalists get the real treatment,"

Further update on Hans-Martin

We are just investigating not intimidating journalists at all. How the Commssion works and how it bullies extorts and threatens those who ask questions. The Superstate is not your friend.

posted by Eliab | 9:44 am

Friday, March 19, 2004  

Update on Hans-Martin
It seems he was arrested at about 10.30 this morning. So far the police wll not say why. The International Federation of Journalists are trying to do something about it. I spoke to OLAF, who told me that,'
"It is in the hands of the Belgian authorities"
When I pressed them on whether the anti fraud office had anything to do with the case (there modus operandi is to gather evidence and hand it over to the national authorities) theere was a terse, "No comment". The spokeswoman would say no more.

When the police arrived Hans-Martin was pushed into his office, other journalists who work in the same building tried to get union officials in to see him to no avail. When his magazine found out the sent a laywer round immediately. The laywer was refused access to Hans-Martin as he was interrogated.

Rumours in the German speaking press talk about it being about the MEP corription scandal, while the IFJ and the Stern incline more to t he OLAF aspect. As do I.

What is very interesting is that under Belgian law journalists HAVE to hand over details of contacts and sources if they are demanded bythe authorities. There is currently a law changing this going through thge Belgian Federal Parliament to strengthen journalists confidentiality, it should be past before the summer. Hans-Martin was due to return to Hamburg in aboput 3 weeks. So the authorities were going to have to act fast.
This is a very worrying example of the way in which the law is used against the freedom of speech. Please let people know about this.

posted by Eliab | 5:37 pm

EU court rules against schoolground games

Traditional playground games like, 'tag' and 'I'm the king of the castle' were today banned from schools across Europe on ths sayso of the European Court of Human Rights.

"Tag might seem innocuous", announced official spokesperson Bertha von Goebbels, "but it is a moral minefield for children". The court has ruled that the game encourages children to chase after one another and this can result in accidents for a start. Then you have to realise that some children will be left out, nobody will "tag' them, they will never be ít'. This of course could produce diminshed self-worth. 'I'm the King of the Castle' was singled out for even harsher criticism. "This game reinforces harmful social stereotypes," she continued, "It encourages competitiveness and is vigherously heirachical in character, it is precisely the sort of thing that is contrary to the aquis communitaire".

Ok, I'm kidding but look at this story on PA and see how far from the truth it is.

Laser Game Threatens Human Dignity Says EU Court Adviser
A senior adviser to the European Court of Justice today backed a German ban on laser-tag games in which players simulate killing each other in a maze, saying it could threaten human dignity.

Ten years ago German banned a company from operating a Laserdrome in Bonn, using equipment from a British supplier, saying the “trivialisation of violence” was contrary to the principle of human dignity enshrined in the German constitution.

The owners appealed to Germany’s federal administrative court, which sought a ruling from the European court in Luxembourg as to whether the ban contravened the freedom to provide services under EU law.

In her opinion, advocate general Christine Stix-Hackl said the ban could be justified.

“In the present case it is possible to find the existence of a serious danger to a fundamental interest of society,” she wrote.

The advocate general’s opinion is not binding, but the court follows it in about 80% of cases.

posted by Eliab | 5:29 pm

This is scary
A friend has just been visited by the Belgian police. Hans-Martin Tillack is the Brussels editor of the German news weekly Die Stern. In Brussels press corps terms he is one of the very few who actually digs up information. In the last two weeks he has been bring to attention the activities of MEPs and their methods of corruption. (Links in German)

According to this report
"some five Belgian police officers were searching the office and nobody was allowed to speak to Mr Tillack"

I have myself tried to get in touch with him and it has been impossible.

Last year the Commission, in the person of OLAF press spokesman Alessandro Butticé accused him of bribing officials for information on the Van Buitenen affair.

According to information received by the Office, a journalist has received a number of documents relating to the so-called "van Buitenen affair". It is not excluded that payment may have been made to somebody within OLAF (or possibly another EU institution) for these documents.

