When You Don’t Understand The Problem, You Won’t Find The Right Solution

Breitbart posted a story today about high knife crime rates in Britain.

The article reports:

Trauma surgeons have warned that Britain’s knife crime “epidemic” is putting the National Health Service (NHS) under strain, as figures revealed the number of incidents reached a record high of more than 40,000 last year.

The Daily Telegraph reported the 40,147 knife offences recorded in England and Wales — the highest figure since records began in 2011 — marked a 57 per cent increase from the figure for 2014.

Knife crime has risen for four consecutive years since 2014, when then Home Secretary Theresa May curbed the use of stop and search — a policing tactic officers insist saves lives but which is branded “racist” by campaigns that globalist financier George Soros’s international grantmaking organisation Open Society Foundations has bragged about funding.

…”It’s across our urban centres, not just London. It’s a disease we need to work closely together to try to control as best we can,” said Adam Brooks, a consultant surgeon based in Nottingham, where the audience heard his major trauma centre had treated as many young knife crime victims aged 15-25 in the past five months as it had in the whole of 2017.

Generally speaking, British citizens do not own guns. Generally speaking, British policemen do not carry guns. Because guns are scarce in Britain, criminals have used knives. The problem is obviously not the weapon–it is the criminal intent on committing a crime. Banning guns has not helped to protect citizens, it has simply limited their ability to defend themselves.

It should also be noted that the change in the law had a negative impact on public safety. Calling people ‘racist’ to intimidate them might get results, but the results are not in the best interest of the public.

Good News From The United Kingdom

The Daily Caller is reporting today that Tommy Robinson has been released on bail. Tommy Robinson is the head of Pegida UK, an organization formed in response to the Islamization of Britain and Europe. He has been accused of hate speak as he has spoken out against what is happening in Britain and Europe. I would describe him as a bit edgy, but what he is saying is basically true. He was arrested in May of this year for filming Muslims who were on trial for ‘grooming’ young women. Subsequently, Robinson was placed in a prison with a large Muslim population. A fatwa was issued for his death, and many people feared for his safety. After his arrest, the British press was barred from reporting on the case. We need to remember that free speech is not protected in Britain.

The article at The Daily Caller reports:

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett approved Robinson’s appeal “essentially because the process was flawed,” he said. Burnett allowed Robinson to be released on bail on the conditions that he would attend the rehearing and that he would not come within 400 meters (about 1,312 feet) of Leeds Court, where he was initially arrested for contempt of court.

News of Robinson’s release was trending worldwide on Twitter Wednesday, as his arrest sparked outrage from conservatives and free-speech activists across the globe. The day after his arrest on May 25, protests erupted around the world.

…Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was arrested for recording outside a court, reporting on a trial involving a gang of four Muslim men accused of grooming and raping a teenaged girl.

He was barred from reporting on the case under his prohibition after a previous contempt of court charge in 2017 and was charge with contempt of court again on May 25. The judge in the most recent contempt of court charge barred British media from reporting on Robinson for five days after his conviction. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

While he was serving his first two months in prison, before being released, Robinson’s supporters worried Muslims would hurt or try to kill him, given his strict stance on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

Britain has had a problem with sexual abuse of teenage girls. The town of Rochdale was rocked by a scandal that sexual abuse by Muslim men had been going on for years, but authorities were reluctant to act out of fear of being called racist. (Story here)

It is good to know that Tommy Robinson is free. Hopefully he will remain free.

This Is What Single-Payer Healthcare Looks Like In Real Life

The U.K. Telegraph posted an article today about plans for National Health Service policy in Britain.

The article reports:

The NHS (National Health Service) will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking, under controversial plans drawn up in Hertfordshire.

The restrictions – thought to be the most extreme yet to be introduced by health services – immediately came under attack from the Royal College of Surgeons.

Its vice president called for an “urgent rethink” of policies which he said were “discriminatory” and went against the fundamental principles of the NHS.

