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Europe

Sweden

The government of Sweden contains environmentally concerned, Jew hating socialists, or, at least, we know it did it did until he resigned a couple of days ago. As a bye-the-bye, who believes this bloke was the only one?

And no, I truly have no time to piss away pandering to those jokers who claim they don’t dislike Jews, only Zionism(ists).

Admittedly, he resigned after having posted video in which he equated Israelis Jews to Nazis, but he was comfortable in posting the video in the first place. He saw nothing wrong with it.

So now we find that another, also an environmentally concerned socialist, and deputy Prime Minister no less, is equally comfortable in trivialising 9/11, labelling this deliberate act of hate filled terror ‘an accident’, thereby being an open apologist for totalitarian theocratic mass murder perpetrated against the civilian population of a free and open democracy.

Environmentally concerned Jew hating socialists and apologists for mass murder. In government.

Europe, 2016.

Just one more of the Many Benefits of EU Membership™

There’s a couple of interesting discussions on the Steam forums about Valve removing the “EU2” pricing tier. Depending on where you lived in Europe, games used to be a different price: EU1 and EU2. Which seems fair enough: the people in richer countries have more disposable income to spend on luxuries like games, and the price those markets can bear is likely to be higher.

But that has come to an end. Understandably, the people who used to benefit from the lower EU2 prices are a bit annoyed. The price of the game in question here (The Talos Principle; highly recommended, by the way) has doubled for them.

Now. Three guesses at who’s to blame.

Moneybags Gabe Newell and his Evil Valve Corporation? Oh, come on, we’re talking about Europe here. Who do you expect?

In its latest plenary session, the European Parliament (EP) adopted the resolution “Towards a Digital Single Market Act” (see press release). The resolution of 19 January 2016 forms the response to the Commission Digital Single Market Strategy (DSM) as announced in last May and pursued ever since.

To be fair, in the individual case of Steam, this doesn’t directly affect us in the UK since we were already in a region to ourselves thanks to retaining Sterling, in which the prices were already comparable to “EU1” anyway (no doubt the Brussels bottom inspectors will be keeping their beady eyes on it to make sure they stay that way). But if you’ve seen surprising changes in prices elsewhere online lately, now you know why.

Note also how it’s still Valve’s fault because they didn’t lower all their prices to “EU2” levels, as if they’re supposed to sacrifice their revenue to the European (pipe-)dream. Yes, maybe increased sales would make up for it to an extent, but, not being a politician, I’m going to assume that they know their market better than I do. And that it’s not anyone else’s job to save them from their mistake if they’re wrong.

It never ceases to amaze me how willing people are to make excuses for megalomaniac politicians. Someone points out to them how this crowd of nobodies has directly harmed their enjoyment of life through its interference, and they still don’t want to break out the tar and feathers. (Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? No doubt they meant well. How dare the people they’re bossing around refuse to enter into the spirit of the thing? Selfish, that’s what they are. Just plain selfish. Give us our cheap stuff, you bastards.)

And this is only a tiny blob of seagull shit on the tip of a very big iceberg indeed. If we don’t vote to leave in June, it’ll be a massive green light for more of this “harmonization” stuff and full steam ahead towards A Country Called Europe.

Reason to leave no. 879,628,391

e-cigarettes and vaping liquid

E-cigarettes are poised to be taxed at a higher rate across Europe, with France and two other nations calling for a minimum excise duty to be set at “the highest common denominator”.

EU diplomats unanimously agreed a call for the European commission to prepare a legislative proposal by 2017, in a draft document seen by the Guardian that EU finance ministers will sign off at a meeting next Tuesday.

No proposal will be tabled until after an exhaustive process of impact studies, technical analyses and public consultations. But if these hurdles can be cleared, officials say that taxing Europe’s growing vape industry could be desirable.

“There is an argument that it would be quite good to do something like minimum levels of excise duty for e-cigarettes. Member states could then decide whether to raise them higher or not,” one official said. “At present they don’t fall under excise duties like cigarettes, so maybe we would set a minimum threshold.”

