Sightseers could be banned from taking snaps of North landmarks and uploading them to social media sites if proposals in Europe get the go-ahead… or maybe not – UKIP circulating scare stories again.
The law would change what is known in the UK as the ‘freedom of panorama’ exemption that lets people to take use photos of modern buildings and artworks such as Gateshead’s The Angel of the North or Bottle of Notes in Middlesbrough how they like.
Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East, said the law would be an attack on the country’s freedoms but his opponents accuse him of scaremongering over EU proposals.
He said: “This would end up being another example of unintended consequences which so often happens when the EU passes laws.
“It is idiotic and would mean that visitors would not be able to snap views of the Angel of the North and other famous works and use them commercially if they so wanted.
“This attempt to restrict the freedom of panorama, by allies of the Lib Dems in Brussels, strikes at the root of our liberties. It will destroy an explicit British freedom guaranteed in our copyright legislation for over 100 years.
“Art and photography are valuable because of their intrinsic freedom. Freedom is constantly undermined by the European Union as we have seen time and time again.”
Lib Dem councillor Greg Stone said the amendment has no connection to his party in Europe and accused the MEP of creating “scare stories”.
He said: “This proposal has had nothing whatsoever to do with the Liberal Democrats or the ALDE bloc of EU Liberal parties and it is frankly pretty desperate stuff from a party that trades exclusively on Euro myths and scare stories.”
A North East BNP activist has been appointed acting chairman of the party after Nick Griffin stepped down as leader.
The party’s website said Adam Walker had been appointed acting chairman after Mr Griffin “stepped aside”, two months after he lost the party’s only seat at the European Parliament in a disastrous set of election results.
Mr Griffin, who has been the public face of the party for more than a decade, has taken on the new role of party president.
Mr Griffin, who was declared bankrupt in January, had “taken up the position of President”, it said, adding that the national executive was “united in their support” for his replacement.
After voters in the north west ousted him as an MEP in May, Mr Griffin accepted the BNP – which now has only two local councillors – would be described as a “racist” outfit.
Its supporters wanted to “send them all home”, he said – suggesting they would end up disappointed if they had voted for Ukip as an alternative.
The BNP published a statement on its website announcing the change at the top, which reads: “Recently appointed deputy chairman, Adam Walker, has accepted the role of acting chairman of the British National Party after Nick Griffin stepped aside at a meeting of the BNP National Executive held on 19 July.
“The full national executive are united in their support for Adam in this role. Nick Griffin has taken up the position of president.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 22 July 2014
The full results for the North East:
•Labour Party – 221,988
•UKIP – 177,660
•Conservatives – 107,733
•Liberal Democrats – 36,093
•Green Party – 31,605
•An Independence from Europe – 13,934
•BNP – 10,360
•English Democrats – 9,279
Labour won 2 seats, UKIP finally win something – 1 seat.
Conservatives and Lib Dems both lose 1 seat.
Tory Martin Callanan lost his seat. Callanan, who was also chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, was the only MEP standing for reelection in the region, Labour’s Stephen Hughes and the Lib Dems’ Fiona Hall had both decided to stand down – in Ms Hall’s case probably a very wise decision – The Lib Dem vote collapsed from 103,644 in 2009 to just 31,605.
Newly-elected Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling said: “It is a fantastic night for Labour.
“We have knocked the leader of the Tories out of the European Parliament – an extremely corrosive politician who has upset a lot of people.”
Her new colleague Paul Brannen claimed it was a “major victory for Labour” as they had not just seen off Mr Callanan but “defeated the Liberal Democrats resoundingly”.
Ukip were the big spenders heading into the North East elections, with the party the only of the main four to spend money on billboard advertising in the region. Electoral Commission records also show their winner Jonathan Arnott contributing more than £8,000 of his own funds to the campaign… a sum which no doubt he will now proceed to enthusiastically recoup in expenses.
Turnout for the European elections was 31%, with Middlesbrough’s 24% the lowest and Gateshead’s 35% the highest.
There’s no denying that the forthcoming European elections seem to be trying to be all-inclusive … in the wake of a Rotweiller dog in Norton being given the vote comes the following –
Felicity Percival, 4, of Dalton Crescent, in Shildon, County Durham, was sent the polling card this week head of the European Parliament elections on May 22.
The youngster’s bemused mother, Rebecca Currie, 24, thinks that a mix-up when the nomination form was filled in is to blame.
Miss Currie, a Teesside University student, said: “This is the first letter that Felicity has ever received. I find the whole thing amusing.
“We live with my nan, Margaret Giles, and she filled the nomination form in. I think that she must have filled it in wrongly.”
> I’ve got my voting card, but my Cat hasn’t received one. Yet.
Source – Northern Echo 15 April 2014
Boosting turnout at elections has taken a new twist after a family’s eight-year-old dog was invited to vote.
Canines in the constituency don’t usually figure highly during the battle for votes on election day, but Zeus, an ageing Rottweiler cross, has got his paws on a polling card in the run-up to one political dogfight.
He has received an invitation to vote in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament on May 22.