…In recent years, a number of areas have introduced delays for such patients – with some told operations will be put back for months, during which time they are expected to try to lose weight or stop smoking.

But the new rules, drawn up by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire, say that obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, unless the circumstances are exceptional.

The criteria also mean smokers will only be referred for operations if they have stopped smoking for at least eight weeks, with such patients breathalysed before referral.

I realize that smoking and obesity are not good for your health, but should that disqualify you from needed healthcare? What about drinking soda, drinking alcohol, eating sweets? This is an example of rationed healthcare. It really doesn’t matter what the basis for the rationing is–it is still rationing. And if the concept of rationing is accepted, there is no reason why the basis can’t change on a whim. This is another reason why the free market rather than the government should be making healthcare decisions.

The Consequences

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. As many Americans are looking at their losses in the stock market today and wondering what is coming next, we all need to step back and take a deep breath.

The article reports:

The United Kingdom has always had Europe’s most robust democracy, and with Thursday’s vote to leave the European Union it has given its Continental peers a powerful example of the meaning of popular rule. Now we’ll see if the British have the wisdom to make the best use of their historic choice.

The article reminds us that Britain is the second largest and most dynamic economy in the European Union. The exit of Britain will probably cause more problems for the European Union than it does for Britain.

The article reminds us of some of the mistakes made by the European Union:

If the EU wants to prevent other countries from catching the Brexit bug, our advice is to avoid the temptation to punish the U.K. with an arduous renegotiation of terms for its re-entry into the common market. The perception of EU high-handedness is what alienates public opinion across the Continent. Brexit ought to be the wake-up call the EU needs to return to serving as a common market that encourages growth and competition, and not—as it has become since the late 1980s—an innovation-killing superstate obsessed with regulatory harmonization, tax hikes, green-energy dogma and anticompetitive antitrust enforcement.

People don’t vote to leave organizations that are well run and respect their freedom. The Brexit vote is the result of the actions of the European Union. It will be interesting to see if the European Union learns the lessons they need to learn before more countries exit.

Overlooking The Obvious

The U.K. Express posted an article yesterday about President Obama’s visit to the United Kingdom. The article included some interesting observations:

The article reports:

But senior Tory Iain Duncan Smith said it was “strange” for the president to advocate a surrender of power to Brussels that Americans would never accept.

The former Cabinet minister said: “I have a huge amount of respect for America’s unrelenting commitment to the patriotic principle of self-governance.

“President Obama and his predecessors have ferociously protected the sovereignty of the USA and I wish we could say the same of our leaders.

“What I do find strange is that he is asking the British people to accept a situation that he patently would not recommend to the American population.”

The former Cabinet minister said: “I have a huge amount of respect for America’s unrelenting commitment to the patriotic principle of self-governance.

“President Obama and his predecessors have ferociously protected the sovereignty of the USA and I wish we could say the same of our leaders.

“What I do find strange is that he is asking the British people to accept a situation that he patently would not recommend to the American population.”

The former Cabinet minister is overlooking one basic fact. Regardless of whether or not President Obama was actually born in America (just for the record, I believe he was), he does not represent the basic values of America. President Obama does not have a lot of respect for American sovereignty. He has allowed the United Nations to dictate American policy regarding refugees from Syria, and he has supported United Nations treaties that would clearly undermine American sovereignty and the U.S. Constitution. I think his stand on the United Kingdom and the European Union is perfectly consistent with his core beliefs. Because of the legacy of his father regarding the British, he sees both Britain and America as imperialistic countries. There is nothing in his background that has taught him to respect or value the sovereignty of western countries.

This is another example of President Obama moving away from the friends of America. He has not treated the British with the respect they deserve since he took office. Hopefully the next American President will repair the damage President Obama has done to our relationships with our allies.

