European Union

Australian Politician Tells it How it is

Bureaucrats are the same the world over. They think they know best, and as they’re the ones advising Government Ministers, they think they have the authority over what’s right and what’s wrong.

Public health troughers are the same, particularly as they try and get the government to introduce plain packaging for tobacco and lobby the government for fat and sugar taxes over soft drinks.

Occasionally a politician peers through the wool that is being pulled over their eyes by their officials and by troughers sucking on the taxpayers’ tit.

Last week David Leyonhjelm, Australian Liberal Democrat senator for NSW did exactly that, and on an issue that is sure to get the health zealots all fired up, by writing a piece in the Australian Financial Review titled “E-cigarettes at mercy of bureaucrats who ban by default”.

The honesty is refreshing and is an example politicians in NZ should look to for inspiration, instead of being captured by the health bureaucrats.

He talks about how the health bureaucrats have got the whole debate on e-cigs wrong in Australia, David Leyonhjelm had some cracker lines:

It seems everything is illegal in Australia unless a bureaucrat gives permission. What’s worse, you have to go to the trouble and expense of asking for permission, because if bureaucrats were proactive they would run the risk of serving the public.

A good example is the case of e-cigarettes. These inhalers deliver a warm puff of nicotine, without the carcinogenic tar and industrial solvents of cigarette smoke. Alternatively, they can deliver a puff of anything else you could wish for, such as the flavour of chocolate or whisky.   Read more »

First it was the Japs, now it is the Poms, clamping down on welfare for migrants

Kiwis moan about their “entitlements” being eroded by Labour in Australia when Helen Clark sold them down the river.

But migrant welfare bludgers are causing problems all around the world and just a few weeks ago the Japanese moved to limit entitlement to welfare.

Now the Poms are doing it too…a signal perhaps for Paula Bennett to look at toughening up our welfare eligibility rules too.

Migrants will be banned from receiving any benefits until they have contributed to Britain, under government plans to limit access to handouts.

David Cameron today announced the period for which European migrants can claim benefits is to be halved and recruitment agencies are to be banned from advertising jobs exclusively overseas.

But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith revealed plans to go even further to secure EU agreement to stop benefits being paid to people who have not contributed to to the state, raising the prospect of handouts being linked to tax payments.

The Conservatives are forcing through further measures to deter so-called ‘benefit tourists’.

In January, the Government introduced rules that meant European migrants had to wait three months before they could claim out-of-work benefits – and then could only claim for a maximum of six months.    Read more »

Whoops, attempts at reducing climate footprint have massively increased air pollution in London

You may have heard of Anthropogenic Global Warming or that man is to blame for the warming of the planet. It’s a fallacy but many in governments around the world have bought the spin and so they pass laws to improve our carbon output.

Now we have Climate Scientist caused pollution…because in reducing the carbon footprint they have massively increased other pollutants.

Bloomberg reports:

London has a dirty secret.

Levels of the harmful air pollutant nitrogen dioxide at a city-center monitoring station are the highest in Europe. Concentrations are greater even than in Beijing, where expatriates have dubbed the city’s smog the “airpocalypse.”

It’s the law of unintended consequences at work. European Union efforts to fight climate change favored diesel fuel over gasoline because it emits less carbon dioxide, or CO2. However, diesel’s contaminants have swamped benefits from measures that include a toll drivers pay to enter central London, a thriving bike-hire program and growing public-transport network.   Read more »

Making gay electric cars even gayer

Just when you thought you couldn’t find a car any gayer than Fossy’s gay ute, the EU has decided to make gay electric cars even gayer…by forcing them to make brrrrm sounds.

Silent but potentially deadly electric cars will have to be fitted with artificial ‘sound generators’ so blind and partially sighted pedestrians can hear them coming, the European Parliament voted today.

It is part of new EU legislation which will also require conventional cars and lorries with petrol and diesel engines to make 25 per cent less noise.

The MEPs voted to introduce mandatory ‘acoustic vehicle alerting systems’ (AVAS) – sounding like a conventional engine – to all new electric and hybrid cars to protect vulnerable road users.

It follows lobbying from British MEPs and campaign groups including Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars such as the all-electric BMWi3 or the Toyota Prius currently emit very little sound when running on electric power only.

Campaigners say this particularly dangerous for partially-sighted and blind pedestrians.

Earlier proposals from the European Commission called for the installation of an artificial sound system to be done on a voluntary basis only.   Read more »

How are the Germans getting on with green energy? …Not so well it turns out

The German economy is almost on its knees as a result of green energy policies that are failing to deliver.

Germany is in the middle of one of the most audacious and ambitious experiments a major industrial economy has ever attempted: To swear off nuclear power and run Europe’s largest economy essentially on wind and solar power.

There’s just one problem — it’s not really working.

The energy transformation, known as “Energiewende,” was meant to give Germany an energy sector that would be cleaner and more competitive, fueling an export-driven economy and helping to slash greenhouse-gas emissions. On that count, the policy has floundered: German emissions are rising, not falling, because the country is burning increasing amounts of dirty coal. And electricity costs, already high, have kept rising, making life difficult for small and medium-sized businesses that compete against rivals with cheaper energy.  Read more »

Another rogering for warmists, EU abandons Climate Protection Goals

The EU is moving to ditch climate protection goals as they seek ways to create and develop affordable energy solutions.