These allegations against, as I say, one of the few journalists in this town who dare ask questions were shown to be false in a humiliating climb down by OLAF. Despite admitting more than a year later that they had no evidence, these people, supposedly there to defend the citizens of Europe against fraud had to get in a dig./


On 27 March 2002, the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) issued a press release announcing that it had opened an internal investigation under Regulation 1073/1999 into an apparent leak of confidential information included in a report prepared within OLAF.

It stated that according to information received by the Office, a journalist had received a number of documents relating to the so-called "van Buitenen affair", and that it was not excluded that payment might have been made to somebody within OLAF (or possibly another EU institution) for these documents.

OLAF's enquiries have not yet been completed, but to date, OLAF has not obtained proof that such a payment was made

As of yet I do not know what he is suspected of, as I have been unable to speak to him and the police are keeping tight-lipped. But yesterday we were discussing why the main Brussels newspaper, The European Voice, had failed to carry the corruption story.

I quote from our conversation from last night.

gawain hat geschrieben:
it seems that these eastern Eurpeans are coming up to speed
quite nicely on the activities of the parliament.

gawain hat geschrieben:
right, they implement the aquis to the full!


Thanks for that, We will no doubt follow it up, though I suspect the voice
will go big on it.

Antwort an: Antw:RE: Fraudulent MEPs
Just saw the European Voice and they didn't do a single line on it - they are much more rotten than even you seem to think...

I am very angry, and very concerned. From what I understand he was due to go back to work in Germany in the next few weeks, who knows what happens now.

posted by Eliab | 3:48 pm

Thursday, March 18, 2004  

Could this be why the predictions for turnout in the European Elections are approximately 18%

I really do wonder why people bother with European Parliamentary elections. Now I know that some of the MEPs are decent people trying to do a decent job with a decent wage. Realy some of them are. But when the Budgetary aurthority of the EU, the Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee (COCOBU) passes the Commssion's accounts for 2002 I am saddened but hardly suprised.
After all 2002 was the year in which Marta Andreasen spilt the beans on how much fraud was going on. The Commssion's own audit body, the Court of Auditors refused to sign the accounts, but the Parliament with it's blyth indifference to finacial control, graft and corruption just signs them off as if nothing has happened. I am sure that one or two of the members made comments about how the Commssion must tighten up it's act, but unless and until the Parliament turns to them and tells them that it will not do, there will be no change.

When I interviewed Diemut Theato MEP, Chairman of that Committee, on this subject she put it in a nutshell for me. "European Parliamentarians have a duty to Europe, not just to their electors", if they attack the Commission they undermmine the project, and that will never ever do.

posted by Eliab | 10:45 am

Wednesday, March 17, 2004  

Check this bit of sanctimonious self inportance from the Beeb

"US Secretary of State Colin Powell has pledged the US will stay committed to rebuilding Afghanistan.
Mr Powell met President Karzai on a visit to Kabul and vowed that Taleban remnants would not be able to "turn the clock back".

He also praised Pakistan's military drive on the Afghan border, which has seen the fiercest clashes there yet.

Islamabad says the number killed in the offensive has risen to 39 - 15 soldiers and 24 tribesmen or al-Qaeda suspects".

So far so good, but in their normal desperate attempt to do down the US (and the UK's) positive impact in that country the report then carries on,

"BBC correspondents say the US has yet to prove the success of its Afghan mission.

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is still at large, they say, while resurgent Taleban forces control large parts of the south and east, with President Karzai isolated in Kabul. "

No further endorsement of BBC correspondent's comments are available in the article which goes on to talk about the Pakistan operation. So Karzai and Powell talk to each other. The US pledges continuing support, and with nobody there who disagrees the BBC in no doubt an attempt to be fair, decide to comment themselves. Piss off and do some real journalism. If you cannot get support or independent corroboration for your attitude then can it. Don't muck up the BBC's already sullied name with your own biased and contentious drivel.

posted by Eliab | 3:09 pm

For the BBC good news is always bad.