At least 57% of the price of a pack of cigarettes must come from excise duty under the UK’s customs rules. Another 20% of the price comes from VAT, which Brussels has no powers to regulate.

EU agrees to tax e-cigarettes at higher rate

I know, I know, ex-smokers are always the worst but FFS! a product which helps people avoid the worst carcinogens of tobacco whilst still getting their nicotine fix is being targeted by the EUrocrats for the simple reason that it is depleting tobacco taxation without providing matching taxation elsewhere.

It just goes to show that as well as being pariahs as far as the health lobby are concerned the statists just want to milk vapers for tax like the good Milch cows that they are.

The harassment of tobacco users through both the health nazis and the sin taxes on tobacco have been a big motivator for people to switch from tobacco to vaping as it is and both their health and pockets are better for it – cue the bitching from the statists as they are cut out of the loop and hence this draconian proposal.

Your average man-in-the-street who vapes is not going to pay £60 for something that currently retails at £9.99, nope. What they will do is go down to Abdul at the local corner shop who gets them for £200 for a thousand from China and then buy them under the counter for £10.

As for the vaping fluid itself, it is fairly simplistic to make, consisting of commonly available substances +nicotine +flavour enhancer. The current price of a 10ml vape liquid is £4 and is about equivalent to 80-100 cigarettes which would cost around £45 depending upon the brand.

Anyone who thinks that vapers will suddenly put up with getting stiffed for a 1,000% increase because of some bullshit about “equal treatment” is hallucinating. Nope, what will happen is that it will be manufactured locally and Abdul’s corner shop will be flogging it for £5 once again.

Can we leave yet?

Speaking truth unto power

EU - Sortie

The arguments for and against British exit from the European Union are many and varied, from economic arguments about trade, to legal aspects such as free movement but for myself the bigger argument is about giving power to an unelected bureaucratic elite over whom we have no control and against whom we have neither right of recall nor redress.

In this sense, the old Marxist Tony Benn had it about right when he raised the matter of the democratic deficit in the EU during the European Parliamentary Elections Bill of the 5 questions that should be asked of anyone who sought to wield power.

  • What power do you have?
  • Where did you get it?
  • In whose interests do you exercise it?
  • To whom are you accountable?
  • How can we get rid of you?

Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.

The fact of the matter is that despite the appearance of democracy in the form of the European Parliament, power within the EU does not reside with anyone who was directly elected by the people and consequently the people cannot “Throw the bums out”.

My reference to the EU as the EUSSR is deliberately provocative, but I firmly believe that the institutions of the EU are setup to give the appearance of democratic control, without the reality of democratic control. I also firmly believe that as time goes on the comparison between the EU and the former USSR will become more and more appropriate.

Why would I vote to remain tied in a political union with socialists who still believe in the same economic policies that have delivered nothing but stagnation and unemployment since the end of the second world war?

It would be far better to go it alone with a parliament within which all sovereignty resides, free to decide its own economic and military strategy which reflects the people of this country, not that of a self appointed elite in Brussels.

This is not about a little Englander’s view of attempting to somehow dismiss, ignore or belittle our continental cousins, but simply a recognition that we and they are very different and that the Franco-German model does not fit the UK economically, politically or legally.

Quite simply we should leave the EU because only a British parliament can govern the UK in the best interests of the British people and if they fail to do so we can at least vote the buggers out!

Explain to me exactly how we get rid of arch federalist and hard-line socialist Martin Schulz or some of the other Marxist reprobates that litter the EU?

 

The Other is in The Albert Hall…

Hitler ‘had tiny deformed penis’ as well as just one testicle, historians claim.

Hitler suffered from a condition called hypospadias which left him with an abnormally small manhood, according to historians Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie.

From Telegraph.

Well, that is no excuse for invading Poland, or Holland, Belgium, France (or the rest) or having a bloody good go at England or Russia. So, the defining thingie of the C20th was an insane Austrian’s thingie.

I mean the pivotal moment of C20th revolved around Hitler’s cock.