The Dangers Of Political Correctness

The story that recently came out of Rotherham England is extremely upsetting. The U.K. Telegraph posted a story on Sunday about the sexual abuse of at least 1,400 children over 16 years. The fact that this continued over a sixteen-year period is horrendous. These children can never buy back their innocence. They will probably never fully recover from the damage that was done when the abuse continued for sixteen years without being addressed. The really scary fact here is that the authorities were hesitant to pursue reports of the abuse because they did not want to be called racists. That is truly sad. People in charge were afraid to stand up for justice because it might not be politically correct.

The article reports:

The Rotherham scandal and a series of cases in towns including Rochdale highlighted how evidence of Pakistani men targeting white girls for abuse was repeatedly played down for fear of accusations of racism.

Mr Danczuk (Simon Danczuk, who helped expose a pattern of grooming of white teenage girls by men from a Pakistani background in Rochdale, where he is the Labour MP) said the elements of Pakistani political culture itself were partly to blame for the cover-up.

“There are cultural issues around the way politics are done in the Asian community which have to change,” he said.

He said he had personally come under pressure from Asian councillors and members of the community for speaking out as well as being warned by prominent figures in his party.

He pointed to the way in which two Muslim councillors in Rochdale had provided character references for one of the perpetrators of the Rochdale abuse.

Politics are done differently in Pakistan, it is a cultural difference we have imported some of that into some of these northern towns and cities and I think we have to face up to the fact that we can’t carry on doing politics like that.

“It is not healthy and the direct consequence is that we end up having to tackle issues like has been faced in Rotherham.”

He described it as “a looking after your own” within the Asian community which other politicians had accepted.

This is the danger in allowing an immigrant population to settle in a country and not assimilate. We have the same problem in America. I am not opposed to legal immigration, but when you bring in a population and do not teach them how America (or Britain) works, you may find that population doing things that are considered illegal here.

The role of women in Britain and America is very different from the role of women in Muslim countries. We need to make sure that young girls and women who live in America and Britain are treated with the respect the law grants them. In Muslim countries, under Sharia Law, women have no legal standing. Rape is not rape unless a woman has male witnesses to confirm that it was a rape. A women can be jailed or killed for being raped in a Muslim country. We do not need those laws or that attitude here. Immigrants should be welcomed, but they should also be required to understand that all citizens have rights in America and Britain–not just male citizens.

 

Watching Britain Lose Its Freedom

Today’s U.K. Mail Online posted an article about the introduction of Sharia Law into the British legal system.

The article reports:

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, an organisation that campaigns for strict separation of the state from religious institutions and equality of religion before the law, says the move is a backwards step that undermines British justice.

He said: ‘The UK has the most comprehensive equality laws in the world, yet the Law Society seems determined to undermine this by giving approval to a system that relegates women, non-Muslim and children born out of wedlock to second class citizenship.

‘Instead of running scared at any mention of sharia, politicians of all parties should face these issues square on and insist on the primacy of democratically-determined human rights-compliant law.

‘Laws determined by Parliament should prevail over centuries-old theocratic laws. We should have One Law for All, not allowing any law to operate which disadvantages any sections of the community.’

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch points out some of the problems with Sharia Law:

Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.

The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.

Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.

…Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, said: “This guidance marks a further stage in the British legal establishment’s undermining of democratically determined human rights-compliant law in favour of religious law from another era and another culture. British equality law is more comprehensive in scope and remedies than any elsewhere in the world. Instead of protecting it, The Law Society seems determined to sacrifice the progress made in the last 500 years.”

Lady Cox said: “Everyone has freedom to make their own will and everyone has freedom to let those wills reflect their religious beliefs. But to have an organisation such as The Law Society seeming to promote or encourage a policy which is inherently gender discriminatory in a way which will have very serious implications for women and possibly for children is a matter of deep concern.”

This is a serious step toward undermining the freedom of the citizens of Britain. Sharia Law includes such things as executing people for converting to Christianity and stoning rape victims. If the British embrace part of Sharia Law, will they be able to avoid having to live with all of the law.

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America Needs To Learn The Lesson Britain Just Learned

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about what is happening to the British workforce–it is growing and unemployment is going down!

The article reports:

A record 3,100 people every day are finding work as Britain’s jobless total falls at the fastest rate in 17 years.