The EU’s reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking — jeopardizing Germany’s touted energy revolution in the process.

The climate between Brussels and Berlin is polluted, something European Commission officials attribute, among other things, to the “reckless” way German Chancellor Angela Merkel blocked stricter exhaust emissions during her re-election campaign to placate domestic automotive manufacturers like Daimler and BMW. This kind of blatant self-interest, officials complained at the time, is poisoning the climate.

But now it seems that the climate is no longer of much importance to the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, either. Commission sources have long been hinting that the body intends to move away from ambitious climate protection goals. On Tuesday, the SĂŒddeutsche Zeitung reported as much.  Read more »

Apparently bludging foreign ratbags don’t actually exist

In the UK at the moment there is outrage about bludging foreign ratbags, but it appears it is a false assumption that hordes of gypos and wogs are descending on Western Europe on the bludge looking for good times at the taxpayers expense.

From London to Berlin, the tabloids and right-wing press whipped themselves into a xenophobic frenzy as the end of 2013 neared. They warned of “swarms of immigrants,” “soaring crime rates,” a “swamped labor market,” and “benefit tourism.” Even government officials got in on the action: Lodewijk Asscher, the Dutch social affairs minister, issued a “Code Orange” alert — a warning normally issued in the Netherlands, a country prone to flooding, when water levels reach dangerous heights. In the United Kingdom, there was talk of introducing “Olympic-style security” at airports. French President François Hollande and his Socialist government called for a “crackdown.”

The cause of all the panic: On Jan. 1, 2014, migration restrictions imposed on Romania and Bulgaria by several Western European countries ended. After the two eastern states joined the European Union (E.U.) in 2007, these rules placed substantial limitations on the ability of Romanians and Bulgarians to emigrate for the purposes of work to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Spain, and the United Kingdom.  Read more »

Nanny state set to ban cinnamon rolls in Denmark

The silliness of arbitrary regulation for the sake of regulation is causing headlines in Europe where the Danish christmas tradition of cinnamon rolls is under threat.

The season’s festivities in Denmark have been overshadowed by the prospect that it could be the last Danish Christmas before a European Union ban on their beloved kanelsnegler or cinnamon rolls.

The proposed ban followed plans by Denmark’s food safety agency to implement EU regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coumarin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in the most commonly used type of cinnamon, cassia.

Under Danish interpretation of the EU legislation the amount of cinnamon in “everyday fine baked goods” will be limited to 15mg per kilo meaning a ban on Kanelsnegler pastries, a winter favourite in all Nordic countries, which take their name from their coiled snail shape.  Read more »

Bugger off bludging foreign ratbags

Iain Duncan Smith the UK work and pensions minister has some stern words for bludging Johnny Foreigner.

The work and pensions secretary vows to protect Britain from ‘exploitation’ by benefit tourists and put those who work hard and pay their taxes first. …

Employment here is growing at the same rate as in Germany, and faster than the EU as a whole. Meanwhile, as unemployment rises in France and Spain, in the UK it has fallen by nearly 100,000 people in the past three months alone — the biggest drop in over a decade.

For those who are out of work, our dynamic labour market offers a real opportunity. Yet too often in the past, I believe we faced a challenge with our workforce at home. Under the last Labour government, more than half of all new jobs were taken by foreign nationals. Meanwhile, even during the years of growth, we had well over four million people sitting on out-of-work benefits — too many of them unwilling or unable to take advantage of the job opportunities that were being created.

There is no kindness in a welfare system that traps the individuals and families it is meant to help, nor anything moral in a fundamentally divided nation, one in which one section of society has been left behind. Yet that is the challenge I was confronted with on entering office, after Labour tried to cover up the problem. They left far too many British people on the sidelines, while companies imported labour from abroad. It is one reason why this Government is taking decisive action to reform the welfare state, a process that is now well under way.

We’re already fixing the broken system we inherited from Labour by placing a cap on the amount people can receive in benefits, reforming sickness benefits and increasing the expectations on some people to move into work while restoring the incentive to do so.

We are seeing excellent results. Already, half a million fewer people are on out-of-work benefits since the election. And notably, the latest data shows that of the rise in employment over the past year, over 90 per cent went to UK nationals.   Read more »

The human cost of green taliban policies

The hippies of the Green Taliban love biofuels. The politicians who cave in to hippy eco-terrorists also love biofuels.

But biofuels are inefficient, cause hunger and air pollution, and cost taxpayers billions.

Last week, the EU missed an opportunity to end the most wasteful green programme of our time – one which costs billions of pounds annually and causes at least 30 million people to go hungry every year. By failing to agree a cap on the use of biofuels, the Council of Ministers has given tacit support for a technology that is bad for both taxpayer and environment. Legislation will now be delayed until 2015.

The biofuel story is a perfect example of good intentions leading to terrible outcomes. Moreover, it is a lesson on how powerful, pseudo-green vested interests can sustain a bad policy. Hopefully, it will also be a story of how reason can prevail in the divisive climate debate.   Read more »