That about sums up the whole shooting-match of a century of woe.

I have been to Poland several times. Generally not with the Panzers in hand and genocide in mind. Last time I took a bottle of damn fine Welsh Whiskey in my clip. It went down much better than an armoured division. Odd that.

Oh, and I have a respectable penis and the full number of testicles. For the record.

But then I am not Fuhrer of Germany with “issues”. And a very small cock. I mean if it wasn’t for the tens of millions dead I’d be laughing.

A Libertarian doesn’t desire control over others. We are all individuals. Well, Some of us aren’t.

Taxman begs “Please don’t pay tax early”

Negative Interest Rates

Zug, the small but affluent canton outside Zürich, has announced it is ending discounts for early payment of tax bills. The reason? The longer it has cash on its books, the more likely it will incur costs as a result of negative interest rates charged by Swiss banks. The canton calculates that the move will save SFr 2.5m ($2.5m) a year.

Swiss canton tells taxpayers to delay settling bills

As discussed with Paul Marks here the consequences of negative interest rates are only really hitting us at the margins at the moment, but these rates are indicative of the sorts of problems that we can expect to encounter in mainstream Western countries as the monetarist plate spinning finally begins to spin out of control.

Unless you are in the commodities trading business (as I am in between sojourning in sunny Penang here), you’ll probably have never heard of Zug, which is a tiny Swiss canton just outside Zürich alongside the beautiful lake Zug, but also home to 30 of the worlds top commodities trading houses, primarily because of the advantageous taxes that may be negotiated with the Zug tax authorities.

However, I would argue that what happens in Zug is an important bellwether for what will happen in other Western countries as negative interest rates become more widespread and if the Swiss can’t get their financial shit together, what hope is their for anybody else?

Why else do you think your governments are trying to make holding large amounts of cash illegal? Because if enough people withdraw from the banking system then it will collapse as Northern Rock showed at the beginning of the current crisis.

Next stop – cars being weighed between journeys in and out of Switzerland to pick up those using the strong Swiss Franc against the weak Euro to avoid paying Swiss prices on their shopping.

Danegeld.

The EU has come up with a cunning plan… Let’s chuck more European taxpayers money at a problem entirely of their own making, like Greece.

What can possibly go wrong?

Quote of the Week.

‘The Commission is here for five years to do its job and we did it with vision, responsibility and commitment. Because what is driving us is not to be re-elected. That is why for us the political cost means nothing.’ 

Dimitris Avramopoulos.

What he means is your opinion and vote means NOTHING!

Treason doth never prosper

Varoufakis Treason

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

John Harington – Epigrams

In the latest round of the sorry saga that is modern Greece we have a further example of how the corrupting and totalitarian influence of the European Union has now spread in that it would appear that attempting to replace the Euro with a restored national currency is now treason.

“The context of all this is that they want to present me as a rogue finance minister, and have me indicted for treason. It is all part of an attempt to annul the first five months of this government and put it in the dustbin of history,” he said.

“It totally distorts my purpose for wanting parallel liquidity. I have always been completely against dismantling the euro because we never know what dark forces that might unleash in Europe,” he said.

The goal of the computer hacking was to enable the finance ministry to make digital transfers at “the touch of a button”. The payments would be ‘IOUs’ based on an experiment by California after the Lehman banking crisis.

A parallel banking system of this kind would allow the government to create euro liquidity and circumvent what Syriza called “financial strangulation” by the ECB.

Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, awaits treason charges

I am no fan of Yanis Varoufakis who is just another dreadful little Marxist troll, but any decent economist will acknowledge that given the prospect of the ECB funding being stopped for any period of time then parallel currency measures such as IOU’s are a rational response to the problem.

Only in the cloud-cuckoo land of Eurozone politics could this be a justification for treason, at most Varoufakis exceeded his authority, but then surely Greek PM Alexis Tsipras did as well, in which case he should be impeached?

The “why” they attempted to do it is a different matter.

Can we leave yet?

