Monthly Archives: January 2013

Speaking on the Common Agricultural Policy

Chairman, Minister, I have been asked to stand in for my colleague Mr. Agnew. You may be relieved to note his absence, but I shall do my best to fill the gap. You have only six months, Mr. Coveney, to … Continue reading

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Climate Policy and the Club du Bois

I’ve just attended a breakfast briefing from the Club du Bois, an umbrella group for the European woodworking and wood panel (chipboard) industries, and heard from their Austrian President Ladislaus Döry, and I’d like to tell you about it.  But … Continue reading

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Big problems with Green Policies in Germany

I’ve been hearing for some time about the serious problems which Germany is experiencing with its green policies — and indeed the problems they are creating for adjacent countries like the Czech Republic, which has to cope with power surges … Continue reading

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Rule of Law? Or Moral Blackmail?

When I lived and worked in Korea, the country’s auto industry was exporting around half a million cars a year, and importing around 500.  The reason was not difficult to find.  The Korean tax code was notoriously vaguely worded, and … Continue reading

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HS2: Not the best way to spend £32 billion

Early this morning I Tweeted, in an off-hand and tangential sort of way, “I wonder how much good hunting country will be bisected by HS2?”.  So inevitably, when I went on BBC Five Live an hour or so later, to … Continue reading

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Fighting “Heart & Soul” to stay in the EU

The Tories have their tails up.  Their Prime Minister has promised an In-Out referendum.  They’re up in the opinion polls, and UKIP, against a strong recent trend, is down.  Tory back-benchers and Party members and activists feel that at last … Continue reading

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Save our trees, our countryside

I am old enough to remember when our countryside was graced with innumerable elm trees — unmistakable as they stood against the sky.  They were celebrated in art and in poetry (“The buzzing of innumerable bees in immemorial elms”). Then … Continue reading

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Conservative Double-think

One of the reasons that led me (and many others like me) to give up on the Conservative Party was their extraordinary ability to tell a robust Eurosceptic story — and then go and do the opposite. I well remember, … Continue reading

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FINNISH MEP QUESTIONS CLIMATE CHANGE

Eija Riita Korhola is a Finnish MEP first elected, as I was, in 1999. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/performsearch.html She has taken a keen interest in energy issues, and I was particularly struck by her recent blog on climate.  I have to share it … Continue reading

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Good at business. Dodgy on politics.

Stephen Odell, presumably in his Volvo days I have a vague recollection that I had dinner with Stephen Odell, now CEO of Ford Europe, in Brussels a few years ago. If memory serves, he was extremely bright, switched-on and agreeable, … Continue reading

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Algeria: lessons learned but questions remain

  It is too early to draw definitive lessons from the Algerian hostage-taking.  There are too many loose ends.  But nonetheless we can see the outline of some conclusions.  It seems to me that there are two questions.  First, how … Continue reading

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European citizens demand affordable energy

Public appeal calls for suspension of the EU’s hugely expensive Climate & Energy Package http://www.affordable-energy.eu Concerned citizens from across the European Union are calling for lower energy prices, and for the suspension of the EU’s Climate and Energy Package, which … Continue reading

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“All our burgers are Shergar-Free”

Britain has been scandalised by the news that many “beef-burgers” sold in major supermarkets contain traces of other meats, including pork and — shock horror — horse!  Reportedly some Tesco burgers had 29% horse meat.  Cue innumerable horse-jokes and puns … Continue reading

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Plenary Speech: The Future of the EU

    Plenary Speech Jan 15th Mr. President:  It seems that Chancellor Faymann understands some of the problems that the EU is facing.  But his solution is ‘More Europe”.  This is the triumph of hope over experience, of ideological prejudice … Continue reading

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An attack on the Lincolnshire countryside

Try to imagine 350,000 vehicle movements, mostly lorries, in three years, down a ten-foot-wide country lane with few passing places.  That’s over 300 a day, every day, including weekends.  Plus 120,000 tons of rock and hardcore to provide a foundation … Continue reading

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