Basra's success could boil over

"There are fears of a repeat of unrest in British-controlled Basra this year because the power grid will again be unable to cope despite a $127m (£69m) project to upgrade it.
A massive 10-month project to replace old cables and repair power plants is on course to finish successfully.

But an economic boom in the southern Iraqi town has meant an increase in the sale of electrical appliances such as fridges and air conditioning systems. "

"At the moment Basra has power around 23 hours a day which is a vast improvement compared with before the war".

Sounds like a rip roaring sucess for the guys with hard hats out there in Basra, but the BBC is predicting rioting this summer, because people have air conditioning, fridges, tv's and other consumer goods. Because there is employment, and growth. There is also greater pressure on the electricity network, so more has to be done.
Great, marvellous, brilliant.
Yes, let the locals know well in advance that extra pressure on resourceswill cause difficulties, but dammit we have hosepipe bans in Kent and we don't riot. Why should the Beeb expect the inhabitants of Basra to riot if they are kept informed? I suspect the Beeb think they are too stupid to understand the concept of supply and demand. Well at least it seems that the Beeb itself is.

posted by Eliab | 3:00 pm

Tuesday, March 16, 2004  

Enjoy stuff, go on enjoy it, and tell people that you do.

Brian Micklethwaite took the floor in Brussels last nioght in the latest of the CNE's free beer free trade events to discuss a Libertarian view of culture. Happily he disposed of the anodyne and frankly dull stock lib approach. "That is it is none of my business what you enjoy, as long as the state (thus taxpayer) doesn't have to pay for it.
What he seemed to be saying was that it is important to capture the cultural ground from the statists and the way to do it is to go about telling everybody that you enjoy it. Seems a pretty reasonable approach to me. It is impossible to remove poneself from the appreciation of culture, and so in discussing it and writing about it one cannot help but mention those aspects of the human creative genius that are inherently individual and free. One aspect that he brought forward is the way in which planning restrictions and the listed building approach are in fact producing worse architecture as clients fear that a good building will be listed, thus the client will be unable to alter it to suit changed circumstances. Thus the oprder goes to the architect to build worse buildings.
Lunacy at work
In that spirit I will be writing a review of the excellent exhibition "A House of Art" at the Reubenshuis in Antwerp in the next edition of The Sprout.

Good to meet Flex Flint there.

posted by Eliab | 12:36 pm

Monday, March 15, 2004  

Glorious moment

For some bizare reason I was today in the Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon, here in Brussels. The door was unlocked and swang open at the slightest push. I clambered up the marble stair topped with a great glass-domed ceiling, through an empty room to the consular section. Still nothing no sound, nobody there at all. A slightly faded pic of an African in a suit and glasses looked into the middle distance - the President no doubt.

Through into the next room. A white box, a table and three or four chairs. I plonked on a tired swivel chair to await my turn, though the room remained empty. Big mistake. The chair collapsed under my great weight sending me sprawling to the ground. At the noise of my discomfort a door opened. The solidly built consul looked round the eave, and I was greeted with a grin, a resounding laugh and,

"Welcome to Africa sir".

posted by Eliab | 2:12 pm

Found the evidence

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned wanting to put a brick through somebody's window after seeing a poster advertising a Unicef Concert. Now in case anybody thought I was stringing a line about the infantile sloganeering of the organisation, I would request that they look here.

It was not fib.
They do realy suggest that,
"Every year, more than 1 million children are the victims of trade".

posted by Eliab | 2:00 pm

Friday, March 12, 2004  

I am worried about my wife.
In the first year of her Phd work my darling wife Joslin worked at the Computing Science department of Glasgow University. Now I discover that that same academic bunch of types have been spending their time and money constructing papier mache cow's arses. Seriously.