Sizewell B

Austria is to officially file a legal complaint in Brussels against state subsidies for Britain’s planned new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, the government in Vienna said.

“We cannot accept that a technology such as this being portrayed through subsidies as being modern, sustainable and future-oriented,” Chancellor Werner Faymann said after a cabinet meeting.

The complaint, which Vienna had already threatened in September and which will be filed next Monday, “is also of symbolic value against nuclear power”, the centre-left chancellor said.

Austria to file legal complaint against UK’s Hinkley Point nuclear plans

After decades of umming and ahhing by the UK government over what to do about replacing our ageing nuclear power stations AND having opted for the least inventive solution (i.e. build current generation replacements on the same sites as the existing nuclear power stations), we get this stab in the back from our European “allies”.

Everyone is hyped-up on the CAGW nonsense, but when it comes down to keeping the lights on or replacing nuclear power stations with bird choppers or god forbid fossil fuels, we can just hurry up and wait.

All of this is despite the fact that Hinkley Point in Somerset is roughly 900 miles from Austria. This is political grandstanding at its most repugnant and makes a mockery of the EU bureaucracy we’ve already been through to deal with the state aid issue. Once again demonstrating that the EU is little more than an unnecessary overhead adding nothing of value.

Can we leave yet?

Quote of the Day

Tony Blair and European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR)

Under government-enforced “tolerance,” extremists would flourish, honest critics would be silenced, freedom of expression would be criminalized, and, in deference to religious and cultural “groups,” the individual would lose his right to be an individual.

He just can’t help himself, can he?

Nightmare on Threadneedle street…

Cop a load of this my fellow Kitty Counters…

I have known in my water that the “Powers that be” have been itching to put this into practice for ages. Well they think they can control the weather with micro management don’t they? So why not Macro and Micro Economics, which after all, really is a man made science, albeit a dismal one. And boy is the future dismal if this marxist fuckwit gets his wish.

A proposed new law in Denmark could be the first step towards an economic revolution that sees physical currencies and normal bank accounts abolished and gives governments futuristic new tools to fight the cycle of “boom and bust”.

The Danish proposal sounds innocuous enough on the surface – it would simply allow shops to refuse payments in cash and insist that customers use contactless debit cards or some other means of electronic payment.

No they don’t sound innocuous at all, they stink of socio/fascist Totalitarianism

But the move could be a key moment in the advent of “cashless societies”. And once all money exists only in bank accounts – monitored, or even directly controlled by the government – the authorities will be able to encourage us to spend more when the economy slows, or spend less when it is overheating.

What this means is that your hard earned money is no longer your own, the Government can confiscate chunks of it at their leisure and whim. What of aspiration and striving for a better future? What of individual choice? What will be the point of trying to get ahead if the “Ahead” you had in mind is going to be confiscated?

It will get worse than that though. All your purchases will be computerised, and if you stray from the 5 fruits a day, no more than 24 units of alcohol a week, 6 cheeseburgers? (are you insane??) Smoker??? then you will find that the bansturbators in power will refuse  your purchase, and there will be nothing you can do about it. Then you  truly will be a drone.

This is one of the most evil articles I have read for a long time, and make no mistake, they are serious about this. Go read the article… the blandishments try to ameliorate the deadening impact of what is being proposed with positives like…

Apart from the control over the economy, there would be many other advantages of a cashless society. Such a system is much cheaper to run than one based on banknotes and coins. Forgery is impossible, as are robberies.

Electronic money is an inclusive and convenient system, giving poor and rural sectors of an economy – where cash machines and bank branches may be few and far between and not all people have accounts – a tool for easy participation in the economy.

But there is one hope… Even if they get their way, human ingenuity will find a way round it. But why the fuck should we have to?

Obama’s lack of thought for the day

The man who depicted himself as a transcendent figure on history’s stage, who described his foreign policy vision at the Temple of Hercules has been out-thought, out-generaled and completely outclassed by men with far fewer resources, but a great deal more ability than himself.

We now know what the early stages of a post American world looks like.