The number of unemployed tumbled to 2.32million – falling by 167,000 between September and November, the biggest drop since 1997.

Yesterday the Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate is now at 7.1 per cent after falling faster than any economist or the Bank (Bank of England) predicted.

…In an unusually political statement, the Bank also said the Coalition’s benefits clampdown may have pushed more people into looking for work, rather than continuing to rely on State handouts. It said: ‘A tightening in the eligibility requirements for some State benefits might also have led to an intensification of job search.’ 

Meanwhile, Congress in America is debating extending unemployment benefits.

Statistics have shown that people collecting unemployment insurance tend to intensify their search for work as their unemployment benefits begin to run out. Extending unemployment or increasing welfare benefits does not encourage people to join the work force–it destroys motivation. In most cases, it is simply more fun not to have to get up and go to work every morning. When the government subsidizes not working, more people don’t work. I am not saying that we should end unemployment or welfare, but we should put enough restrictions on both to prevent generations of America who have not grasped the concept of working for a living. America needs to follow the example of Great Britain.

 

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I Really Like The British

Steven Hayward at Power Line posted an article today about a very interesting comment made by Owen Paterson, Britain’s secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

The Guardian posted his remarks today:

The cabinet minister responsible for fighting the effects of climate change claimed there would be advantages to an increase in temperature predicted by the United Nations including fewer people dying of cold in winter and the growth of certain crops further north.

Owen Paterson told a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference on Sunday night that predictions by scientists – that there could be major increases in temperature resulting in melting ice caps and worldwide flooding – should not be seen as entirely negative.

…”People get very emotional about this subject and I think we should just accept that the climate has been changing for centuries.

“I think the relief of this latest report is that it shows a really quite modest increase, half of which has already happened. They are talking one to two and a half degrees.

“Remember that for humans, the biggest cause of death is cold in winter, far bigger than heat in summer. It would also lead to longer growing seasons and you could extend growing a little further north into some of the colder areas.

“I actually see this report as something we need to take seriously but I am rather relieved that it is not as catastrophic in its forecast as we had been led to believe early on and what it is saying is something we can adapt to over time and we are very good as a race at adapting,” he said.

Needless to say, those supporting drastic action to combat climate change that has not occurred for the past fifteen years are a bit upset at the comments. The science of climate change is questionable at best. When you listen to the solutions suggested by those offering solutions, you discover that they simply involve the transfer of wealth from democracies to countries ruled by tyrants. Their solutions have nothing to do with climate and a lot to do with taking money from free countries that have developed their resources through the free market and giving it to countries where the money will go to corrupt leaders. Somehow that doesn’t seem like the answer to anything.

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What Goes Around Comes Around

What goes around comes around. Sometimes that is good, sometimes it is not. What happened in Britain’s Parliament yesterday was one of those times when it is not.

Yesterday Fox News posted a story about the vote taken in Britain yesterday regarding getting involved in Syria. The article points out that with the exception of Vietnam, Britain has historically gone to war as an ally of the United States whether or not Britain had any national interest in the dispute. For Britain to refuse to get involved in Syria as it was becoming apparent that America probably would was a new direction in Britain’s foreign policy.

So what is this about? Up until 2009, when President Obama was sworn into office, American and Britain had a ‘special relationship.’ Britain joined us in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though they had no national security interest in either place.

The article at Fox News states:

For instance, although Britain recognized that Al-Qaeda posed a serious threat to the UK, we intervened in Afghanistan because, as Tony Blair succinctly stated at the time, an attack on America was seen as an attack on Britain, such was the strength of the Special Relationship.

With Iraq throughout the nineties and in 2003, America decided Hussein needed dealing with, Britain stepped up. When Clinton expressed broader foreign policy objectives and decided Milosevic needed taking care of in Serbia, Britain was there. There were other reasons too, but Britain’s attitude was “where our ally goes, we go.”