The Bovine Rectal Palpation Simulator Project

Lord help us

posted by Eliab | 10:34 am

Wednesday, March 10, 2004  

Rush along to a new Government website, feast your eyes and try not to stop laughing
The UK in the form of the permanently embarrassing Miniature for Europe Denis MacShame and France in the person of Noelle Lenoir today launched the anniversary website of the Entente Cordial.
Not only was the keynote speech patently absurd “THE EU WILL BE SHAPED BY BRITAIN AND FRANCE, but so is the commemorative website (in the past didn’t they just produce a couple of mugs, oh I forget today they did).

Lets have a look at that speech, no giggling.

How exciting it is to be here to help launch with my good friend Noelle Lenoir, the Europe Minister of France, our joint website to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

A real thrill for everyone I am sure
Of course of the 100 years of the Entente Cordiale is just an interlude in the long relationship between the peoples of our countries.

A relationship, hmmm, most famous for let me think, Oh yes, open warfare.

'Prenez garde!' said Winston Churchill speaking from the balcony of the Hotel de Ville in newly liberated Strasbourg – 'Je vais parler en français.' I will not take any such liberty tonight.

Or as Nelson put it “"To serve my King and destroy the French I consider as the great order of all, from which little ones spring; and if one of those little ones militates against it, I go back to obey the great order." Or as Churchill himself put it after the war “The greatest cross I had to bear, was the double cross of Lorraine”

Our two languages co-exist as sisters and brothers, rivals in the search for great writing, thinking and art.

Eh? Languages co-exist? Has he ever heard about the way that the French fight tooth and nail to do down the English language, especially in the European Commission.

In the corner of every British heart there is a place reserved for Paris; for 'a beaker of the warm south' with Keats; for 'sashaying down the N7' with Connolly; for 'Flaubert's Parrot' with Barnes; or for me the heights of Mont Blanc and the Alpine slopes and summits which have held the British tourist in awe for two centuries. I still think of the great Dr Albert Smith, the first Brit who went to the top of Mont Blanc in 1851 and took 24 bottles of champagne and crates and crates of claret with him.

I am with him in my admiration for Dr Smith.

Yes, there are always between our countries high economics and deep politics. The day everyone in France agrees with everyone in Britain will be the moment to emigrate. France and Britain define so much of what makes Europe a good place to live it. We have come to our common European vocation by different routes.

Common vocation! Perhaps he was with Dr Smith and his claret before he made this speech.

The appeal of June 18th – that sublime moment when the microphones of London allowed a French general to leave military duty and enter destiny. The wisdom of Monnet and Schumann as they begged a British government - alas a Labour government that turned them down - to join with them in laying the foundation stones of what has grown into this extraordinary expression of democracy, freedom and a market economy tempered by social, environmental and cultural responsibilities – this thing called the European Union.

The attitude of De Gaulle and British membership of the EEC seems to have been airbrushed out of MacShame’s memory, how surprising. It is at this point he completely loses the plot, I cannot even comment about how inaccurate, asinine and mendacious. I leave it to you to ingest and enjoy.

The EU will be shaped by Britain and France – also by its other 23 Member States. But Britain and France have not so much a special relationship but a special responsibility to make Europe work. We will never build Europe without France or against France, without Britain or against Britain.
France works with the United States to remove a regime that had run out of time in Haiti. Britain works with the United States to build a democratic Iraq. Partnership is better than unilateralism, engagement the answer to isolation.
When President Chirac was here last he replaced the term 'Entente Cordiale' with the concept of 'Confiance Cordiale' – the need to build and sustain confidence between our two nations. The President of the Republic was quite right. It is by building a new network of confidence and trust that both our nations will grow. We have as big a set of challenges as 100 years ago.
As Victor Hugo said, Britain and France should be rivals as the best is the enemy of the good. I want us to be locked in friendly competition, trying to surpass the genius of the other but to do so on the basis of respect and affection, not the cynicism and nihilism of those for whom anything emanating from the capital of the other must be treated with scorn.
So I hope this year will allow us to go forward and build a new century that shows France and the UK can mark the history of Europe and raise our sights to a new ambition of helping to make a better world.