The card, addressed to “Zeus Hoyle”, dropped through the letterbox of his owner Russell Hoyle’s home in Cheshire Road, Norton, Teesside.
Russell is planning to take his four-legged friend for walkies to the polling station on election day.
He said: “Me and my wife are going to vote and Zeus is coming with us. He has got his voting card.”
Zeus appears distinctly underwhelmed by it all.
His political persuasion is unclear, although his owner hopes he is not a Tory.
Asked how he planned to vote, Zeus let out what appeared to be a big yawn.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette 14 April 2014
100 ? Tip of the iceberg !
Reposted from The Green Benches
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The Coalition government has finally put its cards on the table, calling for the completion of a ‘free trade’ agreement with the United States of America that will end democracy as we know it today.
Do you think this statement is needlessly hyperbolic? In fact, it probably does not make the point strongly enough!
You will lose the ability to affect government policy – particularly on the National Health Service; after the Health and Social Care Act, the trade agreement would put every decision relating to its work on a commercial footing. The rights of transnational corporations would become the priority, health would become primarily a trade issue and your personal well-being would be of no consequence whatsoever.
Profit will rule.
Also threatened would be any other public service that has been privatised by this and previous governments, along with any that are privatised in the future; all would fall…
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Defrocked UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, a swivel-eyed loon of the first order, has come up with another one – ban the unemployed from voting.
He has attacked the fact that some will still get a vote even if they have “contributed nothing to the national exchequer at all and maybe never will”.
You might well think he’s talking about corporations who pay no tax here, or rich individuals who can afford accountants to bend the rules to avoid paying their fair share, but of course no…Bloom subscribes to that weird right-wing theory that the poorest are to blame for everything, and are probably doing it just to be spiteful.
No, his solution is that the electoral system needs to give “more electoral power” to the wealthy who “create the revenue”.
In other words, a system where the vote of the richest is always worth more than that of the poorer electorate, and those at the bottom getting none at all.
Good thinking Godfrey ! When the worst off in society cant even comfort themselves with the thought of voting idiots like you out at the next election (even though that prospect is a rank outsider at the best of times) then maybe bombs not ballots will become the order of the day. Because once you’re totally disenfranchised, what have you got to lose ?
He explained his rationale further – “I do not expect to vote in a Unite ballot because I am not a member and pay no dues. I do not expect a vote at Marks and Spencer’s AGM because I am not a shareholder. We need to get to a system where the interest of the individual and the state are more compatible.”
Yes Godfrey but… you see, this is a nation, not a company or a trade union. The vast majority didn’t apply to join it, we just ended up here as an accident of birth. If the accident had been slightly different some of us might have been born with silver spoons in our mouths and would spend our days trying to dodge paying taxes rather than scraping by.
And this idea that the poorest contribute nothing. Bloom, who apparently worked as a financial economist (although it may be worth noting that in 2008 Bloom’s company,TBO, was fined £28,000 by the Financial Services Authority for ‘posing an “unacceptable risk” to customers) doesn’t seem to realise that however poor you might be you still pay taxes – Council Tax and VAT at the very least. Some unfortunates also have to pay the Bedroom Tax. So lets have less of this “contributing nothing” crap.
Of course the man’s an arse, although what that makes the people who voted for him I shudder to think (and I am almost tempted to suggest that they are the people who should have their right to vote removed).
He is a member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a tax-exempt libertarian organization located in Auburn, Alabama. Its website states that it is dedicated to advancing “the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention” and has published views critical of democracy, which authors in Institute publications have called coercive, and incompatible with wealth creation… so I think we have pretty good idea of where he’s coming from.
Bloom, who seems to hate women almost as much as the poor, confessed that has visited brothels in Hong Kong. He claimed however he never consummated the visits (even the most hard up prostitute has to draw the line somewhere …) and also claimed “terrified young women beaten into prostitution often from Eastern Europe […] is only a very small aspect of the flesh trade”, and concluded that “in short, most girls do it because they want to.”
After inviting students from the University of Cambridge Women’s Rugby Club to Brussels in 2004, he was accused of sexual assault, making “sexist and misogynistic remarks” and using offensive language during a dinner party. One student handed a formal letter of protest to the President of the European Parliament, heavily criticising Bloom’s behaviour.
Bloom who sponsored the club with £3,000 a year, admitted making misogynist comments but denied sexual harassment. Perhaps, given his Hong Kong experiences, he thought his three grand actually entitled him to act like that.
In December 2008, Bloom was carried out by an intern after making a speech in the European Parliament while drunk, the second occasion on which he was accused of being drunk in the chamber. During the speech, Bloom denied that MEPs from Poland, the Czech Republic or Latvia have the ability to understand economic relations.
On 24 November 2010, Bloom was ejected from the European Parliament after directing a Nazi slogan at German MEP Martin Schulz who was speaking in a debate on the economic crisis in Ireland. Bloom interrupted Schulz and shouted “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer“ at him.
Bloom was filmed at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen congratulating the French for bombing the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship, in 1985.
In the clip, posing in front of the present Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior II, Bloom said, “Here we have one of the most truly fascist boats since 1945, well done the French for sinking (it).”
Truly a prince among men…