Cameron’s heartfelt plea for Europe

“Because the truth is this – we are in a global race today and that means an hour of reckoning for countries like ours. Sink or swim. Do or decline.”

via Cameron speech to warn on economy – UK News – News – WalesOnline.

It’s not quite sink or swim (Britain will not sink beneath the azure waves) but the changing shape of geopolitics is one of the strongest arguments for European integration. Funny sort of place to make that argument, at Conservative conference…

May madness

Here’s the Guardian on Teresa May’s rumblings about renegotiating EU Freedom of Movement rules:

It had been thought there was little momentum to review the free movement of EU workers on the basis that it is such a central pillar of the EU’s founding principles. But May believes there are reforms that could be made in part to reverse previous European court of justice judgments that have in effect redefined free movement as available to citizens rather than merely workers.

(from Theresa May considers curbs on EU migration)

Sorry, what? Teresa May wants to block people who aren’t working – like Tory-voting retired inhabitants of Spanish coastal resorts – and allow people who are – like Polish plumbers?

Surely (if you believe that Britain is threatened by evil mudbloods) you want to keep the Poles out while letting the Brits go anywhere and do anything, like the rulers of Europe they rightfully are?

Enjoy France!

The US Government have now nationalised three major institutions in the course of a fortnight, so what could be more pleasurable than going to FreeRepublic, home of right wing nutcases, to hear them wail about how they are now living in a socialist republic?

Still electioneering

I find it odd that most media sources said that Thursday's commemoration events for 9/11 were in some way a 'suspension of electioneering'. Sure, the speeches were by George Bush II rather than John McCain or Barack Obama, but this extract from the president's speech at the Pentagon sounds to me like pure propaganda for his 'war on terror' notion:

When our enemies attacked the Pentagon, they pierced the rings of this building. But they could not break the resolve of the United States Armed Forces. Since 9/11, our troops have taken the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. Thanks to the brave men and women, and all those who work to keep us safe, there has not been another attack on our soil in 2,557 days. (Applause.)

For future generations, this memorial will be a place of learning. The day will come when most Americans have no living memory of the events of September the 11th. When they visit this memorial, they will learn that the 21st century began with a great struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror. They will learn that this generation of Americans met its duty — we did not tire, we did not falter, and we did not fail. They will learn that freedom prevailed because the desire for liberty lives in the heart of every man, woman, and child on Earth.

Class conflict on Today (no, not really)

I know that Today is produced by the middle classes for the middle classes but even so I was astonished that the 8.10 slot today was given over to a long grumble by the well-spoken white middle-class sister of an armed gunman who was  shot by the police.

I don't doubt that she's grieving, and looking for answers, but her complaints about the police could basically be summarised as "Why did they have to shoot him – it's not like he was black or poor".

I remember Today doing interviews on unarmed people shot by police (Menezes, Harry Stanley) but never when the victim was an armed gunman taking potshots out of his window.

Democratic debate, nice while it lasted

I posted this over at Metafilter, but it's very much what I've been feeling today, so I thought I post it here too.

"What's depressed me about the whole Davis thing is realising how the blogs and comments on British media sites are starting to sound like Free Republic or Fox News. If I hear the words fascism, ZaNuLabour or Stalin again, I will scream. British political debate is being taken over by this angry self-righteous hate-filled tone and, as someone who believes in democracy, it's just killing me. 

Britain today is nothing like a fascist state, nothing like Zimbabwe and nothing like Stalinism. People are comparing the Government to real historical regimes that really killed millions of real people, and what are they talking about? Speed cameras! European treaties! Income tax rates! Petrol Prices! Get over yourselves, for God's sake. If you don't agree, vote Tory at the next election, don't pretend you're some sort of heroic fighter for freedom and democracy. 

I completely respect people who don't agree with 42 days, or speed cameras, or whatever. I stop respecting those people when they turn into tantruming six year olds and scream "I can do what I want! You're the worst Government ever and I hate you! Nazi!"