Let’s look at what has happened since 2009. One of President Obama’s first moves in office was to return the bust of Winston Churchill to the British. That bust had been presented to President Bush after 911 as a reminder that Britain stood with us. It was insulting to return it. President Obama declared that America has no stronger ally than France. France? Not a single senior member of the Obama administration attended the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. When Argentina started making noises about wanting to take over the Falkland Islands, the Obama administration, speaking through then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sided against their best ally, and with Kirchner’s Argentina, demanding Britain sit down with Argentina and negotiate sovereignty of the British territory under the pretense of neutrality.

The Obama Administration has treated Britain shamefully. It is no wonder that he did not get the support for intervention in Syria from the British Parliament when he needed it. The President who came into office saying that he was going to ‘undo the damage George Bush had done to America’s image around the world’ has now succeeded in making even America’s friends dislike her.

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Does Your Right To Free Speech Depend On What You Have To Say?

The U. S. Constitution includes the right of free speech for Americans. That allows anyone to say pretty much anything no matter how popular or unpopular it is (short of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater). Theoretically the government cannot punish you for your opinion or voicing your opinion. But we need to remember that the First Amendment is not universal. Most countries in the world do not grant their populations the right to speak freely.

Tommy Robinson is a British activist who speaks out against the goals of radical Islamists to bring Sharia Law to Britain. He is the leader of the English Defence League (EDL) whose website defines it as an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism. Although he tells the truth about what is going on around him, he is definitely not appreciated by the British government. Yesterday Channel 4 News (British Channel 4 I presume) reported that Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll were arrested during a planned walk to commemorate Lee Rigby, the soldier hacked to death in Woolwich.

The story at Channel 4 reports:

As well as laying flowers in memory of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich, Mr Robinson and his co-leader Kevin Carroll had planned to walk to raise money for a young girl fighting against neuroblastoma.

Reacting to the Met’s decision to impose restrictions, Mr Robinson said: “The police are enforcing no-go zones for non-Muslims. It’s a charity walk with two people taking part.

“When has a Muslim charity walk ever been made to have conditions?”

The police force said the conditions were imposed due to fears that both the march and gathering would “result in serious public disorder and serious disruption to the life of the community” and a breach of the conditions would be a criminal offence.

Pamela Geller and Robert Specer, two American authors who routinely speak out against Islamic radicalism, were barred from entering Britain to take part in the walk. An article at Townhall.com on Friday pointed out that Britain had no problem letting in Che Guevara’s daughter, Aleida.

The article at Townhall states:

“The UK should never become a stage for inflammatory speakers who promote hate,” is how the British Home office explains its recent barring of Geller and Spencer.

Townhall reminds us of the history of Che Guevara and recent statements by his daughter Aleida:

In an interview with the Guardian Aleida Guevara boasted: “I want to be like Che and fight until final victory, then you feel elated. It is preferable to sink in the sea than to betray the glory that once lived!”

And what was this glory? Her father was 2nd in command of a regime that murdered more Cubans in its first three years in power than Hitler’s regime murdered Germans during in its first six, jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror, and came closest of anyone in history to starting a worldwide nuclear war.

There seems to be a bit of a double standard here. Why? Fear. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are not likely to blow people up if they are denied admittance to England. On the other hand, the area of Woolwich seems to be something of a ‘no go zone’ in Britain where the British authorities have ceded control of an area to Muslims who want to practice Sharia Law.

The Gates of Vienna reports:

Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, the leaders of the English Defence League, were arrested today in Tower Hamlets during their walk to Woolwich. Their crime? Entering a shariah-controlled area of London, where they were considered persona non grata by the Muslim inhabitants, who were expected to respond with violence.

There is now at least one official Islamic no-go zone in Britain. Presumably there are numerous others — in Birmingham, Bradford, Dewsbury, and all those other places where Muslims have claimed ownership of “their” areas. The Metropolitan police have now taken on the responsibility of enforcing the borders of these shariah-controlled zones, applying the rules laid down by the Islamic inhabitants.