Wars and land grabs in Europe, the collapse of the Middle East and a militarisation of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, alliances between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and , um, Israel – that is a good outcome, at least.

Chinese dominance over SE Asia, confrontation between China and Japan, Chinese control over the core sea trade routes as it enfolds the South China Sea into its arms.

Is Russia arming Argentina as a means of directing British attention away from Eastern Europe? If Britain is drawn into an Eastern European conflict is there an agreement that Argentina will act? Or at least rattle some sabres?

All Australia’s, and Europe’s, trade with Japan goes through waters claimed by half a dozen separate countries, one of them China, and that China is now starting to militarise.

We are disarmed, we are broke, and the big boy on the block has picked up his ball and gone home.

We are still, nonetheless, the ugliest and toughest hombres left out there, if only we start remembering that truth.

We can protect ourselves, and our interests, but only if we can be bothered.

I suspect that when it comes to national interest and foreign policy the next generation of European leaders will look more like their 19thC forbears than their 21stC fathers. If they don’t, we got problems.

Mathilda Jansson is not the only Swedish Model

smug-fridge

A sex worker is using European human rights legislation to try to overturn a new law in Northern Ireland that makes it illegal to pay for prostitutes.

Dublin-born law graduate Laura Lee is launching an unprecedented legal challenge that could go all the way to Strasbourg, against a human trafficking bill which includes banning the payment for sex among consenting adults.

The region is the only part of the UK where people can be convicted of paying for sex. The law, which was championed by Democratic Unionist peer and Stormont assembly member Lord Morrow, comes into effect on 1 June.

Lee told the Guardian she will launch her case at the high court in Belfast in the same month as the law comes into effect.

Sex worker to launch legal challenge against NI prostitution ban + (hat tip to Perry at Samizdata)

The problems of the “Swedish Model” is not the diary of the love-life of a Premiership football player, but rather an attempt by the radical Feminists to protect the women (or perhaps womyn) in the worlds oldest profession, while persecuting the men (radical Feminism =/= misandry? Yeah Right!)

(more…)

Beware of the Leopard

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display…”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a torch.”

“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.”

(The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

New EU tax rules that come into force on 1 January could kill thousands of mini and micro online businesses.

The new VAT rules have been on the cards for six years and are ostensibly aimed at preventing big companies (yes, we mean you, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks) from claiming that all their European profit is made in Luxembourg (or similar tax havens) where they benefit from paying hardly any tax.

To this end, online businesses will have to pay tax in the country of the consumer buying the goods, not the business. The side effect of this seems to be that many small businesses will find themselves having to unravel miles of red tape associated with complying with 28 different VAT regimes.

(The Register)

The Government (whether it’s the EU, HMG, or the Ham-on-Rye Parish Council matters not; it’s The Government) estimated that about 4,000 British businesses would be affected. It’s turning out to be more like 250,000, some of whom have only found out about it this month. It’s unclear at this stage whether HMRC’s publicity department is housed in the basement or not.

Because make no mistake about it: this isn’t some minor adjustment that businesses who’ve been conscientious about their tax affairs would be expected to have heard of. The majority who’ll be caught out have never been registered for VAT before, and are dealing with such tiny amounts that the cost of compliance will vastly outweigh their income. If you charge anything at all for digital downloads, from January 1st you’re liable for VAT. The UK’s turnover threshold for VAT doesn’t, for some reason (presumably because you’re also paying directly to 27 other régimes), apply.

To be fair, there is a system – you gotta have a system – for “simplifying” the process, but even that is proving to be more trouble than it’ll be worth for some of these miniscule “businesses”. Which won’t bother Amazon or Apple in the slightest. Yet again, government regulation hammers the small players and leaves the intended victims practically unscathed.

(I’ll gloss over the fact that in discussions over internet sales tax exemption in the US, someone always pops up to tell everyone how much easier it would be if they had VAT instead like those enlightened Yoorpeans.)

Still, on the upside, that’s another quarter of a million recruited to oppose the EU.

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