Archive for the ‘England’ Category

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People of Great Britain call for Lisbon referendum

September 14, 2009

And now something for friends from Great Britain: thank God the English have the moxy to stand up to their dictators on the Lisbon Treaty. In the few weeks left until the second Irish vote, I will publish as many articles as possible on the what the PEOPLE of Europe have to say about Lisbon and being prohibited from voting on this massively powerful treaty which gives away unprecedented sovereignity to the EU bureaucracy. Kudos to the spirit of the Brits.

David Cameron under pressure over EU referendum: poll

David Cameron is under pressure to pledge a referendum on the new European “constitution” even if it has already been introduced – after a poll found that the majority of Britons want the chance to express their views.
David Cameron: David Cameron under pressure over EU referendum: poll
The Conservative leader, David Cameron Photo: PA

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor
14 Sep 2009
Source
The Conservative leader has only pledged a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has not yet been ratified across Europe but, if elected, he is now under pressure to hold a retrospective poll if necessary. Labour refuses to hold a referendum under any circumstances.

Ireland, the only country to be blocking the introduction of the treaty, is due to hold a second referendum next month having previously rejected it. However, with Ireland now facing economic difficulties, voters there are expected to be more willing to back the Treaty.

It will then be quickly introduced throughout Europe – before the next general election in this country.

However, today’s poll found that 57 percent of those questioned believe that a future Conservative government should offer a referendum on the ratified treaty, with only 15 percent saying there should be no such vote.

More than forty percent (43 per cent) of those polled said that Britain should leave the EU altogether rather than accept the Lisbon Treaty without a vote.

Twenty-six percent of those questioned said that Britain should accept the Lisbon Treaty rather than leave the union.

The YouGov poll was commissioned to mark the start of a major series in the Telegraph over the next fortnight which will analyse Britain’s relationship with Europe.

There is growing concern over the increasing reach of Europe in the domestic, rather than economic and commercial, affairs of this country. Less than 20 percent of those polled thought that Europe should be integrated further.

Just 13 percent of people polled said they would vote for the treaty in a referendum with 36 percent saying they would vote against. However, 39 percent said they were unsure how to vote.

Gordon Brown has refused to call a referendum on the Treaty despite Labour’s manifesto pledging to call such a vote on a European constitution. Ministers claim that the treaty is not a constitution even though it is virtually identical to the proposed constitution which was previously rejected.

Yesterday, the campaigner who spearheaded the Irish “no” vote against the treaty during the country’s first referendum said that he would help campaign during the new poll. Declan Ganley had previously said he would not take part in the campaign but says he has been “provoked” to intervene.

He believes the treaty will “be sunk” in the referendum on October 2nd, adding it was a “myth” that endorsing the treaty would help Ireland’s economy. He told reporters in Dublin that he was hoping to raise as much as 200,000 euros for advertising against the treaty.

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Cronyism alive and well

May 6, 2009

Study reveals true extent of ‘old boys network’ between Government and banks

03 May 2009
By Tom Peterkin, Scottish Political Editor
Source
LINKS between Government and the banking sector have been condemned in a new report that has uncovered the extent of the “old boys network” at the top of British public life.
Britain has a greater culture of cronyism than Europe or the US, according to the study, which identified key individuals who have moved jobs between politics, financial institutions and the bodies charged with regulating the banking industry.

The report warns the close relations between business and politics “lead to a confl ict of interest at best and a suspension of critical faculties at worst”.

The study of 116 of the world’s most successful companies will be presented to a Global Forum on Public Governance, run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in Paris this week.

The research looked at so-called “revolving door connections”, when a company employs former or current politicians, civil servants or members of regulatory bodies, or where individuals move from the financial sector into politics, Government or regulatory bodies.

Barclays was the most connected British-based company with 14 revolving door connections.

Two of the Barclays examples were Mark Clarke and Sarah Cox. Clarke is director general of finance at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, but worked at Barclays from 2000 to 2003. Cox was an international consultant at Barclays from 2001 to 2004 and has since joined the UK Cabinet Office’s business support group.

“The Government and the political classes have very close links to the banking industry,” said the report’s author David Miller, a Professor of Sociology at Strathclyde University, who specialises in researching lobbying.

“I believe this could be one of the factors behind the disaster that has befallen the financial markets. There has not been enough regulation of these connections.”

The organisations with more than five revolving door connections were Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS/Lloyds Group, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Dexia Group, HSBC Holdings, JP Morgan Chase and Co, Standard Chartered Bank and UBS.

Six individuals with RBS connections included Quentin Davies, Labour MP and a minister at the Ministry of Defence, who was an RBS adviser until 2003, and Sir Philip Hampton, RBS’s chairman, former chief executive of the Government-owned UK Financial Investments.

Perhaps the best known person with HBOS connections named in the report is Sir James Crosby, who was chief executive of the bank from 2001 to 2006 before leaving to become deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK body responsible for regulating the financial sector.

Crosby resigned from the FSA after claims by the whistleblower Paul Moore, the former head of risk at HBOS, that he mismanaged the bank.

Three revolving door connections were identified at Standard Life, including Gerry Grimstone, the chairman of the board who was appointed as one of the UK’s Business Ambassadors in January.

Paul Flynn, Labour MP and member of Westminster’s Public Administration Select Committee, said:

“Coziness is the enemy of efficiency and coziness leads to a lazy brainedness and a lack of thinking and inventiveness.”

A Barclays spokesman said: “Barclays recruits people on the basis of their skills and experience, whether as full-time staff, as non-executive directors or as part-time advisers.

“Where they may have held senior roles in the public sector, their recruitment is undertaken in line with governmental and civil service governance policies.”

A spokeswoman for Scottish Financial Enterprise, the body that represents the Scottish financial services industry, said: “From our point of view, the greater the understanding between business and the public sector the better.”

A Standard Life spokesman said: “It’s important that any board has a wide variety of backgrounds and experience, which is what we have at Standard Life.”

RBS and HBOS declined to comment.