No-go zones are rather common in France and certain other European countries. They are areas where a Jewish person or a woman dressed in western-style clothing may be assaulted or even killed for entering the area. They are not something we would like to see in America, but they will come here eventually if they are allowed to thrive elsewhere. One of the main causes of no-go zones is the failure of a segment of the immigrant population to assimilate. As we are talking about immigration reform, we need to ask that the people who want to settle in America also want to be Americans. There is nothing wrong with keeping alive the traditions of the country you left, but when you immigrate to a new country, you need to live under the laws and customs of that country.  That is a lesson that European countries are learning the hard way.

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Mark Steyn In Stoughton

Last night I had the privilege of hearing best selling author Mark Steyn speak in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The evening began with a few words from Rabbi Jonathan Hausman previewing some coming speakers and reminding us of some of the challenges we currently face as Americans. One of his memorable quotes was, “Jews learn from history that they do not learn from history.” When persecution of the Jews begins, bad things follow. He reminded us that the most persecuted religion in the world today is Christianity. Michael Graham, a radio talk show host and newspaper columnist, also made a few remarks. He reminded us that is is our job to stand up and fight for the things we believe in.

The title of Mark Steyn’s presentation was, “My Dagestani Brother’s Keeper, Jihad, Welfare and the Western Death Wish.”  He pointed out the pattern that has emerged in the major media reporting of the terrorist attacks in America and around the world. The reporting begins with the fact that the western friends of the terrorist or attempted terrorist are stunned by the fact that their friend has been involved in terrorism. That report is followed by utter bewilderment as to what possible motive the terrorist might have had. The next claim is that the terrorist attack is the work of a ‘lone wolf.’ It must be something of a shock to find out the their lone wolf was actually in contact with other lone wolves.

Mark Steyn pointed out that many recent terrorists were already being watched–the man who killed Drummer Lee Rigby in London was known to British authorities–he had been caught in Kenya three times attempting to get to Somalia. There were two anti-terrorism task forces monitoring Major Nidal Hasan before the Fort Hood attack. Just for the record, simply watching a terrorist does not seem to be a very effective course of action.

Mark Steyn also pointed out the similarities in the way western societies are subsidizing terrorists. The Tsarnaev family was collecting welfare at the time the brothers were constructing the bombs for the Boston Marathon. The British Imam Anjem Choudary, an outspoken supporter of worldwide Sharia Law, has stated that terrorists collecting welfare are simply collecting the jizya (money paid to Islamic rulers by dhimmis). The jizya is the tax dhimmis pay in order to show their submission to Islam. The Imam encourages the practice of collecting welfare while planning jihad.

The danger to western civilization that is becoming very apparent in Europe is the difference in birthrate between the native Europeans and the immigrating Muslims. In Britain, one out of ten British residents under the age of 25 is Muslim. The Muslims have a fertility rate of 3.5 versus the 1.3 fertility rate of the British. If you translate that into basic numbers, using 1,000,000 citizens are your sample group– the 900,000 British and the 100,000 Muslims will have the same number of grandchildren. In other words, the Muslim and non-Muslim populations will be equal in two generations. Those numbers do not even consider any conversions to Islam. The population shift currently taking place in Britain and in some parts of Europe is the fastest moving demographic population shift in history.

Western civilization is in peril. We don’t have the right to mistreat Muslims or consider them all terrorists, but we do have to act to protect ourselves. We need immigration policies that screen out potential terrorists, and we need to encourage assimilation into American culture. There is a difference between Western Culture and Eastern Culture. In the West, women have full rights and full citizenship. In the West, homosexuals are not hung for their homosexuality. In the West, we have the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose. We are in danger of losing those rights. The ideology that seeks Muslim imposition of Sharia Law is something the west must fight if we hope to survive. A worldwide caliphate would be a nightmare for everyone.

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Making Friends All Over The World

On Friday the U. K. Mail posted an article entitled, “A Meddlesome Obama Should Keep His Nose Out Of Our Affairs.” Wow. How’s that for diplomacy? What is this about?