In a classic NuLab history the front page of this website that celebrates 100 years has roll over pictures of important dates figures etc. That'll be two pictures of Blair and Chirac, one picture of Chriac reviewing the Brigade of Guards and one pic of Straw and Vile pin. NO space for anybody else in the last 100 years. History started in 1997.

Then, also on the front page we have advertising for a few companies, the patrons of the affair. That'll be Eurostar, Thales and Electricity de France. What is the link, hmm lets see...

posted by Eliab | 6:47 pm

Tuesday, March 09, 2004  

Songs to sing to a daughter

Singing seems to work, but what to sing? After experimenting with Flemish rhymes - impossible, and bowdlerised nursery tunes I have hit upon the perfect combination guaranteed to put a smile on her face, and if necessary, and sung at the correct volume and tone send her to sleep.
I bring you…
Sea shanties and hymns. So lets hear it for the Spanish ladies and the leaving of Liverpool. Thou whose almighty word, Immortal Invisible, Tell out my soul and Hills of the North Rejoice. I knew all those hours spent in Chapel at school would come to some good use in the end.

Oh yes and take a look at the third verse of Hills of the North.

Lands of the East, awake,
Soon shall your sons be free;
The sleep of ages break,
And rise to liberty.
On your far hills, long cold and gray,
Has dawned the everlasting day.

When Charles Oakley wrote those words in the late 19th Century he could have been penning them for our own age.

posted by Eliab | 5:58 pm

Wednesday, March 03, 2004  

Why do all the words in Anti-Trust sound like Victorian sexual practises?

Fred Smith at the Institute Turgot.

Tying, bundling, merging, predatory and so on.
The language of anti-trust is very odd, as was pointed out yesterday by Fred Smith jr of the Competitive Enterprise Institute at a lunch/talk in a very nice flat in the centre of Brussels for the Institut Turgot. This group a rather informal collection of generally French speaking liberals is organised by Henri Lepage (the man who wrote Tomorrow Capitalism). Ostensibly the talk was about the upcoming Microsoft verdict, but of course it strayed over those boundaries. Fred was insistent that anti trust legislation was a mistake as it almost always failed to take into account “non price elements of the marketplace”. He likened the windows package to a supermarket that allows the consumer a wide variety of options which boutique shops just do not have the capacity to provide.
He was particularly good on the difference between European and American socialism. European socialism he described as “honest socialism”, after all it believes in the state ownership of the means of production. Thus if there is a failure in an activity the culprits are there for all to see. American or “dishonest socialism” is run through regulation, or more precisely, where “competition policy is pernicious regulation”.
A fun time in fun company

posted by Eliab | 4:13 pm

Unicef, or suffer the little children

I was dashing across town yesterday to attend a meeting of the Turgot Institute with Fred Smith - more about that later, when I was brought up short by a poster in a shop-window near the Merode tube-station in the posh part of Brussels.

The poster was for a joint concert event organised by and for UNICEF.
The big Ariel Bold strapline across the top of the ad went as follows.


Now I am a mild mannered man, in the Rex Harrison sort of mould, but I was nearly moved to put a brick through their window. (It was only because I was in a rush and because the shopkeeper probably doesn?t even look at the posters he puts in his window that stayed my hand).

This piece of despicable advertising just has to be challenged. The thought that an UN agency - albeit funded by donations- supports such counter productive and nigh on evil misinformation is a disgrace. Any serious study of the fate of millions of children and for that matter adults in the developing world will show you that rather than killing children trade lifts them out of poverty and starvation, puts them into schools, provides medicines - dammit I could go on. Far better to direct you to the CNE's seminal paper on the subject.
EU Trade Barriers Kill, by Stephen Pollard, Alberto Mingardi, Cecile Phillipe and Sean Gabb.
If you are as pissed off as I am about this you might want to get in touch with Unicef Belgium and let them know.

