Monthly Archives: September 2010

The BBC’s Breathtaking Bias

BBC Bias is arguably the oldest story in the book, yet it still has the capacity to astonish.  This morning in Brussels I was listening to the BBC World Service at some outrageously early hour, when I hear a retrospective … Continue reading

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What’s Wrong with the EU Diplomatic Service?

Fringe Meeting, Austin Court, Tuesday Oct 5th, 9:00 a.m.   Back in July we were voting in the Strasbourg Plenary on the proposal to set up the EEAS — the European External Action Service, or EU Diplomatic Service  (under the … Continue reading

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The EU: Will they never learn?

Last night I was listening to the BBC Radio 4 Ten O’Clock News, when I heard a contribution from Don Foster MP.  Now I am not particularly familiar with Mr. Foster, and I assumed he might be a Conservative (he … Continue reading

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Remind me which Party we belong to?

This morning I received an e-mail from a colleague, with the above title, and drawing my attention to two fringe meetings at our Party Conference next week.  Both are sponsored by (this should set alarm bells ringing) The Fabian Society, … Continue reading

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A Sceptic’s stocking-filler

Edmund Burke said: “People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors”.  A key strand in his conservative philosophy was that we inherit the accumulated wisdom of our forebears, which we abandon at our peril. … Continue reading

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Nocton Dairies: Two sides to the question

We all want electricity, but no one wants a nuclear power station next door.  We all want mobile phones, but no one wants a phone mast nearby.  We all want cheap holidays on the Mediterranean, but no one wants a … Continue reading

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The Spanish Property Scam: a suggestion

Few things, perhaps, better illustrate the impotence of MEPs, of the European parliament, and of the EU institutions generally, than the Spanish Property Scam.   Throughout my career as an MEP, I have received heartbreaking and tragic letters from dozens … Continue reading

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Congratulations Alice Barnard!

  The Countryside Alliance has just announced that Alice Barnard, former Regional Director covering the East Midlands, will be their new Chief Executive, following Simon Hart.  As an internal candidate, she saw off tough competition for the top job from … Continue reading

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Sarkozy, Reding and the Roma

For those not star-struck by the European Project (which I guess is most of us), there is a certain satisfaction in seeing, on the one hand, French President Sarkozy, and on the other, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and Commission … Continue reading

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Come on guys: give the Pope a break!

Yesterday the BBC was lamenting the fact that the Pope in Britain had failed to give a clear “I’m sorry” apology for the abuse scandal, such as (apparently) he gave in Ireland.  I heard part of his speech.  He said … Continue reading

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Sir Edwin Lutyens in Spalding

  As a conservative, I am inclined to the view that rather little decent art, or literature, or poetry or music was produced after around 1920.  And the same goes for architecture, which is perhaps why I’m a great fan … Continue reading

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There are holes in the sky where the CO2 gets out….

…And that’s what Climate Scepticism is all about”.  No.  Not Spike Milligan.  Prince Charles.   I have a lot of time for Prince Charles.  I agree with him on Church of England liturgy and the Prayer Book.  I think his … Continue reading

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Sign the Pledge for an EU Referendum

It is preposterous that the Coalition is seeking to set up a referendum on proportional representation, which no one but a few Lib-Dem anoraks actually want, yet it is refusing a referendum on EU membership, which large numbers of people … Continue reading

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An embarrassing climb-down in Strasbourg

I blogged recently about the parliament’s extraordinary decision to offer MEPs a financial inducement (or rather a penalty for absence) to attend Commission President Barroso’s “State of the Union” address this morning in Strasbourg.   As I Tweeted earlier, they were … Continue reading

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Science and faith

As Frank Sinatra sang: “Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention”. Well OK, I’ll mention just one.  In the early Nineties I was working in Seoul, Korea, and I was invited to attend a lecture … Continue reading

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