The article reports:

…Yet it was outrageous for a White House official to warn this week that our membership of the EU was ‘in the American interest’ and that pulling out would be a mistake.

State Department official Philip Gordon may hold a post that is the equivalent to a junior under-secretary in our Foreign Office but he is the authentic voice of the Obama administration.

His unwelcome interference in this country’s internal affairs comes at a most sensitive time, considering that David Cameron is soon due to make a major speech on the subject — and is expected to say whether we are to be offered the in/out referendum that the majority of voters want.

Ironically, those on the Left who normally revile America — for its interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, support of Israel and alleged mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay — are happy to use the U.S. official’s remarks as a stick with which to beat Mr Cameron.

…As for Mr Gordon’s specific comments about the possibility of Britain holding a referendum on our future membership of the EU, he reveals America’s own myopia.

He said: ‘Referendums have often turned countries inwards.’

Such a remark is pretty rich coming from an American whose country is one of the most parochial societies in the world. What’s good for the U.S. should be good for Britain.

Mr Gordon and his Washington buddies must accept that we, too, should be able to decide what our national interest is — whether America likes it or not.

How to win friends and influence people…

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The Impact Of High Taxes On Athletic Competition

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about the impact of Britain’s tax policies on athletic competition in that country.

The article reports:

…After Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won his third gold in London last week, reporters asked him why he doesn’t compete in the U.K. more often. “As soon as the law changes I’ll be here all the time,” he said.

What aspect of British tax policy causes this sort or reaction?

The article explains:

The British government has granted an exemption to income linked to Olympic and Paralympic competition. But normally Britain takes a cut of an athlete’s worldwide endorsement earnings—that means overseas sponsors in addition to those in the U.K.—proportional to the time spent in Britain. By comparison, the U.S. only taxes nonresident athletes on endorsement fees paid by American sponsors. France does the same.

The article explains that since Mr. Bolt‘s contract with Puma is worth $9 million, any time spent competing in Britain could cost Mr. Bolt a very large sum of money. Because of these tax laws, many top athletes simply do not compete in Britain.

For example:

Rafael Nadal excused himself from this year’s Aegon Championships, the traditional warm-up to Wimbledon, on fiscal grounds: “I am playing in the U.K. and losing money. I did a lot more for the last four years, but it is more and more difficult to play in the U.K.” Mr. Nadal competed in the Gerry Weber Open in Germany instead.

Because of the tax policies, the quality of athletic competition has suffered in Britain, the fans are less likely to attend, and there is less economic activity in the area of sports competition for the country to tax. Everybody loses.

Pay attention, American Congress!

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If The Stuff Is That Awful, Just Make It Illegal

Broadleaf tobacco inspected in Chatham, Virgin...

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday the U.K. Guardian posted a story stating that the British Medical Association (BMA) is urging lawmakers to extend the ban on smoking in public places introduced in 2007 to all vehicles in a further effort to protect people’s health. I am not a smoker. I truly hate the smell of cigarette smoke. However, this is ridiculous.

The article reports:

The all-party parliamentary group on smoking and health is calling for ministers to hold a public consultation on how to tackle smoking in cars. While opinion polls show widespread support for banning smoking in cars carrying children, such a step would be hard to enforce and would not protect adults, the MPs and peers say.

The British Lung Foundation said it would support such a ban because children “are literally trapped in the car and have no choice but to breathe in smoke”.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health also backs more limited action.

I realize this is occurring in Britain, not in America, but I have no doubt it is headed here. Meanwhile, I believe Congress is still paying subsidies to tobacco farmers and the federal and state governments make more money on the sale of a pack of cigarettes than the manufacturers. If tobacco is that bad, make it illegal. Pay the tobacco farmers a small amount of money to convert to growing grapes for wine or some other cash crop and simply put the industry out of business. Then explain to the taxpayers why their state and federal taxes went up due to lost revenue.

The way the government (in Britain and the United States) has handled the tobacco industry is schizophrenic.

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