posted by Eliab | 3:49 pm

Tuesday, March 02, 2004  

Straw in the wind - OBL

According to somebody who had dinner with Antonio Martino last week, the Italian defence minister is sure that Bin Laden will be in custody by September. This is more optimistic than the State Department which is betting on 'before Christmas'.
There is also a seriously well sourced story that OBL has been in Iran in the last year and is being supported by elements in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard - this from a couple of Iranian defectors. The defectors are regarded as "highly reliable" by the US and have in the past been responsible, through their information for "saving American lives".

posted by Eliab | 9:59 am

Monday, March 01, 2004  

Follow up to the Alibi-Brown, Sean Gabb posting

It seems that the Beeb has finally allowed Mr Gabb acess to the tapes of the programme from which he was eveicted after Race junky Alibi Brown suggested that all whire Britons were only kept in check by the law, whereas they would prefer to be going round murdering members of our ethnic minorities.

Mr Gabb comments,

On Monday the 16th February 2004, I took part in a BBC World Service
discussion of multi-culturalism with Yasmin Alibhai Brown. In this
discussion, the presenter tried to entrap me into making racist comments.
Then, when Mrs Brown did make a grossly racist comment, I was abruptly
removed from the discussion before I could make full use of this. My voice
can be heard fading out, as the presenter makes a grim attempt at thanking
me for my contribution. At the end of the discussion, my name was
conspicuously absent from the credits. Little wonder George Orwell based
the Ministry of Truth on the BBC.

Now, 13 days, four telephone calls and two e-mails later, the BBC has
provided me with a tape of the broadcast. This means we can consider what
to do, now that we have objective proof of what was said.

The recordings are here, here, and here.

He is attempting to hoist them by their own petard, the Race relations legislation. Now if you want some fun, follow the instructions below.

Please feel free to make your own
complaints. The more complaints received, and the more from all over the
world, the greater the embarrassment and the greater chance of action.


Monday 16th February 2004, 6-7pm GMT
BBC World Service Newshour


Public Order Act 1986, Part III, section 17-18

17. In this Part "racial hatred means hatred against a group of persons
defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship)
or ethnic or national origins.
18-(1) A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or
behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive
or insulting, is guilty of an offence if-

(a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or
(b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be
stirred up thereby.


Trevor Phillips
The Commission for Racial Equality
St Dunstan's House
201-211 Borough High Street
London SE1 1GZ
tel 020 7939 0000
fax 020 7939 0001
email info@cre.gov.uk

Make sure to include broadcast details and details of law broken. Also
give links to recordings. If you have no reply within five days, write

Sir John Stevens, K.St.J,QPM, DL, LL.D, Hon DCL, M.Phil, CIMgt, FRSA
The Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
Telephone: 020 7230 1212

It is very important for there to be many complaints to the police. These
people are supposed always to investigate alleged racist incidents. If
they investigate Mrs Brown, we can refer to her forever after as "Yasmin
Alibhai Brown, who has been investigate by the Metropolitan Police for
racism". They do this to us all the time. Time to turn the tables!

Make sure to include broadcast details and details of law broken. Also
give links to recordings. If you have no reply within five days, write

The Chief Executive
BBC Worldwide
80 Wood Lane
London W12 0TT.
Letters Worldservice

Make sure to include broadcast details and details of law broken. Complain
about the closure of debate which amounted to unfair protection of one
contributor and unfair treatment of another. Also give links to
recordings. Say that you have complained to the police and the CRE. If you
have no reply within five days, write again.

The Editor
The Independent
Independent House
191 Marsh Wall
London E14 9RS
020 7005 2000

Send e-mail to letters@independent.co.uk and to
customerservices@independent.co.uk - to this send because the customer
service people are trained to respond, whereas editorial people hardly
ever do.

If you wish to submit a letter for publication in the newspaper, it must
include the sender's name, postal address and daytime telephone number.

The fun of complaining to The Independent is that it employs Mrs Brown.

posted by Eliab | 11:23 am
«expat express»

«#Blogging Brits?»

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